The Lord is our Shepherd… the importance of giving God our ALL!!!

The Lord is My Shepherd…


The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul
And guides my path in righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Surely goodness and loving kindness
Shall follow me al the days of my life.
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever and ever and ever.

Though I walk through the valley
Of the shadow of death
I will not fear, Thou art with me.
Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table
Before me in the presence of my enemies.

Thou anointest my head with oil
My cup’s overflowing

Surely goodness and loving kindness
Shall follow me all the days of my life.
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever and ever and ever


Sheep must follow their shepherd of their own free will. They cannot be driven like cattle; and the shepherd also does not push them!

After all, as the Psalm indicates, only the shepherd knows where the green pastures and still waters are; and how to get there.

However as we study this subject, by listening to the experiences of actual men who have made their living as shepherds, we learn that shepherds are often challenged by certain sheep in their flocks, who always seem to believe the grass is greener somewhere else, and are always looking to break away from the fold; and this is what the Scripture speaks of when it says Satan roams about as a roaring lion, seeking those that he may devour.

As a predatory animal, lions never go after the flock, but they wait for the stragglers, the weak and/or lame who are following the flock from a distance, or who have separated themselves completely; but then the Bible says that Jesus (our Good Shepherd) out of His love and devotion to His sheep, will leave the 99, and will go searching for that lost lamb.

For us to be used by God and to have our destinies fulfilled, we all must go through Holy Spirit boot camp; which truly is something we stay in for the duration of our stay on earth.

In fact what most of us are experiencing now, in our trials and challenges in life, is nothing more that God’s way of teaching us to overcome these obstacles, these mountains that the enemy has placed in our path, through faith, and to learn to use the power of our tongue, when undergirded and rooted in the promises of God’s Word, to speak to our mountains and cast them into the midst of the sea.

This lesson in fact was taught by our Master in Mark’s Gospel, Chapter 11.

Central Truth:

The kind of faith that spoke the universe into existence is

dealt to our hearts…

There are two things to notice about the God kind of faith.

First, a man believes with his heart. Second, he believes with his words.

It isn’t enough just to believe in your heart. In order to get God to work for you, you must believe with your words also.

Jesus said, “Whosoever shall say … and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith” (Mark 11:23).

This is the unalterable law of faith.

Mark 11:12-14, 20-24

12 And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry:

13 And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet.

14 And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it.

20 And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.

21 And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.

22 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.

23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.

24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

Let us focus our attention on the statement, “Have faith in God,” or as the margin reads, “Have the faith of God.” Greek scholars tell us this should be translated, “Have the God kind of faith.” Jesus demonstrated that He had the God kind of faith.

While He was afar off, He saw that the fig tree had leaves. But as He approached it, looking for fruit, He saw that it was barren. Some have questioned why Jesus looked for figs on this tree when it was not time for them to be ripe; it was not their season. However, in that country trees that retained their leaves usually had figs also.

Finding no fruit on the tree, Jesus said, “No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever.”

The next day when Jesus and His disciples passed by again they found the tree dried up from the roots. Amazed, Peter said, “Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away.”

It was then that Jesus made the statement, “Have faith in God (have the faith of God, or the God kind of faith). For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.”

After telling His disciples in verse 22 to have the God kind of faith, Jesus went on to explain in verse 23 what this meant: The God kind of faith is the kind of faith in which a man believes with his heart and says with his mouth that which he believes in his heart, and it comes to pass.

Jesus showed that He had that kind of faith, for He believed that what He said would come to pass. He said to the tree, “No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever.”

This is the kind of faith that spoke the world into existence. “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” (Hebrews 11:3). How did He do it? God believed that what He said would come to pass. He spoke the word and there was an earth. He spoke into existence the vegetable kingdom. He spoke into existence the animal kingdom. He spoke into existence the heavens as well as the earth, the moon, the sun, the stars and the universe. He said it and it was so. That is the God kind of faith. He believed what He said would come to pass and it did.

The Measure of Faith

Jesus demonstrated the God kind of faith to His disciples, and then He told them that they too had that kind of faith – the faith that a man believes with his heart, says with his mouth what he believes, and it comes to pass.

