Your Deliverance is in Your Praise

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(2 Chronicles 20:1-25)

Speaking victory in every situation, is a learned habit.

Does it feel like at times in your life that everything is going wrong? Does it ever feel like life is caving in on you? Are you overwhelmed with your circumstances?

I’ve been there as many of you are there now, but Our God has the answer before you ever had the problem.

Such was the case with Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles chapter 20. (verse 1) It happened after that (after Jehoshaphat had removed the idols in Jerusalem) the people of Moab with the people of Ammon, and others with them besides the Ammonites, came to battle against Jehoshaphat.

They were surrounded by a problem that seemed to have no way out. They were out numbered; this decision would have national consequences; it was coming all at the same time from all around. There was a sense of helplessness and hopelessness.

Sometimes our problems start to mount; it can be your health; sometimes its in our finances; sometimes its in a relationship; it can be in our career; and sometimes its an addiction. You can’t seem to find a way out. The enemy comes and viciously attacks our peace either on one front or the other. When you’ve been fighting for a while, your strength gets depleted.

But Jehoshaphat gives us a principle for victory.

First, Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to seek the Lord (verse 3). Here’s what he said in verse 12 – “O God, will You not judge them? For we have no power (in our own strength) against this great multitude that is coming against us, nor do we know what to do, our eyes are upon You.”

We will always know when God wants our un-divided attention because no one else will be able to fix the problem. You will be desperate for a miracle that can only come from God. We need heaven because earth has turned bad towards us.

This leads Jehoshaphat to a prayer, verses 5-9 – Prayer is an invitation in heaven to address something going wrong on earth. Its calling on eternity to visit time.

The prayer – 2 Chronicles 20:6-9 – and said: “O Lord God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You? (verse 7) “Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever? (verse 8) “And they dwell in it, and have built You a sanctuary in it for Your name, saying, (verse 9) ‘If disaster comes upon us, such as the sword, judgment, pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this temple and in Your presence, and cry out to You in our affliction, and You will hear and save.’

Jehoshaphat reminds God of who He is and then reminds God of what He’s said, and then tells God the problem. Did you catch that? Let God know you know who He is and what His Word says. God will allow us to hold Him hostage to His Word. God you said…However, if you don’t know God’s word than you cannot hold Him hostage to it. God’s Word is more than just a little Bible study. He gave us His Word to use. He needs to hear you speak what He has said.

Too many, when asking God for something only want it so they can work independent of Him. That won’t work.

Back in chapter 19, Jehoshaphat had cleaned up Jerusalem, so when he went before God he knew he had a right heart. If people are not willing to address their sin, then they may not be heard. Submission to Him and His ways, comes to mind. You can’t be asking for answered prayer and just continue in a sinful lifestyle. That’s harsh, but true.

We move from a problem to prayer which leads to a prophet.

The prophet came and gave a Rhema Word.

Graphe – is the written word, scripture, the Book.

Logos – is the meaning of what is written, the contents of the writing, what it says and what it means.

Rhema Word – is the Utterance, speaking of it.

The prophet came to Jehoshaphat with such a word for that specific situation. God’s Spirit will give you your word for guidance, for at that moment. It’s a word that comes to you for that particular situation. That’s why your discernment needs to be developed. God can use anyone or anything to get you that word. You need to be sensitive to the spirit.

So the prophet tells Jehoshaphat in verse 17 – ‘You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem! ‘Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you.

There will be battles that we will have to fight, but never alone. And there will be battles where God will tell you to stand back, because that one is His.

Now watch what happens: (verse 18) and Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem bowed before the Lord worshiping Him.

Problems come, then we pray, then God will send His Rhema Word, then we worship Him, and then we Praise Him, because the answer is on its way! Our problem is never a surprise to Him.

When they had all bowed in worship, verse 18 says, they rose to praise the Lord with shouts and loud voices.

Praise is the visible verbal expression of my worship. There is such a thing as silent worship, but there is not such a thing as silent praise. Praise must be audible. Psalm 22:3, God inhabits the praises of His people. Isaiah 60:18 – He dwells in the gates of praise. Psalm 50:23 – It is your praise that God brings about your deliverance. Your deliverance is in your mouth!

