GOD’S REQUIRMENT IN PRAYER – Persistence…

Spiritual Blog - Persistence

Luke 18:1-8 – “Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, 2 saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man.  3 Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’  4 And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, 5 yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.'”  6 Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said.  7 And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them?  8 I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”  NKJV

 

This has been a problematic passage for believers for a long time and will continue to be UNLESS we grasp some powerful truths presented in this parable of our LORD.  If God knows all things, and He does, and if God desires to give His children good things, and He does, and if God hears us the first time we pray, and He does WHY PERSIST?  Why not ask once and then forget it?  Before you say, that is what we should do, I ask you to hear some thoughts I have on this matter.

I have heard many renowned men of God argue against PERSISTENCE in prayer.  Although their arguments have often been eloquent and a valiant attempt to defend God and argue that persistence was our trying to force God to do something He was reluctant to do, I believe Persistence is biblical and desirable.  Many of the great men of prayer in our Christian history have contended for PERSISTENCE in prayer.  P.T. Forsyth wrote, “Prayer is never rejected so long as we do not cease to pray.  The chief failure is its cessation.”  But, even more, powerful are the words of our LORD as illustrated in two parables.  Jesus taught the need of PERSISTENCE.

In our text, Luke 18 we find the widow who had been abused and wronged. Day after day she brought her case to the judge, a man who “neither feared God or cared about what people thought.”  He was, at first, indifferent but through her persistence, he relented and said, “Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.”  That is where it is problematic for Christians.  Jesus was not making the point that God was anything like the insensitive and unjust judge.  God does not have to be worn down and badgered to get Him to reluctantly respond.  Jesus’ point was that when God’s people PERSIST and ‘cry out day and night’, He as the just judge will provide their petition.  Luke prefaced the parable with the word of Jesus, “And Jesus told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.”  That’s the key!

God’s delay may result in us losing heart and giving up, but Jesus urged us not to succumb to that temptation and tendency of LOSING HEART.  Remember his question, “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”  PERSISTENCE is needed in the development of our relationship and faith. I have long contended that the devil cannot win UNLESS we quit.  If we do not grow weary in well doing, in due season we will reap IF WE FAINT NOT.  If we quit, we lose but if we persist we receive!

In Luke 11 our Lord makes the same point saying, “I tell you, even though he, (the neighbor) will not get up to give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your persistence he will rise and give you all you need.”  NO, God does not need to be nagged and if we do not need what we are praying for all the bugging we can muster won’t move Him.  If what we are asking is at odds with the Will and Word of God, you can persist until you are totally exhausted and it won’t matter.  God does not answer prayer because He is pressured He answers because it is right and good.

Persistence is not for God it is for us.  Have you ever noticed that people who get what they want the moment they ask for it often begin to take things and people for granted?  If God granted every petition the first moment we asked our human tendency would be to treat Him like our genie, supermarket, or candy store.  Persistence demands WAITING and “they that WAIT upon the LORD renew their strength, mounting up with the wings of an eagle, they run and do not grow weary, and walk without becoming faint.”   WAITING is powerful in our spiritual development, enhancing our resolve as well as our character and maturity. God will use PERSISTENCE in prayer to purge our desires molding and transforming our desires into His purposes.  PERSISTENCE does not guarantee you will get what you have asked for but it does guarantee you will get what is BEST FOR YOU.

God, bless you as your Persist and Persevere in Prayer.  NEVER, NEVER, NEVER give up or quit!

PERSISTENCE AND PERSEVERANCE…

Spiritual Blog - Perseverance

Matthew 7:7-12 – “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.  9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent?  11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!  12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”  NKJV

 

Before we are through I hope to address some of the overlooked or forgotten portions of this passage but the overriding thought is PERSISTENCE and PERSEVERANCE in prayer.  I wonder how many times we miss the answer to our prayers by ceasing to pray?  I wonder how many times we fail to receive the miracle or the provision of the petition because we gave up?  We live in what I call a “microwave world” where we expect instant everything including answers to our prayers.  Our entertainment mentality and television programmed minds expect instantaneous results and if we do not get an immediate response we become bored and move on to the next few minutes of focus.

