Spiritual Mountain Climbing

Isaiah 40:9
You who bring good tidings to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good tidings to Jerusalem,
lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!”

In Hebrews 11:8-10 it says, “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as [in] a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker [is] God.” As we have began our journey of faith we have started our spiritual climb up the mountain of God, at first the path may have seemed gentle and very pleasant. As we travel on we find there are very difficult and perilous places that we must pass through as we continue our assent. Continually the Holy Spirit and the Word of God are urging us on, but as we journey up the mountain we notice that many have turned off of the trail at various points. They have even put up dwellings and have set up house keeping on these lower realms of the mountain. At times we may have asked the question, “ Lord, haven’t I gone far enough? This seems like a pleasant enough place, can’t I just stay here?” But the Spirit of the Lord would say to us, “ to obtain My best, you must press into My highest.” It came to me that though these ones had chosen a pleasant and easy place to abide rather than press on up the mountain, they had left themselves very vulnerable to the attack of the enemy. They had no real cover or protection when they came under attack. So we press on, not knowing exactly what to expect or even the fullness of what we are pressing into. What we do have are the promises of God and we know that the more that we press up into the heights of this mountain, the more real and realized these promises will become.
There are times on our journey we become weary, discouraged and even scared. There are times that we experience the blessings of mountain lakes, streams and meadows and there are times we are inching our way along jagged rocks and perilous ledges. The thing that must continue to burn in our hearts is that the Lord is ever calling us upward.
In Revelations 4:1 the Spirit speaks to John on the Isle of Patmos where he was exiled, “After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” Every day there stands before us a door opened that speaks “Come up here.” It is the call of God upon our lives to continue pressing onward and upward into Him. We know that only in pressing onward and upward into Him that we will discover our destiny and calling in Him. Only by continuing our climb will we realize that He is the power and endurance in us to abide, to survive and to accomplish what He has designed our lives to accomplish. In those times when our body wants to give up, when our soul is discouraged, it is the Spirit of the Son that rallies within us and that reminds us that He has called us unto Himself. Where He has called us He has also gone before us and made a way for us. We are reminded that this journey and this climb are not in our ability, but it is in His ability through us as we press on in faith, believing that He is mighty within us. We are a called out people, a chosen generation, a royal priesthood and a holy nation. We are the overcomers of God set apart for the glory of His Name, but we must keep climbing and keep pressing onward, upward and inward. As we climb we are developing agility, wisdom, faith and strength. Even when we slip upon the path, we sense the unseen hand of His grace laying hold of us and helping us back up into the way.
Sometimes we sit for a moment to catch our breath and regain our strength, but we never want our eye distracted from following that path that continues upward. We know that at every bend and over every precipice we may catch a greater revelation of His glory and find new truth revealed. Everyday is an adventure, a challenge and a steadfast commitment to follow on to Know Him in a greater and higher way. He is saying to the weak and the lame, “Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13″Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.” Take courage you saints of God as you ascend the mountain and be renewed in the spirit of your faith and place confidence in the high calling you have in Christ Jesus. “You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; 19to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, 20because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned.” 21The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.” 22But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, 24to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. 25See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? 26At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” 27The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. 28Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29for our “God is a consuming fire.””(Hebrew 12:18-29).
“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14

Blessings,
#kent

To God Be the Glory

May 19, 2014

Acts 14:8-10
In Lystra there sat a man crippled in his feet, who was lame from birth and had never walked. 9He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed 10and called out, “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.

