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I can almost hear you thinking, If God's mercy is following me and His mercy brings all the benefits of God's presence into my life, why am I not experiencing all those benefits?

There is a simple answer to your question. It is not enough to have God's mercy directed toward you. Like everything else in the Christian life, your faith activates that mercy to bring it into manifestation. The Bible is full of promises for believers - promises of healing, abundance, peace, safety, and so much more. Yet most believers never see those promises become a reality in their lives because they never develop faith for those promises. Faith is the key.

Ephesians 2:8 tells us it is by faith that we are saved: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God." According to Colossians 2:6,7, we must live the Christian life the same way we got saved: "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught."

In other words, you successfully live the Christian life the same way you started it - by faith. Romans 1:17 echoes this truth: "For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith."

Now you can begin to see why so few Christians experience the benefits of God's abundant mercies. They have no faith either to receive these benefits or to live in them. On the contrary, they have faith in the idea that God is mad at them, that He's "out to get them," that He's just looking for an opportunity to zap them. Is it any wonder then that so few believers can really understand the mercies of God?

The good news is, you can make a change in your life starting right now. How? According to Romans 10:17, by hearing the Word! "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."

The Word of Mercy
In the previous chapter, we got a small sampling of what the Word has to say regarding God's mercy. We saw scripture after scripture declaring how God's mercy endureth for ever. In fact, this phrase is repeated forty-two times in the Old Testament alone!

We also discovered that God's mercy is over all His works. (Ps. 145:9) God's mercy is literally in hot pursuit of you. (Ps. 23:6) You need to meditate on these scriptures and get these truths planted deeply into your spirit. As you hear the Word concerning God's mercy, faith in that mercy will come. Then and only then will you begin to see the full manifestation of His mercy in your life.

Let me warn you, though. Your natural mind will not want to accept the reality of God's mercy. Both your mind and the devil will be telling you how unworthy you are for God to be doing anything good in your life. Unless you get a firm, unshakable revelation of God's mercy, the devil will always be able to rob you of your confidence before God.

Without an understanding of mercy, every time you try to step out and do anything of spiritual value, the enemy will bring up every mistake you have ever made. That's why it is so vital that you get this truth firmly established in your heart and mind. Once you do, the devil doesn't stand a chance.

For example, when you prepare to go into the presence of God and receive His promises, the devil will try to shake your confidence, reminding you of some sin you have committed. But if you are grounded in God's mercy, you can just cut the devil to shreds with God's Word. You can say to him: "No, devil, you're a liar! I'm a child of God and His mercy is over all His works. His mercy endureth forever. I've confessed that sin and put it under the blood of Jesus. God's Word says that if I confess my sins, He is faithful and just to forgive my sins and cleanse me from all unrighteousness." (1 John 11:9)

Don't go around declaring your unworthiness to receive the presence and promises of God. Instead, say you are worthy because God has declared you so. You have been made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus and have been seated with Him in heavenly places. (2 Cor. 5:21; Eph. 2:6.)

You must realize that God doesn't see you the way you see yourself. If you are born again, God sees you through the blood of His Son, Jesus. He is not looking at you alone; He sees you in Christ.

To get a powerful picture of this, go to the first chapter of Ephesians and note every instance of phrases, such as in Christ, in Him or in the Beloved. You will find the following descriptions about being in Christ:

You are blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places (v. 3).
You are chosen before the foundation of the world, that you should be holy and without blame before Him (v. 4).
You are predestinated unto the adoption of children (v. 5).
You are accepted (v.6).
You have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace (v. 7).
You have obtained an inheritance (v.1l).
You are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise (v. 13).
You have been given the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him (v. 17).

Are you beginning to get the idea that being in Christ changes your standing with God a little bit? Quit calling yourself unworthy. It's an insult to the grace and mercy of God.

Mercy Meditation
Reading and hearing the Word concerning God's mercy is vital. But to develop faith in the mercies of God, you need to take another step and begin to meditate on the Word.

Psalm 1 says that a man who meditates day and night on the Word is... "like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper" (v. 3).

Meditating God's Word does not mean sitting cross-legged on the floor, humming and chanting for 12 hours a day. Bible meditations simply means dwelling on or pondering a portion of God's Word. You can be doing this while you are taking a shower, driving your car, cooking a meal or even drifting off to sleep at night.

As you are mulling over God's Word throughout the day, something powerful will start happening in your spirit. That Word will begin to take root and bear fruit - the fruit of faith.

The psalmist David knew a little bit about the "checed," or the mercy of God. Many of the psalms focus on it. These psalms make ideal scriptures on which to meditate. Let's look, for example, at certain verses from the book of Psalms:

All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies (Ps. 25:10).

I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities (Ps. 31:7).

For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee (Ps. 86:6).

The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlastin.5t upon them that fear him (Ps. 103:8,11,17).

As a child of God, your heavenly Father has an inexhaustible supply of mercy toward you. You can't wear it out and you can't outrun it. Once you get this truth into your heart - developing faith in it - you will never shrink from God's presence again.

Faith in the mercies of God will equip you to enjoy the benefits of His presence like nothing else can.

The Power of Compassion
The Bible uses another term which is linked to the "checed" and "agape" of God. This word is compassion. The first part of Psalm 145:8, a verse we have already examined, makes clear the relationship between compassion and mercy: "The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy."

As you know, Jesus was a perfect representation of the heart and nature of God. Jesus said, "...he that hath seen me hath seen the Father" (John 14:9). You don't have to look for long at the life of Jesus to discover He was a man of compassion. Here is a sampling of verses showing Jesus being moved with compassion:

"But when he [Jesus] saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd" (Matt. 9:36).

"And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick" (Matt. 14:14).

"Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way" (Matt. 15:32).

"So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him" (Matt. 20:34).

"And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean" (Mark 1:41).

"And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not" (Luke 7:13).

Over and over again in scripture, we see how Jesus' compassion moved Him to meet the needs of the people. If you want to understand the heart of Jesus, you must start with an understanding of His compassion. He described His mission as one of coming to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10).

What does all this have to do with the presence of God? Everything! Understanding the compassion which God has toward you will totally change your attitude about spending time in His presence. As we have seen, it is only in His presence that you can enjoy the benefits of healing, prosperity, peace and power.

Author Biography

Creflo A. Dollar
Web site: World Changers Ministries
 
Creflo Dollar is the founder and senior pastor of World Changers Church International (WCCI) in College Park, Georgia; World Changers Church-New York; and a host of fellowship churches throughout the United States and internationally. WCCI also has offices in Australia (serving the Asia-Pacific region), South Africa, Canada, the United Kingdom, India, and the Ukraine.
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The online ministry of cfaith has been helping people discover faith, friends and freedom in the Word since 2000. Cfaith provides a unique and comprehensive collection of faith-building resources for the worldwide faith community.

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