Someone might say, “I want that kind of faith. I am going to pray that God will give it to me.” However, you don’t need to pray for it – you already have it. “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith” (Romans 12:3).

Notice that Paul wrote this to believers, for he says, “to every man that is among you.” The epistle of Romans was not written to the sinners in the world; it was a letter to Christians. He addresses this letter “to all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints …” (Romans 1:7). And in it he tells them that God has given to “every man the measure of faith.”

Paul also said, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). Paul is saying here that this faith is not of yourself. He was not referring to grace, for everyone knows that grace is of God. He is saying that the faith by which we are saved is not of ourselves. It is not a natural, human faith. It was given to sinners by God. And how did God give the sinner faith to be saved?

Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” In these verses Paul has said that faith (1) is given, (2) is dealt, and (3) cometh.

Romans 10:8 says, “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach.” The Bible, this message of God, is called the word of faith. Why is it called the word of faith? Because it causes faith to come even into the heart of the unsaved. It causes the kind of faith that spoke the universe into existence to be dealt to our hearts. Faith is given to us through the Word.

Believing and Saying – the Key to Faith

Notice again the words of Romans 10:8, “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach.” How does this compare with the words of Jesus in Mark 11:23?

Paul’s writings to the Romans agree exactly with what Jesus told His disciples when He said, “Whosoever shall say … and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe … shall have whatsoever he saith.”

We see here the basic principle inherent in the God kind of faith: believing with the heart and saying it with the mouth.

Jesus believed it and He said it. God believed it and He said it, speaking the earth into existence.

Verses 9 and 10 of this same tenth chapter of Romans say, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

A measure of faith is dealt to the sinner through hearing the Word. Then he uses it to create the reality of salvation in his own life.

When Christians are asked, “When were you saved?” They often answer by saying something like, “About nine on the night of July tenth.”

They are mistaken, however, for God saved them nearly two thousand years ago. It only became a reality to them when they believed it and confessed it.

Salvation belongs to everyone. Every man and woman in this world has a legal right to salvation. Jesus died for the whole world, not just for you and me.

When the truth is preached to the sinner it causes faith to come. When he believes and confesses, he creates the reality of it in his own life by his faith.

Romans 10:13, 14, 17

13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Just as faith comes from hearing the Word of God, so does anything that we receive from God. The God kind of faith comes by hearing God’s Word.

In other words, God causes the God kind of faith to come into the hearts of those who hear. No wonder Jesus said, “take heed therefore how you hear” (Luke 8:18).

You cannot let it go in one ear and out the other because that won’t do any good. Faith won’t come. If you act as if the Word of God were some fairy tale, faith will not come. But when you accept it reverently and sincerely, when you act upon it, faith comes.

Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, “We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak” (II Corinthians 4:13).

Paul said that we have the same spirit of faith. And what belonged to the church at Corinth belongs to the church today.

On no occasion did Paul or any of the apostles ever write to encourage the people to believe; never did they tell them to have faith.

Our having to encourage believers to believe or have faith is a result of the Word of God’s having lost its reality to us.

We are believers! When our children are away, we don’t have to write to them and say, “Be sure to keep breathing.” They will continue to breathe as long as they are alive. Neither do we have to encourage believers to believe because that is what they are – believers.

How many of us realize that our words dominate us? “Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth …” (Proverbs 6:2). Another version says, “Thou art taken captive with the words of thy mouth.”

A young man once told me that he was never whipped until he confessed that he was whipped. One writer put it this way, “You said you could not, and the moment you said it you were whipped.” You said you did not have faith and doubt rose up like a giant and bound you. You are imprisoned with your own words. You talk failure and failure holds you in bondage.

Defeat and failure do not belong to the child of God. God never made a failure. God made us new creatures. We are not born of the will of the flesh or the will of man, but of the will of God.

We are created in Christ Jesus. Failures are man-made. They are made by wrong believing and wrong thinking. I John 4:4 says, “… Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” Learn to trust the Greater One that is in you. He is mightier than anything in the world.

God created the universe with words. Words filled with faith are the most powerful things in all the world.

