No Longer Condemned

No Longer Condemned

Romans 8:1 (NKJV) There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

The enemy of all mankind will use just about any bat handed to him. He is aggressive and ruthless in his attack against humanity. He hates people. So when given the opportunity to remind us of faults, failures and shortcomings – he capitalizes completely. Given our inability to earn salvation or restore our relationship with God outside of Christ creates a vulnerability to these tactics. Shame and regret are his biggest enforcers of our insecurity and inability to own our new relationship with God through His Son. We are no longer condemned but empowered by God’s Grace to become new creations. If only we could see the Gloriousness of God and His Goodness concerning us to silence the lie of the enemy in our life.

God doesn’t wait with a huge sledgehammer to smash us when we sin. In fact, our sin grieves God. His Hate for sin doesn’t extend to the offenders. He only hates sin not those who live in it. Unconditional love is probably the greatest love of all and easiest to maintain if our heart would only receive it and our head able to conceive it. Hurt and betrayal harden our heart to such a thing in light of our own broken emotions. This limits the Body of Christ in fully filling each position. It hinders the Kingdom coming to earth in disbelief. God wants to break the stronghold of condemnation over your life. Whether promoted by religion or simply a lack of knowledge. He wants to break through this barrier and free you from this hindrance in your life. God is good. He wants His Glory to fill us to overflowing…despite what we may think of ourselves?

John 3:18-20 (NKJV) “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.

Why does God love me? How do I know that He does? How can I be sure? Well, the Word of God tells us that God is love (I John 4:8) and He first loved us (I John 4:19)! God’s Word is the credibility of my faith and the logic that I must live by to successfully overcome every lie introduced by the enemy. I must believe God’s Word is for me and about me. I must allow His Spirit to sow the Word in my heart so it will become the wisdom of my life. Jesus is the Word of God who came wrapped in flesh to demonstrate God’s Love and Desire for me. (John 1:14) The Love of God for mankind is who He is. We cannot make God love us because He already does. His Mercy each day delivered to everyone regardless of what they believe and how they live is evidence that His Love will stop at nothing to apprehend us.

The only condemnation is disbelief. To refuse the Love of God given in His Son Jesus Christ is the only condemnation possible for people. When presented with the Light of His Love, yet they choose darkness rather than light. Aha! Said all the religious people with a Pharisee-spirit in them. No this does not mean that sinners are condemned but rather those who do not desire a relationship with God. The application of grace does not mean that a person is no longer a sinner just forgiven. Doing some things right (or religiously) does not promote you to a higher level in God. In fact, the more humble the person the closer to God. Those who reject His Love. This is very different that feeling unworthy or insignificant. There are a whole lot of people in the world who entered our churches and rather than experiencing the selfless and unconditional love of God – they were condemned by Christians and wandered empty and helplessly back into the darkness. Shame on us for putting a higher price on our love than God puts on His Love. He stops at nothing to make a way for us to enter right standing and promote a restored relationship with even the most violent offender.

2 Corinthians 3:7-10 (NKJV) But if the ministry of death, written and engraved on stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of the glory of his countenance, which glory was passing away, how will the ministry of the Spirit not be more glorious? For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory. For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) This is one of the most known verses in the Word of God. God loved us. He sent His Son to save us. But there is more to the story that is relevant and true. “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” The purpose of Christ was not two-fold. He did not come to save some and condemn others. God is never double-minded. Jesus came that the world might be saved and have everlasting life. There is no condemnation in Christ today. If you feel condemned, it is not from God. God is love! His Mercy is new every morning. He loved you first. He loves you the most. His Grace is enough to gain access to every blessing and experience His Glory in your life. You don’t have to do everything right just love His Son and believe in Him for salvation. A brand new life as a new creation is only accessible through Christ. He gives it to us with a helper that will help us in our weakness. Take knowledge and turn into wisdom. There is no sin insurmountable to an ounce of Christ’s Precious Blood – you are not condemned but made alive again. Resurrection life and power are working its way through you to make its way out of you. Put down the big bat of condemnation, shame, guilt or any other lie that the enemy handed you today. You have a purpose and plan designed for you by the Hand of God. The whole point is that you will know His Love. Gird yourself in the Truth that God loves you. Jesus died for you! His Grace is enough for you! You are alive again! Now walk in that freedom! Live in His Glory! He is for you! Never ever not once against you! Jesus is Our Champion – claim your victory today!

John 16:33 (NIV) “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Sowing Victory

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Galatians 6:7-9 (NLT) Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.

I am tired. I am weary. I am overwrought. Worried. Stressed and fearful. Life is hard. Pressures are mounting. I believe that there are certain seasons that as the Lord fights for us that somehow it bears down around us in the atmosphere. I know that she is just a little dog. I know that God created her and many would say that she has no soul. Yet, she brings me great joy. She is loyal and loving. She is also very, very sick. As if this week wasn’t hectic enough, still no Christmas tree up, my to-do list not done, not to mention fighting off a case of the holiday blues – our little dog decided to try potpourri – it must have smelled delicious. So she foraged through a bowl of it until she found the scented pod filled with oil and decided to gnaw on it. This made her terribly ill. Now it is the end of the week, she refuses to eat. She is becoming weaker. Two visits to the vet, multiple medications and fluids – still she refuses to eat. I am sick inside. Not sure if it is all about her or the fact that life seems full of the unexpected. You can seldom rely on settled because at every twist and turn the unknown greets you.

Don’t be misled. I am being misled today. No one can mock the justice of God. No matter how I feel in this season, the seeds planted in my last season will grow its fruit. If I planted faith, it will be faith that I feast on. If I sowed worry, I will only become more fearful over time. Those who live in the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. On days like today, when exhaustion and frustration threaten the seed that I am planting, I must take another look around me and evaluate my circumstances according to the Word of God which clearly states through many scriptures that there will indeed be days like this. But it also promises that my current condition do not dictate my future that is defined by hope. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. I must not give up.

Psalm 24:7-8 (NLT) Open up, ancient gates! Open up, ancient doors, and let the King of glory enter. Who is the King of glory? The Lord, strong and mighty; the Lord, invincible in battle.

The Lord is invincible in battle. He is strong and mighty. He is the King of Glory. He is victory. God never loses a battle or war that He engages in. He is omnipotent or all powerful. He is the Creator of everything. He has predetermined the outcome of every situation according to His Will. Before waging war against our enemies, it is imperative that one believes that our Lord is all-powerful and always victorious. Then…

Romans 8:37-39 (NLT) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Overwhelming victory belongs to me because Jesus loves me. Not occasional wins but overwhelming victory is mine. What about days like today when I do not feel victorious? It is on days like today that the faith and hope sown in my heart yesterday bears fruit to sustain me for today. My life is lived from victory to victory. He changes me from glory to glory. This is a promise. It is not a suggestion. Victory in Jesus is given by His Grace. There is nothing I can do to earn it or precipitate it but rather must accept it. Wait for it. Believe it.

Why? With all my faults and failures, why would the Lord allow me to live victoriously? Because victory was predestined for my life and is not contingent on me but rather my existence. When I was born, God’s Plan for me was set into motion. Each day God’s Goodness and Unfailing Love pursue me. Am I running from it or stepping into it? This is the difference between whether or not I am living in defeat or walking in victory. Faith is the game changer. Do I believe that God loves me? Do I truly understand that His Grace is absolutely enough to make me a winner in every situation, circumstance, trial and trouble that I go through? If not, I should.

Finally, it is important to note that the Lord does not start naming all the seen faith inhibitors but the unseen predators. Death or life. Angels or demons. Fears and worries. Tomorrow. Powers of hell. Nothing in all of creation seen or unseen will ever be able to separate you or me from the Love of God revealed in Jesus Christ. Why? His Grace is enough for me. I can overcome and be victorious in all things when faith in Christ is cultivated in my heart day by day.

Ephesians 6:12-13 (NLT) For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.

We are not fighting flesh and blood. Even if your adversary has a face and breath in their body, they are not the problem. Ever. It is every – evil ruler of the unseen world, mighty powers of darkness, and evil spirits of the heavenly realm. See you cannot see the enemy although he often uses people to do his bidding. We must concentrate on winning the battle for our heart so that faith is planted and not fear. Guard our mind taking hold of every thought contrary to God and His Word and casting it down, stepping over it and putting it far behind us. We will win a few and lose a few because of our humanness and that’s okay as long as we get back up and get back to it.

These powers and rulers of the darkness – the minions of the enemy of our soul are not after us. They want to destroy the God in us. They want to steal our faith and fill us with fear. They want us to buy into the lie rather than investing in the Promises of God for our life. They are trying to convince us to forfeit that power and authority that Christ has given us to take hold of despair, disappointment and defeat. Well, I say not today devil!

Hebrews 11:32-35 (NLT)  How much more do I need to say? It would take too long to recount the stories of the faith of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and all the prophets. By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight. Women received their loved ones back again from death. But others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection.

How much more do I need to say? How many battles are you willing to engage in? How many fights are you willing to face? The faith inside you is under attack. Every force and power in hell is trying to lure you away from God’s Love because they cannot touch you. They can only lie to you. To win a battle means little if we do not win the war. Wars are comprised of many battles with varying degrees of importance. Though what you are facing seems small it may be leading to something much bigger…will you fight for it. Maybe what you are going through today seems impossible…will you give up or choose to endure? God is the God of Impossibilities. Jesus provided enough grace for us to stand in every battle. The Lord is invincible. He fights for us even when we no longer are willing to fight for ourselves. The Holy Spirit is our Advocate.

