Here’s Another Lemon, Lord!

lemons

(Image courtesy of freeimages.com)

Have you ever looked into your life and thought you could see nothing but lemons….hard, sour times where there seemed to be no good that could possibly come out of them? Well, I have good news for you today! God makes the BEST lemonade!

Psalm 103:6 Msg. GOD makes everything come out right; he puts victims back on their feet.

Wow! Hooray! There is redemption for all things in your life when you bring them to God!

Just look at the life of Joseph. He was 17 when he had a dream that his brothers would some day bow down before him and he would reign over them. They already hated him because he was his father’s favorite, but after hearing of his dream they hated him even more. So much so, that they were going to kill him, but instead sold him to some traveling Ismaelites and convinced his father that he had been devoured by a wild beast. This one act of hatred toward their brother set him on a course that would forever change his life as well as that of his brothers and father. For approximately 18 years his life had many ups and downs, times when he experienced much difficulty as a direct result of what seemed to be the lemons in his life. But there came a time when God said enough is enough! The time was right for Joseph’s lemons to be made into lemonade. And as a result the dream he’d had at 17 became reality when his brothers stood before him and said “Behold, we are your servants.” (Genesis 50:18) And Joseph replied to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God?” “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.” (Genesis 50:19, 20)

God will take what is meant to harm you, just like He did for Joseph, and turn it into something good; something of value that will be fruitful in your life for His glory!

Ecclesiastes 3:11 NKJV He has made everything beautiful in its time……

My friend, you may think that God can’t do anything with the failures and disappointments that you’ve experienced in your life, but don’t be disheartened. He is in the redemption business! Trust Him to change your life when you turn it all over to Him.

Psalm 103:4 NKJV Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies.

God redeems, or buys back, our failures, sin and disappointments. He places a crown on our heads of His lovingkindness, His goodness, His mercy, His salvation that makes all things new again. He is the God of restoration! Jesus died to redeem your life from destruction! Have you given Him your heart? If not, why not make today your day of salvation? Pray and invite Him into your heart; give your lemons to Him, and let Him make your life brand new!

“See Me, Says The Lord”

Yesterday in church a prophetic word came forth from the Lord that, in it’s essence, said, “see Me, says the Lord. See Me, above the circumstances of life, above the problems you may be experiencing. See Me, as the All-powerful, All-knowing, All-seeing, All-sufficient One.” This word from the Lord is still resonating in my heart this morning and as I meditated on it the Lord prompted me to look at a portion of scripture in Isaiah, chapter six.

isaiah-seraphim-coal

Isaiah 6:1-8 NKJV In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!” And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke. So I said: “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The LORD of hosts.” Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth with it, and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; Your iniquity is taken away, And your sin purged.” Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”

In thinking about this portion of scripture the first thing that I noticed was the time when Isaiah saw the Lord. It was in the year of the death of King Uzziah. My Bible commentary says that Isaiah was called to prophesy to his people during a crucial time in the history of Judah and Israel. “Both the southern and northern kingdoms had experienced a half-century of increasing prosperity and power.” The people, under the leadership of the past six kings, had succumbed to pagan worship and had fallen into serious moral and spiritual decline. It was in the year of King Uzziah’s death that Isaiah, with all the turmoil and conflict that was taking place in his country, saw the Lord in His majesty and holiness! I can only imagine the splendor of that heavenly setting!

Does this picture seem familiar to you? Do you see the correlation between that time and place during Isaiah’s prophetic calling and the time and place in which we are living in our world today? Ecclesiastes 1:9, 10 says that there is “nothing new under the sun”. “Is there anything of which it may be said, “See, this is new”? It has already been in ancient times before us.”

Isaiah, immediately upon seeing the Lord in all His splendor, was reminded of his own sinfulness, weakness and frailty. He said even the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of the Lord” and he cried out to the Lord confessing his uncleanliness.  Immediately God took care of his unclean lips by purging them with a coal taken from the altar in heaven. God is quick to forgive and remove our sin when we confess it to Him. Jesus was sacrificed on God’s altar to pay the price for our sin and when we acknowledge our weakness and frailties He immediately says, “be thou clean; you are forgiven”. Once Isaiah’s sin was dealt with he very quickly answered God’s call to service, to be the prophet called to bring the voice of God to his people.

