Spiritual Warfare

Posted: August 19, 2019 in Home

 

armour

Sometimes, when life seems to be getting the best of me, I have to make myself stop and consider why things seem so overwhelming. I don’t know about you, but for me this shows up as anxiety, sadness, and sometimes anger. When I am feeling these emotions, especially over a period of time, I HAVE to intentionally stop them or they can get to be a stronghold in my life.

The first thing I have to do is remind myself that people are not my enemy. The Word says “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12). Brothers and Sisters we have an enemy out there, his name is Satan and he, along with his demons, want to destroy us.

However, Satan can do nothing but suggest. He does not have power over us unless we let him. And if we let him for an extended period of time, he will create strongholds. So how do we make sure this doesn’t happen? We will find this (and just about every other question we face in life) in God’s Word. He says that we must put on the full armor of God:

Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness.  For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:10-18)

Now we have all heard this scripture, but what does it actually mean? Paul is instructing us here to put on all God has given us to maintain the victory we already have! It is to be used as an offense not a defense in the battle with satanic forces.

  • The Girdle of Truth is so that we will stand firm in the truth of His Word.
  • The Breastplate of Righteousness is to guard our heat from evil.
  • The Shoes of Peach are for us to stand firm in the Good news of the gospel.
  • The Shield of Faith is to be ready for Satan’s fiery darts of doubt and deceit.
  • The Helmet of Salvation is to keep our mind focused on God to keep Satan from suggestion.
  • The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God to be ready in our hands when tempted.

The good news here is that we are already victorious! Satan has been defeated by the blood of Jesus! Let’s not let the enemy steal one more minute of our joy!

I pray today that every scheme, plot or plan that the enemy has for you and your family is bound in the name of Jesus! Satan you are a liar and a thief and we will not allow you to steal, kill or destroy our lives anymore. No weapon formed against us will prosper so today is going to be a great day!

Will you receive this today?

 

 

via Revival

Quote  —  Posted: August 6, 2019 in Home

Revival

Posted: August 6, 2019 in Home

Revival

Looking at society today, I believe the Church needs a revival more than I have seen at any other time in my life. The world has gotten so far away from its Christian values and we have incorporated the world’s values in our belief system. Today there are more and more people who are deciding not to follow Jesus.

Remember what Christ said to the seven churches in Revelation? Here are just a few of the examples of what He had to say:

  • They had forsaken their first love (Revelation 2:4-5)
  • They allowed the cares and worries of life bring them down (Revelation 2:10-11)
  • They allowed compromise and worldly values to take hold of them (Rev 2:14-16)
  • They allowed the Church to become dead and only go through the motions (Revelation 3:1-6
  • They became complacent and didn’t bear any fruit (Revelation 3:11)

Do any of these sound familiar? Does it describe us or our church family? Our generation has two choices, we can sit back and allow the same thing to happen OR we can pray to God to bring about revival in the Church and ask Him to help us be a part of that.

Psalm 85:6 says “Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you?” I believe revival will come only when God’s people get right with Him and make a decision that they are going to seek Him and His will like never before. 

So, how do we do that? Some of us need to grow up Spiritually. In Hebrews 5:12, Paul talks about Spiritual immaturity: “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.”

Brothers and Sisters God needs to be FIRST in our lives. No one and no thing should be allowed to take time away from this relationship. Any relationship we have will not grow without spending the time and effort it takes to develop it.

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (Matthew 6:33).

Father God I pray that You would teach us how to be filled with Your Spirit and walk in the fullness and power of Your Holy Spirit each and every day and that it would become a way of life for us. I pray that you would use us in a mighty way to bring about revival in Your Church. In Jesus’ powerful Name I pray. Amen!

in charge

God wants us to give our all to Him.  Now, when I say all, I mean ALL.  That includes our worry and fears, which are about our future, and our hurts and regrets which are about our past.   As long as you keep holding on to the past or are anxious about the future, you will not be in a place where God can work in your life and you will miss out on God’s best plan for you.   Look at this verse:

Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?  -Matthew 6:26

When we worry and fear, we are essentially telling God that we don’t trust Him to take care of our problems or situation.  Have you ever heard someone say “Well, I’ve done everything I know to do; all I can do now is pray.” God wants us to be at rest and let Him solve our problems and take care of our situations.

 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. -1 Peter 5:7

There’s that word ALL again.  That word is not in scripture accidentally.  In every translation of that scripture I could find the word “all” was used.  Scripture doesn’t say cast your big cares or cast only the care that you haven’t been able to figure out yet, it say cast “all” of your cares.  I know right now you are probably thinking “well, I’m just a worrier, that’s my personality”, or “you have no idea what I’m going through right now.”  Well those things may be true but while you can’t always choose your circumstances, you can choose how you react to them.

