Psalm 85:6-9 (NKJV)
Will You not revive us again that Your People may rejoice in You? Show us Your Mercy, LORD, and grant us Your Salvation. I will hear what God the LORD will speak, for He will speak peace to His People and to His Saints; but let them not turn back to folly. Surely His Salvation is near to those who fear Him that glory may dwell in our land.
It is time for God’s People to start taking God for granted again. Before you draw back and become offended, please hear me out. When my eyes opened this morning, I was relieved to find that the heaviness of my heart from the day before had melted away and again I could sense the Presence of the Lord around me. His Mercy was new this morning just as He promised. (Lamentations 3:23) By choosing to live in covenant with the Lord, I have been granted certain things that will come to me each day whether I ask for them or not. One of those things is His Mercy. Yesterday was a horrendous day. My heart was heavy. My patience lacking. My endurance fading. Aggravation over our present situation plagued me looking for a way into my heart. I needed the Lord to revive my weary soul. I wanted to rejoice once again. God gave me new mercy this morning and I am able to see the outline of all that He has granted me as a direct result of my salvation. This does not mean that they are here yet, but I know that they are guaranteed to come if I continue to strive to live in agreement with the Lord which is all that righteousness really is. Righteousness is not a way that you live but rather the place that you live. It is to live positioned as close to the Lord as possible removing every obstacle that might come between you keeping open access between God the Father and you, His Precious Child. So you see that when we lived in full repentance committed to our salvation covenant then we will experience the Glory of God in our land. I need God’s Glory to come and help us through our current situation. I am desperate for Him to resolve the matter at hand. I desire God’s Presence and Power to turn our situation around. This is the promise and guarantee of our covenant with the Lord! We must learn to take Him for granted again!
What is a grant? Grant means consent, perform and fulfill which is exactly what we want God to do but many times do not expect Him to do. It means to permit favor and indulgence. Okay, we are good with that, too. Who doesn’t want God’s Favor and Indulgence in their life? Seriously. To grant is to acknowledge validity of. It is to believe. To grant means to transfer or convey. We have many things that we ask God to grant us every single day, but do we believe that as a result of our covenant that He will do it is the question? To take for granted means to accept or assume without question. It also means to fail to appreciate the value or merit of a person and yes, even God. God wants His People to accept or assume without question that He will grant us the desires of our heart if we live in agreement with Him. Seldom do we do that choosing the alternative explanation of “taking for granted” by failing to appreciate the value of all that He has promised enough to secure it in our life. To take God for granted as He should we to believe that in every situation He is working out every detail of our life for good, perfecting all that concerns us and positioning us to overcome every obstacle the enemy has laid before us. By taking God for granted this way, we show that we believe beyond what we see or the details of our current situation. I need to take God for granted again!
Deuteronomy 28:9-14 (NKJV)
“The LORD will establish you as a holy people to Himself, just as He has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the LORD your God and walk in His ways. Then all peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they shall be afraid of you. And the LORD will grant you plenty of goods, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your ground, in the land of which the LORD swore to your fathers to give you. The LORD will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. And the LORD will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them. So you shall not turn aside from any of the words which I command you this day, to the right or the left, to go after other gods to serve them.
The original word “grant” means what is agreed to. It refers to a promise or guarantee. It is the confirmation or authorization of what is agreed to. It also means to believe or trust. We ask God for things every single day but unless we become familiar with the provisions of our agreement with God including what He promises and guarantees there is a possibility that we will become frustrated in the process of prosperity. The agreement is outlined in verse 9 of Deuteronomy 28 “the Lord will establish you as a Holy People to Himself” and you will keep His Commandments and walk in His Ways. In a nutshell, we are to live in agreement with God as residents of His Kingdom. Stop right there. This is the primary reason that God’s People are living frustrated and defeated lives today. Grace did not stamp the word “exempt” over this commandment or any other one written in God’s Word and spoken to His People. Despite our inability to serve Him completely, God allows us by His Grace and Mercy to experience all the benefits of verses 10-13 despite our inability to live fully committed, sinless lives. Grace is the provision that exempts us from death and is not an excuse to live in disobedience. Through repentance we are granted salvation by the Grace and Mercy of God to once again step into righteousness which was eliminated with our first sin allowing us to take God for granted even in our weakness. God has granted you many blessings. He is waiting only for you to accept the Gift of Righteousness found in repentance and turn back to Him. By doing so, all those promises are now guarantees in your life. You can live what you believe and expect the Lord to do great things. Life in agreement with God grants us promises and privileges. Do you know what they are? His Word shows us in great detail what God wants to do in us and through us. We must believe that He has granted these things in our life enough to trust Him with our life.
