Pastor Bankie “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”

A Christian is not an average person; He is different from the average person you see on the road everyday. As a Child of God, I never allow anybody to call me a common man; I am of a peculiar breed. The scripture above makes it clear that God has appointed His Church to be a special class of people, and He has made them to show forth the qualities that their Father is made of. He forbids that they live an average life; He expects that with them things will be different.

Let me explain further. They are not to be subject to the effects of adverse physical elements like everybody else. Statements like “I always get a cough at the beginning of the dry season” should never be heard from their mouths. They should never say “I am allergic to this or that.”

Listen! They are not to ever express any fear of tomorrow. They need no savings for the rainy day.

Oh! There is more: The believer is not to begin to run or be afraid because there is in the news stories of the outbreak of another epidemic. All he needs do is remind himself of certain things that the Lord has said concerning those events.

I remember once when there was an outbreak of meningitis in a part of the country, and vaccines were being given in many places; one of the Consultants in the hospital where I was working then came one day telling us of how deadly this particular one was and was telling us to go immediately to get vaccinated. I remember telling one of my friends then that I wasn’t impressed, and that as far as I was concerned meningitis should be the one to hear my name and start running, looking for a vaccine. Why? I know He has said, “…neither shall any plague come near your dwelling place.”

The believer is not to fear the fears of the people. When he is taking decisions, people should realize that he is holding on to a knowledge that is beyond them. You know, if you are not afraid of what other people are afraid of, you will take decisions contrary to their expectations.

What worries other people does not worry the believer; he is absolutely at rest because he knows that his Redeemer lives and is able to hold safely his life which he has committed into His hands.

See this: when people are saying a thing or subject is difficult and an obstacle is insurmountable, a believer should speak out with a voice of conviction that “with God, nothing shall be impossible” and “I can do all things through Him that strengthens me.”

Another thing; a Child of God will know where to turn to when an affliction touches the body; he or she will know that there is the Lord that heals and will not start running helter-skelter looking for the best human physician in town. He is a fearless being, who knows that his Redeemer lives and is able and willing to perfect all things that concern him.

He is a peculiar person.

Now, that is what the Lord made His people to be, but what do you see mostly today?

“There is an evil I have seen under the sun…I have seen princes walking like slaves on the land.”

What you see commonly is that believers live as if there is no difference between them and the rest of the peoples. They complain like anybody else; are afraid like any other person and then go to church on Sunday to give all the glory to God. John G. Lake commented on this natural life that a lot of believers live thus:

“Because of the weakened state of our physical being through sin, we have become subject to the varied laws of nature about us. We get in a draft and catch cold, we develop pneumonia. The waves toss us about. The terrors of life frighten us, all which through Jesus was meant to be reversed.”

You see, God is not happy when His people are living below the level that He created them to live in. The question now is relating to why this matter is so concerning many of God’s children.

Now, there are basically two reasons for this; the first reason is ignorance.

“They do not know nor do they understand; (so) they walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken.” Ps 82

“My people perish for lack of knowledge.”

If you do not know what is yours, you cannot lay hold of it. It is our responsibility therefore to feed ourselves with information from the word of God so as to discover what is ours in Christ Jesus.

The second reason is the one that is central to the discussion of today, and that is that people do not dare to believe God. No matter the amount of information or revelation, when people do not believe the word, it does them no good.

“…the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard it.”

Earlier we saw a little of the level in which the Lord expects His church to walk in; we saw that it is not an ordinary level. I want you to know that God made adequate provisions by which we will reach that level; He did not expect the people to just get up there on their own.

“…He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them we might become partakers of the divine nature…”

God’s word and His promises are the means by which we will get to the place He planned. The word of God is no ordinary word; it has power and will by itself bring to pass the thing that God promised. This is why we read that “the word of God is alive and active.”

A simple illustration of this is when Peter walked on water. Walking on water was above the natural realm, but the word of Jesus to Peter that said, ‘Come’ was enough by itself to make him float. The word of God will always accomplish if we will just allow it; and the way by which we do that is by mixing it with faith in our hearts. Peter walked on water as long as he kept his focus on Jesus and that word, away from the things that will make him fear.

God has given us promises, and if we will dare to hold on to those promises, neglecting the things that may try to make us fear and doubt, we will definitely experience the promise of God in manifestation.

Dare to believe!

Caleb and Joshua dared to believe the word of God, and this pitched them against an entire nation, but the word prevailed on their behalf. Listen, my friend; if you stand upon the word of God today, you will not be disappointed.

“…the eye of the Lord runs to and fro the surface of the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose hearts are fully His.”

Those whose hearts are fully His are those who take what He says, accept them as true and infallible, and build their lives and actions upon that word. Listen to Caleb recount what happened at Kardesh-barnea:

“Nevertheless my brethren who went up with me made the heart of the people melt with fear; but I followed the Lord my God fully.” Josh 14:8

The way by which he followed the Lord fully was by disregarding the physical presence of giants in the Promised Land while holding to the promise of God. This caused God to give a word to him through Moses, and that word maintained his vitality for the next several decades.

