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James 1:6 by Robert Dean
Series:James (1998)
Duration:58 mins 50 secs

Using the Faith-Rest Drill
James 1:6

 

In review, there are three stages to the faith-rest drill. The first stage is mixing promises with faith; stage two is using doctrinal rationales; stage three is coming to doctrinal conclusions.

Stage one: mixing promises with faith. How do we claim a promise? It is a simple procedure. A promise in the Word of God encapsulates doctrine at a very basic level. By claiming a promise, what you are doing is taking your faith and mixing it with a promise to apply it to a particular situation. 1) You cannot apply what you do not know. You must know the promises of God accurately before you can claim them.

Example: Numbers 13:2 NASB "Num 13:2 "Send out for yourself men so that they may spy out the land of Canaan, which I am going to give to the sons of Israel; you shall send a man from each of their fathers' tribes, every one a leader among them." There is a promise here. That is, the Lord was going to give the land to Israel; it was an unconditional promise. Did God say the mission was to send twelve men up there to see if they can do it? No. What He said was, "I am going to give it to you." As God works in our lives faith is not divorced from obedience to some level—obedience contained within the promise. Faith-rest says, I am going to rest in the promise of God that He will do what he says He will do, and secondly, I will do, exactly what He tells me to do as part of the condition for Him fulfilling the promise. Some people think that faith-rest is sort of passive, that God is going to do something and I don't do anything. But you do what God says to do within the context of the promise. These twelve spies did not quite understand the context of the promise; except for two, Joshua and Caleb. There were two who understood the promise. The other ten didn't understand the promise. What they heard was, Go see of you can do it. What Caleb and Joshua heard was, I am going to give it to you, just check it out so you will know how to take it when I give it to you. The ten that did not listen and misunderstood the promise could not exercise faith because they did not understand the promise. 

Numbers 13:27, 28 NASB "Thus they told him, and said, "We went in to the land where you sent us; and it certainly does flow with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. Nevertheless…:  See, they focus on the problems, they focus on the circumstances… "the people who live in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified {and} very large; and moreover, we saw the descendants of Anak there."

1)  The principle that needs to be pointed out is that to start off in the faith-rest drill you have to first know the promise before you can apply it and you have to accurately understand the promise. If you don't, God is not going to fulfil the promise and you are going to think doctrine doesn't work and God doesn't answer prayer and faith is irrelevant. So you have to properly understand the context. There are many promises in the Word of God.

The faithfulness of God: 

Psalm 119:89 NASB "Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven." This gives us confidence in the Word of God. There is no change, no variance; God will always be faithful to His Word.

Psalm 119:90 NASB "Your faithfulness {continues} throughout all generations; You established the earth, and it stands."

Numbers 23:19 "God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?" We can rely upon God to be true to His Word and keep His Word. If God has made a promise He will faithfully fulfil what He has promised.

Regarding personal enemies:

Psalm 60:12 NASB "Through God we shall do valiantly, And it is He who will tread down our adversaries." Too often when we get in situations where somebody might be gossiping about us or maligning us, or there is some kind of personal hostility, we want to get vengeance. Our first reaction is to get back at that person. Vindictiveness is never the answer, the answer is to rely upon the Supreme Court of heaven, put it in God's hands, forget about it and move on. Let God deal with the people, it is not our job, it is God's responsibility.

Hebrews 13:6 NASB "so that we confidently say, "THE LORD IS MY HELPER, I WILL NOT BE AFRAID. WHAT WILL MAN DO TO ME?" Man does not have ultimate power over the believer; God is the one who protects us. 

Promises we can claim when we feel down or discouraged:

Psalm 37:28 NASB "For the LORD loves justice And does not forsake His godly ones; They are preserved forever, But the descendants of the wicked will be cut off." We can rely upon the Lord.

Isaiah 40:29 NASB "He gives strength to the weary, And to {him who} lacks might He increases power."

Promises regarding strength:

Psalm 18:2 NASB "The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." It is when we learn doctrine and store it in our souls, and when we extrapolate the principles of doctrine from what we learn, and we begin to apply them in terms of the stress-busters, that builds this fortress around our souls. He does this through doctrine.

