November 27, 2015
Changing Directions from Death to Life
For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
Christ came to change the direction of our lives and from the moment that we came to the decision to receive Christ into our heart our lives were translated from darkness into light and from death to life. Outwardly or in our conscious mind things might not have seemed that different, much like when a woman first becomes pregnant she probably isn’t even aware of the life that has just started within her.
We were born into a realm and place of death. Romans 5:12-14 tells us, “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned— 13for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. 14Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come.” Just as the sin of one man brought all of humanity into this realm of death, the obedient act of righteousness in Jesus Christ has brought back to us an entrance into the realm of life. These are spiritual principles that work in our lives as we give place to them and as we respond either to life or death. Romans 8:1-4 identifies these two laws or principles under which all men live, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.” Through faith in Christ we have stepped into a realm of life that should be changing our life and thinking. Many of us live in the delusion that true spiritual transformation and divine life doesn’t begin till we leave this body and go to heaven. We continually need to be reminded and aware that heavenly life begins when the Spirit of Christ comes in. How we experience that quality of life depends a great deal on our faith and vision to recognize who we are in Christ and begin to lay hold upon that as we walk in these principles of life. We may still inhabit a body of death, but Romans 8:11 says, “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.” That speaks to me that the law of life can effect even my natural body. While the Word says that I am to die to the passions of the flesh, God calls us to live unto him using our bodies as instruments of righteousness and no longer of sin. We can read all of these words and mentally agree with them, but they never really get past our minds and into our spirits. In order for me to truly live in the law of life that is in Christ Jesus, I have to change the way that I think, no longer reasoning as the world thinks, but bringing my thoughts and thinking into conformity with the mind of God. Romans 12:1-2 exhorts us, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.“ If we want to dwell in the principles of life then we have to change the direction of our thinking and begin to conform it to what God’s word tells us. In every place that we find it contrary we are to bring it into conformity through the way that we speak, not just looking to the things that are seen, but at the things that are not seen. The realm of life is not a sight and sense realm; it is a realm that operates out of faith in the Word of God.
Are we experiencing all that we should be in our spiritual walk with Christ? Are we laying hold of and living out of the principles of life in Christ Jesus or do we just mentally acknowledge it while we continue on living our natural lives. If we want to see and lay hold of LIFE we have to live out of the life principles of God’s word, bring ourselves in agreement and alignment with it. Is there a dimension of life that we are not fully experiencing because we still have a mindset that is still geared and operating out of the realm of sin and death? Perhaps we really need to be conscious of the need for us to change the direction of our thinking and to conform ourselves to the mind and will of Christ. That change comes through the meditation and practice of His Word. It comes as we yield ourselves in prayer and in deed to be the instruments of righteousness that He has called us to be. Let’s be aware of who we are in Him and what mindset that we are operating out of so that we might enter into, possess and experience God’s life to the fullest, even now in this earth.
November 26, 2015
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, [and] into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, [and] bless his name.
Why is there power in the words, “Thank You,” or in the words that express thankfulness and thanksgiving? If these are words from the heart then they convey the attitude of deep appreciation and gratitude. We have discussed in the past about praise and worship, but where do these come from if it is not from an attitude of thanksgiving. Thankfulness is a gate, it is an entrance, and it is a condition of heart that makes us ready to really appreciate and express that appreciation to our Lord. It is like the precursor to praise and worship as well as being a part of it. Are we going to praise and worship what we don’t appreciate and aren’t thankful for?
It is important that thankfulness is a constant attitude of our heart. Psalms 30:4 says, “Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.” Psalms 18:49 reiterates with, “ Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name.” The Psalms are alive with scripture that exhorts us to be thankful:
Psalms 75:1 Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, [unto thee] do we give thanks: for [that] thy name is near thy wondrous works declare.
Psalms 79:13 So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture will give thee thanks for ever: we will shew forth thy praise to all generations.
Psalms 92:1 [[A Psalm [or] Song for the sabbath day.]] [It is a] good [thing] to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High:
Psalms 97:12 Rejoice in the LORD, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.
Psalms 105:1 O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.
Psalms 106:1 Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for [he is] good: for his mercy [endureth] for ever.
