90 Days of Believing God
Rodney R. Payne is a leader, pastor, teacher, counselor, and author. He received his license as a Minister of the Gospel on November 27, 1996, and was later ordained on July 28, 2002, at the Loving St. James Baptist Church under the pastorate of Pastor Emeritus W. B. Parker. Prior to yielding to the call to preach, he served as an ordained deacon for two years. Pastor Payne currently serves as the Assistant Executive Director for the National Evangelism Movement. Pastor Payne also spent 22 years in Corporate America with a fortune 500 company in various capacities including management.
In 1999, he and his wife Thelma founded One Voice Ministries (a non-profit marital and family enrichment ministry). This ministry is devoted to equipping married couples to experience the power of God in their marriages on a daily basis. Additionally, in 2016 Pastor Payne founded One Voice Leadership, L.L.C., a company devoted to training and equipping leaders at the highest level.
In 2107, Pastor Payne published his first book 90 Days of Believing God. Pastor Payne has a love for God, the people of God and the work of God. His personal approach to ministry is focused on loving the people of God and equipping them for the work of the ministry.
Pastor Payne has been married to his lovely wife Thelma for 28 years. They have two daughters, Danielle and Devin, a son-in- law Trevel, and grandson Jaxen.
The following is an excerpt from Pastor Payne’s book, 90 Days of Believing God: A Journey to Increasing Your Personal Faith. You can get more information about One Voice Ministries or book ordering information by visiting www.onevoiceinc.org, or by contacting him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The very foundation of salvation is a simple faith in God. In order to be eligible to partake of the benefits of believing God, an individual must enter into a personal relationship with Christ. John 1:12 states, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” This passage clearly puts the onus of believing on the individual, and the empowerment of the believer is to come from Jesus.
The first step to believing is to have faith in God. Hebrews 11:1 states, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.” This scripture has been used to define faith. I have heard many illustrations through the years designed to help one to understand this passage. Simply stated, one who operates in faith operates as if he or she has already received what he or she is praying for, even though the person does not have it yet. For the believer, faith must accept the reality and sovereignty of God.
Believers must never doubt the reality of God. Often people who profess Christ as their Savior will make the reality of God a contingency by statements such as “If there is a God . . .” or “There must be a God somewhere.” These statements are not reflective of someone who is convinced and convicted that God is real. Let me assure you: God is indeed real. If ever you have trouble accepting the “realness” of God, just take a page from the “firmament book.” Look around at the awesome display of creation that cannot be explained into existence from science. Just take some time to watch the beautifully clothed cardinal sing its morning song outside your window pane.
Faith not only embraces the reality of God, but faith also surrenders to the sovereignty of God. God is our self-existent Creator and answers to no one but himself. In the Book of Genesis the Lord clearly indicates that He will swear by himself, for there is none higher or greater. When a believer surrenders to the sovereignty of God, he or she is simply saying, “Yes, God—you are in full control.” This is an essential part of our faith. Failure to surrender to the sovereignty of God can cause the immature believer to question God from an interrogative perspective as if to suggest that God has to answer to him or her. Remember: God’s plans are far too complex for a mere mortal to fully grasp. So by surrendering to His sovereignty we understand that there are some things we will just not understand.
“By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). While faith accepts the reality of God, grace on the other hand makes salvation available. It is only by the grace of God that we are even afforded the opportunity to enter into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Only when the individual’s faith is added to God’s grace can one be saved. Therefore, without faith an individual is unable to experience salvation. I realize that this is a very simple point; however, it is at this very simple point that many become confused. People spend far too much time attempting to be good. It seems this performance-based society has overvalued the importance of works. Many are not saved but spend a lot of time going to church and doing church work in an effort to be better “Christians.” By no means am I suggesting that works are not necessary or that they play no part in the salvation experience. Rather, I am suggesting that there is no amount of work that can get you saved. The work of salvation was completed on Calvary’s cross by Jesus Christ himself. Because of Christ’s work, believers have the opportunity to work. Therefore, salvation is not the result of work, but rather work is the result of salvation.
Second, believers must trust God. Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” In order for us to gain understanding of this passage, we must first establish a working definition for trust, and we must also differentiate between faith and trust. Earlier in the Introduction we established that faith believes in the reality of God. Simply believing in God is enough to establish a relationship with Christ; however, just as with any other relationship, a healthy relationship must grow. In order for us to experience true spiritual growth, in addition to foundational faith, the believer must possess trust. For our working definition we will define trust as relying on and/or depending on God for everything totally and completely. In order to trust God, we must have complete confidence in God. A situational trust cannot be considered trust at all. When we trust God only in certain situations, we in essence suggest that the power of God is not necessary for direction in less critical situations. Another consideration is the eternality of trust. The eternality of trust is the single most significant differentiator between God and humanity. Humanity is only situational at best, whereas God is eternal. Trusting God is an eternal proposition with eternal benefits. While trusting on this side can yield some temporal results, the investment of “right-now” trust pays off best in eternal dividends. On this side of glory our trust will guide us through this tough maze we call life. Trust will help us to navigate through the perplexing challenges we face on a daily basis such as whom to marry, which job offer to take, or even what church we should attend. Trust also guides us through other life choices that may contradict our will. Trust will cause us to respond as did Jesus in His surrender to the Cross when He said, “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42).