When we see God in His glorious splendor, the One bigger than all of life’s uncertainties and problems, suddenly what we are experiencing in our own personal lives must take a back seat to His majesty. The enormity of our problems fades away as we look into His face and experience His greatness. Isaiah was forever changed in the presence of God.

Have you given God the place that He deserves, above the cares of this life? Has He called you to a life in His service that seems to be an unfathomable undertaking based on the weakness of your humanity? See Him, high and exalted, far above the mountain of your inability; see Him, the Greater One who lives within you and desires to flow through you to effect His change in your sphere of influence. See “Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)

Colossians 3:1-3 NKJV If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on this earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

When your perspective changes your walk will follow. At one point in that prophetic word yesterday the Lord said, “See Me, and your body will follow”. What we behold becomes what we walk towards. If we are beholding our problems, our cares, our insecurities, and our sin our walk will be one of negativity, depression, defeat, and discouragement. But when we see Him, we can’t help but elevate our thoughts, our vision and our walk. Isaiah, after seeing the Lord, immediately began to walk out the vision of God to speak into the hearts of his people. His walk changed, his talk became what God wanted to say through him, and hope was restored when a picture of the coming Messiah was given. Hearts were changed, beginning with his own.  Now, I believe God wants to do the same in our lives today. When we “see Him”, we will be changed!  

Hope Stealers or Hope Instillers?

Hope More

Hopeless or Hopeful?

proverbs13-12 Hopes tree of life More

Is Jesus Sleeping Through Your Storm?

Jesus Calming The Storm

Matthew 8:23-27 NKJV Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with waves. But He was asleep. Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?

Wow! This was a “suddenly” that the disciples didn’t anticipate or enjoy. Jesus had given the command in verse 18 to “depart to the other side”, but the disciples had no idea that the trip across the sea would be such a tumultuous one.

Isn’t that the way life sometimes happens? We are inspired when we hear the word of the Lord that we are going to a new level in Him, or we’ve been called to a certain ministry, or a great promise that He has spoken to us is in the birthing process and we’re excited to begin our new journey….to the other side. Then, somewhere, out of nowhere, a storm of hurricane magnitude arises and Jesus is asleep in the boat! We’re blindsided, not seeing it coming! What a time to be asleep, Jesus, right when our ship is tossing to and fro and we’re being pounded from one side and another! And we, like the disciples, cry out to Him, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!”

This story is one that all of us have had or will experience at one time or another in our brief journey through life here on planet earth. The question to us then becomes that which the Lord Jesus asked of His disciples….”Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” I’ve heard the Lord speak that question to my heart a few times in my journey to the other side. Jesus has always been in my boat and at times it seemed like He was “fast asleep”, like in a coma, and I couldn’t awaken Him. My prayers seemed like they bounced off the ceilings and I appeared to be going down for the third time, without my life jacket.

But notice that Jesus questioned His disciples about two things…..fear and faith. He first asked the question, “why are you fearful?” An acronym for “fear” according to Joyce Meyer is “False Evidence Appearing Real”. Fear often tries to carry us into the realm of the worst possible case scenario. In this case the disciples feared perishing, dying, losing all that they had and their lives as well. The definition of “perishing” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is to “become destroyed or ruined; cease to exist”. So the disciples were immediately hit with the worst thing that could possibly happen to them delivered through this storm: they would be destroyed, even to their death. It hit them hard; a blow of supernatural strength, that in their mind’s eye would ruin them. So, it is with us, when the devil brings a storm into our lives that seems to have the propensity to destroy our health, our home, our family, our marriage, our finances, our lives. FEAR – false evidence APPEARING real. That’s right, appearing real…..

The other thing Jesus addressed with His disciples was their “little faith”. The word for those two words in the Greek, according to Strong’s Concordance is oligopistos, which is taken from oligos, “small”, and pistis, “faith”. It describes a faith that lacks confidence or trust too little. Another way to describe it is an “underdeveloped faith”. It doesn’t mean outright unbelief or distrust, but simply a faith that is in the process of being strengthened and matured.

The storm that seemed to arise out of nowhere, that was fueled with what appeared to be unnatural, hurricane force winds, rain and waves, tested the faith of Jesus’ disciples. It helped to locate their trust and confidence; it uncovered a need to draw near to Jesus, to depend on His strength and ability to calm, not just the storm as it raged around them, but their innermost beings. Their faith needed developing.

