Developing the Spiritual Life
by Rev. Elbert Willis
How do you develop the spiritual man? It’s so simple — it’s things we talk about all the time, but you’ve been a hearer and not a doer of it. If your spiritual man is not ascending and taking domination and control over the outside man, you don’t have the Word of God inside of you as you should. It takes time. You don’t get grown over night, do you? It takes time. But you have to be continually feeding yourself. Little boys and girls, if they don’t get food they’re going to die. Your spiritual man will dry up if you don’t feed him with the Word of God. Food feeds the body and gives you strength; the Word of God feeds your spirit and gives you faith.
Read our Scripture, I Thessalonians 5:23 — spirit, soul, and body — not body, soul and spirit. Don’t put the primary influence upon your body. That’s what the world teaches you to do — take care of your body. Oh, yes, you go on and take care of it, but first of all you want to take care of the spirit man. Get him clean, get him educated, get the Word of God inside of him; then, you see, he will begin to take over your mind.
III John 2 says, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” As the spirit man begins to take over your mind, your will and your emotions, then you will be in health. You will prosper in every thing, but until the spirit man takes control you will not be prosperous.
I. A Personal Thing Each Has To Do
First of all, in developing the spiritual man, it is a personal thing each has to do. I can not do it for you. I can help teach you, I can help train you, I can help educate you, I can encourage you, I can exhort you, I can rebuke you; I can do all those things, but it’s something you have to do yourself. Now when a little baby — well, for example, Michael, my grandson — we have to feed him. He can’t do it himself.
Now a lot of Christians, the only time they get some food is when they come and somebody spoon-feeds them. You see, I’m feeding you; I’m spoon-feeding you. Well, praise God, that’s good; you need to get that. But there comes a time when you need to get out there at home yourself and get in the Word of God and get down on your knees and get into books and tapes and start feeding yourself a little bit. Because, you see, if you’re just going to depend upon the feeding I’m giving you here for you to get strong in God, forget about it.
Oh, yes, you can grow, but I’ll tell you what: the others who go home and start feeding themselves are going to run by you. You’ll be sitting here for two or three years and somebody will come in here and be here one year, but they’ll be feeding themselves outside at home, and they’ll run by you and you’ll be looking at them, and next thing you know you’ll be envious and jealous of them. Who do they think they are, doing all that stuff?
I’ll tell you what they’ve been doing. You’ve been coming here getting it from the spoon, and they’ve been coming and getting it from the spoon and going home and opening the Book and eating. They’re not depending on three or four or five little ole meals a week. If you depend on three or four or five little meals a week, I’m telling you what happens to you — you’ll be left by the wayside. Those who feed themselves will run off and leave you. You’ll be just as saved as they are; you’ll go to heaven just as much as they will, but they’re going to have the victory down here and they’ll be the ones whom God is going to call and entrust with the ministry to do the things of God.
Romans 12:2 says, “Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” It says, YOU have to do the renewing of your mind; YOU have to educate and train your mind; YOU have to get the Word of God in your mind. Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” Brother Willis, how am I going to develop my spirit? What am I going to do for it? All right, the first thing you will have to do is you have to start getting the Word of God, Romans 12:2, and get your mind reprogrammed.
Brothers and sisters, to get a college degree or high school education you have to study. Now you know you have some people who go to high school and they graduate, but that’s about it. You have some who go to school and they graduate and that’s about it, but you have some who will get in there and apply themselves. I’m going to believe that you are not going to be the ones who will just graduate. You’re not going to be the Christians who just get to heaven. Oh, I got my diploma, too! Yes, you did; like I got mine.
I got out of high school with about a D+ average; and they gave me that because I played football, basketball, track and baseball. Lettered four years in all four of them — 16 letters in four years, and I didn’t study. You know, I didn’t even know anything about studying. Well, I got married in my senior year in high school, and the last three six weeks I was in high school I studied and made all A’s and B’s. I didn’t even know that I had it. Isn’t that something? I never thought anything about it; you know, I was playing ball and too busy with all those things. I didn’t really get down to study. Didn’t really know that I had it; didn’t know that I could make good grades. Isn’t that something? The last eighteen weeks in high school, a married man, I finally found that I could do good. I should have known it all the time, if I had been what? Doing some studying, you see.
But you’re going to have to renew that mind. But, you see, you get the Word in your mind, saints, that’s good; but Romans 10:17 tells you how to get it from your head to your heart. Romans 10:17 says, “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. If the only Word you hear is what you hear me speak to you, then you are not going to grow very much. I love you and appreciate you; oh, you can make it now. You can have the average victorious life, but you’re not going to go on to that totality of overcoming in Christ that He wants you to.
Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. You hear me speak it and you hear me teach it, it builds your faith. But the main thing you’re going to have to do, you’re going to have to go home, you’re going to have to take the Word, you’re going to have to take your mouth to start confessing “I can do all things through Jesus Christ Who strengthens me. The love of God is shed abroad in my heart. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” Hours and hours and days and days!
We teach on financial prosperity, and you know Luke 6:38, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom.” I’ve quoted that thing for years, and I’ve seen God move on it, but I want to tell you, I said that Word one day and that word “men” just lit up like a neon light. As long as I’ve been quoting that thing, all at once I knew that God was beginning to speak to me, to give like I’d never given before, because we have a lot of things we need to do for the gospel. And I told it one Sunday night, “God is going to provide us with an airplane, a Cessna 182 four-seated airplane.” A brother just walked in and said, “God wants us to provide this thing for you.” And I said, “Well, you know, if God wants it, I’ll just go ahead and receive it.” But, brothers and sisters, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.