To God Be the Glory

Is the word that we speak one that creates faith in the hearer? Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” When we truly speak the Word of God it should produce faith in them that receive it. When Paul perceived the faith that was produced in this man’s heart, he simply spoke to it and it manifested in the man’s healing.
Don’t we believe that God wants to do like-miracles among people that we are willing to speak the word into? The danger of men is that they want to put their eyes upon what is seen rather than what is unseen. They want to get their eyes and worship on the facilitator rather than the Healer. If we are not void of that self identity we are apt to take this glory and praise unto ourselves rather than channeling it back to Christ where it belongs. When ever we allow people to start lifting us up then we are already setting ourselves up for a fall. In the following verses where the people saw the miracle of what happened to the crippled man they began to worship and want to make sacrifices to Paul and Barnabus. It was all they could do to restrain the people from doing this, but they didn’t make themselves out to be anything more than mere men. They were telling the people we are not God, we are simply the messengers sent from God to communicate and confirm God’s good tidings toward you.
God is looking to work through a people that aren’t in it for themselves. A people who aren’t really seeking their own glory, attention, or the recognition of men. How many did Jesus heal and then told, “go and tell no man.” God is looking for us to be the signs and wonders that point all men to Him. Many a vessel of God started out with the right heart, but got caught up in the glory and the praise of men. They began to think upon themselves more highly than they ought. They began to think that all that they did was okay, because they were God’s man or woman of the hour. Many of the those men or women have since fallen. The fear of God we must maintain in our hearts is that, ‘too whom much is given, much will be required’ and James 3:1 says, “Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.”
When God begins to break out through us in a greater works anointing, it is important that we judge and discern the motives of our heart in all that we do. Pride and self will quickly spring up if the root of them is still in you. An interpreter should never take credit for what the speaker is communicating. Their responsibility is to communicate what they have heard as clearly and distinctly as possible, but not to take credit for what was said. We are God’s conduits and while we carry the source and the power of His life and we are His distribution system, we don’t usurp His place as Lord or take from His glory. That is His to give to us and through us, but not ours to take from Him.
Prepare your heart for what God wants to impart through you and search your heart that there is no unclean or selfish motive to misuse what He wants to give you.
“They cried out in a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the lamb!”” (Revelations 7:10)

Blessings,
#kent

The Brokenhearted

April 15, 2014

The Brokenhearted
Isaiah 61:1
The Spirit of the Lord GOD [is] upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to [them that are] bound;

Luke 4 says that Jesus read this passage in the synagogue one day and said, “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.” Jesus came to fix, heal and bind up the broken man and woman, spiritually, emotionally and physically. He cares as much about our state of being today as He did then and His ministry is still the same. The difference is that now He uses His many-membered body, gifted and anointed of the Holy Spirit to administer these graces. Now what Jesus came to fulfill in this passage is being fulfilled in us. We can only minister these gifts because we have been the recipients of them. We have experienced God’s love and grace shed abroad in our hearts. We have experienced His comfort and His help in our time of need or brokenness. We have experienced His deliverance in our lives from the sin and strongholds that have bound us. Paul says in Romans 15:8, “For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed.” Paul didn’t just minister words; He ministered from His life experiences.
There are times in each of our lives when we are brokenhearted. It could be through the loss of a loved one or because a loved one betrayed us or disappointed us. It could be because of any number of disappointments or hurts we experience in life. When these times come upon us we are crushed emotionally; our insides literally hurt and agonize in the emotional pain we feel. It is not unlike a severe physical injury in that, initially it is an open wound and sore that causes us great pain. Just as we are very protective of an area of body that has been wounded we are often very protective of the emotional areas of our lives where we have been wounded and hurt as well. This is where time is often our friend, because wounds, emotional or physical, take time to heal. Unless God does something out of the ordinary, our healing is usually a process of time that restores us to health. The important thing to remember is that in that process the Lord is at work binding up and ministering to our need. It can often be in so many unseen ways, little signs that He gives us, special blessings, words of love and encouragement from others, the special memories we cherish and cling too. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted. Sometimes it is our broken heart that leads us to repentance in areas and causes us to return to the Lord. The Lord is in the business of healing and fixing broken people. As His people that should be our purpose as well. As this prophecy in Isaiah was fulfilled in Jesus, so it must be fulfilled in us who are His expression and members in this earth. We are the vessels through whom He often flows in His ministry to humanity. More times than not the reason we are able to minister is because we have had to walk that road ourselves. We have had to personally experience the Lord’s presence in our own situations. As we have experienced the Lord’s grace to us we are then able to empathize and share that grace with others. Many times what we experience even in our pain and suffering is not so much for us as it is for others. Jesus suffered much to bring us so great a salvation. We in turn well may share in those sufferings if we are to be the instruments of His grace and mercy. The Lord makes us walk the walk, before we can talk the talk. But our ministry is so much more powerful when we are ministering out of personal experience and not just theological ideas.
If you are experiencing brokenness in your life this day be encouraged that God can take your pain and use it for someone else’s healing. The precious part is that it heals us as well, it makes us stronger and better equipped in our spiritual lives because of what we have had to walk through. Be encouraged, the Lord is there in your pain working a deeper work of His grace and mercy.

