Monday, October 26, 2020

The Dominating Factor

One of the most wonderful things that Jesus did for humanity was to become a substitute and redeem humanity by "...opening their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ." (Acts 26:18)  The word redeem means, to compensate for the faults, poor performance or behavior of another; to rescue; to buy back; to ransom. In other words, God took upon Himself the liability of man's sin by deity and humanity coming together in Jesus Christ. Jesus became mans substitute by paying the price with His own life for the crimes of man thereby satisfying the demands of justice for man's crimes.  But it goes much deeper than this. 

If Jesus only paid for man's sin, then man would still be faced with a dilemma. He would still be spiritually dead and the fallen, satanic nature would still be present within. But the reality of redemption is that God has made a way for humanity to receive His divine nature (2 Peter 1:2-4) thereby putting to death the old fallen, satanic nature. Jesus calls this transformation, "Being born again, being born of the Spirit." (John 3:3-8) The Holy Spirit speaking through the apostle Paul says it this way, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ..." (2 Corinthians 5:17-18) 

The old spiritual nature that linked humanity with Satan has ceased being and a new nature, God's nature, is imparted to him. In destroying man's old nature and giving him a new nature, man has now been given the position as a child of God (John 1:12) with all of its rights and privileges. (Ephesians 1:1-23) This is great news but there is something that many believers have not fully understood. The believes spirit is born again, that is, recreated, becomes a new creation, not their soul (mind, will and emotions) or their flesh. This means that a struggle as to who is in charge, the mind and flesh or the recreated spirit is present. This no way indicates that man now has a dual nature, one of righteousness, the new nature and one of sin, the old nature. What this does mean is that man must let his recreated spirit dominate his soul and flesh.

The apostle Paul tells us, "For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God."  (Romans 8:5-8) and "I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish." (Galatians 5:16-17) As we can plainly see, the flesh and soul are not recreated and need to be brought under subjection of the recreated spirit. They are enemy's to God because they want to acts out against God. 

Believe it or not, there is a very simple way to bring ones flesh and soul under subjection to the recreated spirit. The Holy Spirit through Paul tells us, "Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace." (Romans 6:12-14 and, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. (Romans 12:1) Believers are to offer their bodies to God for His service and not for their self seeking desires. They do this by, "...not being 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) and by "being renewed in the spirit of your mind." (Ephesians 4:23) Through constantly studying and meditating on the Word of God, "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17) which builds the believers faith and also by rely on God's grace "For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure." (Philippians 2:13) which gives the believer the ability and desire to do God's Will. 

James sheds some light on this very thing, "Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls." (James 1:21) The word implanted means to, firmly set, insert or embed as seed in the ground that takes root and causes growth. So, the Word of God implanted into the soul of man has the ability and power to save, heal, preserve, deliver and make whole the soul. The saving of the soul will bring the flesh under control because the recreated spirit will once again be the dominating factor in the believers life in the same manner that it was in Adam before the fall. 

Now you may be thinking, "I do read, study and meditate on God's Word but I still struggle with poor thinking and the works of the flesh." Well James continues to tells us, "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was." (James 1:22-25) Certainly, reading, studying and meditating on the Word of God is of the utmost importance, but it is only when we believe and act on God's Word that faith is built, grace abounds and the works of the flesh and arguments and renegade thoughts of the mind come under the dominion of the recreated spirit. 

This is not at all difficult to the believer who truly wants to be and "Imitator of God as a dear child" who act on God's Word because they know that He is faithful and performs His Word. However, this is very difficult and almost unattainable to the believer who does not believe and act upon God's Word. Unfortunately, some believers have either never been truly set free by the truth or they only expect God's love and favor to be upon them if they do enough good works. If this is you, then know this. God has already given you a measure of faith (Romans 12:3) and His grace (Ephesians 4:7) so all that is required is to believe His word and act on it. It will transform your life. 

