John 6:63 - "It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you they are Spirit and they are life."
WHEN WE HALT OUR SPIRITUAL ASCENT TOWARD GOD AT THE PLATEAU OF DOCTRINAL KNOWLEDGE, WE BECOME PEOPLE WHO NEVER REALLY CHANGE. INSTEAD, OUR OLD NATURE SIMPLY PRETENDS TO BE NEW. THE LONGER WE SETTLE FOR JUST HEAD KNOWLEDGE, THE MORE OUR CHRISTIANITY BEGINS TO DEGENERATE INTO A RELIGIOUS SPIRIT.
Romans 8:26 - "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered."
There are times when we are called by God to pray strong prayers and help to birth the will of God into an area. These strong desires mirror the strength of God's feelings. We, like Hannah (1 Samuel 1:11-16), need to be in-tune with what God is ready to bring forth in that given hour. That can only be done through intimacy with God and through a willingness to allow Him to use us.
I CONFESS THAT THE HOLY SPIRIT IS MY PARTNER! HE ENLIGHTENS MY EYES; HE SHOWS ME WHAT I CANNOT SEE BY MYSELF, AND HE GIVES ME THE RIGHT WORDS TO SAY WHEN I PRAY. WITH HIM AS MY HELPER I AM GETTING BETTER AND BETTER IN PRAYER EVERY DAY!
Song of Solomon 1:2,3 - "For your love is better than wine and your ointments more fragrant than the choicest perfumes; your name is as ointment poured forth; therefore do the maidens love you."
THE NAME OF THE BRIDEGROOM (JESUS) IS SO LOVELY THAT YOU FIND YOURSELF WHOLLY OVERCOME BY HIS POWER AND SWEETNESS. LOVE TAKES PLACE WITHOUT ANY FORCE. YOUR SPIRIT IS SO FULL OF LOVE AND YOU FIND THE LOVE OF YOUR BELOVED SO PLEASURABLE, THAT YOU ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE CARRIED AWAY BY THE CHARMS OF LOVE.
Only with God-given discernment can we tell apart the good and evil influences that surround us. We often come up against "demonic influences". This influence is a spiritual force that twists and taints and pollutes God's ways. It is like a spider web, and people get stuck -- writhing in their captivity, they act out of a "web mentality".
Religious spirits endeavor to interfere with the free flow of the Holy Spirit in the lives of Believers. They can be hard to discern precisely because they are religious; they are pious, even hyper-spiritual. Their influence can pervade a person's life and church -- like yeast pervades a lump of dough. That's why Jesus said, "Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees" (Matthew 16:6).
In New Testament times, the Pharisees were the watchdogs of religious purity, chastising any Jewish person who transgressed even slightly, promoting the perfectionistic performance of their strict interpretation of the requirements of the law of Moses. They held to "a form of godliness, although they...denied its power" (2 Timothy 3:5).
Generally, the religious spirit promotes a works-based or performance-based lifestyle. Although the Cross of Jesus has made performance-based religion a thing of the past, the religious spirit likes to keep it alive so that people will labor under a triple burden of guilt, fear, and pride. Every person on earth rightfully seeks a sense of acceptance, but the religious spirit keeps the ultimate acceptance—God's—just out of reach.
The motivation of a religious spirit demands that we need to earn God's approval. By His death and resurrection, Christ Jesus has secured our acceptance with the Father once and for all as we place our faith in Him.
Yet when we live and breathe in an environment tainted by the religious spirit, it is difficult for us to discern that we're being affected by that demonic influence. It can be easier to spot the religious spirit in someone else, and to judge them, than it is to recognize it in ourselves.
We need to discern and look out for FIVE TELLTALE ATTITUDES:
Let's apply that measure to ourselves and take the log out of our own eyes instead of pointing out the splinters in others' eyes. (Matthew 7:4-5.)
Watch out for the big THREE EARMARKS OF THE RELIGIOUS SPIRIT :
1) Guilt, 2) Fear, and 3) Pride.
A proud demeanor often masks the fearful, insecure soul of someone who is trying desperately to make the grade. Yet looking for security within oneself just perpetuates the anxiety, because self-centered security is such a poor substitute for God-centered security. In contrast, we need God's grace to shine where we are weak. That will make more of an impact for the Kingdom than perfectionism ever would, and will equip us for the deliverance of other people. (see 2 Corinthians 12:9).
