You’ve been watching the pages of the calendar turn one after another.
And it still hasn’t happened.
Standing. Speaking. Sowing. Believing. What else can you do?
During the 2021 Word Explosion Military Salute, Bishop Herbert Bailey shared a powerful word about how to put your faith in action. If you’re believing God for something, here’s why it’s time to pick a date!
1. Picking a Date Stirs Up Your Faith
“This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand.” –1 Samuel 17:46 (NKJV)
Have you ever met people who are eternally engaged? You ask when they’re getting married, and they say, “Oh, well, we haven’t set a date yet.” They’re not serious! If you’re serious, you pick a date. There’s something about picking a date.
Picking a date says you mean business. That’s what David did when he faced Goliath. He picked a date when he said, “This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand.” He said it by faith. And what happened? David got manifestation of his confession on the date he said it would happen!
Picking a date stirs up your faith. It puts pressure on your faith to perform, to expect and to receive.
Think about July 4th. We celebrate on that day, but that isn’t the date when America actually acquired independence. That was the day the Founding Fathers declared independence. They picked a date. The manifestation came later, but the declaration set their faith in motion to receive.
If you’re believing for something that seems to be dragging on with no timeline attached to it, you need to draw a line in the sand. You need to put your foot down and pick a date according to your faith. Now, we aren’t talking about presumption. Bishop Bailey says, “Presumption gets ahead of God, fear lags behind God, but faith moves with God.”
When you pick a date, you include God in your plans. You choose a date with God and by the Spirit of God. Proverbs 19:21 says, “You can make many plans, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail.”
When you pick a date, you’re making a faith declaration like David did concerning Goliath when he said, “This day!” Job 22:28 tells us we can do that: “You will also declare a thing and it will be established for you” (NKJV). When you declare something—pick a date—by faith, heaven will back you up. Jesus said it this way: “Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 18:18, NIV).
It’s empowering to pick a date because it gives you something to point your faith toward. Picking a date makes you get aggressive in your faith.
2. Picking a Date Determines Your Behavior
“Elisha replied…‘About this time tomorrow.’” –2 Kings 7:1 (NIV)
When you get a bill in the mail with a due date, or worse, a date when they’ll cut off service if it isn’t paid, it’s going to stir you to action much more than if the bill came with no deadline!
That’s what picking a date does for you in your faith life—it determines your behavior and gives you a healthy push toward acting on your faith. It’s time for you to pick a date for the things you’re believing for.
Pick the date, speak the date, believe the date, receive the date. We already talked about how David picked a date for Goliath’s taunting and terror to end, but Moses picked a date, too. In Exodus 14:13 (NKJV), the Israelites had the enemy army behind them and the Red Sea in front of them. Moses responded by saying, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today.”
When you pick a date, you’ll speak the date. You’ll say, “God is going to deliver us today. God is going to defeat our enemy TODAY.” Then, stick to your confession. Don’t change it; don’t weaken it; don’t start making excuses about it. Stick to your confession!
Elisha also picked a date. He said, “About this time tomorrow” the whole economy is going to change (2 Kings 7:1, NIV)—within 24 hours. Did you know your whole situation can change in 24 hours? It’s time to hype your faith up to believe God for things eye has not seen and ear has not heard!
3. Picking a Date Gives You Strategy
“The battle is not yours but God’s.” –2 Chronicles 20:15 (NIV)
For every warfare, there is strategy. For very financial need, there’s strategy. For every sickness, there’s strategy.
Picking a date will give you that strategy. While you’re trying to figure it out, God has already worked it out. But when you pick a date with God, you’re bringing Him into your situation instead of trying to do it all on your own.
That’s what Jehoshaphat did in 2 Chronicles 20 when a vast army was coming against him. He sought the Lord and God gave him a strategy for victory. God will give us strategy of things to do that don’t always make sense to the world.
Maybe it seems like everything and everyone is against you. God already has a strategy in mind. And the best part is, you will not need to fight this battle. God will fight it for you. Stop looking at who’s against you and see the salvation of the Lord.
When Jesus wanted to feed the 5,000, the disciples didn’t know where they were going to get enough food. However, Jesus had already had a plan. He had a strategy.
God already has a plan for your deliverance. God already has a plan to reverse your lack or your health. God already has a plan for your marriage and for your children.
Pressing into God is how you find that strategy, and picking a date puts you in a place where you need to press in!
4. Picking a Date Calls Your Faith Higher
“About this time next year…Sarah your wife will have a son.”—Genesis 18:10 (NIV)
God picked the date for Abraham and Sarah to have a baby, but they had to believe the date. Abraham and Sarah know this: Picking a date calls your faith higher!
God is a covenant-keeping God. We have to continually call our faith higher to receive all He has promised. Throughout the Bible, and in the lives of believers, we’ve seen dates including “today,” “24 hours,” “by the end of this year” and “by this time next year.”
Will you dare to believe that next year at this time you’ll be out of debt? Will you dare to believe that by this time next year you’ll own a home?
God remembers what He said. He remembers His covenant, and He will do what He said!
Will you still have faith, or will you have given up, and use a credit card? Will you have faith, or will you have given up, and quit on your dream?
It’s never too late. When man says no, God can still say yes. God is still in the blessing business. Picking a date calls your faith to a higher level. It says, “I still believe God!”
If things haven’t worked out like you thought, shout out, “God, I still believe You!”
God appoints set times—not just seasons, but specific dates. He picked a date for Jesus’ birth. “When the time arrived that was set by God…” (Galatians 4:4). The Lord also appointed a time when He would bring a plague upon the Egyptians. “The LORD set a time, saying, “Tomorrow the LORD will do this thing” (Exodus 9:5, ESV).
It’s time for you to say, “The Lord will do this thing!”
This is why it’s time to pick a date for what you’ve been believing for. If you’ve been tolerating it this long, being taunted this long by opposition, what do you have to lose by picking a date? Pick a date with God, and watch Him work!
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