It is my intention to write on the things I learn and the daily difficulties I face living one day at a time by faith. In the process, I plan to be as transparent as possible by questioning myself and my motives as well as finding and sharing insights I gain from the experiences I have and the challenges I face and answers I can find in scripture.
I plan to do what the Word says and share the outcomes and the challenges that go along with this. As I mentioned previously, I do not want to write about saving faith. That is a given if you are a believer. I have taught on this in the following series of papers on my website: Lessons on the Journey of Faith.
I expect my audience will include those who know how faith works but have never lived in the reality of actually believing for daily provision for the essentials of life. I also want to raise the consciousness of the believer of the teachings on the necessity for the body of Christ to function as one body – many members and become more aware of the way the Holy Spirit speaks to us to give and obey that inner voice.
Literally, ‘the human body is one but possesses many parts. Also, the body of Christ, which is the church. But all the limbs and organs of that one human body, although they be many, yet are one body, so also is Christ’s body one’. (1 Cor 12:12). Paraphrase by Patricia with reference to Strong’s Concordance.
This means we must live in accordance with the Word and serve one another, give to other members of the body as God has given to us. We must give up our old ways of thinking and relinquish the world’s approach of elitism, quid pro quo and meritocracy and nepotism and discover a new way of living. I call this the Culture of the Kingdom. The Word of God shows us a new way of living. It is time to jump into God’s river of Life.
I also hope to reach those who do not have the financial means to live properly, to access the basic needs of life: food, water, shelter, and clothing, but also sanitation, education, and healthcare and freedom of choice. The greatest need in the body of Christ is to look out for other members of the body; to ensure their basic needs are met. Many today face a dark future, a future blurred, their prospects dim.
I am therefore encouraging all of us together, whatever our means, the haves and the have-nots, to begin a new journey, to learn to live one day at a time, in the physical realm of meeting the needs of the body of Christ, by exercising their faith for themselves and other members of the body.
I lived by faith, literally, one day at a time, without visible means of income, for some thirteen years. This was when I decided to travel the world preaching the gospel. Like you, I’m still on the journey of adding to my faith. I want to discover more of how faith works and the doing of it to bring glory to God; to live an authentic Christian faith. Like you, I long to be in the will of God. We need to make a major shift of consciousness for our lives to change. We have to ask ourselves how willing are we to allow this shift to take place?
As I mentioned in my last post, this means, at the basic level, reading God’s Word, the Bible and obeying it. Without doing it we will never ‘prove’ the true from the false.
Every word of God proves true; a shield to those who take refuge in God. (Proverbs 30:5)
Along the way it is unavoidable we will encounter false doctrines manufactured to exert control over us. Then, there are the issues of false translation and interpretation. I teach on these in my papers.
We are called to obey the will of God. However, it is not as easy as it may have appeared at first. To do God’s will is to not do my own will. Yes, there is a will and a way, but it’s not my way. Indeed, I have found doing the will of God goes so much against my will that, to actually pray according to Psalm 40:8 can be downright scary for the unsought for changes it will bring into my life. God’s will therefore can only be done in faith.
‘ I delight to do your will, O my God: yes, your law is within my heart.
‘And, without faith it is impossible to please God for whoever would draw near to God must believe that God exists and a rewarder of those who seek God’. (Heb 11:6).
Jesus said, “anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own”. (Jn 17:7).
Today, for very many, perhaps for the first time in their lives, their income is suffering. It is not consumerism as usual. Money is our lifeline to the basic necessities of life. Homelessness is an ongoing problem that the present circumstances of Covid-19 have intensified. These are perilous times. No one will remain unaffected. Don’t be smug. Don’t say I have need of nothing. Don’t look down your nose at people with less than you have.
Riches are fleeting. Many no longer find themselves in that same place of confidence they once enjoyed. For some it may be the first time in their lives they have literally prayed in earnest, ‘give us this day our daily bread’. They are now living from hand to mouth. I, therefore, believe this is a timely message.