Jesus gave this three-part or tiered directive regarding prayer and He layered one upon the other, I believe, to impress upon us the importance of PERSISTENCE and PERSEVERANCE.  Just because we do not get the positive answer to our petition immediately and may hear nothing or see no movement as we ASK, that does not mean God is not listening or that He does not care.  Jesus did not say, “Ask and maybe you will receive.”  He said, “Everyone who asks receives.”  I would suggest that we do not really believe that but that is what He said and I can try to analyze, theorize, doctrinalize, and using a theological argument to counter that, but it is what He said!  He then said, “he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”  So, if you have not gotten the answer in asking, start seeking.  If you are out of work and need a job, do you just ask God to give you another one and do nothing else?  No, you seek a job in conjunction with your asking God for a job.  Is that the end?  No, you knock, beat the bushes, and exhaust the possibilities as you ask and seek.  Simply your PERSIST and PERSEVERE you do not give up, give in and quit.

If you have not received the answer and you have asked multiple times is that reason to believe that God does not care and quit?  I say NO!  Have you considered that the reason you have not received is that you have not persisted? Have you considered that the reason you have not received is that you are not ready and God needs to do some things in your life to prepare you for that answer?  Have you considered that maybe God has something better for you?  Have you considered that the timing may be all wrong or that you are asking before what you desire is ready?  Maybe God needs to work on you or work on others before He can grant your petition but don’t quit.  Ask, Seek, and Knock!  Someone asked, “Are you saying I should become a pest in my request?”  Not really, but if that works to keep you pressing in, YES!

Consider vv.9-12 with me if you will.  Jesus asked a very interesting question on the heels of His declaration about our Persistence and Perseverance in prayer.  He asks, “…what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?”  That should be a reminder that God is more righteous than we and if we would ignore our children’s requests or give them something unneeded, unnecessary, or harmful why would we think God would do so?  He continued saying, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”  HALLELUJAH!  That is an important truth for us to grasp in prayer.  We, human beings who are bent toward evil and outside of Christ living depraved KNOW HOW to give good gifts to our children.  WE DO!  God is our Father and loves His children and IF WE HUMANS know how to give good gifts – WHAT ABOUT GOD?  He most assuredly knows how, He desires to, and will give His children good gifts.

Persistence and Perseverance in Prayer are not for God it is for us.  It helps us to focus on the Person, not the Problem.  The Person of God and draws us into His presence.  It helps us develop confidence in His Promises and Provisions.  It teaches us the value of refusing to give up.  It trains us in spiritual warfare.  If we consider any delay in the answer to our prayers as God’s timing or training, we will find it easier to PERSIST and PERSEVERE than if we simply believe the lie of hell that God does not care causing us to wonder why should we continue. Consider the incredible Love of God for humanity, as witnessed in the Cross.  If you can view the Cross without seeing God’s Love then nothing I can saw will be of benefit, but if you view the Cross through the eyes of incredible Love you will desire to PERSIST and PERSEVERE and the Promise of Jesus will become reality for you.  He will either grant what you desire, provide something better, transform you, or teach you that what you requested, sought, and knocked for is not right for you and not in your best interest.  HE ALWAYS ANSWERS PRAYER!

            God, bless you richly as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him!

BEWITCHED – How Did Paul Know?

Spiritual Blog - Bewitched

Galatians 3:1-4 – “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? 2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? 4 Have you suffered so many things in vain — if indeed it was in vain?” NKJV

 

Paul charged that the Galatians had been BEWITCHED but how did he come to that conclusion?  Basically, two things are clear.  It was largely through LEGALISM and CARNALITY.  That may be shocking but if those two things are evidence of bewitchment that is heavy.  But to assert it is one thing and to prove it another.  Let’s see if we can validate this charge.

