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Peggy Joyce Ruth Ministries Newsletter

Are You Going Through The Motions Of Believing God?

by Peggy Joyce Ruth on 03/22/18

Active Faith — Passive Faith
Wes could deliver a sermon that captured the attention of everyone in the room. However, after being around him I detected something was amiss. He confided in me that at one time he felt the call to preach but he had lost his faith during seminary. Doubt gripped him...he no longer believed there was a God. Even though he could recite Scripture and sound as though he meant it, he was in a dangerous spot. Sadly, I know another pastor with a similar story. The most frightening thing of all is to have something which comes out of our mouth, which our heart is no longer engaged with. There are different degrees of passive faith. Thankfully, most Christians are not to the extreme as my friend Wes, but passivity tries to creep in and must be guarded against. It is dangerous in our walk. If pastors can become passive, then it's worth our time to examine this further. Do we detect any traces of this in our own lives? 

Step Out Of Passive Faith — Keep Your Faith Alive!

"Faith" is so familiar in our Christian vocabulary that it has almost lost its significance. I have found that most Christians believe that they operate in faith but if we’re honest the results are often hit or miss. Sometimes things don’t turn out according to the promise. Why is this? Deep down, we know it is not the fault of the Word or something lacking on the part of God. Too often we struggle and finally come to the place where we don’t expect our prayers to be answered—every time. The Lord began to deal with me that there is an active faith and there is a passive faith. They are vastly different and it is important that we learn to recognize the difference between the two. Many times what we want from God is just a checklist, but God wants this to be a relationship. God wants to be interactive with us. A passive faith does not deny the truth of scripture. It is very quick to say, “Yes, I do believe the Word!" A passive faith too often believes that God can, but does not necessarily believe that He will do it—in this particular situation. Can you see the danger in that belief? I believe God showed me that a passive faith is a bigger enemy of victory in our lives than doubt itself. At least with doubt, the problem is obvious. We know what to work on. But passive faith can sound so right that we deceive ourselves into thinking we are doing everything right. Passive faith believes that the Word is true, but has lost the expectation of seeing it come to pass. It is possible to say all the right things without realizing that it has become just words. When you get serious with God and determine you want more than just a passive faith, you’ll start becoming aware of those times when your faith is passive. Passive faith always becomes complacent. By the same token, you can know on the inside when your faith is active. An assurance will rise up on the inside where you know, that you know. There is something on the inside that says, “This Word works! The enemy cannot steal this from me.” This knowing on the inside will actually feel “active” rather than "passive". An expectancy will begin to grow. Expectancy is the keyword. You may feel led to take action but it won’t be anything you come up with in your reasoning mind. Active faith will stir you to action. It would be terrible if after years of quoting Psalm 91 every morning, that I slip into a passive recital of the words. To avoid this I make a conscious effort never to quote Psalm 91 passively where it becomes just a ritual. God rescued me from terrible fear by giving me these precious words. If I find my mind drifting or rushing through it, I start over and activate my faith to receive it as my covenant with God, and claim it as preventative medicine. As important as Psalm 91 is to me, I dogmatically determine to stay active with it. The Lord dealt with me on activating my faith each time I quote the Psalm and pray it. It is my strongest gift and daily prayer, but as much as I know it is important to speak it daily, at the same time, I, on purpose, stir it up inside of me (2 Timothy 1:6 KJV). It is appalling, and understandable at the same time of how this slipping into passive faith could happen. How pointless would it be if I spent that time every day praying this psalm over my friends and family and yet, it all be wasted? When you read the 91st psalm let it rise up in you fresh and new every morning like an explosion of faith. That is how you keep your faith active instead of letting it become passive. Use God’s Word in your spiritual warfare. Say it as though you were speaking it directly to the enemy and when you do you will begin to feel your faith rising from passive to active. Active faith always faces the situation head-on. Active faith is not hard. It is simply choosing to believe the Word and saying it out loud. Our part is choosing to believe the Word and actively engaging our heart every time we speak the Scripture. It is an exchange system—exchanging what we see in the natural for what we choose to believe from the Word. Second Corinthians 4:18 says that the things we see are temporal [subject to change]; the things we don’t see are eternal. Anything we see in the natural realm is subject to change. If your circumstances aren't changing, check areas where you have grown passive. Real faith has action to it. When our country calls a young man into the armed service for a tour of duty, it is called active duty. You will never hear of a soldier being sent into passive duty. 1) An active faith will put something into motion. 2) Active faith is a military encounter between hostile forces that do warfare. The whole world lies in the power of the evil one (1 John 5:19b)...but the victory that overcomes the world is our faith (1 John 5:4b)—our faith has to be active for this level of overcoming. One of the most important things you can do to enhance your walk with God is to determine every day to step out of passive faith and keep your faith active. Is your faith vibrant, alive and on fire? Are you doing God’s will, full of fruit in your life, experiencing “God-incidences”, and answered prayers? If not, take steps now to turn your faith into active faith.