Now, it won’t take you long to discover that I am not a theologian. I also don’t want to get into long drawn out protracted arguments about words. As I say I have an audience I want to reach. In my message to those readers I want them to realise that even though they have done what is required, they can still encounter doubts as to whether they are in the will of God. They may become anxious after having made a crucial decision and waver. They may doubt whether it is the right one.
Those who know the Word know that ‘God rewards the earnest seeker.’ But I can be unsure, (doubt) that I am praying the perfect will of God. I may falter in my confidence. I may need assurance of God’s faithfulness from another believer who is strong in the faith. At another time I can reciprocate. This is where someone who has walked that path before can give me a few tips, can teach me, lead me and encourage me.
In summary, when I talk about doubt it is not whether God exists. Rather, I am talking about uncertainty of judgment or mind; an unsettled state of opinion concerning the reality of an event. For example, just last week I was two days away from having a bed to sleep in.
Although I knew the date three weeks before, at that point when I needed the evidence of the things hoped for, there was still no visible sign of an answer to that specific request I had made to God in prayer. I began to doubt.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb 11: 1).
God has never removed the possibility of doubt. Our faith must therefore rest upon evidence, not demonstration. People who want demonstration will not be given a sign. Until the evidence materialises our faith acts as evidence. Until then, my advise is, ‘#faithit_tilumakeit’
By this I mean do something! Even if you can only do a very small infinitesimal thing to ‘prove’ your faith, do it! The example Jesus gives is, If you have faith, lets say, the size of a wheat grain, and you sow that seed by your action, it acts as ‘proof’. Faith cannot remain invisible. Talk is cheap.
Faith is like making bread. You add the yeast to ‘prove’ it. Don’t add the yeast and nothing will happen. You can wait as long as you like you can beat that dough till your arm aches. Faith requires action to bring it into the visible; the material evidence is produced by what you do. Go and read the miracles Jesus performed. He told them to do something. Faith is the evidence of the things hoped for, until the actual material evidence materialises. Without corresponding action, faith is dead.
This is the ‘work of faith’ James speaks of. You may know how faith works but do you do it? We must do our part, yes, read the word, yes, pray, but, also and this is the part I want to emphasise, do whatever you can to demonstrate the evidence of your faith: show your faith by your words and demonstration of the same.
Listen to James:
“So too”, James says, “faith by itself, if it is not complemented by action, is dead. But some person may say (‘contrariwise’), ‘You possess faith and I possess action (deeds, toil)”.
“So I say to them, ‘oh yeah, show me your faith (your belief, trust, confidence; fidelity, faithfulness) apart or separate from your actions (because I can’t see it because faith without evidence is no faith) and I will show you my faith by my actions” (James 2: 17-18) Paraphrased by Patricia.
There are no ‘hangers about’ in the Kingdom of God; no lurking. You’re either in or you’re out! The Kingdom is a vibrant, living, breathing, wonderful, community of people of active faith. Our faith ‘works’ through acts of love. Love is the lifeblood of the body of Christ.
Pure unadulterated divine faith is summed up here by James: ‘But when you ask God be sure your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea blown and tossed by the wind’ (James 1: 6). Divided loyalty is summed up here: ‘You cannot serve God and money’. Mammon is the god of this world, ruling through the earthy natural power exerted through the speech of people disobedient to the Word of God: the prince of the power of the hot-air breathed out by depraved people speaking by any means they can utilise to distort the hearers. All people are liars.
And knowing that faith is now and today it is “yes” and “amen,” “Yes, I believe it,” in Christ Jesus. I can’t speak for other believers, but It is in this context I am happily admitting to you, at times I suffer doubt. I am also writing from past experiences and present reality.
It is my hope my readers will trust me based upon my making myself vulnerable. Some, I think, may think poorly of this approach, but this is my ego speaking. Deep down we know we are nothing, we came from nothing, we were lost. We are lost without daily direction from God’s Spirit. We know, when we are weak God is strong. We learn about this divine calculation from Paul’s experiences.
‘But God said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I, Paul, will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me. For when I am weak, then I am strong’, (2 Cor 12: 9-12) Paraphrased by Patricia.