 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. -2 Timothy 1:7

A sound mind is a peaceful and steady mind.  It is not fretful, fearful, or worrisome.  It is a mind that knows and believes that God is in control and He is taking care of our situations, circumstances, hopes and dreams!  Regardless of how it looks right now, God is in control!

 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. –Jeremiah 29:11

Now that we know what we should do, let’s talk about how we should go about doing it.  It all starts with trusting God.  We can’t just say we trust him and behave differently, we must really trust Him.  After making the commitment to totally trust God, we need to let the Holy Spirit guide us.

Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. –Ephesians 4:23-24

When you are led by the Spirit it is easy to discern wrong thoughts.  The minute those thoughts come to mind, they must be cast down immediately.  Don’t let them in, they are from the enemy!  Wrong thoughts are like thieves who come in and rob us of our joy.  Make up your mind today that worry and fear no longer have a place in your life and they are not going to rob you of one more second!

Prayer:  Heavenly Father I pray right now against the spirit of fear and worry.  In the name of Jesus, I declare that peace and joy replace fear and worry in my life and for strength, wisdom and discernment to guide me through this time of renewal!

Okay, normally I ease into my point, but today I am just going to lay it out there….

I get so frustrated when I see Christians (blood bought children of God) living miserable lives.  Let me just say that I know we all have our problems, situational ups and downs, and times when life gets really difficult.  I get that, I have been there-no fun!  However, that is not what I am talking about.  I am talking about people who have been Christians for years and still live constantly in strife, worry and fear.  Please believe me when I tell you, if you are there, then you are CHOOSING to live this way.  Yes, I said it, you are living a defeated life by your own choosing.

Now, I guess I should have eased into this a little more, so let me back up a bit.  As with all of my writing, I come to you with wisdom from what I have learned.  I was there…in that strife, worry, quick to anger, and so on and so forth (okay, enough with all my short comings).  I always tried to do the right thing, and for the most part, to the best of my knowledge, I did.  However, I was never content, I always had something that I worried about, and I generally felt lost.  I thought that I had things together most of the time but still there was something that I couldn’t  identify that was missing.  That something was the close relationship, let me state that again, relationship  to God.  I believe that no one can have a complete and meaningful life without that.  I am going to go bold here and say emphatically that if you don’t have it, then you are kidding yourself with your so called happiness.  

 If you would have asked me before, I would have told you that I had a close relationship with Him.  I attend church every Sunday, serve in ministries, pray everyday.  BUT, it wasn’t making a difference in my life.  My breakthrough came when God placed in me a burning desire to seek Him and His will for my life.  Through prayer and study, I realize that my breakthrough comes as I renew my mind and align it with His Word.  

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. – Romans 12:2

I am convinced that there is no other way.  We must realize how God loves us, what He has done for us, and how we receive the blessings that He intends for us to have.  This realization has resulted in breakthroughs in several areas in my life.  I now realize that the life that God wants me to have is very different than what I had been taught in church.  If what you hear or what you believe does not line up with God’s Word, then you are being deceived.  

  Please make sure that what you are being taught and what you believe lines up with the Word of God.  If you are living a defeated life, please know that it is NOT God’s will for your life.  He wants so much more for you.  If what you hear and believe does not line up with His Word, then something is wrong.  I can guarantee you that something is not God, it is us.  Find out what it is and renew your mind to the way God sees you.  Your life WILL change!

So, what does it mean to walk in love?  The apostle Paul gave us a thorough example of what love is and is not in his first letter to the church in Corinth:

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; doesn not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails.  And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.  – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, 13.

The root of the translated word love comes from the Greek work Agape.  Agape is the type of love that God has for us.  It is a self-sacrificing love that endures personal pain and always seeks to benefit the other person.  It is a different type of love than we would have for our spouse or our friends.  God wants us to walk in the same kind of love towards others as He has for us!

So, how do we go about doing this?  I think that the first thing we should do is take it to God.  We need to repent that we have fallen short in this area in our lives and we need His help.  The second thing we need to do is to spend time in his Word.  Since God is love, the more we get to know Him, the more we get to know love and how He wants us to love.

And we have known and believed the love that God has for us.  God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. – 1 John 4:16

If we have not been following and living the examples of what love is and is not, then the transformation will require us to renew our minds.  The more time we spend in His Word, the more He will reveal to us His will for our lives.  If we obey what He says while diligently seeking Him, we will prosper in this area.

If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.  – John 15:10

Here, Jesus is making it very clear.  We must follow His commandments.  The love of God is closely related to following His commandments

For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.  And His commandments are not burdensome. – 1 John 5:3

Notice that he says “His commandments are not burdensome”. So, walking in love and following God’s commandments is not hard or a burden!  It only takes an effort on our part to seek a relationship with Him above all other things.  As with any relationship, it will take our time, commitment, and sacrifice.  Since this should be the most important relationship in our lives, we should put it as top priority above everything else. 

