Great Faith, Part 9
In our quest to develop great faith we started off using the seed-to-manifestation motif as a model to illustrate how faith is planted into our heart soil. The first two soil conditioners, SETTLE IT and SEE IT are vital if the Word of God (the seed) is ever to take root and have a chance to mature. For the 3rd soil conditioner, SAY IT, we shifted into a movie making motif to illustrate how the seed gets from the death of the dark soil to fruitful manifestation on the stage of life. SAY IT begins the activation process of all the miraculous material God packed inside the seed. SAY IT releases the potential power within that carries with it a supernatural transforming agent, which is the 4th soil conditioner. So let’s get back to the set.
Lights, camera... action! You probably associate this phrase with what a director says on a movie set just prior to the actors playing out the scene that is about to be filmed. Before the actors begin, someone with a marker board will come on camera and say, “take one” and snap the board as the signal to begin. “Take One” implies that there could be “take two, three, four, or four hundred” takes. The actors will play out the scene until the director says, “and cut, that’s a wrap,” or “that’s perfect!” We, as an audience, see it as the final product of a movie that may have taken months or even years to produce. There were multiple scenes, with many takes, in various locations that all get pieced together under the watchful eye of the director.
Looking back at our scripture verses from Hebrews 11, we need to locate the 4th soil conditioner: …”People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return” [Heb 11:14-15 NIV emphasis added]. This 4th conditioner is a little harder to detect. It is made up of the combination of the three underlined words in this passage. In keeping with the two-word phrase beginning with the letter S model, I will call the 4th conditioner, SATURATE IT. If you put the three underlined words together as an action, it could be called meditation. In the acting world, this would be the process of script memorization. The purpose of memorizing is to get the written word (the script) from the paper into the head & heart of the actor so that the action is an exact representation of what the author’s intention was in writing the script. It is the director’s job to oversee the action by coaching, empowering, instructing, encouraging, and correcting the actors until they become the living expressions of the written word. It is the actor's job to know the script!
This sounds a lot like John 1:14: …”and the word became flesh and dwelt among us.” It is the director’s intent to use the Word of God as the transforming agent to form us into the image of Jesus. As Jesus was the exact image of the Father, so we are to become the exact image of Jesus. We need to break the SATURATE IT process down to fully appreciate what is happening to our physical being as the Word of God, which is alive and active, begins to permeate our being. When an actor accepts a role in a movie, they are handed a script that contains the words that they will need to say and also information about the character such as motivations, personality, background, etc., that will enable the actor to fully embrace who this person is to become when the action begins. I am sure that there are many times when an actor will read a script and think, “Wow, this is going to be a stretch for me. This is nothing like the person that I really am.” This is exactly what SATURATE IT, or transformation, is all about. The Word of God has the latent supernatural power to change you into the image of Jesus. The Word of God works in us to the degree that we are willing to work the Word.
By now you have probably figured out Who the director is - Holy Spirit. The Father (Author), Jesus (Producer), and Holy Spirit work together in cooperation with us to produce our New Life. When Jesus finished His mission on the earth He told His disciples that He had done everything necessary and left every possible resource to enable us to be just like He was when He lived on the earth. In a movie, the actor is technically “faking” the part. In the Christian life, we actually become the part! How can this really happen? Here is the way Jesus explained it: When I (Jesus) send the Holy Spirit to you, He will not only be with you, He will be in you. He will lead you and guide you into all truth and he will remind you of all that I said to you (see John 14). The script God has written for you is actually implanted, embedded, and imparted into your very being. It is not so much a script to memorize from the outside as much as it is a script to meditate on from the inside (see Jer. 31:33 for God’s promise on this).
What is this meditation all about anyway? Isn’t that just a “New Age” concept? There are many different forms of meditation and most of them strive to empty the mind of thoughts and arrive at a state of thoughtlessness, which is believed to bring a state of peace and tranquility to the meditator. In Biblical meditation, the goal is to allow the Holy Spirit to fill your mind with the thoughts of God, as these thoughts are transformative in nature, and will create a state of thoughtfulness. You become more thoughtful of Who God is, who you are, what You have, and what you are supposed to do. Biblical meditation is the gateway to our successful destiny - or the fulfillment of God’s will for our life.
Consider this passage from Joshua that we referenced in the last post: “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful” [Jos 1:8 NIV emphasis added]. The Hebrew word used for our English word meditate means in effect: to mutter what you are imagining, to speak to yourself what you are seeing in your mind, even to roar and growl! This does not sound very peaceful to me! Biblical meditation is an active, a very active, SEE IT and SAY IT session geared for a full-on assault of negative false beliefs and lies that have become lodged in our heart. The goal of Biblical meditation is to so fill the mind with God’s thoughts that there is no more room for contrary, destructive thoughts to exist. This, in essence, is the definition of SATURATE!
Biblical meditation, or SATURATE IT, can be hard work. It takes discipline and consistency for this process to really take hold and have its desired effect. This is not a quick fix open-says-me chant. It is deciding to make this a lifestyle as we are constantly bombarded with negative thoughts on a daily basis. There is a great reward for all this hard work: prosperity and success. If you could boil down an assessment of Jesus’ mission on Earth as it is related to finishing every last detail with total excellence, prosperity and success would be the two words to encapsulate it. When your flesh is becoming the Word of God, you are becoming prosperous and successful. What a promise!
For those among us who like to pull Spiritual things down to Earth to see if they really work, I have really good news for you. New research and clinical studies in the field of neuroplasticity have proven the truth of the power of Biblical meditation to actually change your brain. By change, we are talking about changing its physical properties (reversing memory loss, TBI effects, etc.) and its cognitive properties (addictive thought patterns like anxiety, depression, etc.). Just do a www search on this topic and you can read report after report with plenty of proof for skeptics. SEE IT, SAY IT, SATURATE IT, when employed consistently and with duration, will actually rewire the way the brain works. What you are seeing with the eyes of your heart (imagination) and what you are saying about what you are seeing will trigger a very complicated series of brain events that shape the person you are and are going to be. Change your brain, change your behavior. With the right script in your heart and the right work ethic, you can transform your life and become an amazing hero of faith.
We have just scratched the surface of understanding the power of the first 4 soil conditioners: SETTLE IT, SEE IT, SAY IT, SATURATE IT, but we need to move on. We still have one last conditioner to identify from Hebrews 11:13-ff.
This last one is where we get to see the fruit of our labors. We get to see outwardly what we have been working on inwardly. We get to test drive this newly developed Great Faith and take it through its paces. All the mechanics are in place and all the gears are connected and now we need to put the pedal to the metal and see what happens. Here is a powerful scripture verse to meditate on until next time: “Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” [Rom 12:2 NLT emphasis added]. Great Faith is more than changing what you think, it is changing the way you think. That’s a little hint for the 5th soil conditioner.
So till then, stay tuned and tune in!
by Pastor Jim Anan