I first heard of Jennifer Kennedy Dean way back in 2006 when I was trying to get a grasp on prayer and came across her book, “Live A Praying Life.” Although it was a bizarrely-designed book at 9” x 12”, it still contained such astounding wisdom on the subject of prayer that I’ve found myself referring to it at least once a year.
So when I discovered her follow-up, Fueled by Faith, I was curious what more she’d have to say about praying that she hadn’t covered before. Upon reading the first few chapters, however, I was once again deeply impressed with her wisdom. I think the point that really struck home with me was that faith in anything other than Who God Is will let us down. When we have faith in a person, a specific outcome, or (fill in the blank), we will undoubtedly be disappointed and our spiritual growth with slow.
But when we focus our faith on Him, regardless of what we see happening around us, that’s when everything clicks. Once we reach the point we can fully trust God to do what’s right, the stronghold that stress and anxiety has on us is broken. And by “right” I mean what is truly right in His eyes as He’s the only righteous one to make the call.
He is God. He will do what He wants to, and whether we see the benefit to ourselves or not is irrelevant. Because we’re not the main character in the story. We’re all just a supporting cast that He weaves into His story as He sees fit. The sooner we forget that key point, the sooner we get tripped up in matters of faith.
God is not a cosmic slot machine. He can’t be bribed into doing what you want based on your holy performance. He’s already laid the track for the trip. You can decide if you wanna hop on the train, trip over the tracks in your blind determination or be left behind entirely.
Fueled by Faith: Living Vibrantly in the Power of Prayer – Jennifer Kennedy Dean
- God Himself is the focus of our faith.
- You can’t have faith in an outcome. You can only have faith in a person. Jesus said to have faith in God.
- Many time our attempts to exercise faith are in hopes that we will be able to somehow manipulate our circumstances and bring about our preferred outcome by “faith” expressed through “prayer.”
- We think to ourselves that if we can only learn how faith operates through prayer, then we can get God to do what we think He should do, when we think He should do it. This is flesh-fueled, faulty thinking. It isn’t faith.
- Belief is not faith. And unbelief is not doubt.
- Faith’s focus is God – not a specific outcome.
- Faith is trusting God. No matter what the outcome is.
- We need to differentiate between believing in an outcome and believing in God. Faith is not believing something. Faith is believing someone.
- Faith is fully-focused on God.
- God’s blessings are free, unearned and undeserved. You can’t “buy” them with faith.
- God will always, in whatever circumstance or situation or moment, be totally and completely in control.
- Can God make promises to you about the future if He is not in control of the future?
- Sometimes God intervenes to stop bad things from happening. We need to remember that even when He does not intervene, He does so on purpose. For a specific reason.
- Faith is knowing that God sees what you can’t.
- Faith knows that God is continually working toward an outcome that is beyond anything we could ask or imagine.
- God’s plans are always for your benefit, and they are thoroughly thought out long, long in advance.
- Wisdom is that which God alone possesses, and that which God alone can give.
- Unbelief will cause you to dismiss God in favor of your own abilities. And many times people will decide to let fear direct their decisions in life.
- The Israelites didn’t wonder if God had delivered them from Egypt and miraculously provide for them. But they didn’t have faith that He would continue to save them.
- Unbelief is choosing to believe our own perceptions and intentionally not trusting God.
- God put the Israelites in a position of hunger specifically so that He could provide for them with manna for the specific purpose of teaching them that they could trust in His promises.
- Sometimes we confuse God’s will for His ways. We often see Him bringing His will about in a way that, to us, seems like a mistake. Don’t confuse what He’s doing with how He’s doing it
- We need to keep in practice so that our response to any critical or negative thought or circumstance in life is faith.
- God implants and nurtures vision, and He alone allows it to become reality on the earth.
- Vision is a specific promise from God to you. It develops gradually, slowly, but in time becomes clearer.
- Your responsibility is to provide the vision with the proper conditions for maturing. Feed the vision the Word of God. The vision will progressively unfold as you walk in obedience.
- God implanted you with His vision at exactly the right time, and He will bring it about in exactly the right time.
- Remember that the vision is God’s, and not yours. He will bring about His vision through you.
- God will bring you through times and crisis points where you’ll recognize that there are elements of your flesh wrapped around the vision.
- God will announce His plans before He brings them into being, so that we will fully recognize His work, and will not attribute His power to anyone or anything else.
- Your job is to obey, moment by moment. Say what He tells you to say, and do what He tells you to do. Faith is expressed in obedience.
- Your enemy is constantly working against your faith, but he can only defeat you if he can discourage you. He is part of God’s plan for growing greater faith in you.
- Faith is obedience to the present-tense voice of God, and sometimes the obedience lies in not acting. When faith is exercised on the earth, you release His power into your circumstances.
- God doesn’t want your best efforts or your well-meaning actions. He wants your obedience to His voice.
- God has been directing your life toward the vision all along. Ask yourself, how have your circumstances in your past been arranged so that the vision could grow? How have your particular challenges and heartaches and failures enabled you to host the vision?
- Time and again, God will bring opportunities and drop them in your lap, and you will know that the vision is His, and He will bring it to pass in His way and His time.
- His vision for you will fit you down to the last detail.
- God arranges crisis moments at which times you will come face to face with your flesh, and see how you’ve wrapped it around the vision. You will have to relinquish ownership and lay it down.
- God will purify you so that which you bring forth will be equally pure. He is working in you beyond simple obedience, digging up the roots of unrighteousness that lead to disobedience.
- The process of purity precedes the promise of power.
- As you stay God-centered, rather than problem-centered, you’ll see your situations from a different vantage point.
- Praise doesn’t always radically change your circumstances, but it will change your viewpoint. Even in the midst of your darkest circumstances, God is who He claims to be.