Each month I send an encouragement email to pastors and church leaders. I got so excited about what I shared this month that I wanted to expand on it in this blog. (By the way, if you want to receive this free monthly church leader injection of hope, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org). Let’s get to these exciting truths!
Matthew 4:4 has been one of the most impactful verses in the Bible for me. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” This verse reveals:
- The quality of our lives depends on our identifying what we believe God has told us. The more we know this, the more we will live abundantly, influentially, and fulfilled.
- This verse does not say “proceeded” word but “proceeding.” We must stay current in what God is saying in order to advance and live victoriously. If Abraham would not have been open to a new direction and new revelation, then Isaac would not have survived on Mt. Moriah (see Genesis 22 for this fascinating story).
- Most of the words we live by will be our conclusions of what we believe God has said. In Acts 16, Paul “concluded” he was to go minister in Macedonia (verse 10) after having a vision. All four types of words to live by in the list below will come out of a good decision-making process that leads to a conclusion about what God is saying.
- We can put up with a lot of negative circumstances or outward lack of success if we have a word from God. If we don’t have a word, then we can only live fulfilled when everything is going well.
Here are the four types of words to believe for victorious living:
- God’s General Promises – Our future is as bright as the promises of God. We “participate in the divine nature” through God’s promises. We can walk in biblical optimism because we believe in Hebrews 10:23. “Let us hold fast the confession of hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” Here is a great blog to inspire you in the promises of God.
- God’s Rhema Words for Us – Rhema is one of the Greek words translated “word” in our English Bibles. It is a specific truth from Scripture that God has made real to you, and we fight with it to enter into our promises. “Take up the sword of the Spirit, which is the word (rhema) of God” (Ephesians 6:17). We are not to be passive but to fight with our rhema words just as Paul told Timothy to “war a good warfare according to the prophecies” given to him.
- Our Identity in Christ – We cannot consistently do what we don’t believe we are. The second most important question in life is who we say we are. Hebrews 10:14 says, “He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.” Sanctification is the process of getting into our experience the reality of who we already are.
- Assignments and Decisions We Make – We have power and energy when we confidently attach faith to the large or small decisions we make. Double-mindedness, doubt, grudging obedience, and passivity in our decision-making and assignments create tiredness and frustration. Victorious people fully believe they are supposed to be doing what they are doing.
For more on this, listen to my podcast here.
ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND
Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.