Psalms 106:47 Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the heathen, to give thanks unto thy holy name, [and] to triumph in thy praise.
Psalms 107:1 O give thanks unto the LORD, for [he is] good: for his mercy [endureth] for ever.
These are among a few of so many that extol thankfulness to the Lord.
Jesus even demonstrates the importance and attitude of thankfulness, when He broke bread when feeding the multitude. Even at the Last Supper He gave thanks as He broke the bread that represented His body that was soon to be broken and offered in the sacrifice of His life at Calvary.
Our giving thanks at meal times is a constant reminder to us of where our blessings and supply comes from and who we depend upon to provide our needs, as well as the expression of appreciation to Him who has so graciously provided it.
The New Testament exhorts us as well in the area of Thanksgiving:
Ephesians 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Colossians 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
1 Thessalonians 5:13 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
When we give thanks in all things aren’t we acknowledging that God is sovereign upon His throne and in control of all that touches our lives? Aren’t we declaring His faithfulness regardless of circumstances and conditions? Isn’t our thankfulness an acclamation of His Lordship?
Hebrews 13:15 continues this thought, “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of [our] lips giving thanks to his name.” 1 Timothy 2:1 continues the theme of how our thankfulness ties into our praise, worship, ministry and intercession before the Lord, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, [and] giving of thanks, be made for all men;”
The relevance, significance and importance of thanksgiving is not just an earthly principle, it is a heavenly one as well as one that continues on through eternity, precious to the heart of God. Revelations 11:16-17 speaks, “And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.”
On the other side Romans 1:21-25 speaks of the ungodly and unrighteous who knowing about God fail to have a thankful heart, “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.” Ungratefulness leads to a hardened and perverse heart. It is the fools gate and entrance to wrath and judgement. That lack of thanksgiving can take us out of the right perception and acknowledgement of who and what our God is in relationship with our lives.
As we acknowledge our God today and each day let us do it with a heart that is thankful and appreciative of the matchless grace and abundance He has worked in us. Sometimes we get focused so much on the adversity and the negative in our lives we loose sight of who still sits on the throne and is in charge of all that affects us. While we are not thankful for the evil that befalls us we are forever thankful for our God that brings us through our adversities and is perfecting us in the process. Philippians 4:6, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
November 25, 2015
1 John 5:1-5
1Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. 2This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
Believing, Doing and Being
Our relationship with God begins with our believing and embracing Jesus as the Christ, the Messiah and the Son of God. This is the first step in God’s economy and kingdom of entering in and receiving divine life, eternal life and not just physical breath and life. In a relationship where you come to love a person, the first expression of that love would probably be the acknowledgement of those feelings, the belief that you really do love this person and the verbal expression of that love through the confession of your lips. So it is with Christ. We come to know, receive and love Him, because He has first loved us. God not only told us that He loved us in Christ Jesus, He showed us that He did by doing. He puts the actions behind His words that gave creditability and substantiated His love for us. He now tells us that everyone who loves the Father loves His Son as well. The way that we know that we love God is that we obey His commands. We become not only believers of the Word and the commands of God, but doers that practice a godly lifestyle and live in the light of His Word. So we then become not only believers, but also doers. Our actions speak of our love for God, who we are and what we are becoming. He has also placed His Spirit within our hearts that bears witness that we are the children of God.
Lastly, through our faith and our actions we come into the being of what God has called us too. In our earthly lives we often identify ourselves by our occupation. I am a plumber, or an attorney or a banker, or a housewife. Our identification becomes synonymous with what we do. In Christ, what we do is live out of faith in His life and obedience to His word. Our faith and doing becomes our being. We are Christ beings, not just human beings. Our identity is now one with who we are in Christ. We never confuse that with saying that we take the place of His headship and position, but even God’s word declares that we are heirs and joint-heirs with Christ. Romans 8:15-18 declares, “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” We have been called with the calling of Christ, to share His sufferings and to also share His glory. So many of us continue on in this life still identified with this life and who we are in this world. God wants us to get the revelation of “Christ in you, the hope of glory”. It is who you are in Christ and who you are continuing to become and develop into. You are identified with Christ and it is a process of your coming into His likeness. 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit”
What started as your faith in believing, became your action in doing and your action in doing is now become your being. “In Christ” is who you are. Let us be identified with Him and live accordingly in His life. This is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith and that victory resides in us. You are an overcomer and a conqueror because of your faith and identification with the life of God that resides in you. It is what you believe, it is what you do and it is who you are in your being.
