Increase Your Faith - It’s Time!


Romans 1:17 says we go from faith to faith:


For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it

is written, “BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.”


Every new season God moves us into requires a new level of faith. As we progress in God, He will use life’s challenges to stretch us. He is preparing us for greater responsibility, and the faith He requires from us today will be greater than what He required from us yesterday. We must progress and go from faith to even stronger faith. Many Christians are satisfied with status quo and have come to a place of stagnation. Remaining stationary in God is not an option, however. He wants to bring us to qualitatively new and greater levels of faith, which are necessary in order to accomplish the new assignments He has for us.


Here are some general principles of faith:

Trials don’t produce faith - they produce patience (James 1:3); revelation of God’s word and ways increases faith (Romans 10:17). The two together - faith and patience (endurance) - enable us to receive His promises (Hebrews 6:12).


We determine our level of faith, not God. He gives us a measure to begin with (Romans 12:3), but we must meditate on His Word, which includes speaking it (Joshua 1:8), in order to see it grow. The teaching which says all we need is faith “the size of” a mustard seed in order to move a mountain is erroneous. Matthew 17:20 (ESV) says:


“He said to them, ‘Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.’”


By the way, some translations say “faith the size of” a mustard seed but this is inaccurate. It is their interpretation, not an accurate translation. We must have faith “like” (Greek hos, meaning “like” or “as”) a mustard seed, which begins small but grows into a tree. “Growing faith” moves mountains, not mustard seed size faith.


Abraham and Sarah were commended because their faith grew.


“Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness

of Sarah’s womb; yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver

in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.” (Romans 4:19-21 NASB)


The phrase “grew strong” is one Greek word, endunamoo, which means “to make strong, vigorous, to strengthen.”(1) It is easy to see the root Greek word dunamis, well known in Christian circles as the Greek word for power - “You shall receive power (dunamis) after the Holy Ghost comes upon you,” (Acts 1:8 KJV). Abraham’s faith was strengthened - grew in power - as he considered God’s promise.


Paul commended the Thessalonians for the way in which their faith grew.


“We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters, as is only fitting, because your faith is increasing abundantly, and the love of each and every one of you toward one another grows ever greater.”

(2 Thessalonians 1:3 NASB)


The phrase “increasing abundantly” is huperauxano, which means “to increase above ordinary degree.”(2) Abraham, Sarah and the Thessalonians would not have been commended for the growth of their faith if it had simply been a gift of God. He did not determine the level of their faith - they did. We work the process that increases faith. (I will teach on this in the near future.)


My point in laboring this is to say God wants to take us from faith to faith.


In my journey with the Lord over the years, His assignments have increased in scope and difficulty. My faith, however, has also increased. I recall early in my Christian journey feeling a bit overwhelmed when helping individuals who were walking through trying situations. I learned many valuable lessons during those times, however, and as my knowledge and faith grew, God increased the scope of my assignments to groups of people - families, staff, Bible school classes, a church, etc.


However, the weight and challenge of the assignments shifted again in my life when God began focusing me on nations. I had to move to an entirely new level of faith. It is one thing to pray for a person or small group of people; it is another thing entirely to be assigned a nation. It is one thing to deal with a demon; it is another thing to confront a principality.


The United States is obviously embedded in my heart now. Though I still feel some intimidation at times, I also know God wouldn’t have given me the assignment had He not adequately prepared me - from faith to faith.


Several years ago, I found myself at a strategy meeting for the nation with several national leaders in the body of Christ. During the meeting, Holy Spirit spoke very clearly to my heart, “Don’t say anything; it is not your time.” Though I felt insecure and embarrassed about my limited participation, I did sit quietly, saying very little. It was difficult, but very important. Had I not heeded His instruction, only God knows the damage I could have done and the messes I might have created with wrong input. Also, I had not yet developed enough humility to have handled a national voice. It would have produced pride in me.


A few years later, while ministering in a national conference, I heard that same small voice speak clearly, “Be bold, son, this is your hour.” I spoke with great anointing and power - His, not mine - and moved into another level of ministry. It was a divine shift.


I’m sure you have your own stories of how God has challenged your faith to grow. It’s important that we learn from these lessons, and see our faith progress and strengthen. God gives us opportunities to advance and fortify our faith, but it’s up to us to work the process that increases our faith.

God is changing the time and season in America, giving us a kairos (opportune) time. In order for us to take advantage of this opportunity and see it result in a fullness of time (pleroo), we will need increased revelation (as we spoke of yesterday) and an increased level of faith. This is why I say some things over and over on these posts, because saying what God says increases and releases our faith. (Romans 10:9,17) This is actually the meaning of the biblical word for confession; homologeo means “to agree with and say the same thing.”(3)

One of the statements I repeat is, “America shall be saved.” I also declare over and over that a great awakening, which will produce a great harvest, has begun.

