Faith Comes by Hearing
Perhaps the single greatest source of comfort that I have had as God’s Spirit has directed our family to an ever expanding walk of faith, has been found in dwelling upon the things God has spoken to us. The Spirit has directed us down paths that bring fear to the natural man, and this fear has to be dealt with and overcome. By meditating upon the words Yahweh has spoken to me I have time after time been brought to a place of peace, and I have felt the nagging fear and anxiety that was coming against me dissipate. Sometimes it has dissipated just enough to allow me the courage to continue on the path of obedience, with fear and trembling. At other times as I have meditated upon the things God has spoken to me, all fear and anxiety has fled away, giving way to a peace that surpasses understanding.
I am confident that complete peace is the portion and inheritance of the overcomer in Christ. Yet it is a place to be attained by warfare and perseverance. It is something that we must grow in, and as we arise to meet the challenges before us, entrusting ourselves into the hands of a loving God who cares for us, we will find ourselves gaining a greater confidence and a more sure peace.
Spiritual hearing is a key factor in the process of our growth in faith. On the one hand, we must hear the voice of the Spirit speak to us to lead us into the walk of faith that He has chosen for us. We are not to be presumptuous and choose a path of faith for ourselves, foolishly putting God to the test. God is not obligated to come through for us in our need if He has not led us to the test of faith before us. We must know that God’s Spirit has directed us to the particular course of obedience we are pursuing. If we have no assurance of having heard God’s voice in some matter of obedience, then we have nothing to stand upon.
The Spirit first revealed this to me many years ago as I contemplated the life of Abraham. Abraham is called “the father of faith,” and his life is recorded for our instruction. Abraham was only able to walk in faith as he heard from God. Consider a few events of his life.
God called Abraham to leave his father’s household and to journey to a land he did not know. He was called out of Ur of the Chaldees, and out of Haran, to go forth into the land Yahweh promised to him and his descendants. Abraham heard the voice of God calling him to journey forth, and this voice of instruction provided the impetus necessary to respond with faith and obedience. The Scriptures are clear that Yahweh called Abraham, and gave him instruction in this matter.
Genesis 12:1-4Now Yahweh said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you; and I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” So Abram went forth as Yahweh had spoken to him.
Hearing from God is a necessary part of a life of faith. Without hearing there can be no true faith. Many are teaching a type of faith today that lacks this vital necessity of hearing God give us direction. Many are teaching a false faith that originates in man’s own mind and imagination. They encourage the saints to envision the things they want and then stand in confidence, claiming that they have these things. Elwin Roach wrote regarding this type of teaching:
Some have called this type of faith the “Prosperity Message,” although in less favorable circles it has been called “Name it and Claim it,” “Bless it and Confess it,” “Blab it and Grab it,” or “What the Heck, Write the Check.”…It is one thing to have the Faith of God as a result of an impregnation of His anointed word, which will move mountains, but it is entirely another matter when a man carves an image in his positive-thinking mind and calls it faith, and then holds God ransom with the written word which his carnal mind has little or no understanding of. This, dear reader, is not faith, not even in the farthest stretch of the imagination. It is presumption, and God is not obligated to pay up!
Many of the saints today have built upon the shifting sands of a false faith doctrine. Its teachings rest upon a belief in a principle of faith. It is taught that if one can work up enough confidence to believe something when they ask for it in prayer, then they will be assured of having their request. The key to this type of faith is the ability of man to believe something. The saints are told that if they can conceive something, and believe in its fulfillment, then they can have it.
This is not the type of faith that Abraham demonstrated. Abraham did not think to himself one day, “I sure am tired of this city of Ur. I would like to live somewhere far away from here, so I think I will take my wife and hit the road, and I will trust God to protect me and bless me in my journey.” No! Abraham did not initiate this journey. We read where Yahweh spoke to him and gave him a command. So Abraham’s faith began with hearing. The literal translation of Romans 10:17 is, “So faith is out of hearing.” That is, faith has its origin in hearing a word from God, and it is from this word that faith appears. All acts of faith must have their origin in a word from God. Some who have tried to walk in faith without such a word have stumbled badly, and many have made a shipwreck of their lives.
Abraham heard God speak to him to leave his father’s household, and he responded with obedience, trusting the One who commanded him to go forth. This trusting obedience pleased God. The crowning act of Abraham’s faith was when he took his son Isaac and laid him on an altar to sacrifice him to Yahweh. This was much later in Abraham’s life, and it too was precipitated by a word from God.