THE HOLY SPIRIT -- OUR HELPER IN DISCERNING THE RELIGIOUS SPIRIT
As passionate Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, we are each called to be "Worshipper of God and Deliverers of Men." As we worship God and surrender ourselves to Him, He meets us with freedom. As we ask the Holy Spirit to cast His light on the hindrances that keep us from receiving and discerning His revelation and acting upon it, He answers our prayers and sets us free, and we are empowered to give away what we have received.
Ephesians 6:16,17 - "Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God".
Some are willing to spend hours in prayer asking for a miracle instead of planting the Word of God in their hearts, which in time would produce the miracle. Prayer is what water and fertilizer are to a seed. They help the Word release its life.
But if you haven't planted the seed, it doesn't matter how much water and fertilizer you apply, the soil still won't produce fruit. It's the seed that has life!
I CONFESS THAT I WEAR MY SALVATION TIGHTLY AROUND MY MIND LIKE A HELMET.
IT DOESN'T MATTER HOW HARD THE DEVIL TRIES TO HACK AWAY AT MY MIND, I STILL STAND STRONG BECAUSE I KNOW WHAT JESUS' DEATH AND RESURRECTION PURCHASED FOR ME!
Hebrews 4:1 = "Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it."
"What is rest? -- It is abandoning the need to control -- The worries which incite you to control keep you from resting. When you try to make everything happen your way, you have no rest. The worries which make you doubt other people multiply in your imagination as you think about all the things they might do wrong. Even when you curtail your activities, you find no rest when you worry. Resting is not a matter of physical stillness; it is peace in the inmost being, which comes from trusting Him with all your circumstances.
Change the way you think in life-giving ways. It won't work if you do it on a performance basis because it's a lifestyle change. Think of it as changing your style to receive life – a lifestyle. You're not at the mercy of your emotions; your emotions are subject to your righteousness. You are a righteous person. (2 Corinthians 5:21). You can do this.
Learning to rest is a process. Pick one thing that you struggle with and make an effort to commit it to Him. Then, whenever you find yourself failing to do that, recommit it to Him with greater fervor. Gain one victory like that and the others will become simpler.
Hebrews 4:3,11 - "For we which have believed do enter into rest...Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest...."
Song of Solomon 1:2 - "Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth."
GOD UNITES HIMSELF WITH MY SPIRIT, AND I AM ABLE TO BEGIN TO EXPLORE THE FULLNESS OF GOD. THE JOURNEY TOWARD THIS COMPLETE UNION IS A PLACE WHERE MY SPIRIT IS COMPLETELY POSSESSED BY GOD. CONSIDER THAT JESUS IS CALLED "THE WORD." THE "KISSES OF HIS MOUTH" IS NOTHING LESS THAN THE VITAL COMMUNICATION OF THE WORD OF GOD TO ME.
Numbers 13:27,28,33 - "We came unto the land where thou sent us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. Nevertheless, the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great. And there we saw the giants."
There is a wonderful grace offered for us to advance in the times of adversity! The invitation is extended to all saints; however, by a lack of commitment, many will disqualify themselves. This is a time to be desperate for the revealed glory of God. One of the marks of these overcomers will be hunger and complete dissatisfaction with business as usual.
This holy hunger will drive us to seek the Lord on a much more increased level. Jesus states“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, uprightness, and right standing with God, shall be completely satisfied!" - Matthew 5:6 AMP
It’s time to remove all lids of limitations off -- believe God for big things (see Ephesians 3:20-21). The promise is that the whole earth shall be filled with the knowledge of God’s glory (seeNumbers 14:21 and Hab. 2:14).
The Spirit of God is stirring our soul and awaking our heart to seek deeper depths and higher heights. This is the time for us to go all out for Christ and the Kingdom of God. We don't hold back -- we surrender ourselves completely to the control and guidance of the Holy Spirit. The statement is so true -- deep is calling to deep (see Psalms 42:7).
THE EXODUS FROM THE MIND TO THE HEART DEMANDS THAT WE MUST FACE AND CONQUER THE GIANTS OF SIN, CONDEMNATION, AND IGNORANCE. AS WITH ANY JOURNEY TO A DISTANT LAND, THE PRICE TO ACTUALLY TRAVEL TO THAT COUNTRY, TO TASTE ITS WATER AND BREATHE ITS AIR, FAR EXCEEDS THE PRICE OF MERELY READING OF ITS BEAUTY IN A BOOK.