I do not think there is a greater stumbling block for new Christians than LEGALISM.  It has single-handedly done incredible damage to the Church in the Western World.  The thing that goes hand in hand with Legalism is “Trusting the Flesh” or CARNALITY.  (v.3).  That is what Legalism produces.  Legalism is an expression of ‘carnality’ not ‘spirituality.’  It causes us to become judgmental and self-righteous. It seeks to present an image that is so good it appears highly religious and pious.  All attempts to JUSTIFY self by keeping rules puts us back in the Flesh and when you operate in the flesh you will always find the LAW and Man-made Rules and Regulations that are anti-biblical.

Through the Cross, our old man dies and we are joined to Jesus.  BUT, if we lose sight of the Cross and the finished work of Jesus we are easy marks for LEGALISM and seek to Perform and Earn our Salvation.  There are only two forms of Religion.  GRACE by Faith – (Somebody else did it for me).  WORKS – (Do it yourself and earn your forgiveness and acceptance).  The Bible makes it perfectly clear that it is either Grace through Faith or we are attempting to do it ourselves by keeping the rules.  Legalism produces bondage and spiritual slavery.  Let me offer something that may shock you, it also brings the Church under a curse, the very thing that we have been redeemed.  We return to a condition that is outside our covering in Christ.  Galatians 3:11, “But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for ‘the just shall live by faith.’”  There are two ways to live:  Law or Faith.  Galatians 3:12, “yet the law is not of faith, but ‘the man who does them shall live by them.’”  You don’t need faith if you are following the flesh you are doing the right thing and keeping the rules.  That is not faith it is works.  Galatians 3:13, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’) …” Therefore, Paul says, “If we lose sight of the Cross, we go back into legalism, trust the flesh, and come under a curse.”

Jeremiah 17:5, “Thus says the Lord, cursed is the man who trusts in man, and makes flesh his strength.”  Psalm 146:3, “Do not trust in princes, in mortal man, in whom there is no salvation.”  That is Legalism. If I trust my methods, my way, my rules, and what I do trying to earn what Jesus accomplished at the Cross I am embracing the Arm of Flesh and that opens the door for the devil’s entry and influence.  I know churches that insist they have thrown out Moses (The Old Law) and embraced Christ (The New Covenant) and proudly proclaim they are no longer under the Law.  But, I’ve noticed that many impose their new set of laws and every tribe has their own that are unique to them.  Sadly, many believers demonstrate that they believe they have to keep all the rules in order to stay right with God and accomplish His purposes and to feel worthy.  That is Legalism and Carnality it is not Faith or Grace.

In Hebrews 9, the apostle Paul calls our attention to the ceremonial ordinances and laws or that which are carnal.  He informs that “nothing we do will ever make us clean on the inside.”  We can attempt to keep all the rules and still have an unrighteous heart.  That is the Law.  It forces you back to trusting the flesh, your ability, and will-power.  If you adopt that position you are obligated to keep EVERY PORTION OF THE LAW.  If you do not, you are cursed and nobody keeps it all.  We either DO IT OURSELVES or we TRUST JESUS.  It is Grace or Works and works will not cleanse our hearts but Grace will justify us and bring us into His kingdom and presence.

If we are going to fully enjoy the victory of Calvary we MUST accept the Work of Christ on the Cross and in no measure, try to Earn our Acceptance.  If we desire to enforce the victory of Calvary and become a Warrior for God we must become Grace People and simply receive.

God, bless you richly is my prayer and desire!

ILLEGITIMATE AUTHORITY and Warfare…

Spiritual Blog - Authority

Galatians 3:1-4 – “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? 2 This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? 4 Have you suffered so many things in vain — if indeed it was in vain?” NKJV

 

I am fully persuaded that there is a clear cause of the condition of much of the church world, America, and the world.  We have witnessed far more WIMP than WARRIOR in our world.  I am also persuaded that a significant cause for this condition has been SPIRITUAL WITCHCRAFT.  I realize that saying that some will be cautious about hearing the conclusion of the whole matter, but I pray you will.

