Many Christians muddy along, hoping for nothing loftier than a short reprieve from sin and self-condemnation. Should the lowliness of our limited expectation have veto power over the enormity of God's promises?
May it never be! For Scripture assures us that OUR CALLING to God's PURPOSE for our life, even as lowly as we feel sometimes, is an upward climb that relies upon faith in God's abilities and Christ's redemption.
"Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 3:13,14
We must war for the Kingdom of God rather than be distracted by a noise from the camp of the enemy which is built upon self, idolatry, and individualism.
As believers we have the authority to walk around our neighborhood and say, "I bind the devil in my neighborhood. I bind the drug addicts and the dope dealers." We can walk through schools and say, "I bind violence, I bind perversion, and I bind New Age teaching," Because every place where we set our foot will be ours. (Deuteronomy 11:24)
When we bind the devil, our next step is to loose the peace of Jesus in our streets--loose the righteousness of Jesus in our cities.
Matthew 18:18 -- "Truly I say to you, whatever you shall bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven: and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven."
I am confident that His presence in my life is getting stronger.
I am completely determined and committed to keep pushing ahead and to never let go until I've accomplished my God-given mission!
He is preparing to move me upward into a more glorious phase in my life. I am going from glory to glory!
Because we "go through things" does not mean that we are in some sort of sin or a backslidden condition. The Bible says, "It rains on the just and the unjust." Even if what you are going through is a situation that is "your own fault," God's heart for you in it is--refinement and restoration. Don't allow yourself or others to flood you with condemnation. Conviction, yes, that is the work of the Holy Spirit. Condemnation is the work of the enemy, who is a liar and the father of lies.
Don't let your mind run amuck! Remember, Jesus shed His Blood to rescue you--whether from sin, sickness, disease, or the attacks of the enemy!
Colossians 1:21 says, "And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled..."
"Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise..." Hebrews 10:35-38
We are not completely full until Christ is so formed in us that He overflows through our life with great demonstrations of heavenly power and glory!
God came down in the form of a man, Jesus, to rescue us from OURSELVES. Jesus did not come down to start a religion but to save and deliver mankind from the curse of sin. Hebrews 3:13 - "But exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today"; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin." There are some who have seared their conscience in some areas of life, having justified their actions over and over. Essentially, they have closed the door to the Holy Spirit in those areas, thus blinding themselves to the truth of how they should really live and think.
Matthew 6:10 -- "Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven."
God's world collides with the world of darkness, and His world always wins. Our battle is always a battle for DOMINION -- a conflict of kingdoms. God has chosen to work through us. WE ARE HIS DELEGATED AUTHORITY on planet earth, and prayer is the vehicle that gives occasion for His invasion. Those who don't pray allow darkness to continue ruling. The enemy's greatest efforts at deceiving the Church are centered on diluting the purpose and effect of prayer.
John 15:7 -- "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you."
Jesus walked in union with His Father. We too must do the same with Him. We only have true SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY to the degree that we are abiding in Him. The angels do not respect us and the demons do not obey us because of who we are, but because of who is in us.
The best warfare to engage in against the devil is to magnify the Lord Jesus in your life. The Bible declares, "Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered..." Psalm 68:1.
Worship is the spiritual equivalent of the power of magnification. When you begin to worship, you ascend to join the Object of your adoration. If you are soaring in His presence, then you are looking down on your problems.
"Oh, magnify the Lord with me." - Psalm 34:3
Ephesians 2:10 - "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."
The revelation that salvation is not based on our works should not be interpreted as though the family of God is a "work-free zone." God has not liberated us from the realm of works, only from self-generated, religious "dead works." As new creations, the Holy Spirit dwells in us in an eternal relationship. His presence is a living reality, capable of speaking to us, inspiring and directing God's PURPOSE for our life to fulfill "God-inspired" works.
Philippians 3:7-9 - "But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him."
AT SOME POINT I HAVE TO CEASE BEING A SPIRITUAL ENCYCLOPEDIA (THAT IS, COLLECTING MORE FACTS, OPINIONS, ILLUSTRATIONS, AND INTERPRETATIONS, AND THEN PRESENTING THEM AS MY FAITH).
