We’re dealing here with the power of the promises of GOD and why they sometimes do not work for us personally.
Sarah was Abraham’s wife. One day GOD came to Sarah and said, “Sarah, you’re going to have a baby”. There’s nothing unusual about that except she was ninety years old and her husband Abraham was ninety-nine years old. That’s incredible! It was a specific word to her.
GOD didn't say, “The whole nation of Israel, every woman when she reaches ninety is going to have a baby.” It was a specific rhema, a word of GOG to her and not to anybody else. Just to her.
Getting a personal promise of GOD like that is the key to miracles. It’s the key to answered prayer. When GOD speaks to you personally, then you can act on it. Not when HE uses it for everyone and you say, “HE used it for that person so I'm going to claim it for me.”
John 15:7 says, “If you continue to abide in MY word, then you can ask for whatever you want and then it will be yours.” It says, “If you continue in my rhema (a specific word) not logos (a universal word)... If you continue in MY specific word to you, then you can have answered prayer.
Remember the story of Peter walking on water? Peter’s out in a boat with all of the disciples. It’s night. JESUS comes walking across the water and Peter says, “LORD, Call me and I’ll come!” JESUS gives Peter a rhema, a specific word for one man in a specific situation. HE says, “Peter, come on!” Peter gets out of the boat and starts walking across the water.
Notice that no one else was anxious to get out of the boat besides Peter. Why? Because it wasn’t a word to everybody. It was a word to Peter in a specific time. It wasn’t a universal word, either. The next day, Peter didn’t get up and say, “Let's go fishing, but we don’t need a boat today. Let’s just walk on water and catch fish.” No, it was a one-time thing.
You don’t read the book of Mark and read about Peter walking on water one day and figure you can walk across your swimming pool. Don’t work on a rhema given to somebody else. We get into trouble when we try to force a general promise to everybody to work as a personal promise to us without the HOLY SPIRIT telling us to do it.
For instance, I talk to people who read a verse in the Bible on healing. They’ll say, “GOD healed them, therefore GOD must heal me.” So they pray and believe and have tremendous faith but even in spite of their faith nothing happens. Then they get mad and say, “GOD! Why didn’t YOU heal me? It’s in the Bible. YOU said so. YOU have to do it.” And you argue.
No. They didn't have a personal word from GOD for this particular thing. It was a general word.
Satan tried to do this with JESUS one time. JESUS was out in the desert and Satan came and said, “JESUS, why don’t YOU jump off the temple because the Bible says GOD will take care of You?”
That wasn’t faith. That was presumption. It was a general promise.
“GOD will take care of you.” That’s like reading the verse, then going home, getting some arsenic and drinking it. GOD hasn’t promised to take care of me if I drink arsenic! That was a general promise.
In order to understand how prayer works, you must understand that GOD speaks two ways. HE speaks generally, to everybody, the word of GOD to everyone – logos. HE speaks personally, to individuals about a personal thing and that’s rhema. That's how you get answers to prayer.
Just a thought from the front porch…