All those who were victorious attained it by faith? I am quite sure that Daniel was preparing to die when he was cast into a den of hungry lions yet once inside the lions were not hungry anymore. See God goes before us. He goes with us. The Lord works behind us pursuing us with Goodness, Grace and Unfailing Love. He perfects that which concerns us. He makes good of every detail of our life. Every step my foot takes by faith and trust in the Lord leads me to victory. We must sow victory in our life through faithfulness and by trusting the Lord so in the moment of despair, disappointment and destruction – we win victories by faith in God rather than fear of the enemy!

Psalm 144:1-2 (NLT) Praise the Lord, who is my rock. He trains my hands for war and gives my fingers skill for battle. He is my loving ally and my fortress, my tower of safety, my rescuer. He is my shield, and I take refuge in him. He makes the nations submit to me.

To be completely honest, frustration got the best of me in the wee dark hours of the morning. As I had to reach inside her kennel and gently rouse our sick and sleepy little dog. I knew she wasn’t interested but I had to try so I once again I began offering anything I could think of she might eat. She just turned her head. I held her close to my face and in a stern whisper said, “You know what if you don’t want to eat…fine. If you don’t want to live…that’s fine, too.” Then I walked her back to her crate. Going into my office to have some “quiet time” with the Lord, I am sure He heard me coming with all my negativity and grumbling going on under my voice.

God spoke just one word to my hurting heart. Victory! You have the victory today! It is up to you to take hold of it, to walk in it, believe in it, and to secure it. I don’t have to fight for victory just fight for my faith that gets caught up in worthless things sometimes rather fully standing on God’s Promise for my life each day. All impossible things are possible. Every negative has a positive exchange. God is fighting for me. The Lord is winning all my battles. I just have to say it is well with my soul and stay firmly positioned in His Presence and stand confidently on each promise.

Thank you Jesus for reminding me today that I have victory in all things. With this revelation, I retrieved our sick fur baby from her bed and began speaking life and resurrection power over her. I had to pull up those words that cursed her and plant words of faith, hope and love in their place. I wrapped her in a blanket and tucked her in on my lap to write this blog and it is where she is sleeping right now. What’s is spoken in our life grows into the harvest of our life? Sowing seeds of doubt, worry and fear will only produce more of the same leading to death. Is there something in your life that needs resurrection power and life today? We must speak life over those things in our life that are dying. We must let go of worthless worry and sinful stress that overtakes our mind and attacks our faith. We must look past this light and momentary troubles to the everlasting glory that is to come. We win. We will win the battle but most importantly we win the war. Walk in victory today my friend! The Lord is with us. All honor, glory and praise to the One who gives me victory today.

Proverbs 21:31 (NLT) The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord.

The Lion’s Roar

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Psalm 91:9-13 (NLT) If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home. For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone. You will trample upon lions and cobras; you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

Ever wonder why lions are referred to as king of the jungle? For centuries, lions have been called the king of beasts (not of the jungle). Due to their majestic appearance and position as a top predator, they are the assumed “king” of the beasts due to their raw power. They are the only wild cats who form a community called a “pride” where they live and hunt together. Male lions are the protector of the pride. They defend their territory and protect their cubs from invading males. Human kings were once perceived to play the very same role and do the same things. Where are all the kings now?  Kings are for fairy tales and folklore or are they?

As I read about the King of Kings today, the Lord has promised me a place of refuge. He gives me shelter from evil so I may not be conquered by it but live in His Grace. Nothing can come close to the home I have found in the Lion of Judah – the King of all kings. He promises His Angels will protect me as I go – holding me up with their hands so I will not stumble or fall. I will trample upon lions and cobras. I will crush fierce lions and serpents under my feet. All of this is promised for those who “those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.”  (Psalm 91:1-2)

Shortly after graduating high school, I felt a tug on my heart to pursue full-time ministry. The College and Career pastor and I were talking about the many aspects of ministry. He offered an opportunity to travel to Africa and spend the summer with missionaries. Lying in bed in Nairobi, Africa in a villa just outside of the city, in the still of the night lions would roar in the distance. I was completely in awe that I could hear lions in the wild roaring. I was not afraid safely tucked in bed. The home was secure. Men of the Masai tribe in Kenya were employed to patrol the perimeter of the property for protection as well. I was safe in my refuge yet I could still hear the roar of the lion.

God promises us power over the enemy but there will be many times that he roars at us. The lies hissed by the serpent are shouted by the lion painted in false power and fake authority. The enemy has no power over us when our faith and trust is safe and secure in the refuge of God in His Presence. Do you trust the shelter of faith built around your life today by the Most High? Do you run when the lion roars? Have you fallen for the whispered lie of the serpent? Today is the day to get back on your feet. The roar of the lion is inevitable but the Power of God manifested in you through Jesus Christ is the greatest authority of all. Greater is He who lives in you than he that is in the world. Do you believe that today? The roar of the lion is silenced by the Power of God for those who choose to love and trust Him.

I Peter 5:6-11 (NLT) So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are. In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. All power to him forever! Amen.

“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” As a true believer in Jesus Christ, it is imperative to live battle ready. The enemy is ready to engage from the moment your feet hit the floor. He will keep your mind awake through the night with fear, anxiety, worries and care that are nothing more than lies taking up real estate in the human mind. Faith and trust cannot exist in occupied space. Faith can only come when fear is given up. Trust is the act of expecting God first enough to make room for Him to be our expectation. If you do not trust the structure, you will not live in the house. If you do not trust the Lord, why would you live in His Presence?

On the other hand, there are those who do not believe that here is an enemy who seeks to overtake them. Remember the story of the three little pigs who set out on their own in the great big world. Two of them built shelters that would not withstand danger. The wolf easily toppled the homes they had constructed. The huts built in haste to get back to living life and entertaining the world. The two fled to their brother’s home who had taken the time and expended the energy to build a sound structure that would not fall down when the enemy arrived. His faithfulness and obedience saved his family from being devoured by the big, bad wolf. Friend, there is an enemy out there that wants to steal you from the Lord. But I have good news…

The enemy is walking around like a “roaring lion” looking for someone to devour. Those who stand alert, watch out for him, stand firm against him, and remain strong in faith cannot and will not be overtaken. It is up to you and me who to believe. The lie of the enemy may sound like a powerful lion who is about to attack but the truth of the matter is “you will trample upon lions” and “you will crush fierce lions.” It is the Word of God so it is true. The only power that the lion has over us today is that which is allowed. The truth of the matter is there is no power in his roar. It is but a kitten’s mew in the ears of a believer.

Daniel 6:16-23 (NLT) So at last the king gave orders for Daniel to be arrested and thrown into the den of lions. The king said to him, “May your God, whom you serve so faithfully, rescue you.” A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den. The king sealed the stone with his own royal seal and the seals of his nobles, so that no one could rescue Daniel. Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night fasting. He refused his usual entertainment and couldn’t sleep at all that night. Very early the next morning, the king got up and hurried out to the lions’ den. When he got there, he called out in anguish, “Daniel, servant of the living God! Was your God, whom you serve so faithfully, able to rescue you from the lions?” Daniel answered, “Long live the king! My God sent his angel to shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me, for I have been found innocent in his sight. And I have not wronged you, Your Majesty.” The king was overjoyed and ordered that Daniel be lifted from the den. Not a scratch was found on him, for he had trusted in his God.

The king could not defy his own order. If he did not put Daniel into the lion’s den, it would be to go back on his word and subsequently cause a ripple of uncertainty to ripple through his kingdom. His power and authority would not allow him to go back on this decree even to save the man of God. Sound familiar? God is not a man. He cannot lie or change His Mind. It would compromise His Authority and make His Power invalid. His Perfection is what makes Him Supreme and Omnipotent. He is Sovereign. This is why Jesus had to pay the ultimate price as the Sacrifice for our sin.

God sent an angel to shut to save Daniel. The king fasted and prayed all night for his servant’s safety. He wanted to believe that Daniel’s God would save him from certain death. I believe the King of Kings is always pulling for us, too. Hoping that this will be the day our trust in Him is secure. The moment that our faith keeps us firmly positioned in His Presence. There was not a scratch on Daniel when he was taken from the den that day. Not a proverbial “hair out of place.” God didn’t promise that we would not hear the roar of the lion or even find ourselves sleeping in his den, but He did promise that in His Presence, in the Shadow of the Almighty, that He would be our Refuge. He is our Protector and Defender. Psalm 91 says “for he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.”

Psalm 34:9-10 (NLT) Fear the Lord, you his godly people, for those who fear him will have all they need. Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing.

Do you hear the roar of the lion today? Is fear creeping in that you will be overtaken? Do you feel forgotten in the lion’s den sure to be consumed? Do not fear. Have faith today. God is with you. He is in you. He is working for you. The roar of the lion is based on his hunger not his power. In fact, the lioness are the real huntress in nature. The king of this world may be asserting his power but it is temporary and will soon be destroyed. His breath is filled with lies. He walks with his “pride” which is the small realm of influence that he has. The enemy is desperate. He cannot overtake anyone who dwells in the refuge called God’s Presence. Those who trust the Lord will not only survive but thrive lacking no good thing.

Proverbs 28:1 (NLT) The wicked run away when no one is chasing them, but the godly are as bold as lions.