I believe that there is a clear directive in Scripture for the Body of Christ to be Warriors or Good Soldiers rather than Wimps.  We are instructed to Fight the Good Fight of Faith, pull down Strongholds, and Resist the devil.  Therefore, anything that hinders us in God’s Purpose must be exposed and destroyed.  IF there is “Spiritual Witchcraft” in the church it must be exposed for what it is so God’s people can be set free and transition from Wimp to Warrior.  My desire is that God’s people live TOTALLY FREE and experience the FULL VICTORY of Jesus in this life.

When we examine what our Lord Jesus won for us at the Cross we realize that His work on the Cross COMPLETELY and IRREVERSIBLY defeated the devil.  Jesus went into the Strongman’s House, totally defeated him, bound him, stripped him of all his weapons and spoiled him. (Colossians 2:14-15).  Jesus then released all those held captive by the devil. (Ephesians 4:8).  Therefore, according to the Word of God, “Satan is Bound”.  Jesus did it. He has given authority over all of hell’s power, but sadly too many are defeatedly waiting for some future millennium for it to become reality.  We have, according to Scripture, been given Spiritual Weapons by which we can administer and enforce the Victory of Jesus on the Cross.  (2 Corinthians 10:4-5; Ephesians 6:10-18).  Jesus did it, but it is now up to us to enforce it using His weapons and through the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit.  In Matthew 28:18, Jesus said, “All authority in both heaven and earth is given to Me…”  He then, on that basis said, “Go Ye Therefore…”  Simply, He said, “I have authority and have defeated the devil, I give you that authority, so it is in your hands to administer and enforce that victory!”

I ask you to participate in this exercise.  Suppose for a moment you were the devil.  That you had suffered this complete crushing defeat.  You had successfully put Jesus to an open death on the Cross and you believed you had fully defeated and aborted God’s Plan.  But, Jesus refused to stay dead.  He not only rose from the dead he took all your weapons and placed them in the hands of your mortal enemies. What Would You Do?  The only thing you could do, short of quitting is to attempt to DECEIVE.  You would try to blind the minds of the people of God and keep them from learning what their weapons are and how to use them.  That tactic has worked too frequently.  The devil’s devices have been to keep us from plundering his house further.

Galatians 3:1 – “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified?”  The word ‘bewitched’ is important for the apostle is identifying Spiritual Witchcraft existing in the church.  Those people were born again and spirit filled believers.  They have experienced the miraculous in signs and wonders.  This is who Paul is speaking to and that is important to note.  In Galatians 3:2-5 – “This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? 4 Have you suffered so many things in vain — if indeed it was in vain? 5 Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?”   They had the Gifts of the Spirit, experienced miracles but Paul said they had been BEWITCHED. That is amazing and disturbing.

Unfortunately, it is possible for a Church to be filled with God, born again, and enjoy the Holy Spirit and yet have a haze or a stupor over them and no matter how good the preaching, how present the truth they embrace, they are unable to SEE or HEAR it fully.  They find it impossible to fully respond.  WHY?  There is a bewitchment involved.  The Greek means to smite with the eyes.  I don’t want you to get nervous and think I’m talking about Christians being demon possessed.  What I am talking about is Christians being so deceived they are bound by the devil and bewitched by his tactic of deception.  Why would the devil want to “obscure the Cross” or blind us to what happened to him at the Cross?  WHY?  Where was, he defeated?  The Cross!  Therefore, if he can prevent us from seeing what truly happened at the Cross he can blind us and regain control over our lives.

I am cautious about stopping here but I will come back next time and identify HOW Paul knew the Galatians had been bewitched.  We will consider it and hopefully, it will result in the scales being removed from eyes and freedom result.

Blessings abundantly as you enjoy this day!

