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We are on the starting line of an incredible move of God, and our job right now is to prepare ourselves for mind-blowing miracles.
We are a church that is positioned and ready for God to use in the revival that has already begun. We’ve already witnessed the gifts of the spirit at work Sunday after Sunday. And this is only going to increase and intensify into mighty miracles of God.
Azusa Street Revival
Each week during this series, I’ve been sharing a true story from the Azusa street revival to help stir up your faith.
This incredible revival started in 1906 in Los Angeles, California. Amazing miracles were released every single day for three and a half years.
Missing limbs grew out where there were none, eyeballs filled in empty sockets, cancerous growths fell off, and lives were restored day after day as they bathed in the glory of God.
Healing miracles were accomplished not just through the ministers in the room, but also by the kids.
Ralph and the Wheelchair
A boy named Ralph was twelve years old at the time when an old woman showed up in a wheelchair. She had some disease that paralyzed her from the waist down. Ralph got excited because he knew the woman would be healed.
So he went up to her and she got a little testy with him because he was trying to pick up her feet and put up the flaps on the wheelchair.
They had a rule at Azusa street. The flaps had to go up before they prayed because they were going to be healed. Young Ralph told the old lady, “You’re going to jump out of your wheelchair and run.” The woman protested in disbelief.
“Now listen to me,” he said. “You have to stop griping and nagging and going on. We’re going to pray for you, and you’re going to be healed. Don’t argue with us. This is Azusa Street. You see the glory here? You are going to be healed!”
She didn’t say anymore and just sat there looking at him.
He prayed for her. He had to pray for her twice and pray hard. Finally, he reached down and laid hands on her backbone and her hip. All of a sudden, the bones popped.
Little Ralph said, “Take off running!” She just looked at him. “I said take off running!” She jumped up and took off.
Ralph then took off running with her but couldn’t catch her. A twelve-year-old boy couldn’t outrun a grandma.
A word from the past for NOW
Amazing right? I share these stories with you because, in 1910, it was prophesied that in about a hundred years there would be another revival like Azusa Street. Only this time it would not be in one place. It would be all over the world.
This revival will not be with just one person or just pastors. It will be with everybody in the Body of Christ. This time the revival will not end until the Lord returns.
Who wants to be a part of these amazing miracles of God? Well, let’s continue to prepare for miracles by renewing our minds with the Word of God.
Series Core Scripture
Let’s start by taking another look at our core scripture for this series.
Mark 11:22-25 NLT – Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God. I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.
In this short lesson from Jesus, He gives us four things that determine our ability to receive miracles from God:
- Have faith in God.
- Speak your faith.
- Remove the doubt.
- Forgive others.
Today we are going to dive into removing doubt. This is most likely the thing that has been tripping you up and keeping you from receiving the promises of God.
If you’ve been trying to walk in faith but you are not seeing the results of it, this is the message you need. Today is your day. You’re going to find out what is getting in the way of your faith so you can remove it.
Have you ever prayed for something and it seemed that God didn’t even hear you? Have you ever prayed for healing for someone else and yet they died?
This kind of stuff leaves us confused. And often, these negative experiences cause us to abandon faith because we start to think, “If it didn’t work that time, then it will never work.”
Now you know, you are not alone in these thoughts. And really, we start this journey of faith at a disadvantage here in America.
We live in a culture of immediate gratification and we think that God should be just as obsessed with it as we are. We want God to answer our prayer NOW.
I mean, if Google can answer my question now, then I want God to answer my prayer now. You know this is true, but when I bring it out into the open like this, we all recognize how ridiculous we are.
We all want to hear that God answers prayers immediately every time, but it’s just not true. So I’m not going to stand here and lie to you.
Instead, let me show you a story in the Bible that will help you understand that the answer is always coming, but sometimes it takes time.
Delayed Answer to Prayer
This is found in the book of Daniel. He lived in a culture that was anti-God, yet he faithfully lived his life for God. Kind of like where we are today.