We need to praise Him even in the bad times. This is called the sacrifice of praise (Hebrews 13:15). Why? Because when those times come when we don’t feel like praising, it is a sacrifice to lift our arms and open our mouth, but your deliverance is in that praise.

This is what happened when God’s people started praising Him, He confused the enemy and they were defeated. Let God hear your praise today and stand back and see what He will do in your situation! Our God is bigger than any problem we will ever have.

Rule and Reign

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Do you know that as a Christian, we are to rule the world that God has placed us in? Your world, not another’s. We have the responsibility and the authority to rule on God’s behalf, the things in our world.

So what does it look like when we’re ruling God’s way? Too many Christians have given up their rights to rule. How? They let their circumstances, people, problems, and challenges,  call the shots to their world. Too often we lose sight of our spiritual authority.

In Genesis chapter one, God shows His creative genius through the creation of the world, by the Word. God spoke and it was so, over and over, and it was good. On the sixth day, in verse 26, He said “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness: let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle , over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

Now don’t miss this, because the image in which He created is very important: (verse 27) So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. And then He did this: (verse 28) Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

God spoke it, God created , and then God blessed them. Elohim is the first name used for God in the Old Testament and it means plural in form. God is plural in nature – the trinity – 3 persons, all equal, distinct in personality, yet One in essence. Father, Son, Holy Spirit.

Let us make man in our image and likeness and let him rule, have dominion. God, Son, and Holy Spirit made man, and turned the ruler-ship over to him, Adam.

Don’t misunderstand, God never gave up His ownership, but He placed dominion in man’s hands. Think of it like this: You own a business, you have a manager in charge. He can choose to do things the way you want them or he can destroy what you have built and you’ll give the responsibility to someone you can trust.

In the same way, God accepts our decisions we make whether we choose to include Him in them or not. It’s called freewill. This authority that we have is so important, that at times God waits on us before He will act. If you truly want what God wants for your life, you have to spend time in His presence and in His Word. Please don’t ever think that you are not significant in God’s plan, because each person has an abundant life He wants to give them. Don’t be discouraged about the preparation time either. If you’re not ready and you step out of His timing, it could all fall apart.

Look what Psalm 115:16 says, “The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s; but the earth He has given to the children of men.” We are not to let circumstances and the enemy rule over us. We are to use His Word to call those things that be not as though they were (Romans 4:17)!

Let me show you something else that proves what I’m saying: Whenever God wanted to do something on earth, He had to find a person. He didn’t just come down and do it. He found somebody through whom to do it. He creates Adam; He finds Noah; He locates  Abraham; He finds Moses; He raised up judges; He identified prophets; He anointed kings, and when things got really bad He became a “Man, the Lord Jesus Christ!”

Satan doesn’t want you to know this, but he lost his chance to shut me up over 25 years ago! Satan doesn’t want us to rule over anything that God has created. He wants us to go through life never believing that God loves us. He wants to steal your confidence in God so you won’t trust Him. Satan wants to kill, steal and destroy anything that God brings to life.

We do not rule without God. 2 Corinthians 6:1 says, We then, as workers together with Him… God provides the Spirit, because we have His image, man provides the physical, because we live in a physical realm. So the way God gets His Spiritual (His will) done, is through a being that has both physical and spirit – that’s us!

What the enemy has done, is cause us to separate the two  – Spiritual on Sunday and physical on Monday. That’s not how we were created to operate. We were made in God’s image with His Spirit living on the inside of every believer.

Please don’t misunderstand this ruling spiritually. Adam wasn’t to rule the whole earth just his garden. It was man-kind to rule the whole earth. That’s why God said be fruitful and  multiply. So everybody has a garden that they are supposed to be ruling for the Kingdom of God. A ruler-ship of God that is to be manifested in it. Satan’s job is to disrupt and destroy so that we become the tail and not the head. Too often when life gets really tough, people forget whom they belong to. Encourage yourself and remind yourself daily that you belong to the Most High God!

This ruler-ship is never to be apart from God’s image. In everything done, it is to be done the way God wants it and with Him.

Waiting on the Lord does not mean inactivity. This simply means – “Don’t go outside of God to get it done!” Are we going to make mistakes, sure, but don’t give up. God did not create any quitters. I never gave up and I have been through a lot of “Donkey Dung!” Waiting on God means using God’s methods, God’s direction, and His timing to get it done. When we do it His way, then the Lord blesses it.