"There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death." (Romans 8:1-2)

Monday, October 19, 2020

Covenant Partners

Covenant tends not to be spoken of in most Christian circles today, yet the Bible is broken down into the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. Every believer should come to understand the depth of what covenant is from Gods perspective. Covenant is often mistaken in the church by many because there is a tendency to think that covenant and contract are the same, when in fact covenant is much more far reaching than contract. Covenant can be defined as a mutual consent or agreement of two or more persons, to do or to forbear some act or thing; To enter into a formal legal agreement; to stipulate; to bind ones self. 

Now this may seem the same as a contract in many respects but there are some large differences between the two. For instance, covenant has unlimited liabilities whereas contract has limited liabilities. Covenant does not define terms in the way a contract does, but is commitment to the success of what has been stated in the body of the covenant, whereas a contract, the parties are only responsible to fulfill the terms of what has been stated in the body of the contract. Some Components of a Covenant as things such as...

  • Agreement: The union of opinions or sentiments resulting in harmony and conformity...
  • Commitment: The act of engaging; to pledge; or to pledge by implication...
  • Stipulation: An agreement or covenant made by one person with another for the performance or forbearance of some act...
  • Conditions:  To make terms; to precisely stipulate terms...
  • Duration: In regards to the continuance of time...
  • Exchange: To give and receive reciprocally...
  • Bind: To tie together; To confirm or ratify...
  • Death to independent living: Life shared between the covenant partners becomes the priority...

The word covenant appears 185 times in the Old Testament and 20 times in the New Testament. Maybe this is the reason why so many believers fail when it comes to upholding covenant. Could the thinking be "Well the New Testament does not mention much about covenant, so it is more and Old Testament topic or principle." This is so far from the truth. Look at what the writer of Hebrews says when he contrasts the Old and New Covenants, "But now Jesus has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. Because finding fault with them, He says: "Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the LORD. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more." In that He says, "A new covenant," He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away." (Hebrews 8:6-13)

The Father was not establishing this New Covenant through His Son with one person or a specific group of people, but with all humanity. However, those who benefit directly from the covenant are only those who, "Confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10:9) We must also keep in mind that, "For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ." (1 Corinthians 12:12) PTL...

It takes courage and faith to walk out covenant. I believe that as we draw closer to the end of the ages, believers are going to need each other like never before. This means that we will have to accept one another in love and see our diversities as a good thing. Our hearts must be focused on Christ and the purpose of His Body on earth and most important, we must at all cost stop speaking words that offend. We must also let go of all offenses that some tend to hold on to. Finally, let us apply what the Holy Spirit spoke through the apostle Paul, "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you."  (Ephesians 4:29-32) We are in covenant with all believers. So let us activate our faith, look to Jesus and be led by the Holy Spirit in this wonderful New Covenant provided for all... 

Monday, October 12, 2020

It's Time To Exercise

A lie is define as, something that is false, untrue or meant to deceive. The apostle Paul tells us not to "be ignorant of Satan's devices, lest he should take advantage of us." (2 Corinthians 2:11) Satan's tactics have not changed from the beginning, "Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Has God indeed said..." (Genesis 3:1) Satan's greatest tactic is to twist God's Word (Truth) with the ultimate intent to keep God's Word from people. He knows that if he can keep people from the truth, they will succumb to his lies and live defeated lives. So, believers should not be ignorant of his device, but unfortunately many believers are. Listening to most sermons today, one would conclude that Satan and his gang of demons either do not exist or that they are only found in the slums of large cities. However, this thinking is quite far from the truth.

When looking at history we see a period of time that is called the Dark Ages, or the Middle Ages. The Dark Ages are defines by historians as, a period of intellectual darkness and economic regression that supposedly occurred in Europe following the collapse of the Western Roman Empire from about 500 to 1350 AD. This is very interesting to say the least. When looking at church history, it was during the Dark Ages that the hierarchy of the church disregarded the Word of God and embraced the doctrines of man. So we can assume that when or where the Word of God is absent that intellectual darkness and economic regression will be present. We may not want to admit such a claim, but the same thing is happening today. Darkness will always find its way into all sectors of humanity, including what we call the church. When the Word of God is not present or when the Word of God has been replaced with the wisdom or doctrines of man darkness is always present.