I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me.  – Proverbs 8:17

I am making a commitment to diligently seek Him each day.   Won’t you join me?





 

 

What About Love?

Posted: September 19, 2013 in Home
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God has been calling me lately to grow more in love.  Now when I say lately, I mean at least two years.  You would think that I would have been more obedient than I was, but that is a whole different lesson.  I got a book on Love but wasn’t as inspired as I thought I would be.  I thought it would really lead me into where I needed to go but it didn’t.  So, instead of finding a different way of studying, I ignored God’s promptings.  At that same time, I was praying for God to show me my purpose in life.  I wanted to know what He was calling me to do.  I knew I wasn’t there.

My prayers weren’t getting answers.  One day it dawned on me that I wasn’t being obedient to Him.  That was what was blocking the answer to my prayers.  I quickly repented and surrendered my will over to God, and I meant it. Immediately my prayers were answered.  God revealed His plan for me.  I wish I had been obedient sooner!

I was now on a mission to develop in the area of love.  I quickly found that there are endless resources teaching about biblical love.  However, I didn’t start with a book by a well-known author or the study notes of other teachers.  I started with THE author and THE teacher.  Over the course of several days, I read every scripture in the bible containing the word love.  I started to write the verses down and then began placing them in categories.  What God revealed to me through His word next was so simple, yet so profound.  The majority of the scriptures written about love can be summed up in two categories:

1 – God will give mercy and blessings to those who love Him and keep His commandments.

2 – Love the Lord with all you have and love your neighbor as yourself.

It can’t get any more clear than that.

As God was showing me how He wanted me to grow in this area, I was feeling rather inadequate because I am not one of those patient, loving people (you know the type) by nature and I was focused on how much I would have to change to get there.  But, I was committed.  As I meditated on these verses, God revealed the most important key to get me to where I need to go.  He lead me to study the word in the original Greek language.  The true meaning of love, as defined in the Bible, has much more meaning than the common usage of our English language. Often, love is confused with a feeling, not an action. This kind of “love” is usually conditional and based upon how we feel and how others behave toward us.  The two main Greek words used in the New Testament are Agape and PhileoHere is the distinction between the two:

Agape denotes an undefeatable benevolence and unconquerable goodwill that always seeks the highest good of the other person, no matter what.  Agape is a love by choice, not feeling.

Phileo means to be fond of, cherish, take pleasure in. It has much more to do with feelings than actions.

God showed me that He is calling His people to love with Agape love.  We don’t have to feel a certain way to show love, we only have to make up our minds to do so.  That opened up my mind to all sorts of ways that I can love people—even when I don’t FEEL like it.  1 Corinthians 1:4-8 gives us a great example of what love looks like.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

Wow. Each one of these we could study for a long time. There is so much room for growth in all of our lives. God tells us to meditate on His word day and night.

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.  -Joshua 1:8

Maybe we should do a “love check” at the beginning of each day and then again at the end of the day to see how we did. As I grow in my love walk, I would love for you to grow as well (pun intended).  Let’s commit to this and see how God showers us with His mercy and blessings!

To increase in size by a natural process.  To expand; gain.  To increase in amount or degree; intensify.  To develop and reach maturity.  To Thrive.  To come into existence from a source; spring up.  To come to be by a gradual process or by degrees; become.  These are a few definitions that I found for the word grow.  So, how would you define the word grow?  Better yet, how would you define how you are growing?

 

I want to make a bold statement and say that if you are not growing in love and in your walk with God, any growth is in vain.  It is not real growth.

I see so many people looking to many different things to help them grow in one area of their life or another.  They seek doctors, therapists, alternative healing experts, advice from the internet, etc., etc.  Yet, with all of this advice, they are not finding growth, happiness, or even contentment.  The growth that really makes a difference is growing in the knowledge that we are a unique creation of God and He has a purpose for our life….each and EVERY ONE OF US.  

 For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.  Jeremiah 29:11


Are you living your life with purpose and meaning?  Are you just going through the motions day to day?  Do you have goals and are seeking for a purpose for your life?  Only you can answer that . Only you can step up and say that something is missing.  Only you can make a decision that what you are doing now is not really “working for you”.  How do you know it is not working?  You don’t get up every day with a sense of purpose.  You let the situations of life dictate your mood, how you feel about yourself, and how you treat others.  I always say that the reason I can relate to this is because I have been there, done that.  Please don’t spend another day like this.  

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He also has planted eternity in men’s hearts and minds [a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy], yet so that men cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.  Ecclesiates 3:11

There is more to life than what the world has put importance on.  There is an amazing life that God wants you to have.  He will not beat you over the head with what His plans are, but the Holy Spirit will let you know when things are not right.  Listen to that.  Spend more time with God.  Have faith in His Word.  Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God:

So faith comes by hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the preaching [of the message that came from the lips] of Christ (the Messiah Himself).  Romans 10:17

Please let me know the areas in your life that you want to grow.  I can help you get there.  What a difference that we could make in this world if we all knew our purpose and were living it out each and every day!