Ultimately, trust does not save us but causes us to rely completely on God. Reliance on God is a simple confession of the inadequacy of the believer. Basically, we must be willing to admit that we possess no power to work through, overcome, or survive any situation without the divine leadership of Christ through the Holy Spirit. God must be the believer’s source of supply. Believers cannot simply rely on their own abilities to supply their needs. As we begin to understand the ownership of God and the stewardship of humanity, we will then be able to offer the sacrificial praise God deserves. As trust leads to praise, praise can then be converted to worship—because God is worth it!
Finally, if we are to truly believe God, we as believers must commit ourselves. Dictionary.com defines commit as “to bind or obligate, as by pledge or assurance.” Psalm 37:5 says, “Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” It can be a very inexpensive proposition to say, “I believe in God,” or “I trust God,” as long as all you do is say it. However, the price increases exponentially when a believer actually commits to what he or she has claimed to believe.
Commitment is the process of putting action to your confession and proving out what you say you trust and believe. Many people put what is called a backup or a contingency plan in place for an impending failed first option. I am not suggesting that we should not think things through; however, I am suggesting that we should be willing to put all our professed faith and trust in the Lord and fully pursue His plans for us. The essence of commitment is not based on convenience or circumstance but rather on completely selling out in everything we do for a specific cause.
Many Christians believe they have received a specific vision or a dream from God, but they do nothing to actually make the dream become a reality. It is as if Christians believe God’s giving the dream equates to automatically receiving the blessing. Undoubtedly God will show you a vision or a dream, but in order for you to possess or receive what God has for you, you must have faith in God, trust God, and finally commit to the processes of God.
A genuine faith in God leads you to commit completely to Him. Commitment is a responsibility given to believers by God. Failing to take care of your responsibility cannot be credited to anything or anyone but you. It’s up to you to hear from God by faith. It’s up to you to trust the plan of God, and it’s up to you to handle your responsibility of commitment to God. Too many times we as believers play the blame game. We are not walking in our destiny because of what someone has done or not done to us or for us. We blame our defeat on situational timing or just bad luck. As believers we must get to the point at which we are willing to receive our destiny out of God’s hands and walk according to His divine plan.
Please understand: commitment does not save us. We are not saved because of the hard work we do at church every week. Arriving at the church early and being the last one to leave are not tickets to guarantee front-row seats in heaven. Simply stated, you can’t do enough “good” work to work your way into salvation. Ephesians 2:9 says, “Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it” (NLT). Commitment is a serving process rather than a source of salvation. Many Christians put more faith and trust in the effort of their work than in the grace of God. Commitment actually causes the believer to serve. When a believer is committed to the cause of Christ, you simply cannot stop him or her from working for the cause of Christ! Believing God is a process used to bless both the believer and other on-looking believers as well as non-believers.
God desires us to have faith, to trust Him, and commit to Him that others might come to know Him for themselves. The awesome thing about God is that He is willing to allow us to benefit from a personal belief in Him while He is doing His work of saving people and reconciling the world to himself. For example, a believer is believing God for healing. As a result of the believer’s faith, he or she is willing to trust or totally rely on God for the healing. The believer’s belief and trust in God then causes the believer to “commit his way unto the Lord.” This conviction to commit causes the believer to spend more time in the Word of God. More time in the Word of God creates a more intimate relationship for the believer. This intimacy with God creates a cycle of faith, trust, and commitment. Before you know it, God has manifested healing in the life of the believer. Not only is the believer healed and thereby able to experience the healing power of God personally, but now he or she has a testimony to share with others for the glory of God.
You see, the three critical steps to believing God are a foundational requirement for the believer who wants to grow in his or her faith. Faith, trust, and commitment is more than a catch phrase—these three items are critical components for all who would experience the unfathomable power of God. As we move further through this process of believing God, it will be necessary for you to manage your mind by inspecting and/or altering your thought process. Philippians 2:5 says, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Adopting society’s thought process will derail your effort to believe God. The worldly influenced mind is unable to comprehend the things of God. God is ready to do God things in you and through you. You may have heard God-sized blessings described as supernatural, but remember: people define things as supernatural only because the natural mind can neither grasp nor comprehend the things of God. Therefore, just know that it is beyond your capacity to think through the process of believing God, but you must simply believe.