Blessed – enjoying and extending the goodness of God. A blessing is when God resources your calling – when God provides what is needed to get the job done. The full-blown blessing is when you have enough left over to fulfill others needs. (Remember Abraham was blessed to be a blessing) When God blesses us there will be an overflow to bless somebody else.

Here’s the beauty of all this: God will supply everything needed for the world He wants you to rule. And then you become blessed to be a blessing. We never cross over into another’s world to rule it. We concentrate on the assignment that He gave us as an individual. The hardest obstacle you will have is believing what He said, He will do. Speak His Word, out loud, by faith; decree a thing, and He will do it. Say what He says about you!

We all have a choice to make – Either rule and reign in life according to Christ who gave us that life, or go outside and fail. It’s our freedom of choice. In His likeness we rule and reign.

 

Spiritual Covering and Authority

God created everything to have order. Genesis 1:1 – In the beginning…He also designed a covering; a covering for marriage and a covering for the church. What’s even more amazing, He designed authority for man.

This order and authority got switched around in the Garden of Eden when Satan tempted Eve. God had spoken to Adam, not Eve, not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil or you shall surely die (Genesis 2:17).

Adam disobeyed, his (help mate) wife,  listened to Satan and Adam’s world became cursed.

Satan is not only the father of lies, he also likes confusion and getting things out of God’s divine order. He will do this in a marriage; in the home; on the job; in a church service; and in relationships. His goal is to cause division. He knows whatever he can divide, he can control and then destroy it. When Satan brings deception and confusion into a situation, he can create disorder which brings lawlessness and a loss of blessings and loss of spiritual authority.

The Apostle Paul wrote about this in 1 Corinthians 11:16 – But if anyone seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor do the churches of God.

The key to understanding this is found in 1 Corinthians 11, starting at verse 3: But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.

Paul is speaking to the Christians at Corinth about ordinances. These following verse are about our spiritual covering and authority.

Every Christian man is under the headship of Christ. When Christ walked on this earth as a man, He was under the authority of God. He said several times, “Not my will be done, but Thine will be done.” Under the headship of God, He provided, protected, and guided.

Christian men are to be the headship of the household, meaning, they are to follow under the authority of Christ.

When husbands complain that their wives aren’t submitting, they need to look at their actions; are they submitting to Christ, because if they are, they will treat their wives according to how Christ treats the church!

There is to be no unisex. Nowhere in the Bible do the husband and wife switch roles. A woman is under their husband’s covering for provision, protection, and guidance. That is God’s divine order.

In the Garden, Satan went straight to Eve and Eve listened to him, and then she went to Adam and told him to “eat” (Genesis 3:6)! When divine headship was broken, authority was lost, for a while.

God’s divine order does not change with time or culture. We don’t dismiss the parts of God’s Word that we don’t like.

This next section is concerning the church and why things have to be aligned in order to receive the blessing and favor of God. I realize some will not like this but these next scriptures have nothing to do with the time of history we live in or our culture.

1 Timothy 2:11-14 – Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. (Verse 12) And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be silent. Why? Because of verses 13 and 14. (Verse 13) For Adam was formed first, then Eve. (Verse 14) And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.

Now, before you start arguing in your mind with scripture, let me explain. You have to understand what covering and divine order is.

A woman cannot be the final authority in the church so she cannot be a pastor over men. Can she teach? Yes, because she is either under her husband whom is under Christ, or if she is single, she is under the covering of her pastor. The pastor gives the permission for her to teach with his covering.

The gifts of the Spirit are not gender based though. Women were used throughout the Bible, so if a woman has the gift of prophecy, that includes teaching. If a woman speaks in tongues in a service, she is under the covering of the pastor. That means she has protection and permission.

Now, let me cover another small area concerning the church.

Paul wrote to the church at Corinth because the women had taken their speaking out loud, to the level of disrupting the teaching. Not only can women disrupt if they don’t know about divine order or covering, but this can happen with men also.

Christ is the head of the church, then comes the pastor. He is the one that has the final authority of which direction the service will go. God will speak through that pastor because He has anointed him to preach the gospel. We as Christians look to our pastors for guidance from the Lord.