I believe that based on Proverbs 28:1 – the Lord does not want us to cower in His Presence but become filled with boldness and confidence because He who is greater lives in me. When will the church start roaring back at the world? When will our voice shout to the victim running from the lion to come with us where you are safe from harm? When will the church become the refuge that Christ ordained us to be? When we stop running from the lion’s roar and come back roaring! Praising His Name. Trusting His Word. Having faith in His Kingdom enough to live there now and invest in our future with hope.

Psalm 91:14-16 (NLT) The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.”

Lying in bed in the middle of a foreign country surrounded by the jungles of Africa, I did not feel one ounce of fear when I heard the lion’s roar. Why? I knew that I was well-protected. I could hear the sounds of the night and felt the darkness surrounding me but it did not cause me to fear or worry that I was in any danger. God wants His Presence to be that profound in our life. So that when the enemy shouts at us, we are not afraid. When darkness is foreboding, the Light of His Love comes shining through. During the tests and trials that are inevitable to develop our faith and trust in Him, the Lord has given us freedom that no man or beast can take from us. The only weapon the enemy has to use against us are his lies. Once you know the truth, you will no longer believe the lie. With all this in mind, how loud is the lion’s roar now?

Come into His Presence today with boldness and confidence. The Lord wants to be our refuge and strength. It is up to us if we will rest in the Shadow of the Almighty with peace that passes understanding and inexpressible joy or will we live on the run? I choose you today Lion of Judah. Give me back my voice. Fill my mouth with Your Promises today to dismiss every lie the enemy offers. I trust you today! Let the lion’s roar.

Hebrews 4:16 (NLT) So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

Moving Into Greater

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I John 4:4 (NLT) But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.

How do we walk from victory to victory? Do we really win? If the Spirit who lives in me is greater than why does it seem like the one who rules the world is winning? The news around the world wreaks of turmoil, death and destruction. How do I keep my hand to the plow and my eyes on Jesus? I know a man who had a difficult childhood that gave way to many bad choices as a young adult. After attending a rehabilitation program, he met a girl and they made a beautiful family together. They raised their children in the admonition of the Lord. Went to church. Seemed to do all the right things to be in the Will and Way of God. I got word recently that the two are in the middle of a nasty divorce. One of their precious babies overdosed on heroin, died and was brought back to life by her father and paramedics. One is selling the stuff that almost killed a sibling. Another lost in an identity crisis trying to figure out who and what is real. How can this happen? How can Christian families who know the Lord fall apart so completely? They are not the only ones. I know a pastor whose family engaged in the same battle our family did at the exact same time. His sister battled cancer and won. Her victory was secured in Heaven with Jesus, not as they had hoped. We experienced a different kind of victory. Why do I feel guilty sometimes? Why do I feel like life is so unfair? Every day as I pray, I plead the Blood of Jesus over my husband, babies, church and friends. The battle for them is real and the adversary is ruthless. How do I take my eyes off all the fires burning around me? How can I not be distracted by the disturbing images to see the view from God’s Perspective and walk in it? I must learn to move into “greater”.

“You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.” The people referred to in this passage are the false prophets. There may even one or two still circulating in this world (written with a hint of sarcasm). The Spirit who lives in me is greater. Jesus is greater than any other power or authority. (Period) The Sovereignty of God is passed down as power and authority to Jesus Christ in honor of His Sacrifice for all mankind. If the Spirit of God lives in us based on our decision to ask Jesus to be our Savior, to repent of our sins and turn from our own way, and make Him the Lord of our life – we have the Power of God and His Kingdom hidden inside of us. We can speak to mountains and they will move. We can cast out demons. We can drink poison and it will not harm us. We can do anything in His Name and for His Glory because He has given us His Victory. So why am I not winning? Are you fighting the right fight?

We engage in “civilian matters”. 2 Timothy 2:4 reminds us that “soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them.” Our civilian life are all the “things” we do to survive in this world. Kingdom business is the life we live for the Lord outside of our daily routine and scheduled activities called living the American Dream or running the rat race depending on who you are and the given day. We get caught up in too many things that don’t really matter. I get caught up in too many things that don’t really matter. People are complicated. Circumstances are messy. Complications are inconvenient. I have feelings you know? Yes, God knows how we feel yet cannot leave us all emotionally caught up but tries to loose us because He is greater than our feelings. The Lord is fighting for our freedom. The battle begins inside of you and me.

John 3:30 (NLT) He must become greater and greater and I must become less and less.

If only I could get past how I feel some days, and live only in the greatness of who He is. I know my life would be greater. Yet, I struggle with people and purpose every day. Less of me will always make room for more of Him. As I yield my body, mind, will and emotions to the Holy Spirit – He moves in and fills me with love, peace, joy and satisfaction allowing me to walk by faith and not by sight for that moment. I find that once I completely yield my broken heart or spirit to the Lord that He is faithful to fill up and secure it in me. Yet there are those areas that I give Him and before He can get there snatch it back. I want the greater things of God and to live for His Glory. Lord, move me into greater today by moving in and taking over more of me.

John 14:11-13 (NLT) “Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do. I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father.”

I have seen modern day miracles. I have seen the Hand of God touch human beings and supernaturally change their condition. Yet, there were times that I still did not believe. I believed in God the Father, of course. I believed in Jesus Christ and the fact that He died to save me. I also believed that His Holy Spirit lived inside of me. The struggle was for the greater things. I would give up to avoid disappointment. I did not fully believe or accept God’s Intervention in my life or my ability to do the same works that Jesus did. I do not believe that anymore. I absolutely believe that God is moving me to greater things. Miracles, signs and wonders. Sharing a message that will be received by many.

The confidence and boldness that I have found did not come the way I assumed that it would. It arrived at the end of me. Complete and utter brokenness. The days that I thought I could not move another step in faith and the “mustard seed” seemed too small. I found it when not a single thing in my life added up to victory, when everyone around me did not see a win and on that day when all I had left was His Word. He made me a promise. The ruler of darkness had done everything in his power to make me relinquish it. I did not wail. I did not beg. I did not plead. As I recall, it was in a quiet and calm voice that I reminded the Lord – this is what you said.

As Christians, we are always trying to “make things happen” in the Body of Christ to promote repentance and revival. I am wondering if it’s possible that we are taking the wrong approach. Am I trying to win a victory already won rather than going through the Victor? What do I mean? King Solomon called life meaningless because he believed there was nothing new under the sun. While I agree with him that there is nothing new under the natural sun, I concur with him that God has placed eternity in the heart of mankind. It is that seed of faith that changes everything in our natural life to the possibility of supernatural outcome. God put divine purpose in each heart for harvest. We must allow it to become greater than us in order to reap the reward.

John 15:19-21 (NLT) “The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the one who sent me.”

Jesus was abundantly clear that the world pretty much hated Him and everyone associated with the Gospel. “A slave is not greater than the master.” If you think that the world is ready for the gospel, you are wrong. Christians have not helped our own cause. The Word of God tells us “students are not greater than their teacher” and that “slaves are not greater than their master.” (Matthew 10:24-25) We must be like our teacher. (Luke 6:39-40) The messenger is not greater than the one who sent the message. (John 13:15-17) Mega church is big business. Pastors reside in mansions and fly around in private jets. The world sees church as just a big business endeavor. I hear people refer to preachers and podcasts every day but don’t hear them recite the Word of God at all. If the world embraces you and celebrates me, am I serving God or man? The Love and Grace of God are wonderful. Those who experience them will be forever changed. However, they have the Gospel message when preached appropriately leads to opposition. If not, we must compare our life and our message to our Teacher, Master, Savior and Lord – Jesus Christ. He healed people. He helped the community. He did nothing wrong. He did not defend His Innocence but went to the Cross. John 15:13 says “there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Jesus laid His Life down for us all. We must be willing to lay our life down for Him to attain the greatness offered to us in His Word.

On Shark Week, the Discovery Channel shows men and women who will put blood in the water to summon sharks. They will then take a video camera, jump in a steel cage and be lowered in the water to film the shark’s frenzy. Some of the sharks will ram the cage. Others grab it with their razor sharp teeth and shake it with all their might. Those crazy, yes crazy, scientists though narrowly escaping with their life will do it again and again for their love of science and species. No thank you! I believe that as believers set their heart on revival and allow the Lord to remove lesser things to make room for greater things, they will encounter the same. We will go into the world with a message of love, peace and joy some days feeling as though we barely escape wrath.

I John 3:19-20 (NLT) Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.

Winston Churchill is credited with the statement, “If you are going through hell, keep going.” Good advice. If you want to get to Heaven, you are going to “go through hell” to get there. The enemy is not going to sit lightly by and watch you pass content with those who he has already apprehended. His hatred for Jesus is too great. His demise is too eminent. He will fight tooth and nail to pull you out of God’s Best to settle for lesser things in life even if that lesser thing is religion over a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Our actions must be based on the fact that we belong to the Truth and absolutely believe the Promise of God is for us and worth having. Why? It will cost all of me and every ounce of pride in me to attain it. We have been promised “far greater glory” (2 Corinthians 3:8-9) and friends we are not living in it so there must be more to it. I must believe that the God in me is greater than everything outside and around me. It will take all of me to get there. The greater ones desire to see the greater things of God and experience the Greatness of His Kingdom, the more that will be required. Are you willing to give God all of you for a higher view? A new perspective comes when we get out of the way along with our feelings about our faults and failures. We must move past our pride, insecurities and doubts that cause conflict and division in the Kingdom to work love, grace and mercy in and through our life. I want to move into greater things today. I must get past me to do it. He must increase and I must decrease not just today but every day!