Promises that relate to the comfort of God:

Psalm 22:24 NASB "For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; Nor has He hidden His face from him; But when he cried to Him for help, He heard." Don't think that God has deserted you, in other words. God hears our prayers when we cry out to Him. While He may leave us in a position of adversity for a while, it is for a purpose: to teach us to apply doctrine, to teach us persistence and perseverance which is the key to spiritual growth.

Safety:

Proverbs 1:33 NASB "But he who listens to me shall live securely And will be at ease from the dread of evil."

Psalm 4:8 NASB "In peace I will both lie down and sleep, For You alone, O LORD, make me to dwell in safety.

Proverbs 3:24 NASB "When you lie down, you will not be afraid; When you lie down, your sleep will be sweet."

God's help; His sustenance for us:

Psalm 42:11 NASB "Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God."

Guilt:

Isaiah 43:25 NASB "I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, And I will not remember your sins."

Psalm 103:12 NASB "As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us."

Fear:

Isaiah 41:10 NASB "Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."

Isaiah 41:13 NASB "For I am the LORD your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, 'Do not fear, I will help you.'"

Philippians 4:6, 7 NASB "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

2)  Once we learn promises, then comes the next stage, and that is thinking about their meaning. That is what the Bible means by meditation. What does this promise say about the character of God? What does it say about His actions? What kind of actions will He take on your behalf in this situation? What does it say about your responsibilities in the situation, and what you are to do and not to do? Think about the situation and what is involved there.

3)  Review the promise several times in your mind.

4)  Use the promise as the basis for prayer. That is where we are moving into the realm of claiming the promise. 

5)  Turn the situation over to the Lord. "Lord, here is this situation and here is what you have promised, so I'm trusting you to fulfil your promise." Turn it over to the Lord and leave it there. Remember, the battle is the Lord's—1 Samuel 17:4; 1 Peter 5:7 NASB "casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you."

6)  Faith-rest must be consistent and persistent. Continuous confidence and tenacious trust are the basis for stability in the faith-rest drill. The opposite, as we see in James 1:6, is when we doubt and are like shifting sand or like the waves tossed to and fro, and that man is DIPSUCHOS [diyuxoj], a two-souled believer, and he is unstable in all of his ways.

7)  Faith means the absence of reliance on human works—effort, human viewpoint systems of thought. Faith means the absence of reliance on human works, effort, human viewpoint systems of thought. It does not mean that you don't do anything, but you let God fight the battle while you focus on your responsibilities. Do your job as unto the Lord as a believer and let God sort out everything else. God is righteous; the Supreme Court of heaven is still active. Romans 4:21 NASB "and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform."

8)  When the faith-rest drill characterizes and dominates your thinking your panic, fear, anxiety, worry, anger subsides and is replaced with peace, tranquillity and contentment; the basis for inner happiness. When the focus is on doctrine the result is peace, calm, stability; when the focus is on the problem, the difficulty, or whatever it is, then the result is instability.

9)  Some Old Testament illustrations of mixing promises with faith. God appears to Abraham, Genesis 22, and tells him to sacrifice Isaac. Abraham obeys. How many people would sacrifice their one and only pride and joy to the Lord? Abraham knew that God had promised him a seed and that seed was going to come through Isaac. So even if Abraham sacrificed Isaac he knew that God would bring him back alive. So Abraham trusts God in the situation, moves out and never looks back. Another example came later in Israel's history after forty years of oppression and slavery by the Midianites—Gideon's fleece test. Gideon is not trying to find out God's will by putting out the fleece, he knew what God's will was. He is procrastinating. He doesn't any more want to get an army together and go up to the Midianites than anything else. He wants to come up with something that is impossible for God to do so he can rationalize the situation and not be obedient. He is resisting.

10)  Faith-rest mechanics of stage one are three. a) faith claims the promise; b) faith applies the promise; c) faith takes control and stabilizes the situation. 

The second stage of the faith-rest drill is a doctrinal rationale.

1)  A rationale is just the underlying reason, justification or explanation for something; it is marshalling certain principles together.

