All of us in our walk with God will go through seasons where it doesn’t appear that our faith is working. Sometimes its because we are in a place of spiritual warfare where the Bible tells us to be patient and not doubt. It is a Daniel 10 time, where we are waiting for it to get handled in the heavenlies. But sometimes it is the stuff that we do, and it could be doubt, not listening to stuff that builds your faith, unforgiveness, not tithing, taking communion wrongly, not walking in love, not forgiving yourself.
We are not perfect; that is why God gives us redemption. When you look at the Old Testament and God’s Old Testament plan, the reason there were sacrifices was so we could get back in order because God knew we weren’t perfect. God knew that when someone sinned, they needed a way to get back into a relationship with Him, and there had to be a sacrifice. In the New Testament, after Jesus rose from the dead, it went from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant. That is grace when we can merely go to the Throne and say, ‘Father, I’m not giving you a goat, a cow, chickens, pigeons or doves, I’m coming to you, falling on my face saying, God will you please forgive me.?’
I am going to tell you about something I have heard preached in the church thousands of times. I have seen athletes put it on shirts, their bodies, their make-up. I’ve heard people quote it and misquote it. Remember something about the devil. He doesn’t come as the opposite of Jesus; he comes only one degree off. The world has told us that the devil comes with a little pitchfork, a pointed tail, and horns. Or you will see an angel sitting on one side with the devil on the other side of the shoulder. Jesus planned to die so we could have healing, but the devil will say, well, if you are worthy of it, then God can heal you. Then he has gotten people to doubt their worthiness. We see Jesus as healing and the devil as sickness; that is true, but the devil wants to get as close to Jesus as he can because the Bible says that in the very last days, even the elect of God could be deceived.
I want us to look at a passage of scripture that people have right in principle, but they are failing in their relationship with God because they don’t understand it. The Bible tells us multiple times, ‘My people perish for lack of knowledge,’ talking about Christians. When you don’t know the Bible, dig into it, try to understand it, or have a concept of it, what will happen is you will know just enough Bible to be ignorant or dangerous. That is why you hear religious people say, ‘Lord if it’s your will, we know you can heal this person.’ Well, that is religion, and that isn’t going to do anything for God. Look at Philippians 4; Paul is writing to the Philippian church because all of the religions of the world have gathered here, and the church of Philippi is standing diligently.
“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 NASB
The word all here in Greek means all. The word strengthen means empower. We have all read this verse. You will hear people struggling in their marriage, their finances, their jobs, they have sickness or disease, and they will quote this verse. That is just it, they quote it, but the strength that this scripture is referring to isn’t just quoting a Bible verse. It’s like parking your car next to a gas pump when your tank is on empty and thinking you can now drive because you are next to gas, but not putting gas into your car so you can use it. If you don’t use God’s strength, it cannot strengthen you. Now, let’s find out what this strength is.
If I said to you, I could make the best pie as long as I have the best ingredients, you would believe ok, he can make a pie. But, for you to do it, you would have to know what the best ingredients are. It’s the same with this verse; if you are sick and quote that you can do all things, you can’t unless you know where the strength is coming from. Look with me at the book of Nehemiah,
“Then he said to them, ‘Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.’” Nehemiah 8:10 NASB