Spiritual Blog - Perception

Mark 4:35-38 – “On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.”  36 Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” NKJV


We have all heard the cliché, “Perception is Reality” and for many, it is or becomes their reality.  The facts are inconsequential it is perception, and perception is that which their beliefs and actions are based therefore PERCEPTION is REALITY, albeit falsely.  In American politics, we had a very real example of that in 1960 when the first ever televised debate between two political candidates for president was presented.  John F. Kennedy appeared relaxed, at ease and in control whereas Richard M. Nixon came across as nervous and uncertain.  The perception and spin that resulted were that JFK was a much stronger and capable leader and therefore the choice of millions for President based on perception, not actual fact.  That element entered and altered American politics to this day and much of our political climate is PERCEPTION and that becomes reality to many.

In our text, we find the disciples in the midst of a storm and Jesus was sleeping in the boat.  They were terrified and presumed they were going to sink and die and Jesus was sleeping!  Their perception is heard by their question when they awakened Him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”  It was not LORD help us!  It was LORD since you are sleeping through this storm it appears that you do not care what happens to us.  You are not doing what we expected, in the manner we expected and in the time frame or with the urgency we expected, therefore, YOU MUST NOT CARE!   Perception was becoming their reality.

Thankfully Jesus did not let the story end there but arose, calmed the storm then addressed the problem.  They were fearful because they did not trust Him or the Father.  They trusted what they could see and what they could see presented them with the choice to succumb to fear or rise up in faith and they opted for the easy way out and let fear grip their hearts and shape their perception.  That led them to accuse Jesus of being unconcerned about their welfare.

When we allow PERCEPTION to become our REALITY we dismiss faith and embrace circumstances, conditions, appearances, and even fear.  Another reason it is imperative that we get all the facts before rendering a judgment.  Oh, we will not be able to prevent the formation of an opinion but hopefully, we will keep that opinion pliable and allow it to be shaped by REALITY, not PERCEPTION. 

When God does not meet our timetables or our preconceived idea of how He should handle the situation we allow the devil to advance His lie that GOD DOES NOT CARE or that GOD HAS FORSAKEN US.  We then forget the promises of Scripture that He will NEVER leave us or forsake us and the words of the apostle Peter in 1 Peter 5:7 that we are to CAST ALL our care upon Him, for HE CARES FOR US.  He cares!  That is reality!  Perception says, he has not responded yet or in the manner or timeframe I expected or desired, therefore, He does not care.  Reality says, He is God and operates in His timing and according to His purposes.  Delay is not denial, it is delay and even that may only be our perception not reality for, in reality, His timing is perfect.

Therefore resist the devil and his attempts to coerce you into the trap of Perception and making it your reality.  BELIEVE GOD, not circumstances.  May God be with you and allow you to walk in Truth and True Reality as you embrace this new day in the Lord!


Spiritual Blog - Wait

Acts 1:4-5 – “Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”  NASU

I challenge you to consider the fact that this instruction came AFTER Jesus’ revelation to them as to what their ministry and purpose were to be in the Great Commission.  He had also told them that they had AUTHORITY over all the POWER of the devil and drew a powerful picture of their purpose and ministry.

In Mark 16 He had informed them that they were to go into all the world and told them of the signs that would accompany them and those they won into the Kingdom.  The prospects were incredible and I am sure they were chomping at the bits to get started. In Matthew 28 the LORD brought to them the revelation that He had all authority, which I’m sure they had no difficulty believing having walked with Him.  He then told them to go into all nations and make disciples.  They had tasted this ministry and authority for in Luke 9 Jesus had called them together and gave them authority and sent them out to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to perform healing of the sick.  They went and the results were incredible.  I can only imagine how difficult it must have been for them to WAIT for something they had no real understanding, the Holy Spirit’s infilling.

