WHY?

Why

Habakkuk 1:2 NKJV O LORD, how long shall I cry, And You will not hear? Even cry out to You, “Violence!” And You will not save.

 

Habakkuk was distressed over the condition of his country. He had questions that seemed to go unanswered; prayers that seemed to be ignored by God and he was perplexed by what he saw going on around him.

 

How many of us have experienced similar feelings? We look around us and see turmoil, chaos, destruction and heartache and it seems that our prayers are lost out there in space somewhere. It’s easy to get caught up in the hopelessness of what we see happening in our world today, but as Habakkuk soon found out, God had not forgotten His people, nor had He ignored their prayers.

 

Chapter one is devoted to Habakkuk’s questions and God’s response, but in chapter two we see Habakkuk humbling himself before his God ready to listen and be corrected by God’s response.

 

Habakkuk 2:1 I will stand my watch And set myself on the rampart, And watch to see what He will say to me, And what I will answer when I am corrected.

 

Habakkuk determined in his heart that he would position himself to hear from God and that with his eyes of faith he would watch for God’s movement in his world around him. He knew his perspective of God was incorrect because he stated that he would wait and listen and answer God when he was corrected. Habakkuk knew that God was bigger than any turmoil he could see going on around him and surely there was something that he was missing in what God was doing. He needed an attitude adjustment!

 

There are times in our lives, as well, when we just don’t seem to “get it”; we don’t understand what God is doing when there is so much pain going on in our lives and the lives of those around us. We simply take what rolls down the pike and believe that that is God’s will for us when He really want’s us to connect with Him and understand His ways and walk by our faith in Him. So, Habakkuk listened and God replied.

Habakkuk 2 2-4

Habakkuk 2:2, 3 Then the LORD answered me and said: “Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry.

 

God said, Habakkuk, be sure you write down what I am saying to you and showing you about what is taking place in your world today. Because if you, as a prophet of God, have these questions about who I am and what I am doing, then the general population have them too. You are my spokesperson to give hope and encouragement to your people. When you see My hand at work and write it down so others can take it an run with it as well.

 

Proverbs 29:18 says that where there is no vision the people perish. The New King James Version says that where there is no revelation, or prophetic vision, the people cast off restraint. When people have no direction and feel that there is no hope they flounder around with no direction, simply trying to make it through each day as best as they can. But God has a better plan for our lives. He doesn’t want us to be overcome by the heartache of what is happening in our lives, because as He tells us in Habakkuk 2:2-4 things will change.

Habakkuk 2 4

Habakkuk 2:4 “Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in Him; But the just shall live by his faith.”

 

A prideful person cannot walk in God’s ways. 1 Peter 5:5 says that God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Humility before God acknowledges His lordship over life. Those who are “just” have humbled themselves to receive God’s salvation through the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. We are made right or “just” by our faith in Him as Savior and Lord. Just as it takes faith to trust God for salvation through receiving Jesus as Savior and Lord so it takes faith to live every day walking with Him. Many times the things that happen in our world are a result of prideful ways of living. People choose to live by their own standards and not God’s.

 

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

 

In God’s economy, it takes faith in Him, trust in His ways, and acknowledging Him as first place in our lives to live uprightly before Him. Even though God shares with Habakkuk that things will change and not always be the same, there is a responsibility that the people of God have in seeing change come into their lives. It takes faith to please God and those who believe that He is and is a rewarder of them who diligently seek Him will see the good plan of God unfold in their lives. The heartache and pain will not endure forever. There is a new day coming!

 

When you look at that phrase “shall live” it is the Hebrew word chayah and is defined as to live, to stay alive, be preserved; to flourish, to enjoy life; to live in happiness; to breathe, be alive, be animated, recover health, live continuously. The fundamental idea is “to live and breath”, breathing being the evidence of life in the Hebrew concept. This present reference to the just living by faith is one of the giant pillars of faith and is referred to several times in the New Testament. It literally reads, “The righteous person in or by his faithfulness (firmness, consistency, belief, faith, steadfastness) shall live!”

 

In essence you could read the last half of verse 4 as “the just shall live, stay alive, be preserved, flourish, enjoy life, live in happiness, breath, be alive, be animated, recover health and live continuously by their faith.” It takes faith to live; it takes faith to breathe; it takes faith to recover your health; it takes faith to live continuously. There is no way that a person can successfully live by faith when their focus is on the waves of what is happening around them.

 

Mark 11:22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God.”

 

Faith has a focus and it is not on the bad things that are happening to you or around you. Faith’s focus is on God. He doesn’t ask us to understand everything; He just expects us to have faith in Him.

 

Faith – Greek word pistis means conviction, confidence, trust, belief, reliance, trustworthiness, and persuasion. In the New Testament setting, pistis is the divinely implanted principle of inward confidence, assurance, trust, and reliability in God and all that He says.

 

Looking at this meaning of faith, the just would then live by their conviction about God, their confidence in God’s ability to change their lives, their trust in God’s goodness, their belief in His willingness to do for them what His word promises, their reliance on Him in all things, their understanding of His trustworthiness, and their persuasion that God will perform what He says in His word for His word is His will.

