Receiving and Maintaining God’s Increase

 But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus…   Phil 4:19

 Now the just shall live by faith, but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him…  Heb 10:38

 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward..   Heb 10:35

 Let us hold fast the confession of our faith without wavering; for He is faithful that promised…  Heb 10:23

 …for if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sin…  Heb 10:26

 …If ye continue in my Word, then ye are my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free…   John 8:31-32

When God promises something, He performs it.  When God says something in His Word, it comes to pass.  What God declares, happens!  God is not a man that He should lie.  God never goes back on His word.  His Word is “yes” and “amen” not “perhaps” and “maybe so.”  He speaks and He speaks loudly.  What He says is not muddled, confused, mumbled or ambiguous.  His Word is like a sharp sword.  A two-edged sword!  His Word is as reliable as God is reliable.  His Word is as powerful as God is powerful.  His Word is as unchangable as God is unchangable.

If we are to see the increase God has promised, we will get it and keep it by His Word.  The increase will not come by feeling.  It will not come by wishing.  It will not come by hoping.  It will not come by religion.  It will come and it will continue only by and through His Word… the Word of God!  The Word is Fire.  The Word is Water.  The Word is Truth.  The Word is Life.  The Word is God!  Hallelujah!!

This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Josh 1:8  

God told Joshua:  “this book of the law (the Word) shall not depart out of thy mouth (in other words, you will continually speak it out of your mouth…) but thou shalt meditate therein day and night that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein; for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success…”

Maintaining the increase God has given us requires some effort on our part.  Living a successful overcoming life does not “just happen.”   It is a demanding and disciplined life.  It is not impossible, but it is demanding. 

In order to guard our “stuff” and keep the devil from stealing it, there are some things we can do to protect it.   God was very specific in the instructions He gave to His new commander, Joshua.

“Continually speak My Word”   

Never let the Word stop coming out of your mouth.     If you never let the “Law” (Word) depart out of your mouth you obviously will be constantly speaking it. 

For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Rom 10:10 

  You will never live above the level of the words you speak.  What you say is important.  When you say the Word you are speaking God’s language.  You are talking like God. That kind of talk scares the devil to death.  That kind of language drives out demons and limits the power of the devil in your life.  What you say (confess with words you speak) determines what you get. 

For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall sayunto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Mr 11:23 

This is why the Word warns us about “idle” (empty, useless, fruitless) words.

But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. Mt 12:36 

“Keep My Word in your Mind.” 

God told Joshua to “mediate therein (the Word) day and night.”  What other time is there other than “day” and “night”?   The Word should be on our mind continually.  How does what I am doing relate to the Word?  How do my actions agree with  the truth of the Word? Are the decisions I make in agreement with the Word?  Just how much of my thinking is in line with what the Word says?  Do I know and do I think about what the Word says concerning any situation similar to the one I am facing? 

We need to see every human experience in the light of the Word of God.  What we do.  Where we go.  What entertains us.  What is important to us.  What the Word says concerning my family?  My marriage?  My occupation?  My dreams and goals?  Think the Word.  Ponder the Word.  Meditate the Word.  Memorize the Word.  We can even “think” passages of scripture and verses that keep us encouraged and built-up.

When the enemy sends fiery darts (thoughts and mind images that contradict the Word) we have the power and the ability to “cast them down” and bring them (thoughts) into “captivity.”

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ2Co 10:5  

We can actually renew our mind with the Word of God. 

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Rom 12:2 

The Word has the power to renew or refresh and transform our mind.  It raises our thinking level above earthy things and plants them firmly on heavenly things.  It transcends the present and forges ahead to the eternal. The Word “washes” our brain.  This kind of “brainwashing” is needed by every believer.

That he might sanctify and cleanse it  (the Church) with the washing of water by the word, Eph 5:26 

The things we think define who we are.  If we are to emulate the life of Jesus, we certainly need to keep our thinking (mind) in line with the Word.  It has the ability to cleanse and consecrate our “soulish” man (our mind, our will and our emotions). 