John 14:12-13 (NLT) “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father.”

Hacked

Hacked

Romans 8:37-39 (NIV) No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Nothing like waking up to an alert on your phone that someone has logged into your iMessage account and finding an endless foray of text messages on your phone in Chinese or at least it looked like an Asian language. Such a violating feeling when another decides to step into someone’s life and take something that does not belong to them. Several years ago, our house was robbed. I remember the dirty feeling of someone walking through our life and touching everything. Going through our belongings, opening drawers, reaching under the mattresses looking for certain things. The investigators dusted for fingerprints leaving behind the telltale sign of the intrusion and marks left in our mind. Identity theft has become prevalent enough to now be included in insurance policies. There are no boundaries. This world no longer has a conscience. What is our response? Now before you sign up for a concealed weapon permit, call the security company or change all your passwords, it is important to remember that this world is not our home. Yes, it is good to be aware and do what is best to protect your family. However, before we panic and build bunkers, let’s take a deep breath. Everything is going according to plan. God’s Plan. We have a role to play in His Plan. There is purpose in our life and very existence that is important to the Kingdom of God. Through all the distractions and detours, the enemy tries to make us feel helpless, violated and powerless. Nothing could be further from the Truth.

“No, in all things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Do you believe that you are more than a conqueror today just because you are loved by Christ? It is important what we believe and how we respond to God’s Word when it comes to the power and authority that God bestowed on Jesus who has given it to us. Why is the church powerless? Why are Christians on the run? Where is the confidence in our King and allegiance to His Kingdom? The only thing that will ever keep us from God is sin. We choose to entertain it. Either ignoring God’s Word or calling it okay because of grace. The grace given to us by our Savior is not common. Common grace pardons sin and stops right there. God’s Grace through Jesus fulfills the Law and allows us to become Children of God and live out His Plan and Purpose regardless of our past. His Amazing Grace empowers us to live apart from sin and in His Power. How is it going?

Hebrews 10:35-39 (NIV) So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For, “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.” And, “But my righteous one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.

Where is our confidence today? I discovered the problem with my Itunes account because Apple notified me. The message simply indicated that another user had been added and if I did not know this person to change my password. Makes me laugh out loud for a minute. What is our response when the enemy messes with us, our stuff or intrudes into our life? What is our immediate response? How do we react? Do we use our authority and power to come against the attack in the Name of Jesus or do we complain to everyone about what the devil is doing to us? See the Word of God that I read says that the Name of Jesus is the most powerful name and weapon in all the universe. It says that at His Great Name EVERY KNEE will bow and EVERY TONGUE confess that He is Lord. Yet we cower. Why? We lack confidence in the Word of God, the Name of Jesus, the Holy Spirit and His Power in us.  We simply do not believe so engage in battles ill-quipped to fight.

You cannot win a spiritual battle without faith. Faith is confidence in God. We cannot be more than conquerors if we do not have faith and confidence in the Name of Jesus. Today, I logged into my Itunes account and changed the password. I kicked off all unknown users. I wiped out all the messages from the intruder without opening and reading them because they do not pertain to me and such talk can only add to my bad attitude. My account is now clean, secure and protected again. What about my heart? Do I allow the enemy to run rampant in my mind by continually contemplating his next attack? Or do I build up my arsenal through prayer, studying, meditating on His Word and communing with His Spirit? I will run to that which I trust in times of trouble. Where do I run to when the enemy comes? Do I run to the world for help and protection? Or do I trust in the Power and Authority of Jesus to rule and govern my life? Is He my Lord today? Is He yours?

Luke 10:19-20 (NIV) I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

The Power of God is reserved for Children of God. You cannot live for the world and expect His Power to be evident in your life. Repentance is the first of all fruits for a believer. Without true repentance that turns our life daily over to Christ, carries our cross and crucifies our flesh, you can forget seeing revival, signs, wonders or miracles. It just cannot come from an empty source. I believe to reclaim the Power of God given to us by Jesus and to manifest it to the world around us is a two-step process. Just as Apple explained the steps to restore my account, the Holy Spirit is telling us (the Church) how to restore His Power in us today.

Psalm 51:10-12 (NIV) Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

The first and most important step is to repent and renew our commitment to Jesus Christ. To stop talking about the Power of God and next Great Move of God and be that church. The Kingdom of God is not talk but power. (I Corinthians 4:20) We have developed a language and culture that talks about turning back to God but few who show the proper way. It is Jesus. It always has been and always will be. True repentance. We must become a steadfast people again who stop running doing and takes the time to become the Body of Christ. We must identify with the Holy Spirit again. He is our teacher, counselor, guide and advocate. To try to understand the Word of God and apply it to our life with Him is impossible. Trust me, I tried. Are you happy to be saved? Do you have inexpressible joy untouchable by the tragedies and troubles of life? If not, you can! Finally we must be willing to live in full surrender and submission to God’s Plan and Purpose. No longer living in the darkness or even the gray area of compromise, but in full pursuit of His Presence at all times leaving sin behind.

Acts 4:32-35 (NIV) All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.

The next step is to live what we believe. The early church boasted of believers in full agreement. Selfless commitment to one another and their community. They were in one accord with one heart and mind. Yep, not the church of today at all with a new one popping up on each corner with a new set of doctrines and rules but same old worn out message. The Body of Christ must find full agreement in Jesus Christ. The early church sold all their possessions and shared everything. With most church records showing only about 2% of the congregation tithing, we have a long way to go. Preachers won’t even preach about giving in fear of losing people. God’s Grace worked its way through them to the world around them because quite frankly the people got out of the way. Their goal in life was to share the Gospel and everything else came second. Imagine the possibilities of a people so sold-out to Jesus nothing else mattered. These were the very same ones beaten, tortured, persecuted, ridiculed, who lived in fear for their life yet could not stop from fulfilling their mission – no matter what the price.

We have so far to go yet in our turning back to the Lord, I have always found that He was right there waiting. He will help us take back what the enemy has taken to use for His Glory but it stretches beyond the natural as we learn to endure so that on that day when He comes – we will be saved! I am so thankful for Jesus today and His Power and Full Authority over my life. I may have temporary trials, troubles and tests but I am more than a conqueror today for one simple reason. I am confident that God loves me. It is all I need to overcome in every situation. He fights for me today so I can hide in His Refuge continuing to share His Love.

Has your life been hacked by the enemy? Has he taken your joy, your stuff? Are you trying to wrestle back that faith that is compromised by fear? You have all the Power and Authority of God available to you in the Name of Jesus? Are you confident in using it? We must strive to focus on getting our heart and mind right with the Lord so we can live in agreement with other believers. In doing so, we can usher in the next great move of God that might very well be the one that precipitates His Coming. We can see revival power back in the House of God. It can even permeate the world around us if we could just believe again. Lord, examine my heart today removing any foul and offensive thing. Release your Spirit to do His Work in and around me bringing your Word to pass in my life. I want you Jesus more than anything. Secure the borders and perimeters around me so I am one with You. Lord, send revival. Let us be where You decide to move.

John 17:10-11 (NIV)  All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one.

Overcoming the Lie

Overcoming the Lie

I John 3:19-22 (NIV) This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him.

 

Our mind is a powerful weapon against us sometimes. I know that there are times when a tiny thought becomes a raging fear in an instant if I allow it to remain free roaming in my imagination. Little molehills grow instantly into giant mountains simply because I did not apprehend it the moment I noticed it. Our mind represents our flesh and lives in enmity against God. It wants to do what gratifies and satisfies the natural man with little to no interest in the spiritual being that the Lord is creating with us day by day. Why? To grow spiritually means dying naturally day by day as our flesh is crucified with Christ. There are many full churches yet few prospering souls today. Going to church does not make you a Christian…or maybe it does as far as social circles go. Attending a regular worship service does not make you a worshipper. Quoting scripture does not make you a believer. Serving in the church body does not make you a servant unless love saturates your cause. We are to become followers of Jesus. We are to act like Him, talk like Him and think like Him. People act like Christians even speaking Christianese. However, to truly be like Jesus means thinking like Him or our intentions are all wrong.

 

What we think becomes what we know? What we know is turned into understanding? Understanding becomes wisdom. This fuels our thoughts and ideas in like which become our motivation. But if the original intent is all wrong, though progression is perceived purpose is lost. Jeremiah 17:10 says, “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.” You can fool other people but you cannot fool the Lord. He knows our heart. He sees our thoughts. Those who lack faith and confident hope are quickly discovered as nothing is hidden from the Lord. We must call to order our thoughts, emotions and feelings. Surrendering our life to Christ begins with our intent. If we seek to know Jesus, we must overcome the conflicted emotions within us.

 

The New Living Translation says it like this, “Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.” Have you ever felt like God doesn’t notice or care about our feelings? Like he is uncaring or uncompassionate about the struggles in our heart and mind? God is greater than our feelings. The biggest deterrent for a believer is fear. When we are afraid, there are many factors that are destructive to our faith in that one word that describes most of our emotional makeup. To be afraid means any of the following: feeling fear, filled with apprehension (opposite of expectation), feeling regret, unhappiness, feeling reluctance, unwillingness, and distaste. We are afraid of the unknown for if we would seek to know God and develop a relationship with Jesus Christ, we were never be afraid again. Fear is a feeling. It is an emotional response to the lie of the enemy. It is natural since our flesh is slowing dying giving way to a new life, new confidence in our hope and learning to respond in faith. It is uncomfortable. It is not easy but oh so worth it when we decide that God is definitely greater than our feelings.

