Hinderances

April 11, 2014

Galatians 5:7
Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?

Hinderances

This word hinder in the Greek is “egkoptō” which literally means ” to cut into, to impede one’s course by cutting off his way.” The question the Lord is asking us today is what is hindering us? What is interrupting our road to walking in His will and purpose?
There are many things that can come into interrupt and cut us off from walking and fulfilling the purpose and destiny that we are called too. Let’s just touch on a few and this by no means exhaustive so there are many others that could be added to the list. Scripturally we will address a few of them.
In Luke 11:52 Jesus addresses a major hindrance, ” Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.” One of the greatest hindrances we have in the Church today is religious knowledge and true spiritual ignorance. Our way of thinking is so often skewed, even among grace believing churches, to still hinder our identity of who we are in Christ. We are still looking and seeking to change the man of sin which we were, rather than walking in the identity of the new creation man which we are and are maturing into. It is our paradigm and way of thinking that is one of the major obstacles. Even John the Baptist wanted to hinder Jesus from being baptized because he didn’t consider himself worthy. Wrong thinking. If Jesus hadn’t considered him worthy He wouldn’t come to him to baptized. Peter wanted to hinder Jesus from the cross. Jesus rebuked satan working through him, because it was a hindrance to His mission and purpose. Satan will always try and cut you off from your purpose and destiny, because his purpose to “kill, steal and destroy.”
What hindrances are you encountering today in your spiritual walk? One area might be in your marriage. Peter addresses this one in 1 Peter 3:7, ” Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with [them] according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” “Them” here being your spouse and ladies take this to heart as well. How is satan best able to get to us more than through the ones we live with. If he can cause contention, frustration, resentment, bitterness, unforgiveness and irritation we fall into his trap of contending with the very one that God has placed into our lives that we are intended to be the heirs of salvation with. This is our partner not our enemy. The enemy is the one you are allowing to work through you as you give place to your flesh and emotion rather than to the spirit and the love of God. Yes, we are going to have our differences, we all do. The art of a magician is to distract you so that he may deceive you into thinking something that isn’t true. That is the craftiness and whiles of the devil. Discern your true enemy and unite your heart in love to defeat your common foe who is out to destroy you, your marriage and interrupt you communion and relationship with Christ. Unite yourselves in the spirit of Christ and reconcile yourselves through His love that your prayer and communion with the Father is not hindered. This speaks to men primarily because we must realize that women, as general rule, are more emotional and a man should be aware of what the influences in the home environment are and deal with them by the Spirit.
The final one we will address today are the hindrance that satan places before us. 1 Thessalonians 2:18, “Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.” Satan will always try to cause interruptions in you fulfilling your obedience to your destiny and calling. Here is where we must come into knowing our authority as a believer standing in the full armor of God, praying and making intercession, but also specifically declaring and taking authority through Word and the authority of the name of Jesus. There will be spiritual conflicts. When those hindrances come and in whatever form they may come, know who you are in Christ. Walk in the power and authority of the Spirit. Know that even though you may not immediately see things happening in the natural realm that doesn’t mean things aren’t taking place first in the dynamics of the spiritual realm. Hold fast your faith and confidence and do as Hebrews 12:1-3 commands us, ” Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

Blessings,
#kent

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Worthy of this Calling

February 21, 2013

Worthy of this Calling

2 Thessalonians 1:11-12
Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of [this] calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of [his] goodness, and the work of faith with power: That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I would like for us to be very real and practical today as we consider our calling in Christ Jesus. We often try and talk spiritual and be spiritual around what we consider spiritual people or environments, but what is every day life like for us? How does our real faith play out in the everyday activities of our lives? In the light of that, many of us may not feel too spiritual. We may see ourselves getting angry, losing patience, arguing with the kids and the spouse. A lot of times we see some pretty unattractive words and attitudes demonstrated in our lives. Nothing we could really take much pride in as far as being spiritual or glorifying to the Lord. We may get pretty down on ourselves in the light of our many shortcomings and feel there is really no hope that I could be anything in Christ. “Look what a mess I am and how totally unchristian I can act.” Most of us can have those “flesh days” when we are just a mess spiritually. Our spiritual enemy preys on our vulnerabilities. I believe situations are often set up by the enemy, just to push our buttons and lead us off into unspiritual actions and attitudes. You may have really felt that you were drawing close to the Lord and then you are attacked in the areas of your vulnerabilities. You are tempted in the areas of your greatest weaknesses. As much as you don’t want too, perhaps you fail and stumble again in those areas where you thought you were experiencing victory. What follows is nothing less than a barrage of condemnation and discouragement as the devil condemns you for your failures. Perhaps he even uses those around you to assist in heaping on you the condemnation and failure you already feel. With feelings of shame, disgrace, added failure and condemnation we become discouraged. We think, “Why am I trying to be something I can never be?” Exactly the state of mind the enemy wants to bring us too.
Realistically our lives are a never-ending struggle of flesh and spirit. We hear about who we are and who we should be in Christ, but then we struggle to live our faith in Christ, often with feelings of being so unsuccessful. These are the reasons why we often grow weary, discouraged and want to just give up. You know what? We all have these feelings, discouragement, and setbacks. Our God is not just writing us off because we do, but He does want to use them to allow us to recognize our weakness, so that we may better lay hold of His strength. The Word tells us that the efforts of the flesh can never produce the righteousness of God. That is why religion is so futile. It is our attempt at finding and pleasing God in our own works.
We find in life that we are most influenced by those we associate ourselves with. If we hang around a worldly and ungodly crowd, it is not long before we find our own actions and attitudes becoming more and more conformed to theirs. It is that same old principle of sowing and reaping. What we are sowing into our lives is what we are reaping in our attitudes and actions. Hosea 10:2 tells us, “Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for [it is] time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.” Galatians 5:25 tells us, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” While we will have those times where we will experience failure and discouragement we must stubbornly and uncompromisingly not relinquish who we know ourselves to be in Christ. Our only hope of this is in our identification and relationship with our Lord. No matter how we may get sidetracked and bushwhacked by the enemy of our soul, our spirit and our soul must turn back to Him. He assures us forgiveness when we repent and promises to wash our sin away. Christ in you is your hope of glory. With all that is within us we must cling to Him, relinquish our lives to Him and stay in close fellowship and relationship with Him. He alone is the one that transforms us into His image and likeness. In order to be worthy of His calling, it is our patient and enduring faith in Him that is the manifest token of our salvation. It is maintaining the place of intimacy and relationship that we truly know our God and experience the workings of His righteousness in us. The reality of our faith and walk in the Spirit must be the greatest reality of our lives. Even when we wander or fail, it is the faithfulness of His Spirit in us that continually keeps us returning and drawing near to Him. “We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth; So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: [Which is] a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer (2 Thessalonians 1:3-5)”

