RULING AND REIGNING WITH GOD
August 7, 2020
When I was growing up as a child in church, I used to hear folks pray for various needs. They’d pray for some family member or some other individual’s crisis and ask for the intervention of the Lord. Invariably, they’d tack on the phrase, “if it be your will,” or the Elizabethan, “if it be thy will.”
It always puzzled me that folks would pray like that and one day I had the temerity to ask some lady why she asked the Lord to heal her son, and then tacked on, “if it be thy will.” She looked kinda funny at me and said, “Young man, you need to know your Scriptures!” She then proceeded to quote to me from James 4,
“Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.”
Although her quotation of that passage didn’t set well in my spirit, I let the issue pass for the time being because I didn’t know how to answer.
As the years went by, I began to realize that this woman wasn’t alone in her blanket acceptance of the misuse and mis-quotation of James’ admonition by taking it out of context. Far too many Christians are cheated on a daily basis out of receiving all that God has for them because they tack on the “if it be thy will” statement.
Satan is a master quoter of Scripture. He knows exactly how to twist something and take it out of the intended context of the Holy Spirit so as to make you ask the question, “Hath God said?” “Hath God said” is the fundamental basis for all doubt, fear, and unbelief.
Go back to the context of James’ statement. Who and what is he addressing? All you have to do is back up a couple of verses and it becomes very clear. Let’s put that statement back in its proper context.
James 4:7-17: “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.
There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another? Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life?
It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil. Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”
Do you see who James is talking to? His address is to people who are unsubmissive to God: folks who – instead of resisting Satan and his lies – believe his “Hath God said” lies. He continues to spell out the fact that he is speaking to folks who are double-minded and evil-speaking – particularly speaking evil of their brothers and sisters in the Lord.
THESE are the braggarts who boast that they will go here and there, conduct business, and profit unto themselves without any concept of the purpose of gain and blessing and abundance. It is within that context that James admonishes them to withdraw their boasting and rather say, “if the Lord will, we shall live and do this or that.”
This admonition was NEVER meant to be applied to those things already clearly expressed by the Lord as being His will and purpose, His heart’s desire or His sovereign design. The apostle Paul has expressed it like this.
Romans 12:2:“And be not fashioned or made [in the mindset] of this world: but be transformed and completely changed by the renewing and renovation of your mind, that you may put to the test in the crucible of personal experience what is that good, and acceptable, fully agreeing with the complete heart’s desire of God.”
Obviously, this is my expanded translation from the Greek text, but I’ve expanded the Greek phraseology deliberately to help you grasp the picture Paul is presenting.
The mindset of this world is in agreement with doubt, fear and unbelief. The mindset of this world is in agreement with Satan’s question, “Hath God said?”
It takes a transformation from that mindset in order to be in agreement with the Lord Jesus Christ. Reading Paul’s statement in the KJV, it comes out “that you may prove what is that good…”
The word “prove” is taken from the Greek dokimazo, and is an application of a word – dokimon– coined by numismatists to describe the heat and pressure, the melting process used to determine the authenticity of precious metals and coins.
Dokimonrepresented the testing in a crucible – hence my translation “that you may put to the test in the crucible of personal experience…”
The will of God as described by Paul to the Romans is not the sovereign, unchanging purposes, but rather the heart’s desire, the intended objectives of the Lord.
So how do we put to the test God’s Word in our lives in order to prove, to demonstrate to our satisfaction and to live in a practical sense the Will of God?
It’s pretty simple, really.
He has clearly expressed His will on virtually every topic you can think of. Again, I note that “His will” in this case represents His deepest heart’s desire – NOT His sovereign, unchanging purposes. We often confuse the two. Before I continue let me clarify this.
The word used many times in the Hebrew text for the sovereign purposes of God is: äá˜LÜç’îÇ machaõshaòbaòh. Its Greek counterpart, boulema, only appears twice in the NT Greek text, and never in the context of our seeking after God’s will.
The word most often appearing in the NT Greek is thelema, which comes from its root, thelo. This word represents: heart’s desire, wish, delight, preference.
Huge difference, isn’t there? So many Christians fret and stew about whether they are in the will of God or not, and by and large those who fret and stew have no clue what the will of God really is.
In order to have any concept of the will of God, people MUST first know God’s Word. That said, let’s take a quick look at a few of the things that folks most often question.
Is it the will of God for you to be sick? NO! And again, NO!!! (See III John, vs. 2: “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospers.”
Is it the will of God for you to be healed? YES! And again, YES!!!
Matthew 12:15: “…and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all.”
Matthew 14:14: “And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.”
Matthew 15:30-31: “And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet; and he healed them: Insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel.”
Matthew 19:2: “And great multitudes followed him; and he healed them there.”
Matthew 21:14: “And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them.”
Mark 1:34: “And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him.” (We’ll discuss more on this later.)
Is it the will of God for you to be in constant need? NO!
Philippians 4:19: “But myGod shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
Hebrews 4:16: “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
I John 3:17-18: “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” (More on this one later, too.)
Is it the will of God for you to prosper and be rich? YES!! Resoundingly, so!
II Corinthians 8:9: “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” We’ve already quoted this one, but it applies here, too.
III John, vs. 2: “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospers.”
Proverbs 10:22: “The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and He addeth no sorrow with it.”
There are so many other questions we could add to these four, but let’s just take these since these are the most common among Christians.