Genesis 22:1-2Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.”
Abraham KNEW that he had heard the voice of God. He did not have to wonder, “Does God want me to do this thing? Am I sure this is His will?” If Abraham had not heard from God clearly, then he would have nothing for his faith to arise out of. Because Abraham knew he had heard from God, he was able to respond with trusting obedience. We can only exercise this same faith that Abraham walked in if we have heard the voice of God leading us to some act of faith. If there is no hearing, there is no faith.
In between Abraham’s call to leave his father’s house, and his testing in the matter of his son, the Spirit has recorded for us some other events in Abraham’s life that equally serve as instruction for the saints. Two events are particularly related to us. Both involved Abraham leaving the land God had promised to him and dwelling for a time in a foreign land, due to a severe drought being in the land. In both instances Abraham walked in unbelief and suffered disgrace and shame. He was buffeted by fear in both places, and gave into fear by asking his wife to lie about her relationship to him.
Now there was a famine in the land; so Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land. It came about when he came near to Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, “See now, I know that you are a beautiful woman; and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, “This is his wife’; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. “Please say that you are my sister so that it may go well with me because of you, and that I may live on account of you.”
Abraham, the father of faith, did not manifest faith in this deed. Instead, he manifested fear and unbelief. The result was that his wife was taken from him and actually given to Pharaoh to be Pharaoh’s wife. What a terrible thing this was. Abraham allowed his wife to be given to another man to have relations with her. He allowed this in order to save his own skin. In His mercy, Yahweh kept Pharaoh from touching Sarah, though when Abraham’s deceit was made known to Pharaoh, shame and reproach were brought upon Abraham and his wife.
Genesis 12:18-20Then Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? Why did you say, “She is my sister,’ so that I took her for my wife? Now then, here is your wife, take her and go.” Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him; and they escorted him away, with his wife and all that belonged to him.
Abraham was escorted out of Egypt in shame. His purpose for going to Egypt was to escape the famine in his own land, but he found that he was not able to escape it. What is glaringly absent in this account is any mention of Abraham hearing from God. We are not told that Abraham was instructed by God to go to Egypt. If Abraham had heard Yahweh tell him to go to Egypt, and if Yahweh had told him that He would protect him and keep him while in that land, then Abraham would have had something for faith to arise out of. Yet no such word was given. Abraham went to Egypt of his own initiative, and because he had no command from God, he lacked confidence in the situation.
Later Abraham repeated this same error when he went to Gerar with all of his possessions. Again, we have no word that God had sent him there. He once more lied about Sarah being his wife, and once more he suffered reproach. Without a word from God there is nothing for faith to arise from, and we will suffer terribly as the flesh and Satan fills our hearts and minds with visions of fear and calamity. To stave off this assault of fear, we must have a word from God to stand on. Before choosing a course to follow, we should press in to hear from God. We must refuse to move without receiving instruction from God, knowing that His word is our strength and security. What He has said, He will surely accomplish. He has not promised to accomplish the things we have imagined, or the plans we have chosen for ourselves.
The Father has done some tremendous things in our family. He has performed miraculous things for which only He can get the credit. Our son was born with a hereditary bone disease called Osteogenesis Imperfecta, and by the time he was seven years old he had already broken thirteen bones and had two surgeries to correct fractures.
We had some years earlier applied for government SSI benefits on him and we had been accepted. This provided us with free medical benefits on him and a monthly stipend of between $300-$400 a month. However, these things gave me no satisfaction, for I desired for my son to be healed.
I began to pray in earnest, asking God to heal my son. I was distressed over his condition, and he was spending so much time in casts that his muscles and bones were not able to grow stronger and this exacerbated the situation, making him more prone to have more fractures. As I was praying one day about this, the Lord spoke to me and told me that He would heal my son, but that He required that I cancel the SSI benefits on him. The Lord demanded that I exercise faith before I would see His provision.
To natural sight and reason, this was a foolish thing to do. My son was freshly out of a cast and had already broken two bones that year. Medical treatment was very expensive and many people fought long and hard battles, even hiring lawyers, to attain the benefits we were receiving. I considered, however, that it would be much better for my son to be healed and to have no more fractures, than to have the government pick up the tab each time he broke a bone. I wanted my son to be able to run and play and do all the things that other boys did.