WAR IS HELL…

Spiritual Blog - War

Luke 4:5-8 – “Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. 7 Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.” 

8 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.'”  NKJV

 

We are at War spiritually!  Too often we focus on the giants that we are facing and as fear grips our hearts we turn and run.  We seem to forget that this Walk, Work, and War is not without casualties and difficulty.  WAR IS HELL!  Natural war or spiritual war is terrible and difficult.  We seem to have the idea that the devil is just going to walk away and leave us alone because we are Christians.  Coming to Christ did not end the attempt of the devil to intimidate and influence our lives negatively.  I declare that it does not matter that he will not voluntarily go away, we have the weapons, the victory, authority, and anointing to enforce the victory Jesus won at Calvary.  We have to MAKE HIM GO in the Name of Jesus and with the weapons of our warfare that are mighty through God.  We will either be Wimps or Warriors!

I have had people warn me not to preach this way because it will stir up the devil.  WHAT?  Either Jesus defeated him or he didn’t.  What do we think the devil is going to do?  He has threatened me before saying, “I’m going to kill you.”  I remind him of the reality of Jesus’ victory and that he has no authority over me.  The Lord quickened to my heart in one of those incidents, “Don’t you think he would have already killed you if he could?”  We belong to Christ and the devil hates our Lord Jesus.  IF we will stop being a whimpering, complaining, cowering Wimp and learn to stand in the name of Jesus, the devil will have to flee.  THIS IS WAR and truly War is hell but in Jesus we have victory.

Believer, if we KNOW our inheritance in Jesus and truly understand and believe that the devil has been defeated and that we have been given power and authority over the devil we can ENFORCE THE VICTORY OF JESUS.  We need to GET MAD at sin and the devil.  We need to GET MAD at the deception that is far too evident in the lives of many.  We need to determine that we are going to stand for God and having done all to stand we are going to stand.

David was a Warrior, not a Wimp.  He was a shepherd boy tending his father’s flock, as instructed.  He went to check on his brothers in the battle against the Philistines, as instructed. He came upon an incredible scene, one he found impossible to believe.  Israel’s mighty army had taken on the characteristics of WIMPS rather than WARRIORS.  This shepherd boy was stirred inside and he HEARD what the others could not see because of their fear. He SAW what they could not see because of their fear. They say an imposing intimidating undefeatable giant but David saw a defeated foe.  He saw a strongman that must be defeated and plundered and he volunteered, “I will go fight and defeat the giant!”  He was rebuked by his elder brother and questioned by the King but David’s stance was, “NO, I didn’t come to see the battle, I came to do it and win it.  You, brother, came to watch, I came to Win!”

Remember the twelve spies Moses sent into Canaan?  Ten of them were Wimps but two of them were Warriors and saw God’s victory rather than the obstacles and opposition.  Ten saw giants, the whole land full of giants and saw themselves as grasshoppers in the eyes of the giants.  NO, IT WASN’T.  Some of it had giants but not all of it.  The Wimps said, “We look like grasshoppers to them, we cannot go up.”  The Warriors said, “We can do this because God said we can.”  We are more than conquerors through Jesus!

God, bless you richly is my prayer!

WIMPS – WARRIORS – WITCHCRAFT…

Spiritual Blog - Wimps

Luke 4:5-8 – “Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. 7 Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.”  8 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.'”  NKJV

             For a very long time I have been stirred in my heart and meditating on the matter of being Wimps, Warriors, and Spiritual Witchcraft.  As I have considered this my heart has been crying out the see WHAT God wants, WHY this is happening, and WHAT we, as believers can do about it.  The conviction of my heart is what is going to happen is going to be considered by man and much of the Church as Radical and Revolutionary.  In my pursuit of understanding I have discovered a Spiritual Reality that is both provable in Scripture and has been and is being walked out experientially.  Simply, that is there are Kingdoms, Thrones, and Dominions in the satanic kingdom in which there is a “Ranking Prince” (Strongman) that is operating in and over various geographic regions and influencing the lives of people, politics, economics, and health in those regions.  (Ephesians 6:12; Colossians 1:16; 2:15).