2 Corinthians 12:12 - "Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds."
I CONFESS THAT GOD IS FILLING ME WITH SUPERNATURAL ENDURANCE TO STAY PUT UNTIL I HAVE SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED THE ASSIGNMENT HE ASKED ME TO DO.
I DECLARE THAT I AM STRONG; I AM FILLED WITH FORTITUDE; AND I WILL DO PRECISELY WHAT GOD HAS ASKED ME TO DO!
Song of Solomon 1:2 - "Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth: for thy love is better than wine."
The "kiss" is the union of God's Spirit to our spirit. When a person is first converted, he is united to God but he has not yet come to experience Him deeply. There is a deep and abiding union with Christ that we can come to know.
Exodus 3:8 - "And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey. "
THE JEWS WERE CALLED, NOT JUST TO KNOW ABOUT THE PROMISED LAND BUT TO "DWELL" IN IT AND MAKE IT THEIR HOME. SO ALSO I AM CALLED TO DWELL IN CHRIST, WHERE GOD IN HIS KINGDOM BECOMES MY ABIDING PLACE.
2 Timothy 4:2 - "Preach the Word urgently at all times, whenever you get the chance, in season and out, when it is convenient and when it is not. Correct and rebuke your people when they need it, encourage them to do right, and all the time be feeding them patiently with God's Word."
I CONFESS THAT I AM NOT MOVING FROM THE CALLING FOR WHICH I WAS PREDESTINED. THE DEVIL AND VARIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES HAVE TRIED HARD TO MOVE ME, BUT I HAVE MADE UP MY MIND THAT I AM NOT MOVING FROM THE PLACE WHERE JESUS CALLED ME TO GIVE MY HEART!
Numbers 23:19 - "God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?"
2 Corinthians 10:4 - "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds."
The word "stronghold" is a Greek word "ochuroma", which means a "fortress, a castle, or a citadel."
Developing a Kingdom mentality requires a paradigm shift in our thinking. As we embrace the Kingdom message, many of us are challenged with RELIGIOUS MINDSETS, OLD BELIEF SYSTEMS, and OLD PATTERNS OF BEHAVIOR. Paul addressed these strongholds and also stated that they were to be pulled down.
To truly embrace the new will require that we let go of the old. The only way for us to do this is to trust the Lord and attach ourselves securely to Christ's finished work as we continue to touch Him.
Affirmations: I NO LONGER RELY ON MY OWN POWER, BECAUSE I AM A NEW CREATURE IN CHRIST AND HIS POWER RESIDES WITHIN ME.
AS I APPLY THE BLOOD OF JESUS TO A STRONGHOLD, I AM USING THE WEAPON GOD HAS GIVEN ME TO DESTROY THE POWER OF THE ENEMY.
GOD'S ANOINTING ON MY LIFE BREAKS THE YOKE OF WHAT IS HOLDING ME BACK FROM ENTERING INTO ALL THAT HE HAS FOR ME.
Psalm 139:23,24 - "Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way."
THE ENEMIES WHICH DEFEAT ME ARE HIDDEN AND LATENT WITHIN ME. THE HOLY SPIRIT MUST EXPOSE MY FOES BEFORE I CAN CONQUER THEM! AM I TOO PROUD OR TOO INSECURE TO ADMIT I NEED HELP?
John 10:10 - "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."
The Holy Spirit, the Helper, is ready to give out gifts and is giving out gifts to those who are ASKING, KNOCKING, and SEEKING and BELIEVING that God will do what He says He will do. Divine increase abounds right and left. Curses will be broken and blessings of God will be released.
I CONFESS THAT JESUS CHRIST HAS COME THAT I MIGHT HAVE, KEEP, AND CONSTANTLY RETAIN A VITALITY, GUSTO, VIGOR, AND ZEST FOR LIVING THAT SPRINGS UP FROM DEEP DOWN INSIDE ME.
IM TAKING MY EYES OFF THE LOW ROAD, AND I'M HEADED FOR THE HIGH ROAD OF BLESSING GOD HAS PLANNED FOR ME!