Is it the will of God for you to be sick? I’ve heard this question raised so many times, it is almost nauseating. There are folks who actually believe that it is God’s will for them to be sick and to suffer “because God uses sickness to teach us.” Did you know that there is not one shred of evidence Scripturally to support this lie? Did you know that there is not one single place in Scripture where Jesus refused to heal ANYONE who came to Him? Did you know that there is no place in Scripture where the Lord used sickness to teach anyone anything?
Is it the will of God for you to be healed? Were there lots of folks who didn’t receive healing? Sure. They were the ones who DIDN’T come to Jesus and ask. Jesus even healed those who weren’t normally entitled to receive healing – like the Syro-Phoenician woman who asked for her daughter’s healing. When Jesus questioned her, she expressed the kind of faith in Him that He wanted to see in Israel, much less those of other nations, and despite the fact that He had not yet gone to the Cross, He responded to the woman’s faith and healed her daughter.
Is it the will of God for you to be in constant need? Many people live their lives in constant need because they simply do not know the Word of God on this subject, and because they’ve been cheated by the lie of Satan that says “it is more righteous and holy to live a humble (meaning “broke”) and meager existence.” Nowhere in Scripture is there any such principle. Humility isn’t a financial state: it is a condition of one’s spirit!
Is it the will of God for you to prosper and be rich? To believe otherwise is to say that God is a liar and the Truth is not in Him. To believe otherwise is to believe that God doesn’t give a rip about the needs of His children – that He is a lousy Father who hordes all of His riches to Himself. Jesus deliberately took on Himself poverty and need, sickness and disease when He went to the Cross so that we – through Him – might have life, liberty, peace, strength, health and prosperity.
I know what’s coming next!
OK, if all of that is true, why am I in constant need? If it is true that Jesus healed everyone that came to Him, why am I not healed when I ask Him? Why was I born with a birth defect? Why am I crippled?
Then there are those who say, “I have faith in Jesus Christ, but nothing like that has ever happened to me!”
Sorry, but you DON’T have faith. You have hope.
You know others have received their healing. You know others have been mightily blessed and prosper, but you don’t. You’ve prayed, but nothing happened – at least within the time frame you were thinking it should. Why?
Folks don’t really like to hear the fact that they don’t have faith, but it is true. Faith isn’t some belief. Faith isn’t adhering to a set of Biblical principles. Faith isn’t even believing in God.
James put it like this:
James 2:19-22: “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?”
Obviously, demons believe in God. Obviously, they believe in the Lord Jesus Christ – and they tremble at His very presence! But they sure don’t have faith!
Lots of folks say, “I believe,” but there is no faith to back up that belief. They don’t know the Word of God. They haven’t heard the Lord speak to them. They haven’t heard the Holy Spirit make the Word come alive in their inner beings in order to have the rhema (spoken word) by which faith comes. Consequently, there is no action to follow their “belief.” By the same token, when the Lord doesn’t come through for them within a certain amount of time, they change their confession to one of fear, doubt, and unbelief. The moment that they do so, they lose the very thing they say they have “believed God for.”
When a person has faith, when a person has heard the Word of God in their innermost being, change takes place: a creative force begins to go forth from their mouths that sets in motion the very thing they speak their agreement with.
Think about what Jesus said.
Mark 11:22-26: “And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto 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.
Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.”
Do you see the connection?
You can’t have what you speak against! You CAN have what you speak, provided you speak in faith, believing God and taking Him at His Word! You can’t make your confession while you have doubt in your heart and expect to see any results either. It doesn’t work that way.
At the same time, you can’t stand asking God for healing, for health, for provision to meet your needs while holding unforgiveness in your heart towards your wife, your husband, your parents, or someone who has hurt you in one way or another. Unforgiveness is the quickest blockade to receiving from the Lord.
If you don’t forgive, you aren’t forgiven. Remember the Lord’s Prayer? “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us…” If you don’t forgive, and you aren’t forgiven, then you are not in a place of standing before God to receive anything you ask of Him.
It isn’t that God’s will is to withhold it from you. It isn’t! But many Christians think they can ask for anything from the Lord, willy-nilly, and not meet God’s conditions for receiving them. God’s will is that you prosper! God’s will is that you be in health! But God’s will is also that you prosper in your soul, and He ties your health and prosperity directly to the prosperity of your soul. No soul prosperity, no health. No soul prosperity, no wealth or abundance.
The prosperity of your soul is a mandatory prerequisite for you walking in and enjoying the will of God in every area of your life. If you prosper in your soul, it is because you are continually rejecting the lies of Satan. If you prosper in your soul, it is because you are continually agreeing with – AND CONFESSING WITH YOUR MOUTH – God’s specifically spoken and written word concerning your situation. If you prosper in your soul, it is because you are walking in faith. If you prosper in your soul, it is because you are walking in the commandment of love.
We’ve really gone around a forty-acre field today with our discussions on knowing the will of God, but if you haven’t already seen it, you cannot operate in Kingdom Authority and power if you don’t first know the Will of God! This is one of the most significant and fundamental Keys of the Kingdom. Without KNOWING the Will and Heart’s Desire of the Lord, faith is inoperable and Kingdom Authority is nonexistent!
In case you are missing out on real fellowship in an environment of Ekklesia, our Sunday worship gatherings are available by conference call – usually at about 10:30AM Pacific. That conference number is (712) 770-4160, and the access code is 308640#. We are now making these gatherings available on video usingZOOM. If you wish to participate by video on ZOOM, our login ID is 835-926-513. If you miss the live voice-onlycall, you can dial (712) 770-4169, enter the same access code and listen in later. The video call, of course, is not recorded – not yet, anyway.
Blessings on you!
Regner A. Capener
Temple, Texas 76502
Email Contact: CapenerMinistries@protonmail.com
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