November 24, 2015
And ye shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.
Born to Serve
From the time that we come into this earth we were born to serve. We will serve something or someone all of our days. The question is what and whom do we serve?
The children of Israel during their stay in Egypt served the Egyptians some four hundred years. Just think, that is longer than our United States is old. Being servants to Egyptians had become a mindset and just a way of life. It was who you were and what you did. It took a Moses, operating under the Spirit of God, to begin to overturn that mindset and slavery thinking. It is no different with us. We grow up serving the world and thinking like the world. That is what everybody does, so that is what we do. Then along comes Jesus and upsets our way of thinking and serving.
Some are naïve enough to say, “I don’t serve anybody. I’m my own person.” When a person says something like that they are saying, that indeed, they are a servant to their flesh. It is there old nature that rules over them, but if they have never known anything different they don’t recognize it as slavery.
God allowed Israel to become the servants and slaves of Egypt. God told Abram in Genesis 15:13, “And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land [that is] not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years.” Now why did God do that? Why did He allow Adam to fall into the slavery of sin and darkness and in the process take all of humanity with Him? We can’t know freedom and really appreciate it until we have experienced slavery and bondage. We can never really appreciate the light of day until we have walked through the darkness of night. We can’t really appreciate the warmth and beauty of spring until we have walked through the coldness and the deadness of winter. God allows us to experience certain things so that we can have an appreciation and a revelation of something so much better and so much higher.
God has delivered us out of the realm of bondage into the liberty of the Sons of God, but some of us still have our old mindsets and earthly way of thinking. Many of us still see our promise land as a place possessed by giants and impossibilities rather than seeing it as a land flowing with milk and honey which is our inheritance. As a result we slip back into the bondage of our unredeemed thinking and belief system. We don’t believe we can therefore we can not.
God wants to blow the lid off of this kind stinking thinking. It is an offense to Him and denial of who He is. We are not going to possess this land in and of our selves because we are no longer of ourselves. We are of Christ. It is the Christ who is the might and the power and the authority in us to prevail and possess our land, as we dispossess the giants and its former inhabitants. How long are we going to allow satan to rob us of that which is rightfully ours? It is only the intimidation of his fear and doubt that prevents us. Where is our spirit of Joshua and Caleb that sees how great their God is rather than how weak we are in our flesh? If you can see it by the Spirit you can possess it by faith. If you are walking in the will and authority of God then there is none that can stand before you.
God has raised us up to be the conquering servants of the MOST HIGH GOD! He has brought us out of the bondage of sin and darkness. He has brought us out and is training us up to be the servants that bring humanity unto Him. You are His priesthood, His army and His sons to bring liberty to the afflicted and set the captive free. Romans 8: 18-25 declares, “I am sure that what we are suffering now cannot compare with the glory that will be shown to us. 19In fact, all creation is eagerly waiting for God to show who his children are. 20Meanwhile, creation is confused, but not because it wants to be confused. God made it this way in the hope 21that creation would be set free from decay and would share in the glorious freedom of his children. 22We know that all creation is still groaning and is in pain, like a woman about to give birth. 23The Spirit makes us sure about what we will be in the future. But now we groan silently, while we wait for God to show that we are his children. This means that our bodies will also be set free. 24And this hope is what saves us. But if we already have what we hope for, there is no need to keep on hoping. 25However, we hope for something we have not yet seen, and we patiently wait for it.” We are God’s Moses to His creation. He has commissioned us in His Son to be the liberators of His creation that have been subjected to the bondage of sin and death. We have been blessed that God has given us the privilege of knowing Him and being prepared for this calling. Unfortunately many of us don’t yet see it by faith. Some of us see it, but we are still too entangled in the affairs of this life. Until our thinking is liberated we can never be the servants that we were born to be. We are called to be servant kings that rule and reign to bless and liberate. That is our purpose and that is our calling. With the most reverent respect to God, I say, “ the devil be damned, let’s possess the land!”