God has spoken these two things over and over through His prophets. We must declare them until they have produced a new and unshakable level of faith in us. This will enable us to cooperate with Him and lay hold of what He has promised

Pray with me:

Father, we are grateful to see many in the body of Christ going to a new level of faith. They believe in Your promises. They believe You are a building an Ekklesia the gates of hell cannot overcome or overpower. They believe You are building a glorious Ekklesia. They believe You have given us the keys of Your kingdom, that we can bind and loose, forbid and allow for You on the earth.

We are growing in this faith - going from faith to faith. We are also growing in revelation, enabling us to discern what needs to occur and the timing of Your plans. And as we stake our claim to this truth, we are determined to say what You say. You have said America shall be saved. You have said revival is here and coming. We agree with You. We will not agree with the media. We won’t agree with dictatorships. We will not agree with lying governments. We will honor no contrary circumstances.

And we pray the prayer that Christ taught us to pray: Deliver us from evil. Do not let our enemies triumph over us. Give us victory, give us breakthrough. We ask this in faith and believe it will be done. We ask and declare this in Christ’s all-powerful name. Amen.

Our decree:

We decree that our faith in Christ and His plan is strong and will bring forth life in the earth.

Portions of today’s post were taken from my book God’s Timing for Your Life.


Click on the link below to watch the full video.


____________________________

  1. Spiros Zodiahiates, The Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible, New American Standard, rev. ed. Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2008. p. 2162.

  2. Ibid, p. 2298.

  3. Ibid, p. 2234.

Don’t Waste the Trials - Keep Moving Forward


While vacationing in the Smoky Mountains years ago, I demonstrated a divine shift. Ceci and I were enjoying the serenity and majesty of a mountain stream. As young, carefree people will sometimes do, we began to hop from rock to rock, crossing the stream at various places.


Hand-holding, laughter, pictures flashing - it was exhilarating! Until...no, I didn’t fall into the stream, but I did fall. Playing the macho role, taking the more difficult routes brought me to a span of about three feet between two large rocks. It was either leap from one to the other or use the perfectly situated stump wedged between them.


As fate would have it, I chose the stump, which as it turned out was NOT perfectly wedged. It only looked perfectly wedged, made to look that way by demons assigned to harass macho husbands. When my weight descended on it, it began to rock violently back and forth. Not to be outsmarted by a stump, I seized the moment to do my rendition of the funky chicken. For those of you unfamiliar with this dance from the 70s, picture a chicken with its head recently removed.


As gravity was taking its final toll, I spun perfectly, catching myself on the two boulders, one hand on each. Staring into this no longer peaceful stream that was now six inches from my nose, and listening to my shrieking wife, I was trying to decide how to continue to look macho, while at the same time favoring my now sprained right shoulder. One quick push-up with my muscular body, a twisting spring upward, and I was on one of the rocks, looking young and fit - all without taking a dip. My shift from rock to rock and overall performance was divine.


I said something about strength and agility while Ceci mumbled something about “acting your age” and “a spastic, decapitated chicken.”


How we handle transitions and cross over obstacles is important.


Let’s continue our discussion of God changing the times and seasons, creating divine shifts. There are four verses in Scripture highlighting seasonal changes that have always been meaningful to me. They are transition verses, mentioning our journey from one level of maturity to another. Let’s glean from them. (I’ll be covering all four of these in the next few days of posts.)


God’s Wisdom Brightens Our Way

Proverbs 4:18 says we go from brighter to brighter paths:


The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, that shines brighter

and brighter until the full day.


In Scripture, light often represents revelation. One of the synonyms for revelation is enlightenment, which actually comes from the Greek word phos - light. Ephesians 1:17-18 mentions both words. Enlightenment literally means to let in light. God wants to shine His light of revelation on our paths so we can enjoy more and more success in our representation of Him and in our personal endeavors.


Part of the divine shifting of times and seasons involves Holy Spirit changing us. We must change before we can be His “change agents.” The church plays a role in all God does on earth. To facilitate this, Holy Spirit moves us from revelation to revelation - understanding to understanding - as He transitions us from assignment to assignment. Yesterday’s revelation isn’t sufficient for today’s task. New levels of fruitfulness require new levels of knowledge and insight. We must have fresh bread - transition bread.


