“God’s recipe for success”
God is and has always been a faith God. He moves by faith, and He always does everything by faith, through faith, and in faith.
“By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command (by the spoken word of God, Jesus), so that things that are SEEN were not made of things that do appear( that are visible, but things that are invisible).” Hebrews 11:2.
God always lives His faith. When God made the universe He spoke the Word, and all that is now seen was created by the Word, with unseen material, the things we now call “atoms”.
Not only is He the faith God who lives His faith, but you, as His son, are expected to do the same. You are to live by faith, and through faith, and walk in faith at all times, every moment of every day.
“The just (that’s us) shall live by faith.” Romans 1:17.
God wants us to receive His very best, and the only way we can is by faith.
He wants us to experience victory in the face of defeat. The only way we can is through faith.
He wants us to know Him as He knows us, intimately and joyously, like a child knows a Father. The only way to do this is in faith.
So, does He expect us to just jump up and become over-night faith giants simply because He tells us too? No, that would be both unfair and unloving, and our Father God, is not unfair, He is fair. He’s not unloving, but loving, loving us more completely than any earthly parent could ever love their children.
He tells us to “walk by faith not by sight”, yet He is the only parent who gives His kids an instruction book, so we can even see His words, His instructions, with our physical eyes.
The entire Bible is our instruction book, but the writings of the Apostles are special letters to you personally and to me personally. They are the teachings of Jesus, the promises of Jesus, and the directions we need in order to live successfully in an increasingly evil world.
By these teachings the Apostles turned the world upside down, and by following these same teachings, you and I can turn our world upside down, and not only ours, but the worlds of others as well.
If we bake a cake, we go by a recipe. It may be the best recipe ever devised, but if we miss out an ingredient, that cake will fall flat. If this happens, do we then turn and blame the recipe? Or do we blame ourselves, saying “Silly me! I left out the sugar. No wonder it’s so disgusting.”
It’s the same with receiving God’s best, all that Jesus died to give us. He has given us His recipe book because He’s on our side, and He wants us to succeed. These recipes are so personal that He wants you to claim them as your own, to place your name in front of them, to make them personally your own-- to say, “This is mine. I claim it.” And to keep saying it.
Each thing has a recipe. God never tells us, “Now, go and live by faith every moment”, and then give us a blank recipe card, or one written in Swahili when we only speak English, leaving us asking, “How do we bake a faith-cake, Lord? What do we do? Where do we start? What does faith look like and how do we get it?” What kind of a recipe would that be?
If we tried to bake a cake from an empty card, or from one written in Swahili what would happen? Absolutely nothing. Our lives and the lives of others would remain empty.
But, this is not God’s will. So not only has He given us a recipe for our faith-cake, but it is so simple a child could make it. And this is why most of us have missed out baking this most delicious cake.
God’s recipe is so simple, and the ingredients so few, that many of us try to figure it out rather than do it. We have pondered, “There’s got to be something more to this faith-cake. What God instructs is too simple. There’s got to be more to it than that.”
We make the simple hard, and we fall flat on our faces every time.
Our minds do this, not our hearts (our spirits). Our thoughts will trip us every time we choose them over God’s way. I’ll give you an example from my own life. I’m reminded of the first recipe that He gave me. It was His original recipe for a main dish.
Ever since He transformed my life in October 2012, I have had Him before me each and every minute, and I have talked with Him as I’d talk to my best friend. I wasn’t able to do much cooking before that time, and not for years, so I wasn’t very good at cooking anymore. Not only did I still cook like an American after 19 years in England, but I was very heavy-handed with spices. Partly, I think, because while the demons were in my mind and body, my taste buds and sense of smell were so dull.
On that cold winter’s afternoon, I decided to throw together a beef stew. Standing at the stove with the Lord, I paused in my chattering to wonder what spices to put in the stew.
In answer to my thoughts, the Lord spoke up. He said, “Try majoram**.” I said, “Okay Lord.”
I looked through the row of spices at the side of the stove. I found a bottle with majoram marked plainly on it’s lid. But when I picked it up, I realised it was empty. I thought,”Hmmm, I’ll go to the spice shelf in the cupboard.” I had no doubt that I had majoram because the Lord had told me to use it.
