Articles by other Colleagues
Thoughts of A Spiritual Nature / February 1997/John H. Stephens
Thoughts of A Spiritual Nature / March 1997/John H. Stephens
The TRUE evil of homosexuality - FEAR/Leif M. Wright
Thoughts of A Spiritual Nature / April 1997/John H. Stephens
Thoughts of A Spiritual Nature / May 1997/John H. Stephens
Thoughts of A Spiritual Nature / June 1997/John H. Stephens
Thoughts of A Spiritual Nature / July 1997/John H. Stephens
The Poverty Lie/Catherine Goy
Thoughts of A Spiritual Nature / August 1997/John H. Stephens
Patriarchal Christianity is Biblical Christianity/ Sean Barclay Goff
Thoughts of a Spiritual Nature / September 1997
By: John Stephens / Bible Teacher
ATP Colleagues in Ministry
"We do not trust God to supply our needs because we can "pump" up an answer. If financial, then we can borrow, if sickness, go to a doctor, if relationship, get counseling, if the church is not doing well, we use a "program" that worked for another church, or we will get a new pastor who really knows how to "pump" or work programs."
Galations 3:1-2 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? (KJV)
Last month we thought about living under the Law, Old Grouchy, who is never satisfied with any thing we have done, and only looks at what we are doing. He always looks for error, falling short of the mark, sin in our lives. To live by the Law, we must be perfect in all our ways to be right with whom ever is measuring us. Paul called that type of living "foolish." His question is "did you receive the Spirit, (or salvation) by working the Law? Or did you do so by hearing about Jesus and believing?"
Galations 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. (KJV)
Then we are to live by faith. But to live, trusting that God will provide for our every need, is very difficult to us. We have lived under rules, regulations and guidelines all our lives. They are our boundaries, our fences, that tell us how far we can go before we exceed expectations. These expectations are from our parents, our siblings, our friends, then our own family, work place, school, and finally, ourselves.
Let us use an illustration from the old testament.
Deuteronomy 11:10-12 For the land, whither thou goest in to possess it, is not as the land of Egypt, from whence ye came out, where thou sowedst thy seed, and wateredst it with thy foot, as a garden of herbs: But the land, whither ye go to possess it, is a land of hills and valleys, and drinketh water of the rain of heaven: A land which the LORD thy God careth for: the eyes of the LORD thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year. (KJV)
God is speaking to Moses about the land of Israel. He tells them that the land is special, that He keeps His eye on it all the time. He compares it to Egypt in a strange way until you understand what He is doing. He says it is a "land of hills and valleys" and that unlike Egypt, you MUST depend on God to supply the rain for crops to grow and produce.
What happened in Egypt? When they had a drought, they would use the water in the Nile river to water their crops and obtain a harvest. How did they get the water from the Nile to their gardens? Well, they could carry water by bucket. That would be slow, but it works. The Egyptians, who had been depending on the Nile river instead of Almighty God for thousands of years, had developed a method called a water tread. It was a pump that lifted the water up and it ran down channels to the crops. These water treads were made to work by animals or by men. They would use their legs to pump the water. They knew that the Nile would always have water and if they "pumped' enough, they would have food to eat. This was the mentality of the Israelites, and it is the mentality of the majority of Christians.
We do not trust God to supply our needs because we can "pump" up an answer. If financial, then we can borrow, if sickness, go to a doctor, if relationship, get counseling, if the church is not doing well, we use a "program" that worked for another church, or we will get a new pastor who really knows how to "pump" or work programs.
We Christians are famous for our programs that replace the sovereignty of God. God can and will direct our individual lives. He can and will direct our corporate lives, in a church or a business. He just wants us to let Him. Why don't we seek God?
Let me share with you what God wants from every one of us. Remember the story in August of Old Grouchy. The wife remarries and the relationship with her new husband will be used to illustrate the relationship God wants with us.
She wakes up and the her thoughts of the day are:
"My husband is here beside me;
He wants me here near him;
I will wait until I know what he wants to do;
Where he goes I will go;
What he wants or desires, I will do for him;
He loves me and I know he will never ask me to do anything wrong;
I will not worry about anything, he will provide for me;
Even when things or circumstances seem different, he will see me safely though all trials;
He will instruct me on every thing I am to do.
He walks beside me, guiding me, ever present to comfort me."
Father God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit want us to stay so close to them that as we walk each day, our thoughts are like the new bride, ever wanting a closer relationship with our new husband.
As we walk with God, we will know and do the things of the Law, not out of rote obedience but out of our relationship with Him. But the real key to the Christian life is that we will learn to see the world and others as Jesus sees the world and others. He will tell us:
this person is hungry, feed him;
that person is thirsty, give him water;
these people are hurting, lay your hands on them, let them be healed;
these people do not know Jesus, tell them the Good News.
Being led by His Holy Spirit will then be our normal every day living.
John H. Stephens, is a good friend of Evangelist Perkins and this Ministry. John's page will be up-dated on a regular basis, so keep visiting his page. You can respond to his articles via According To Prophecy Ministries email given below. John 's email will be submitted to this page in the near future.
John H. Stephens: Secularly educated at the University of Texas and the University of Houston in Phycology, John found the real answer to life's questions and problems was in Jesus the Christ and His Word. Called to the ministry of pastor and teacher in 1973, he served as pastor in the Southern Baptist Convention. Filled with the Holy Spirit, he served as co-pastor of a nondenominational church and began teaching seminars in the Houston area. He has served on the operational staff on Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association and Morris Cerullo World Evangelism. He teaches several seminars, including the "Triumphant Church", "End-time Evangelism" and "Privileges of the Bride of Christ."
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