"But You are holy, O You Who dwell in [the holy place where] the praises of Israel [are offered]." - Psalm 22:3 AMP God wants you tuned-in to His frequency, as you allow His bright glory cloud of light to envelop your life.
Ask yourself these questions:
What is the consistency of your praise to God? How easy is it for you to praise God? Where is your level of praise? Do you have a hard time voicing praise to God? Are you subdued under heaviness?
God "inhabits" the praises of His people. If you are not praising and giving thanks to God, then there is no praise to be inhabited. God's presence is true substance and life. Give God some praise to inhabit! Create a steady diet of praise in your life.
Our voice, like a sword, is to decree and manifest His Kingdom and will in the earth. Because of this, there is always an attack on your ability to praise, prophesy and release God's presence through your voice. God is wanting to invade the earth through your voice!
2 Timothy 1:9, "God...who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began."
The term "holy calling" could also be interpreted "sacred DESTINY." The Lord considers it a sacred thing for us to enter into the divinely ordained function that He has destined for us. The prophet David once said, "Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me when as yet there was not one of them." The same blood that purchased our salvation also secured a DESTINY for us as individuals.
GRACE FOR OUR DESTINY
The Bible also emphasizes that grace was set apart for us to accomplish our DESTINY. That grace was designated to us before time began. What an incredible mystery in God! Before the earth was ever fashioned, the Lord saw us as INDIVIDUALS and allotted a portion of His grace for EACH OF US to accomplish our sacred and holy DESTINY.
The blood of Jesus not only purchased our souls but also our destiny and holy calling in Him. We have a responsibility and duty to be the agency by which the Lord carries out His blueprint on the earth through the empowering of His Spirit.
THE WORD OF GOD BECOMING FLESH AGAIN
The end-time generation has an even greater mandate placed upon it. The Bible points out that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses involving those who have gone before us and saw the prophetic destiny of this generation but were unable to live in it (Hebrews 11). It is a great honor that has been placed upon those living today, to be the generation that sees the consummation of God's Heavenly plans.
Matthew 13 declares that those living at the end of the age will be the harvest generation and will work cohesively with Heaven's host. The Lord has planted wheat into the field of this world, and He is looking to harvest "sons of the Kingdom." Jesus Himself said: "The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the Kingdom....the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels" - Matthew 13:37-39.
The "sons of the Kingdom" are merely the word of God becoming flesh once again. John 1 declares that in the beginning was the Word, and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. That same paradigm will be pertinent for the "sons of the Kingdom" present on the earth during the end-of-days confrontation. God's word will be manifested in a body of people who do the works of the Kingdom like He did (John14:12).
1 Corinthians 2:16 - "For who has known or understood the mind (the counsels and purposes) of the Lord so as to guide and instruct Him and give Him knowledge? But we have the mind of Christ, the Messiah, and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart. "
If you feel weary and discouraged, in need of wisdom and direction, simply ask for God's grace and guidance. As we seek His PURPOSE FOR OUR LIFE and not just the benefits of "His hand," we will find that the more we know Abba Father, the more His love and compassion will emanate through us.
The light and wisdom we seek from above are not to be found in human programs of education and psychology, or even in our common sense and good intentions, but only, exclusively, in the Person of Christ Jesus.
"He has been made unto us wisdom." - 1 Corinthians 1:30.
GOD WANTS ME TO BE SO IN TUNE WITH HIS SPIRIT THAT I AM ABLE TO FEEL HIS HEART OF COMPASSION TOWARD THOSE AROUND ME WHO ARE HURTING OR AFFLICTED WITH SICKNESS AND PAIN.
SINCE HE IS ONE WITH ME, HE CAN REACH OUT THROUGH MY HANDS AND FULFILL HIS PURPOSES IN THE EARTH.
1 Corinthians 3:3 - "You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?"
GOD HAS MORE FOR US THAT MERELY BECOMING BETTER PEOPLE; HE WANTS TO FLOOD OUR LIVES WITH THE SAME POWER THAT RAISED CHRIST FROM THE DEAD! GOD DOES NOT MERELY WANT US "NORMAL," HE WANTS US CHRISTLIKE!
Romans 5:20 - "But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound."