This is where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. It is a time when we see our inability beside God’s ability. It causes us to look within and see our need to dig our heels in and firmly declare that our God is Lord over the storm and regardless of what it looks like to us, His presence in the midst of our storm brings a calm assurance that it will be okay.

My friends, it just takes one word from our God to totally change the atmosphere, causing the peace to come in the midst of a troubled, stormy situation. Immediately when you call on the Lord in your storm, He arises to meet your need. It may not seem like the storm is calming, but our perspective is not the same as Gods.

This morning my husband and I, being new to this area, were looking for an address. He was explaining to me that one road went on one side of the lake and the other one went on the other side. I was having difficulty picturing it in my mind so Gerald told me I should look up the map on google earth to become familiar with the area. He said it looks totally different when you are looking down on it than when you are driving around it. Immediately the Lord spoke to my heart that He sees things from a perspective far above what we see in the natural. While we are experiencing the turmoil of the storm we need to draw from His perspective above the storm.

When we set our minds on things above as we are experiencing the storms of life we are enabled to see them from a different perspective. Paul writes to the Colossians in chapter 3:2, 3: Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Yes, we will experience trouble here on this earth, but we belong to God and the as His children He has a good plan for our lives. If you are going through a storm right now, give God time to unfold the plan He has for you and to work out the details. Remember that fear and faith cannot co-exist. Rebuke the fear and feed your faith by spending time in prayer and the Word; listen to faith-filled ministers who preach God’s word of truth and power to encourage you and build you up; feed your spirit through inspiring Christian music and spend time with believers who will encourage you to stand strong until the storm is over. Believe that God is at work. He never sleeps nor slumbers and He is never late, but always right on time!

Father, I thank You for being God, for being Lord, over the storms of life.  I declare you Lord over the wind and the waves, the rain and the appearance of potential destruction.  Your name is above all names that would appear real in our lives, that of destruction that would try to come to bring ruin to our families, our homes, our health, our finances, our nation.  Father, You are God!  There is none above you nor beside You!  You reign supreme over all that we would encounter in this life.  I pray that right now You would calm the storms that are raging in people’s lives that may be reading this blog.  I speak life to all that appears to be dead; life, in Jesus’ name!  I ask You to comfort, strengthen and encourage those who are hurting and who need Your presence close to them right now.  I pray that You will reveal Yourself to them, showing Yourself strong on their behalf.  Give them new life, new health, new opportunities for success in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

What Are You Feeding Your Mind?

Strongholds

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

Faith comes by hearing what is told! Whatever you hear the most freqently is what you will place your faith in. It works in the negative as well as the positive. If you hear condemnation, negativity, doom and gloom your heart will respond with a low self esteeem, fear of failure and depression. Your actions will follow because every action is birthed through your thoughts. The primary attack of the devil, the accuser of the brethen, comes through his arrows of negative thoughts shot into your mind. That’s why God’s word says in 2 Corinthians 10:5 that we are to take every thought captive and bring it into the obedience of Christ. Brother Kenneth Hagin used to say that you can’t stop a bird from flying over your head but you can stop him from building a nest in your hair. Well, you can’t stop negative thoughts from coming into your mind, but you CAN stop them from taking root and growing there.

To have faith in God’s good plan for your life and to refute the negative thoughts that come into your mind you must arrest the negative ones and replace them with the truth of God’s word. Satan will try to set up a stronghold in your mind through repetitive thoughts. Philippians 4:8 in the Amplified Bible says that we are to “fix our minds” on good thoughts.

Many are fearful today because they are hearing the bad that is going on in the world. They then “fix their thoughts” on ISIS, fighting and unrest in the world, persecution and horrible acts of mistreatment. Then the thought comes that “what if “it happens to me? And from there fear takes root in the heart. If a person “feeds” on horror movies those will be the thoughts that constantly come up in the subconscious mind. Many of the horrible acts of mass shootings are the acts of children’s minds that have fed on video games and T.V. shows where those things, or like things, are the focus. They are simply acting out what they have focused on through their young lives.

