Thursday, August 2, 2007
"Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
Our Enemy has blinded us (the Body of Christ) to the movement of GOD. Why and how has he done this? The 'Why' can be explained this way ... if we cannot see our enemy how can we resist him? Our Enemy has diminished the desire for us to know GOD's will. And, how do we know GOD's will? By being in relationship with HIM. So, here's the 'How' ... our Enemy entices us to seek pleasure and avoid pain. In James 1 we read that we will suffer trials in our life as Christ-Followers. And, through the trials we grow in perseverence. How many of us enjoy the trials? I know I don't. But, it is through the trials that GOD teaches us to hear HIS voice, to know HIS will, and to see HIS movement in the Spirit. Later in James 1 it says that we are to ask for wisdom from GOD. When we ask for wisdom what does HE give us? I challenge you now in what I believe GOD is saying ... when we ask for wisdom HE give us more trials. We get more wisdom by practicing discernment (Hebrews 5:14). So, when we ask for wisdom GOD gives us more 'practice'. It is in the trials that we learn we need HIM, and by needing HIM we lean on HIM (Proverbs 3: 4-6), and by leaning on HIM we submit. And, as we submit GOD sharpens our discernment (seeing). And, what is discernment? My pastor says it is knowing where GOD is and where GOD is not. By seeing/discerning we can be in GOD's will, and we can see and 'resist' the devil.
SUBMIT ... SEE ... RESIST ... To GOD's Glory.
Saturday, July 7, 2007
Imagine yourself in a large room. Four walls, a ceiling, a floor. Imagine this room is your spirit. You live your life, day-by-day, making choices and decisions. Loving, hating, sharing, stealing, building up, tearing down ...
Your room is full of your choices. From beginning to end. Boxes of envy & jealousy reside in one area of your room. In another are cabinets full of lust, complacency, and impure thoughts. Elsewhere are buckets full of hatred, prejudice and smugness. Every corner, every space, every wall, all the floor is cluttered with your choices and their consequences. These are the choices you have made 'reacting' to your situations in your life. Your room is crowed with them. Your spirit is full of them. It is as if you cannot breath, you cannot think clearly. They press against you. Your judgement, your reasoning, your ability to discern are anemic. There is no peace, just stuff. Stuff taking up space in your spirit.
This space taking stuff calls out to you "See what you have done!", "Look at me. You are no good.", "You failed.", "Give up.", "GOD will not forgive you this time."
Our spirits, yours and mine, need cleaning. I agree I'm stating the obvious here. But, I mean real cleaning. The kind that says, "No more!". We can do this. Not in our own power. But, through Christ's power & authority.
Pray ... Father God, in the Name of your Son, Jesus. In HIS name that is above all names, I come against the stuff that is cluttering my spirit now (name each e.g, 'lust','complacency', etc.) and I say leave and go to the feet of Jesus. Father-God establish your peace in my life. I long to hear Your voice. Now refresh my spirit with your Holy Spirit. Pour into me what I am lacking.
Now, the room is clean. Wide open space. Let's fill it with the Fruit of the Spirit.
Monday, July 2, 2007
15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
7 Reach down your hand from on high;
deliver me and rescue me
from the mighty waters ...
In the midst of battle you have fallen. Your cohorts do not see you in your desperate state. They are too involved with fighting their own fight. Your wounds are severe. You cannot get up. Your enemy, crouching, sees your vulnerability ... approaches. You cry out ... "Help me, someone!" Your enemy's bow is taunt ... flaming arrow ready to pierce. All around you are the sounds of chaos and confusion. "Lord, rescue me!". Just then a rider appears. White horse, rider with crown, sword drawn, eyes fixed on you. Your Rescuer rides hard and fast and puts out his hand ... "Fear not, I AM here." You, once a warrior in battle ... now damsel in need of rescue. In a moment you are on the white horse. From here the battle is not lost. You have been delievered by the King.
Erwin McManus was asked by someone once, "Why Jesus? Why him alone?"
To which Erwin replied. "Because no one else is coming for you."
Saturday, June 30, 2007
Deuteronomy 1:28-31 (NIV) "Where can we go? Our brothers have made us lose heart. They say, 'The people are stronger and taller than we are; the cities are large, with walls up to the sky. We even saw the Anakites there,'" Then I said to you, "Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. The LORD your GOD, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the desert. There you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place."
When a child, who is barely three feet tall, sees the world around him ... from his vantage point everything is terrifying. But, when the child is picked up and placed on his father's shoulders the child gains a new understanding of his surroundings. Those that seemed like giants are not so big after all. 'What was I afraid of?' Also, the child can 'see' much farther from the shoulders of his father. The child's line of sight is much better. He can preceive the far horizon and feel at peace that he is in a safe place. What safer place is there?
Moses sent the spies out into Canaan to do reconnaissance and report back. Through the spies eyes (except Joshua & Caleb) and at their level of understanding what they saw was terrifying. Giants and high walled fortified cities. How could they overcome them? They could not. Not without the LORD their God. Moses reminded the spooked Israelites of how GOD had rescued them from their slave masters in Egypt, and how HE had 'carried them' like a father carries his son thru the desert leading to Canaan.
Have we asked Our Father to carry us on HIS shoulders?
Friday, June 29, 2007
There were rumors in heaven
On the eve of the pageant.
The stench of which filled
The hallways and passages
With hints of defiance and rebellion.
The hot wheeze of one deceitful
Whose heart was consumed by the fire of envy
Scorched the ears of fading angels
Until the rebellious ranks of heaven
There was war in heaven.
The host and the Almighty
Responded with volleys of
Superior thunder and
Purged the accursed ones
From their reign.
There was rule in hell
By one deceitful.
Sweltering in anger and fury
Again with fist raised he cried out
But his cry fell short
Never again to be heared
By one Almighty.
Godly wisdom is practical discernment.
It begins with an awe and reverence for HIM ...
which leads to right living ...
and results in an increased ability to tell right from wrong ...
It moves us from being self-centered to being GOD-centered.
It aligns our desires with HIS will.
It enables us to make wise decisions in difficult circumstances.
It helps us hear HIS voice even amongst the clanging call of the world.
We 'be' with HIM, instead of 'doing' things for HIM.
It leads us on our journey to HIS heart.
And, that is where HE desires us to 'be'.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Surrender: to yield ownership, to relinquish control to another.
1. What does it mean to surrender to GOD?
2. Why do we need to surrender to GOD?
3. Man’s first opportunity to surrender failed.
8Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9And the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
1Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
2The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
4“You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5“For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves
4. What are the consequences of not surrendering to GOD?
15See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.
17But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, 18I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.
19This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob
5. What are the blessing/benefits of surrendering to GOD?
11For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
29He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint
6. How does one surrender to GOD?
7Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double–minded. 9Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
7. Why is surrendering to GOD a key to discernment?
1Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.
7. Jesus’ models surrender for us.
42“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”