Many Christians live in the first level of ‘receiving’ in that they accept the promise is valid, but never receive it in the second sense, making it their own. Thus they never truly get to ‘receiving’ it in its fullness. God want you to enjoy ‘receiving faith’ of this transformational kind. Consider the following passage and note the use of the word ‘receive’:
“Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For He had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 8:14-17)
Two different words are used in the Greek for ‘receive’ but are translated as the same one in English. So, we could potentially miss a very important principle.
First, there is ‘dechomai’ which means to accept a thought, truth or idea. To be open to it, be hospitable to, interested and wanting to learn more about this thing you have just heard. This is used first in the passage above. It’s a good word, but it only gets you so far.
Secondly, there is ‘lambano’ which means to grasp or to take hold of, assay; take up a thing that is to be carried; to make it one’s own. And carries the deeper connotation of associating with the thing received as your companion, and even to marry. This is the second use in the passage.
What I want you to see is that while both are good words, only the second one, ‘lambano’ leads the individual to actually experience and fully make the thing they have received their own. It is receiving at a whole new, deeper level. These are some steps that will help you achieve this:
Remove Stumbling Blocks to Receiving Faith
If you find yourself constantly receiving things at only a surface level, never seizing the promise fully, or experiencing it in reality, think through the following:
- Do you have a clearly defined goal for your faith?
The goal should stretch us, challenge our faith and make the objectives of our prayers crystal clear. So much so, that when they are answered we are left in no doubt that it is as a result of our faith in the promise.
“And answering him, Jesus said, what do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10:51)
2. Is your faith too timid?
Do you tend to hesitate when it comes to taking risks of faith? Or do you ask big things from your big God?
“And He said to them, ‘Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?'”(Mark 4:40)
3. Are you taking care of your internal environment?
In many places the Bible warns us to guard our heart because it is the internal environment that our faith is incubated in and flows from.
“Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)
This includes the attitudes we carry and atmosphere we create in our inner world. If it goes sour through bitterness, resentment, anger or goes morbid, sad or becomes depressed, creative life forces stop working. We lack both the energy and the ideas to make anything much happen. The Bible also teaches us that the joy of God is our strength.
“Do not be grieved for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10b)
4. Do you hesitate to grasp the nettle in a difficult situation?
Procrastination – putting things off for another day – is a decision not to make a decision! Are you by procrastinating putting off your ability to truly receive the promise, step out in faith and embrace your destiny?
“For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:17)
This final verse today describes how we have received an abundance of grace that equips us to reign in life. You should note that the Greek word ‘receive’ here is ‘lambano’, that wonderful strong, emphatic receiving. Make a strong decision to seize God’s abundant grace because today’s the day to activate your faith!
God’s giving is for our taking.
This article is an extract from Andrew Owen‘s new book DESTINY – How To Find Your God Given Call, which launches soon. Andrew and his wife Sue are the founders of Destiny Ministries in Glasgow, Scotland. He is the lead pastor of the Destiny Churches and is an author and broadcaster.