God has a good plan for each person’s life. In order to experience it you must have faith in the “good” that He has planned for you and “refute” the negative thoughts that go against His word about you and for you. The only way that can happen is by “hearing” and “hearing” the word of God and listening to His voice through prayer and Bible study. If you hear His voice though His word and by His Spirit and then confess the good news of His Gospel over your life you will evetually change or “renew” your mind so that the negative isn’t what you are believing and expecting to happen in your life. Focus on God’s word, not what is happening around you!

Father, I thank You for the good plan that You have for our lives.  I thank You that we can guard our hearts through listenting to Your voice and even though their are bad things happening in our world we can have security in knowing that Your word says that You give Your angels charge over us to guard us and keep us in all our ways when we make You our refuge.  Father, I ask You to help us to build our faith in Your word so the enemy can’t set up a stronghold of fear in our hearts and minds.  Remind us to feed on Your word, to builld our faith that You will protect us from the evil one that only comes to steal, kill and destroy.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen

Almost A Full Week….

It’s been almost a week since we pulled into the RV Park that has been our home base here in Asheville, North Carolina. Today we have been cleaning and rearranging things in the RV to make it more comfortable as a full time “home on wheels”. This is a new experience for us and I feel a little like Abram must have felt when the Lord spoke to him to move from his home in Haran to wherever He was taking him.

Genesis 12:1 AMP NOW [in Haran] the Lord said to Abram, Go for yourself [for your own advantage] away from your country, from your relatives and your father’s house, to the land that I will show you.

Verse 8 From there he pulled up [his tent pegs] and departed to the mountain on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord. 9 Abram journeyed on, still going toward the South (the Negeb).

Since we sold our home and moved into an RV full time it has been a learning experience; one of faith and at times a little bit of uncertainty. There are new things to see and new challenges to overcome. Our mail is being sent to a mail forwarding service in South Dakota and will be sent to us at our request when we arrive at a destination that allows for the amount of time it takes to send the mail. If we enjoy this lifestyle and want to stay out on the road we will establish a South Dakota residency to accommodate our needs for voting and vehicle registration, licensing and insuring.

Just as Abram learned to trust God one step at a time in his journey to parts unknown so I am learning as I go. This is a new season in our lives and as is typical for all new experiences, faith is required. My husband is more of an “edge walker” than me so my faith is probably more challenged than his. I tend to enjoy a life of security and stability. Thus, a home on wheels with family no where near, has been a little bit of a challenge for me at times. But when fear comes calling I dig my heels in deep and rest in the peace that comes from the Lord and, as I spend time in His word, my faith is strengthened. Just as Abram had to leave his place of comfort so we have left home, family and friends to move forward into the next phase of life for us. Our final destination is unknown; we have some areas of consideration and know that as we seek God’s will our path will be shown to us.

Hebrews 11:8-10 AMP [Urged on] by faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and went forth to a place which he was destined to receive as an inheritance; and he went, although he did not know or trouble his mind about here he was to go. [Prompted] by faith he dwelt as a temporary resident in the land which was designated in the promise [of God, though he was like a stranger] in a strange country, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs with him of the same promise. For he was [waiting expectantly and confidently] looking forward to the city which has fixed and firm foundations, whose Architect and Builder is God.

So, as Abraham, we are dwelling temporarily in a fifth wheel in parts of the country that are unfamiliar to us but that we are privileged to see and enjoy. We are “temporary residents” here, prompted by faith and looking forward with expectation and confidence for the city and home that God has prepared for us and will lead us to.

To Every Destination There Is A Journey

Father, I thank You for the opportunity to make this journey of faith!  I look to You for Your guidance and leadership as we move forward into the unknown.  I pray that as we encounter those along the way that need Your salvation, a touch from You or and encouraging word that we will be quick to speak at Your direction; to be Your hands and feet and mouthpiece.  I thank You in advance for Your protection and provision.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen 

What Do You Do……?

Dog on faith

What do you do when your faith waivers? Here are a few of the things I do:

  1. I look to Jesus. Hebrews 1:3 says that He is the exact representation of the the Father. Jesus told His disciples that if they had seen Him they had seen the Father (John 14:9), so when we look at the ministry of Jesus we can see the Will of God in action. Jesus Himself said in John 5:19: Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.” Every time Jesus healed, forgave sin, delivered a person from demonic oppression or provided for a need it was because in His Spirit He saw His Father doing those things. He even said in John 15:30: “I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.” So He said what He heard His Father saying and He acted on the vision of His Father as He did the work. Jesus is the Word of God in action!
  2. I visualize Jesus handling the problems of the people: delivering, healing, meeting needs, offering love, forgiveness and encouragement; teaching, preaching and healing.Matthew 4:23-24 NKJV And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. Then His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed them.