I remember in Bible School a young man said after the first semester, “I’ve got enough Bible now, so I’m leaving school to begin the ministry God has called me to.”  He went before he was equipped and failed miserably.  That is not to say that a Bible School education alone will ensure success in ministry but the attitude of being a Master while clearly still a Novice was problematic.  I’ve challenged young people and some not so young as to the prospects and possibilities in God only to find some of them unable to WAIT until they were released but went charging into battle without being fully equipped or trained.  Most of them came back battered and it was much more difficult to get them into the battle because of their impatience.  They reminded me of the Ahimaaz and the Cushite running to King David with news of Absalom.  Joab gave the message to the Cushite but Ahimaaz was so full of zeal he begged to run even without a message and outran the Cushite only to be turned aside by David.  How many times do we get a partial vision of what God wants and want to begin immediately?

Impatience and being overly zealous has done much damage in the church and individual lives.  In life, one may have an idea and a vision of how to start a business and done in the right way and at the right time would be incredibly beneficial and lucrative.  However, if you jump into the deep before you are prepared you will either meet with disaster and failure or encounter such struggles, trials, and difficulties you give up or fail to achieve what was possible.  Patience and Timing are incredibly important in life.  I knew a young man who was praying for a wife and felt that the Lord has witnessed to his heart that a particular young lady was the ideal mate for him.  Rather than waiting on the Lord to touch her heart and pursuing her in courtship, he went to her and informed her that they were getting married.  THEY DIDN’T!  He sabotaged something that God was working on by his impatience and he appeared to her as someone that she feared would become so domineering her life would be miserable.  I can’t say that I blame her.  I remember being in prayer one morning and the Holy Spirit whispered to my heart that I was going to become pastor of a particular church.  The church has a pastor at that moment.  I shared that with my wife and she said, “We are not going to that church.”  I prayed and waited and in a few weeks, I received a call from the Board asking me to come for an interview to be considered for the church.  I could have shipwrecked God’s Plan but I waited for His timing and His Open Door.  We went to that church as served as pastor.  During the time, there I saw many things I knew were in the heart of God and in the times, I waited for God’s timing, training, preparation, and provision they were successful.  A couple of times I tried to move forward immediately we experienced chaos and failure.

Jesus said wait, tarry, don’t go forth UNTIL and the UNTIL is the most difficult thing that most of us encounter in anything.  We don’t like to wait and certainly don’t like waiting when we are waiting for something that we do not understand and are not sure we will recognize when it happens.  It becomes a matter of CONFIDENCE and TRUST in God and His Word.  Hear me!  You can trust Him.  I also feel compelled to say, “The dream or vision of your heart can and will become a reality if you allow God to guide you in the process and wait for His timing.”  I am not suggesting that you operate in timidity and hesitancy but that you listen to that “still small voice” and when He says GO, you Go with your all but until He says GO you wait.

            God, bless you richly is my desire and prayer!


Spiritual Blog - Instruction Manual

Proverbs 6:20-22 – “My son, observe the commandment of your father and do not forsake the teaching of your mother; 21 Bind them continually on your heart; tie them around your neck.  22 When you walk about, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk to you.”  NASU

             The Book of Proverbs says much about wisdom, knowledge, instruction, and obedience and unfortunately, we often make it a “Promise Box Book” in the Bible rather than connecting the dots and gleaning the full message and teaching.  These three verses are part of a much larger message but let me try to glean a beautiful truth from them and later we can step back and view the bigger picture.

It is interesting that the writer would use “the commandment of your father” and “the teaching or statute of your mother” in his counsel.  It appears that the idea presented is that the father’s instruction is like a line drawn in the sand or an arrow shot at a target and the instruction of the mother is like that of a schoolmaster.  One is black and white and the other deals with precepts and principles.  This, in my view, is a recognition of the difference in the methodology of men and women and the need for both for the instruction to become embedded in the heart to the point that it becomes a part of the thinking and nature of the student.  We need both the “do this and this” as well as “this is why we do this and this” for the message to resonate to the point of changing the heart and the mind.

He then says, “bind them continually on your heart; and tie them around your neck.”  That is a visual of keeping those teachings in constant view.  The heart of hearts is where our change comes and if we take those lessons, precepts, and principles taught us and keep them “in or on” our hearts they will guide our thinking as well as our emotions.  If we tie them around our necks, we keep them before us so that we cannot ignore them but be forced to step over them if we disobey.