In Daniel chapter 9, he was praying. The people of God were in a mess because, well, they disobeyed God even when He gave them a chance to change their behaviors. Sound familiar?
Daniel was praying and repenting on behalf of Israel. He was confessing their sins and asking God to have mercy on them even though they didn’t deserve it.
He was also looking for clarity on a vision that he had, asking God to help him understand the vision.
If you read Daniel’s prayer, it seems as if it lasted for about three minutes. At this point, look what happened:
Daniel 9:21-23 NLT – As I was praying, Gabriel, whom I had seen in the earlier vision, came swiftly to me at the time of the evening sacrifice. He explained to me, “Daniel, I have come here to give you insight and understanding.
Cool! Daniel’s prayer was answered in about three minutes. It wasn’t immediate, but I think we could all handle a three-minute delay.
I mean, it takes about that long to get through the Chick-Fil-A drive-through. We could at least check Facebook while we are waiting three minutes for God to answer.
But Daniel’s prayer wasn’t answered in three minutes. It was actually answered immediately. We find this out in the next verse:
Daniel 9:21-23 NLT – The moment you began praying, a command was given. And now I am here to tell you what it was, for you are very precious to God. Listen carefully so that you can understand the meaning of your vision.
When did God answer? The moment Daniel began praying. Then why did it take the angel three minutes to get the answer to Daniel? I don’t know. Maybe Gabriel was coming from the other side of the galaxy.
What we do know is that God answered Daniel’s prayer the moment he began praying. God set the answer in motion but something had to take place in the spiritual realm before it was made manifest in the physical realm.
Delayed a Little Longer
About now, you might be thinking, “Okay, I can wait three minutes. So from now on, I’m going to put a three-minute deadline on God.”
But before you make a three-minute doctrine, let me show you what happened in the very next chapter of the book of Daniel.
This is years later on in Daniel’s life. So he is now more mature in his faith. He’s been getting closer to God. Therefore, I bet his next prayer is going to be answered even faster. But take a look at what happened:
Daniel 10:2-3 NLT – When this vision came to me, I, Daniel, had been in mourning for three whole weeks. All that time I had eaten no rich food. No meat or wine crossed my lips, and I used no fragrant lotions until those three weeks had passed.
Aw man. Three weeks? And it wasn’t even a pleasant three weeks. He was mourning and fasting while seeking God for an answer for three whole weeks.
You guys know that is a long time to wait on an answer. How could someone as awesome as Daniel have to wait three weeks for God to answer his prayer?!
Why the Long Delay?
Well, at the end of this three-week period, once again, a messenger from heaven came to explain the vision to Daniel. And the messenger even explained why it took three weeks. Take a look:
Daniel 10:12-14 NLT – Then he said, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer.
When did God hear his prayer? When he began to pray. Once again, as soon as Daniel prayed, God set the answer in motion.
But something had to take place in the spiritual realm before it was made manifest in the physical realm.
Last time it took about three minutes. This time it took three weeks. The cool thing is, this time, the messenger from heaven gives us an explanation:
Daniel 10:12-14 NLT – But for twenty-one days the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way. Then Michael, one of the archangels, came to help me, and I left him there with the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia. Now I am here to explain what will happen to your people in the future, for this vision concerns a time yet to come.”
Ah! There was a fight in the spiritual realm that had to be won before Daniel’s prayer could be answered.
This is intriguing. And it’s why we all need to be aware of the fact that there is a spiritual realm. Even though we can’t see it, it’s there and it is even more real than our physical realm.
In this story, I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if Daniel gave up on his prayer. What if Daniel gave up on God a few days in? I mean, most of us would.
We’d be like, “God, you answered this kind of prayer in three minutes last time. It’s been three days! I guess I’ll just figure this one out on my own.”
