Raising Up A Standard

Make Sure You are Believing God for Anything
I mean anything. Believing Christians are happy people. They are active in their faith, hence happy that they know something is going on the Spirit. They can't see it yet, perhaps, or even sense it in any way, but they know that God is working on their issue(s).

Remember when you would laugh in the Spirit? Remember how often you sensed the manifold presence of God? He is still on the throne and He is still reaching out to you. "Come unto Me," He said (Matthew 11:28-30), "and I will give you rest." Many Believers have the feeling, "Boy, do I need a vacation..." but really need a fresh touch from Heaven.

Many years ago, God shipped me from California to Wisconsin to plant a church. Shortly thereafter, He said, "Buy a house." I had no money and was puzzled at God. But I did something...

Walk Toward Your Answer, Be Active in Your Faith
To do something good (like acting out your faith), you actually have to do something. Faith is a verb, it is active. Hebrews 11:1-3 says: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible." Most of the time we can't see what we are praying for, but "in and with the eyes of faith" they can be obtained. So I figured – to get a house I have to pick one out.

Act Like He is Personally Working on Your Problem
Make it personal. I started to look at houses. I decided to look for a nice house. Not something outrageous or out of our budget but something I knew would be good for my family. After I found the house I went to a realtor and explained my situation and, to my amazement, he worked everything out in that one week. A few letters of recommendation, a couple of phone calls and, as we were getting ready to leave his office one day, he said, "OK, at closing you'll need about $4,000." I just said, "No problem," and walked out. I was floating on air, knowing I was going to get the house... not giving one thought to the upcoming payment of $4,000.

Pray, Believe and Listen. Don't Waver in Your Faith – Increase it
You can pray all you want, but if you don't have faith, nothing will happen. If you don't feel you have the faith for what you are seeking God for increase your faith. This is Biblical and very smart. Romans 10:17 says, "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God." The disciples of Jesus asked Him, "(Lord), increase our faith" (Luke 17:5). You can never over-faith it with God.
Look, you want your prayers answered? Be a faith lover. Study Hebrews 11 over and over and over again. Read it, memorize it. The first thing you do in the morning is to read the Word. Not the paper. Not after you brush your teeth. Read His Word first! Our faith is called "most holy" (Jude 20). Be a holy faith person!

Confused? Don't Be, Listen and He Will Speak to You
Within a few days, it started to dawn on me, I need $4,000 in about five weeks. What should I do? I knew I had the faith, but needed to hear from God. God wants us involved in working with Him; He doesn't want us to sit and do nothing. Ask Him what He would have you do. Sometimes it is nothing and faith does all the work, but usually He wants to get us personally (or others) involved.

One night I went to pray and felt something ready to burst within me. As soon as I got on my knees (before I could open my mouth to say anything) God showed me a face. It was so clear, like I could touch it. He showed me a pastor/businessman who lived in California. I had only met him once. He wasn't a friend, just an acquaintance. God said, "Write him a letter and tell Him I told you he would give you the $4,000 as a love gift for the house."

I wrote, he gave, and we bought the house. I'm not saying to write people and ask for money. God personally instructed me to do it and it never happened like that again. The point is ask, listen and obey. I was a babe then and have grown in faith. Now it's time for you to grow. Have a faith adventure. Think of the Holy Spirit, the dove, hovering over you and in you.

A Dove is Making a Nest in Your Spirit – Ask for Anything
"Trust" was three feet from my front door. Each day I would see this dove bringing nest materials to the tree, disappearing within and creating a safe basket for the soon-to-come eggs. She would carry small twigs, hay and even pieces of trash for the nest. A few weeks passed, and one day we could see two eggs in the nest. The dove would spend most of its time sitting on the nest gently protecting the eggs and we knew not to get too close or we would receive the wrath of the dove.

As I watched this birthing unfold, I sensed that there were many people who felt that nothing was happening in their walk with God. But, unbeknownst to them, the Spirit (like a dove) is building a nest for something new to come forth. The nest was made of seemingly worthless materials (trash), but God was designing a miracle to come forth in the very environment that people were trying to escape from. Sometimes it is a mistake to run from circumstances. God is building something around and in you to bring forth a new thing in the Spirit.

Shortly, the eggs hatched and two cream-colored chicks came forth. God desires to hatch something in many people. It is so very important for you to refrain from complaining or murmuring about your circumstances (see 1 Corinthians 10:10). It is accomplishing nothing except bringing further discouragement. God is doing something in your life. You may not see it or understand it right now, but if you become still (see Psalm 46:10) and resist commenting on your circumstances and start praising Him by faith, something wonderful will take place: The birthing of something new will come forth.

Some of you have experienced a great loss. God will draw near you. He will comfort you. Do not dwell on that loss to the point of letting it rule your life. You are still here and that means God still wants to use you. He wants you to trust Him every day and be a part of helping others. Some who have lost loved ones feel so devastated that they wonder if they can go on. You can! One day you will see that loved one again; dwell on that (Acts 24:15). In the mean time, get busy helping and encouraging others.

Those baby chicks grew and, with a little encouragement from the mother, flew way and started their own life. For many, this is a season where God has planted something deep within them and what they see in the natural appears to be trashy circumstances (God's nest). But, hold on, the Holy Spirit is simply sitting on it, waiting for just the right time, and then the sound of eggs cracking open and new birth cracking forth! Start praising Him for the nest around you. Now you're believing God for anything!

Al Thomas
Celebrating His Life Ministries

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