Grace is God’s power. Grace is God freely extending Godself (God’s favour, grace), reaching to people because God is disposed to bless (be near) them. For us to live like Jesus is to do likewise.
Through our seed of faith, our sowing, by giving to one another, supplying one another’s needs, by our sharing the benefits we have previously accessed through others generosity, God’s grace is released. God is not limited, but in a way, by working through the believer’s faith God has limited Godself to our responding. For divine results to materialise here in this visual world, human action acts as a fertiliser to activate the divine seed, God’s word.
This is why words no matter how encouraging, and prayer when something must be done to supply the needs, are just not enough. Where actual literal material goods are needed, such as the basic necessities of life, ‘be warmed and be full’ just doesn’t cut it.
Even the written biblical text is dormant until activated by putting it into action. ‘ My God shall supply all your need, through me giving what I have got‘. You and I are the It has no power sitting there on the shelf, or on as online text. Even reading it is not enough. It is quick and powerful and cuts to the quick. However, you must respond. Many are called, few choose to be choice ones for God.
We learn everything spiritual from the natural. The Gospel message is like a seed. The seed is the principle in this life. Every seed sprouts. A seed reproduces after itself. . The Gospel message is carried within its kernel, eternal life.
Once planted it begins to feed off itself and watered by acting upon its message, it reproduces after itself. It responds in such a way as to bring dynamic change to the circumstances and to the person putting their whole trust in it. This results in a new way of living.
Jesus taught on the seed and the kingdom of God. Paul was particularly taken with the illustration of a seed losing its life as a seed to become a mature plant. He used this idea in many of his letters to various early churches.
Paul argues for this simple trust in the crucifixion of Jesus. ‘Faith comes from hearing the message and the message is heard through the word about Christ’s death on the cross’ (Romans 10:17). Paraphrased by Patricia.
Paul said, ‘We preach Christ and Christ crucified.’ To accept the message of Good News is not to think about it but to obey it. Faith without corresponding works is dead. It means to live in daily divine connection to God through the Spirit of prayer and a yielded life. However, believing and praying are just the beginning, not an end in themselves. We must then act upon what we believe.
The law of faith acts in this way: I believe therefore I speak. This law of faith is the reason we are commanded to preach ‘Christ crucified’ as our central message, with all this it implies. It is the same reason those we preach to must respond, ‘believe and speak to receive Holy Spirit.’ To preach the gospel does not require a pulpit. It simply means to announce it, to act as a messenger of divine truth.
‘And without faith, it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to God must believe that God exists’.
I write this to remind us, ‘we are not to throw away our confidence’ as it holds a great reward. We need to persevere, so that after we have done the will of God, (believe, ask, speak it out with the accompanying action/s), we shall receive the promise.
For, ‘In just a little while, He who is coming will come and will not delay’ (Heb 10: 35-37). In the light of this it is imperative particularly for the believer praying in faith for their daily provision to understand there is a gap that exists between your prayer and the answer. I will write on this in a future paper.
Money is not God’s divine tender. Instead, God’s divine tender is Grace. Grace brings God’s benefits ‘abounding toward us’, God’s all-sufficiency, flowing through obedient human vessels, ‘that we, having all sufficiency in all things’, so as to encourage us, in turn, not to give up but ‘to abound unto every good-work’ through our own giving and doing. Through our obedience we are literally God’s answer to people’s prayer requests they are making to God in the privacy of their own prayer sanctuary. This is the work of the Spirit.
And God who searches our thoughts and feelings (hearts) knows and appreciates the inclinations of purpose and aspirations (mind) of the Spirit, because the Spirit calls upon, makes a petition, makes supplication (intercedes) on behalf of, for God’s people, in accordance with the will of God. (Rom 8:27).
The Kingdom of heaven is brought down to earth in all its intricate workings through our faith and love in doing good. The problem lies in the lack of ‘gracious faithful givers’ on the ground. Hence, once we have prayed and acted upon what we believe, as previously taught here, we have need of patience that we might receive the promise.
This is due to the wolves amongst the flock. The scriptures warn us the kingdom here on earth is made poor by robbers, (in my experience, especially church organisation leaders) who ‘fleece’ the unwary.