November 23, 2015
2 Timothy 4:2
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
The Light that Draws Men out of Darkness
Many of us are missing our importance in the economy of God. We are often complacent with the fact that we have found Jesus and that we are saved. We neglect the greater calling that we have to be a light in our world. Thousands of souls pass by us on their way to hell and what are we doing to make a difference. We could stand out on the street corner with our Bibles and cry out to people to repent and if that is what God has called you to do then you should do it. The majority of us live average lives, doing ordinary things that everyone else does. God has placed His lights all through the darkness, but if they never shine before men, how will people find their way?
I’ll never forget when I was in college and I went to a function at a church. As I was leaving I ran into a girl that I grew up with and used to hang around with in the neighborhood. We spoke briefly and she had become a Christian, but she asked me a heartbreaking question, “Why didn’t you ever tell me about Jesus?” How many people on their way to hell today would ask us that question today, “Why didn’t you ever tell me about Jesus?”
On the other hand, I have seen people and friends with which we have shared Christ come to Him and have grown into wonderful Christian men and women. Our lives are here to make a difference in our world. God forgive me when I am so busy with me that I am willing to allow others to miss You because I didn’t represent you. What kind of ambassador doesn’t represent his country and his king? 2 Corinthians 5:20 says, “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech [you] by us: we pray [you] in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.”
We who are in Christ have the knowledge and understanding of salvation. We may not be experts or have all of the answers, but we do have “The Answer”, and the responsibility to share Him with as many as he would give us opportunity too. Sharing Christ doesn’t have to be hard. It starts by just sharing His love, His concern and meeting people where they are. It is not about trying to start out convincing them why their beliefs or their ways are wrong.
I once was going to start telling a young man I used to work with all of the faults of his theology and the Lord spoke in my heart, “Just speak the truth, the truth will set him free.” So many people that we come into contact with have needs and are hurting in one way or another, but they put on the veneer that everything is just fine like we all tend to do. Start breaking through that surface veneer in people and find out who they are. You and I are the expression of Christ in the earth and that puts the awesome responsibility on us to allow His light, His love and His life to flow through us.
As you go through your day look for the opportunities that God places before you for ministry. Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit so that He may use you and speak through you. Be that light that draws men out of darkness and into the kingdom of God.
November 20, 2015
And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou [art] cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
There is an interesting parallel between this scripture and Genesis 3:19 which says, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dustthou [art], and unto dust shalt thou return.” From this it is easy to derive the fact that man is the dust that satan feeds on. Our flesh is the inroads he has to our lives. Our sin, our rebellion, our fulfillment of the lust of our flesh is all the serpent’s food. The ultimate end of satan’s endeavors is always death and destruction. His ability to rob, steal and destroy is through the flesh. Think about the areas we struggle with in our lives. The more life we give to these area that are contrary to the will of God, the more of a stronghold and place of separation with our relationship with God they cause. This is serpent’s food. The areas of our lives where we have bought into the lies of satan and are living in contradiction to the Word of God, that is serpent’s food.
After the baptism of Jesus when the Spirit led him into the wilderness where he fasted for forty days and nights, there He was tempted of the devil. The devil tried to find access into any area of Jesus’ life where there might be a weakness. When the devil took Jesus up and showed him the kingdoms of the earth and promised him all of these if He would worship him, Jesus was tried in His spirit. When he was taken up to the precipice of the temple and tempted to jump that the angels might bear him up, He was tested in the area of His soul through pride or self-confidence. In the area of turning the stones into bread Jesus was tested in His body. In no area, spirit, soul or body could the devil find access through weakness or sin. He had to leave Him for a season. There was nothing satan could find in Jesus to feed off of. Jesus had completely cut off the flesh in His life. There was nothing of death or corruption that the serpent could feed on.
