Questions & Answers
Q: Lately I find myself deeply desiring salvation for my unsaved family members. Is this what you call a "word of faith"?
A: The first thing we ask our-selves about our desire is whether it lines up with scripture and is our motivation for the good of the other person. Desiring the salvation of another per-son is God’s desire by us since God is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9).
Any word of faith is God’s desire by us for change in a person or circumstance. It is not merely wishful or magical thinking that somehow the answer will appear without any effort on our part. In a word of faith we commit ourselves to see this change come about no matter what the cost to us personally. Therefore, a word of faith is the beginning of intercession. We may not see specifically what our part is to be in the intercession, but we are open to God’s direction on a moment by moment basis, trusting He will show us the next right step.
A word of faith cannot be fulfilled by self effort. People would then get the glory instead of God. Abraham tried to force the fulfillment of God’s promise to give him a son in his old age (Gen 16:1-4). God had promised this son would be horn through his wife Sarah, even though she was too old to bear children (Gen. 17:19; Rom. 4:19-21). Instead Abraham devised his own plan to get a son for himself through his maid Hagar. Our word of faith must be fulfilled supernaturally. If God doesn’t do it, it can’t be done.
Q: How will I be different if I become a Christian?
A: The Bible says that we are containers or vessels. Since we are born into the world of sin (Rom. 5:12), we are containers of Satan’s spirit until we ask Christ to forgive us for our sins and accept Him into our hearts as our savior. When this happens the old spirit, Satan, is forever traded for the new spirit, Christ (1 Cor. 6:17), who is now our spirit-operator (Rom. 6:6).
You will seek to live a life that removes you from living a self-centered life to living a life that puts others and their needs first. Christ sought after others’ needs and when you become one with Him through salvation, then your desires change. This is not out of self-effort. It is just Him living in you, causing your desires to change. "For it is God working in you both to will and do of His good plea-sure" (Phil. 2:13).
Q: How do I stop old behavior, which I know is sin, that continues to come up in my life?
A: Often times we continue to commit the same sins over and over because we don’t really want to quit. For awhile, our behavior carries a "payoff’ that we like, so we don’t want to address the behavior as sin. Only the Holy Spirit can convict us of our sins. God leads us through a drastic process of self exposure, leading us to find that self-centeredness is the root of our problem. Through failure, humiliation, and despair we come to the conclusion that the price we pay for our self-centeredness is great (Mark 8:35-37). Our pain and sorrow causes our thinking to change; we decide that we want to be different (II Cor. 7:9-10; Rom. 12:2).
Fortunately, it is not up to us alone to change. Through the shed blood of Jesus Christ we are delivered from sin, our minds are renewed, and our lives are changed. (Rom. 6:11-12; I Cor. 15:57; II Cor. 5:17; Eph. 4:20-23).
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 11 No 3
- The Deep Things of God
- Editor’s Note
- Moments with Meryl
- Annual Business Meeting
- The Single Eye
- Prayer Without Works
- The Letter to the Romans
- Birmingham Fellowship Weekend
- British Easter Conference
- Questions & Answers
- My Dark Hidden Secret
- New Light on the Twelve Steps
- God’s Promises
- A Look at a Book
- The Mailbox
- Tape Talk
- Words to Live By