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Monday
Sep252017

Rest Assured

A man who is sort of a mentor to me told me I needed to learn to rest, to let go. “You can’t receive with a hand that’s full,” he said. It was hard at first to understand what I was holding on to. Thinker that I am, I spent quite a bit of time thinking about it. The problem with thinkers is they tend to, well, overthink, which then tends toward a lack of peace, the very opposite of rest.

Needless to say, I got rest issues.

Teaching from his You’ve Already Got It! series on the Gospel Truth, Andrew speaks about rest:

“It’s not a matter of getting God to do something; it’s a matter of resting in what He’s already done. . . . The Sabbath was a picture of this rest that we have in the Lord. . . . When God commanded the Old Testament Sabbath—that man take a rest on the seventh day—it was [a] picture that everything was really from God. God had already provided.” (brackets added)

In other words, when I’m in a position of rest, it’s because I understand that God’s got this. It’s because I’m trusting in the Lord.

In Matthew 6:25-26, Jesus said it another way:

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? [26] Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”

New King James Version

I can see how what Jesus said here applies to many areas of the Christian life. Take finances, for example. I’ve not heard many preachers go to the above passage in Matthew when they talk about sowing and reaping. They usually reference only 2 Corinthians 9:6-10 and put the emphasis on sowing in order to reap. The problem with that is, when this passage in 2 Corinthians is not taught in balance with the one in Matthew, people tend to trust in their sowing rather than trust in God. Where’s the rest in that? When I’m focused on what I must do, there isn’t any room for rest.

I’m learning that a better way to prosper is to put the emphasis on trusting God, which is all about the heart.

During the same broadcast, Andrew shares this about the Sabbath rest:

“When God first gave the Jews this command about the Sabbath, did you know that there was nobody on the face of the planet that took one day out of seven off? Man, they were working seven out of seven days, fifteen-hour days, laboring and bringing forth fruit by the sweat of their brow. And yet here come God’s people, and they take one out of seven days off. . . . They would have had less. But actually, it was just the opposite. Because they were trusting in God and relying upon Him and following His command, the Jews prospered more with just six days of labor than all of the other nations did with seven days of labor.”

That’s awesome! Andrew goes on to say that the Sabbath “was a picture to them that God was their source, and all of their effort was just a response to God. It was a cooperation with God.”

My excessive thinking was getting in the way of cooperating with God. And I was only getting what I could come up with on my own, which wasn’t very much. But when I co-labor with the Lord, putting the emphasis on trust in Him and His plan, I cease from fretting. I rest assured, “for we who have believed do enter that rest” (Heb. 4:3, NKJV ).

Have you entered into that rest? Share your story with us in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to watch Andrew’s You’ve Already Got It! teaching, airing all this month on the Gospel Truth, or watch missed episodes online or on Roku.

Written by David Moore II

For resources and products in the U.S., visit www.awmi.net; outside the U.S., visit www.awme.net.

Monday
Sep182017

Dual Impact

Armed with God’s Word and His love, second-year Charis Bible College students carry out Jesus’s command to “go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel” (Mark 16:15). Students go on missions trips that take them to areas all over the world, places like Russia, India, and Germany; and for international students, to various places in the U.S. From a front-row seat, Charis students watch blatant displays of God’s relentless love as people are born again, baptized in the Spirit, healed, and set free. 

Charis student Tim Nee witnessed one such display when he went on his missions trip to Belize earlier this year: 

“God showed up in so many ways during our trip. On the last day, we were at a public pool. We noticed a waitress there who was limping badly, and one team member asked if he could pray for her. As she sat on a bench, it was obvious that one of her legs was shorter than the other. When he prayed, her short leg grew out beyond the other and then the other leg grew out to meet that one! When she stood up, she realized the pain in her back and hip resulting from her body being off was completely gone, and she started to cry. One of her fellow workers saw the whole thing happen. What an awesome way to end our trip!” 

But displays of God’s love during these trips aren’t limited to the obvious external ones. In fact, Charis students find that with the simple act of going, God displays the power of His love in their own hearts; classroom theory about His love becomes revelation. 

That’s what Martin Alargent, an international Charis student from France, experienced on his 2017 missions trip to California. After putting boots on the ground in California, the reality of God’s love exploded in his heart: 

“It is by going that we learn what mercy and compassion means. Sitting in a class gave us a glimpse of what love is. It gave us an idea, a concept. Going to California gave us the revelation of what love is. Here is what love is: Jesus gave His life for us, and we ought to give our lives for the brethren also (1 John 3:16). We went on our missions trip focusing on one goal: being a walking Jesus. That means being ministers of reconciliation and proof of God’s love for humanity. This trip showed me how powerful and effective a like-minded and like-hearted group can be. The love we had for each other splashed on everybody around us. It is by loving each other that we prove we are real disciples of Jesus Christ (John 13:35), and people could see it! I realized that what we experience in life really comes out of what we focus on. Going on our missions trip, we were prepared and fully focused on God’s love and on ministry, and we were expecting miracles, healings, signs, and wonders. Therefore, as an answer to our expectations and our faith, we saw all these things! It was a life-changing, mind-renewing,
heart-transforming trip.”

Help create testimonies like these by giving toward Charis missions trips. In blessing others, you’ll be blessed! 

Written by Sylvia F. Wells 

For resources and products in the U.S., visit www.awmi.net; outside the U.S., visit www.awme.net.

Monday
Sep112017

No Bullying Zone

“You’re not running your race to obtain the victory. The victory has already been won. It was delivered to you at the starting block. You’re coming from the victory. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to not become distracted by things that try to tell you that you’re without the victory, that you’re in lack. Don’t be deceived. You’re not operating from a deficit. You have what it takes. Keep running!”

The Lord surprised me one evening when He spoke those words to my heart, seemingly out of the blue. Always a big Mission Impossible fan, I didn’t miss the challenge He issued. He challenged me to not be distracted. I had no idea at the time just how lack-minded I was. Lies I’d believed about myself were so well-rooted and familiar that I didn’t realize how much they stole my focus and robbed me of victory in so many areas.

Somewhere along the way, I had adopted a mentality of being without. Without identity, without authority, without value, without enough. Without. Living in fear became a way of life because, at the basement level of my being, I was convinced I didn’t have what it took to succeed—whatever “it” was. Like Eve, I’d been deceived into thinking I was missing something.

In his book You’ve Already Got It!, Andrew relates Adam and Eve’s experience to us today.

“If you could convince perfect people living in paradise with no physical problems whatsoever to think they didn’t have it all, to doubt God’s Word, and to question His goodness, then I guarantee you can convince people living in a fallen world, who can look in any direction and see pain, tragedy, lack, and need, that they don’t have it all.” (p. 119)

But not having it all wasn’t true for Adam and Eve before the Fall, and it isn’t true for born-again believers now.

“The truth is, if you’ve been born again, you do have everything. You are complete in Christ. (Col. 2:10.) Everything you’ll ever need has already been given to you. . . . All you’re doing is combating [Satan’s] lies and deceptions.” (p. 119, emphasis mine)

My oldest son, always friendly and outgoing, came home one day in tears. Eleven years old at the time, he had a black eye and scrapes on his face. When I asked him what had happened, he told me that two older boys lured him into the woods, beat him up, and stole his bike. They were
obviously bullies.

Recently, in a flash of revelation, the Lord showed me that I was being bullied too. Satan had intimidated me into accepting symptoms in my body that weren’t mine and that I didn’t want. When God opened my eyes to what was happening, I could actually see how the Enemy was trying to steal my health.

Like I did when my son got bullied, I got angry. Really angry. I wanted to fight. But a believer’s battle is not with flesh and blood and isn’t waged with fists. So, where is the battle? Andrew explains:

“The battle against the devil is waged in your thoughts. That’s why God’s Word is so essential! Satan’s only power is deception. He lies and represents himself as more powerful than he is. But truth is the antidote to deception. . . . Apart from the power you give him through believing his lies, Satan can’t steal anything from you.” (pp. 119-120, italics mine)

Since the Lord gave me that revelation, I’ve decided that my days of being bullied are over. I may not know every adjustment that needs to be made in my thinking, but I know one thing for sure: it’s too late for defeat, because the victory has already been won.

Find out more about your victory and Satan’s defeat by watching You’ve Already Got It! on Andrew’s Gospel Truth broadcast. You can also listen to the You’ve Already Got It! series through our website or order the book. Don’t be bullied by the Enemy. Learn what’s already yours through Jesus.

Written by Sylvia F. Wells

For resources and products in the U.S., visit www.awmi.net; outside the U.S., visit www.awme.net.