Not only must we have increasing enlightenment concerning God’s Word and ways, but we also need His light to “direct our paths” (see Proverbs 3:6 KJV). We face countless decisions on our journey, many of which will determine whether or not we continue to move forward. If we do not hear Holy Spirit’s leading, we will miss the path He has chosen for us and suffer setbacks. Kairos opportunities can be missed if the light of God’s revelation is not consistently shining on our path.


Joshua and the Israelites suffered two serious setbacks in their campaign to take Canaan, one at the town of Ai and one with the Gibeonite people (see Joshua 7 and 9). Both setbacks were due to their failure to receive direction from God.


Often the insight - light - we receive in current situations is actually meant to help us in the future stages for which God is preparing us. David learned this on his path to the throne of Israel. His declaration before facing Goliath - which certainly marked a divine shift from chronos to kairos in his life - was that the God who delivered him from the lion and bear would also deliver him from the giant (see 1 Samuel 17:37-37).


Many times when we find ourselves isolated, seemingly in a mundane, hidden place (chronos) - as David was when he tended sheep - God is training us for a future stage of victory and leadership. Though no one saw David kill the lion and the bear, the entire army of Israel saw him kill Goliath. Because the future is unknown to us, we frequently find ourselves asking, What is the purpose of this trial or battle? Why am I facing this distraction? Why am I being allowed to face this obstacle? What is the purpose of this lesson?


The answers may not be known for years, but be assured that God isn’t wasting this season. The light of revelation that comes to you during this chronos time will be needed when you move further into your destiny. In His grace and wisdom, Holy Spirit moves us progressively, sometimes slowly, toward fullness. At the right time, your shift will occur. Learn the lessons well. Remember, life’s phases are connected, yesterday feeds today.


Joseph did not realize the light of revelation he was gleaning in prison was to prepare him for ruling Egypt and saving the nation of Israel. Paul did not realize the revelation he was receiving in the 12-14 years between his incredible conversion and release into apostolic ministry would one day enable him to write much of the New Testament.


And finally, please realize that light begets light. The revelation you receive today will not only shift you into more fruitfulness, but will also position you to receive more revelation. Just as learning the alphabet in school positioned you for learning to write, and learning your numbers positioned you to learn arithmetic, today’s spiritual lessons are preparing you for tomorrow’s revelation and assignments.


So keep shifting, continue moving forward. Do not despise the mundane chronos season, it is preparing you for kairos. And in the chronos season America has been in, God has been preparing us for kairos and fullness. Every lie our government tells the American people will strengthen their desire for a new government. Everything the left does to harm America creates greater desperation in people, which will open their hearts to the gospel. All of the foolish ways and crazy new ideas they promote demonstrates their socialism and will ultimately push people back to their roots. America will have a fullness of time revival and WILL BE SAVED.


Pray with me:


Father, Your promise to us is that we will go from light to light, revelation to revelation. We should be expecting fresh insight from You on a regular basis to order our steps and empower us for service. We release our faith now, asking for wisdom and revelation to increase.


And we pray that this will include revelation to many believers regarding how to participate with You in the great harvest. Also, we ask for revelation regarding reforming the seven mountains of society: family, religion, government, business, education, arts and entertainment, and media.


We ask for creativity, brilliant ideas, money to pay for the plans, and discernment regarding the timing. Position Your people to seize the opportunity. Lord, make us ready. And bring the divine shift.


In Christ’s name, amen.


Our decree:


We decree that we, the church are moving into a higher level of preparation and revelation.



Portions of today’s post were taken from my book God’s Timing for Your Life.


Click on the link below to watch the full video.


Consequences


My name is Ceci Sheets and today I have the pleasure of spending some time with you. Some have asked what I do for DSM. I manage the day-to-day operations for the ministry, getting to work with our awesome staff, and help Dutch with the daily Give Him 15s.


I’m not a teacher. My gifts are more on a practical level. Give me numbers, spreadsheets, charts, and challenging grammar. But as we know, it takes all of our gifts to get the job done. We have different parts to play and thank God, we are not all the same. So instead of a teaching, today I’m going to be sharing with you from my heart.


Dutch and I met at Bible college (Christ For the Nations Institute) in Dallas Texas. He was from small town Ohio and I was from even smaller town Mississippi. He grew up in a ministry family during his younger years. I grew up on a working farm where your value in life was basically dictated by how hard you could work. When I brought Dutch home to meet my family, Daddy needed some questions answered, so he took Dutch to the barn. Not being prepared for this unscheduled meeting, we had to find Dutch some old work clothes and he curled his size 10 toes into Daddy’s size 9 boots. Off to the barn they went. I impatiently waited for them to return to the house, wondering just what Daddy had in mind.