If Daniel would have done that, he may not have ever gotten his answer. I mean, why would the angel continue fighting in the spiritual realm if Daniel no longer had faith to receive from God?
Why Prayers Go Unanswered
I think we are all starting to understand why so many prayers seem to go unanswered. God has always answered immediately, but we tend to give up before the answer has time to manifest in our physical world.
We’ve taken on this mentality that if I don’t see it immediately, God didn’t hear me. But that’s just a lie the enemy uses to get you out of faith.
Now you know better. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, God heard me the first time.
In both of those stories about Daniel, I want you to remember that God answered him as soon as he started praying. But there was a period of time that had to pass before the answer was made manifest in the physical realm.
That’s why we are getting rid of doubt today. Because your doubt is the thing that keeps blocking God’s answer from getting to you.
God has always answered your prayer. Every time. But you have a tendency to build a wall of doubt that keeps your answer from ever manifesting in the physical realm.
This isn’t God’s fault. It’s your fault. But you can fix it by getting rid of doubt.
3 Kinds of Doubt
To help you get a better understanding of doubt so you can easily recognize it and eliminate it, I’m going to break it down into three different categories.
Sometimes you just don’t know. The Bible says faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God, but there are just some things you haven’t heard yet. So you doubt God simply because you don’t know something about God.
For example, you may have grown up in poverty. That’s all you know. You have no idea that God wants you to have more than enough, so you think that God must want you to be poor.
The way out of this kind of doubt is simple – invest more time into hearing the Word of God.
I recommend you make a point to hear God’s word every day, multiple times a day. Instead of watching your favorite sitcom at night, spend that time hearing the Word of God.
2. Wrong Teaching
This is basically the same thing, but it’s a bit harder to overcome.
It’s like if I was teaching using a blackboard. If it was blank, all I would have to do is start writing on it. But if it was full of wrong teaching, I’d have to clean all that off first.
If you’ve been taught that God made you sick, or that this is punishment for your sin, or that God somehow gets glory out of you being sick or poor, then the antidote is the same: you need to hear the Word of God.
You are just going to have to hear it a whole lot more. This one is harder to overcome than ignorance because you need to hear the Word of God frequently enough to erase the wrong teaching from your mind.
I’m not trying to discourage you, but this one can take a while. You might have to hear the truth several times a day every day for a year before it finally erases the wrong teaching out of your mind.
When you uncover wrong teaching in your life, you have to be diligent to get rid of it.
If you’ve been taught that God wants you poor, look up every scripture you can find about God’s provision. Listen to every message you can find on YouTube about God’s provision. Keep filling your mind with the truth until you get it.
So, these first two types of doubt – ignorance and wrong teaching – are both overcome by hearing the Word of God. Here’s the third one:
If you pray for someone to be healed and they end up dying, that circumstance is going to make you think, “This doesn’t work.”
If you’ve been sick for years, your circumstance is going to make you think, “God doesn’t want to heal me.”
So how do you overcome this kind of doubt? We find the answer in one of the healing miracles of Jesus.
We actually talked about this one last week too, but we are going to get something new out of it this week. That’s the beauty in the Word of God. So many layers of truth to uncover.
The Epileptic Demoniac
Matthew 17:14-21 NKJV – And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.”
So here we have a father who desperately wants his son to be healed. His son was having terrible seizures on a regular basis that threatened his life.
Can you imagine how stressful this would be as a parent?
The Gospel of Mark shares this same story in chapter nine and gives a few more details. This wasn’t something new that had just started happening, this was something that had been going on for a long time.
So the father brought the boy to the disciples. They prayed and nothing happened. Like we talked about last week, their speaking sounded like faith, but doubt was getting in the way.
Here’s how Jesus feels about that:
Matthew 17:14-21 NKJV – Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.” And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour.
The Lord’s Frustration
Our inability to use the power of God effectively is not cute to God. Sometimes we get ourselves caught in a sense of false humility saying things like, “I’m just human. There’s only so much I can do.”