I shared with my wife what the Lord had spoken to me, and we decided to follow the Lord in obedience, to cancel the benefits we were receiving on our son, and to trust the Lord to heal him. When we called the government agency to ask them to cancel our benefits, they did not understand why we would make such a request. They tried to get us to reconsider, but we told them that we no longer wanted the benefits they offered.
The Lord told me to not baby my son, but to allow him to ride bikes, skateboard, play on trampolines, roughhouse with other kids, and do all the things other boys were doing, and that He would protect him. That was over six years ago, as my son is now thirteen years of age, and God has preserved him and he has not suffered another fracture.
My faith arose out of hearing the voice of God. I did not just decide for myself that I would cancel all medical benefits on my son and believe that God would heal him. I pressed into God in prayer, and when I heard from Him faith resulted. This is ever the pattern for faith. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
A year after God led me to trust Him for the health of my son, He spoke to me again and told me that He now wanted me to trust Him for the health of our entire family. I was working as a computer professional at a local hospital and they had excellent medical benefits at a reasonable cost. I was serving as a minister at a local church at the same time, and the Father was calling me to steps of faith as an example to the body. I knew I had heard from God again, and I shared what I had heard with my wife. This caused her much fear, and she opposed this decision initially, but later she came to agreement with me in the matter.
When I went to the office at work to cancel my health insurance, I was informed that changes to benefits could only be made during a two week period that occurred in December. This was some months away, so I determined then that when the date arrived I would cancel health insurance on my entire family and trust God to keep us in health.
Several weeks before the date that I could drop my insurance I began to manifest symptoms of diabetes. I began experiencing dry cottony mouth and constant thirst. I had extremely frequent urination, even having to get up 5 or 6 times a night to use the bathroom and get another drink of water. I experienced blurred vision and occasional dizziness. One day while at work I became dizzy and, being right there in the emergency room, I asked them to run some tests on me and they checked my blood sugar and it was about 370 when it should be no higher than 120. The attending doctor told me I was diabetic and that I needed to go see my family physician and get started on a diabetic regimen for treatment.
I knew what God had spoken to me about trusting Him for our health and His instructions to cancel my health insurance. The timing of this physical attack, just weeks before I could cancel this insurance seemed more than coincidental. I knew it was a test. The pressure was poured on even more. Some nurses I knew at the hospital had heard about my case and they dealt with diabetic education and treatment. They began telling me regularly that I needed to see a doctor quickly. They gave me brochures about diabetes and they told me horror stories of amputated limbs, blindness, organ failure, and other effects of leaving diabetes untreated. They told me that they had patients in the hospital at that moment whose blood sugar was no worse than mine and these patients were on intravenous insulin drips.
I struggled greatly during the next weeks and my symptoms persisted. I became nervous and distracted by all that was coming against me and I even was so distracted that I pulled right out in front of an oncoming van while driving and only avoided a collision because my wife screamed and I slammed on the brakes. I had great pressure from family to not cancel insurance, but again my choices seemed pretty plain.
As I considered it, I could go to a doctor and begin treatment for diabetes, a treatment I would be on for the rest of my life, or I could cast myself wholly over onto the Lord and trust Him to bring complete healing. The prospects of being healed when compared to lifelong diabetic management, knowing that there was no medical cure for diabetes and the condition usually worsened with age, caused me to prefer entrusting myself to God with anticipation of complete healing.
Another contributing factor that weighed in my choice to trust God was that I considered what life would be like if God could not be trusted. I considered what the years ahead would be like if I devoted my life to serving a God who would not, or could not, meet my needs. The prospect was horrendous. I decided that I would rather go ahead and die of diabetes than to spend the rest of my life with the thought that God would not be there for me in my hour of greatest need. Life to me was not worth living if God could not be trusted. The only fulfillment and satisfaction I could envision in life was in entrusting myself to a heavenly Father who genuinely cared for me and who would not abandon me when I placed my life in His hands. How unbearable it seemed to me to serve a God I could not trust.
With some trepidation, I went to the office at work during the allotted time and I asked them to cancel health insurance for myself and my family. I never took the advice of the emergency room doctor or the nurses, to go and see a family physician to begin treatment, and I cast myself wholly over onto Yahweh for healing. Over the next weeks I began to lose weight, when all of my previous efforts to do so had failed. I lost about forty pounds and all of the symptoms of diabetes disappeared. Within 1-2 months I experienced complete healing, and to this date, now more than five years later, I have had no reoccurrence of any of the symptoms.