Many plans are in a man’s mind, but it is the Lord’s purpose for him that will stand.

Proverbs 19:21

 

Got Roots?

Posted: September 11, 2013 in Home
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 When I think about roots, I usually envision the root system of a tree.  Tree roots anchor the tree in the soil, keeping it straight and stable.  Tree roots also take nutrients and chemicals out of the soil and use them to produce what they need for the tree’s development, growth and repair.  The root system of a tree is the key to its survival.

We as human beings don’t have the same type of roots as a tree does, but we still have them.  When we talk about our roots, we usually refer to them as family ancestry, who our parents and grandparents were and what part of the world that they came from.  

Our ancestry plays both a biological and environmental role in who we are and why we think and believe a certain way.  Those beliefs turn into mindsets, and mindsets determine the big picture of how we view ourselves, life and others.  

When Christians are born again, the bible says that we are new creatures in Christ:

  Therefore if any be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are! passed away; behold, all things are become new. – 2 Corinthians 5:17

At this point of salvation, our old thoughts and mindsets must be examined to make sure that they are aligned with God‘s Word.  This process is a continual, life long process that requires a renewing of your mind daily (and sometimes maybe hourly).  We must reject any thought or belief that does not line up with the word of God.  As we spend more time praying and growing closer to God through His word, we will see radical changes in both the way we think about ourselves, others and the way we view life.  

We cannot hang our hats on what our mothers, fathers, and grandparents believed.  Our salvation is a gift from God and it is in no means something that we can earn.  This is also true of God’s favor as He is no respecter of persons.  Ever since Christ died on the cross to take away our sins, all we have to do is believe in Him and have faith in Him and we will be counted as righteous!  Praise God!

 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile  ~Romans 3:22 (NIV)

If you are a born again believer, you are the righteousness of God through Christ!  It is not about what you do, it is about who He is! You are in right standing!  Do NOT believe anything or anyone who tells you otherwise!


What do you think about when you hear the word change?  Does it make you feel excited or uneasy?  Do you anticipate something better or are you fearful of the unknown?

Let’s face it, we all find comfort in some of the things in our life that are familiar and constant.  For instance, we love going on vacation but it always feels so good to get back home to our familiar environment.  We take comfort in routines as well.  Those of us with kids know that from a very young age children do better with routines.  Getting a child on a schedule is comforting to that child and any major changes in that routine can be very disruptive. That being said, we are not meant to stay the same, we are called to grow and growing requires change.

That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:– Ephesians 4:14-15

God tells us that we must grow up in all things in all ways.  Boy, that is going to require some change!  Now if you are one of those folks who don’t like change, or find it uncomfortable, I have great news for you.  The change that comes from growing in God is always good!  I like the way the Amplified version of these two verses read:

So then, we may no longer be children, tossed [like ships] to and fro between chance gusts of teaching and wavering with every changing wind of doctrine, [the prey of] the cunning and cleverness of unscrupulous men, [gamblers engaged] in every shifting form of trickery in inventing errors to mislead. Rather, let our lives lovingly express truth [in all things, speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly]. Enfolded in love, let us grow up in every way and in all things into Him Who is the Head, [even] Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). 

Now, what God is telling us here is that we may no longer be children, we must grow.  Until we are “grown up” spiritually, or spiritually mature, we are like a child who is unstable, naive, and easily deceived.  Children usually believe everything they hear.  They have not yet developed the skill set to know right from wrong.  They lack knowledge and experience.

It is very important to grow in this area.  You need to know what is of God and what is not.  A spiritually mature christian will not be able to be tossed to and fro because they will stand firm in the truth that they know.  They will not get caught up with any false teaching.  They will not adopt any “new age” ideas just because their favorite TV star or talk show host did.

There is a lot of false teaching in the world today.  We need to guard ourselves from it, the bible warns us about it:

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? – Matthew 7:15-16

Sadly, much of this false teaching is coming from churches.  Deception is a powerful tool of the enemy and if he can deceive the teachers in the church, then he doesn’t have to work at all on their flock.

So, how do we grow up like God has called us to do?  As a student of the Word, we will only grow through changing.  It is not as simple as pushing a button and BAM we are changed.  We must spend time in the Word of God and develop a stronger and more intimate relationship with Him.  That is what He wants and that is how we grow.

I really like this quote by Oswald Chambers:  “It is a joy to Jesus when a person takes time to walk more intimately with Him. The bearing of fruit is always shown in Scripture to be a visible result of an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.”

That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.  And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. – 1 John 1:3-4

Our joy will be full!  That is what I want, what about you?