God Can and God Will
Have you ever witnessed God do something powerful in your life, only later to doubt God will come through in a similar situation? For example, financial provision. Throughout God’s Word, He promises to provide for His people. Maybe you had a breakthrough in one season of your life, only to face a more daunting financial situation later and began to wonder, “Can God come through now?” The answer is, “Of course God can!” But our circumstances and unbelief often cloud God and His promises.
Today I want to discuss from Psalm 78 the importance of remembering God’s mighty acts to build faith for His delivering, miracle power. He is the same, yesterday, today, and forever!
God sent Moses to deliver the children of Israel from 430 years of bondage in Egypt. God did great signs, wonders, and miracles. (Psalm 78:12-16, 42-55)
What the Lord did for Moses and the children of Israel was a type and shadow of what God did for us when He sent Jesus Christ to be our great deliverer from sin, sickness, and all the bondage of the devil. We once were in Egypt, and Jesus delivered us. He brought us out to bring us in, into our promised land!
In Psalm 78, we read how God parted the Red Sea, how He led the people with a cloud by day, and a fire by night. (Psalm 78:1-25, 32-33, 40-42, 38-39)
The Lord gave them water out of the rock and manna every day (Psalm 78:13-16, 24-25). Even their shoes and clothes did not wear out, and He guided them supernaturally. But, despite God’s repeated supernatural breakthrough for them, the people complained and doubted God’s supernatural power!
For example, in vs. 19 the people “…spoke against God; they said, ‘Can God prepare a table in the wilderness?’” And in vs. 20, “Can He give bread also? Can He provide meat for His people?”
We need to say as loud as we can, “GOD CAN and GOD WILL!”
Psalm 78:22 states that God was grieved “because they did not believe God promises nor did they trust His salvation.”
We might think to ourselves, “How could these people do this after God had done so much for them? What was wrong with them?”
The body of Christ often does the very same thing as Israel—God gives a promise, but we do not believe Him. Unbelief grieves God. It is illegitimate to question God after He gives a promise. God invites us to inquire about direction, but not to question promises.
Remember the people of Nazareth, Jesus’ hometown, “And because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them. And he was amazed at their unbelief.” (Mark 6:5-6 NLT)
Unbelief hinders the flow of God for individuals or congregations. There is no limit to God’s authority and power, the only limitation is the barrier erected by unbelief in our minds.
While God is sovereign, He expects us to trust Him and His promises. But unbelief enables negativity and doubt to thrive!
One translation of Psalm 78:22 reads, “…they did not drink of the full cup of His salvation.” Many people receive Jesus and think that is all there is to their salvation.
No, look in the cup of His salvation! The baptism of the Holy Spirit is in there, healing is in there, deliverance is in there, and God’s provision is in there to name a few! Everything that pertains to life and godliness is in there! Every spiritual blessing available in Christ!
Paul would write to the Ephesians,
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,” (Eph. 1:3 NKJV)
Jesus often challenged the disciples to have confident faith in God’s promises. Consider what Mark recorded,
Have the faith of God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.” Mark 11:22-24 NKJV
Notice Jesus challenges the hearer to believe, have faith, and act in prayer and declaration over impossibilities (mountains). Again, God is sovereign, but we participate with Him in realizing His promises!
Faith is grace imparted from Christ to our hearts. It is not an intellectual understanding, but a revelation to the heart by the grace of God.
Faith starts and ends in Christ. Heb. 12:2 says, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.”(NKJV) When I want faith, I must seek Jesus. Real faith is faith that comes from Christ, imparted to us by His grace.
Faith says that I am going to look through the darkness or emptiness of the situation, and declare what God says. Abraham did this. Ignoring the fact, he and Sarah were old and past childbearing years, He believed God’s promise for a son. Consider what Paul wrote,
“Abraham believed God, and he was accounted as righteous with God.” (Rom. 4:3 NKJV) Faith ceases from self-effort and trusts God to do the impossible for us. Paul continues,
Abraham, contrary to hope, in hope believed, and he became the father of many nations” (Rom. 4:18 NKJV)
He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief…” Rom. 4:20 (NKJV)
Belief is an assurance of the mind. Faith is an assurance of the heart. You can believe a promise, but not have the faith to appropriate it.
In Psalm 78:5-7, God commands the children of Israel to declare the stories of His mighty acts and words to their children. This is a key antidote to unbelief.
For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, Which He commanded our fathers, That they should make them known to their children;
That the generation to come might know them, The children who would be born, That they may arise and declare them to their children, That they may set their hope in God, And not forget the works of God, But keep His commandments. (NKJV)
Why? So each generation would obey God, set their hope in Him, and not forget He still works in supernatural ways! It is important to build a framework to believe in God and the miraculous with our children. It is not enough to know Bible facts or doctrine, but to know God personally, to know of His ways, and His power!
The very testimonies of God’s nature, character, and mighty displays of power build faith in our children, and those to come. When we remember what God has done, we stir in our own hearts faith to believe that God will do this again. We must re-tell what God has done!
Our ability to remember, to recall what God has done in our lives and throughout history, the testimony, is an important factor that determines our success or failure in sustaining a kingdom lifestyle of power for miracles.
The Effect of Testimonies
[Then God said] If they will not believe you or heed the voice or the testimony of the first sign, they may believe the voice or the witness of the second sign.” Exodus 4:8 AMP
Voice or testimony here means “call aloud; a voice or sound.” Testimonies “call aloud the good works of God; they speak of God’s love and power.
The purpose of testimony is to release faith over people, to provide a faith foundation for God to move in a similar manner again. For Moses and the children of Israel, they remembered for years the Red Sea miracle. It was a sign, a voice that still calls to our generation of the power of God.
The Psalmist in 78 was calling them to remember what God had done … declaring to them and to us, “God Can and God Will!”
Every act, every miracle of God, is an invitation from God to us to experience this miracle realm again.
In Revelation, John writes,
…for the testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy.” (Rev. 19:10 NKJV)
Greek for testimony means “evidence given, record, report, testimony, witness.” What is a testimony? A testimony is the written or spoken record of anything God has done in history. In this verse, the testimonies bear witness to who Jesus is and His works.
Paul writes, “our testimony unto you,” (2 Thess. 1:10 NKJV) refers to the fact that the apostles, besides proclaiming the truths of the gospel, bore witness to the power of these truths about Jesus and the power of the kingdom among them.
Declaring the testimony is a vehicle (we also have God’s Word) by which God’s promises are transmitted to others in need. Peter said, “I perceive that God shows no partiality.” (Acts 10:34 NKJV) True, what God promised and did for others, He will do for you!
The Testimonies of the Lord are our Inheritance
I have inherited your testimonies forever, for they are the joy of my heart.” (Ps. 119:111 NASB)
Remember, a testimony is the written or spoken record of anything God has done in history. Everything God has said and done in history is your eternal possession! Therefore, we must learn to spend our inheritance by drawing on God’s promises, to benefit those around us. Every word God has spoken to you is yours, now and always!
What history do you have with God? What can you call to mind to remind yourself of the goodness of God and His miracle power?
When you are discouraged, without hope, remind yourself of what God has done and is doing. The testimonies of the Lord are your inheritance, they have power when spoken or decreed.
Psalm 78:41 states, “Yes, again and again they tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.” Do not allow unbelief to prevent you from experiencing the fullness of God’s promises and kingdom!
For a deeper look at this topic, watch the Passion Church message, “God Can and God Will”