I thought I’d just go there, quickly grab the majoram, and that would be that. Wrong. I came up empty-handed. I said to the Lord Jesus, “Lord, that’s strange. I must be out of majoram.You said majoram, but I can’t seem to find any majoram.”
The Lord remained silent, and my heart was troubled.
Puzzled, I walked back to the stew, but I didn’t put in any other spices, because the Lord is never wrong.
My head said, “No majoram, you’re out of majoram,” but my heart was saying, “There must be majoram. God is never, ever wrong. God’s Word is truth.”
Yes, I’d heard Him say majoram, but I was tempted not to believe His words and to turn and grab another spice.
It seemed right, it looked right, it even felt right, but I still could not do it.
My heart said no. My heart wouldn’t let me do it.
In every situation, we are given a choice: We go with God, or go with satan. We move with our feelings or what we see, or we look beyond them.
The Lord allowed me to make my choice, and to then briefly endure.
After a few moments, I said, “I’ll look once more at the spices here on the side. After all you DID say majoram, so it must be here some where.”
So,I took a closer look than before. I bent down and I considered each bottle. That’s what the word “consider" means--bend down and take a closer look. Look deep into the matter.
I did look deep, I bent down for the closer look.
When I did look more closely at the row of spices, examining each bottle, one by one, I noticed something I had failed to notice before. I picked up the bottle with the majoram lid, and my attention shifted from the huge MAJORAM on the lid to the writing on the label on the bottle itself.
DILLWEED, it read. Dillweed? The empty bottle was dillweed?
I was sure it was majoram. The lid said majoram. Then, it hit me, “If this empty bottle was dillweed, then the lid that reads dillweed must be on the bottle of majoram. I located it and picked it up in my hand. The bottle label read MAJORAM.
Bingo! There it was, and there it had been all the time right in plain sight, and within easy reach.
Same with our faith. It’s been there all the time. It’s easy, simple, not hard. Just follow the recipe.
The Lord spoke again, “Not too much,” He said. He was well-aware of my heavy hand. He also knew that Chris, like most Brits, loves simple plain dishes, not heavily spiced ones.
I went easy with the majoram like the Father advised. But, the Father, who is the best chef in the Universe, having created all good recipes, still had His secret ingredient to reveal.
“Now some cayenne.”
“ But just a pinch!”, He added.
I thought, “How unusual! I’d never have thought of that.”
But, I followed His exact recipe. I did as He said,adding just a pinch.
As we know,all cooks taste, and when I did, I was amazed. It was the best Beef stew I’d ever tasted.
I praised and praised the Lord. Not only that, but it was such a hit with Christopher that He raved about it. And what’s more, Chris, who never eats leftovers, had it the next day. In fact, none went to waste.
I call the recipe, “God’s Beef Stew”, cause He created it.
Only salt and pepper, and just two spices. Does it sound too simple? To the mind, yes; to the heart, no.
Same with the faith-cake. Too simple for our minds? Yes. Because faith is born in the spirit, and is produced in the spirit.
Here is God’s recipe for the faith-cake:
“Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” Romans 11:17.
Faith comes by hearing, and hearing and hearing and hearing and hearing the Word of God, over and over and over and over again.
And which voice is the voice we hear the best of all? Our own voice.
This brings us to the third ingredient:
3. Confess, or SAY the Word of God out loud.
“And Jesus said unto them, Have faith in God [Have the same faith as God]. And most assuredly, if you SAY unto this mountain, be thou removed and be thou cast into the sea, and you do not doubt in your heart, but [you] believe that whatever you SAY shall come to pass, you shall HAVE whatever you SAY.” Mark 11:22-23.
Read those words again and again. Say them out loud again and again. Confessing is like double cream. We don’t just stir it around a few times and expect it to end up nice and fluffy, we beat it well along with the sugar. Only then does it reach the whipped stage.
Read the Word of God again and again. Say them out loud again and again. Hear them, hear them, hear them.
We work God’s word deep down into our spirits so that it can then rise up and produce the faith we need.
We hear it, we say it.
Every cake we bake requires fresh ingredients, not old stuff.