GOD USES DARK MOMENTS AS OPPORTUNITIES TO POUR OUT HIS GRACE AND TO SHOW OTHERS WHO HE IS! I CHOOSE TO PUSH AWAY ALL MY FEARS AND TO BELIEVE THAT GOD IS GOING TO DO SOMETHING MIRACULOUS TO SAVE THE DAY!
Psalm 104: 1,4,30 - "Bless the Lord, O my soul, O Lord my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honor and majesty. Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire. Thou sendest forth thy Spirit."
LORD JESUS, YOU ARE THE ONE WHO WALKS SILENTLY IN THE INNERMOST SANCTUARY OF MY SOUL. SO CAREFULLY YOU WEAVE YOURSELF INTO THE FIBERS OF MY BEING. TOUCH ME WITH YOUR CLEANSING, RENEWING FIRE.
I set myself on God’s altar today to allow myself to be consumed by His fire of purging and His fire of love.
I refuse to allow the move of God in me to be miscarried.
"You yourselves write a decree concerning the Jews, as you please, in the king's name, and seal it with the king's signet ring; for whatever is written in the king's name and sealed with the king's signet ring no one can revoke." - Esther 8:8
Jesus became a curse for us, so we don't have to live under a curse. He was the master of divine reversal. All He did demonstrated God's power to turn death to life, sickness to health, lack to blessing, etc. We have been given the power to act as intercessors -- those called to get in the way of the enemy's plan. We need to decree our freedom and our blessing and extend that freedom to others by reversing the curses of darkness.
We need to write a new decree! The enemy has declared things over our personal lives, over the Church today and over our nations. He is filling the airwaves in the spirit realm and in the natural realm with decrees of fear, death, defeat, destruction, and intimidation.
This is an Esther moment! We must make a decree in prayer. Write it down. Let it be your confession. We must decree God's Word in truth knowing the penetrating power of truth can make others free. We must change our language to speak what God is declaring. We must allow our prophetic words to be in our mouths as decrees. Say what God says!
Job 22:28 says, "You shall decree a thing and it shall be established for you, so light will shine upon your way."
In this time of great darkness in the earth, the people of God need to flood the atmosphere with decrees that bring life and light which will drive out death and darkness.
Galatians 5:22,23 - "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."
Peace is Spirit power. Your peace, your immovable stand upon the Word of God is a sign that you are positioned correctly in perfect submission to the will of God. The very fact that you are not frightened by your adversary is a sign that you have authority over him.
LORD, THANK YOU FOR SOWING YOUR SPIRIT AND WORD INTO MY LIFE. THANK YOU FOR THE LIFE OF GOD THAT IS FLOWING UP FROM MY SPIRIT RIGHT NOW, PRODUCING THE LIFE AND THE NATURE OF JESUS CHRIST IN ME!
Matthew 3:11 - "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and with fire."
OH, HOLY SPIRIT....OH, FIRE! THAT SO INTIMATELY AND TENDERLY PENETRATES THE FIBRE AND CORE OF MY SOUL.....CLEANSE ME, BURN IN ME, WITH YOUR PASSION FOR CHRIST!
John 5:44 - "How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another, and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?"
We need to decide if we are going to let all of the previous wounds and disappointments determine who we are, or if we are going to be like Christ, using the Cross to determine who we are, seizing the occasion to die to ourselves and rise above this world and live in resurrection power. We cannot be resurrected unless we have first died.
I KNOW I AM RELATING CORRECTLY TO GOD WHEN MY HUNGER FOR HIS GLORY CAUSES ME TO FORSAKE THE PRAISE OF MEN.
"But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place." - 2 Corinthians 2:14
God lives among the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3). As we praise God we sense His presence and in His presence there is fullness of joy. Praise is a powerful spiritual weapon as it changes the atmosphere around us. In the Scriptures we read how the walls of Jericho came crashing down, giving victory to God's people due to the Israelites releasing shouts of praise(Joshua 6:20). In Acts 16:25-26, we read that the prison doors shook open when Paul and Silas prayed and praised God.
Praise lifts our eyes from the battle to the victory, for Christ has already won the victory. We are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus. It is the will of God for us to rejoice in Him no matter what comes. As we rejoice in God, we release joy to others.
Rest in Him and praise Him in the storm. He is the God of the impossible and He is working all things for your good. Join your heart to His and allow His love to give you strength.
"You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever." - Psalm 16:11
"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." - John 16:33