 

Romans 7:21-25 (NLT) I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.

 

I love how Paul laid it all out for us. Our mind is at war with God’s Will for our life. It does not and will not submit to God’s Law willingly hence creating hostility in us. We are conflicted. If there is the slightest spark of desire to know the Lord, stinking thinking tries to convince us that God doesn’t love us, cannot overcome our sin, and will not change our life because of what we have done. It all began with a lie. Just a subtle twist on God’s Word, and sin brought humanity crashing down. We are not so different from our ancestors, Adam and Eve. Easily convinced to switch truth for a lie, confidence into compromise, and certainty for substitution, it always begins with a lie. The enemy is really convincing. If he can confuse us, it is just enough to convince us that maybe just maybe grace is not enough and weakness cannot be overcome.

 

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NLT) We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.

 

I am only human. We are human. BUT, we do not wage war as humans do. We must win the battle in our mind so that our heart is free to pursue the Lord completely. What is God’s Mighty weapons? Where can I find that thing that will knock down the strongholds of human reasoning? What has the power to destroy false arguments? What can destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God? It is the Word of God. It is like a two-edge sword carefully cutting away the lies that have bound us to expose the Truth that frees us. (Hebrews 4:12) God’s Word is like the lamp on the surgeon’s head that allows us to see inside the deepest cavity of our mind removing the cancerous thought or idea eating away at our faith, killing our dreams and crushing our hope. (Psalm 119:105) Every thought or idea that is contrary to God’s Word, His Will or His Way is rebellious. Anything that is contradictive the nature and character of Christ is ungodly. How can we capture that which we are not aware of?

 

Have you ever been duped or tricked by another person? Has someone fooled you? It makes you feel really gullible. You should have known better but you fall for it every time. My husband is a jokester. He is always teasing somebody and he is really good at it. The man is very convincing so that even when I tell myself not to believe him, I do and he gets me every time. He has effectively created a new generation that act just like him. The problem is that now when he is serious, I tend not to believe him. I am afraid that he is joking with me.

 

I Peter 5:8-9 (NLT) Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.

 

In Job 1, the enemy came before the Lord and He asked satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the Lord, “I have been patrolling the earth, watching everything that’s going on?” He prowls around like a roaring lion. He is looking for the person who believes his lie. He wants the one who cowers to his roar. Is that you today? Is the enemy whispering fearful thoughts into your mind? Is he telling you things that are contrary to God’s Word but ignorance keeps you from discerning it? You can overcome ignorance with knowledge. A persistent pursuit of knowledge soon becomes understanding. Understanding applied to life is wisdom. Wisdom leads to better choices and confident thinking. The thoughts permitted to exist and remain in our heart and mind dictation the outcome of our life. Those who choose to study God’s Word and saturate their mind and mediate on it, will have a base of knowledge that overcomes the lie for good. Hosea 4:6 warns that people are destroyed because they do not know me. God sent His Word to you. Jesus died so that God’s Word would come to pass in our life. We must believe it wholeheartedly. This begins with a made up mind.

 

2 Timothy 2:15-16 (AMP) Study and do your best to present yourself to God approved, a workman [tested by trial] who has no reason to be ashamed, accurately handling and skillfully teaching the word of truth. 

 

During those times that I have been tested by trial, I find that when I come boldly to the Throne of God it is usually recanting everything that His Word has promised that is not what I am experiencing. Our youngest daughter was supernaturally and miraculously healed of asthma. After weeks of begging and pleading with the Lord and our fiftieth visit to the doctor, enough was enough. I let God have it. What did I do? I told Him everything His Word had to say about healing and faith. I cannot even remember my tirade but I would like to think the Lord saw it as boldness and confidence in His Word rather than an oversized temper tantrum. Essentially, I asked Jesus if He would allow such an intrusion in the life of His Child. Well evidently not, because since that moment – there has not been a single episode of the disease without a single wheeze or rattle.

 

Without studying God’s Word diligently and thoroughly, we will never fully take advantage of the rights of our salvation. Ignorance will steal from us those things that God has already provided for those who love Him and seek Him wholeheartedly. What if the greatest desire of your heart is simply undiscovered? The Word of God feeds the Spirit of God in me. When we stop the stinking thinking our mind is starved. We know the Truth and hence we are set free. Are you free today? Or in bondage to fear and emotional overload? The Keys to the Kingdom unlocked that door. To come to Jesus and not know His Word is to stand behind a closed door thinking it is locked when all you had to do was push not pull. Obedience is found in God’s Word. Encouragement is provided by the Lord. Those who decide to make God’s Word a mainstay will remain steadfast in the Presence of God both now and forevermore.

 

I Corinthians 14:33 (NKJV) For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.

 

Hebrews 12:1-2(NKJV) Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

 

Are you confused today? Not sure what to do next? Uncertain of the future? Don’t even know what to pray anymore? Let me encourage you…no let me challenge you…get into the Word of God spending significant time there. The enemy will always give you a plausible excuse to not read God’s Word, study it or pray over it. He doesn’t want you to understand the depth and capacity of God’s Love for you. He wants you to feel that grace is limited rather than limitless. He wants you to see your faults and failures rather than the future and hope that the Lord has already provided you.

 

God is the God of Peace. Jesus is the Author and Finisher of Faith. Who better to look to for guidance? Who else could better explain the Word to our heart and mind than the very spirit of Jesus Christ – the Holy Spirit? We have been given everything we need to live a life of godliness. We can have everything God’s Word tells us is ours. We can do everything that it tells us we can do. We can live in the impossible realm called hope that changes our circumstances and resolves every situation. But you cannot go where you do not know exists? You cannot have that which remains hidden. A lie ends where truth is discovered. Once the Truth resonates inside of us the lies of the enemy are revealed one by one. He cannot trick us as easily. We know what to look for so the trap does not ensnare us.

 

I Corinthians 2:13-16 (NIV) This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

 

Your mind can work with the Word of God or it can work against the Spirit of God. It all depends how you manage your thoughts. We study many things. Okay, maybe it would be more appropriate we “Google” many things. You-Tube will provide millions of “how-to” videos on just about anything that you want to know how to do. Yesterday I was trying to figure out the percentage of increase. I have been out of school about three decades so I needed a refresher. How about the little gem called “Wiki-How”? The website didn’t just tell me how to do it but showed me every step of the way. When Jesus left us to sit at the Right Hand of God, He did not leave us alone. He gave us the Holy Spirit. We have the Mind of Christ.

 

Just because we have something doesn’t always mean that we use it. We bought our leather couch about twelve (12) years ago. It came with a special care kit that I stuck in the hall closet with all the other cleaning supplies. Last year, our daughter managed to get dark brown hair dye all over the couch. Ugh! I wiped up as much as I could but since our sofa is light tan – it left a horrible stain. Finally, I remembered the kit hidden high on the shelf. Inside was this little stick that looked like a glue stick labeled stain remover. As I began to rub the stick over the stain, remarkably it disappeared. I dare to say that if you came to the house that you would not even be able to tell where it once was located. This is the same with the Mind of Christ that we are given. Unless we exercise faith and hope in pursuing and utilizing this new way of thinking, it will have no impact on my life. To say I believe is one thing, but until it is reflected in the way that I think, speak and live – I am more than likely still holding on to a lie or two.

 

God is so good. His Love unfailing and unchanging. His Grace more than enough to cover our deepest darkest secret. It is tough to believe in God so perfect while I am so imperfect. Unworthiness is hard to overcome without knowing and understanding the character of God and nature of Jesus Christ. His Spirit will work His Word into our heart and mind as a shield. It will protect us from believing the ever so convincing lie of the enemy. God’s Word is a light that reveals the truth. When we know the Truth, we will not fall for a lie again. It is important that we take the Word of God, study it, dissect it, marinate over it, meditate on it, and continually dive in it day after day after day. We must know the Truth to remain free from every lie! The only thing the enemy has to use against you are lies. Be encouraged today that no weapon formed against us will prosper! We have the mind of Christ. God’s Word breaks every barrier to our freedom, removes ever boundary to our blessing, and allows us to be confident that we will see the Goodness of God in the land of the living. (Psalm27:13)

 

John 8:32 (NLT) “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

 

Don’t Buy the Lie

Don't Buy the Lie

I Corinthians 10:12-13 (NIV)

So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

 

The devil cannot make you and I do anything that we do not want to do. There I said it. God’s Children are covered by the Blood of Jesus, hearts sealed in the Spirit and surrounded by heavenly angels for protection. They are under guard of the Most High God. Though the enemy attacks, his weapons are futile against the Born-again, Blood-washed, believer who by faith stands firmly on the Word of God without wavering. Our faith is in the Word of God. Jesus is the Word of God wrapped in human flesh who lived and died to demonstrate God’s Love allowing us to step back into a right relationship with God the Father once again. To think that the enemy can harm us or take anything from us is to discredit God’s Power. It means that we consider satan’s power to equal or exceeding the Lord’s Sovereignty which is just not possible.