Blessings,
#kent

The Gospel

June 18, 2012

Romans 1:16-17
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 17For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

The Gospel


The gospel.  What a familiar subject to most of us.  Maybe it is what we feel like we have heard or even shared a good part of our Christian life.  Let’s just focus in on what it is the Holy Spirit would teach us about it today.
Gospel is the Greek word, “euaggelion”.  It has different aspects of the meaning, but one of the first I found is, “a reward for good tidings”.   If we carry the best news in the world, why should we be ashamed of what others may think of us.  If you found the cure to cancer and you knew it worked, would you be ashamed to share that news with anyone and everyone you thought it might benefit?  The knowledge and revelation that you have could save people’s lives. We would be selfish not to share it with as many cancer patients as we could. Jesus has given us the cure for spiritual death and so much more besides.  Should we not be excited to share it?
Paul goes on to say that this gospel or good tiding is in effect the “power of God for salvation for everyone who believes.”  Should we be concerned that others might reject it or us for having shared it?  No.  It is the Holy Spirit’s job to bring conviction upon those who hear it and even says some will and some won’t receive.  What gives the gospel this God’s power of salvation is that it is a gospel of righteousness revealed by faith.  The great news is, it is not incumbent upon us or others to be good enough to receive or that we must earn it by our goodness.  The righteousness that we need for God’s acceptance is imparted to us by faith in Christ’s righteousness.  Jesus took our sin and imparted His righteousness upon us.  That is the best trade ever.  We traded sin, judgement and condemnation for righteousness, peace and joy along with the acceptance of God to become His sons and daughter and to become the kingdom of God.  Why would we not want the kind of deal where someone takes all of your garbage and gives you all of their riches.  That’s what they call a “no brainer”.  All that is required of us is to believe Jesus is who He says He is, has done what He said He would do and wants to be the fullness of God in me.
The gospel is also the good tidings of the kingdom of God.  It is what Jesus taught throughout His spiritual ministry.  Again and again He gave parables of the kingdom of God to give us word pictures of what He wants us to live and come into.  We comprise His kingdom on the earth, because we are the body of Christ and the expression of the Head.  Each of us, that are in Christ, can express in our own unique ways, Christ, the Spirit of God that indwells us.  We have purpose, direction and meaning in our lives, because we are coming into the identity of who we are in Him.  We  are righteous and are being transformed into righteousness, because we have discovered that Christ is the reason we live, move and have our being.  That righteousness is revealed in faith, because our dependence to live God rightness isn’t dependent upon our ability.  It is the ability of the one who now indwells us by faith as we give way to our natural life and way of thinking to allow Christ through the Holy Spirit to conform us to His mind, His will and His thoughts.  We do that as we walk each day, believing by faith that He who began a good work in us is fully able to complete it unto the day of salvation when we will be caught up fully in His likeness and image.
The good tidings of God’s salvation is the most beautiful thing that could ever happened in our lives.  It is a life altering and life changing event.  It changes the whole course and direction of life in those truly believe and embrace its power through faith.
One of our problems is that religion has often made the gospel very sterile and mandated.  It has become our obligation rather than our joy.  It has become often structured and regimented rather than imparted out of joy and the leading of the Holy Spirit.  For many, getting people saved is like putting notches on their spiritual belt for all the people that they persuaded to come to Christ.  Jesus never taught us to just get people to come to Him, but to make disciples of all men.  Discipleship is a commitment to relationship whereby you can impart into others what Christ has imparted into you.  The Bible doesn’t say that it is the church organizations responsibility.  God says you are the church and as such it is our responsibility.  ‘Wherever two or more are gathered together, there am I in the midst.’  You can have and be the church any time you are breaking bread with others in the name, nature or purpose of Christ.
When we carry the gospel to others, we carry the power to transform and change their lives forever.  That is the power of God in us.  Our faithfulness is in sharing the joy of our salvation and God’s faithfulness is in drawing all men to Himself when Jesus is lifted up.  May we never be ashamed to do our part.  It can make all the difference in the world.