I MAKE A QUALITY DECISION TODAY TO TURN MYSELF OVER TO GOD, SUBMIT TO HIS TRAINING AND BREAKING, SO THAT HE CAN DISCARD ALL THAT HINDERS ME FROM SEEING CHRIST AS HE IS ......IN GOD'S EYES. MY ONLY HOPE FOR SALVATION FROM LESSER THINGS IS CHRIST ......A GREATER CHRIST THAN THE ONE I HAVE BEEN CONTENT WITH UNTIL NOW.
Hebrews 1:2,3 - "Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds. Who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high."
SEEKING THE EXPERIENTAL
It's time we get hungry for a revelation of His glory in our lives. For too long we have disqualified the legitimacy of seeking the experiential with God for fear of being flaky. We are created in and for the realm of shekinah glory.
When we enter into this posture through Christ..."...the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit" (2 Corinthians 3:16-18).
OUR LIFE WATERED IN HIS GLORY
We are postured to behold the glory of God, the image of the invisible God (see Colossians 1:15). The more we dwell in His glory, the greater the revelation of His nature in our lives. It's through restored intimacy that we discover our truest nature in Him.
If we want to live in the experiential knowledge of the power of God, we have to posture ourselves in intimacy. There is no shortcut. Christ is the source. Just as in Genesis, where the mist watered the whole earth, so too He desires to continually water our life in His glory, nourishing our entire being, so that when we step into the world, they see His fiery glory on us.
"And Goliath cursed David by his gods. The Philistine also said to David, "Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the sky and the beasts of the field." - 1 Samuel 18:43,44
Goliath first used fiery darts against David (his words of negativity), believing that the negativity alone would cause David to cower down! Goliath's negative words were meant to be a "first-blow" against David to weaken him so that Goliath could move in quickly for the kill!
For us today, a Philistine spirit might sound like this:
• You're too young (old) to be used of God. • You haven't attended Bible college, so you're unqualified to lay hands on the sick and see them healed. • You're not a good speaker. • Your family was poor. How can you ever consider yourself blessed of God? • You are not attractive, you're fat (skinny), or too short (tall). • You are weak. Just take a good look at yourself. Is there anything about you of which you can really be proud? • You failed. You sinned. God will never use you. God has abandoned you. • Shame on you!
KNOWING AND UNDERSTANDING OUR IDENTITY IN CHRIST
Did you notice that this spirit targets our significance? In other words, it targets our identity as a Christian: a blood-bought Believer, a child of the King, a son, and daughter of God. Satan desires for each of us to get stuck in cycles of feeling "insignificant." The dictionary describes insignificance as being unimportant and having no purpose in life However, when we don't know our full identity in Christ, we remain in a continual search for significance. This is exactly what Goliath attempted to do with David...infiltrate his belief system concerning his identity and his relationship with God! This search will remain on our wilderness wandering map unless we begin to rebuke the words (fiery darts and arrows) and begin to agree with what God says about us.
WE MUST POSSESS OUR PROMISED LAND
You are already victorious because of the Cross. Still, we must possess our Promised Land through AFFIRMING and MEDITATING the scriptures that have to do with our identity as born-again believers. Jesus paid the price for it – let's believe it and enter into it!
IT'S TIME FOR BREAKTHROUGH
Our true identity has been on the line – what do you believe about yourself? What do you believe about God? The truth must become established for breakthrough to occur. The fiery darts (Ephesians 6:16) are targeting our identity. The identity thief has a plan – to steal, kill, and destroy your future.
Let's exalt the Lord and declare His identity as "The Breaker"! Yes, He is the Breaker – the one who breaks forth on our behalf (see Micah 2:13). God is breaking forth for us. Jesus broke forth and gave us life by the shedding of His precious Blood. It's time for faith to arise once more. Raise up your shield of faith today! Lift up the name of Jesus – your shield!
Matthew 4:17 - From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say. "Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
His disciples thought the Kingdom was only for the future, but Jesus said, "No, because I am with you, the Kingdom of heaven is with you. When the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in you, the Kingdom will then be in you also."
Essentially, the Kingdom of heaven does not refer to physical territory. The Kingdom of heaven is a jurisdiction over which the influence of God has full authority. It is the "breakthrough" point where the Kingdom of God impacts the physical, earthly environment.
THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD BECAUSE I LIVE THERE AND THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS IN ME.
WHEREVER I GO, AND TO WHEREVER MY INFLUENCE EXTENDS, I BRING THE KINGDOM OF GOD INTO THAT PLACE.
