The most important qualification for receiving from God is abiding in Him—giving Him first place.
There's nothing like the Word of God to keep our minds and hearts in peace. During troubled times—when worry and depression try to overtake us—we can always run to God's Word. His Word is our safety in the midst of harm! His Word is our peace.
That's why it's more important today than ever before that we build a strong foundation in God's Word and make His Word a daily part of our lives. Sometimes our schedules are so busy that we think we don't have time to read and meditate on the Word. But we always seem to have time to do the things we want to do!
For example, we have time to read the news or watch our favorite television programs. We can always find time to do things that are important to us. But are we making time to do the things that will cause us to walk in God's peace? Are we learning to be grounded in the Word and not moved by what we see with our natural eyes? Are we learning to trust in the Lord and cast our cares on Him?
If we're not careful, we will find ourselves living a powerless life, a life without peace, simply because we've neglected the very thing that will give us God's power and His peace—the Word of God.
Why So Little Victory?
So many verses in the Bible talk about the importance of God's Word. Deuteronomy 11:22–24 (NLT) says, " 'Be careful to obey all these commands I am giving you. Show love to the Lord your God by walking in his ways and holding tightly to him. Then the Lord will drive out all the nations ahead of you, though they are much greater and stronger than you, and you will take over their land. Wherever you set foot, that land will be yours.' "
What do these verses say God will do if we're "careful to obey" His commands [His Word]? First of all, He will drive the enemies out of our lives—enemies of sickness, financial lack, discouragement, depression, and fear.
Sometimes we wonder why we're not receiving the promises of God. We wonder why we're being battered by one crisis after another, with so little victory and no peace. We wonder why our world seems to be crumbling around us.
Yes, we're claiming God's promises. We're confessing His Word. But our confession is powerless. Why? Because we're not doing what these verses from the Book of Deuteronomy tell us to do. We're not obeying the rest of God's Word.
The Lord said if we would hide His Word in our hearts and continually do what that Word tells us to do, then every place we set our foot would be ours. But instead of grabbing hold of what is ours to possess, we've become disappointed and disillusioned. We've decided, "This faith stuff doesn't work!"
Yes, it does work! But it won't work for us personally if we're not meeting the conditions in God's Word!
In John 15:7 Jesus taught us how meet the conditions of His Word. He said, "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you" (NKJV).
How do we abide in the Lord? We abide in Him by reading His Word, communing with Him in prayer, and keeping our hearts and minds focused on Him.
Notice that God says if we abide in Him we will have "what we desire." That means we will receive from Him whatever we need. But the most important qualification for receiving from God is abiding in Him—giving Him first place. Everything else should come after the Lord!
Walking Over Circumstances
You may wonder, "Why should I spend so much time meditating on God's Word?" I'll tell you why! When pressure comes or discouragement is clouding your mind, those verses you've hidden in your heart will start coming out of your mouth. And God's Word will give you peace in the middle of every storm!
Do you realize that when Peter stepped out on the water to walk toward Jesus, he wouldn't have started sinking if he had kept his eyes on the Savior? But what did he do? He let his circumstances—the wind rising and the storm brewing—cause fear to grip his heart. When he began to fear, he lost his peace. And when he lost his peace, he started to sink (Matt. 14:28–30).
The same thing is true in your life. When you keep your eyes focused on the Word of God, His Word will help you walk on top of the circumstances. But if you begin to focus on your problems and troubles, you're going to sink.
Of course, the waters of your life won't always be smooth. The winds may be howling and the waves may be crashing all around you. But don't let the enemy distract you with those things. Recognize that God is on your side. And because He is for you, no one can be against you (Rom. 8:31).
Don't let anything keep you from receiving what God has for you. If you're facing problems and heartaches right now—if you're struggling and cannot seem to find peace—set aside time to fill your mind and heart with God's Word. Remember that your Heavenly Father is watching over you. Look to Him! Grab hold of His hand. He will lead you safely to the other side!
FAITH IN ACTION
A Fasted Life
Do you truly want to make God's Word a daily part of your life? Consider fasting something that may be keeping you from spending time in the Word.
We usually think of fasting only in relation to food, but we can also fast other things. For example, we can fast some of the time we normally spend on the computer or phone, or watching television.
What does fasting accomplish? It helps us crucify the flesh—keep our flesh under control (Gal. 5:24). Of course, watching television or spending time on the phone or computer is not sin. But sometimes things consume too much of our time and become bondage, and we need to break loose from them. The Apostle Paul said, "Let us lay aside every weight . . . which doth so easily beset us" (Heb. 12:1).
In these last days, we need to be about the Father's business. To do that, we must set aside the weights that hinder us. We must seek first the Kingdom of God and give His Word first place.