If you have problems in your spiritual or physical or mental or material areas, go to the Bible, go to the Word of God; get the Scriptures in that area and confess them every day, every day, every day… “Brother Willis, how long will I have to confess them?” I don’t know; it may take some of you five years. Some of you may get it in five days. I’m confessing five days. But you see, if you just eat a meal every now and then you won’t be strong. If you just confess the Scriptures every now and then, it will not do very much for you. It will be so long between your confessions until the problems will overcome you and the circumstances will get you.
So it’s a personal thing you must do. Each must do it; it is your responsibility. If you don’t have victory you can’t blame it on mama; you can’t blame it on daddy; you can’t blame it on your husband; you can’t blame it on your wife; you can’t blame it on your children; you can’t blame it on what your church did or did not teach you. If you don’t have victory, the only one you can blame it on is YOU, because you are not taking the Word of God and studying it and meditating it and confessing it with your mouth until it drops down in your heart and that spirit has that knowledge inside of its heart. YOU have to do it, saints.
You know, we like to blame somebody else. “Well, if So-and-so hadn’t done that to me, I would have been all right;” or “If my mama and daddy hadn’t gotten a divorce, I wouldn’t have had this warped personality I have.” Well, God will give you a new one. It’s no excuse. “Well, if we hadn’t divorced my life would have been so much better.” I can understand that, but we’re talking about where you are now; we’re talking about Christ being inside of you — Christ, the hope of glory, He’s the One inside of you, Who will change your life and give you a new personality, and give you a new life. I don’t care how warped you may be; I’ll tell you what, none of you have been more warped than I was.
Some of you have heard my testimony. You talk about warped — oh, man, I was warped. You talk about perverted — you say, “Brother Willis, what is perversion?” You know what? Proverbs talks about perversion of the lips. Do you know what perversion of the lips is? To say, “I can’t,” when God says you can. That’s perversion. To say, “I’m sick,” when the Word says you’re healed — that’s perversion. To say, “I have needs,” when God says He will supply all your needs — that’s perversion of the lips. That’s what perversion of the lips is.
Perversion of the lips is confessing anything the Word doesn’t say. Any time you confess anything contradictory to the Word of God, either you’re true or the Word’s true; and both of you can’t be true if you’re saying opposite from the Word. Are you hearing me, saints? So we have to control it. Don’t let your lips be perverse. Only confess what the Word of God says.
II. A Daily Thing
II Corinthians 4:16 says, “The inward man is renewed” on Sunday morning! Or Tuesday night! How often do you renew the strength of your body? Two or three times a day. Oh, you take care of it; you feed it, you make sure it gets the right food. If it starts getting a little heavy, man, you want to cut back on it. Well, I’ll tell you what — we need to get heavy in the spirit man. We need to be overfed in the spirit man — but there’s no way you can get overfed in him. It works in reverse; the more he gets, the more he wants. He doesn’t get tired of it, you see.
The inward man — what is the inward man? The spirit man. The outward man is perishing — the same verse of Scripture. II Corinthians 4:16 says the outward man is perishing but the inward man is being renewed. There’s a reverse cycle going on inside of you as you feed yourself with the Word of God. The inward man is renewed how often? I want all of you to quote this with me. Say: “The Bible says, the Word of God says in II Corinthians 4:16, the inward man is renewed day by day. In the Name of Jesus I confess I’m going to get mine renewed and feed mine day by day; not every other day, or not three times a week, but day by day.”
Now, you see, some of you didn’t say that, and that’s why it won’t work for you. For Romans 10:17 says, “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” Now, I’m rebuking every one of you who didn’t say it, in the Name of Jesus; because I just got through telling you that faith comes by hearing and, you see, you don’t believe you can be renewed day by day because you’re not bold enough to confess the Word of God. Come on, say, “Brother Willis, I love you.” You’re spiritually stupid until you say it with your mouth. I’m smiling, but I’m meaning it exactly the way I’m saying it.
The Bible says, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. You need to hear yourself say it; if you’re not bold enough to say it, it won’t work for you. “Oh, but that sounds stupid;” well, sure, it sounds stupid to your uneducated mind; to your uneducated Bible mind it sounds stupid. Of course it sounds foolish to you. If it sounds foolish to you and stupid to you, that’s that carnal mind. Are you hearing me, saints? That’s the unrenewed mind.
But that spiritual mind likes to say it. The inward man is renewed day by day. The inward man is renewed day by day. The inward man says, “Say it again.” The inward man is renewed day by day; “I’m going to feed you day by day. I’m going to put the Word of God in you day by day.” The inward man says, “Say it again.” “I’m going to put the Word of God in you day by day.” He says, “Give me some more of that.” “I’m going to feed you day by day.” You all may as well smile at me, because I’ll say it anyway. It will make it easier for you. You’ve come to be taught now. Sometimes, you see, you come to be taught and you hear, but you don’t hear. I’m going to read you a Scripture about that in a few minutes. A lot of people just hear and hear and hear, but they never make any progress.
A daily thing. II Corinthians 4:16, “The inward man is renewed day by day.” Oh, but, I’ll say it when I want to say it. Yeah, you won’t say it at all; if you can’t say it publicly, you won’t say it privately. All right — it’s a daily thing.
Listen to me, saints, you can think what you want to think about it, but I know it; I know it to be true, and I know that it works. And if you want to learn it, you’re going to have to be teachable. If you don’t, you know what’s going to happen? You’re going to get mad at Brother Willis, and get your ball and go home. Well, go back to your church and die, because you’re not going to sit here and die. I’m going to put so much Word on you, you’re going to either grow or get mad. You’re not here by accident, brothers and sisters. Somehow or other, there has to be a hunger inside of you that God wants you to get more, amen? And you’re just going to have to say, “Lord, all right, I’m going to get reeducated; I’m going to get reprogrammed; I’m going to get retrained.”