What is he feeding on in our life? We see areas of strife, division, selfishness, pride, impurity and so on that are the feeding grounds for this serpent in our life. Galatians 5:16 exhorts us, “[This] I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” Are we tired of the enemy feeding off of our lives? Our hiding place is in Christ. As we enter into Him more completely and fully the less and less the serpent has to feed on in our lives. One of satan’s greatest diversions is for us to always be trying to make ourselves better and more righteousness. Righteousness is the byproduct of who Christ is in us. Our deliverance from being the dust and serpent food that he feeds off of is to walk in Spirit life where we no longer are identified with the world, but we are identified with Christ. As Paul in Galatians 2:20 we want to say, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” The whole dust realm is based in the natural that abides under the law of sin and death (Romans 8:1-2). The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus is taking us out of this realm and into the realm of the Spirit. Even though we walk and live in this flesh, we are no longer abiding and living in the principles of the flesh, but now we live after the Spirit.
Are we tired of being serpent food? Let us focus our hearts and lives in the truth of God’s Word. Our victory is standing upon the firm foundation of God’s Word as we walk out our daily lives yielded to His Spirit. Will we be assaulted? Most definitely we will, but ‘a mighty fortress is our God’. Our life must be hid in Christ. In that place, everything that touches us must come through the Father first. If it is touching us, it is there to work a greater measure of His grace and nature in us. It is time for us to be the bread of Life and no longer serpent’s food.
November 19, 2015
21So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
Who am I?
Who am I beneath this flesh and bone?
I see so much of me and yet I say I am not my own.
Christ died to purchase me on that Cross of Calvary,
He paid the price for all my sin so now I can be free.
I gave my life to Him so many years ago,
But the Spirit life hasn’t always been lived with a steady even flow.
So many times I loose touch with who I really am,
Then I find myself, living out of myself again.
Who am I, this sinner for whom you died?
I thought I had fully repented, I even really cried.
But then I will find myself moved again to the root of selfish ways,
That which I thought was dead and gone will rise again to play.
Within my spirit, I know that there is none but only You,
But outwardly I too often live like that is not entirely true.
I struggle Lord, with who I really am.
One day I am very spiritual and then I’m in the flesh again.
You know my frame Lord, that it is so very weak,
You know my heart Lord that it is you I long to seek.
Oh wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me?
I thank God, through Christ; He will set me free.
With mind and spirit I love and serve God’s law,
But the law of sin in my natural man wants to always make me fall.
By Christ’s power and grace I will continue to set my heart on Him,
And when I do fall or stumble, I know He will restore me in grace again.
I know He looks beyond my faults and sees my desperate need.
The need to be alive, well and from His Spirit life to feed.
It is in that Life, with my eyes continually fixed on Him,
That I will find His power and grace to walk above my sin.
November 18, 2015
11One day an angel from the LORD went to the town of Ophrah and sat down under the big tree that belonged to Joash, a member of the Abiezer clan. Joash’s son Gideon was nearby, threshing grain in a shallow pit, where he could not be seen by the Midianites.
12The angel appeared and spoke to Gideon, ” The LORD is helping you, and you are a strong warrior.”
13Gideon answered, ” Please don’t take this wrong, but if the LORD is helping us, then why have all of these awful things happened? We’ve heard how the LORD performed miracles and rescued our ancestors from Egypt. But those things happened long ago. Now the LORD has abandoned us to the Midianites.”
14Then the LORD himself said, ” Gideon, you will be strong, because I am giving you the power to rescue Israel from the Midianites.”
15Gideon replied, ” But how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest one in Manasseh, and everyone else in my family is more important than I am.”
16″ Gideon,” the LORD answered, ” you can rescue Israel because I am going to help you! Defeating the Midianites will be as easy as beating up one man.”
Who am I?