2)  The use of doctrinal rationales depends on having a certain amount of EPIGNOSIS doctrine in your soul so that your faith is maturing. You have to start applying some doctrine that is there.

3)  Example: The essence of God rationale. This focuses on the nature and the character of God which under girds His promises. It is the character of God that is the basis for stability for His promise. His character includes perfect justice and righteousness, unlimited power, veracity so that we know that His Word is true, immutability so that we know he has not changed His mind. So as we come to learn and understand the essence of God we can unite that with our faith as we face any …. [Gap in tape]… In Psalm 86:15, 16 we see a little bit of an essence of God rationale. NASB "But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, Slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth. Turn to me, and be gracious to me; Oh grant Your strength to Your servant, And save the son of Your handmaid." So he petitions the Lord on the basis of the character of God. Another psalm that utilizes this is Psalm 56:2-7 NASB "Ps 56:2 My foes have trampled upon me all day long, For they are many who fight proudly against me. When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. What can {mere} man do to me? All day long they distort my words; All their thoughts are against me for evil. They attack, they lurk, They watch my steps, As they have waited {to take} my life. Because of wickedness, cast them forth, In anger put down the peoples, O God! … [10] In God, {whose} word I praise, In the LORD, {whose} word I praise, In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?" Another example is Psalm 64:1-6 NASB "Ps 64:1 Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint; Preserve my life from dread of the enemy. Hide me from the secret counsel of evildoers, from the tumult of those who do iniquity, who have sharpened their tongue like a sword. They aimed bitter speech {as} their arrow, to shoot from concealment at the blameless; Suddenly they shoot at him, and do not fear. They hold fast to themselves an evil purpose; They talk of laying snares secretly; They say, "Who can see them?" They devise injustices, {saying,} "We are ready with a well-conceived plot"; For the inward thought and the heart of a man are deep. But, verse 7 "But God will shoot at them with an arrow; Suddenly they will be wounded." He is focusing on the Supreme Court of heaven for the solution to his problem. He is not going to try to deal with it himself, but rest upon the Lord. Psalm 55:22 NASB "Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken." Never be tempted to take the problem into your own hands.

God's sovereignty: as the absolute ruler of the universe He is in complete control of every circumstance in life. Jesus Christ controls history. God's righteousness: He is perfect goodness; He is sinless in His character and person. Therefore His solutions are always correct and accurate. He always has a lesson for us to learn and it is designed for our particular circumstances. In terms of God's justice He is absolute fairness, therefore we have no right to become angry or bitter in our circumstances. God is absolutely fair in everything He does. Love: God consistently loves His own perfect righteousness. That is in you, the believer, at the moment of salvation. You possess the righteousness of Christ so God will always love you with a perfect, infinite love. Since you have this imputation of His perfect righteousness God will always stand by you in the midst of the most devastating of circumstances. Eternal life: God is eternal, He has always existed. He has no beginning and no end and in eternity past in His omniscience he knew of our problems and provided for them. In God's omniscience God knows all things. He has always known the best solution to our problem and has provided that solution from eternity past. In His omnipresence God exists in all places at one time. He observes all things and is the eyewitness to every circumstance is our lives and he will always act in our behalf from a foundation of complete knowledge and perfect righteousness. In His omnipotence God is all-powerful, unlimited in His ability and His authority, and He is able to accomplish anything necessary to solve our problem. In His immutability God cannot change. His Word cannot change. He will always keep His promises and be faithful to them, and He honors His doctrines without question. Veracity: God is absolute truth, so when he says something is true then we can rely upon it more than we can rely upon anything else in life.

The plan of God rationale.

In the plan of God rationale we know that God has had a plan for us from eternity past. Since God foreknew us He expressed His will and purpose for us in eternity past under the doctrine of election. In that He has provided a plan for our lives that provides a solution for everything. So we know from the plan of God that if we are alive and breathing that God has a plan for our lives and that plan is for our good and not for our evil. Romans 8:35 NASB "Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? … [37]  But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us." So God's plan includes every circumstance in our lives for good.