“From the time of John the Baptizer until now, Heaven’s Realm is being used or even robbed by people who have no legal right to it. This stops those who do have a legal right to it from enjoying their own property.”
Therefore, doubt is not ‘no faith’, it is ‘little faith’ and even after 50 years, on occasions, I find myself suffering from it. I’m writing this to encourage all you other ‘little faiths,’ out there, to join me to #faithit_tillumakeit
Thank God we have a Heavenly Patron to call on. The Psalmist put it so succinctly:
‘God your Protector and Provider will cover you with soft feathers; under the wings of God you will find refuge, just as chicks find refuge under their mother’s wings; God’s faithfulness is a shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of the night , or the arrow that flies by day nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the calamity that destroys at noon’ (Ps 91: 4-5) Paraphrased by Patricia.
Hope to meet up again in this way next time.
Please forward this through your contacts,
Love and hugs,
Fresh Manna: My Testimony of living daily by faith
A month ago, I was two days off having nowhere to live and not enough income to simply rent a unit or a room on a regular basis. This is the reality in Australia of having the aged pension as your sole source of income. I had prayed fervently. I had put into practice the law of faith, ‘I believe therefore I speak’. I had done whatever I could, according to my means, to look for paid accommodation within my means.
There a number of factors that led me to this point in my life. For example, I could have turned back to earning a living. Instead, I decided to return to my former way of life and live by faith. Although I made the decision instantly that decision has led me over two years to where I am now.
I made this choice as I was determined to finish my life’s work. believe I am to write plainly the vision of equality in the body of Christ in helping prepare the body of Christ, the church, the betrothed of Christ for the imminent return of her husband. My website is the result of this. It is read on tablets, as busy people keep running with their mission to fulfill the purpose of God in their lives. ( Hab 2: 2)
Having made this decision, I could have accepted a generous friend’s offer to live in the USA or the UK. Instead, I choose to live here in Australia. I thought to go to Israel and study. I am still pursuing that. For now, at this point in time, I am writing from fresh daily gathered manna along with past experiences and learning. I am wanting to apply these and their outcomes to the Word.
I realise when I share the reality of living by faith it means I also must face the reality of ‘not my will but God’s will be done’. This is when the reality hits: our model is Christ. Obedience led Jesus to the cross. Many or all of the Apostles met with untimely deaths. I must admit I have little of the true martyr in me! Nevertheless, we all must learn how to die to our own will.
Now, back to the here and now of my journey of faith and what the Word teaches us about faith. I hope my present circumstances can act as a demonstration of what I am getting at. Last week, just two days out from the possibility of sleeping in my car, my faith wavered.
I had done my part of reading and believing the promises of God’s provision. I had prayed. I believed, I confessed (the law of faith) to others about my expectations of my prayer being answered. I had an inkling about how it might turn out and I know God is faithful. Having done all I could, I was standing in faith.
I was waiting for the answer to materialise, namely, accommodation and I expected to participate by receiving and giving; to also be able to supply their need. I prayed I might be the answer to someone else’s prayer and they mine. Paul says this is the way equality is outworked. Equality in the body is like this:
13 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. 14 At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality (2 Cor 8: 13-14).
Up to that time I recognised I had the peace that passes all understanding. I was aware of this peace guarding my mind. I had done what was required for the riches of Christ Jesus to deliver what I needed. I had followed up my ‘prayer of faith’ with action; people I knew and trusted, knew where I was at.
However, come midnight and my mind was tossing and turning like the ocean waves. I became perplexed. We’re told we ‘have need of patience’, to persevere. It’s so easy to read and agree with this admonishment when in that place of security, say, in this instance, a roof over one’s head and bed of fresh linen turned down. The preacher, Robert Schuller penned this pithy saying, ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going’.
Like the watch man on the wall, I also welcomed the dawn (Ps 130:6). I rang a friend who encouraged me. Two is better than one Finally, In my case, the answer arrived through a series of conversations, meetings and events and here I am, in Aratula, QLD.