Blessings,
kent

The Favor and Blessing of God

Deuteronomy 11:26-28
Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse;
A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known

God says the people of faith and obedience to Him is a blessed people. Ephesians 1:3 says, “Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly [places] in Christ.” We are blessed in Christ with “all spiritual blessing.” These are the richest kind of blessings; our salvation, forgiveness of sin, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, His gifts and anointing, our relationship, friendship and fellowship with Heavenly Father, our privilege to share in sonship and kingdom ministry, our inheritance in Christ, to name a few. Do we really take the time to count our blessings and name them one by one as the old hymn goes? If we really did that we would be there for some time, for God’s benefits are so many and we take so many of them for granted. We are a favored people, but are we really partaking of the full blessing that God has for us? One of the pitfalls of blessing is it that we are prone to become prideful and think that somehow our goodness or abilities have earned us these blessings. Our eyes begin to wander off of God and onto us. We become self-indulgent and self-serving and forget why we are blessed. ” When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the LORD thy God for the good land which he hath given thee. Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: Lest [when] thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt [therein]; And [when] thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; … And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of [mine] hand hath gotten me this wealth. But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for [it is] he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as [it is] this day. And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish (Deuteronomy 8:11-14, 17-19).” The same principles hold true today; it is in fear and obedience to the Lord that we are blessed. Psalm 68:19 is typical of many scriptures that reminds us to bless Him who is our blessing, “Blessed [be] the Lord, [who] daily loadeth us [with benefits, even] the God of our salvation. Selah.” This is the reason our praise and worship of God is so important. It keeps us in right perspective and in an attitude of thankfulness and gratitude as we constantly acknowledge and bless the God who is our blessing. As the Lord daily loads us with benefits and blessings should we not in turn and load upon the Lord our thankfulness, praise and adoration for all that He is and all that He does in our lives?
Someone may say, “boy, it sure doesn’t seem like I am blessed, all I ever have is problems, heartache and pain.” You know, David had a great solution for that same malady in his life. He might express his hurt and pain to the Lord, but then he would turn around and begin to acknowledge the Lord in all his ways, with praise, worship and thankfulness would he bless the Lord. He knew his victory would never come out of self-pity, murmuring and complaining. His deliverance was in the place faith and exalting God as His source to meet all of His needs. The book of Psalms begins in 1:1 with this statement, “Blessed [is] the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.” Basically he is saying there is a lot of negative and wrong ways of thinking out there in the world, don’t be a part of it! Otherwise, you will become cynical, critical, and judgmental. You will turn away from God and perish. Rather do as verse 2 exhorts, “But his delight [is] in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” God’s Word and our faith in it and the One who gave it to us will deliver us out of our hardships in due time. Don’t let your heart become hardened in the hard places, but rather fall upon the Rock and let your spirit be broken, humble and contrite before the Lord, for the Lord says, “…but to this [man] will I look, [even] to [him that is] poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word (Isaiah 66:2).” Often it is in those difficult place of discipline, correction or just trials and testings that God is working an even greater blessing than we can comprehend at the time. Job experienced such a time in His life, but Job 1:22 says, “In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.” Job didn’t understand why he was going through such tribulation, but He did trust God through it and latter it says that God blessed his latter end more than his former.
We are a blessed people, blessed by a Blessed God and loving Heavenly Father. We are blessed to be a blessing, both to return blessing to our Heavenly Father who has so richly blessed us and to be a blessing in the lives of others. As we sow, thus shall we reap. As we are so richly blessed, let us be a blessing to both God and man.
Revelations 22:14, “Blessed [are] they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. ”

Victim or Victor
A victim mentality allows the culture around them,
the circumstances that confront them
and those who have hurt them, to define them.
It is why it is somebody else’s fault,
it isn’t fair, it will only get worse, I can’t forgive
and somebody needs to rescue me.

A victory mentality faces the same culture,
similar trials and circumstances,
the same hurts and offenses,
but they define their circumstances.
They are not here to blame anybody for it.
They have faith to see beyond to what can be,
They have hope to rise above, believe
and press into what shall be.
They have love to forgive the worst in man,
while they endeavor to bring out the best.

Our attitudes, mind set, faith and perseverance
are what define our character as to whether we
live as a victim or in victory through life.
Our greatest handicaps are not outward, but inward.

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors
through him who loved us.” Romans 8:27

Blessings,
kent

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