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A show of Force (Faith)  


MARCH 6, 2024

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.   Matthew 11:12


Except there is a shift, things frequently persist in their current state. In the kingdom of God, faith is considered as a force and depending on what we seek, we need our faith to be forceful in obtaining that which we desire. Matthew 11:12 says “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force”. 


Violence, a show of spiritual force (or faith) is a prerequisite to obtaining a promise. After Peter told the lame man “To rise up and walk” in verse 6 of Acts 3, the Bible records in verse 7 that Peter “took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength”. Peter demonstrated spiritual force (faith) by taking the lame man by his hand and lifting him up. 


This spiritual force of faith, when demonstrated restores that which has been lost, no minding how long it has been lost for. Again, the man lame from birth in Acts 3 was more than 40 years old (Acts 4:22). In his restoration, he skipped the natural protocol of crawling before walking. In verse 8 of Acts 3 the Bible records that he leaped, stood, and walked around the temple praising God.  

Violence, a show of spiritual force (or faith) is a prerequisite to obtaining a promise.

As we saw yesterday, the spiritual force of faith ignores the past. Faith did not care that the man was lame from birth. According to Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is…”, faith is all about the present. It is not about the past; it is present continuous! It does not matter with faith what the history or the story was. When faith acts, it acts in the present. 


Because it is in the present, time rearranges to align with the spiritual force of faith. The natural order of times and seasons are interrupted because of faith. It was in the hour of prayer, the ninth hour precisely that Peter and John went up to the temple to pray (v1) but faith had an agenda. It interrupted the program of the day for the healing of the man lame from birth.  


In John 2:4-5, Jesus told Mary that it was not yet his time at the wedding in Cana. Regardless, Mary told the servants to do whatever Jesus said. Sarah was well past the time of childbearing, but because of faith, she received strength to conceive (Hebrews 11:11). 


Faith also positions us for what we may not be necessarily entitled to.

The Syrophoenician woman in her discussion with Jesus in Matthew 15:22-28 demonstrated spiritual force (faith). Being in danger of not being attended to by Jesus, especially when he rebuffed her in verse 26, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs”, she pressed further with ‘force’ in verse 27 “And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table”. Again, Jesus commended her faith in verse 28 “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire”. 


When we exert the spiritual force of faith, we are commended by God. We can overcome what has been plaguing us if we are ready to exercise the spiritual force of faith. We must put forth the rigour and tenacity to obtain the promise that will change our situation. May God grant us the grace to demonstrate spiritual force. Amen. 

 

                                                     Song of Worship  

In Jesus Name by Israel Houghton  


Prayer - Dear Lord, stir up in me the spiritual aggression to demonstrate spiritual violence, the spiritual force of faith that obtains promises in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

 

Bible in 1 year: Deuteronomy 4-6; Mark 11

 

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