 

Faith’s focus can be thwarted when the person looks at the waves of life’s storms raging around him. Faith’s focus then turns to fear. Fear is faith in the devil’s ability to harm you where faith is trust in God’s ability to save you.

 

When Jesus’ disciples were going through a severe storm on the lake as they were crossing over to the other side, they cried out for Jesus to save them. He arose and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. Then He said to His disciples, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” (Mark 4:40) It is clearly evident here that faith was needed to calm the stormy sea and bring peace into their lives. They were moved by their fear to cry out to Jesus when He expected them to live by their faith in speaking to the storm and commanding it to be still.

 

Once Habakkuk heard from God his attitude immediately changed and by the end of the book this is his response to those things that were going on around him that caused him so much distress:

 

Habakkuk 3:17-19 Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls—Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The LORD God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, And He will make me walk in my high hills.

 

All of a sudden the bad things happening around him took on a different light. He saw them through the glory of his God. He was able to say that regardless of the negative destruction that I might see or experience I will rejoice in the Lord! I will joy in the God my salvation because He is my strength. He makes me walk above the storms that are going on around me. He equips me for victory and gives me the agility that I need to maneuver through the potholes of life!

 

Paul said it like this in Acts 20:24 when speaking of the bad things that happened in his life: “But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”

 

None of these things move me! Paul was focused on what God was doing in and through him more than he was focused on the persecution that he was experiencing as a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ. His faith was firmly secured in the trustworthiness of his God and his focus was on finishing his race, living his life by faith in God, not in fear of what could happen to him along the way.

 

What storm is it in your life that has stolen your faith in God’s ability to change things for you? Has your eye of faith been deterred away from God and onto your problems. God loves you and has a good plan for your life. Will you listen to His words of love and encouragement and turn off the voice of the enemy that speaks of failure and defeat? The just shall live by his faith!

 

Father, I thank You that even though there is turmoil all around us that You have a plan for good for our lives. I pray this morning for those who may have lost their faith and have turned their eyes to the waves of the storm instead of the One who calms the storms. Father, I ask You to show them that You are working in their lives bringing restoration from all that the enemy has stolen from them. I pray that they will be encouraged and their faith renewed as they read of Your faithfulness through your word. I pray that those who may be around them speaking life into their lives will have more effect on them than the experiences of negativity that they are currently under. Father, You have placed Your people as the head and not the tail. You have said that You would make them to be above and not beneath their circumstances. Father, I pray that You will once again show them what they need to do to cooperate with the good plan that You have for their lives. Maybe they need to humble themselves before You and repent of the doubt and unbelief they have had in You. Or Father, could it be that they have grown weary in standing and fighting the good fight of faith? I pray that You will refresh them and give them renewed hope in You. Father, You know what needs to be done in each life. I pray that Your goodness will lead men to repentance as you have stated in Your word. Father, I pray as Habakkuk prayed that You would revive Your work in the midst of our years! Do again in the hearts of people what You have done in years past and bring salvation, deliverance, healing and restoration to them. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Father’s Love Letter

The Father heart of God is so loving and tender towards His creation. And yet so many don’t understand or receive His love. This video and letter have been such a blessing to me. We all need to understand the love that our heavenly Father has for us. I pray that you will be blessed through it as well!

Father, I thank You for the great love that You have for us. I thank You for proving that love when You gave the very best that heaven had to offer in the crucifixion of Your Son, Jesus, that we might be bought back from the kingdom of darkness that ruled over us in our disobedience. Father, I thank You that even though we were spiritually dead in our sin that You made us alive through the blood of Christ Jesus. Father, there was no way that we could earn our salvation so You paid the price through the sacrifice of Your Son that we might have an opportunity to be Your children through accepting Him personally as our own Savior and Lord. Thank You for giving Jesus for me personally that I might know You and be able to live eternally in Your presence in heaven. I praise You for the work that You did on my behalf on that old rugged cross, Lord Jesus, and I proclaim You as My Savior and My Lord. I pray that as people read this love letter, Father, that they will see the great love that You have for them and if they don’t know You, will place their trust in Jesus as their own personal Savior and Lord as well and come into the family of God. I pray that those who may not understand Your love will draw close to You that You might lavish it on them and that they would see that You are not angry with them, but that You love them so deeply and completely that they could not possibly ever do anything that would shatter the love that You have for them. Thank You, Father! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

You are special

Fruit Or Gifts?

2 Corinthians 5 17

II Corinthians 5:17 AMP Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!

 

There’s something special that takes place in a person’s spirit when Jesus comes to be their own personal Savior and Lord. The Bible says they become a new creature; their old previous moral and spiritual condition becomes new and fresh. The heart of that person that was previously spiritually dead now becomes alive. We call that act of rebirth as regeneration.

 

Titus 3:5 AMP He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but because of His own pity and mercy, by [th] cleansing [bath] of the new birth (regeneration) and renewing of the Holy Spirit.

 

It is in that moment of acceptance of what Jesus did on our behalf in payment of the penalty for our sin that we become “born again”; born of the Spirit, and regenerated into a new creation in Christ Jesus. Spiritually we become a new person. We look the same on the outside, but the heart is changed. