“NOW” FAITH

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I was recently confronted with a challenge after hearing Yolanda Adams speak on her morning radio show on the topic of faith. Everything she and her colleagues said was on point but the one thing that stuck out to me the most was the very beginning of Hebrews 11: 1

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
 (English Standard Bible)

The beginning of this passage is the most important part: NOW FAITH! Many believers know this verse by heart and recite it but have difficulty practicing it effectively because they overlooked these first two words. Besides the description of what Faith is, we are given a reference of time in this verse. The time is NOW. Faith is only active if you declare the things not seen Now. You must live and walk with the assurance that it is now done. I can praise God in times of trouble or tribulation by activating my “Now Faith” and walking in the guarantee that makes me say “Through God I have victory right now”. Too often we pray and say that we have Faith that God will do when “Now Faith” says that we have faith that God has done the deed. If we live our life with this God will do mentality then all we have is hope. There is nothing inherently wrong with hope. Hope is good but it has a different place in time in our walk. Looking back at the verse it indicates that Faith is the assurance of things hoped for. So the sequence states that hope comes before Faith. The problem with hope is that you still see the situation as is. You are walking with the burden, continuously looking at tribulations face to face while you wait, hoping, for God to remove the burden. However, with faith you can release the burden into His hands and walk with conviction and assurance

I had a small accident while roller skating at birthday party over the weekend. I broke my leg bones and had some surgery done. Turns out that I will not be able to walk for a month and will have to miss out on a lot of projects at work with my students and more importantly will have to leave some more burden on my wife to manage while I recuperate. All I could think of at first was all that is being affected and my not being able to lend a hand. This is my time to practice NOW FAITH. There is an encounter that God wants me to have with him and I am all in. I declare strength, stamina and endurance for my wife, excellence for children and my students, speedy  recovery and to find Gods Heart for me in this time. I believe this to be so and find my evidence in NOW FAITH. What a feeling of strength and joy this gives. Lets go beyond hope today and enter the joys of NOW FAITH. I pray Gods goodness and mercy upon you. Feel free to leave any comments or testimonies of your experience with NOW FAITH. Blessings

-Psalmist13

THE FIGHT CLUB

brain-vs-brawn

Lately I have been thinking a lot about Jacob. As a child I was so impressed with the story of Jacob and his epic fight with an Angel. If you look at the many things that lead up to this fight you will  first see a young man that received a blessing from his Father Isaac that was not intended for him. Now if you don’t know the story you should read up on it, don’t take my word for it. Jacob had a twin brother Esau, who was technically the first born. From the womb these siblings seemingly fought to be the first one out as if they knew about the benefits of being the first born with in the cultural context of the time. Scripture indicates that Esau was the more active brother engaging in hunting and more physically demanding activities. Jacob, on the other hand, is portrayed as the exact opposite. That being said, what Jacob lacked in brawn he made up with wit. The following versus will explain my points thus far

Genesis 25:

29 Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished.

30 He said to Jacob, “Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I’m famished!”

31 Jacob replied, “First sell me your birthright.”

32 “Look, I am about to die,” Esau said. “What good is the birthright to me?”

33 But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.

34 Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left.

So Esau despised his birthright.

Now we see the wit in full force. One thing has to be stated, Jacob did not steal the birth right. Esau did not value it enough and willingly released his birth right. As you read along the story of the feuding siblings you will find that their father, Isaac, was advanced in age and decided to bestow his blessing to his eldest son before passing away. Isaac, who favored Esau, asked Esau to hunt and bring him a meal and he would then bless him with the favor of the Lord. Mom, Rebekah, favored Jacob and convinced Jacob to trick his, now blind, father and take the blessing from Esau. Here is the catch, besides the brain versus brawn, the twins had physical distinctions. Esau was hairy and Jacob was not. Rebekah and Jacobs plan was so thought out that in the end Isaac could not tell the difference and gave his blessing to Jacob.

The obvious reaction from Esau placed a target on Jacob and Jacob had to flee because . Jacob was now blessed and favored by God and though he had to go through some rough times, he ended up a man with much wealth but was always hiding from Esau. In addition to his fear of his brothers wrath, I believe that  Jacob felt guilt. Maybe it was because of the deception that caused him to run away or he never felt like his wealth and success was something he earned. We see this in Genesis 32 where Jacob tries to mend his relationship with his brother and on one fateful night he has a battle that would change his life thereafter. Jacob was blessed by God and his fathers blessing would come to fruition one way or another. Jacob knew he was blessed but this time he fought to earn it.

Genesis 32:

Jacob Wrestles With God

22 That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two female servants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. 24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”

But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

27 The man asked him, “What is your name?”

“Jacob,” he answered.

28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel,[f] because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”

29 Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.”

But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there.

30 So Jacob called the place Peniel,[g] saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”

31 The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel,[h] and he was limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob’s hip was touched near the tendon.

 Many times I feel like Jacob. I was born and raised in church and blessed by my parents. Sometimes I felt that I was the favored one in family and that put a lot of pressure on me growing up. I’ve had my share of slips and falls but God has seen me through and blessed me despite my shortcomings. The problem is that I feel that I am riding on my parents blessings for me, their prophetic declarations over my life since I was a child, but its time to earn it. When my father passed away almost 9 years ago some one told me “Wow you  have some big shoes to fill.” To some extent it was true my father was a great man. Didn’t have any wealth or titles but was a wise man, humble, and had a servant’s heart. A good friend heard the comment and told me “You don’t have big shoes to fill, your father ran what he had to run and has now hung up his shoes. You have your own shoes to fill and run with” (Thanks Moses)
I invite you to rise and fight for that blessing, that prophetic word given to you and your purpose revealed to you. If you have seen God provided and bless you until now then you can expect an overflow of his goodness, mercy, love, riches, grace and favor. God Bless you and may you enter 2014 ready to fight!
-Isai Serrano

HOW WOULD YOU RESPOND?

15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

This world we live in has spent opinions and views of God. It is easy to be persuaded into believing what people say especially you don’t know who He is. These views don’t need to be negative. You can very we’ll sit on a pew every Sunday and take every word from the preacher as truth, but never experienced God for yourself. You don’t need to be a theologian to testify who He is to you. So who do you say He is?
have you known him to be Savior, Redeemer, or friend?