These Kingdoms or Domains and their demonic princes are both detectable and discernable to the spiritual eye and ear.  They are Defeatable (Colossians 2:15) and we discover that Jesus has “disarmed them”.  (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).  We, the Body of Christ, have the Weapons to stop them.  Jesus identified the ‘strongman’ and what we can do. (Luke 11:21-22).  We can BIND the strongman, SPOIL him, and PLUNDER his house.  That sounds like a total victory to me!  Hallelujah!  That leads to the question, “Why then are so many cities, churches, homes, and lives being held captive and tormented by those forces of darkness?”  If Jesus defeated the devil, took his weapons, and has placed in the hands of the church (believers) the Full Armor of God and the Complete Weaponry of the Spirit to enforce that victory won at the Cross – WHY does it often appear the exact opposite?  Why does the Church often appear to be the one on the retreat and experiencing defeat?  WHY?

I believe there are four primary reasons.  We do not KNOW what we face.  (We don’t know our enemy as fully as we should and can.  It is tragic that there is no prophetic vision in the church and we suffer spiritual blindness.)  We do not KNOW our inheritance.  (We give mental assent to our victory but do not manifest genuine confidence or faith in its reality.)  We do not KNOW how to operate in true biblical authority and order.  We have ADOPTED an escapism mentality and have a hold the fort concept rather than more than conquerors confidence.  I believe in the Coming of the Lord but I also know that He said OCCUPY and that is more than trying to hang on.  I believe those four factors are reasons we continue to suffer rather than conquer.

Many churches and believers falter in one or more of those areas.  The strongman laughs in our faces and refuses to back off.  He knows that if we ‘resist in faith’ he has to flee but he knows that we do not KNOW that we KNOW the reality of God’s Promises.  You may be an active member of a church, regular in attendance, contributions and read the Bible daily and pray diligently but have been taken captive (2 Timothy 2:26) and the lie prevails.  The result is that the church is paralyzed in fear and living in a fort holding condition waiting to be rescued rather than plucking them as brands from the burning.

The question I have often asked is, “Does the devil have dominion over the world?”  He said he does but the Bible says, “The earth is the Lord’s and all that it contains, the world and those who dwell in it.”  Jesus said in Matthew 28:18, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth…”   From that basis, He said, “GO YE THEREFORE…”  So, WHO HAS AUTHORITY?  The Bible says Jesus does and He has granted that authority to  His followers.  We testify that God does but in our practice and thoughts we often act or react like the devil does.  How many times have you said or heard someone say, “The devil is on my back or attacking me.”?  Where would you expect him to be or do?  We testify that we believe God and voice our inheritance and insist we are willing to follow the cloud of God and enter into and possess the Place of Promise.  BUT, we get a flat tire, a bad report, something breaks down, someone gets sick, money runs short, somebody gets their feeling hurt and become estranged from us and we WILT crawling into our holes and cry out in despair.  “Oh, Lord, why have you forsaken me.”  We question whether God cares, insist that the Word is not working and proclaim how much the devil is after us.  I may upset somebody but that attitude is the attitude of a WIMP not a WARRIOR and is the result of SPIRITUAL WITCHCRAFT.

The devil knows that we fear him, WE TELL HIM.  Bullies do not back away from Wimps they delight in tormenting them.  We either receive the vision and revelation of TRUTH or we do not. We either take a stand on God’s word or we do not.  We either stand in God’s truth or we do not.  We will either be a Wimp or a Warrior and that is our choice.  God stands ready to EMPOWER us, has PROVIDED for us, and will NEVER leave us.  Come Holy Spirit we need you!

God, bless you richly is your pursuit of God’s Purposes!