However, when someone voices their opinion in the midst of a service and says I believe the Lord wants us to so and so, that is clearly out of divine order. Since God has put that pastor in as the final authority, don’t you think God would tell the Head Pastor what direction to take instead of someone sitting in the congregation?

When things stay in alignment, you will see miracles, blessings and favor. This divine order is to be in every aspect of our lives. God doesn’t bless confusion and He’s not the author of it.

The Pit

Joseph in the pit

This is a teaching from Pastor Robert Morris and this is what I got out of it.

We all have a dream from God that will lead us into our destiny. If you don’t pursue it, you will just have the dream. There is usually one main reason that stops people from fulfilling their destiny – character.

Does your character support the destiny? We have to be developed with a responsible character in order to carry that destiny.

We are going to look at Joseph. He had a dream from God at 17, but didn’t step into the dream until age 30, and didn’t fulfill it until he was 40. This was a process that he had to pass – character tests.

Ask yourself this question: What is it in my character that God is trying to shape so I can have the destiny He has ordained for me?

Genesis 37:13 – And Israel (Jacob) said to Joseph, “Are not your brothers feeding the flock in Shechem? Come, I will send you to them.” So he said to him, “Here I am.” (Verse 14) Then he said to him, “Please go and see if it is well with your brothers and well with the flocks, and bring back word to me.” So he sent him out of the Valley of Hebron, and he went to Shechem. (Verse 15) Now a certain man found him (Joseph), and there he was, wandering in the field. And the man asked him, saying, “What are you seeking?” (Verse 16) So he said, “I am seeking my brothers. Please tell me where they are feeding their flocks.” (Verse 17) And the man said, “They have departed from here, for I heard them say, ‘Let us go to Dothan.’” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them in Dothan. (Verse 18) Now when they saw him afar off, even before he came near them, they conspired against him to kill him. (Verse 19) Then they said to one another, “Look, this dreamer is coming!” (Verse 20) “Come therefore, let us now kill him and cast him into some pit; and we shall say, ‘some wild beast has devoured him.’ We shall see what will become of his dreams!’” (Verse 21) But Reuben heard it, (Reuben was the first-born, oldest) and he delivered him out of their hands, and said, “Let us not kill him.” (Verse 22) And Reuben said to them, “Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit which is in the wilderness, and do not lay a hand on him” –that he might deliver him out of their hands and bring him back to his father. (Remember this verse) (Verse 23) So it came to pass, when Joseph had come to his brothers, that they stripped Joseph of his tunic, the tunic of many colors that was on him. (Verse 24) Then they took him and cast him into a pit. And the pit was empty; there was no water in it.

Notice the Bible says, “A certain man found him,” in verse 15 (Joseph). He was just wondering in a field, probably daydreaming. Remember, he’s only 17.

 Getting Out of the Pit

There are 3 things to keep in mind when we go through a pit test.

1 – The position of the pit.

2 – What is the perception of God’s view? What is your perspective of the situation?

3 – The purpose of the pit.

The position of the pit: In other words; what brought you to this position of the pit in the first place? Did we do something that attributed to us getting in this position? This is not condemning ourselves, its soul-searching. A lot of time when we go through difficulties, we blame someone else. We will never get past it if we don’t get over what was done to us by someone else. It’s not someone’s fault, it’s how we respond to what was done. It’s our response to the pit.

So why did his brothers hate Joseph in the first place? Joseph was 17 years old, so why was he not out in the fields with his older brothers tending the flocks with them? Verse 18 says that his brothers saw him afar off. How did they know it was him? Because he was wearing that “Braggie coat of many colors.” They spotted him a mile off in the coat his father had made him.

Jealousy will rise from others when our Father’s favor is on us. Joseph was proud of his gift from his father and showed it off every chance he got. I imaging he never took it off. He had also had a dream where his brothers were told they bowed down to Joseph. People don’t want to hear about you being promoted or elevated while they stay in the same place.