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Don't Let the Enemy Scam You

by Peggy Joyce Ruth on 10/25/17

Don't Let the Enemy Scam You!
Healing is not ours until we receive it—Sickness is not ours until we receive it.

     Danger awaits the unsuspecting buyer or seller who is unaware of the schemes on popular classified websites. Unwary users can end up victims, losing property or money if they go for the “too good to be true” deals. Scammer’s convincing tactics and unrealistic sense of urgency become recognizable once you are alerted to their predictable tactics. Many safe transactions occur on these sites when proven methods are put in place as a safeguard, however, the scammers seem to never tire of trying to find a victim. With this analogy, I want you to think of the enemy’s tactics toward your health and well-being.
     I was out taking my walk when suddenly I heard the Lord clearly say, “Jesus took sickness and disease on His own body so that by His Stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:4-5) Jesus took the sickness so that we can take the healing and live in health.
     As Spirit-filled Christians we have our healing Scriptures, such as 1 Peter 2:24, that tells us Jesus bore our sicknesses and diseases in His own body on the cross and Galatians 3:13 that tells us that we are redeemed from the curse which covers all types of sickness. But, let’s ask ourselves, do I really believe that?
     Think with me here, when Jesus administered healing to a person while He walked on the earth, He didn’t ask if they were free of sin before they could receive the healing. After Jesus administered the healing in John 5:14, He said, “Go and sin no more lest a worse thing come on you”. But being without sin was not a criterion for receiving the healing available through Jesus. He dealt with both sin and sickness, and at the same time.