 

“So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” The enemy’s tactic is temptation. The weapon that he yields is only one. His inability to touch us or harm us in any way leaves only one device – he is a liar and a really, really good one. No temptation has taken us except what is common to man. Sin began with a lie. The serpent challenged the reasoning of Eve concerning the Truth that God had given her. She chose to believe the lie rather than stay true to the Word. When God created human beings, we did not possess an ounce of shame. (Genesis 2:25) However, the moment they believed the lie – guilt and shame covered them. (Genesis 3:7) The Word of God concerning them. The Fruit of the Tree did not change Eve in the slightest, but rather it was her action that made the difference. The Tree of Knowledge did not enlighten Eve to some secret condition but in eating it sin now existed in her and she could see it. People are created in the image of God. The sin perpetuated from generation to generation is our inability to discern the difference between the Truth and a lie. It is sad to think that this is the source of our struggle yet the struggle is real.

 

God is faithful. He is always good. He cannot lie or change His Mind. What the Word of God says is true. This Truth is the basis of our faith completely. Though many people think that they know God and believe in Him without becoming filled with God’s Word and knowing the Truth – we are always on the verging of falling ever farther from our Father. He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you can bear. However, it is imperative that we know God’s Word and build it into the foundational truth of our very being and existence only then can we endure the trials and tests of life coming out victorious with faith intact and the blessings of God pouring over our life.

 

John 8:43-45 (NIV)

Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!

 

People possess the power of discernment. When Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge, discernment is was given to her. She now knew the difference between right and wrong. Discernment is the ability to distinguish or recognize. It means that one can discriminate. The fall of mankind came in the fact that they did not trust God so they accepted the lie. The lie was not the Word. When she ate from the tree, she was instantly give insight and understanding. The lie was that she would not die. Death is considered mercy. Without death, people would forever suffer in their deteriorated condition. God did not make eternal life available until the Perfect Sacrifice was given to restore our right standing with Him impacting our destination after death.

 

The Word of God is the Truth concerning us. If one decides to do exactly what God’s Word mandates line by line and precept by precept – they can live a better life. The Word of God is the absolute truth. Truth is validated in our life by trust. If we trust God wholeheartedly when tempted we will not be lured away. We bought our home. Our name is on the mortgage and deed to the property. We live here. So if someone were to come knock on the door demanding entrance claiming it was there house, I would tell them differently. I would certainly not let them in nor would I pack up my things and leave because I KNOW this is my house. It is time for God’s People to know His Word and believe it. When the enemy comes demanding what is rightfully ours as God’s Children, we would not give it up so easily because we would KNOW it belongs to us. Things like salvation, healing, deliverance and prosperity belong to us by faith and are assumed when we take God at His Word over the lie of the enemy.

 

2 Timothy 2:25-26 (NIV)

Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

 

“My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.” (Hosea 4:6) How is this possible? We have lost of senses. Choosing to believe a lie over the Truth causes a double-standard making us unstable in our faith and ability to trust the Lord. When we believe what the enemy says over God’s Word, we fall into temptation. We leave the foundation of our faith which is truth to live captive to the lie. When Jesus taught his people how to pray, he included “and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one.” (Matthew 6:13). When the disciples were supposed to be praying but fell asleep, Jesus warned them, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41) The lie of the enemy is our weakness. However, it does not have to be our downfall. Jesus told the woman at the well that true worshippers will do so in Spirit and in Truth. Jesus gives us His Spirit, we must work to know the Truth. Study to show that you are approved. The Word of God gives us confidence that in the midst of opposition – no weapon formed against us will prosper.

 

Luke 8:11-15 (NIV)

“This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”

God’s Word is the seed for our life. His Word has the potential to yield harvests of prosperity to those who keep it, grow it, develop it and mature into godly wisdom for our life. It is human nature to find the lies of the enemy tempting full of shortcuts and substitutions. The enemy wanders through life ready to challenge the Word of God for our life. He will manipulate it and twist it to convince us that serving God is a worthless and stupid endeavor. You only live once right? Wrong. Your soul will live forever. Job was tested and tempted by the enemy but not before the devil went before the Lord to ask permission. God offered Job for consideration because He knew that this man was faithful and fully believed in Him. God did so to bless Job with a double portion. What is God’s Word for your life? How far will you go to protect it, nurture and solidify it in your life? I have trusted God and failed to endure. It was not until it became a matter of life and death that I hung on to the bitter end. Our ability to trust the Lord and live by faith is a matter of life and death. We must learn the difference between the Truth and his lies. We must remain faithful to the Word of God.

 

I Peter 5:7-10 (NIV)

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

 

Are you double-minded today? Stress, worry, anxiety and fear are symptoms of doubt. They are prefaced by a lie that is slowly accepted until it manifests these conditions in our life. We are to cast all our cares on the Lord because He cares for you. He loves you. He loves me. He will never let the righteous fall. He is a Good Father filled with unconditional love and compassion that causes Him to release His Favor over our life. Do you believe that? If not, you are double-minded. To recite the Word of God and then say, “but…” nullifies everything you said before. I hear it all the time. I trust God but… I believe God but… and my all-time least favorite is when “but” is followed by “but the reality is…” The reality of such a statement is the evidence that you trust the lie more than the Truth friend. We must call it what it is. When we decide that the enemy can tempt us beyond God’s Intervention and Grace – it is sign that we are overcome. We must resist the enemy. We must hold firm to the Truth we have been given. We must refuse to move until God does. The Word of God tells us that a double-minded person is unstable in all they do simply because they cannot tell a lie from the Truth. This is a curable condition.

 

James 4:7-8 (NIV)

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

 

Submission to God is full acceptance of His Word, who is His Son, as the Truth that governs our life. This aligns us with the Kingdom and releases Heaven to come to earth. Our pursuit of God by faith seems illogical but is not without explanation. We have all that we need to obtain godly knowledge, eternal insight, and become full of wisdom. Will we take the time to do it? His Word feeds and nourishes our spirit and fertilizes our soul for prosperity sake. We must decide to know God through His Word. Jesus said, “I am the way, truth and life. No one can come to the Father but through me.” We know of Jesus but to truly know Him enough to really love Him and surrender our trust to Him requires His Word on a daily basis. We need it to feed the streams of living water within us until it rises up in us and pours out of us into this dry and thirsty land. You do not have to go it alone. You have everything you need already supplied to open every locked door, as well as to close the ones barring the enemy’s access to your heart and mind. You have all power and authority because Jesus Christ, the Living Breathing Word of God lives in you. His Spirit and Truth connect to make the powerless more than powerful.

 

John 8:31-32 (NIV)

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

 

If you can find it in God’s Word, you can have it for your life. God’s Promises belong to God’s Children. You are a child of God. Don’t let the enemy tell you any different. The Word of God cannot be changed by the enemy only challenged by his lies. Our knowledge and belief in the Word of God exposes the lie and brings it to no effect in our life. We hear it but no longer believe it. Greater is the one in us than he that is in this world. You must hold on to the Truth. When you do, the Truth will set you free. No longer bound by sin, shame or any other lie the enemy shoves in your face, you will overcome experiencing victory in all things just like the Father planned it. We win. We are victorious. Everything becomes possible when we believe the Truth over a lie. God is Truth. His Word is true. We can trust Him. The rest is up to you. Today, I claim this promise, I will know the truth and it will set me free!

 

Psalm 25:4-5 (NIV)

Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.

No Surprise

No Surprises

Proverbs 13:19-21 (NIV)

A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul, but fools detest turning from evil. Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm. Trouble pursues the sinner, but the righteous are rewarded with good things.

 

My family loves to surprise and trick other people. Yet, they hate to be surprised or tricked themselves. Our middle daughter is constantly stalked by the others because she cannot help but jump out of her skin when caught off guard. It all begins in good fun and then turns quickly into an argument amongst them. I don’t like to be surprised. After almost two decades of being the primary adult when it comes to such things, as my husband is just as bad as our children when it comes to this, I am generally not lead astray by their comradery any more. In fact, I don’t believe them most of the time due to the constant antics. If the house is too quiet or something seems off, I know that I am about to be shanghaied by somebody hiding in the dark or behind a door. The girls are just as bad as the guys. Yet, in that moment, when my feet hit the ground and I catch my breath after being scared yet again, the laughter is well worth it. Today is April Fools Day and so I must remain on high alert. They are going to come after me, I know it. So I must be ready as I am quite sure they have plenty of tricks up their sleeves.

 

April Fools Day is set aside for harmless pranks and practical jokes. It is a day filled with hoaxes meant to surprise and trick those around us. A fool is considered to be someone who lacks judgement or good sense. It is one who is considered to be silly or stupid. My maternal grandmother considered it the highest insult you could give a person. If you called someone a fool even in jest, she would immediately rebuke us threatening to wash our mouth out with soap. No joke. Although today is all meant for good old-fashioned fun, I am thinking we can learn something in the midst of all its banter. There is a saying, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Today as I think about the wisdom that I have been given in Christ my Lord, it is with careful consideration of all the times I am fooled, tricked and surprised by the enemy. I should know better. Yet, when I am presented a lie. I gladly take it over the Truth that I have been given and hold so dear. If the enemy surprises me, suddenly I question or maybe even doubt God’s Word to me and all the other times the Lord has silenced him in my life. Today, I will attempt to walk lightly and carefully through this day to not be caught off guard by all the jokers in my life.