Once more the pattern was shown in my life, that the word of God precedes faith. I had heard the Lord tell me that He wanted me to cancel health insurance on our family, and it would have been an easy enough thing to do if we had all been in great health. Yet He allowed me to be tested by asking me to do this thing when I was suffering from a serious condition and was being advised to seek medical attention quickly. Praise Yahweh! He is faithful! As Paul wrote:
II Timothy 1:12
For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.
Because hearing is such an important part of faith, being that which faith arises out of, the Spirit of God is willing to give us many confirmations of His will when we ask for it. We see this revealed most clearly in the life of Gideon. Gideon lived in a time when the children of God had been suffering defeat by their enemies on a continual basis for many years. Midianite bands had been coming in and raiding their land at the time of harvest and taking all their produce from the Israelites. Gideon was threshing grain in a hiding place when the angel of God appeared to him.
God knew that asking Gideon to take three hundred men into battle against more than one hundred thousand of the enemy would require much faith in God. On top of this, for Gideon’s entire life he had only seen the Israelites meet defeat at the hands of the enemy. How could he now expect that God would bring them a great deliverance with so few men? Gideon wanted to be certain that God was speaking to him and that He would accomplish what He had said. He asked for confirmation and Yahweh was pleased to give it to him.
Then Gideon said to God, “If You will deliver Israel through me, as You have spoken, behold, I will put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I will know that You will deliver Israel through me, as You have spoken.” And it was so. When he arose early the next morning and squeezed the fleece, he drained the dew from the fleece, a bowl full of water. Then Gideon said to God, “Do not let Your anger burn against me that I may speak once more; please let me make a test once more with the fleece, let it now be dry only on the fleece, and let there be dew on all the ground.” God did so that night; for it was dry only on the fleece, and dew was on all the ground.
This is the mercy, kindness and gentleness of Yahweh. He did not reprove Gideon in this matter, but did according to what Gideon asked. Yahweh even went beyond what Gideon had asked. The sign of the fleece was given before God had whittled Gideon’s army of 32,000 down to just 300 men. In His mercy He gave him one more tremendous confirmation that Gideon had not even asked for.
Now the same night it came about that Yahweh said to him, “Arise, go down against the camp, for I have given it into your hands. But if you are afraid to go down, go with Purah your servant down to the camp, and you will hear what they say; and afterward your hands will be strengthened that you may go down against the camp.” So he went with Purah his servant down to the outposts of the army that was in the camp. Now the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the sons of the east were lying in the valley as numerous as locusts; and their camels were without number, as numerous as the sand on the seashore. When Gideon came, behold, a man was relating a dream to his friend. And he said, “Behold, I had a dream; a loaf of barley bread was tumbling into the camp of Midian, and it came to the tent and struck it so that it fell, and turned it upside down so that the tent lay flat.” His friend replied, “This is nothing less than the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel; God has given Midian and all the camp into his hand.” When Gideon heard the account of the dream and its interpretation, he bowed in worship. He returned to the camp of Israel and said, “Arise, for Yahweh has given the camp of Midian into your hands.”
I too would have bowed to the ground and worshiped upon receiving such a confirmation from the Lord. With great love and tenderness He does lead us into a walk of faith.
In the day we live in we also have few examples of men and women who are walking in faith. We live in that hour that Paul spoke of to Timothy where men “would have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof.” The churches today are weak and anemic and are overrun by the enemy. Pastors are sending those who come to them in need to the world to find their answers. Recently a couple we have known for many years were on the verge of divorce after having been married more then twenty years. They went to the pastor of the largest Baptist church in town for counseling and as a last attempt to find reconciliation. The pastor advised the husband to take drugs to deal with an anger problem and to go to a psychiatrist.
This is just one of a myriad of examples that demonstrate the powerlessness of the church. Worldliness is entering into the church, and in many instances is being freely invited in. Faith is largely absent and defeat is everywhere. In this environment the Spirit is calling forth a remnant to embark upon a walk of faith, and recognizing the environment of powerlessness and unbelief that people are being called out from, He is willing to give many assurances of His will. I have at times asked for further confirmation of Yahweh’s will for me, and He has been pleased to provide it. He has even given me assurances when I did not ask.