We convince ourselves that this sorry attitude somehow honors God, but it offends Him. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, and that’s what you do with it?
God wants us to be confident. He wants us to heal the sick and cast out demons. Obviously, it’s not because we’re awesome. It’s God’s power working through us.
Why did they fail?
So, the disciples failed like we often do. Jesus cleaned up their mess, and here’s what happened next:
Matthew 17:14-21 NKJV – Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief;
In other words, you couldn’t do it because of your doubt. Some translations say, “Because of your little faith.” Even my favorite translation, the NLT, says “because you don’t have enough faith.”
But sometimes our modern translations get it wrong. That’s why you should always check things against the translation closest to the original language, which is the KJV or NKJV.
We know this whole “little faith” thing is not accurate because of the continuation of this verse:
Matthew 17:14-21 NKJV – for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.
If Jesus was blaming the disciples’ inability to cast out a demon on their little faith, why would He then go on to say all you need is a little faith to move a mountain?
Because Jesus wasn’t talking about little faith. He was talking about doubt and unbelief. The reason the disciples couldn’t cast out the demon is because of their own doubt.
And it seems that this was circumstantial doubt. They watch the boy having a wild seizure right in front of them and this circumstance caused them to doubt if they could handle this one.
They had already been casting out demons. But this time must have been scarier than the other times because for whatever reason they started to doubt something they had already done many times.
So, they asked Jesus why, and Have gave them the answer:
Matthew 17:14-21 NKJV – However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
Most people read this story and think that Jesus was saying, “This kind of demon only goes out by prayer and fasting.” But He was not talking about the demon here. He was talking about their doubt.
This kind of DOUBT does not go out except by prayer and fasting.
So, the antidote to circumstantial doubt is prayer and fasting.
You’re are getting excited, aren’t you? I mean, everyone loves a good fast. Let me tell you why it works this way.
Prayer and Fasting
Prayer moves you closer to God. The more time you spend in prayer, the more aware you are of His presence.
If you don’t spend time with God in prayer, you’ll remain closer to your circumstances than you are to God.
And then fasting partners up with prayer to take this to the next level. When you fast, it makes you aware of how much your physical body is in control so you can put it back in its rightful place.
If you want to make your body upset, you should fast. Hunger is one of our strongest desires and probably the easiest one to aggravate. Some of you can’t go four hours without eating.
Your body tells you what to eat, when to eat, how much to eat and you just bow down and say, “Oh yes, great body of mine. Have whatever you want.”
So when you fast, your body is crying out, “Feed me! I’m in control here!” And your spirit says, “No, I’m going to believe the Word of God over this pain I feel.”
And your body shouts back, “Who do you think you are to deny me? It’s been 20 years since you’ve denied me and I am not going to listen to you.”
But you fast anyway because you know the Word says that man does not live by bread alone but by every word of God. And your body responds, “I’ll be dead by noon, I know it. I won’t survive.”
And so you decide, “Alright, I’ll go two days instead of one.” And your body will say, “No, you can’t! I’ll be dead for sure!” And so you say, “Alright, three days.”
About this time your body realizes it better shut up. That’s what fasting is all about. It helps you remember that your body does not get the last word, God does.
God’s Word Prevails
So when that symptom shows up again, you laugh because you know God’s Word prevails over sickness.
Or when you pray for someone and they get worse, you laugh because you know it doesn’t matter what it looks like, God’s Word works every time as long as we don’t negate our faith through doubt and unbelief.
So, circumstantial doubt only comes out through prayer and fasting. You have to draw yourself closer to God and show your body who’s boss.
Are you realizing how God has never been withholding miracles? It’s always been us getting in the way of your own faith. But now we know how to overcome doubt. So get to it.
Take every opportunity to hear the Word of God. And when you have doubt creep in because of past circumstances, it’s time to hit your prayer closet on the regular and treat your body to a good fast.