LIVING FREE…

Spiritual Blog - Freedom

2 Corinthians 1:24 – “Not that we have dominion over your faith, but are fellow workers for your joy; for by faith you stand.” NKJV 

1 Corinthians 7:17-24 – “But as God has distributed to each one, as the Lord has called each one, so let him walk. And so I ordain in all the churches. 18 Was anyone called while circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Was anyone called while uncircumcised? Let him not be circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters.  20 Let each one remain in the same calling in which he was called. 21 Were you called while a slave? Do not be concerned about it; but if you can be made free, rather use it.  22 For he who is called in the Lord while a slave is the Lord’s freedman. Likewise he who is called while free is Christ’s slave. 23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men. 24 Brethren, let each one remain with God in that state in which he was called.”  NKJV

  

            I am becoming increasingly convinced that many people are living in bondage to others needlessly. WHY?  They live in Fear, Fear of People.  Proverbs 29:25, “The fear of man brings a snare…”  I must caution, we must not be Independent to the point that we say, “I don’t care what they think or how they feel.”  We MUST CARE, but we MUST NOT be subservient.  We MUST NOT become enslaved by the opinions of others.  I had a pastor tell me, “I serve the people.”  I appreciate the idea intended but we DO NOT serve people we serve God and in serving God we are of service to people.  Paul declared in 2 Corinthians 4:5 that he was their “bondservant for Jesus’ sake.”  Notice he did not say, “for your sake or our sake but for Jesus’ sake.”

Having served as Pastor and ministering to Pastors I recognize this problem and attitude in the congregation and in the clergy, that the Pastor is the Servant of the People.  I’ve had church members say, “Well that’s what we pay him for and if he doesn’t do what I want I’ll quit the church or get rid of him.”  Isn’t that a wonderful Christian attitude?  Well, at best it is a grossly immature attitude. The Pastor is there to be a Servant of God and to be used of God throughout the entire body and community as God deems necessary and desirable. He may have to say NO at times and believe me I know how negatively that is often received.

It is also important that we are not enslaved to the commandments or traditions of men.  In Matthew 15:9, Jesus warned us not to listen to the doctrines of men.  Unfortunately, there is an incredible amount of man-made tradition in churches across the land.  Some churches are so bound by man-made traditions which cannot be backed up by Scripture they cannot break free and live free.  In John 5:41-44, Jesus warned about the Praise of Men.  He urged those listening to not be drawn into flattery and earthly praise but to seek the honor and smiles of God.  It is a sad situation when a minister is more concerned about the Praise of Men than Obedience to the directive of God.  It is not just sad it is dangerous and destructive!

In Galatians 1:10-12, Paul declared, “For do I now persuade men, or God?   Or do I seek to please men?  For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.”  He was addressing Authority and being under Authority.  We are subject to the authority of government and even in the church but that cannot dictate our ministry and if man’s decree violates God’s we must make the choice and hopefully we choose God not man.

If we are truly serving God obeying His will is of paramount importance to us.  As we obey Him and serve Him we are of service to people and serve them in a productive rather than destructive manner.  We must also beware of following the Wisdom of Men because man’s wisdom will fail but God’s will not.  That leads us to the point that, as believers, we are to be Free from the Fear of Men.  Jesus addressed this in Matthew 10:24-28 telling them that all people can do is KILL YOU in the natural.  But God can destroy both body and soul in hell.

Therefore, set your heart to obey God and refuse to bow down to human commandments and traditions.  Reject the urge and need for the Praise of People and recognize God as your Lord and Master and reject the dictatorial tyranny of people in the world or in the church.  Guard against allowing opinions of others direct your life and ministry and always be guarded regarding the Wisdom of Men.  NEVER and I mean NEVER allow the Fear of Man to rule you.  Remember 1 Corinthians 7:23, “You are bought with a price; do not be the servants of men.”  Jesus has set you Free so LIVE FREE in doing the will of God and allow God to change what needs to be changed.

God, bless you richly is my prayer and desire!