 

To walk by faith and not by sight is a tough one… at least it is for me. I am a very visual person. Words become images in my head quickly so I must be very careful what I listen to or more importantly who I listen to. I am to walk by faith. I am to live by what I know about God not what I am presented as truth in this world. Today, I will live by knowledge and wisdom gained by personal experience. I have survived many days living in this family. If I fall for their tricks today, it is my own fault. I know them. I know better. It is the same with our life in Jesus Christ. As believers, we are warned about the enemy who lies in wait and the world in which we live. It is when we take this knowledge and apply it to our life that it becomes wisdom. Wisdom is truly one’s salvation to live by faith and not by sight. Naivety is a lack of knowledge that makes us victim to the plots and schemes of the enemy. To think that God’s Word does not apply to us is folly. To think the enemy has no desire to sift us like wheat is a lack of knowledge that will lead to our death. We must live giving our full attention to obtaining knowledge that can be turned into godly wisdom to feed our faith and nourish our soul.

 

Proverbs 10:22-24 (NIV)

The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, without painful toil for it. A fool finds pleasure in wicked schemes, but a person of understanding delights in wisdom. What the wicked dread will overtake them; what the righteous desire will be granted.

 

God desires to bless us. He decided to do so before we were created. He recorded each one meticulously concerning us. It is not something that He thinks up when we do something good or pleasing in His Sight. The Lord is not motivated by our actions or attitudes. He is not moved by our demands or mandates. There is nothing that a human being can do that God needs us to do. It is written in black and white with no shades of gray to be found. This means that if I follow Christ and walk His Way that I will be blessed without painful toil. Religion tells us to work harder and do better. Our relationship with Jesus Christ says, “Come closer and let me take that from you.” It is the wisdom from the Word of God applied to our life that opens the windows of Heaven allowing His Blessing and Favor to come pouring out. Sometimes when I pile groceries in the back of my car, they will shift in transport. As I begin to open the trunk, I realize that there is something leaning against the door and if I do not push it back everything tumbles onto the garage floor. This is how it is with God’s Blessing. Stockpiled in Heaven pressing against every opening and orifice of our life just waiting for us to open the door by faith to everything that the Lord has promised.

 

There is nothing a person can “do” to bring Heaven to earth other than open the door with the keys to His Kingdom that Jesus handed to us after He conquered hell, death and the grave. Those keys are marked, “faith, hope and love.” Everything we need, want and desire our bound by these three things. They are wisdom to our life once applied will release the contents of His Kingdom making the ordinary life extraordinary and the impossible completely possible. I do not reward my children for good grades. I know that many do. As long as they work hard and do their best, they live a very blessed life. I do not hold them all to the same standard. Some excel in school while others excel in other areas. They are good kids. God’s Reward in our life is not created by our willingness to serve and obey Him. The Blessing of the Lord already exists. We can live in it rather than be surprised by it. Those who find pleasure in foolishness and who decide that grace is for later and not right now, will be frustrated in their pursuit of the Blessing of God secured in Heaven for them. God does not bless us for what we do. His Blessings are already there. We decide whether we want them or not by our response to His Word, Will and Way. It’s up to us.

 

I John 3:12-14 (NIV)

Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death.

 

There are illustrations in the Word of God that guide us in the acquisition of God’s Blessing and Favor in our life that bear noting today. The brothers – Cain, Abel, Esau and Jacob – are representative of two members of the same household with different agendas and plans. First there is Cain and Abel, who were the sons of Adam and Eve, both knew God. How do I know? They both presented offerings to the Lord. Abel gave his best. Cain gave only what was required. He gave less than his best. Adam and Even loved both of their sons. Raised side-by-side growing into adulthood, they observed the same examples. Abel’s knowledge and experience would grow beyond knowledge becoming wisdom as his religion became a relationship with the Lord. But Cain did not take the knowledge given allowing it to become wisdom that changes our heart from relentless sovereignty of God making Him fearful to be captivated by His Love. Where there is no love hatred takes root. This happens when the Body of Christ compares their blessing to another brother or sister in Christ. When they feel insignificant due to ignorance as to their birthright. We all have the opportunity to become Sons and Daughters of God. Some don’t make it through the adoption process because they die in comparison. It produces fear that eats away at our faith. It is the insecurity that forms a breath in our hope that doubts our Father’s Love because of the commitment, obedience and sacrifice of another. It is a pride issue that must be severely dealt with.

 

Hebrews 12:15-17 (NIV)

See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.  See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. Even though he sought the blessing with tears, he could not change what he had done.

 

God’s Grace allows me to claim my birthright and inheritance stored in His Kingdom. I do not have to fight another for it or do anything other than attach my faith to the doorway and pull. Fools give up their birthright for a single meal. When we look at the details in our life, it is important to note the deal breakers and faith wreckers. We all have them but not everyone is wise or attentive enough to decipher the significance of the moment of choice. See Esau would have inherited it all. Everything would be his property. He would have absolute authority in his household. His natural hunger ate up his spiritual reward. He gave up his birthright for a single meal. What is that thing you are not willing to give up for the Kingdom? It is all tied back to faith, hope and love living in total submission radically following Jesus who leads us to all things. If fear, anxiety, worry or stress are present in your life it arises from a lack of satisfaction, contentment and completion in the Lord. To avoid the pitfall of forsaking all that Christ died for you to have, it is important to note these foolish follies and apply faith, hope and love in strong doses.

 

Esau not only gave up his birthright, he would go on to lose his father’s blessing as well. Jacob deceitfully took it from him while he obeyed his father’s wishes. Isaac sent him to the field to find game for his meal. Rebekah encouraged her son, Jacob, to impersonate Esau and gain his blessing from Isaac. He did. When Esau returned discovering he had been taken advantage of again, he begged his father to bless him. Because of this, Esau would rebel against his father. We must not allow the enemy to take our birthright or steal our blessing from us. We must be alert and aware that the enemy has come to steal, kill and destroy God’s Children and he is relentless. He knows no mercy and has no love. He is ruthless in his tactics and skillful in deception. He knows no bounds. Even in our churches, he prowls around seeking who he may devour and its working. We are Children of God. We have a birthright sealed by the Blood of Jesus. It belongs to us. It cannot be taken but we can give it up. We are blessed by God. It is ordained and written into God’s Plan for our life. This is sealed by God’s Grace that delivers even though sin deceived us. The enemy cannot take our blessings but we can carelessly discard them. I don’t want to be foolish. I do not want to be ignorant. I claim my birthright today. I claim my blessings in the Lord.

 

Proverbs 3:5-10 (NIV)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.

 

A while back, one of my adult children made a mistake. It led to consequences. As parents, we love these kids no matter what so we came to this child’s aid immediately. The next day, we sat down to talk about what happened. Obviously embarrassed and ashamed. I immediately expressed our love and lack of condemnation. Come on parents, we are not perfect and made many of the same mistakes if not worse ourselves. The regret, guilt and remorse was evident. I had prayed the Lord would give me wisdom for this situation before this conversation came to pass and He did. How could this happen? The enemy works overtime to trick us, lay traps for us, and detour us any way that he can. This is what the Lord laid on my heart in that moment and I believe applies today. If we do not take the knowledge and experience obtained in our mistakes and turn them into wisdom, we are a fool. To do so turns tragedy into triumph as we overcome the enemy and regain our right standing through repentance. It is in repetition that rebellion takes root. The Lord’s Grace is sufficient for every fault and failure that I have. God has given me the opportunity to be His Child anyway. Unlike the Old Testament brothers, no one can kill me, take my birthright or have my blessing. How do I maintain it?

 

Trust in the Lord with ALL my heart. Do NOT lean on my own understanding that is flawed from the start. In ALL my ways SUBMIT to the Father. He WILL make my paths straight. Do NOT think I am wise in own eyes. Fear the Lord. It is the beginning of knowledge that will save our life and bless us in the midst of it. By choosing to shun evil, even if we have been the victim of it, the believer is able to walk in right standing with God and obtain every spiritual blessing secured by our birth right bound by His Spirit and far from the reach of the enemy. Don’t be a fool. Be alert and ready. It is our ability to walk by faith in hope and love that allows us to remain in alignment with the provisions and blessings of God prescribed, preordained and presented in this life.

 

I Peter 5:7-9 (NIV)

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

 

It would be foolish for me to think that my husband and kids will not try to pull one over on me today. It happens all the time. My experience tells me it is coming. I must be alert at all times or I will be their victim. There is absolutely the possibility I will fall for one of their tricks. That’s okay. It happens all the time, too. However, the stakes are much higher when the enemy sets his sight on sifting us. He plays for keeps. Like a roaring lion behind a cage, it is foolish to think one might walk in the cave and not be overtaken. Only a fool would take that chance. Yet every day believers skirt along the edge of darkness, dip their toes in pools of sin, and follow the crowd’s folly, yet wonder why they have been duped again. Compromise and complacency bed comfort zones of death where our substitutions for submission pad our grave. It’s true. We become foolish thinking we are wise. Grace is not an excuse it is an escape from death to life. I challenge you today to stand guard. Be alert. Resist the urge to give in or give up. Take a stand. The higher the watchtower the more evident the enemy. God has given you a birthright. He has given you His Blessing. He gave up His Only Heir so we could have eternal life. God is all in. Are you? Am I? As a believer, I have no excuse. Living under God’s Standard is not my calling. Filthy rags are not my raiment. The crumbs under His Table were never for me. The Lord has given me everything. He has given me His Best. I would be a fool not to take it. I must not be taken unaware or by surprise. I have the Mind of Christ. His Spirit lives in me. I have all that I need to live up to Christ Standard with all of Heaven being mine.