III. A Progressive Thing
It’s a progressive thing. I Peter 2:2 says, “Desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.” How are you going to grow? By the sincere milk of the Word. You’re not going to grow by all your earthly, worldly, carnal things. The only thing that’s going to make your spirit grow is the Word of God. Go out there eating from grass and see how much strength it gives your body. Go get you a wooden limb out there and chew on it for a while, and see how much strength it gives your body.
You can chew on all the things of the world, brothers and sisters, the only thing that’s going to feed and develop your spirit man is the Word of God, because God says ONLY the Word. But you see, all of you are smart, you see; you won’t go out there and eat grass. You’re smart and naturally minded; you won’t go out there and chew on a tree. But how smart are you, spiritually minded? How developed are you, spiritually minded?
A natural mind that has any sense at all knows it’s not smart to chew on a tree and eat grass; well, a spiritual mind that’s developed at all knows you have to feed on that Word day by day and confess it with your mouth, because Romans 10:17 says faith comes by what? Hearing, and hearing by what? The Word of God. You have to hear the Word of God to be strong. It’s a progressive thing — it won’t come overnight, saints.
You know, sometimes kids think they can eat a lot of food and then go four or five meals and not have to have any more. You know, it’s wisdom to just eat a little bit three times a day, or two times would be better, right? Well, just getting this Sunday morning or Sunday night or Tuesday night, or Thursday night — just eat it all the time. A continuous just eating and living upon it. With your what? Mind. You use your mouth to nibble on food, and you use your mind to nibble on the Word of God.
IV. DILIGENCE AND DETERMINATION IS ABSOLUTE
Diligence and determination is absolute. It is an absolute. That means it’s just absolutely necessary. You have to make up your mind. And I want you to notice you have to make up your mind. You see, so many people are saying, “O, God, do this for me and do that for me.” God says, “I’ve done everything for you I’m going to do.” You mean He’s done everything He’s going to do for me? Yes. He sent Jesus to die and pay the price and sent the Holy Ghost to live in you, and now it’s up to you. He’s already done it all.
Didn’t He say at Calvary, “It is finished”? What did He mean, “It is finished”? Just what He said — It is finished. He said, “I’ve already paid the price.” He said, “Everything is available for you.” He said, “I’ve set the table before you. Now, what are you going to do?” “Ooh, it’s so rough, it’s so hard.” It’s on the table! “Yes, but I’ve got so much to do.” He says, “It’s on the table!” “Oh, but God help me.” He says, “It’s on the table!” Where is the table? Right here. He has made it possible so that anybody can have it. Anybody here who doesn’t have a table? If you don’t, we’ll give you one.
But, you see, you’ve got to eat it. You can have all the food on the table and sit down and not eat it, amen? Say, “I don’t like that; I don’t like that; and I don’t like that. Oh, I’m not going to fool with that. That doesn’t look good.” “Well, I’m not going to shout and praise God like that; I’m not going to rejoice in the Lord always. I don’t think you have to do that.” Well, I know the Bible says Jesus healed me, but He gave me enough sense to do something else. Just sitting at the table, “Mmmm, mmm, mmmm, mmmmm.” And it’s right there on the table before you, and Father just looks at you and says, “Oh, kid, that’s not what I tell you to do; just do what I tell you to do.” Don’t you know sometimes the Father looks down at us and, if He could get aggravated, I believe He would. He’s got to be God not to get aggravated with us sometimes at the way we are, amen? “Brother Willis, how do you know so much about this stuff?” Guess.
You know I can remember the first time I went to a meeting and the minister started leading people in confessing the Scriptures. I felt that was the most stupid, ridiculous thing there was. That’s why I know why some of you don’t confess — I know how you feel. I felt that way. But I’ve been set free, and I believe God to set you free; but, you see, we haven’t been educated the right way.
Brothers and sisters, any time you get a chance, open your mouth and say the Word of God. I don’t care who— any time you get a chance to say the Scripture, the Word of God, with your mouth, you say it. There’s authority and power in your saying it. You know why God blesses me? I say it all the time. I say it and say it and say it and the natural mind, the carnal mind, the baby mind, says, “Oh, I don’t think that’s necessary.”
1. OK, look at Proverbs 4:20-22 now. We want to talk about diligence and determination. He says in the 20th verse, “MY SON, ATTEND TO MY WORDS.” Whose words? Oh, that means the news, and the newspaper, and the radio, and all the worldly music. Oh, that means attend to the words of other people when you get together in a bunch to talk. No, He says, “Attend to My words.”
This word, “attend,” means a steadfast, unremitting care, intense effort. He says, “Attend to My words.” He says, give unremitting care, give steadfast attention, give an intense effort to whose words? Brothers and sisters, that’s what you have to do to get it, because every time you start studying this, your mind will run a hundred different places, won’t it? Your mind will run, and wander off, and the devil will try to get you to do everything in the world besides attend to His Word. Not a casual reading or a superficial acquaintance!
Many people just casually read the Word; many people have a superficial acquaintance with the Word of God. You can start talking to them about any area and they can give you a little Scripture about that area. From a casual reading they’ve got that knowledge up here, they have a superficial knowledge of it up here from hearing Rev. Willis teach, hearing Copeland and Hagin, reading the books out there. Through casual reading they have the knowledge up here, but it won’t work for them. Because it’s superficial; it’s just head-deep, skin-deep. It’s got to get down in here before it ever works for you.
Many of you say, “Well, I know the Word says it, and I know I’ve prayed, but it hasn’t happened. Why, Brother Willis?” It was superficial — head knowledge — you had a casual reading of it. You heard Brother Willis read that Scripture, you took that Scripture and you read it, but you didn’t go home with Romans 10:17; you didn’t go home and start confessing day after day, “By the stripes of Jesus I’m healed; by the stripes of Jesus I’m healed; my God supplies all my needs; my God supplies all my needs.” You didn’t take that head knowledge of that Scripture and confess it and confess it until it became heart knowledge. Do you understand what I’m saying, saints?