Jesus, when talking with the Jews who believed Him said this,"If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:31-32) Knowing truth and being set free from deception and lies comes by abiding in the Word. In their attempt to convince themselves that they were already free, the Jews refer to themselves, Abraham descendants. They even go as far as to say that God was their father. However, Jesus saw through the deception and their ignorance, and gets to the heart of the matter, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me." (John 8:42-45) Basically, Jesus tells the Jews that they listen to and have embraced lies, therefore are void of truth. They have bought into the deceptive lies of Satan. 

The apostle Peter warns believers to, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith..." (1 Peter 5:8-9) This epistle is to the church! Look what Peter tells the believe as to how to resist the devil. First we must be alert and always watching in the way a sentry stands his post. A sentry stands and watches being  aware that the possibility exists that an enemy may try to breach even a secure perimeter. We are also to resist the devil in the faith.or be firm in faith. In other words, believers are to resist the devils devices by believing and acting on God's Word which is what the Bible calls faith. But think about this. If one is not being taught or learning the truth, then the only path that can be followed is one of lies. There is an old saying, "You would not believe the lie if it didn't contain a little truth." However, with that said, any truth that contains a lie is still a lie. Do we see the subtle deception?

As was with Jesus and the early church, believers today are also engaged in a conflict "...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) The sooner that we realize that these forces are at work attempting to steel or twist God's Word, destroy our fellowship with the Father, and deprive us of our service which is to do the Father's will by enforcing and upholding all that Jesus did for humanity, the better our odds are that we will not fall prey to every wind of doctrine and the wisdom of man. When believers deal with the devil, they should always approach him from the position of victory and triumph. We resist him, exercise our faith, use the Word of God in the Name of Jesus and he must flee.

If you feel defeated due to circumstances such as sickness, worry, anxiety or financial struggles; If you feel that your life is hemmed in by the devil, then it is time to rise up in the mighty Name of Jesus and put the devil to flight. It's time to embrace God's Word, take your inheritance and receive deliverance from the deception and lies of the devil. Once this happens, go and set other free. Jesus said, "Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed." (John 8:36) PTL...

Monday, October 5, 2020

Activate Grace

Traditionally, "saying grace" before a meal imparts a blessing which sanctifies the meal. However, grace is much far reaching beyond simply a prayer before a meal. The definition of grace is found in Philippians 2:13 "For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure." Grace is, "the undeserved, unmerited favor of God freely given that gives one the ability and desire to do His will." Another aspect of grace is God giving us those things that we do not deserve. When we put these two together, all we can really say is, WOW.

There is nothing that a person can do or say to earn God's grace because it is a gift, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God." (Ephesians 2:8)  
"But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift." (Ephesians 4:7)
Let's face it, due to sin we deserve hell, sickness, disease and all manner of troubles, but God chooses to give us eternal life, healing, provision, and all manner of blessings through faith in Christ and His meritorious work of redemption. God chooses to give us His favor. PTL

Here is another look at grace, "And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work." (Romans 11:6) This is saying that we cannot work to obtain grace or it would no longer be grace but works based on our own merit. In a sense, grace requires absolutely nothing on the believers part except to apply faith

Even though God chooses to give us His grace, it does not just happen in the life of a believer. We receive God's grace by faith, "Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace..." (Romans 4:16) Everything that believers have can be attributed to God's grace, but we appropriate grace through faith. For instances, observe this verse again, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God." (Ephesians 2:8) God pours out His grace to save, but it only becomes activated when one applies faith. In a way, it would be like owning an automobile that is sitting in your driveway in perfect working condition, available to use with the power to take you virtually anywhere, but it is not activated until the key is placed in the ignition, the car started and put into gear. The ignition key in a sense would be faith activating the car, grace, that gives us the ability to be transported to seemingly endless destinations.