Blessings,
kent

Feet?

May 2, 2012

Feet?


Isaiah 52: 7
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace,
who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”

What do we think of when we think of feet?  Do you think of the often smelly, dirty, corned and callused little members at the bottom of your body that carries you through life?  It has been very enlightening, as I’ve taken some time to go through all of the scriptures in the Word about feet.  These little, often neglected, members of the body are spoken of quite frequently.  They are definitely members of spiritual, as well as, natural significance.  Our feet, so often neglected and taken for granted, carry us through our whole life.  They have to support the weight and burden of the whole body.  If they don’t work or they slip or stumble, they take the whole body down with them.  Spiritually speaking this is significant as well, because the feet represent our spiritual walk.  There are many aspects to the feet, but let’s look at this one first.
We have often heard the term, “ to sit at one’s feet”.  Throughout the Word of God it is shown that at the one’s feet that you sit at, is often the one who determines the direction and the way you walk.  The authority that we submit too, the ones we learn from and how that translates into our lives is our definition of  “sitting at one’s feet”.  There are many instances where people would fall at another’s feet.  By that act they were showing submission, obedience, asking for mercy, humbling themselves beneath that one’s authority.
In Deuteronomy 33:3, Moses speaks of God, “Surely it is you who love the people; all the holy ones are in your hand. At your feet they all bow down, and from you receive instruction.”  As a people of God we have at least mentally assented to the authority of God to order our ways.  Deuteronomy 11:22- 25 tells us the significance of walking in His ways. “If you carefully observe all these commands I am giving you to follow—to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways and to hold fast to him- 23 then the LORD will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations larger and stronger than you. 24 Every place where you set your foot will be yours: Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the Euphrates River to the western sea.  25 No man will be able to stand against you. The LORD your God, as he promised you, will put the terror and fear of you on the whole land, wherever you go.”  We begin to see a principle unfold that our authority and dominion is dependent upon the way we walk and who we follow.  God is saying, ‘if you follow after me and sit at my feet these are the results you can expect to see.’   In Joshua 10 there is an account of a miraculous battle when five Amorite kings moved into position and attacked Israel.  You may remember that this was the battle in which their was such great victory for the Israelites that Joshua prayed that the Sun might stay still in the sky so that he could finish the battle.  In verse 24-26 the kings have been captured and it says,” When they had brought these kings to Joshua, he summoned all the men of Israel and said to the army commanders who had come with him, “Come here and put your feet on the necks of these kings.” So they came forward and placed their feet on their necks. 25 Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous. This is what the LORD will do to all the enemies you are going to fight.” 26 Then Joshua struck and killed the kings and hung them on five trees, and they were left hanging on the trees until evening. “  This is a type of what the Word of God is instructing us to do with our spiritual enemies and the strongholds of our lives.  We could even see it as being our five senses and living after our natural man.  For it is our flesh that wars against our spirit, but our spirit man must prevail and put to death the flesh.  Through the example of putting their feet upon the necks of these kings we are seeing that our enemies are put under our feet. The condition is that we have to exercise our authority and if we let the flesh live we will have to come back to fight it another day and it will always plague us and be stumbling block to us as we see it was for Israel.
Joshua is such a strong type of our spiritual authority because he learned it at the feet of Moses and by seeing first hand the faithfulness of God.  In Joshua 14: 7-9 he briefly shares a testimony of earlier days and its lesson.  “I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadesh Barnea to explore the land. And I brought him back a report according to my convictions, 8 but my brothers who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt with fear. I, however, followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly. 9 So on that day Moses swore to me, ‘The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly.”  What is the lesson?  Faith, that is steadfast, has the reward of an inheritance.  That faith is demonstrated through a walk that follows after God wholeheartedly.  Fear on the other hand is the contradiction and arch–nemesis of Faith.  If we follow it, then it will be our undoing and our defeat.