Here is the question that we need to ask ourselves: Do I tell every one of the gifts I have? Have you ever been around someone who, no matter the conversation, likes to slip in, “I have the gift of…?” I have, and it was annoying. She kept telling me, “I have the gift of healing.” I was thinking, “Then why have I never seen you use it?” The giver is more important than the gift. We shouldn’t put our identity in the gift. So, don’t go around bragging about your coat of many colors. This pride thing is what got Joseph in trouble.

Because of Joseph’s pride and arrogance of also telling his brothers about his dream where they bow down to him, he lost that precious coat after being thrown in a pit. Joseph lost his gift. The father didn’t take it back, he lost it. I’ve seen misters of huge congregations lose that ministry because of lack of integrity. They lost it, God didn’t take it. It was because of lack in their character. A spirit of pride got on them.

Not everyone has a gift that they brag about, but each one of us has to examine how and why we got into the pit in the first place and start from there to get out.

The good news is: Whatever we lose through foolishness, we can get back after we truly repent – change.

If you follow the story, Joseph ended up with as many coats as he could possibly have wanted. And, perhaps Jacob never threw the original coat away. It’s not about the coat. It’s about Joseph getting to have a relationship with his father again.

What is our perspective of the pit? What is God’s perspective of the pit?

Every time we are in a pit, the accuser of the brethren shows up – Satan. He will show up and begin to condemn you and accuse you. And yes, Satan talks through people.

Satan wants to condemn you. There is a huge difference between condemnation and conviction.

Conviction is specific. Conviction says, “You did this and this, and this is why you are in this pit and so with God’s help, we start fixing it.

Condemnation from Satan is general. Satan tells you, “You’ll never accomplish this; God can’t use you; you’re a failure.

God never condemns. Condemnation is always from the enemy. John 3:17 – “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

The enemy is a liar. There is no truth in him. If Satan is talking, he’s lying. The lie that Jacob believed that Joseph was dead didn’t come from the brothers, it came from his own thoughts. Satan put those thoughts there through the evidence of the coat with blood on it. Read the verses, 32, and 33. The brothers had discussed telling Jacob that a wild beast had devoured Joseph but when they came to him they only showed Jacob the coat with blood on it and asked, “Is this your son’s coat?” See how easy the enemy slips in? Oh, he will show you evidence that what you think is true. Jacob thought for 22 years Joseph was dead. The sad thing is the brothers knew he had been sold as a slave and wasn’t really dead. That’s the hardness of sin.

The purpose of every pit is to get us to cry out to God. We can’t get out on our own. We cannot do anything without God. If we do, it just won’t work out! Every breath we breathe comes from God all Mighty.

When we first get in the pit, do we rehearse how bad someone treated us? We tell God all the things that happened because of the blame game. It may take us a while to conclude, “I can’t do this by myself,” and if the pit continues, we admit we brought on a lot of it. I know. This is me, been there, done that!

Being in a pit, will change your life, if you are totally honest with yourself. Genesis 37:22 – And Reuben said to them, “Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit which is in the wilderness, and do not lay a hand on him” – that he might deliver him out of their hands and bring him back to his father.

The purpose of every pit is to deliver us and bring us back to the Father. To set us free from anything that holds us in bondage and bring us to a closer relationship with the father – Jesus Christ!

Remember: You will come out! There’s victory in Jesus if you cry out to Him!

Jesus Paid it All

victory in Jesus

1 John 2:2 – And He (Jesus) Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for our sins only but also for the whole world.

If Christ paid for the entire world’s sin, and He did, then why is everyone not saved?

God made the payment, in full, for every person’s sin, in Jesus Christ, but all have not received that payment.

Each individual must appropriate by faith what God has already provided by grace in order for it to take effect in their life.

(This may be elementary for some, but I have many readers from different backgrounds and walks of life. This may be the only time they may hear about our great God. My purpose is to reach them all.)

Ephesians 2:8 – By grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.

Titus 2:11 – The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.

Grace is what God has done for us independent of us. Jesus paid for the sins of the whole world – He paid it all!

So the next time you doubt whether or not, dear Christian or unsaved for that matter, that God will hear your prayer for salvation, remember this: Because you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, He took all your wrongs (sin) you have done and will ever do, upon Himself at the cross on Calvary and gave you His righteousness, you are worthy to have right standing with God All Mighty. He hears the lost cry out to be saved and He hears every prayer uttered by His children that are covered in His Son’s blood.