One of the greatest challenges the Spirit has given to me has been to trust Him for our financial needs. He has called us, as a demonstration to the body of His ability to provide for all of our needs, and as an encouragement to the saints to pray and to rest in the confidence of His love, to trust Him for all of our finances. This calling first began in October of 1999 when the Spirit spoke to me to leave my employer whom I had been with for fourteen years, and to trust Him to meet all of our needs.
This was a daunting word for me to receive, for I did not have money saved up in the bank to see me through, nor did I have any other source of income. Therefore, I asked for numerous confirmations and the Spirit provided them. The command of the Spirit calling me to leave my employer was upon my mind continuously, and one day as I walked through our kitchen my eye was attracted to a daily devotional calendar. The verse stood out to me, Exodus 14:14. The numbers caught my attention first, for I had been with my employer fourteen years, and later the name of the book was also given as confirmation. The word Exodus means to journey out from a place, to leave one’s previous habitat. I knew the Spirit was calling me to journey forth and to leave my job and to embark on a life of faith in the area of finances.
A few days later I was asking the Father for further confirmation, and I heard the Spirit tell me to go to my computer and look up the first occurrence of the number fourteen in Scripture. I typed the word ‘fourteen’ into my Bible program and ran a search. A snippet of each verse that this word occurred in appeared on my screen, and the very first one startled me. It said, “I have worked for you for fourteen years.” This quote was from Genesis 31:41, and it was from Jacob’s conversation with his father-in-law Laban as Jacob was leaving his household.
This was a tremendous thing that God was calling me unto. I did not personally know any other saint, not even any minister, who was trusting God for their financial provision in this way. I had been raised among churches whose members lived by sight, and where faith was a rare commodity. I lacked the confidence that would have been mine had I seen numerous examples of others who were living in this way.
I did leave my job, and for eighteen months our family lived in complete dependence upon the Father. I could fill many pages recounting the miraculous provision we saw, and one day I hope to do so. Yet, despite all of this, I continued to struggle in my faith. The main reason was that I was receiving much discouragement from other saints and ministers, telling me that the way I was living was unscriptural. I received many accusations and condemnations of this walk of faith. I was carrying around many wounds that I had received from the hands of the brethren. I had even been put out of the church I was ministering in for preaching a message of faith, and for living it out by my example. This was the most difficult thing, as the ministers who rejected me were close brothers whom I had shared many experiences with, and who had at one time declared their intention to follow God in faith wherever He led.
So after eighteen months of struggle I asked the Father to give me a tent-making occupation as Paul had in order to take away my reproach and give me time to heal. He miraculously opened up a job teaching computer concepts to college students, and this had the effect of removing the reproach I was receiving from all quarters.
It also gave me the time I needed to heal from many hurts, so that I might go and rejoin the battle again. The job was to last for two years, though the Father began slowly drying up the stream to teach me to not trust in the job for my provision, but to trust Him instead. When I first began the job I was given thirty hours a week to teach, and this was adequate to pay for all of our needs. After about nine months my hours were reduced to twenty hours a week, and after another nine months my hours were reduced to ten hours a week.
Working ten hours a week was insufficient to meet the needs of a family of four, as it barely paid our rent at the time. Yet the Father made up what we were lacking in a variety of ways. We never knew lack in food, clothing, shelter, or any good and necessary thing. We were well provided for. It was not so difficult then when, at the end of two years, He spoke to me and told me it was time to quit my teaching job and trust Him once more to provide for all of our needs. If He could meet our needs while I was working only ten hours a week, then He could certainly do it with me working no hours a week. Within a month of my quitting this job He showed us we were to move to be a part of a new work He was raising up, and the location would have rendered it impractical to keep teaching anyway, for the distance would have been too great.
Since we have once more embarked upon this adventure of faith in knowing God as our total provider, He has shown us His tenderness by giving us many confirmations of His will, and confirming us with numerous testimonies of men who have followed a similar course at the leading of the Spirit of God. A book arrived in the mail one day soon after I had quit my job, and it was titled “Rees Howells – Intercessor.” I did not order the book, but a Christian brother felt that I needed to read it, so he ordered it to be delivered to our home. It was just what I needed. When I opened the book to the index, the first chapter to catch my attention was titled “Called Out From Wage Earning.” It was the first thing I read. The entire book was a great confirmation of the path set before us, as Rees Howells was one who was called to a life of faith and the Spirit gave me much encouragement as I read of His dealings with this servant of His.
A few weeks later another brother felt led to send me the biography of the life of Bill Britton, called “A Prophet on Wheels.” His life is even more contemporary than that of Rees Howells, and it is filled with similar testimonies of God’s provision in the life of one who was called out from wage earning to a life of faith. We have recently also acquired a couple books on the life of George Muller, and the accounts of the daily faithfulness of God in the provision for hundreds, and even thousands, of orphans in England are incredible.
In all of this the Spirit has given us many confirmations of His will for us to step out in faith and walk in a way that is rarely seen in our present generation. He has been most kind to confirm our path over and over.
Back on July 24, 2002, during the period of time that I was teaching college classes, my hours had just been cut due to a lack of students, and I had also just had the longest break of the year between classes, this being about three weeks, where I received no income at all. We had bills due and no money on hand, and I called the family together for prayer. I wanted to hear from God as to whether I should seek another job, or whether we should look to Him to supply our need. I gave each member of our family a piece of paper and a pen and I asked them to go to their rooms and write down whatever the Spirit should give them. During this time I asked the Father to speak a clear word to me through my family.
A short time later we gathered back together and my daughter Kristin, who was fourteen years of age at the time, handed me the paper she had written on. The anointing on the words she wrote has been so powerful that I have carried them with me constantly. There have been days when I have pulled them out numerous times to be encouraged by the words that the Spirit spoke to me through my daughter. Here is what the Spirit had Kristin record.
I have great things in store for your family. Marvelous things that only I can get the credit for.
My sheep will hear My voice and they will knowthat it is I, the Lord thy God.
My provision is on its way. My timing is perfect.You need not fear any trouble, instead, trust Me.
The time has not yet come to reveal all things,but behold, it is drawing nigh.
You need have no less than great expectations, for I, the Lord thy God, am in control.
Watch and wait.
You must put behind you all foolish thoughts ofdoubt and disbelief, for great is My reward forthose who trust.
Forget not those things which I have done foryou, and expect greater things in the future.
I am a just God, those who put their life inMy hands need never fear.
Await with anticipation the things that are tocome. They are drawing near.
Those things which I have spoken to you willbe fulfilled, for I do not lie.
I have listened to your heart’s cry. I havenot turned a deaf ear.
I am a father who loves to give good gifts toHis children. Trust My timing.
You must learn to listen to My voice, and My voice alone. Take the path which I have set for you. Do not turn to the right or to the left.
Hearing from God is crucial to a life of faith. We can be sure that the enemy will buffet us with many false and lying words as he seeks to instill fear in our hearts and turn us from the path set before us. It is critical that we learn to listen only to the voice of God. As this prophetic word states, this is something that we must learn. It does not come in a moment of time, but as the fruit of continual pressing in.
Recently we had a day here in our new location where the wind blew hard all day long. The wind picked up speed as the day wore on and the trees were bent over under the onslaught. In the spirit I was also undergoing fierce gales of oppression as the enemy relentlessly attacked throughout the day. Anxiety kept buffeting me, and I had to fight to keep standing firm upon the ground of faith. I wondered how long the assault would last and when I would finally break through to realms of peace. Late in the day the peace finally came, even as the wind was abating outside.
It is the Father’s will to allow us to be subjected to such onslaughts. In this way we learn to mature in our faith and to come to a place of steadfastness. At such times we must stand upon the word that has been sown in our spirit and upon our confidence in the love of God that will never allow us to encounter more than we can bear. His words to us must be more real to us than the physical world around us. We must give much attention to hearing from Him, for:
Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Father, teach us to hear Your voice, and to distinguish it clearly from the voice of the enemy. Though the adversary comes in disguise, masquerading as a messenger of truth, he is a liar and the truth is not in him. May his disguise be revealed and his true nature uncovered, for he seeks only to kill, steal and destroy. You, however, have established plans for us, to give us a future and a hope. Teach us to wait patiently upon a word from You, and to stand when the word is given, not turning aside to the left or to the right.
Your word, Father, is precious to us. Your word sustains the weary one, and gives courage to the fainthearted. We are but dust, but when You breathe upon us we are given life. Breathe upon us Father. Fill us with Your Spirit. May Your anointing carry us through all the trials of life and bring us safely to Your side.