I CLAIM AND ASSERT NOW MY AUTHORITY OVER POVERTY, PAIN, SUFFERING, AND TROUBLE AS A SON OF THE KING OF THE UNIVERSE.
I EXPERIENCE THE VICTORY THAT IS MINE AS A CITIZEN OF THE KINGDOM.
Hebrews 4:12A - "For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword........"
The Word of God comes alive when you can picture what it's talking about. If we can let the Word of God control our imagination as we think about scriptures, we will see things in Scripture that can't be seen with the physical eyes. We see it on the inside.....in our imagination.
Psalm 103:2,3 - "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth, all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;"
When the Bible says you're healed, you've got to meditate on that truth until you see yourself healed. Most people allow their imaginations to become vain and agree with the image the doctors have painted rather than the Word of God. They're told what is going to happen, and they imagine it as truth.
Uncover the enemy with praise and thanksgiving, for he comes under the umbrella of murmuring. For is he not called the 'accuser of the brethren?' He accuses, and accuses, and accuses until you stand with your heads down, as one who's been accused and condemned.
"Arise, shine; for your light has come, And the glory of the Lord has risen upon you." - Isaiah 60:1
You are to arise and to shine. You are not called to hide in the darkness, but you are called 'the light.' You are a living epistle -- alive in His Word and His Word is alive in you? Shake off the darkness. Shake off the negative agreement. Tell the enemy, 'No, get behind me.' Do not hide behind him with murmuring and accusing, one to another, for His Spirit grieves in murmuring.
You are sealed by His Spirit. Do not take that lightly.
Own it. Live in it.
And let His Word do what it was sent to do – set captives free.
"But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus" - (Ephesians 2:4-6).
As our minds are renewed and our faith grows, we take these realities as fact and live in the light of them. We come to know that we are above our enemies and refuse to walk in the flesh realm but take our place in Christ in the spirit realm.
No longer will faith be a struggle, but a normal living in the realm of God. The spiritual realm places man where communion with God is a normal experience.
We are not going to grovel in the earthly realm, but we are seated in the heavenly places with the Lord. Every Believer has the right, authority, and ability to minister out of the throne room just as Jesus did.
"Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily" - (Colossians 1:28-29).
If you are going through a crisis in your life, don't give up or give in to a spirit of depression or hopelessness. Do like Abraham did -- When circumstances were CONTRARY to hope -- just BELIEVE!
The Lord is into miracles. Jesus ruined every funeral He came across! So even if you have received a "death sentence" of some sort, know that your hope is in the Lord--the God of all hope! "Now may the God of hope FILL you with all JOY and PEACE in BELIEVING, that you may abound in HOPE, by the power of the Holy Spirit!" (Romans 15:13)
QUESTIONS TO ASK MYSELF:
1. Does my faith make me dare to do anything with and for God?
2. Am I willing to daily invite God in -- to dwell in Him, walk with Him, talk with Him, and sup with Him?
3. How badly do I want to transform my mind?
We are all anointed for the discipleship of new believers as we follow the Spirit's leading.
Jesus refers to Himself as being the Door – the only Door that gives life. (John 10:7-11)
We want to eat from the Tree of Life today, but there is a thief who wants us to eat from the wrong tree! The enemy attempts to seduce us in our thinking.
The antichrist spirit began its evil deeds in the Garden of Eden – it did not wait until the very end of times to appear! This spirit is targeting our minds today in many ways and robbing us (he is a thief!) of our dreams and abundance of life! How? By seducing us into believing that our own works, deeds, religious doctrines, or religious performance is our door to salvation and freedom.
There is nothing that we can do to get God to love us more than He already does. Performance that is driven by our need to feel more holy, loved, or accepted is constituted as a works mentality or dead works. And, if we believe that we must perform in that fashion (religious works), we are eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
In one kind of prayer, one "thinks" upon God; in the other, one "beholds" Him. The second is a purer practice.
2 Corinthians 10:5 - "We destroy arguments and every proud obstacle to the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience...."
Nothing is to hinder the seed of DESTINY God has planted in us. We are to break out of small-mindedness (unforgiveness), old mindsets, and human thinking and enter into the MIND AND PLANS OF GOD FOR OUR LIVES. It is only our lack of failure to obey that hinders the breakout.