A few hours later I watched as both of them came walking through the pasture right before supper time. They were smiling - both of them - so I knew Dutch had passed Daddy’s test. However, as they neared, I had an idea of what test Daddy had given Dutch, as I could smell him before he got close to the house. From about 20 feet away, I hosed him down, watching brown water run between the gravel rocks on the ground. Dutch was still smiling and Daddy was too, and that’s all that mattered to me. It was important that we had Mom and Dad’s approval, no matter what tests were given, and Dutch had just passed the I can work hard to win her hand test. Here’s the story...


My Daddy was the oldest of 11 children, mom one of 5. Their parents had taught them to work hard - it was just the way life was. On our farm, Daddy raised cows, chickens, and beagle dogs. On this particular day, he had saved the job of vaccinating 40 baby calves for Dutch’s visit. If you’ve never had the pleasure of walking through a barn while this process was taking place, I’ll paint a little word picture for you. Daddy had syringes filled with whatever vaccination the calves needed at their young age, ready and waiting to be used. He also applied another process or two (which we won’t go in to). However, Daddy stood on the outside of the barn fence while Dutch got inside the small pen with the young calves. His job was to single them out, one at a time, and drive him into the “shoot” so Daddy could lean over the rail and administer the vaccination process. Then the calf would be allowed to exit the barn, running to mama and telling her what had just happened. But baby calves get a little excited when they are scared and...well, you can now imagine what the brown water was that I hosed off Dutch. Times 40. However, he felt my dad’s testing process was well worth the reward.


Sometimes we have to be reminded that the reward is worth the consequences. Whatever means the most to us in life is worth fighting for - whether it’s a habit you’re trying to break, an addiction you’re overcoming, making healthy choices for your daily life, a spiritual fight for a family member, or perhaps - peace of mind. Many times we have to be reminded that choices have consequences - both positive and negative. Even though we might become weary, the fight is worth it. Good consequences bring the reward, negative consequences bring negative compensation. Let’s take a look the book of James and see what it says, reading from The Passion Translation:


“My fellow believers, when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties, see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can! For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up in you the power of endurance. And then as your endurance grows even stronger, it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking.

“And if anyone longs to be wise, ask God for wisdom and He will give it! He won’t see your lack of wisdom as an opportunity to scold you over your failures but he will overwhelm your failures with His generous grace. Just make sure you ask empowered by confident faith without doubting that you will receive. For the ambivalent person believes one minute and doubts the next. Being undecided makes you become like the rough seas driven and tossed by the wind. You’re up one minute and tossed down the next. When you are half-hearted and wavering, it leaves you unstable. Can you really expect to receive anything from the Lord when you’re in that condition?

“So don’t just listen to the Word of Truth and not respond to it, for that is the essence of self-deception. Always let His Word become like poetry written and fulfilled by your life!” (James 1:2-8, 22 TPT)


So today, I offer you a challenge - whatever you are fighting for, lay it at His feet and remember, He is on your team. Don’t allow yourself to become complacent or give in as day-to-day life presses in around you. Remind yourself that life can be better, as we make Jesus our partner in the situation. Lean on Him and His Word, and allow Holy Spirit to bring the reward.


“For He alone is my safe place. His wraparound presence always protects me as my champion defender. There’s no risk of failure with God! So why would I let worry paralyze me, even when troubles multiply around me? God’s glory is all around me! His wraparound presence is all I need, for the Lord is my Savior, my hero, and my life-giving strength.” (Psalm 62:6-7 TPT)


Pray with me:

Jesus, we thank you for life’s lessons. We can learn a lot through books, but wisdom only comes through experience. Today we are grateful that we do not have to go through life alone, but Holy Spirit is with us, offering us help and comfort.

I pray for my friends today, Lord. Together we bring our situations to you and lay them at your feet. Whether they are small or large to others, they are big to us and we need Your help. Holy Spirit, come and brood over the loved ones who have walked away from You - send those who will share Your love with them. That one who needs a financial miracle, we agree that You will make a way. And we pray for those who need a miracle in their health. Jesus, we ask that You touch each one - allow Your healing virtue to flow into them, driving out all disease and weakness.

Holy Spirit, today, we offer ourselves to You once again, clean and fresh.

And Lord, we would be remiss if we didn’t lift our nation to You. We ask for Your mercy. Cause the light of Your truth to shine and uncover what is hidden in darkness. You hold our times and seasons in Your hands. We ask that this be America’s time for awakening.

In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

Our decree:

We declare that today, anew and afresh, we place our hope and trust in You.


Click on the link below to watch the full video.