As we are on the brink of a new year...this is a most excellent word to receive and take into our innermost being.
I want you to read this word by Lanny Swaim slowly and carefully...as God is calling you to trust Him in a much deeper way. (To Subscribe to the Elijah List subscribe here.)
"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6)
"Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him..." (Job 13:15)
There is a trust that goes deeper than exercising faith for specific things. It is a trust that cannot be shaken, even when the circumstances of our lives seem to go against the promises found in the Word of God. It is a trust that remains intact even when things we have prayed for, confessed and exercised faith for seem to remain elusive, stubbornly refusing to manifest in our lives.
So how can a Believer know if he/she possesses this deeper trust? Only when it is tested.
I am convinced that until we can say with Job, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him," and really know the weight of it in our circumstances, we don't fully trust Him. And how can any of us make such a statement until we have been faced with the reality of it? In other words, until you have been there, faced with the possibility of never receiving the manifestation of what you are believing/praying/confessing, making such a statement is just an assumption and not something you know beyond any doubt.
Today, there is a remnant of Believers, chosen by God to be on the cutting edge of where He is taking the Church and the world, who must experientially know this deeper trust. God is requiring it of them, because it is only in possessing this deeper trust that they can be trusted with and walk in a much greater authority.
You can't have one without the other. If we are to truly reign with Christ, as the kingdoms (nations) of the world become the Kingdom of our Lord and His Christ (see Revelation 11:15), He has to be able to trust us with His authority, and we can only be trusted with the responsibility of walking in that authority when we have completely laid down our lives, becoming immersed in His life to the point that – not just positionally, but experientially – it is no longer "I that live, but Christ that lives within me" (see Galatians 2:20).
"But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed." (James 1:14)
In our modern way of thinking, lust has become a sexual word, but it relates to many temptations. Lust is birthed from pressure. When we are faced with adverse circumstances in our lives, those circumstances can put pressure on us, resulting in various outcomes. We may be tempted to worry (a product of fear) which can lead to anxiety and stress. But on the other hand, we may also feel pressured to try and eliminate the adversity by applying faith principles we have learned. Either way, we are being pressured, and if we are not on our guard, lust can result from this, which will draw us away from the Lord, causing us to focus on the problem rather than the solution.
What Is the Solution?
The solution is a trust that goes so deep that it cannot be shaken, even if the desired outcome never manifests. That kind of trust only comes from complete surrender. Just giving lip service to surrender is not really surrendering.
Actually, if our desired outcome is to just eliminate the problem, we haven't completely surrendered. We must completely lay down our lives in order to receive them back again. But completely laying down our lives means that we may never receive them back again. And, yet, if we can come to that point, we will receive it back again, only it will not be our lives, but the Lord living His life in and through us.
"He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for My sake shall find it." (Matthew 10:39)
Here are two examples from my own experience:
Several years ago, I was working away from home and staying with my mother in High Point, NC. I awoke one morning having chest pains. I have dealt with muscle pain for many years from too much physical labor, but I knew by the way it felt, and by the Spirit, that this was not muscle pain. I was having heart issues, and as you know, heart issues are usually serious.
I sat up on the side of the bed and did what I normally do when faced with physical problems. I took authority over my body and over the issue in the name of Jesus, telling my heart and bodily functions to get in line with the Word of God and be healed according to Isaiah 53:5 and 1 Peter 2:24.
I should point out that I didn't do this because I was under pressure to do so. I simply did it because, as a citizen of the Kingdom of God and as a Believer in the Word of God, I have a right and maybe even an obligation to do so.
I then told the Lord, "I have watched my mother and my brother go through heart issues, going to doctors and getting on medications with all kinds of side effects, and I'm not going to do that. I don't have the time or the money (at that time I had no health insurance). So, either heal me or kill me, right here, right now."
And I meant it. I had done all I could do to come against this issue, without turning to doctors and medication, and I really didn't care if I lived or died.
Now, I also should point out that I am not opposed to doctors or medicine, and I have used both at times. But this morning I simply chose a better way. And perhaps I should add that this choice was made easy because the gift of faith had manifested in my spirit and soul and, in a sense, took over in the situation.
Now think about it. If I had died that morning, I had nothing to lose and everything to gain. In fact, I no longer view my life as ever ending. I already live in eternity, and physical death would simply free me from the confines of the physical realm.
But, if my job is not finished, and if I am needed here in the physical realm, I don't want to go before my time. Still, by taking the stand I took that day, what I actually did was put the outcome entirely on God. My future was in His hands; it was up to Him. And I literally didn't care what the outcome might be.
I sat there about fifteen minutes until the pain eased off. I got up, got dressed, ate breakfast, and went to work. About 10:00 that morning I got a call from a friend of mine near home. He asked me what was going on with me and said that the Spirit had kept him praying for me all morning.
I had actually forgotten the entire episode that morning and told my friend that I didn't know what he was praying about but that I appreciated the prayer and to continue as long as the Spirit led him to do so. As soon as we got off the phone, I remembered. So that evening I called my friend and told him what he had been praying about, thanking him again.
That was several years ago, and I've had no more heart issues.
A few weeks later while staying with my mother, I had another issue, which I will not go into the details of here. But I will say that this issue was much more visible than the heart issue, leaving no doubt that something serious and life threatening was going on with my body.
I responded to this issue the same way I did to the heart issue, but this time the symptoms lasted for three days. Had the symptoms persisted, I probably wouldn't be writing this article now. But they didn't, and I have had no symptoms since.
The Faith of Jesus Christ
"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me." (Galatians 2:20)
When we completely lay down our lives, not caring what the outcome is, then we make room for Christ to be fully formed in us (see Galatians 4:19). As that occurs, then it is no longer our faith that accomplishes the promises of God in our lives, rather, it is His faith. As He lives His life in and through us, His faith keeps us on the journey into all truth and ultimately to our destinies.
As I walk more and more in this reality, I find that I no longer ask for much. It's not that I never ask, or that I don't speak the Word over the circumstances and situations of my life; rather, I realize that the outcome is dependent on His faith instead of on my faith. And however He chooses to manifest His promises in my life is okay with me.
Regardless of the outcome of the circumstances of my life, I am victorious because I completely trust in Him. In other words, the outcome of my circumstances doesn't determine whether or not I win. My trust in Him and Him alone determines that.
Saints of the remnant, we are being prepared and positioned to fulfill our destinies in the Kingdom of God, and while that process sometimes appears to be anything but success, we know that He will not fail, and our future is in His success and not our own.
Surely we were born for such a time as this! Amen.
Lanny Swaim is an author with three published books. He is also a speaker, a psalmist/praise and worship leader – with a CD recorded in Nashville utilizing Nashville session players – and a Nashville producer. He serves the Body of Christ in an apostolic, prophetic and teachable capacity. He has traveled extensively throughout the United States and in other countries ministering at conferences and in church meetings. He is also involved in establishing house churches with the intent to eventually establish house church networks, and he is a lifetime member of Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship International.
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