You have to take the head knowledge and confess it until it becomes what? Heart knowledge. “How long, Brother Willis?” I don’t know. You may have to say it six months; you may have to say it a year. “Well, Brother Willis, why does God want me to say it so long?” I don’t know. But sometimes it takes saying it that long, that kind of diligence and that kind of determination, to get it down in here for it to work for you.
Are you willing to say, “By the stripes of Jesus I’m healed,” for five years to get your healing? “Oh, Brother Willis, I can’t wait that long” — you may not get yours. Are you willing to confess every day, every day, many times a day, that “my God supplies all my needs; I owe no many anything,” by faith? Most people confess it for two or three weeks and nothing happens, or two or three months, and they say, “Well, I tried it and it didn’t work.”
Listen, saints, when it doesn’t work, it’s up here. I want to tell you, when it gets here it works; but you, you have to use your mouth to get it from here to here. Listen to me, now; I want you to get this. We’re talking about developing your spiritual man, and it has to be developed, you see. But you’re going to have to confess it with your mouth, for it to get from here to here. “Attend to my words” — steadfast, unremitting care.
2. “INCLINE THINE EAR UNTO MY SAYINGS.” Where are most people’s ears inclined unto, saints? They are listening to the world, or people. Amen? “Incline thine ear unto MY sayings.” “But, Brother Willis, I read the Bible every day.” “Incline thine ear unto MY sayings.” “How do I incline my ear unto His sayings?” By opening your mouth and saying, “God, Your Word says I can do all things through Jesus Christ Who strengthens me.”
When you say that, you’re inclining your ear unto His sayings, because your mouth is saying what He says and you’re inclining your ear unto it. Do you hear what I’m saying now? Need I say it again now? All right, let me just say it again, just for repetition, to get you to get it. He says, “Incline thine ear unto my sayings.”
It’s not reading it — it’s you taking your mouth and confessing what the Word of God says you are, and then you’re inclining your ear unto it, then you’re hearing it; you’re inclining your mind to it. Yes, you get your mind renewed by the Word of God, but He says, incline your ear. Why don’t you read it and do what He says? Somewhere else He says read it, but here He says, “Incline your ear.” In II Corinthians 2:14 He says He “ALWAYS CAUSETH US TO TRIUMPH IN CHRIST.” I incline my ear unto His saying every day, by quoting that Scripture.
Every day I confess, “The angels of the Lord encamp round about me and my family and our ministry, and no evil shall befall us, because I abide under the shadow of the Almighty God and God alone. I say in the Name of Jesus, God alone is my source and my refuge; His Word and His Word alone is my shield and my buckler.”
Every day I incline my ear unto that; every day I confess that with my mouth, and my ear is inclined unto it. And, next thing you know, my heart says, “Yes, yes, yes; you’ve obeyed My Word. You’ve inclined your ear unto My Word; you’ve said it and quoted it, and said it and quoted it; and now it’s down in here. Hallelujah;” then it works for you.
All right, let’s read Mark 4:21-25. “AND HE SAID UNTO THEM, IS A CANDLE BROUGHT TO BE PUT UNDER A BUSHEL?” Is the Word written for you just to read it and say, “Oh, I know it says incline my ear”? Romans 10:17 says faith comes by what? Hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.
Is that just said for you to say, “Oh, I know it says that”? No, it says for you to do it, for you to obey it, amen? It’s in obedience, it’s in doing the Word of God, brothers and sisters, that it becomes reality to you. It becomes spirit knowledge and it develops the spirit man inside of you. Glory, hallelujah! “TO BE PUT UNDER A BUSHEL, OR A BED? AND NOT TO BE SET ON A CANDLESTICK?”
You see, He wants you to be set up so people can hear you, see you. He doesn’t want you to be hiding that Word — put that Word inside, and next thing you know, it will come out of you and people will know it. “FOR THERE IS NOTHING HID, WHICH SHALL NOT BE MANIFESTED.”
Saints, apply that to yourselves — “there is nothing hid that shall not be manifested.” That means you don’t have any thoughts, or you don’t say any words, that will not be manifested in that day. Guard it; when a thought comes to your mind, saints, that’s not in line with the Word of God, kick it out. The devil put it there; don’t take it. You see, God will not put a thought in your mind that doesn’t line up with the Scriptures. Kill it; kill it with the Word of God.
Philippians 4:8 — I only think on those things that are just and holy and pure and lovely and honest and of good report. I’ve inclined my ear unto Philippians 4:8 so many times; so many times I say, “The Word of God says in Philippians 4:8, only think on those things that are just and holy and pure and lovely and honest and of good report. Elbert Willis, in the Name of Jesus, the Word of God says, only think on those things that are just and holy and pure and lovely and honest and of good report. Elbert Willis, in the Name of Jesus, any thought that comes to your mind that doesn’t fit Philippians 4:8, you’ve inclined your ear unto it; you know it in your mind, your mind is renewed with the Word of God. You know that it says only think on those things that are just and holy and pure and lovely and honest and of good report, and I only do that, in the Name of Jesus.” I’ve inclined my ear unto it; I’ve quoted it so many times.
You say, “Oh, Brother Willis, you’re just all the time quoting those Scriptures.” Yes, I’m developing my spirit, saints. I’m developing my spirit man; I’m training my spirit man. You can’t quote the Scripture one time; hundreds of times, maybe thousands of times, before it gets there. But you’re going to have to do it until it comes to pass, amen?
All right, the 23rd verse: “IF ANY MAN HAVE EARS TO HEAR, LET HIM HEAR. AND HE SAID UNTO THEM, TAKE HEED WHAT YE HEAR: (listen carefully) WITH WHAT MEASURE YOU METE, IT SHALL BE MEASURED TO YOU: AND UNTO YOU THAT HEAR SHALL MORE BE GIVEN.” He says, “Take heed how much you hear.”