Believers will never take credit for what God does if we understand His grace. The apostle Paul says it this way, "But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me."
(1 Corinthians 15:10) Paul was completely convinced that all that he was in Christ and all that he did for Christ was by the grace of God alone. He took no credit at all for and of the things that he accomplished for Christ after he became a believer. We too should act in the same manner at all time.

The grace of God is literally divine energy that the Holy Spirit releases through faith. However, a believer can confine or squelch God's grace from flowing when they do not know His will. Remember, grace is the undeserved, unmerited favor of God freely given that gives one the ability and desire to do His will. So, if one does not know God's will as revealed in scripture then it is obvious that there will be a stifling of divine energy. For instance, many in the church today are taught to believe that what God did in the early church, such as performing miracles, signs and wonders regularly, He does not do today. Of course if you study the Bible being led by the Holy Spirit you will not find one verse of scripture that supports this erroneous teaching, unless scripture is taken out of context to mean something that man wants it to mean. What this amounts to is, God's grace being squelched because faith must be applied to activate grace, it is just that simple.

With that said, let's activate the grace that God has given to us through faith and experience the "Divine Energy" of God being released to save, heal, deliver, provide and so on. Let us no longer set aside the grace of God but grow daily in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ remembering that the Lord said, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Monday, September 28, 2020

From the Heart

The Holy Spirit reveals to the apostle Paul numerous times a person position in Christ once they are born again. There are to many to list, so here is a passage that will shed some light, "Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:4-11)

Notice that Paul uses the words dead and death to drive home a particular truth which is, the moment a person is born again, death to their old nature immediately takes place. This death in Christ is actually a new freedom which separates the believe from His old fallen nature. Paul tells us that this new life is what believers should walk in. Although the believer should walk in the newness of life, it does not mean that they will choose to do so. This new life through death in Christ has freed the believer from sin and may I add, all of the destructive nature and attributes of sin. So one should conclude, "If my old nature is dead and my new nature is that of Christ Himself, then I am truly free and the works of my old nature (the works of the flesh) have no dominion over me that I should give them place." Although this should be the obvious conclusion of Romans 6:4-11 for every believer, lets face it, it is not for most.

One of the most destructive areas that far to many Christians entertain in their life is an area that Jesus spoke of several times, "Then He (Jesus) said to the disciples, "It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, 'I repent,' you shall forgive him."  (Luke 17:1-4) Sadly, we look at a passage like this and gloss over it as though Jesus is not talking to all people, but only the disciples that He is addressing in this passage and somehow, this does not apply to me. However, if you are born again you are a disciple and yes it does applies to you.

Whether one is on the offense, speaking negative, harsh or even slanderous words towards another or if one is on the defense receiving such words and holding a grudge and unforgiveness in their heart, both are equally destructive and sinful. Most relationships are ended due to both of these destructive, carnal actions and yet most refuse to see the cancerous nature of speaking or receiving an offense. Why? Selfishness! An offense is Satan's tool which he uses to distract the believer from walking in love, which is selfless and it also prohibits the believers from bearing fruit for Christ. Look closely at the the warning that Jesus gives concerning one who brings and offense, "It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones." This should not be seen as only a warming but a sobering statement that should cause us to think properly and to choose our words carefully.

Next, Jesus gives us a command, "If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, 'I repent,' you shall forgive him." There is no addendum such as "but or if." Believers are to be a forgiving people no matter how sever an offense comes across.If one does not forgive, then they are in sin and they will experience constant torment (Matthew 18:21-35) Time does not heal the wound(s) of an offense. Ending a relationship does not heal the wound(s) of and offense. Only forgiveness from the heart can do that!

Now look at the apostles response to what Jesus was teaching concerning offenses, "And the apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith." (Luke 17:5)  It is apparent that the ability of forgiving offenses is one of the most difficult duties of the believers life because it is contrary to ones feelings. So, if one has weak faith, they will most likely fall prey to this ugly device that Satan uses against believers. This is probably why there are so many hurting believers today. They have weak faith and have either offended someone or they have accepted an offense which clearly reveals that neither truly know the love of God.

