27 And Jesus went on with His disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way He asked His disciples, Who do people say that I am?
28 And they answered [Him], John the Baptist; and others [say], Elijah; but others, one of the prophets.
As Jesus was walking with His disciples He asked two questions to prove one point. The first question was, “Who do people say that I am?” In other words the people you listen to, what do they say and do you take it at face value? His second question was, “Who do you say that I am?” In other words, what do YOU believe to be truth?
I am amazed many times by people who have no idea what they really believe, yet they have been in church all of their lives. You can ask them how to be born again, filled with the Holy Spirit, how to receive a healing, how faith works, what are the fruit of the spirit, etc. and they have no idea how to respond. They vacillate from one person’s opinion to the next. Many go strictly on opinion and feelings! They have no scripture to back up what they “believe”, they have no idea what the word says about what they think, but because it “feels” right or it is what Grandma thought was right, it must be right.
My husband and I used to be just like that! We knew what we were told. We never went to the word to search it out for ourselves. I remember my mother used to say “Cleanliness is next to Godliness!” and I actually thought she was quoting the Bible! Why did I think that? Because she thought it was in there and told me it was and I believed her! I was shocked when I found out it was just a saying! If you had asked me how to be saved and filled with the Spirit, I could only have told you John 3:16 on how to be saved.
The Bible tells us His people perish for a lack of knowledge. The knowledge He is speaking of is the word of God. Many people live in poverty, lack, sickness, and horrible emotional pain because they don’t know what the Bible says about provision, healing, and deliverance. Some even die before their time because they don’t know what the Bible says they can have!
One day, the Holy Spirit began to deal with me. He asked me if someone asked me these questions could I give an answer and back it up with the word. Sadly, I had to say no. But, God doesn’t leave us in ignorance when we truly desire to know Him and His word. What I didn’t realize at the time is the reason the Holy Spirit was asking me these questions was not to shame me, but to cause me to hunger! We were going to a particular church at the time and I went to my Sunday School teacher (this was almost 30 years ago) with these questions the Holy Spirit asked me. He did not know the answers either. I went to my husband and said, “We have got to get in a church that knows the word and WE need to study some things out!” He fully agreed. God had been dealing with him, too and I didn’t know it at the time.
I will never forget, I was DETERMINED to know the truth!! I went to a local Christian bookstore and asked for the manager of the book department. A man named Clay (who I had no idea God would lead us in just a few short months to this man’s church) came out to help me. I said to Clay, “I want the best, teaches as close to the truth as you can get, and can back it up with scriptures authors as you have!!” He held his hand up and motioned for me to follow him. He took me to three different books by three different authors. The first book was “The Tongue: A Creative Force” by Charles Capps. The other book was by Reverend Kenneth E. Hagin, Sr. which I don’t remember the title of I have so many and they are ALL sound teaching and good!! The third was by Reverend Kenneth Copeland, who my husband and I partner with to this very day. I could not wait to get home and I devoured these books! The next day, yes you heard me right, the very next day I went back to the Christian book store and said I needed more. Clay looked at me with disbelief and asked, “You have read those already??” “I sure have! Ask me anything and I can tell you the answer and tell you why it is true!” He grinned, crooked his finger again and I walked out with eight more books by the same great authors, but the one I gravitate to mostly is Kenneth E. Hagin, Sr.. The others are good, but he is special to me, even though he is with the Lord, I still read his material and I still can’t get enough of it. No matter how much I read, I still learn something new! Now am I honoring these ministers above God….NO! They have written and ministered as the Holy Spirit led them to! I am giving praise and glory to God that they made themselves vessels fit for the Master’s use and God did and does use them!
My husband began to read the books, too. Soon we moved churches and sat under an amazing pastor. He was so anointed it was as if we were in seminary! We drank in everything he said and couldn’t wait to get back to hear more! Then the most amazing thing happened! God began to use my husband and me in various capacities in the church in which knowing the word was vital! God never waste His time or yours! There is a specific reason for everything He does! We began to see why the Holy Spirit was making sure we started to hunger to be educated in the word.
Know, my dear reader, what the word says about what you believe. Form your beliefs around the word, don’t try to form the word around your beliefs! Jesus didn’t tell the woman who had the issue of blood, “Woman, according to your OPINION or FEELINGS be it done unto you”. He said, “Thy FAITH, hath made thee whole!” She KNEW Jesus was the healer, the Saviour, the Messiah! She knew what she believed and thank God she believed what the prophet Isaiah had prophesied! It pays big dividends to know the word of God!
Today, I hear so many people form their opinions around these words “rights”, “tolerance”, “understanding”. I hear very little about forming BELIEFS around “The Bible”, “Jesus”, “God”, “The Holy Spirit”, and “scriptures”. Am I saying not to be loving? Absolutely not!! I am saying find the TRUTH and let the TRUTH of GOD’S WORD set you free and then refuse to be talked out of it!!! It is the only thing that can deliver you and change your destiny forever!
Blessings to you, dear reader! Thank you for stopping by! I hope you were encouraged by the devotional today! I will see you soon!