    Acts 10:38 NKJV “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

    To the woman who was condemned, being caught in adultery, Jesus offered forgiveness and freedom from sin: John 8:10-11 NKJV When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”

    To those who were hungry and didn’t have food Jesus took the lunch of a small boy and multiplied it to feed five thousand: John 6:8-11 NKJV One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, bu what are they among so many?” Then Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and like-wise of the fish, as much as they wanted.

    To Peter who needed money to pay taxes Jesus said this: Matthew 17:27 NKJV “Nevertheless, lest we offend them, go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the fish that comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money; take that and give it to them for Me and you.”

  3. I listen to His words to His disciples and see them as His words to me:Luke 17:5, 6 NKJV And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our 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 5:4, 5 NKJV When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.”

    Matthew 21:22 NKJV “And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

  4. I set myself in agreement with His Word to believe and not doubt:Mark 11:22-24 NKJV So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”

    Matthew 19:26 NKJV But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

    Mark 9:23 NKJV Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”

    John 20:29 NKJV Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

  5. In the presence of fear I listen as Jesus speaks words of faith to me!Luke 8:49, 50 NKJV While He was still speaking, someone came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, “Your daughter is dead. Do not trouble the Teacher.” But when Jesus heart it, He answered him, saying, “Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well.”
  6. I stand in faith believing that what He has promised He will do!Luke 22:31, 32 NKJV And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan as asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. “But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”

    Hebrews 13:8 NKJV Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

  7. I look forward to the manifestation of His promises to me:Hebrews 10:35-38 NKJV Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward, For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: “For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him.” But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.

    2 Corinthians 1:19, 20 NKJV For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me, Silvanus, and Timothy—was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes. For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.

  8. I pray in the Spirit to build my faith:Jude 20 NKJV But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit,

    1 Corinthians 14:4 NKJV He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the Church.

  9. I pattern my life after those such as Abraham who is known as the “Father of faith”:Romans 4:20, 21 NKJV He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.

Is your faith wavering? If so, maybe these suggestions will help to settle you and establish you so you can stand strong believing that your faith is what John was talking about in 1 John 5:4 when he said that your faith is the victory that overcomes the world! YOUR faith is overcoming faith! YOUR faith brings victory! YOUR faith pleases God! YOUR faith moves mountains! YOUR faith carries you through! Don’t give up your faith!

Father, I thank You that when I am weak, You are strong and that as I pray, believe and set my heart to receive what You have promised I can be assured that You will do it and I will see what I am believing You for. Thank You for showing me the evidence of Your will in action through the life of Jesus Christ as He ministered to the hurting people of His day. I thank You that He is still the same, even though He is not walking in the physical sense in our world today but that He lives through His Spirit in the hearts and lives of Your people and He is still ministering forgiveness, healing, deliverance and provision for people today! I thank You for showing us Your goodness through the ministry of Jesus Christ and for demonstrating Your great love for us through His crucifixion that we might have an opportunity through faith in Him to be born into Your family. I pray that those who are weak in faith will be encouraged today. I pray that those who are unbelieving will become believers in Christ Jesus today! I pray that those who are wavering in their faith will be strengthened as they apply these principles to their lives. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

The Spirit of Faith…

2 Corinthians 4 13

II Corinthians 4:13 AMP Yet we have the same spirit of faith as he had who wrote, I have believed, and therefore have I spoken. We too believe, and therefore we speak.