Now, let's look at Jesus' response to the apostle plea for more faith, "So the Lord said, "If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,' and it would obey you." (Luke 17:6) Although Jesus is talking to the apostle about the power of faith, faith will not avail anything if you hold on to an offense and refuse to forgive from your heart. We see that both bringing an offense and having unforgiveness due to being offended is serious business. It also reveals just how carnal and unloving believers can be.

Here are a few ways that you can examine yourself to see if you are struggling with an offense or if you have trouble controlling your thoughts or your tongue that causes you to offend another...
  • Do you have resentment towards someone else when they receive a blessing...
  • Have you taken up and holding onto someone Else's offense...
  • Do you continually think or speak negatively about someone...
  • How do you feel when you see a person who has offended you even after you have forgiven them...
  • Do you like it when someone is facing misfortune...
  • Are you quick to criticize or judge another...
  • Do you associate with people who speak negatively against others...
  • Are most of the people that you associate with those who also have been offended...   
  • Do you find yourself reminding others that you have been offended...
  • Do you struggle experiencing the joy of the Lord most days...
  • Do you feel like people are out to get you...
  • Do you have bouts with depression...
Of course the above list is not all inclusive nor do they exclude other issues that Christians may face that can manifest in these things. However, I have found one or more of these things in operation in the believers life due to offenses, whether speaking or receiving them  As long as we are in these earthen vessels, Jesus said that offenses will come, but it comes down to a matter of choice as to how we are going to respond if and when an offense comes.

 The following is some sound advice that will help believers to askew speaking and or receiving an offense. "I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;" (Deuteronomy 30:19) Choose life!!! "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers." (Ephesians 4:29) Speak life!!! "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy , meditate on these things." (Philippians 4:8) Think life!!! "...I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." (John 10:10) Enjoy life!!! Most of all, "Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you." (Ephesians 4:30-32)

 This is all accomplished through faith in Jesus Christ our Lord!!!

Monday, September 21, 2020

What's Your Confession

The Bible reveals two types of confession. One could be considered a negative confession because it deals with confessing sin, but the other would be considered a positive confession. This type of confession is affirming something that one believes, testifying of something that one knows or acting on a truth that one has embraced, "Let us hold fast the confession of our faith, the Word of God, made incarnate in Jesus Christ, without being shaken by the trials, or by the arguments of the enemy, for God who cannot lie, is faithful to give you what He has promised." (Hebrews 10:23 Paraphrased)
Notice that this type of confession deals directly with the Word of God, which makes confession a very important part of a believers life. Remember Jesus said, "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life." (John 6:63)

Our thinking should be, when we confess God’s Word that it goes beyond the natural realm into the spiritual realm to accomplish God’s will and to prosper in the thing for which it is sent, "So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it." (Isaiah 55:11) In other words, no Word of God is without power! No one can affirm, that is, testify or act on things that they do not believe, know or embrace as truth. Thank the Lord for giving us a revelation of Himself through His Word. His Word is "Living and Powerful" and as we confess His Word we are agreeing with it and not letting life circumstances have the upper hand. The believer who is constantly confessing their lack, weakness and failure is not agreeing with God's Word. Negative confession is an unconscious declaration that our heavenly Father has failed to accomplish the fullness of redemption through Christ. This type of confession destroys faith, holds people in bondage and says that the redeemed life is nothing more than a life filled with misery and disappointment.

The apostle Paul tells us, "Everywhere and in all things I have learned to be independent of my circumstances. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:12-13)
Paul could say, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” not because he was more special to God than other believers, but because he did not let Satan or the influences of the natural realm to distract or manipulate him. He relied on God’s strength and ability to work through him in every area of life. In other words, he walked by the influence of the Holy Spirit. It is apparent that he understood that "the Spirit gives life; the flesh profits nothing."