So, no more doubting of whether or not you can go to Jesus for whatever is on your heart. The Bible says He delivers us out of all our troubles (Psalm 34:19; 54:7; 50:15). God loves you and loved you enough to give His only begotten Son that we might have life! Pray on, children! Amen

Heaven or Hell?

victory in Jesus

Contrary to what some might think, people don’t go to hell because of their sin. If they did, which one or how many sins would you have to commit, to go there? Hell was created for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:42). It is not God’s will that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9). People choose hell because of rejecting the One who paid the price for their sin – unbelief.

What I’ve discovered talking to the lost and un-churched is this: They have never had the Gospel explained to them to let them know that all their sin can be forgiven through faith in Jesus Christ. We can never assume that everyone knows or has heard the true message of grace. Most of the time, their mindsets are that they have done too many wrongs for God to forgive them.

However, when you start to tell them about the “Living Christ” who died and rose again and took all their sin away, if they only believe, they start to listen. I tell them, “God is not out to get you. He is not mad at you. He only wants to love you.” That’s the part that makes them start to think of how could God every forgive them after what all they’ve done. Jesus says in John 14:6 that, “I am the way, the  truth, and the life; no man cometh to the Father, but by Me.

Every single person has a choice to make whether or not to receive what has already been paid for. So why does not everyone choose Christ? It could be several different reasons, but maybe the biggest reason is because of how a person that calls themselves a Christian has treated them and then because of them not knowing Christ, they think He is like them.

I think another huge reason is that no one has ever told them about a loving God that sent His only begotten Son to die on a cross and take all the punishment for man-kinds sin. We Christians have a responsibility to show others by using our hands to help; our feet to go to them, and the words we speak, to let others know everything has already been paid for, so why not except the gift of Jesus. They have to know of God’s goodness because, God’s goodness will lead them to repentance.

What Makes Something Legalistic?

victory in Jesus

If we study the Bible, witness to those who don’t know Christ, give tithes, pray, and help others, what makes something legalistic?

Motives for doing or not doing something is huge when it comes to doing all these things. Example: Two people are witnessing to others about Jesus Christ. The one does it because the Bibles says we are to be a witness. This person does this out of obligation and to please God. The other knows they are already accepted by God through Jesus Christ and want to tell others of God’s amazing grace, out of love. So we have two people doing the same outwardly activity. The first under law – obligation – to be right with God. The second person – under grace because they know they are already accepted and have a deep desire to see others have the same relationship with Christ.

One is out of the spirit because they truly want to see the other person’s life changed and the other out of the flesh, with no anointing of the spoken word because they feel they have to do it to please God. When our motives are from the spirit, we have no bragging rights. It’s all done for His glory.

Law is always self-effort. Example: Lets take two people again; the first is saying all the right Biblical churchy talk. They imitate what they have heard other church goers say, raise their hands in church, even quote scripture, but they will not teach others about grace because they don’t believe it themselves. They more or less feel it is their job to tell others all the things they should not be doing, while they themselves may still be doing them. They are afraid to let the Holy Spirit do His job in themselves and others.

Here is what the Bible says: According to Titus 2:11-13, (11) For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. (12) teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, (13) looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.

So, grace and love of God are the true motivators for the Christian life, not my opinion, but according to the Bible.

I think one of the most frustrating emotions a Christian can have is to not know how to “walk by the spirit”, when we are trying to do everything right in order to be pleasing to others and to get God’s approval.

To understand “walking in the spirit,” we can’t forget the most import foundation; God’s love for man-kind, enough to send Christ, to take all our due punishment. Christ said on the cross, “It is finished.” His work is complete forgiveness, reconciliation, and total acceptance through His blood that was shed=love. Our motives for doing or not doing will be out of love, for others, because Christ first loved us. When we grasp a hold of that enormous love that Christ had, has, and forever will have for us, we begin to walk in our every day lives by His Spirit He has placed in every believer. A genuine concern for others will begin to transform on the inside and will spill out in our actions.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 describes what we, as Christians, will have on the inside, coming out towards others through Christ. (Verse 4) Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; (Verse 5) does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; (Verse 6) does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in truth; (Verse 7) bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (Verse 8) Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.