He says, “However teachable you are in hearing, that’s how much I’m going to give you.” Are you hearing me, saints? Take heed what you hear. Let’s read it again, the 24th verse: “AND HE SAID UNTO THEM, TAKE HEED WHAT YE HEAR,” Take heed what you hear, cut that TV off some, cut that old radio off some; take heed what you hear; take heed what you read. Put some good teaching cassettes in, take heed what you hear; hear your mouth say the things of God.
Take heed what you hear. Because, you see, as you hear those things, you’ve got to get over them; you have to overcome them; take heed what you hear! “WITH WHAT MEASURE YE METE,” in other words with what measure that you hear, however much you hear, it shall be measured unto you. How much of this Word are you hearing yourself say? Most of you, very little; that’s why no more is measured unto you, because you’re hearing very little.
Romans 10:17 says what? Faith comes by what? Hearing! How much are you hearing yourself say? How much are you hearing yourself quote the Word of God? However much you hear yourself quote it, and how much you hear it, that’s how much measure you’re going to receive.
If you only hear yourself quote one Scripture for a year, you will only be getting that one Scripture in your heart. Oh, but suppose you have 10 or 15 or 20 or 30 or 40 or 50 Scriptures — you’re meditating and confessing all year. You’re disciplining your mind; you’re meditating on the Word. You’re confessing it. He that is in me is greater than he that is in the world; I’m more than a conqueror through Jesus Christ; the love of God is shed abroad in my heart; the joy of the Lord is my strength; the peace that passeth understanding is mine, according to the Word of God. Amen?
Psalm 25:9, “THE MEEK WILL HE GUIDE IN JUDGMENT: AND THE MEEK WILL HE TEACH HIS WAY.” Psalm 37:23, “THE STEPS OF A RIGHTEOUS MAN ARE ORDERED (directed) BY THE LORD.” Psalm 16:11, “IN THY PRESENCE IS FULLNESS OF JOY; AT THY RIGHT HAND THERE ARE PLEASURES FOR EVERMORE.”
“I’m a meek man; I’m a teachable man. I’m a humble man; I have a correct estimation of myself. I estimate myself according to the Word of God, not according to the concepts of the world. I’m a gentle man; I love people; I have compassion for people.” What are you hearing yourself say? Are you developing and building your spirit?
All right, let’s read the rest of that verse — 25th verse, Mark 4: “FOR HE THAT HATH, TO HIM SHALL BE GIVEN: AND HE THAT HATH NOT, FROM HIM SHALL BE TAKEN EVEN THAT WHICH HE HATH.” He says, “He that hath, to him shall it be given.” He that hath the Word of God inside of him, it shall be given unto him because he will take that Word of God and move in faith and he will get what he is believing God for. He’ll be given more. He that hath the truth of Romans 10:17 will keep on getting more truth. And I keep getting it every day.
You know, if I had listened to people in the world, I would have stopped a long time ago; but I just keep on, and keep on keeping on. He says the joy of the Lord is my strength; and it is. It is; I could laugh right now. Glory! Sometimes I get off by myself, and just laugh and laugh. The world says, “He sounds crazy”; well, sure, to undeveloped baby minds he sounds crazy. But when you know that’s the Holy Ghost laughing, you say, “Let it go; let it go; let it go.”
So therefore, in this hearing, you see, incline your ear unto whose sayings? How much of His sayings are you hearing? Oh, you’re hearing it up here from Rev. Willis, you’re hearing it on tape — that’s good. But hear yourself say it, saints.
All of you are good at feeding yourselves, but I can still feed myself better than any of you all can feed me. You can have twenty years experience at feeding somebody, but I can still feed myself better than you can feed me. If you don’t think so, you invite me over to your house; I can handle that fork and knife. I can feed myself better, and I can feed myself the Word of God best, too. By quoting the Scriptures.
You see, I can feed you, but you can do a better job feeding yourself if you take the Word and feed yourself, amen? I can come over there and you can have a steak in front of you, and I can take a knife and cut it up and give you a piece. I can cut it up and give you another little piece, and stand there and watch you while you chew it up. Then I can give you another little piece, but I can do it better myself, amen?
3. All right, He says, “LET THEM NOT DEPART FROM THINE EYES” (Proverbs 4:21). He says, “Let them not;” that means they can. You grab hold of them. He says, “Don’t YOU let My saying depart from your eyes.” Look at the Word, not the circumstances, not to feelings. You have to hold to the Word, you see.
So He says, “Let them not depart from thine eyes.” Don’t let the Word depart from your eyes. “Well, Brother Willis, how does the Word depart from your eyes?” You’re believing that by the stripes of Jesus you are healed, and pain hits your body. Oh, the pain begins to rack your body; and next thing you know the Word goes bye-bye-bye. You believe all your needs are met in Christ Jesus, and next thing you know the bills start stacking up. You start looking at circumstances, and the Word says, “Psshew!”
Let not the Word depart from your eyes. Keep it before your eyes. Keep it before your eyes; meditate upon it, confess it with your mouth. Feed upon it day by day by day. I can do all things through Jesus Christ Who strengthens me; God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. I refuse to accept confusion; I refuse to accept hurt and disappointment and rejection. Oh, the love of God is shed abroad in my heart. Just keep it before your eyes; keep it before your eyes. Keep it before your ears; keep your ears inclined to it, brothers and sisters. He says, “Let it not depart from your eyes.” This is something you and I have to do. You have to hold to that Word, you see.
4. It says, “KEEP THEM IN THE MIDST OF THINE HEART.” It doesn’t say keep them in the midst of your head. He says, “Keep them in the midst of your heart.” John 15:7 says, “IF YE ABIDE IN ME, AND MY WORDS ABIDE (My words dwell) IN YOU, YE SHALL ASK WHAT YE WILL, AND IT SHALL BE DONE UNTO YOU.”
All right, here’s what happens. You take the Word of God, and you start confessing it with your mouth, saints, and it drops in your heart. And what is the devil going to do? The devil’s got to dig that Word up. How does he dig that Word up? Pain, the pain begins to rise, the pain begins to rise, the pain gets worse and worse and worse, and next thing you know the pain is in your body and the Word is in you — the Word says you are healed and the pain says you are sick; the Word says you are healed, and the pain says you are sick. And the next thing you know the pain gets stronger and the Word begins to be dug up. And the next thing you know you say, “Well, I thought I had it.” And when you do that, the Word is dug up — it came out your mouth.
Are you hearing me, saints? He digs the Word up with circumstances. You ladies are believing God for your husbands — “Thank you, Father, my husband is saved.” The devil is going to start trying to dig that Word up. How is he going to dig that Word up? Your husband may come home, curse you out, box you up side of the head, run you off, and everything. What is the devil trying to do? Dig that Word up.
But, you see, I don’t care what the circumstances are, what the situation is, you just keep on saying, “Praise God, he’s saved. I say in the Name of Jesus he’s saved. God said He would give me my family, and he’s saved. He’s saved; he’s saved; he’s saved.” But the devil will just keep on trying to dig that Word up. Sometimes he gets a big long pry and works on you; sometimes he gets a knife and comes and cuts on you; what’s he trying to do? Dig up the Word of God.
But the man or woman who just has that Word down there in their heart and keeps on confessing the Word, “By the stripes of Jesus I’m healed, by the stripes of Jesus I’m healed, by the stripes of Jesus I’m healed,” next thing you know that Word gets bigger. That Word gets bigger, and that pain starts going down, and the Word starts overriding it. You’ve got to hold to it. Listen, I know what it is about him trying to dig the Word up.
We had a fresh experience one Friday night — the devil trying to dig the Word up out of us. He tries it. On Randy, I mean the devil tried to kill him again, on his motorcycle, Friday night. Somebody out there must have known us, they told them, “He won’t take any medical treatment.”
They called me up and said, “Well, they’ve got Randy down there at the city jail, had him there because he wouldn’t take medical treatment.” A man called me up, you know, and said, “I’m Officer So-and-so, and I want you to come down here and talk to your son, he’s refused medical treatment.” I said, “I agree with him.” It got quiet on the other end of the line.
We went down there and got him — here he was going about forty-five or fifty miles an hour and someone pulled over and he hit the road and he don’t even know what happened after that. And he’s out there at the house; he walked on home, and he’s been getting up, and he’s got a lot of things to walk out in his body, but, praise God, he’s just still saying, “I’m healed.”
And listen, I looked at my son there and saw the burns on his arms and his face and his nose all out there like that, and you think the devil wasn’t trying to dig the Word up in me? Man, I just looked at him and said, “Son, you’re healed by the stripes of Jesus.” Brother Francis went with me to get him, and we got him and walked out to the car and he sat down in the back of the car and didn’t remember anything. He doesn’t even remember telling them he wouldn’t go to the doctor.
He said, “Dad, I don’t know where they got that, that I wouldn’t go to the doctor.” I said, “I know where they got it; your spirit just spoke it out of you.” He just had so much of it in him, but he doesn’t remember it. Hallelujah! Glory, hallelujah. Thank You, Jesus.
You say, “Brother Willis, how did this happen to him?” Somehow or other he’s got a hole in his fence. I told him, Son, somehow you’ve got a hole in your fence; you’ve got to meet all the conditions for protection. You’d better find where the hole is and plug it up, Bud.” Amen.
But God gave him a miracle — you go down the road 45 or 50 or 55 miles an hour and that motor bike is just gone, and you’re just gone. And you get up, in the car riding down there, I go get him and take him home, take him in the bathroom and clean him up and everything, and get him all fixed up and get him home. Listen, you can’t do that in the natural. Praise God, it’s that Word, it’s that Word.
But, you see, the devil is trying to dig that Word up. And listen, brothers and sisters, I’m not just telling you something here I know from the top of my head. Sometimes I may get a little tough and rough on you, and when I do it in the wrong spirit, you just forgive me, amen? But, praise God, you’ve gotta get a hold of it; it’s real. His Word is true, you see.
But He says, “KEEP THEM IN THE MIDST OF THINE HEART.” And, listen, the devil has tried to dig the Word up for us every way in the world. If I told you all the ways he has attacked us, our family, during these years, it would blow some of your minds. And one reason I don’t want to tell you about it, some of you would surely enough get scared and run.
But, you see, all I tell you is the victory part. Because you can have the victory. I don’t care what it is, brothers and sisters, you can have it. The other night when Randy came to the house, the wife and I went on to bed and I got me about 81/2 hours sleep — there was our boy lying over there. Four or five years before we would have been up all night long and everything. The wife said, “Well, you reckon we ought to keep the baby?” I said, “What for? He’s healed. Let her take the baby home.”
You know, we would help them out, but he’s healed and we don’t take the baby to help them out when he’s well, in the natural. Well, you don’t do it when he’s healed by faith. But you’ve got to know these things; you see, the devil will dig the Word up in you. He said, “If my word abides,” that means it dwells, it remains and control comes, you see, so you can what? Speak the right things.
A. This Scripture right here, brothers and sisters, says every idle word is going to be judged. It says you’re either justified by your words or condemned by your own words — not by Rev. Willis’ words, you’re justified or condemned by your own words. You’ve got victory by the words of your own mouth; you’re snared by the words of your own mouth (Proverbs 6:2).
This is why we teach these things; this is why I’ve begun to cut into you a little deeper, you see, because a lot of you have heard it longer and now you’re ready to get a hold of it. And you’re going to have to realize that the devil is going to try to dig it up. He’s going to try to dig it up, but when the Word of God dwells in you it will control every circumstance and every situation. I mean, all of them; all of them, all of them. Because the Word of God is a supernatural Word, from a supernatural God, for people who will believe in the supernatural, and it will raise up a supernatural kind of people to walk above the average. It will cause you to speak right.