If believers look to the circumstances or the things in the natural realm rather than seeing God’s Word as Spirit and life, then the results will be a negative confession. In other words, if I confess that by His stripes I am healed, but look to the natural and do not see immediate results, then I am allowing the natural realm to have place neutralizing my confession. I might find myself saying, "well this does not work for me, I guess sickness is God’s purpose for me, God why am I not healed." This opens the door for the devil to respond with his lies and deception that causes the believer to believe him more than believing God. We must train ourselves in the fact that God is spirit, Satan is spirit and man who was made in God’s image and likeness is also spirit. Through faith, a believers confession should center around these three points; What God has worked in Christ for us…(The legal side of redemption); What God through His Word and the Holy Spirit is doing in and through us…(Vital; side of redemption); What we are to the Father in Christ…(Identification side of redemption)

This translates into such things as; Confessing first and foremost that Jesus Christ is absolute Lord of my life; Confessing that all authority is His over everything, all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come; Confessing that He is Lord over sickness, disease, poverty, Satan, sin and death; Confessing that His Word and Spirit have the preeminence in our lives; Confessing that we are God’s children and as sons and daughters we are entitled to all of His promises as heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ; Confessing  that He has given us the legal right to use the name of Jesus to enforce what He has done and to keep the devil under the believers feet.

Believers must make confession by placing faith in the integrity of God and His Word. "God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? (Numbers 23:19) "My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips." (Psalms 89:34) "He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions." (Psalms 107:20) "Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven." (Psalms 119:89) "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth." (John 17:17) "…upholding all things by the word of His power." (Hebrews 1:3) "For the word of God is living and powerful..." (Hebrews 4:12)

The devil cannot read our mind but he certainly hears our words. If our words are negative, that is, contrary to God's Word, then he will devises a deceptive plan for us to agree with him and not God. This causes many believers to live a defeated life. However, when the believer sides with God's Word and refuses to let circumstances to have control, he/she will live in victory and continuously see the salvation of the Lord, because HE IS FAITHFUL!!!

Monday, September 14, 2020

Heaven is Open

Many believers are afraid of God because they perceive Him as being austere, waiting for someone to step out of line so that He can bring punishment through various means such as sickness, disease or all manner of struggles. However, the Bible reveals God in an entirely different light, "The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering and abounding in goodness and truth." (Exodus 34:6) We sometimes forget that the most potent characteristic of God is love. This is revealed in numerous scriptures, for instance, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16) and "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)

Another characteristic of God is one of a judge, but not in a negative sense, but as a righteous judge (John 7:24, 8:16) Job reveals another interesting concept concerning God's Character, "As for the Almighty, we cannot find Him; He is excellent in power, in judgment and abundant justice; He does not oppress." (Job 37:23) Notice that God is excellent in Judgment. Isaiah reveals a very important key when it comes to addressing God with the problems that the believer may face, "Put Me in remembrance; let us contend together; state your case, that you may be acquitted." (Isaiah 43:26)

This is reflective of one trying a case in a court of law. Here God is asking His people to present their case before Him (the Judge) to see if they can be acquitted. To put Him in remembrance is to remind Him of His promises, not that He has forgotten them, but because His Word is truth (John 17:17) and it is the only thing that is worthy to bring before Him that gets a response, "I will worship toward Your holy temple, and praise Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word above all Your name." (Psalm 138:2) "Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven." (Psalm 119:89)

This very principle is what believers must do to have God move on their behalf. When we have any problem that arises we find scripture that addresses the problem and through faith, present our case before the Lord. For instance, if you have a health issue and are in need of healing you can say to the Father something like this, "Father according to your Word, "But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you." (Romans 8:11) or "who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness, by whose stripes you were healed." (1 Peter 2:24)

This puts the Father in the place where He has obligated Himself to answer our request, "And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full." (John 16:23-24) However, we must remember to ask in faith, believing that we have received the answer even though there may not be any tangible evidence. (Mark 11:23-24). James states it this way, "But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways." (James 1:6-8) We must remember when approaching the Father, "Without faith it is impossible to please God..." (Hebrews 11:6)

John records, "Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him." (1 John 5:14-15) So, if you are dealing with a problem, circumstance or situation whether large or small and need the Father's divine intervention, state your case before Him in Jesus' name and believe that you have received the petition that you have asked of Him.