Next, he gives the benefits derived from the first two portions of the counsel.  If you observe the commandments given and walk in obedience to the teachings received binding them to your heart and keeping them before your eyes they do something positive and powerful.

  • When You Walk About (Daily Life) They Will GUIDE YOU.

I don’t know about you but many times in life I have found myself faced with a choice and unless I had the sound teachings of the Bible and the moral moorings that came from my parents I would have erred.  Oh, there are times I erred anyway but not without kicking against the pricks and ultimate come back to that place of my roots.  The Word is my Guide and enables me to make right choices when the choice is not clear.

  • When You Sleep, They Will WATCH OVER YOU.

Imagine have a divine guard 24/7/365.  Remember the 91st Psalm’s promise that the Angels of God would watch over us and keep us in all our ways.  We are told that they will guide us.  Remember the words of Jesus that the Holy Spirit would guide us into all truth.  Remember the Promise of Scripture that the Word is both a Light and a Lamp illuminating our pathway so that we can walk in the right direction.  Godly instruction will provide an anchor and a spiritual GPS so that we can find the right way and walk in it.  It is a spiritual security system that alerts us to danger and pitfalls.

  • When You Awake, The Will TALK TO YOU.

They will speak to your conscience and your inner man.  I like that thought that the godly instructions rooted in the Word of God will TALK TO ME.  God’s Word, we are told is ALIVE and we read in Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of the soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”  THAT IS POWERFUL and when we have that Promise we can go through our daily lives in peace and find rest in the night as we sleep in the sweet slumber that His Peace affords.

Never despise godly instruction.  You may not like it at the time but if it is rooted in the Word of God and can be applied to daily life it can and will become invaluable in times of decision.  It will provide us with spiritual GPS to guide our steps, a spiritual security system to enable us to rest without fear of danger or intrusion, and will be our counselor giving us solid advice each day.  THAT IS POWERFUL!

God, bless you as you enjoy this wonderful day that God has provided.


SPIRITUAL BLOG - Live While Alive

Ecclesiastes 9:10 – “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no activity or planning or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol where you are going.”  NASU

             There have been movies and television productions about the “Living Dead” but what I’m talking about is the “Dead Living.”  The writer of Ecclesiastes in his nuggets of wisdom gives some incredibly good advice in this verse.  He tells us that if we opt to engage in an activity we should be totally committed to the objective.  Jesus addressed that in Revelation as He spoke to one of the churches and said, “I would that you were hot or cold but because you are lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth.”  We often quote the first portion of the verse listed above but fail to include the latter portion.

We are challenged to be fully committed to whatever we engage in and that is good but I ask that you read the rest of the verse and notice the “for” that is there.  For or because should get or attention and it tells us a reason to be fully committed in everything.  If we embark on a project, activity, or ministry we are to be totally committed BECAUSE it is only as we are ALIVE that we can complete the task.  Once life has ended in the natural there is no more activity (on earth), no more planning, no more earthly knowledge or wisdom.  This is our only shot at doing that which is before us whether it is accepting Christ as our Savior or completing an assignment.  We are to Live while we are Living! 

I have been around, known, and worked with people who I’d call “Dead Living” because they were never committed and simply drifted from one crisis to the next.  They were lifeless and listless in their hearts and no one could depend on them.  They went from fractured relationship to fractured relationship.  They went from one job to another.  They went from one dilemma to the next and from one uncompleted project to another.  Their lives were in constant drama and disarray.  They never found the Abundance of Life that Jesus said He came to bring.  The existed but could not be described as Living.  They had life in the natural but were not truly ALIVE!