Same with our faith-cake. We go from faith to faith to faith the Word tells us, but always like sour dough starter we add fresh Word to it, like we add fresh flour to the starter.
Same thing with the faith, and the Word. The faith is not different but the examples will be as we walk in faith all the time. Same Word,too, as with the added flour, but we don’t let the Word go stale inside us. We confess, we say it fresh each day, allowing our spirits to hear it fresh each day.
As we confess or say the Word, we increase the measure of faith God has already placed inside our hearts at the time we were born again.
Mix the hearing with the saying.
SAY it, HEAR it.
Now add the fourth ingredient,
“As it has been WRITTEN, I have appointed [made] you [Abraham] to be the father of many nations, before Him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead (makes alive) and calls the thing not being [the unseen, the invisible] as being [seen, visible]; who beyond hope on hope believed, so that he should become the father of many nations, as it was SPOKEN [according to the thing having been said] so shall thy seed be: and not weakening in faith, he considered not his body now dead, for he was about an hundred years old, nor the deadness of Sarah’s womb; he did not decide (choose) against [the promise of God] by unbelief, but was empowered by faith, giving glory to God, being fully persuaded [in his heart] that what He (God) had promised He is able also to do it.” Romans 4:17-21.
4. BELIEVE; trust God.
In the same way Abraham trusted, we trust. Abraham was not as fortunate as we are, yet He believed God the same way we can, the same we are instructed to do.
How are we more fortunate? Abraham lived before the Bible was written. He only had a conversation with God every so often to go on. Yet, as we see, even though what God said to Him looked crazy, sounded crazy and felt crazy, He refused to believe what he saw, heard and felt with his senses.
Abraham chose to keep His eyes on God. Constantly and consistently, each time he was tempted to doubt that God could bring a living baby out of his physically dead body and into Sarah’s womb, which also was dead, and always had been, he made a DECISION, he chose not to consider the things his senses told him were true.
God had changed his name and Sarah’s name. Abraham’s name was changed from Abram to Abraham or “the father of many nations.” Sarai became Sarah “the mother of many nations.”
God did this on purpose and for this reason: changing their names kept their eyes on the promise He had spoken, and caused them to HEAR and SAY His promise themselves over and over again.
Each time Abraham heard his name, he heard “the father of many nations”. When he heard Sarah’s name, he heard, “the mother of many nations.” When he was asked “What’s your name?” He would reply, “I am the father of many nations.”
He HEARD the Word. He personalised it, just as God wants us each to do. He made it his own. He SAID the Word, again and again and again.
We have the Word right before us now, and we can do the same.
Hear it. Say it. Personalise it.
Make it your own as God made it Abraham’s own.
And you will BELIEVE it.
The world is wrong: It is not “Seeing is believing.” It’s “Believing IS seeing.”
Believe first then see. This is the truth. Name me one time where you have received it first, then believed it. Go ahead, try it. It can’t be done, because seeing is not believing. Believing is first, seeing comes after.
What looks unseen, or invisible at the moment will change the seen to the unseen if you continue to stand and say the same thing as God: His Word over all you can sense, just like when I couldn’t find the majoram. I refused to confess the negative, even though it looked and felt that way. I chose to believe what God said.
Hear it, hear it, hear it. Say it, say it, say it-- until it is done, until you can see it with your physical senses. But believe it NOW.
And there we have it--the perfect faith-cake each and every time.
You say, “Wait a minute, Paula. Isn’t there something missing in this faith-cake? Where is ingredient one? I don’t see it on your list. I only see two through four.”
I laugh, “Ah-ha! you caught that, did you? I was hoping you would. I was saving the best for last.”
“Here is that crucial first ingredient. And it’s a familiar one--one you’ve known all along. All faith-cakes have it. Can’t even begin to bake without it.”
The first ingredient is from yourself. Can you guess it now? The first ingredient is:
1. To CHOOSE or DECIDE.
We cannot bake our faith-cake without choosing or deciding to do it. We do it all by choice just as we do everything else in life. Look back at Abraham in Romans 4. He decided, and we decide.
So there we have it: the ingredients for faith.
DECIDE. SAY. HEAR. BELIEVE.
Once you start, you’ll find it’s as easy as baking a cake: and this cake is faith, our personal faith-cake.