B. It will cause you to act right. James 2:17, and 2:26 says faith without action is dead. You have to speak right; you have to act right.
5. All right, He says, “FOR THEY ARE LIFE UNTO THOSE THAT FIND THEM,” those who what? Find them. I lived for God for years and didn’t find them, did you? You see, this message is only life to those who find it. “AND HEALTH TO ALL THEIR FLESH” (Proverbs 4:22). It’s hidden for you, not from you.
The truths of God’s Word are hidden for His people who will find them. They are not hidden from you, but as you find them, they are precious treasures, they are precious jewels, because they are words spoken by the Eternal God, and when you find them and you believe them and you act upon them, you appropriate them and they become reality to you. For they, what is “they”? My sayings — Incline thine ear to my sayings, because as you find them, as you confess them, as you meditate upon them, as they drop in your heart, they become LIFE to you.
The man inside of you gets bigger than those circumstances outside of you; the man inside of you is bigger than sickness; the man inside of you is bigger than poverty; the man inside of you is bigger than fear; he’s bigger than confusion; bigger than frustration; bigger than anxiety; bigger than tension; bigger than everything, because the man inside of you is born of God. He’s bigger than everything, brothers and sisters. Let the man inside of you LIVE big! Let him control your life; let him dominate your life; don’t be dominated by the world and the situations of the world. Don’t be dominated by anything the world says — be controlled and dominated by the Word of God and the Word of God only.
V. DEMANDS OPERATION OF PATIENCE AND LONGSUFFERING
I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this; I’ve taught a lot on patience. If you don’t know much about patience and longsuffering, get our teachings on patience — Patient Waiting, Joyfulness in Patience, and the third teaching in our Faith school, the Cooperating Powers deals with patience. Patience is to be constant in all circumstances.
That means, I don’t care what the circumstances are out here, you still hold to the Word. You see, most people can believe the Word as long as everything lines up the way they think it ought to. Amen? But, you see, a spiritual man will take the Word of God; a man developed in his spirit, when everything out there looks just the opposite from the Word of God, he will look out there and say, “Well, you know everything looks like it’s a mess, but glory, hallelujah, I’ve got the thing solved. It’s down in the Word, right there in my heart.”
It looks like your business and the job you’re on is just going completely, but you say, “Oh, glory, hallelujah, it looks like the job is about to go and the business is about to go, but God said He would supply all my needs, so praise God, I don’t have anything to worry about.” They’ll think you’re crazy; they’ll say, “Well, you’re supposed to be worrying.” But you don’t pay the circumstances any attention. Longsuffering is towards people.
VI. BRINGS PROSPERITY AND SUCCESS
Brothers and sisters, it brings prosperity and success. That’s what Joshua 1:8 says. I’m going to read Joshua 1:8 and Psalm 1:1-3, and then we’ll close. I’ll read Psalm 1:1-3 first: “BLESSED IS THE MAN THAT WALKETH NOT IN THE COUNSEL OF THE UNGODLY, NOR STANDETH IN THE WAY OF SINNERS, NOR SITTETH IN THE SEAT OF THE SCORNFUL. BUT HIS DELIGHT IS IN THE LAW OF THE LORD:” his delight is in what? The law of the Lord, the Word of the Lord. “AND IN HIS LAW (His Word) DOTH HE MEDITATE DAY AND NIGHT.” He makes his mind stay upon the Word and the things of the Word. “AND HE SHALL BE LIKE A TREE PLANTED BY THE RIVERS OF WATER, THAT BRINGETH FORTH HIS FRUIT IN HIS SEASON: HIS LEAF ALSO SHALL NOT WITHER;” (trouble can’t cause him to wither; sickness can’t cause him to wither; fear can’t cause him to wither; need of any kind can’t cause him to wither; he just stands there tall because he is not standing in his own strength — he’s standing because he is rooted and grounded in the Word of God and Jesus Christ, the Son of God.)
His leaf doesn’t wither; he rejoices in the Lord 365 days a year; he walks in divine health, even when his body acts like it’s not healed. He just still says, “By the stripes of Jesus I’m healed.” He just still doesn’t wither; he just still goes on, you see. Listen to the rest of the third verse: “AND WHATSOEVER HE DOETH SHALL PROSPER.” And whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Brothers and sisters, Brother Willis didn’t say that — God said that. God said if you do this, whatsoever you do shall prosper. I believe God, don’t you?
Joshua 1:8 says, “THIS BOOK OF THE LAW SHALL NOT DEPART OUT OF THY MOUTH; BUT THOU SHALT MEDITATE THEREIN DAY AND NIGHT, THAT (that, that, that) THOU MAYEST OBSERVE TO DO ACCORDING TO ALL THAT IS WRITTEN THEREIN.” You see, without meditating in it and confessing it, you can’t observe to do it. You have to know it to be able to observe it; you have to know what it says, to be able to act upon it. “FOR THEN (then, then, then) THOU SHALT MAKE THY WAY PROSPEROUS, AND THEN (then, then, then) THOU SHALT HAVE GOOD SUCCESS.” After, brothers and sisters, AFTER the spirit man is developed do you have success in these areas.
Ok. James 1:22-27. It’s your decision — you pay the price, and you reap the rewards, as you sow. If you sow a little, you’ll reap a little. If you confess a little, you’ll get a little. Amen? How much are you confessing? I’ll tell you how much you are receiving, I’ll tell you how much Word you know — according to how much you’re confessing. Because Romans 10:17, saints, says, Faith comes by what? It doesn’t say faith comes by thinking on it, or wishing, or hoping. It says it comes by hearing.