 

Proverbs 17:24 (NIV)

A discerning person keeps wisdom in view, but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth.

Age of Resistance

Age of Resistence

I Peter 5:8-10 (NKJV)

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.

 

And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” (Luke 22:31-32) When a lion is hunting prey it watches and waits from a distance to determine if there is a young or weak animal in the herd. One that will easily give up in pursuit or in experience make a fatal error. When it has selected it, the pursuit begins. The rest is total chaos as the adult and fit animals run for cover together. But there is usually one who falls behind, makes the wrong turn, or just cannot keep up that the lion catches and quickly subdues. It is nature. It is the concept of survival of the fittest. Not with respect to evolution, which is false, but in the wild it is a principle of hunting to seek, subdue and devour those which are slower and weaker than the hunter. J

 

Jesus knew that the enemy had his eyes on Peter. Jesus knew that Peter would deny him not one or twice, but three times. Jesus also knew that His Moment was coming and that in His Death and Resurrection, Peter could return to Him once more. It did not mean that the enemy would not sift him as wheat. Though the enemy tried to separate Peter from God, it had a much different effect. In the midst of great trial, rather than devouring Peter, God’s Love consumed Peter. The difference between being devoured by the enemy or consumed by God’s Love is simple. It is intent. Our heart determines the outcome of the enemy’s assault against our life. If after all is taken away from us, we still love Jesus and find faith as small as a mustard seed, we will not only recover but triumph over the enemy and sin.

 

What makes the difference between spiritual success and natural failure? When a lion rushes into a herd, the animals that huddle close and run as a unit are most likely to survive. It is the one that can be separated or removed from the herd that is easily overtaken. It is important that the animal learns from a young age that there is safety in unity. To live united with God empowers us to overcome the enemy when he comes after us. He will come after you. The devil has his sights set on you because you belong to Jesus Christ. Coming to Jesus is salvation. It does not end the conflict, but starts a war. Warring in our flesh combined with the opposition of the enemy all around us requires strength in our bond to Jesus to make it through life consumed by God’s Love rather than devoured by the enemy.

 

Hebrews 12:25-29 (NKJV)

See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.

 

God does not lie or change His Mind. His Character did not change because mankind fell. His Love remained perfect from beginning to end. His Love is all-consuming. (Deuteronomy 4:24) Because of God’s Sovereign Unchangeability. Because of His Perfection, we must change to enter His Kingdom and live in His Presence now and forever. Jesus offers everyone the opportunity to accept His Grace and enter God’s Kingdom once more. He covers our life with His Blood to atone for our sin. It is in repentance or the turning from our sin that we accept His Gift becoming God’s Children once again. Jesus is the Way, Truth and Life and no one can come to the Father except through Him.

 

When we accept God’s Gift, it requires applying it to our life. We must live covered in the Blood of Jesus and separate ourselves from sin so that His Love can consume us. If not for the Grace of God, His Close Proximity would destroy us in judgment. As we call out to the Lord to come closer and we attempt to draw near, trials and testing will occur not because God is out to get us or punish us, but because our sin gets in the way of His Goodness. We must understand that anything contrary to God gets in the way of our pursuit of Him. The smallest sin causes separation. The slightest detour is complete rebellion. We live in a compromised and complacent society with a huge gray area and multiple routes to the same destination. Many are conditioned to believe that God is the same way. Well, He is not. But there is good news…

 

Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil? And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause.” (Job 2:3) The enemy cannot touch God’s Children without His Permission. He cannot test you until you have what is in you to survive. Why? I struggled with this verse for a long time. Our faith in God must be genuine to survive judgment. This is not God’s Choice. It is God’s Character. It is what makes Him good, holy and righteous. His Love is complete because of His Perfection. In I Peter 1:6-9, it tells us to rejoice in the trials of life because though it is grievous, it will prove the genuineness of our faith that is more precious than gold. It goes on to say that though we cannot see the Lord we love Him and with that is a great reward which is salvation of our souls.

 

The enemy is seeking who He may devour while God is offering to consume us with His Love. The only difference is intent. Our flesh cries out to live, but is consumed either way. Sin offers a death sentence. Jesus offers us new life. Either way the flesh dies, so we must choose that which will overtake us today. Will it be the enemy? Or will it be the Love of God?

 

II Corinthians 11:19-20 (NKJV)

For you put up with fools gladly, since you yourselves are wise! For you put up with it if one brings you into bondage, if one devours you, if one takes from you, if one exalts himself, if one strikes you on the face.

 

Sin will always separate us from the Lord. Grace is forgiveness not an excuse. I will continue to say this until there is no longer breath in my body. There is nowhere in the Word of God that I can find that condones willful sin or disobedience. Not a single promise comes to us this way. It is a life of godliness and true repentance that allows us to live in the Kingdom of God and enjoy His Presence. Every single tolerated or entertained sin devours a portion of our soul until surrendered. We are war torn and battle weary fighting things that are under His Blood, yet we allow it to seep back into our life day by day. This is the age of resistance. It is time for God’s People, His Body, and His Church to silence the false prophets and teachers who tell us to disregard the things not of God that His Grace is enough to allow us to live under God’s Standard. The ones who tell us that sin is tolerated by God. Grace is the excuse. The same ones that dare to imply His Love is less than perfect tolerating adultery and prostitution of His People to the things of this world. God will not be a duped lover or foolish partner to us. His Love is too complete and perfect. It cannot be tainted by our sin. His Son gave His Love so I could experience God’s Love, not pollute it. It is our bond to sin and love of this life that allows the enemy to devour us day by day. Some quickly and others too slowly to notice until it’s too late.

 

Galatians 6:7-9 (NKJV)

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

 

We must walk in the Spirit of God each day to be protected from being devoured by the enemy. (Galatians 5:16-17) Our flesh will always be attracted to sin. It is gratifying to our natural self. It is when we allow God’s Spirit to produce in us that “fruit” which is attracted to God that He can move in closer and consume us with His Love. We must not be deceived. The Bible says that God’s People perish from a lack of knowledge. It is true. Whom the Son sets free is free indeed. We choose what we sow our life into. Will it be the Kingdom of God? Or will it be this life? Those who choose the latter will lose their soul as it is devoured by the darkness. Only those who choose to live in the Light of God’s Love, far removed from sin and darkness will be able to endure to the end. Our faith connected to hope is the anchor that makes us steadfast and immoveable when the enemy pursues us, sifts us, and tries to separate us from the Lord. Those who have developed genuine faith, as small as a mustard seed in fact, will survive each test with a thriving soul and crucified flesh.

 

We must not grow weary in well-doing. We must not abandon holiness and obedience to God. The enemy has his eyes on you today, Child of the Living God. He is testing the doors and windows of your life looking for a way to sneak in and overtake you. Will he find one? Well, that is up to us. If we sow in the Spirit, it becomes stronger than our flesh. Grace applied to our life with repentance of sin and returning to Christ fortifies us from the inside out and we become strong. We will become keen and alert quick to notice the things in our life that allow the enemy to rush in. In our weakness, we are made strong. Surrendering and submitting our life to Jesus empowers us to overcome and triumph over the enemy in our life every single day!

 

Psalm 91:13-16 (NKJV)

You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, the young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot. Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My Name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him, and show him My Salvation.”

 

In the Parable of the Lost Sheep (Matthew 18:10-14), Jesus makes the point of the importance of just one “sheep” in God’s Kingdom. The shepherd will leave 99 others to pursue the 1 who is lost. Why? The one who is lost is in the greatest danger. The herd is safe united together. The one separated, alone and crying out in the wilderness just became prey. An easy target for an enemy who roams the earth with a voracious appetite for those who are weak and disabled by sin. Friend, we must be alert. We must know the Heart of God and His Character. Our belief in Jesus Christ must be strong enough that our faith unites us so that we abide in Him. This is the place of power, authority and safety that allows us to make it successfully through life into His Kingdom forever. This is not a powerless position but a victorious stance. You will overcome the world simply by acknowledging and aligning your life with the One who overcame the world. The enemy will never stop trying to steal, kill, destroy and devour God’s People, but we do not have to be his victim or fall prey.

 

“He shall call on me. I will answer him. I will be with him. I will deliver and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my Salvation.” Peter thought that he was following Jesus. He claimed that he would die for Him. Funny, when the time of testing came, Peter denied every knowing Christ. We will mess up. We will make mistakes. We must note what Jesus told Peter. You will be tested. You will fail. I have prayed that your faith will remain. You will return to me. I will strengthen you. (Paraphrased, of course.) God knows and He loves us anyway. Christ knew our rebellious hearts and chose to die for us anyway. His Spirit saturates our soul just waiting to consume us more and more with God’s Love. Sometimes it takes a failed test to see our weakness and surrender another piece of our broken heart to the Lord, that’s okay. His Grace is enough for us today. This is the age of resistance. A time when God’s Children recognize the traps and snares of the enemy stepping over them in faithful obedience to pursue holiness that unites us with the Lord. His Reward? Fulfillment and satisfaction? The price? To set our love on Him! For the resistance of sin, compromise, and every other strategy of satan will fill our life with His Love more and more until we are consumed by it leaving nothing for the enemy to take.

 

James 4:7-10 (NKJV)

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.