Truth Removes Doubt
Since the Word of God is what removes doubt, let’s end today by overcoming some of the most common doubts with the Word of God.
For each of these, I am going to share the truth and three scriptures to back it up.
If you are dealing with one of these, write down these scripture references so you can begin to read them out loud every day until the doubt is gone.
Doubt: If I’m sick, it must be God’s will.
Truth: God wants me well.
John 5:19 NLT – Jesus explained, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.”
Did Jesus ever make someone sick to teach them something? Did Jesus ever refuse to heal someone? Did Jesus go about spreading disease and discouragement? No.
Jesus went about doing good and healing ALL who were oppressed by the devil. And Jesus ONLY did what He saw the Father doing.
Do you know what that tells us? God wants you well. If you are sick, it’s not God’s doing. He wants to heal you, so you need to learn how to cooperate with His will.
1 Peter 2:24 NLT – He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed.
Jesus took care of your sickness through His death.
You deserve sickness because of sin, but Jesus took your place so that you could be forgiven. He took your sickness so you could be healed. The divine exchange has already taken place.
III John 1:2 NKJV – Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.
John was writing this under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. God’s desire is for you to prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.
So that’s just three of many scriptures that prove God wants you well.
If you are fighting doubt because someone taught you that God allows sickness in your life, or that He only heals sometimes but not every time, you need to dig into these scriptures until the doubt is gone.
Doubt: Satan is more powerful than me.
Truth: Satan can’t do anything without my cooperation.
James 4:7 NLT – So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
Does it say Satan might flee? No. He WILL flee from you as long as you take the initiative to submit to God and resist the devil.
The only reason Satan can stick around and torment you is because you are allowing it to happen. It’s time to submit to God, resist that dang devil, and get him out of your life.
Luke 10:19 NLT – Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you.
Did Jesus give you partial authority over Satan? No. He gave you ALL authority over the power of the enemy. Satan’s power is worthless unless you refuse to walk in your God-given authority.
Psalm 91:7 NLT – Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you.
Even if everyone else around you is allowing Satan to steal, kill, and destroy, you’ll be living in your Holy Spirit bubble – completely untouched by the power of the enemy.
I know this is true because this is my story through Covid. Everyone around me was afraid. But I chose to submit to God and resist the devil and enjoyed freedom from fear as a result.
Here’s the last one:
Doubt: God is glorified when I live sick or poor.
Truth: God is glorified when I make a difference.
John 15:8 NLT – By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit.
Are you bearing fruit whenever you are sick? No. You are tired and grumpy. How about when you are poor? No. You are unhappy and jealous of everyone else.
God gets no glory out of you being sick or poor. He is glorified when you are well, prospering, and bearing much fruit as a result.
II Corinthians 1:20 NLT – For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.
God is not withholding His promises. His answer is always yes. And it glorifies Him when you choose to live in His promises of health and wealth and protection and the list goes on.
Do you know what God has promised you? If not, you better go search it out.
If you are struggling to prosper financially, go listen to Jesse Duplantis until you do. If you are struggling with healing, go listen to Andrew Wommack until you’re healed.
God has given us teachers and preachers to help us understand these things. Why? Because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.
There’s no excuse for not hearing the Word of God multiple times a day. It’s easier than ever with preachers on YouTube, the Bible app, your pastor bringing you a powerful Word every single Sunday.
You are just going to have to make a choice to hear the Word of God rather than hearing what the world is saying on Facebook and Disney+ and all the other outlets Satan is using to distract you.
Matthew 5:16 NLT– Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Is sickness a light that shines? How about poverty? No. If we want to glorify our Father in heaven, then we must show the world what it’s like in heaven. No sickness. No poverty. No lack.
On earth, as it is in heaven. Y’all, we don’t have to wait for the sweet by-and-by. We can live in the promises of God right now.
God is not withholding miracles. And we eliminated that pesky doubt today through the Word of God.