I Chronicles 4:9-10 (NKJV)
Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.” And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested.
I have given birth to five children. Every single one of them came into this world as the result of excruciating pain. Three out of the five were born without any medicine or pain relief. I share this to admit that although I know there was discomfort and gut-wrenching pain associated with their arrivals, I cannot remember it. I know it hurt but God has erased the memory of it as a direct result of my great love for them. Jabez was not so lucky. His mother memorialized her great pain by naming him after it. Poor guy! Whenever I meet him again in the Word, I feel compassion for him. Imagine every time your name is called it reminding someone of pain, discomfort, weariness or stress. Ouch! But despite his humble and hard beginnings, Jabez was an honorable man. He did not let his title or what the world thought of him define his feelings and affection for the Lord. He asked the Lord to bless him. He asked the Lord to enlarge his territory. He wanted the Hand of God to guide His life keeping the man from evil or every causing anyone pain again! Jabez wanted to live in agreement with God and by doing so God granted Him exactly what He requested. If we could all learn to not allow the circumstances of our birth, childhood, upbringing, hardships, trials and circumstances to affect how we feel about God. To live committed to remaining in agreement with God by living an honorable life will indeed grant the desires of our heart because we are His Children. God loves us. Jesus covered our sin with His Blood so all God sees is love when He sees us. Those who will accept this gift and live in agreement will be granted their heart’s desire no matter what has brought us to this place of unearned and undeserved privilege which is the righteousness that we know have.
I Chronicles 21:21-25 (NKJV)
So David came to Ornan, and Ornan looked and saw David. And he went out from the threshing floor, and bowed before David with his face to the ground. Then David said to Ornan, “Grant me the place of this threshing floor, that I may build an altar on it to the LORD. You shall grant it to me at the full price, that the plague may be withdrawn from the people.” But Ornan said to David, “Take it to yourself, and let my lord the king do what is good in his eyes. Look, I also give you the oxen for burnt offerings, the threshing implements for wood, and the wheat for the grain offering; I give it all.” Then King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will surely buy it for the full price, for I will not take what is yours for the LORD, nor offer burnt offerings with that which costs me nothing.” So David gave Ornan six hundred shekels of gold by weight for the place.
David wanted to make a sacrifice to the Lord. When the king approached Ornan asking to be “granted” the threshing floor to build an altar to the Lord, the man offered it to David for free. David refused his offer insisting to pay for it in full. He said, “I will not take what is yours for the Lord nor offer burnt offerings with that which costs me nothing.” There are a whole lot of Christians out there today claiming sacrifices and offerings that they paid nothing for. We promise to bless the Lord when He grants us this or that. Friend, this is not how life in agreement with God works. This is not the provision of our covenant with Him. Just because God has promised to grant us something does not mean that it does not come with a price. We are called to be living sacrifices. (Romans 12:1-2) We give our life to the Lord and He grants us promises, guarantees, confirmation and authority. If you are waiting for the Lord to give you something to give back to Him, you are about to be disappointed. Faith is putting our trust in God and living what we believe in confident hope which means there will be a whole lot of things that we do not see yet live as though they are a reality. It means giving when you don’t think you have anything left to give. It means digging deeper in the foundation of faith when all hope seems lost. There will be a sacrifice and cost to your salvation – the price you pay is “self”! The price has nothing to do with money unless money is your vice. In which case, it may require all your finances to sell out to the Lord. Is that okay with you? Will you do without to have more of God!
We had an unexpected car repair recently that strapped our budget for the month. I literally drove the front tire right off my truck. Thankfully the Lord provided what we needed to fix the car and get it back on the road immediately. So I have adjusted the budget including our grocery budget to allow for the expense. Each week I carefully make a list of the things we need for the coming week and on Friday I do the shopping. As I walked through the grocery store, there were some things that I wanted to buy but did not trying to carefully adhere to the budget. Walking to the car surveying the buggy, it seemed much slimmer than the usual haul. As the night went on I didn’t think much about it slipping into the usual routine, cooking dinner, washing some clothes and even finding time to be with the Lord after the horrendous day that left me feeling so empty. God granted me a peaceful rest last night just from spending a little time with Him. He is so good. When morning arrived, the dog greeted me with his usual enthusiasm at the thought of his next meal. Opening the pantry, I was struck by how full it is. Overflowing with everything we need and more showing no evidence of the budget or lack I loathed the day before. I share this to say that we always have something to give to the Lord and He always gives us so much more than we think or ask. Sometimes, it just takes a realignment with the Lord to see all that He is doing rather than all that we think He is not doing.