This kind of love is not a feeling. It is shown by our actions.

So if ever in doubt as to whether or not you are walking by the spirit or doing things out of the flesh, check your motives. Is it out of love, or is it out of some fleshly gain, obligation, or rule someone has placed on you or to get credit? I think we all could use a daily reminder of what the scripture describes in 1 Corinthians, what love truly is, then we can get our motives right for why we do what we do. We love, because He first loved us!

Why was the Law Given in the First Place?

victory in Jesus

While there were some general purposes of the Law of Moses, such as providing civil laws, without which no society can function, its most important purpose relates to leading men to salvation.

The Law defines sin. Romans 4:15 says, “…because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.”

You can’t break a law if there isn’t one – Romans 5:13, “For until the law, sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.”

The law convicts men of their guilt and need for salvation. In other words: The major purpose for which God gave the law, was so man would see his lost condition so he would be prepared to accept the Savior, Jesus Christ.

Romans 3:19, 20 – For we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. (verse 20) Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

That is called, “Sin conscience.” The intention of the law was never to make a person right with God, all it does is declare a standard and condemn a person to failure. It showed mans sin, but couldn’t wash it away. According to the Law there were no “grey areas” of, “I almost did it.”

That’s why our worth and value to God can not be judged by our performance, because He demands perfection. James 2:10 says, “For whoever shall keep the whole law and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.”

Paul said it like this in Galatians 3:10 – “For as many as are of the works (doing, to get right before God) of the law are under a curse; for it is written, cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” One failure would bring a person under a curse. Paul was only referring to what was written. In Jesus ministry teaching He gave the spiritual meaning behind the law.

Jesus was talking to generational Jews who thought they were ok just because they hadn’t murdered anyone. However, Jesus magnified the inner heart of the law’s demands: “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgement.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment (Matthew 5:21, 22).”

Jesus had the same meaning with adultery in Matthew 5:27, 28 – You have heard that it was said, “Do not commit adultery.” But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Jesus went much further than what was written. It was all, “a matter of the heart.”

Jesus basically was telling them, “If you want to be accepted by God, based on your own merits, you have to be perfect inward and outwards – (Matthew 5:48).”

These Jews had to realize first, that they couldn’t keep all the law the way it was intended. That’s why there had to be sacrifices.

So here is what it says in Galatians 3:23, 24: But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. (verse 24) Therefore, the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.  

The law’s purpose was to drive us to Christ, the perfect sacrifice. Galatians 3:25 – “Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.” You are no longer under the curse when your faith is in Jesus Christ!

For those who are “In Christ,” are under a “New Covenant.” So remember, the law is the law with a penalty attached. However, right is still right and wrong is still wrong, because that is a reflection of God’s character. God doesn’t change. Under the law the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23); but now that you believe, Romans 8:1, comes into effect; “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.”

Under law, man works in order to be accepted by God, but we can never achieve it. Under grace, which is a gift from God, through faith in His Son Jesus, through the Once and for all time sacrifice, we are accepted by God!

That’s why Law and grace cannot be mixed. You can’t tell people they are saved by grace and then go back to the Law and tell them to start following it also. God writes His laws on our hearts. We know from our conscience when we are wrong. Law and grace are opposing principles. When we mingle the two, law is robbed of its terror and condemnation; grace is robbed of its freedom and joy. We end up with a grey no-mans-land. Neither can produce that which it was created.

Romans 10:4 – “For Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”

We Are complete In Him

victory in Jesus

Colossians 2:9, 10 – For in Him dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily; (Verse 10) and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.

The Bible says we are complete in Him, but does that make us a mature Christian? Not quite. We are forgiven, redeemed, made spiritually alive, and we stand in the righteousness of Christ, totally accepted, but are we perfectly mature yet? That won’t happen until the day of resurrection, when we receive new bodies to go with the resurrected spirits we already possess. However, don’t be discouraged.

We are a work in progress. We are all under construction. Some are further along than others. That’s why we should be patient with other Christians. Here’s what God says about that though: Philippians 1:6 – being confident of this very thing, that He who begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.

So, even though we are under construction, God sees us already there – complete. That’s good news!

We need to remind ourselves who God says we are, not what the whisperer says. We are citizens of heaven. We are dead to sin and made alive through Jesus Christ, our new identity. We will make it, in every area!