Another case for this truth is seen in 1 Samuel 2:6-10, “”The LORD brings death and makes alive; he brings down to the grave and raises up. 7 The LORD sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts. 8 He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor. “For the foundations of the earth are the LORD’s; upon them he has set the world. 9 He will guard the feet of his saints, but the wicked will be silenced in darkness.
“It is not by strength that one prevails; 10 those who oppose the LORD will be shattered. He will thunder against them from heaven; the LORD will judge the ends of the earth. “He will give strength to his king
and exalt the horn of his anointed.” If we will believe in the Lord and walk in His ways He will guard our steps and bring us to good success and it isn’t dependent upon our might or ability.
We see the spiritual reality of our enemies being put under our feet in Christ.  While satan may have been deluded in that day to think that he had defeated Christ when he nailed him to the cross, he simply sealed the Lord’s victory and dominion.  When the Lord was resurrected He ascended into heaven, He led captivity captive and gave gift unto men.  He took the keys of dominion and authority back from satan and gave them to the church.  He gave gifts unto men.  He gave spiritual gifts and offices to His church for what reason?  Ephesians 4:12-13 says, “to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”  Christ gave us the power to crush the head of the serpent under our feet.  He did the hard part, He gave His life to redeem us back to God and take those keys of authority.  Now He has sat down as it says in Hebrew 10:12-14, “12But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
14For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.”  Christ, the head has done His part, now it is up to the body to complete and walk out what He started.  We are His body and as such, we are also His feet.  It is not finished until satan is our foot rest and he has been put under the least and lowest member of the body.  1 Corinthians 15:26-26 says, “25For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26The last enemy to be destroyed is death.”  The body must experience and lay hold of the fullness that is in the head.  For it is Christ through His body that must exercise full dominion and power to put all things under His feet.  Ephesians 1: 22-23 tells us, “And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.”  It has to be completed in us. God, in Christ, shared our humanity with us, so that we might share His glory with Him.  Hebrews 12:5-13 says it so well, “5It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. 6But there is a place where someone has testified: “What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? 7You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor 8and put everything under his feet?   In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to him. 9But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. 10In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. 11Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. 12He says, “I will declare your name to my brothers;
in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises.”  13And again, “I will put my trust in him.”   And again he says, “Here am I, and the children God has given me.”  We are the feet of the Lord and dominion and authority is coming from the head through the body till the feet of Christ are rested fully upon the neck of satan as they were on those Amorite kings in the book of Joshua.  He that makes us holy and we that are made holy by him are of one family and one body.  It is the Lord and trust in Him that gives us strength to walk the path of faith and trust even in perilous and trying times.  It is the Lord who strengthens us and gives us help in the battle to overcome the adversary. David expresses these very thoughts in Psalms 18:31-40, “As for God, his way is perfect;
the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him. 31 For who is God besides the LORD ? And who is the Rock except our God? 32 It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. 33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights. 34 He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. 35 You give me your shield of victory,
and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great. 36 You broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn. 37 I pursued my enemies and overtook them; I did not turn back till they were destroyed. 38 I crushed them so that they could not rise; they fell beneath my feet. 39 You armed me with strength for battle; you made my adversaries bow at my feet. 40 You made my enemies turn their backs in flight, and I destroyed my foes.”

Blessings,
kent

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