Psalm 119:25-32 (NKJV)
My soul clings to the dust; revive me according to Your Word. I have declared my ways, and You answered me; teach me Your Statutes. Make me understand the way of Your Precepts; so shall I meditate on Your Wonderful Works. My soul melts from heaviness; strengthen me according to Your Word. Remove from me the way of lying and grant me Your Law graciously. I have chosen the way of truth; Your Judgments I have laid before me. I cling to Your Testimonies; O LORD, do not put me to shame! I will run the course of Your Commandments for You shall enlarge my heart.
Does your soul cling to the dust? The things of this world are all dust to be destroyed when it comes crashing to an end. Money will be worthless. Gold and silver will melt away. The only thing of any worth is that which is eternal. Your soul is eternal. It is the one thing that can successfully transfer from death to life. The Word of God is the only thing that can revive you. Remember Jesus Christ is described as the Word wrapped in human flesh. If we are to live in agreement with God and have everything that His Covenant grants to us, we must learn to live the way that His Word instructs us to. Such agreement grants us eternal life AND all the many blessings and promises directly associated with our salvation. We take God for granted by living what we believe by faith knowing with all confidence in our hope that He will do more than we expect, think or ask of Him. You do not have this right if you continue to live in opposition with God by embracing the sin and darkness of this world. Zacharias prophesied over his son, John who would be known as John the Baptist that he would be a way maker preparing the way for the Lord and we have the same declaration over our life as we prepare the world for His Return. (Luke 1:67-80) Does your life point to a soon and coming king? We are to share the Gospel. Does your life reflect a soul set free or do you live in constant bondage to sin? We are to tell others of God’s Mercy and Grace showing them His Love without measure. Are you loving others as the Word of God reflects or plowing the field looking for His Treasure that you think looks like something from this world? John the Baptist grew up in the desert. Just because you are in the midst of a season of drought, famine or darkness, you still are called of God to live in complete agreement with Him looking forward to the prosperity of a heart fixed on Him. God is looking to enlarge the territory of our heart and grant us the treasure of His Great Love. He can do so when we believe. (John 6:64-66) Unbelief separates us from agreement with the Lord and causes us to walk out of His Blessings. The only thing that truly reflects such blessing, promise, confirmation and authority is Jesus Christ.
Romans 4:13-15 (NKJV)
For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.
I can do nothing to produce God’s Blessing and Promise in my life. I can only position myself to receive it by stepping into righteousness by faith and trusting in the Grace of God and forcing myself to remain there even when all hope seems lost. The law (or religion) can do nothing for me. A relationship with Jesus Christ is the only way to have all that He has promised.
Romans 15:4-6 (NKJV)
For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We become like-minded with Christ when we live in unison with the Word of God. His Word will produce unity in the Body of Christ. Where there is no unity there is no Word. The Word of God unites us in faith. He gives us the comfort and patience that we need to deal with people, strive through our situations and receive all that is promised by faith firmly invested in righteousness.
2 Corinthians 1:8-11 (NKJV)
For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life. Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us, you also helping together in prayer for us, that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the gift granted to us through many.
Life in agreement with God does not mean that we will not suffer. In fact, many times it is through hardship that genuine faith is born. Salvation does not exempt us from suffering but promises deliverance from death. Hope is nothing we can see or attain by ourselves. Therefore, to find hope often means being stretched beyond our natural means. For example, I used to think more money would fix most of our problems. That is until we became familiar with the word “cancer”, a half a million dollars has not kept this disease from continuing to attack our son. However, the Power of God has delivered him, sustained him and healed him all four times. The doctors marvel at his rate of recovery because it does not align with their experience. This is what it means to live in agreement with God. The moment when nothing in this world will do and all our faith, trust and hope depends on God!
Ephesians 3:14-19 (NKJV)
For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
I do not need more money. I do not need more time. I do not need more anything. I need more of Jesus Christ. I need more of His Word. I want the fullness of God to enlarge my heart so that I will always take for granted that He is working on my behalf. I must learn to take for granted that God is providing every promise. I must take for granted that my soul is guaranteed a place in His Presence. I must take for granted that my hope is confirmed. I must take for granted that His Authority and Power are working for me. I must believe. I must trust the Lord and live what I believe. This is what I am granted by the Power of His Love. This belongs to me. If I will only believe…
Ephesians 3:20-21 (NKJV)
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Revelation 3:20-22 (NKJV)
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My Voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My Throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”