Spiritual Growth

The Power of Faith, by Darrell Martin

Over the last few weeks, my family has been studying faith together: what it is, what it is not, how it comes, and how you release it. We have learned that faith works as you believe God’s Word in the very core of your being and speak God’s Word without doubting it.

So often, we get caught speaking words that are in direct opposition to God’s Word, and as a result, God’s Word has no effect in our circumstances. In short, I believe this is because we don’t understand the power that is in our words. To shed greater light on this and to increase our understanding, I’d like to share a revelation with you that I recently received as we were studying faith. 

In Genesis 1:26-28, we see that man was “made” in the image of the Trinity. Everything else was spoken into existence but man was made, “formed” by the hands of God. (Genesis 2:7)

As I read this in scripture, I suddenly became aware that God, instead of speaking man into existence, laid His hands on the earth and formed the man. I was then reminded of the many scriptures that speak of using the hands for impartation. 2 Timothy 1:6 and James 5:14-15 are two examples of this. As I began to see this, I realized that God, who was filled with faith, used his hands to impart HIS nature and HIS faith into the man He was creating. He then breathed the breath of life into the man. He gave the man His Spirit! What a picture of redemption and the infilling of the Holy Spirit in us!

Because of this, a redeemed, born again believer has the very nature of God in him, in the person of the Holy Spirit. We also have the ability, just like God, to speak in faith, in agreement with the Word of God and see our words begin to manifest and materialize in the natural realm. This applies to healing, deliverance, prosperity and every area of our lives. 

Mark 11:22-24 is a clear, scriptural picture of this truth. The story really started earlier in this passage when Jesus cursed the fig tree. The next day, His disciples were amazed that the fig tree had withered and died. Jesus then began to explain that God’s faith worked by believing and speaking, with the complete absence of doubt, that what He said would happen. The interesting thing is that He didn’t use the fig tree as an example. He really went big and used a mountain instead. I believe He was trying to teach us that the size of the object was not the issue. Real faith works in every circumstance, every time. 

This raises the question, what if I have doubts? The truth is that as you step out and believe God, you will have opposition. It comes from many places: friends, family, people in your church, doctors, etc . . . but it all originates with the devil, who does not want you to learn this principle of faith because when you do, it puts an end to his ability to wreak havoc in your life. You cannot stop doubtful thoughts, which often come as what seem to be legitimate questions, but you can refuse to give them a place of occupation in your mind. Every time these doubts come up, you have to counter them with the truth of God’s Word, and make His word your area of meditation. 

Faith, as it is exercised, becomes stronger and pushes out doubt. 

There is MUCH more to be said on this subject. I hope what I’ve said here will stir a hunger in you that will lead you to dig into God’s Word and see for yourself why real, biblical faith is so important and powerful in a believer’s life.

Slaves to Sin or Slaves to Christ, by Pete Spinks

There are a lot of negative feelings and emotions when people hear the word “slave”. Why is that? Well, for obvious reasons, we know why that word carries a lot of weight. But, what did Paul mean when he says that he is a slave of Christ? Hopefully in the next few paragraphs I can help answer that question. 

Texas Strong VS. Heaven Strong, by Karis White

I was raised truly believing that the region of the country in which I was born entitled me to more strength and courage than someone born anywhere else.  Now, before you get aggravated, I understand that this thinking is completely absurd in the natural sense. But, when we are born again, we are born into the Kingdom of God.  Our nationality, our identity, our very inner self is completely transformed.

Transition Into Peace, by Tabitha Shumate

Transitioning into the unknown. This is what it felt like, graduating with my master’s degree this past May. I’ve been through several different types of transitions, but this one was the most different and felt very unfamiliar, which also caused unfamiliar insecurities to come forward.

One Mind & One Accord, by Joshua LaCoe

What is unity? One of the definitions (of many) listed in Webster’s Dictionary really put it straightforward: the quality or state of being made one. So, what does this mean for our church? And what does it mean for the church as a whole? I believe prophetically that God is calling us into a unity that will carry on beyond the current season we are in at Living Word.

Follow Me, by Jessica Howell

There’s a phrase that has been in my mind and heart the past several months, and it is simply, “Follow me.” Two simple words, but they stir so much within my soul. It brings the beauty of possibility, hope, expectation, and right alongside these thoughts and feelings creep in uncertainty, questioning, and even fear.

3 Reasons You Need a B-Team, by Bob Bevan

“Who are you to tell me what I need?”

Maybe that’s not what you are thinking, but a few years ago I might have if I saw this article.  But today? It is no exaggeration, I believe everyone needs a B-Team.

The obvious next question is, if this B-Team is so important, what in the world is it?

The Best Thing, by Demetria Patton

Can I let you in on a secret? If you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you already have the best thing: Him. If you have yet to do so, let me let you in on another secret: Accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior is the best thing you will ever do in this life. You will never regret it.

A Lost Narrative, by Tina Richardson

For many of us, it is common practice to wear masks. We put up facades that hide who we truly are. We smile when we want to cry, and we push people away when we want to be held. Because at the core of it, we have been so hurt by people and events that we are crippled by fear of vulnerability. We don’t know how to be vulnerable.

Redemption, by Sierra Almy

God is good, all the time. A constant lesson in my life, but the conclusion I have come to every time. I always thought I was really good at trusting God. From a young age, I saw the Lord work out what I thought would be horrible situations into good things. I experienced His goodness first-hand and never really had a reason not to trust Him. As someone who has struggled with anxiety and worry, though, this was always quite the contradiction. I came to realize that I didn’t fully trust God as much as I thought I did.

Another Angle on Perception, by Betty Blackwell

God is. God is faithful. God is interested in me. He is also interested in you. Every experience is a step in the pathway to a priceless relationship with God even when it is hard, even when it hurts, even when we fail, fall, or royally mess up. Save the memories and see how God moves you along toward Him.

Love is in the Air! by David Gray

Jesus was hanging out in the temple one day sharing stories as he was prone to do. Pharisees, Sadducees, Priests and elders were systematically grilling him with difficult questions in an attempt to trip him up and catch him saying or teaching something wrong.  Jesus handily deflected the verbal arsenal as each inquiry was launched at him.  Finally, one particular Pharisee, who happened to be a lawyer, scrutinized him with yet one more question.

What Does it Mean to Live Like the Family of God? by Brianna Bevan

The one thing I always want when I am around others is to feel wanted and valued. I want to know that me being there makes a difference to others and that I matter to them. Don’t we all though? From the beginning of creation, God said it is not good for man to be alone (Gen. 2:18). It’s in our nature to crave connection and to feel a part of family.

Everyday Moments with God, by Jennifer Harrelson

It amazes me the way God speaks to us sometimes. I was cleaning up a mess on my kitchen floor a few weeks ago when He showed me something. As I was close to the ground, my one year old took notice and toddled over joyfully. In his mind, I must have been on the floor for the sole purpose of amusing him.

Two Sons, by Stephanie Nelson

As a proclaimed child of this Father [Father God] since the age of four, however, I have most often related to the oldest son [in the parable of the prodigal son].  Yes, that’s right, I admit it.  I have often felt a twinge of sympathy for the bitter, unbending brother of the redeemed black sheep.