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.  Php 4:8 

“Know what My Word says” 

Knowing (not “surface” or “shallow” knowledge)  but deep-down-in-the-spirit knowing.  To “know”  with this kind of “knowing” we need to study the Word,  learn the Word, meditate the Word and pray for revelation of the Word.    Get a reliable study Bible with explanatory notes and dig in.  If we do not know what the Bible says, we cannot do what the Bible says do.  The reason we continue in the Word is so that we might know what it says.

Many believers who do not really know the Word spend countless hours praying for things that God has already given them.  There are priceless promises God has made to us and provisions Jesus has bought, paid for and given us that are never received because many believers simply lack knowledge of the Word. 

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: Ho 4:6 

Pray for a revelation of who the Bible says you are.  Pray for a revelation of what the Bible says you can do.  Pray for a revelation of what the Bible says you have.  When you know who you are, what you have and what you can do you will be able to maintain the increase God has given you. 

“Observe to do ALL that is written therein” 

Knowing the Word is good.  Understanding the Word is better.   But doing the Word is best.  If you know it and don’t do it you will live in defeat.  If you understand it but don’t do it you will live in defeat.  Notice, God tells  Joshua to do ALL that is written therein.  Observing is seeing.  Doing is acting.  Observing is faith and doing is action.  Faith without works is dead according to James 2:20.

But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Jas 2:20 

Jesus tells us to “continue” in His Word (John 8:31-32) and if we do we will “know the truth and the truth will make us free.”  To continue in the Word literally means to abide or take up residence in the Word.  When we “live” in the Word we will become disciples (learners) and what we will learn is the Truth.  When we know the truth, the Truth will make us free. 

Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; John 8:31

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32 

          It is no “coincidence” that Jesus describes Himself as the “Way, the Truth and the Life.”

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6 

Then God promises Joshua that:

(1)  If he will continually speak God’s Word,

(2)  If he will keep the Word in his mind day and night;

(3)  If he will know what the Word says and

(4)  If he will do ALL that the Word says

Then:  “Thou shalt make thy way prosperous and then thou shalt have good success…”  In other words, Joshua will receive and maintain God’s Increase.

Some of God’s promises are conditional.  Some are unconditional.  God promised never to destroy the world again by a flood in Genesis 9:11. This is an unconditional promise.  God promised to send a Redeemer to save His people from sin.  That promise was an unconditional promise.  God promised that Jesus would come again.  That is an unconditional promise. 

However, some promises are conditional.  God says IF you will do something, THEN He will do something.   This is a conditional promise. 

God’s promise regarding increase is conditional.  The increase God has promised is based on our obedience.  This is a conditional promise.  

What will cut off the promised increase?  What will hinder the flow of God’s Power and God’s Promises?  What must we do to utilize the resources God has already provided?  What are the conditions set before us that must be met in order for God to fulfill His Word to us?

We all want results, but are we willing to pay the price?  We all want things to get better and stay better, but are we willing to make significant changes?  We all desire the blessing but are we willing to meet God’s demands?  We get excited about receiving but usually we had rather not hear about responsibility

If we are to receive and maintain the flow of God’s blessing, we need to consider our responsibilities.

Seek God First

Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness and all these other things shall be added unto you.   Matt 6:33 

We need to focus on singleness of heart.  James reminds us that a “double-minded” person is “unstable” in all his ways (James 1:8).  This verse follows one that says an individual who is not single minded “wavers” like the waves of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind (James 1:6).  Jesus tells us to keep our priorities right.  “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”  In this case, seeking God and His Kingdom certainly needs to be at the top of our list. 

What is our purpose in life?  I can’t be sure about you, but mine is to be in the center of God’s perfect will.  He has a unique and special purpose for all of us.  Jeremiah says God has plans for every individual. And they are plans for good and not evil. 