Jesus has already borne every sickness and disease on His own body for us.       It is already accomplished. If we believe that, then we need to realize that SYMPTOMS that comes on our body are not ours until we receive them. Why, because Jesus has already borne it for us.
     The important thing to remember is that we are not forced to accept what He has taken for us. It is a gift if we will receive it. The enemy would love to steal that gift from us. As long as we are living in this world the enemy will tempt us to ignore the gift of health from God. I want you to pay attention closely, he does that by putting symptoms on our body. The symptoms are real. They are not our imagination. We can feel the pain, the fever, the sore throat, or whatever the symptom might be, but, in spite of the symptoms, the sickness is not ours until we receive it. The symptoms are the bait.
     Countless numbers of Christians receive sickness every moment of the day because they haven’t grasped the fullness of the Scripture promises and just don’t know better. Sadly, we don’t have to receive the sickness. It is not ours until we own it. I’m not saying that the enemy won’t put up a good fight and cause the symptoms to rage in our body in an all-out attempt to get us to accept it. I am also not saying that it is easy to ignore those symptoms and dogmatically stand our ground, saying, “Jesus bore that for me. I don’t have to bear it again.”
     I’m also not saying that the enemy won’t eventually back off a little and then later come back ferociously tearing at our body in a secondary attack. Regardless, THE SICKNESS THE ENEMY IS PEDDLING IS NOT OURS UNTIL WE RECEIVE IT. It is also important to realize that there are many ways of receiving it. A person might frantically google the symptoms to see what it could be. Another might first run to the doctor or the medicine cabinet (2 Chronicles 16:12), but very few Christians will dig their heels in and say, “Jesus has already borne this for me. This is only the enemy trying to tempt me to receive it and I refuse to go there.” I admit that the symptoms might feel overwhelming, perhaps, for a good while. I admit that the enemy will most likely put thoughts in our head, “This is too serious to ignore. Time is of an essence. Don’t be a fool and let this thing get out of control.” I can almost promise you that the enemy will say all of those things, and more. Then, the ball is in our court and the decision is ours. If we are going to win that battle we have to dig in like a warrior.
     We claim ownership to so many things: I have a new car; I have a new pair of shoes; I have a bad cold, on and on. Seldom do people say, “The enemy has put symptoms of such and such on my body to tempt me to take it, but it is not mine until I receive it and I refuse to receive it."
     Now, this next reminder is very important: I am not saying that you are to do this for another person. Every person has to come to his or her own conviction of faith that God’s Word is true when God tells us that Jesus bore every sickness and disease for us. This is an individual revelation and can only be put to work by each person himself. The fact still remains that God has accomplished it and is offering the gift to all of His children who will believe it and dogmatically determine to stand to receive it.
     I’m not saying don’t go see your doctor or not to take medication. Neither am I saying that we don't all personally struggle at times in some areas. But I am saying this revelation is very strong to me and I feel we must grab hold of these truths, learn to seek the Lord first, resist the devil and any symptoms he tries to bring and stand for our healing.
     Don’t let the enemy scam you. Healing is a gift. Symptoms are a gift. We have a choice of whose gift are we going to receive. 

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Want to trust the Lord but aren't sure how?

by Peggy Joyce Ruth on 10/25/17

TRUST is not an emotional choice. It’s a decision, not a feeling! 
Trust, just like faith, starts by simply making an irrevocable decision to believe God’s Word and then leaving the rest to Him. 1 Peter 2:6 (NASB) tells us that those who trust in the Lord shall not be disappointed. What an incredible statement! Most Christians never get total victory in any area because at some point they get disappointed. And even though they may never consciously realize it, deep down most disappointments are in reality disappointments in God.

Any time disappointment is allowed in we get offended with someone or something and we begin to stumble. Matthew 11:6 (NASB, 1973) “Blessed is he who keeps from stumbling over Me.” It is choosing not to be disappointed that keeps us anchored in trust, and trust is the state of being that keeps us from stumbling. Trust and disappointment are direct opposites. And just as fear and faith are opposites and cannot operate at the same time, trust and disappointment cannot both operate at the same time.

Those who trust the Lord shall not be disappointed—literally. 
But, trusting is the prerequisite before we see the outcome.

Disappointments Be Gone!
The Lord gave me a simple little statement to say out loud every time I am faced with an opportunity to be disappointed.

“Lord, in this particular situation (name the situation) I choose to trust You.”

I have repeated that one phrase literally thousands of times. There is something about saying it out loud that kicks the whole process into gear and releases the trust. When trusting becomes a way of life, your life will become the most thrilling and exhilarating existence in the world. There is nothing more exciting than to anticipate, in faith, how God is going to work out our impossible circumstances.

We invite you to watch the video of our friend, Charles Rose Jr. He shared his story with us of how the book “Those Who Trust the Lord Shall Not Be Disappointed” helped him attend the University in the U.S. by trusting God to come through with the finances. A native of the Bahamas, he was invited to the altar for prayer at his church along with the other six students who would be attending college in the Fall of 2010. The priest surprised them by asking the students to share their name and what college or university they would be attending. His heart was jumping out of his chest. He wanted to attend UNC Charlotte in the U.S. but his mind reminded him he didn’t have his school fees. Should he play it safe and say he was going to the College of the Bahamas where it would be easier to afford? He was last to speak and had some time to think. What would he say?
When it was his turn at the microphone, he made his declaration.