When trying to gain God’s mind, wisdom and will in a large decision in my life I was reminded of Gideon. As I struggled with my decision and prayed about it I could see that my greatest fears, doubts and reservations were of myself. I fear failure, making the wrong decision, the changing world and economy and so the doubts continue to race through my mind. My greatest reservations are not of God, but of myself. I, like Gideon of the Old Testament, see that in the natural I have no great qualities or strengths of my own to boast in. What we see in Gideon is that sometimes it is people like us that are nothing in ourselves, but simply trust and love God, who are the ones he can use. The Lord saw and spoke something into Gideon that he didn’t see or believe about himself. The reason God can use us nobodies in the world’s eyes, which are not particularly gifted, or smart or successful is because God has the opportunity to be the One who is mighty in us. In verse 14, “Then the LORD himself said, ” Gideon, you will be strong, because I am giving you the power to rescue Israel from the Midianites.” What I felt the Lord speaking into my heart was that your decision will not be without some adversities and trials, but I am your strength, your might and your provision is through Me in the midst of your adversity. We really have no certainties in this life except our faith and confidence in our God and His truth. Bottom line, what we must rely upon, is Him. I know that in this fleshly mortal body of mine dwells no good thing. I have nothing to brag about or boast in. Yours and my success in life comes from what we allow the Lord, our Christ, to be within and through us. It is by his might that our enemies will fall and He will bring deliverance through us. It is by His might that we will do things that in our natural man we would have never dreamed possible. The key is that our eyes have to get off of the natural man and onto the spiritual man. We have to walk in the peace of God for our lives. We must walk in humility and a constant attitude of submission and obedience to His will and not our own. Most of us won’t have an epiphany like Gideon did or hear an audible voice, but we must grow ever more attuned to that still small voice in our spirits that says, “this is the way, now walk in it.” Often times God may say no to our request and close the doors and sometimes when He says Yes, it is hard to believe that He would bless us and give us the things that He does. The only thing we know for certainty is that we want to be in the center of His will and purpose for our lives. You may get a lot of opinions from others about what they think God’s will is for you, but only you can really hear, know and have the peace of God for what He wants for you. It is good to have a multitude of counselors, but let God’s council be the final word.
Gideon’s might was in the spiritual man he became as put His confidence and obedience in the Lord. Who I am isn’t dependent upon what I have been, it is dependent upon who I am becoming in Christ.
Rest in God is allowing your life to be the instrument of His using and enabling. It is relinquishment of your will to His, allowing Him to take your hand and your life to write with it the living words of His purpose and expression. You learn to cease from your efforts and works and become comfortable in fully allowing the Holy Spirit’s direction through your life.
November 17, 2015
November 16, 2015
1O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.
2Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.
3For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
4In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also.
5The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.
6O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.
7For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice,
8Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
9When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.
10Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:
11Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.
Call to Worship
Do you want to be blessed today? If so come with me before the King of Kings, let us sing unto the Lord our God and Maker. Let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation! Let us exalt Him, praise and magnify His Holy Name. If you want to experience joy then get glad about Jesus. Think upon all His wondrous works throughout the ages and then think upon all the things that He has personally done in your life. We are the products of His loving grace and mercy. No one should know the joy of the Lord like we do. “Oh come let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord our God and Maker. For He is our God and we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His Hand.” Can we truly comprehend what that means and how privileged we are to be His? Could we ever acknowledge and thank Him enough for the riches of His love toward us? When we come into His presence with joy and thanksgiving how can we be anything but happy and blessed. The deeper we enter into worship the richer His presence and joy becomes. Let us not neglect so great a privilege as we have to be His worshippers and the magnifiers of His great and Holy Name. For all things are through Him, by Him and for Him. We are created for Him, to be His children, to delight in our Papa God. He delights in you and so greatly loves you. When we honor Him in our praise, our worship and our thanksgiving, then we have the privilege of blessing His heart, for He delights in our love for Him.
It is somewhat strange that this Psalm would end on such a somber note, but it is a warning to us of how quickly our hearts can become hardened and we can lose sight of our great and illustrious King. Even though we know Him for who He is, we can, and still do, err in our hearts. It says “and they have not known His ways.” Let us walk carefully lest we also forget our God, tempt Him, grieve Him and provoke His wrath.
When we acknowledge Him day by day. When we spend the time to be with Him in the Word, prayer, praise and worship. When we center our world and lives on Him, then we come to know Him, delight in Him and know the peace that passes understanding. In this place we enter into the place of His rest, for we cease from our works and all that we are about. Our purpose is to be about the Father’s business, expressing that through our everyday lives and duties. Let every expression that we are be an act of worship and praise unto Him. We are a privileged generation of kings and priest that our God has ordained to magnify His Holiness. Unto Him be all praise forever and ever! Amen