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Jer 29:11 

The “expected end” God has prepared and purchased for us is good and not bad.  It is success and not failure.  It is living and not dying.  There is no possible way we can comprehend the infinite good God has laid out for us in His Grand Plan.  That is reason enough to prioritize our actions and intentions to seek Him and His Kingdom first.   This will guarantee that all these “other things” will be added to us.  All our needs will be met.    

Get out of sin 

We are responsible for the way we live.  No one forces us to disobey, disrespect or turn away from what we know to be the will of God.  It is a choice we make.  And what we choose and what we refuse determines whether we win or whether we lose.  What we sow is what we grow.  And what we grow is our responsibility. 

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. Gal 6:7 

If we are born again, we have an inner witness (The conviction of the Holy Spirit) regarding what is right and what is wrong.  If we choose what is wrong as an intentional act of our will, sin results.  And sin brings its own consequences into our life.  The pain and problems we experience result from the sin we commit.  God does not “punish” us for doing wrong, we are guilty of punishing ourselves because we have knowingly allowed sin to come in.  Sin will stop the flow of God’s blessing and steal what we have.  Sin will let the devil in.  Sin will keep our faith from working.  Sin will prevent the promises from coming in.  Sin will destroy.  Ultimately, sin brings death.

Abstain from the very appearance of evil

Abstain from all appearance of evil. 1Thes 5:22 

 If it looks bad, get away from it.  If it appears to be evil and against what you know to be the will of God get away from it.  If it carries a reputation of wrong… don’t do it!  If it offends the least and most vulnerable in the Kingdom, don’t allow it.     Do not give any place to the devil. 

Neither give place to the devil. Eph 4:27 

Walk in purity and cleanness.  Refrain from carnal talk, languange, jokes, insinuations, sarcasm… if it would offend Jesus… don’t do it.  If He would not do it… you do not do it!  Purify yourself.  “Touch not the unclean thing.”  Compromise often goes under the guise of “something better.”

Resist lukewarmness

Our being satisfied with the mediocre is not God.  As far as living for God is concerned, it is all or it is nothing.  It is all the way or it is none of the way.  If we are not all for Him we are all against Him.  As a small kid, we used to say “chicken on the fence is out!” to anybody who wavered or was not totally  committed to a cause.    To concede is to cool off.  Cooling off  is to dying in stages.  To let up is to lose.  To compromise is to cop out. 

Nobody is ever impressed with the average.  We were not saved to be average.  We were not bought and brought into the kingdom to be average.  Jesus did not shed His Blood so that we could be average.  We are not called to be “mere men;” we are birthed into the Kingdom of God to be supermen and superwomen.

Jesus said He wished all to be hot or cold but because they are lukewarm, He will spue (vomit; throw up) them out of His mouth. 

So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Re 3:16 

If we are not with Him we are against Him.  The call for all believers today is for them to be fired up.  Fervent.  Radical.  Drastic. Revolutionary.  Extreme. Committed. 

Be Real 

The world can spot a phony a mile off.  There are many phonies in the church.  Jesus addressed this problem in the parable of the wheat and the tares. 

Let both grow together until the harvest; and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them; but gather the wheat into my barn…  Mat 13:24 

To be less than real is to be a hypocrite.  To look like a Christian is not enough.  To go to church is not enough.  To pay your tithe is not enough.  To do good is not enough.  Jesus spoke of those who would appear before Him in the judgment and declare:

Lord, Lord have we not prophesied in thy Name?  and in thy Name have cast out devils?  and in thy Name done many wornderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity.    Mat 7:22-23

To knowingly violate the Word of God and the will of God is iniquity.  To know the Word and refuse to do it is iniquity.

He that knoweth to do good and doeth it not to him it is sin… James 4:17

          Maintaining the increase is the will of God.  He takes no pleasure in His children losing their inheritance.  What God has given is up to us to keep.  We are told very explicitly that the devil (our enemy; our only enemy) is a thief.  He hangs around to steal what God has bought, paid for and freely presented to us. 

Our responsibility is to safeguard, protect and hold on to all that is ours through the Redemptive Work of Jesus Christ.

          Let’s do it. And when we do, we will live and not die.

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