Job said that “man that is born of woman is of few days and full of troubles.”  The Psalmist tells us that, “Many are the affliction of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.”  None of us are exempt from difficulties but all of us have an open invitation to enter into LIFE in Abundance in Jesus.  I like the saying, “You only go around once in life: Go for all the gusto you can.”  Someone changed that and said, “You only go around once in life, but if you do it right once is enough.”  That’s true in Jesus!  He has promised to go with us into every situation both good and bad.  He has promised to never leave or forsake us and has invited us to enter into His rest and draw from His strength.  He has given us authority and power over all the power of darkness.  He brings us ABUNDANT LIFE and in that life, we can Live while we are living on this earth.

Make life a joyous journey, not a drudgery.  Never succumb to the temptation to just drift along but rather “whatever you hand finds to do, do it with all your might…”  Learn to Live and in the process of living savor, every moment for you do not know what tomorrow holds.  Life is a vapor that appears for a little time and then it is gone in the natural.  We are not those who only live while on earth we are those who live for eternity.

God, bless you richly is my desire and prayer!


Spiritual Blog - Touching Jesus

Matthew 14:35-36 – “And when the men of that place recognized Him, they sent word into all that surrounding district and brought to Him all who were sick; 36 and they implored Him that they might just touch the fringe of His cloak; and as many as touched it were cured.”  NASU


There were some interesting things said and questions asked of Jesus during His time on Earth including, “If you are willing, heal me.”  Jesus’ response was, “IF I AM WILLING???”  His response was an indication of how deeply that question troubled Him based on what He had done and taught, as well as the many passages of the Old Testament about His purpose and ministry.  We read repeatedly that He went about doing good and healing ALL that were sick and oppressed of the devil.  Healing is part of His ministry and offering to mankind, spiritual, emotional, and physical healing.  No, it has not been done away with because He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

But this passage in Matthew brings us face to face with a truth that we sometimes miss.  There are two things that come to mind as I read this.  The first is the power and importance of “Touching Jesus” and the second being “Touched by Jesus.”  If you recall the account in Luke 8 where the woman pressed in and touched His garment you get a glimpse of the power of “touching Jesus” in our lives.  Jesus was in a crowd where people were pressed against each other and many were touching Him but this woman TOUCHED HIM in a way that drew out from Him the Energeia or Power and He knew it and felt it when it happened.  He immediately stopped and asked, “Who touched Me?”  The disciples were flabbergasted because of the crowd and expressed the same to Jesus.  But the Lord said, “NO, somebody TOUCHED ME and in touching Me was TOUCHED by Me.”  There is a difference!  This touch was in the flesh for her and a physical action but for you and me today it is in the realm of the Spirit and often through prayer or in worship that we TOUCH Him in a way that elicits Him TOUCHING us.

In this passage, we are told that “as many” as touched His garment were cured.  Their touch was driven by faith and hope. Their touch was motivated by a belief that He could and that He had within Himself the power and authority to heal.  They believed Him to be the Christ of God and as the Christ He was God and God could do all things, therefore He could do all things and they were driven to TOUCH Him and be TOUCHED by Him as a result.  We used to use a phrase that I do not hear much anymore, “Praying Through.”  What do we mean by “Praying Through”, praying through what and to what?  In the light of this passage, it is praying through until we TOUCH Him and praying through until He TOUCHES us.

When I was a fledgling preacher I heard, a seasoned minister respond to the question, “Why are so many prayed for but not healed?”  He said with total sincerity, “Everybody expects to be prayed for but not everybody expects to be healed.”  He was not attempting to place blame on those not healed but to reveal that many go to the altar and in prayer in a religious ritual but without expectation of TOUCHING JESUS.  I have personally experienced TOUCHING JESUS and receiving direction in a time of difficulty.  I have TOUCHED HIM and known His healing power in the physical.  I have experienced the FLOOD OF PEACE that comes when, in prayer or worship, you TOUCH HIM.  In those times, nothing could shake me from my confidence that not only had I TOUCHED HIM but that He had TOUCHED ME and that what I was asking was DONE.

I pray that we return to the process of “praying through” and refuse to give up or give in until we have TOUCHED JESUS and when we do I know for certain that He will TOUCH US.  That is when the reality of 1 John 5:14-15 becomes a present reality in our lives.  Let’s never be satisfied to go through the motions and determine that when we go to our Prayer Closets we will not be satisfied until we TOUCH JESUS and then are TOUCHED by JESUS.