So what’s the practical power of our new identity?

Our spirit becomes new when we are born-again, but we still think and do the same dumb things we used to do. The Bible says for us not to be conformed to the pattern of the world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2). This renewing of our minds is a life-long process. Where the mind goes, the body will follow. In other words; we get our thinking right by the Word of God, we will start to do right.

Once our thinking lines up in agreement with God’s Word, we will begin to see our true identity.

Victory

victory in Jesus

God calls us out of darkness into light; He calls us into ministry; He calls us into business; He calls us into government; He calls us into our purpose for the kingdom. What has He called you out of, into?

The first thing you will hear is His voice and that voice will lead you to your vision. That vision will create images. Faith will rise up with a Word from God. Until Abraham received, a picture of what God had been saying he didn’t have faith to believe. Faith came when Abraham saw what God was saying. Your faith is the vision of God. Abraham heard it with his ears, but the reality of his faith didn’t come until he saw it in his mind. Isaac came as the result of that vision, voice, vision, valor, victory. Valor is the courage that is necessary for all the opposition that will come in the midst of trying to birth the vision.

 

It’s not going to come easy. Every time God gives you a vision there will be stumbling blocks, potholes, and a whole sea of problems. We learn to get above sea level. That’s why we won’t be able to do it based on what we can see with the natural eyes.

Victory will come if you don’t throw in the towel. You never quit or give up. Perseverance unto victory: When someone tells you that they have victory in whatever, it means they have had a struggle, fight, challenge, or test. It means they have been engaged in warfare.

If you are ever going to birth what God gives you, you are going to go through “Hell and high water!” Satan doesn’t want us to finish what God has called us to. So get ready for the fight of your life.

The enemy will put your back up against a wall and make it look like there is no way out! “Don’t ever cry uncle!” If you quit, your enemy will win by default. So, perseverance is the steady persistence in adhering to a course of action, belief, and purpose.

Believing is never giving up. That’s why we never give up on God because God is faithful to fulfill what He has called you to.

For instance, God has placed gifts and talents inside each of us. What have you given up on? No matter how long it takes to see results, never quit.

This comes into praying for someone to be saved also. I had one person that never stopped praying for me to come back to the Lord after I had strayed, and they prayed for years. We both got the victory on that one! If God’s called you to be an intercessor, then don’t ever stop praying for that person until you see the results that you and God want. We show what we believe in, by what we continue to fight for.

Victory is the outer working of your inner identity as a victor not a victim. Your outlook will determine your outcome.

A victor is one who defeats an adversary, winner in a fight. But, a victim is one who is harmed or made to suffer from an action or circumstance. Don’t be a victim, be an over comer. We have to stop blaming this and that because of our circumstances, rise above it.

Practically every person who is a victor started out as victim. Someone or something harmed them and they rose above it. It caused them to fight for what they believed in. That one word that takes you from victim to victor is “perspective.” It’s how you look at the situation, which will determine your outcome.

Do you remember, Joshua and Caleb? They had a different outlook of taking what God had promised and they received it. The rest didn’t. All of them saw the same thing but they determined it different based on how they saw themselves. The other 10 spies saw themselves as grasshoppers. If you see yourself as small and unable to accomplish, then you won’t.

We don’t’ hang out with other victims. I’m not saying don’t help. However, we want to be around those who have overcome because it will encourage us to do the  same.

What you feed your focus on, will manifest in your life, so feed that victory not the victim mentality. We are well able to go up and possess the land! Look at the reward, not the risk, that’s what it means to step out in faith. Look at how big the grapes are you are going to get, not the giants you are going to fight.

You might not see it when it first comes, but you are going to help and feed a lot more people when the vision comes to pass. What God gives is always bigger than what we first see.

Don’t ever let someone talk you out of your vision. When you have a passion for something that you know in your knower, keep going. An entire generation didn’t get to go into the promise land because they let 10 men talk them out of it. Those that aren’t with you it is because they don’t understand, move on. God will place people in your life that will be there to encourage and help you.

Put Jesus in the center of everything in our lives and He will cause us to be triumphant in all things, always.

Every test every trial, put Jesus in the center and He will bring it to pass!

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