First the Blade
© 2019 by Larry Nevenhoven
Building Mustard-Seed Faith (j)
Rick was not really a bad kid, but he always seemed to be in trouble. If teachers weren’t keeping him after school for his misbehavior in class, then the small town police chief was knocking on his mom’s door asking for him.
At age eighteen, he signed a counter check (a blank check provided by banks) in a local store for ten dollars. The only problem was he did not even have a checking account. The police chief found him easy enough because instead of using a forged name, he wrote his full name on the signature line.
The court assigned him an attorney.
“Listen, Rick,” the attorney said, “I suggest you plead guilty and ask for mercy. I think the judge will put you under court supervised parole and consider your time already spent in jail as your sentence.”
Rick stood in front of the judge and followed the attorney’s advice.
The judge stared at him with cold eyes.
“Young man, I’m going to make an example out of you. I’m sentencing you to ten years in prison.”
Rick screamed at his lawyer. The lawyer shrugged his shoulders.
“Sorry, kid, I don’t win them all,” he said, walking away.
I met Rick when he was forty years old at a church meeting where I was preaching in the spring of 1993. He had served seventeen years in prison, mainly for drug related problems. Rick was a Christian, but trusted few people and even spent time in prayer before the meeting on that particular day.
“Lord, show me if this preacher is the real deal or not. I don’t want to be misled anymore by prophetic charlatans,” Rick asked the Lord.
When I finished my message, I prayed for a few people. Then I walked over to Rick and prophesied to him. I gave him special words of knowledge about his past that only the Holy Spirit could possibly know about him. I prayed for his prophetic calling to come forth in his life. (86) Rick broke down and cried.
Rick and I soon became good friends. He even worked for my painting company.
Another time, Rick was going through a big problem and asked for prayer from me. I waited on the Lord and had a vision about Rick. I saw him sitting on a cot in a prison cell. He was facing a solid brick wall, but directly behind him, the cell door was wide open. All he had to do was stand up, turn around, and walk out the door. He was a free man.
I told Rick about the vision and he rejoiced about it, but sadly, I never saw Rick walk out the cell door of his personal prison. His past always kept in chains.
And He said to them, “Be careful what you are hearing. The measure [of thought and study] you give [to the truth you hear] will be the measure [of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you — and more besides will be given to you who hear. (Mark 4: 24 Amplified Bible)
Rick had an older brother whom his mom adored, but for whatever reasons, she did not like Rick. She scolded and belittled him. “You are never going to amount to anything. You are no good,” she would tell him over and over again.
If he made a mistake, she brutally spanked him. When he cried, she continued spanking him until he quit crying. And always, always after the spanking, she would let him know he deserved the spanking because he was no good and would never amount to anything.
His mother never once visited him, phoned him, or sent a letter in his seventeen years of prison. He had become what she said he would be: “no good and of no value.”
Rick’s life was an extreme example of a person hearing words, which have destroyed his faith foundation. He could do nothing about his childhood or his mother and it will take a supernatural deliverance by the Lord to set him free. But what about you and me?
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. (Romans 10: 17)
Everyday, we believers make decisions on what we will hear. Conversations. TV. Radio. Movies. Cell phones. iPods. MP3 Players. All of these voices enter our minds through our ears. Once there, these voices may sow seeds, which may spread their roots deep into the walls of our mind. These roots become tough to remove.
If you doubt the power of voices growing roots in our minds, do you know the names these slogans are referring to: “Just do it.” “Where’s the beef?” “We try harder.” “Tastes great, less filling.” “Melts in your mouth, not in your hands.” “Finger licking good.” “What happens here, stays here.” “Betcha can’t just eat one.“
Most of us know the names without thinking because these advertising slogans have grown deep roots into the walls of our minds.
So, the second biggest hindrance to faith is what we believers listen to.
(Continued…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)