"My name is Charles Rose Jr. 
I will attend the University of North Carolina at Charlotte." 
It no longer was a secret wish I hoped and prayed for. 
It was now more real because I said it. 

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There are things in life that WE KNOW!

by Peggy Joyce Ruth on 07/03/17

It feels good when we know something! It is different than just having information. There is a certainty about it, an assurance. God puts this knowing inside of His children. I John 2:20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know.
Discerning the "knowing" in our spirit: It is different than hearing the normal way we expect to hear. One way to explain it is rather than hearing a “Yes” or a “No”, we know it more like an “Uh-huh” or “Un-uh” on the inside of us. By paying attention to your knower, you can be led to know when something is wrong—like a red light to stop or a caution light to proceed carefully, or when something is right—a green light to go forward. How important it is for the Christian to develop this avenue of “knowing”!

John 10:4-5, 27 shows the different distinctions. God doesn't just say, “My sheep hear My voice.” It first talks about the knowing. John 10:4-5 says that the sheep follow Him because they know His voice.

The first step to knowing something about God is first knowing God—coming into the intimacy that you might have with your very closest friend or perhaps with your spouse. Many Christians have never even thought about the fact that there is a realm where you just know. I have heard the question asked, “How do you know you are saved?” And many times a person will answer, “I just know that I know that I am.” That's not a wrong answer. This type of knowing is what is commonly called assurance of salvation. A lot of Christians have developed this sense of knowing in regard to salvation where they know that they know that if they died they would instantly be in heaven with Jesus, but God wants us to develop this knowing in every area of our walk with Him.

Some have developed this knowing in the area of healing. A lady I knew years ago had gotten a bad health report but when I asked her about it, she simply said, “I know that I know that I am healed.” The Scripture “By the stripes of Jesus I am healed (1 Peter 2:24)” had come alive in her heart and she knew she was healed. And, the time did come when she received a clean bill of health from the doctor. She simply said, “I knew the symptoms had to leave because I have a healing covenant with God and I know God as my healer.”

Many Christians have developed this sense of knowing in the area of their salvation and other areas, but never thought about applying this principle in the area of “hearing and recognizing the voice of God.” Psalm 56:9 …. This I know, that God is for me.

There are three characteristics of this state of knowing God's voice.

  1. You will recognize the knowing, because there is always a peace deep down inside with this particular knowing. It is a peace that surpasses human understanding—something that you really can't put into words when trying to describe it to someone. The inner peace and the inner knowing are inseparable. 
  2. That knowing will always agree with the Word of God and it will bear witness in your spirit when it is of God.
  3. When you truly know something you don't have to argue or defend it. I personally think that some people never recognize God's voice because most people only think of one aspect of “hearing God's voice.” We automatically think of audibly hearing a voice. I'm not saying that a person never audibly hears a voice from God, but don't let the word hear throw you off. As we looked earlier, John 10:4-5 begins by talking about a sheep knowing the voice of a shepherd. It says, “The sheep follow Him because they know His voice.” Jesus said, “The voice of a stranger they will not follow.” God's voice is discerned by the knowing that comes with it. It is familiar. For example: when you call your dog’s name, he doesn't come running to you because he hears your voice. He comes to you because he knows your voice and recognizes it.
Later in John 10:27, a few verses down, it talks about "hearing" God. I've heard many sermons on hearing, but not many people talk about the first part of "knowing". Don't rush past the "knowing". It is no accident that Jesus addresses both. It is important to recognize that "Un-huh" or "Un-uh" spoken to our spirit man. It is amazing the new dimension of the Spirit that is opened up to us when we seek to truly know and recognize the voice of our Lord.