“…I am eighty-five years today…as my strength was forty-five years ago, so is my strength now, for war and for going out and coming in.”

This is what God is seeking. He is looking for the people that will disregard all other evidence, and hold on to His word so that He can demonstrate His power in their lives. Will you dare that?!

Let us take a few examples.

He has said,
“Surely our sickness He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried…
“The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.”

Also He said:

“But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit which indwells you.”

Can you dare to believe these? Can you dare to ignore what the doctors say about your condition? It is a matter of trust, who you believe knows more. I choose to believe that God my Father knows infinitely more than all the best doctors in this world put together. If that be the case, why should I accept what the relatively ignorant doctor has to say when it contradicts what God has said. I choose to believe the report of God. What God has said is that even if natural assessments make the doctor appear right, yet the Spirit of God in me will create something new there, which will confound all human knowledge. Now He is saying that “anybody who will believe this report of Mine will definitely have the hand of the Lord revealed in his life.”

You see, I noticed that Caleb, in following God fully, spoke out what was in his heart in the midst of the congregation. (See Num.13 and Josh.14). He did not keep quiet. In the same manner, the next time you are told a report concerning your health that is not in agreement with God’s word for you, please do not keep quiet but reply matter-of-factly, telling of the report you have chosen to believe.

“Sir, I’m of the opinion that I will live and not die. My children will not be sicklers because He has said the blessing of God makes rich and, as a rule, adds no sorrow to it. What you say my genotype and that of my wife are does not matter; what matters is that the Spirit in me gives life to every length of my chromosomes.”

The reason why we have not had testimonies in these things is because we have held the word of science and that of doctors as supreme. We have expounded adherence to the ‘doctrines’ of doctors as wisdom.

“Bro, we have to be wise!”

When a doctor says we can’t have children normally, we readily accede to the solution he prescribes, but when someone is daring to take God at His word and prove all contrary evidence wrong, we caution about wisdom. No, it is not wisdom; it is sugar-coated fear; we are afraid the word may just not work.

Dare to believe!

“He that believes in Him will not be put to shame.”

Testimonies don’t abound much any more, not because the Lord is tired of working them, but because people don’t demand them by faith much. We have become comfortable with what human wisdom can produce. When we are desperate, we run to a crusade where a big man of God is ministering.

Hear the words of E. W. Kenyon:

“Everyone should build his own faith life. I find that majority of people float on carelessly until they come to a dangerous place. They are sick, or some loved one is sick, or some financial or heart problem confronts them that may affect their entire future; then they frantically hunt for someone who can cry and sob and quote scriptures in what they call ‘prayer’, and it is of no avail because there is no faith back of it.”

Friend! God is making a demand of you today. “Will you trust me? There is so much power available for you, why are you spending your energy on that which does not satisfy. Come on with Me today, and you will never be disappointed.”

There is another thing He said:

“God is able to make all grace abound toward you that you having all sufficiency in all things will abound to every good work.”

“Behold, I cause prosperity to flow towards you like a river and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing stream.”

Can you dare to believe these two verses? Can you dare to be generous, knowing that what you let go of today is a sign of the faith you have for God to continually supply? Can you dare to enjoy yourself as He has frequently admonished, knowing that sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof? Can you dare to relax from your visa chasing, knowing that the blessings flow towards you and not you running after them? Can you dare to believe?

In closing, let us see a very central factor in the reason why the faith of many is weak. Let us read from Proverbs 4,20-23

“My son, give attention to my words; incline your ears to my sayings; do not let them depart from your sight; keep them in the midst of your heart…
“Guard your heart with all diligence, from it flow the springs of life.”

Your faith will only increase to the extent that you feed yourself on the word of God. John G. Lake said it well:

“Men and women who are weak in faith…are so because they have stopped feeding on the word of God and have stopped intimate, close fellowship with the Father…
“…the spirit life (of faith) in a man is kept healthy and vigorous by three exercises. One is feeding on the word. Second is a continual public confession of what you are (in Christ) and what Jesus is to you…the third thing is communion with Him.”

A robust faith will not grow out of all the time we spend these days watching movies and TV programs, and reading different kinds of novels and secular magazines. Many years ago in the body of Christ in this country, these things were considered sins; the fact that this is no longer the case has not changed what Paul said about many lawful things not being expedient.

If our objective is a great faith that downloads the power of God, then certain things will have to go. The scripture above instructs us to guard our hearts; remember that with that same heart man believes.

Watch what you feed your heart with. Many of these things may not be morally bad, but they feed your heart with so much human knowledge that it becomes so difficult to believe God; they give you so much ground for doubt. You see, doubt is the good explanation you have for not building your action on God’s word.

Feed your heart with good testimonies of those who have experienced the power of God; feed it with good teachings of the word. Spend your money on books and tapes that contain these. Meditate upon good testimonies; let your heart desire them. All these things charge up your faith. Forget whether you enjoy them or not; it may not be so enjoyable initially but note what Gloria Copeland said: “What you give attention to is the direction your desire will take.” Please give attention to this word!

In summary, remember that the arm of the Lord will be revealed to those who believe His report.

Dare to believe!

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