The day that we had long awaited was finally here. It was the birth of my third grandson, Samuel Josiah. He was named after two Old Testament figures, the prophet Samuel and a godly king, Josiah, and I just knew God had a special plan for his life. My daughter-in-law had experienced difficulty carrying each of her babies to full term pregnancies so we were excited in knowing that one more baby had arrived at the proper time. But our jubilation over his birth was suddenly shattered when the doctor informed us that little Josiah’s lungs were not fully developed and his body was not getting the oxygen it needed to sustain his life. He would have to be transported immediately to the infant intensive care unit at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. It was then that we began our battle in prayer for his survival. An alert went out to everyone I knew that would agree with me in prayer for his recovery. I prayed and believed God for his healing but then I would hear the doctor’s report and when someone would ask me how he was doing I would relay to them what the doctors had said. One day as I was reading the Word and praying for Josiah the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and said “you need to align the confession of your mouth with what you are believing in your heart”. He took me to Romans 10:8-10 which says:

But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

It was at that point that God revealed to me that the same biblical principle that secured my salvation in receiving Jesus as my Savior, by believing in my heart and confessing that with my mouth, would apply to this situation with Josiah. That if I believed that God would heal him then my confession about the situation needed to be speaking the promise of God and not the negative doctor’s report. So I began to proclaim that Josiah was healed by the stripes of Jesus and that he would not die, but live to declare the works of God. (Psalm 118:17) From that point on when people would ask me how he was doing I focused my response more on the Word of God and what we believed for than the medical report.

One day shortly thereafter my son called at 3:00 a.m. to say that Josiah had another complication; he was now jaundiced and required a bili light over him to rid his body of the jaundice. The doctor had given them yet another bad report and said he didn’t know when Josiah would be released from the hospital. So as I got in my car to make the two-hour drive to the hospital I began praying in the Spirit in that heavenly language that I had received when I was baptized in the Holy Ghost. As I prayed a holy anger rose up within me towards the enemy in thinking that he was trying to steal my grandson’s life. I began to take authority over his plan to steal, kill and destroy Josiah’s life. Then I praised the Lord for the healing work that He was doing in Josiah’s body. I spent that two hours spiritually fighting through prayer for Josiah and when I got to the hospital I found that the situation had totally changed. The jaundice was completely gone; he was no longer on oxygen; he was fully dressed and sleeping contentedly in a regular crib! Praise the LORD! Josiah was released from the hospital the following day. Today Josiah is healthy and active with no sign or symptom of a lung problem! I praise God for His faithfulness in hearing and answering my prayers!

We all have faith challenges in our lives. This was one of many that I have experienced. I have found that God is faithful to keep His word and when He gives me a rhema word, a Spirit-breathed word, a scripture that comes alive within me when I read it, that He intends for me to stand on that word, believe it as truth that will work in my situation right now, and confess it until I see the manifestation of it in my life. That means I must stand strong in faith believing that God, Who is the faithful One, will do what He has promised.

Paul said it this way in 1 Timothy 6:12: NKJV Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

As believers in Christ Jesus, we are in a faith fight! Every challenge that comes our way is an opportunity to overcome through God’s word, His grace, His Spirit and our confession of faith. We are to “lay hold” on “eternal life”, the abundant life that God has given us through the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. To “lay hold” indicates to me that someone is out there trying to pull God’s promise of that abundant life from me and I am to fight through faith for what He has given me. Jesus described that “someone” as the thief who comes to steal, kill, and destroy. (John 10:10) As Josiah’s grandmother I went into that faith battle for him. He was a helpless baby who needed someone to stand in the gap through prayer to fight for his right to experience the abundant life that Jesus died to give him. My job was to pray, seek God’s word that would work in his situation, and confess the truth that He had given me!

Hebrews 3:1 says that Christ Jesus is the High Priest of our confession. The High Priest stood before God on behalf of the people as an intercessor for them. Today Christ Jesus is taking our stance before God on our behalf confessing that we are children of God, cleansed of our sins and free to come boldly before His throne to receive the mercy and grace that we need to help in our time of need. He is confessing the truth about us! Our part is to align our mouths with His word so our High Priest can take that confession before God’s throne on our behalf.  What are you confessing that you want our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to take before the throne of God on your behalf?

Father, I thank You that I have a High Priest, Jesus Christ, who stands before You on my behalf. I thank You that when I align my heart and mouth with the truth of God’s word that my confession becomes a faith confession based on Your word and I thank You for manifesting Your promises in my life as I place my trust in You. I give You praise today for the victory that I have as a believer in Christ Jesus! Thank You for loving me, for saving me and for filling me with Your precious Spirit that I might overcome the battles of life through Your power. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Grace, Grace!!