Knowing how He views us in Christ will strengthen the inner man and demolish satan's strongholds.
"For the weapons of our warfare are not worldly but have divine power to destroy strongholds." - 2 Corinthians 10:4
Get ready to go to a new level of walking more deeply with Him. Spirit to spirit, deep to deep, and let Him refresh you now with His rain knowing that He who made and formed you will establish you in your DESTINY and CALLING!
Settle yourself in solitude and you will come upon Him in yourself.
If we are always reasoning, then we cannot cultivate the silence in which God speaks.
Hunger for God is one of the greatest signs of life a person can have. We must press past intellectual awareness to hunger for heartfelt encounters that change and transform.
"O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee; my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is." - Psalm 63:1
There is something NEW God wants to do in each of us. What God is about to do exists in our future ahead of us in that unexplored, supernatural campground called the Kingdom of God.
Rather than the cry for security, we need to hear more of the cry for revelation. This cry is necessary simply because we are safer in the realm of God's way with us than in being encumbered in the way of the world.
"That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him." - Ephesians 1:17
Hebrews 11:3 - "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear."
I need to think, believe, and speak, not according to things which are seen (my circumstances) -- but according to things ware not seen (the Word of God). As I am faithful to think, believe and speak according to that which is not seen, God will make those things tangible in my life. He will make them "seen."
"And the Lord said to Joshua: 'See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor."' - Joshua 6:2
God was commanding Joshua to SEE THE UNSEEN! Before he would see Jericho defeated with his physical eyes, he had to see Jericho defeated with his spiritual eyes. He had to see into the eternal. It must be tangible in your spirit, before it becomes tangible in the natural.
It is seeing into the unseen (eternal) realm where we perceive the will of God. Once we see the will of God and what exists from His perspective, we can cross back over and announce what God wants to perform in the natural, temporal world.
CHANGE YOUR FRAME OF REFERENCE
The key to our spiritual life is learning to walk in the Lord! "SEE differently! HEAR differently! SEE HIM! HEAR HIM! Change your frame of reference! He is adding new colors and new events to create the MASTERPIECE of your future!"
A move of God by definition involves God moving. Which means we may not "find" Him exactly where (or how) we have in the past – because He is doing a new thing. He is not changing, God never changes (Malachi 3:6 and Hebrews 13:8). But He loves to reveal more of Himself to us in greater and greater depths and dimensions so that we can know more of Him (and thus make more of Him known to the world around us).
He woos us into a greater revelation of all He is by leading us from the comfort zone of what we have already come to know of Him.
In Song of Solomon 2, the Lover (Jesus) is wooing His Beloved to a new place in verse 10,"Rise up, my beloved, my fair one, and come away," he invites. He then goes on to declare that "the winter is past…the flowers are springing up, and the time of singing birds has come…the fig trees are budding, and the grapevines are in blossom," and then he repeats his invitation for her to arise and come away with him (Song of Solomon 2:13).
The Lover (Jesus) is announcing that it is a NEW hour, a NEW season, and that he has NEW things to show her, new places to take her, new heights for them to soar to together. She is hearing him on some level (SoS 2:8), and yet at the beginning of Song of Solomon 3 we see that while she is yearning for her Lover, she is still reaching out for him where she has always found him – and discovers that he is no longer there (SoS 3:1).
STEPPING INTO THE UNCERTAINTY OF THE UNKNOWN
She has a choice to make. She can continue to search for him where he has been, or she can respond to the invitation to arise and step into the uncertainty of the unknown, discovering him in new places and in new ways (SoS 3:2-4). She chooses the latter, and in doing so embarks on a journey with her Lover in which she comes to know him, rely on him, and lean into him to such a degree that she is completely transformed – so much so that her peers do not even recognize her when she returns (SoS 8:5).
Like in the Song of Solomon, we may have entered into a NEW season. The Lord is beckoning us, wooing us, inviting us to come away from where we have been and ARISE into a NEW place with Him – a place of greater revelation and demonstration of all that He is.
If you have noticed lately that things seem different, or you're not quite finding God "how" or "where" you have in the past, do not despair; do not be discouraged. He is simply answering your prayers. He is moving. He is inviting you to come along with Him.
Arise, and His glory will appear upon you. (Isaiah 61:1,2)