What are you hearing yourself say? Are you hearing yourself say, “OHHHH, it’s so bad? Nobody loves me; I don’t know how I’m going to make it. My husband is so mean; the kids are wild.” Boy, that’s what you’re going to get. He wants to hear you say His sayings.
James 1:22-27 says, “BUT BE YE DOERS OF THE WORD, AND NOT HEARERS ONLY.” All of you all have heard me quote Romans 10:17 many times, right? Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. I just wonder, how many of you are really doers of it? It won’t work for you, saints, until you become a doer. You can hear it and shout and run and dance and praise God on it, but when you get in a hot spot you won’t be able to get out, because you’ve just been a hearer.
It says, “BUT BE YE DOERS OF THE WORD, AND NOT HEARERS ONLY, DECEIVING YOUR OWN SELVES.” Listen to me, saints, Jesus says you deceive your own selves if you just hear what I say and don’t do it. I’m just reading His Word. He says you are deceiving your own selves, you’re diluting yourselves. He says you’re putting the blinders over your own eyes when you just hear it and don’t confess it.
He says, “FOR IF ANY BE A HEARER OF THE WORD, AND NOT A DOER, HE IS LIKE UNTO A MAN BEHOLDING HIS NATURAL FACE IN A GLASS: FOR HE BEHOLDETH HIMSELF AND GOETH HIS WAY.” He says, if you just come and hear you’re like a man who has a big old dirty spot on his face and he walks and looks into a mirror and says, “Oh, I’ve got a big dirty spot on my face, but it doesn’t make any difference,” and you turn and walk up in front of the king and walk out in front of the public. You wouldn’t do that for anything, would you?
Boy, if you were going to have an interview today with the President, you wouldn’t want a spot on your face, or on your clothes. Boy, you would want to be spic and span. Well, brothers and sisters, He says that’s what you do with the Word, and you’ll get spic and span inside; you’ll grow up inside.
He says, “FOR HE BEHOLDETH HIMSELF, AND GOETH HIS WAY, AND STRAIGHTWAY FORGETTETH WHAT MANNER OF MAN HE WAS.” He forgets it; he just hears it, he walks out and says, “Oh, that was good; praise God, that was good.” And you see him two or three days or two or three weeks later, and he’s still the same man; he’s still a hearer and not a what? Doer.
Are you sure you all want to spiritual, folks? Are you sure you all are not satisfied? Ok. We’ll find out. The 25th verse: “BUT WHOSO LOOKETH INTO THE PERFECT LAW OF LIBERTY,” what’s the perfect law of liberty? Here it is. Whosoever looketh into the Word of God, the law of liberty will set you free from what? Sickness, fear, frustration, worry, need — whosoever looketh into the law of liberty, the Word will set you free, “AND CONTINUETH THEREIN (stays in it, confesses it, meditates, the one who stays in it), HE BEING NOT A FORGETFUL HEARER (he’s not going to forget what he hears), BUT A DOER OF THE WORK, THIS MAN SHALL BE BLESSED IN HIS DEED.”
He says that man who takes the Word of God, looks in it, and knows that Word will set him free, when he gets his spiritual man educated, he takes that Word and he begins confessing it with his mouth; he begins to do it, he doesn’t forget about it, he puts it to work, he applies it to his life — he says this man shall be blessed in his deed. Spiritual, physical, mental or material — I like that, folks; I’m blessed in my deeds, because I take this Word and apply it.
Verse 26: “IF ANY MAN AMONG YOU SEEM TO BE RELIGIOUS;” “seem” to be — you know we have a lot of people who seem to be religious. Right now there are a lot of people in our churches who seem to be religious. Well, let’s see what it says about them. “AND BRIDLETH NOT HIS TONGUE, BUT DECEIVETH HIS OWN HEART, THIS MAN’S RELIGION IS VAIN.” It’s useless.
He went in to church on Sunday morning, did his duty, walked back out, and started his same old way — what he did was just vain and useless. He looked like he was religious. He comes back out and he starts living the same old way. He says, “What that man did was as useless as putting a drop of water in hell.” It’s vain. It’s nothing. I don’t know about you all, but I had some vain religion for a long time; I did some vain preaching, for a long time. Wasn’t doing a bit of good. I was in ignorance, didn’t know any better. But, praise God, I know now.
The 27th verse says, “PURE RELIGION AND UNDEFILED BEFORE GOD AND THE FATHER IS THIS, TO VISIT THE FATHERLESS AND WIDOWS IN THEIR AFFLICTION, AND TO KEEP HIMSELF UNSPOTTED FROM THE (what? From the) WORLD.” That means you don’t walk the ways of the world. You’re not like the world. The Bible says we are a peculiar people. Amen? We’re a peculiar people because we’ve been born of a peculiar Person. What’s His name? God the Father. He’s not like the ways of the world. He doesn’t want you and me to be like the ways of the world. But, brothers and sisters, it’s up to you how far you’re going to go.
I’m like Joshua — Joshua said, “As for me and my family, we are going to serve God.” Would you confess this with me: “As for me and my family, we are going to serve God.” Let’s confess that again: “As for me and my family, we are going to serve God. All my family is going to serve God.” Now that’s what God wants. You may have some of your family who doesn’t want to do that, but, you see, God wants them to serve Him, and you can be the instrument, you can be the challenge that God can reach down and get them.
Let me lead you in another confession: “It’s a personal thing; there are things I must do to be a spiritual man. I’m going to begin to confess the Word of God like I never have before. I’m going to confess it daily and I’m going to progress, I’m going to grow, I’m going to be determined, I’m going to be diligent, that my spiritual man shall mature and grow in the knowledge of God, and I’ll be an effective witness, for the glory of Jesus, that other lives might be changed. Amen.” That’s what it’s all about, brothers and sisters. Hallelujah, hallelujah!