I have been asked many times if biblical promises and declarations work. My answer to that question is a very big resounding yes. In all my life, I have seen God’s promises come to pass in ways that I never expected. The bible tells us that we walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7), and this faith plays a big role in our walk with God. Faith is the mark of a believer in Jesus Christ and it is born only after we repent. The way we respond in times of trials shows us what lies deep within our hearts and the true nature of our faith.
In these last days, we struggle to see the promises of God manifest in our lives because we are unable to apply what the word of God teaches us. The reason for this is because we lack insight, which stems from an unreceptive heart. After Jesus talked about the Parable of the sower, his disciples asked why he always spoke in parables. Jesus said “For whoever has [spiritual wisdom because he is receptive to God’s word], to him more will be given, and he will be richly and abundantly supplied; but whoever does not have [spiritual wisdom because he has devalued God’s word], even what he has will be taken away from him” (Matthew 13:12). In other words, only when their hearts are ready will insights and understanding flow freely. When the heart is not ready, any hint of receptiveness soon disappears. What is this ready heart? I believe it is a heart that has undergone true repentance and is ready to receive God’s eternal gift of life.
Are you truly repentant? True repentance = receptive heart = renewed faith. We have all done things that we are not proud of, and many times we wished we could go back in the past and rewrite those mistakes. In spite of all our wrongs, Jesus gave us another opportunity to reconnect with God by his death on the cross. When we receive Jesus Christ into our lives, we are made anew, our hearts become open to his words and our faith is born. The reason many believers are struggling today is that they have not truly repented. There are still parts of their lives that they are yet to surrender to God, and they handle things in their lives based on how it makes them feel and what they can gain in return for serving God.
Pastor Derek Prince once said “True repentance is not an emotion, it is a decision. It doesn’t spring from emotions, it springs from the will”. Repentance is a complete change of heart, mindset, renewed thinking (seeing things the way God sees them and living life according to God’s standards) (Romans 12:2). Repentance in Hebrew means “To Turn Around”. Turning around means you have come to the end of yourself, it is no longer about your own way, you are making a decision to honour the Father’s love for you (please read the prodigal son in Luke 15: 11-31). If repentance comes from your will (within), it stands enduring and true even in the midst of trials. Emotions are fleeting and they change directions like the wind, so if your repentance is emotion-based (double-minded), know that it will fade. James 1:8 tells us that “a double-minded person is unstable and restless in all his ways (in everything he thinks, feels or decides)” and this is what happens in the life of a believer who receives Jesus under emotional hypes.
The church is full of preachers or ministers who only appeal to the emotions of people instead of challenging their will. Today we see ten churches in one neighbour and yet cannot produce people of great substance because there is no real conversion (repentance). What happens here is that the preacher does not teach consequences of sin, he does not teach them to take up their cross, he does not tell them about the victory after trials and he does not teach them spiritual integrity and wisdom. Instead, he gives them an emotional familiarity, promises them wealth and happiness if they receive Jesus. So we have newly converted believers walk out of church feeling good for maybe the first 3 hours or few months, and when the storms come knocking, their faith crumbles and they become disappointed because emotions are unable to apply spiritual wisdom. Beware of preachers who appeal to your emotions!!!
Let us not become the people in Isaiah 30:9-11 who refuse to hear the word and laws of God. They do not want to be told that sin has consequences, so they tell prophets to only tell of smooth things and prophecies that are pleasing to the ear. How are we ever supposed to attain victory over troubles if we come to Christ with half-baked truths and without true remorse? No, we must have a Holy Spirit-filled conviction, our will must be challenged, and only then is our faith built. The word of God is meant to pierce our hearts, revealing and cutting into asunder every lofty thoughts or attitude that exalts itself above Christ (Hebrews 4:12). I might not like every trial that comes my way but I know that it is for a purpose and every time I overcome, my faith is made stronger, my heart becomes more open to the spirit of God and my spirit nature grows.
I can tell you everything there is to know about weight loss and nutrition, but in order for you to see results, your heart must be open to accepting what I am telling you and you must apply the principles. You can go to seminars that teach you about succeeding in a business, but if your heart is not open, you will not grasp the insights needed to succeed. Those who are able to apply spiritual wisdom in their daily lives are those whose seeds fell on the good soil. The bible explains that these people hear the word, take it in, practice it and produce great a harvest, some a hundred times more, some sixty times more and some thirty (Matthew 13:23).
So, how great of a change do you want to see in your life? How great do you want your harvest to be? Do you wish to understand the mysteries of the Kingdom of heaven? Make that decision today by truly repenting because, in this way, the Holy Spirit will give you a receptive heart and the wisdom needed to successfully apply what the word of God says. Amen.