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Have you thought about your authority as a believer?

by Peggy Joyce Ruth on 05/08/17

There is a lot of talk in the church world today about the authority of the believer. From the very beginning, Genesis tells us that man was to be over the earth. We know that and we talk about it, but do we really understand what that means? First of all, to say that man has authority over the earth; that sounds pretty general. What exactly do we have authority over? Do you know? Before we can understand authority, we have to have a clear understanding of what comes under that authority and what doesn’t. I’m going to make it easy for you to remember.
We have authority over Satan, sin, sickness, self and situations. It's the five S’s.

That’s how you can remember it:

  • Satan
  • Sin
  • Sickness
  • Self
  • Situations

1. We have authority over Satan. Luke 10:19 tells us that we have authority over the enemy and the works of the enemy meaning we have been given dominion. So many times we allow the enemy to overtake us and run over us but we’re to rule over the enemy. And then the verse adds in the promise that we will not be injured.

 Since we have authority over the enemy and the works of the enemy, then that means that we have authority over sin because that’s one of the works of the enemy. And we can say “NO” to the temptation of sin.
3. We also have authority over sickness and disease because sickness and disease are a result of sin in this world.
4. We have authority over anything that pertains to self: our time, money, attitude, physical body, and soulish realm—our mind, will, and emotions. We’ve been given authority over our flesh nature—our appetites, material needs and sexual drive.
5. We’ve been given authority over situations and circumstances: storms, crisis situations, potential disasters, and oppression. If you’ll remember when Jesus rebuked the storm, he turned to the disciples and rebuked them for not taking authority over the elements. We have been given the responsibility of being in authority over the children who are still living in our home.
We have authority over Satan, sin, sickness, self, and situations. What’s left?

There are two things we do not have authority over.
1. We do not have authority over somebody else’s will. Nor do we have the authority to force another person because they have been given their God-given right to choose right or wrong.
We do not have authority to manipulate God or to manipulate the Word of God. 
Other than those two things, we have been given authority over everything, it says, on the earth, under the earth, and in the earth. There was a time in my life when I didn't know I had authority. I had never been taught that in the church I grew up in. Now there isn't a day that I don't need to use my authority. I can't imagine living life without knowing about the authority that God has given to all believers. 
To hear more on this subject, listen to the audio teaching in its entirety at: http://www.peggyjoyceruth. org/submitemail.html

If using your authority is new to you...these personal examples may help.
My day begins with a prayer walk. I purposely set aside time to spend alone with the Lord. During my walk, I send up my petitions for that day. I pray preventatively, and use my authority over my family—praying they are protected under the blood of Jesus Christ and that they cannot be harmed in Jesus’ Name. Of course, I pray protection for them through Psalm 91, reminding God of His promises to those who belong to Him. I take authority over my day, pray for God's will to be done in my life and ask Him to line up my day accordingly. We are in a spiritual war. I ready myself for battle by putting on the full armor of God [see Ephesians 6]. I pray until I am peaceful about my day and feel released.

If a fear thought comes to my mind...of some harm happening to one of my loved ones I know it is the enemy speaking, tempting and testing to see if I will receive the thought. At this point, I have a choice to make. Am I going to give in to the enemy’s thought or am I going to use the authority that the Lord has given me? With God's Word as my sword, I quote and put my faith in verses that I have memorized regarding fear. I say God's Word aloud until I feel that fear leave and my faith rising.

Fear is something all of us face. The Word clearly tells us that we were not given a spirit of fear, however all of us struggle in this area. Fear is a tactic that the enemy uses over and over again to try and manipulate and control us. To overcome we must use our authority and rebuke the fear thoughts out loud so our own ears can hear us. Quote and put faith in a scripture from God's Word—like 2 Timothy 1:7—of not being given a spirit of fear. As we hear ourselves speaking, our faith will grow and we can learn to trust God more and more.

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