The key to the God kind of faith is believing with the heart and confessing with the mouth. Our lips can make us millionaires or keep us paupers. Our lips can make us victors or keep us captives. We can fill our words with faith or we can fill our words with doubt. We can fill our words with love that will melt the coldest heart, or we can fill our words with hate and poison.

We can fill our words with love that will help the discouraged and broken-hearted, with faith that will stir heaven. We can make our words breathe the very atmosphere of heaven.

Our faith will never rise above the words of our lips. Jesus told the woman with the issue of blood that her faith had made her whole. Thoughts may come and they may persist in staying. But if we refuse to put those thoughts into words, they die unborn.

Cultivate the habit of thinking big things. Learn to use words that will react upon your own spirit. Faith’s confessions create realities. Realization follows the confession. Confession precedes possession.

Memory Text: “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith which we preach” (Romans 10:8).

Faith in Action: “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only ….” (James 1:22).

http://hopefaithprayer.com/?page_id=3244

What God requires of all of us is first our death to self will, and the ingrained desire we all have (which by the way is the root of our sin nature) to be the masters of our own destinies.

The point is, for us to achieve our destiny we must willingly relinquish our rights and our perceived ambitions and desires to the one who gave us our life to begin with; but God being the gentleman that He is does not force this upon us; but patiently and longsuffering awaits the day we notice Him, and will give Him our ear and our heart, and begin first to listen, then to obey.

I will always remember the lesson my dad taught me as a boy. You see, my dad was a former fighter pilot, who flew P-51 Mustangs on bomber escort missions, with the Tuskegee Airmen over in Italy, during WW II.

He said that the hardest part of flight training, for him, was to learn to fly a plane by Instrument Flight Rules; where you have to disengage something you have trusted, and have been trained and condition to trust all of your life, and that is your feelings.

Instead, you have to disengage your feelings, and make yourself trust those little dials in from of you; that what they are telling you is true, in spite of the fact that your feelings are screaming at you the exact opposite.

You see if you are flying a plane in the soup, in inclimate weather, or in a fog, where you can no longer see the horizon, or have any visual reference points, and with all the G’s that are being exerted on your body, it is impossible for you to know what the attitude is of your plane. In fact, under those circumstances you could be flying upside down and not even know it!

He said that your feelings will scream at you to pull up or bank to the right or left; but that if you do any of those things, and ignore your only accurate reference point, which are those dials in from of you, then you will surely die!

When I later became a Christian, the analogy was amazing, and it hit me right between the eyes; because as Christians, we are asked to do the exact same thing, to live by faith in God’s Word, and not by what we see, feel, or sense in the natural!

Also, as with the example with the pilot in inclimate weather, if you have never been trained to disengage your senses, and have had actual flight time doing so, either in a flight simulator, or with a flight instructor; if you haven’t ever had the actual experience of being in that situation, where you no longer have any natural reference points to rely upon, then the chances are, if you are ever caught in a real life situation, and have to choose between your feelings and those dials, you will most likely elect to trust what you have always known, and are familiar with… and again, you will die!

As Christians we have to learn to fly by our instruments, which for us are the Promises of God’s Word; and equally important we must also learn to discern, listen to, and obey the leading of the Holy Spirit moment by moment, and 24/7 in our lives.

Remember this also, that Paul warned Christians in the last days (2 Timothy 3:5) that one thing that would be prevalent was that many would confess belief in God, and would be very religious, but that they would deny the POWER, and folks anytime the Bible is talking about the Power of God, it is talking about the Holy Spirit!

This is especially important in these days and in the times we are living in, and this is especially true in our country, where we have so intellectualized the Gospel message, and have sought to market it with Madison Avenue sales techniques and modern day psychology, in what some have called “Seeker Friendly” methodology; this however is not the method Jesus used, nor did he teach to His disciples; and it is not what the Bible teaches.

Folks here is my point, if we are to retake our nation for Christ, then we as His Church had better return to the original teachings and power source that we read about in the four Gospels, and in the Book of Acts! Selah

Shalom,

Skip Barland

Author: SPARKS FROM THE ANVIL OF LIFE

This is an open forum where we look into and investigate the Rhema Mysteries of God's Word; and also other issues of importance for our day and time.

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