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



Spiritual Blog - Promises

Numbers 13:1-3; 17-33

            The Promise of God was – “The Land Is Yours.”  The Problem was – “There Were Occupants on the Land.”  Those inhabitants had controlled it for a very long time and did not honor God or His decree and had no intention of giving up the land they occupied.  THAT IS A PROBLEM.  God said, “It is yours” but the inhabitants said, “Over our dead bodies.”

Israel had to strategize and learn to fight enabling them to move into the Place of Promise and attain the Promised Victory. God had given the Promise. The inhabitants refused to honor the Promise and Covenant of God. It was up to Israel to transition into Spiritual Warfare which would be walked out in the natural and Possess the Land. They had to possess it spiritually before they could possess it naturally.  They had to BELIEVE the Promises of God and no matter what their natural eyes saw they had to be willing to act on the Promise as though it were an accomplished reality in the natural.

The Land of Canaan is a specific place but this Promise is far beyond a plot of ground in the Middle East.  That is not to diminish its importance but the Promise is THE WORLD as Romans 4:13 reveals.  This is far beyond land in the Middle East it is the opening to the Promises of God through Christ Jesus and our full victory in this walk of faith.  What took place in the Natural is to instruct us in the Spiritual.  God wants us to Possess the Land or Place of Promise.

It is important that we rehearse some things in Scripture as foundational principles and facts for us to build on. 

  • God gave Adam RULE over the Earth. (Genesis 1:26,28).
  • God repeated that Promise to Noah. (Genesis 9:1-2).
  • God gave man RULE over the Earth. (Psalm 8:6).
  • God’s Kingdom is everlasting and His Dominion endures to all generations. (Psalm 145:3).
  • God Promises to subdue people and nations under our feet. (Psalm 47:3).
  • God has given Authority (Dominion) over all the power of the enemy. (Luke 10:19).

          Those are FACTS!  They are the Promises of God but the devil does not want to honor God’s decree, therefore we have the responsibility to reclaim the land and appropriate the promises enforcing the Victory of Jesus at the Cross.  Therefore, in a very real sense Canaan is, in addition to being a specific place, the Place of Promise, Abundance, and Victory that has to be taken by force.  It is through Spiritual Warfare!!!  The question immediately comes to mind, “How Do We Do That?”  In simplistic terms, we follow the biblical pattern and revelation found in Numbers 13 as our beginning.  God has an order that He operates in.  That does not mean that one thing is more important than another, it simply means order, which keeps focus and eliminates confusion.


Why is it necessary to have a strategy?  If God decreed it can’t we just go and do whatever we feel needs to be done?  Why should we be concerned with the unseen realm, after all, we live in the natural don’t we?  Let me use a natural illustration that I believe will help.  How do you get rid of thistle bushes or crab grass?  Do you clip it off at the ground or do you go after the roots?  One way you get to repeat the process over and over in a never-ending struggle, the other way you achieve victory.  Which is more effective and efficient?

Likewise, Satan cannot operate unless he has legal ground or unless we are ignorant of our Provisions and Promises in the Lord.  So, we need a strategy that allows us to investigate and find out if there is “legal ground”.  If there is we must tear out the root of that authority.  We need to discover the history and see how the fruit and roots came into being and how they operate.  We need to renounce any wrong covenants we may have made and in repentance return to the Lord receiving the Blood Covering.

We commit ourselves fully and completely to the Lord and allow the Holy Spirit to transform us.  We take God’s Promises to heart and see them as realities in the natural as well as in the Spiritual Realm.  We then determine that we will not be deterred from the Place of Promise and learn to use the weapons of warfare that are mighty through God to the pulling down strongholds.  We HEAR the Promise.  We then SEE the Promise.  Then we POSSESS the Promise.

God, bless you as you move onto your Place of Promise in God!