God's grace

Zechariah 4:6, 7 AMP Then he said to me, This [addition of the bowl to the candlestick, causing it to yield a ceaseless supply of oil from the olive trees] is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit [of Whom the oil is a symbol], says the Lord of hosts. For who are you, O great mountain [of human obstacles]? Before Zerubbabel [who with Joshua had led the return of the exiles from Babylon and was undertaking the rebuilding of the temple, before him] you shall become a plain [a mere molehill]! And he shall bring forth the finishing gable stone [of the new temple] with loud shoutings of the people, crying, Grace, grace to it!

Is there an obstacle in your life that seems like a mountain that is impossible to climb or cross over? God gave Zerubbabel the answer to an impossible situation in his life by telling him that it is not by human might nor power, but by the power of the Holy Spirit that he would accomplish it.

There is a ceaseless supply of the Holy Spirit ready to assist you in that impossibility! Jesus said He is our Helper! Just as the angel instructed Zerubbabel so we are instructed to draw on the presence and power of God’s Spirit when we encounter mountain sized challenges in our lives. It is by God’s grace, through our faith, that we receive the empowerment of the Holy Spirit to overcome. His grace is there for us!

In Hebrews 10:29 the Holy Spirit is called the “Spirit of grace”. One of the definitions of “grace” is God’s unlimited power to do in us what we cannot do in and of ourselves. When we draw on the Spirit of grace we are receiving the help that we need in proportion to the need itself. Philippians 4:19 says that “my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus”. “According to” in that verse means “in a manner consistent with”. The manner in which God supplies our need is according to or in a manner consistent with His riches in glory coming by our connection with Jesus Christ through faith in Him. God never runs short or experiences lack in His riches in glory! There is an abundance to supply every need that you and I have in this life as well as in our future eternity.

The angel told Zerubbabel that it was by his hands the foundation of the temple had been laid and it would be by his hands it would be finished. But the power for the work would come through the Holy Spirit for it is “Not my might, nor by power, but by My Spirit” said the Lord.

In our lives we often look for miraculous ways to accomplish what God intends for us to do by His Spirit. Some of us try to accomplish things under our own power without consulting the Holy Spirit for His help and some of us want every challenge to be miraculously removed so we don’t have to “go through” any inconvenience or work on our part. But God has a part to play in our lives and we have a part to play. He will not do our part and we cannot do His. In Zerubbabel’s situation there was a work that needed to be done; the work of rebuilding God’s temple. God sent an angel to tell him that the work would be done through the power of His Spirit as Zerubbabel applied himself to do it. God sent the message that He would help Zerubbabel accomplish the work and that, in essence, the physical aspect would be done by Zerubbabel. The way that he would know it was the Lord speaking these things through the angel was by finishing the work. He wouldn’t know the power that was available to him until he drew on it to accomplish the task at hand.

Verse 10: NKJV “For who has despised the day of small things? For these seven rejoice to see The plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. They are the eyes of the LORD, Which scan throughout the whole earth.”

Are you drawing from the power of the Holy Spirit in your own challenges? Sometimes it seems like you’re not making much progress in overcoming the enormity of the task, but God wants you to see the small steps as progress. As the old saying goes, “how do you eat an elephant?….one bite at a time”, just keep walking forward in the knowledge of what God has asked you to do and count every forward step as a victory! You may not be able to see the finish line, but it’s out there. The Bible records in Hebrews 12:2 that Jesus endured the cross by looking at the joy that was set before Him. He looked far enough into eternity future to see that the victory was in paying the price for all mankind to have an opportunity to know Him as Savior and Lord so He endured the process to gain the prize! He drew on the “grace”, the power of the Holy Spirit within Him to go the distance to finish the race!

My friend, you may not understand what you are going through right now, but if you will depend on the Lord, you will win the fight and carry home the prize that awaits you at the finish line. Do not give up or give in to discouragement, but draw on the power of the Holy Spirit within you to climb the mountain and you will find the mountain has turned into a molehill! Speak God’s grace over your life and declare the power of the Holy Spirit is present to help you! Lift up your head and walk with a positive attitude towards your victory!

May God’s grace and peace be evident in your life today!

Father, I thank You for the power of the Holy Spirit to help us accomplish the mountain sized obstacles in this life. I thank You for granting us the victory through Your limitless supply! May all who read this know and experience today the power of Your Spirit through a living and vital relationship with Jesus Christ. For those who have never surrendered their hearts and lives to You I pray that this will be their day of salvation. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

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