I am glad to report for this time I am no longer free-falling. I have landed in a soft non-judgmental place. I am grateful. The gracious invitation from my sisters in Christ was, “stay as long as you want.” I replied, “as long as God allows.”
Like Peter, I had stepped out of the boat. I was walking on water (so to speak). But two weeks ago in the middle of the night my mind weakened. I awoke anxious. Thoughts crowed into my mind. What will I do if the accommodation doesn’t come through? I’ll sleep in the car, I answered myself. I thought, am I crazy, living like this? Yes, I reasoned, people will think you’re mad, they’ll despise you, see you as weak. Not having a sure dwelling place, one of the basic necessities of life, people might say, ‘where is her faith?’
We don’t know how long Peter wavered before he put his toe in the water. But finally, he got out of the boat and began to walk. It was then that he found himself actually walking, one foot after another, on water. But then his mind got in the way. He doubted, even though it was happening – he was actually walking on water! He wavered and as soon as that doubt came, he started to sink.
I went to the original words in Strong’s and discovered the following: Peter’s ‘doubt’ does not indicate a lack of faith, but rather ‘a state of qualified faith’: its weakness but not its absence. Further, I decided, how you read the scripture below depends on the tone of voice you hear in it. I don’t think Jesus is scolding Peter. More likely Jesus is laughing as he drags Peter up for air. How pleasing it is for God to see our faith.
‘But when Peter saw the strength of the wind, he was afraid and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out His hand and took hold of Peter. “You of little faith”, He said, “why did you doubt”? And when they had climbed back into the boat, the wind died down (Matt: 14:31-32).
In Luke 12: 29, “to be of doubtful mind” (meteorizo, literally, “to suspend”; means “to be driven by gusts,” or “to fluctuate in mid-air.” I can certainly relate to this. It’s easy to be in one accord with this until you are in that place of having no resources to furnish your basic physical needs. So I’m here taking it on the chin, “O me of little faith!”
We commit our future to the will of God. It is illogical in that it asks us to surrender ourselves to God’s love. In our humanity we hold back. Like Peter stepping out of the boat, we too are to relinquish our rights and our self to life as it is. We are afraid to dive into this river of divine love and let it take us where it will. This is what I’m getting at.
I want us as believers to examine ourselves to see if we be in the faith. If you are not suffering some doubt at times, I ask you pointedly, are you adding to your faith, are you developing your faith?
I have worked with the homeless in many countries. Now I’m homeless.
After I arrived at my present resting place I met an elderly woman around my age. I discovered she was a believer. As it happened she was also homeless, in as much as she was living with her Christian son and his wife, but she was not welcome.
I decided there may be many more Christian retiree women here in Oz in similar circumstances, yes, even on the street. I have decided to set up a FB and webpage to allow people to connect. I hope good Christian people, those that are able, get involved. I will announce this shortly: #hangon_graceisonitsway. Watch this space & my Facebook announcement for the latest updates.
I hope like-minded believers will get on board and open doors to allow my efforts to find a wider audience for people to not only learn about faith but also take action, to find help for themselves in times of need. I hope too, others, who can, offer help to those in need, especially those of the body of Christ. We live in troublesome times.
Now, just a month ago, before I landed here for a season, in my safe place, I came to where I believe God asked me to accept this itinerant lifestyle again as my way of life for now. Can I say I am living in perfect faith? Far from it! Just last week as I shared with you, I doubted.
So here I am walking daily by faith, this time itinerating in my country of birth, experiencing the ups-and-downs and doubts that at times spring from the circumstances of the moment. This then is my latest update … where I happen to be staying right now is different from where I was staying the last three weeks and before that, the last 3 months and before that the UK and the USA … etc, etc.
Let’s pray together:
Our Divine Provider, our Patron in heaven, Lover of our souls, we acknowledge Your name is Holy and you ask us to live holy lives. Your kingdom comes to us by Your will being done through us. We delight to do Your will, O God. Here we are, provide for us: give us this day our daily bread, our All Sufficient One. We are available to give unto others as God has given to us. Open up opportunities to use our resources and gifts. Lead us in your perfect will.
Feel free to write and share your faith walk/ need for prayer…