Spiritual Blog - Promises

Numbers 13:1-3; 17-33

I believe that the Spirit of the Lord would have me take a Historic Life Experience from the pages of the Old Testament and communicate a Spiritual Principle from the New Testament.  Hopefully, we can accomplish this with clarity and brevity.  In Romans 15:4 we read, “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction…”  Then in 1 Corinthians 10:6,11 we find, “These things happened to them as an example for us, and they were written for our instruction…”  In a very real sense, they were stamped as a model or a scar permanently in them and God used them to transform the minds and helped them keep those things written in the forefronts of their minds as a testimony and encouragement.  I am confident that the Holy Spirit will communicate this to us so we will be enlightened and thereby drawn into that which the Spirit of God is SAYING and DOING in this very hour.

As we examine the record we find that in fulfilling His Covenant to Abraham God made some incredible promises.  In Genesis 12:7 He said, “to your descendants (seed) I will give this land. In Galatians 3:7 we discover, “They which are of faith, they are the children of Abraham.”  In verse 16 of that same chapter we read, “To Abraham and his seed were the promises made.”  Seed, not seeds which point to Christ Jesus our Lord.  Then in verses 17-18, we are told, “The Covenant, that was confirmed before the Law, which was 430 years after cannot disannul, that it should make the Promise of none effect.  For if the inheritance [be] of the Law, [it is] no more promise; but God gave it to Abraham by Promise.”  Then in verses 27-29, we find, “For as many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Greek, bond nor free, male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  And if you [be] Christ’s then are you Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the Promise.”  That is incredible and in this, we discover God’s instructions to Moses for Possessing the Land or the Place of Promise.  In Numbers 13:1-2, God instructed Moses – “Go Get Information.”

I shared that once and had a person say, “That’s foolish and unnecessary because God already knows.”  But, we discover that the order God used has been used by military strategist for generations.  In simplicity it is, KNOW THE ENEMY.  It is important that we Discern the Gates of the City in order to take the City.  Then in verse 3, we see Moses obeying the directive of God and sent out chosen men to spy out the land.  In verses, 17-20 Moses gave some specific and detailed instructions and there were four keys in his charge:  The Land, the People, the Cities, and the Fruit or Produce of the land.  I have learned in my years of service that God NEVER sends out an uninformed army.  He ALWAYS equips and prepares for battle and we must never forget that His ways are not man’s ways.

Moses sent them out and instructed them to bring back a SINGLE REPORT (v. 25) with regard to the goodness and fruitfulness of the land.  However, as the record indicates they came back with two minds, not one.  One group (10) could only see the NATURAL, whereas the other group (2) could see into the UNSEEN.  They all agreed the Land (fruit) was good but the ten saw the inhabitants as impossible obstacles and the cities too fortified.  They were defeated in their minds and would have been defeated in battle.  The Bible continually teaches that this is exactly where the battle is waged and won or lost.  If we see with God’s eyes we overcome but if we see with the eyes of flesh we are overcome.

I remind you of the account in 2 Kings 6 where Elisha (the double portion prophet) thwarts the efforts of the entire Syrian Army by his ability to SEE and HEAR in the UNSEEN REALM. The Syrian Army came to Dothan to take Elisha captive.  His servant woke up and saw the massive army and ran fearfully to the man of God crying, “WHAT DO WE DO?”  This was more than a question it was a plea of desperation and defeat.  He came to the prophet in despair.  Elisha then prayed a powerful prayer that should be revealing to each of us.  He prayed, “Lord, open his eyes that he may see.”  But, Elisha he could see the Syrian Army.  No, No, No, Elisha is praying that God open his eyes that he could see into the realm of the UNSEEN.  The servant wasn’t blind in the natural but he could not see into the realm of the Supernatural.  Paul prayed in Ephesians 1:17-18, “that you have the Spirit of wisdom and revelation and the eyes of your understanding enlightened.” 

It is critical if we are going to Possess the Promise(s) that we develop Eyes to see into the Unseen and Ears to hear beyond the natural.  I want to deal with this more deeply but will pause for now and pick up here next time.

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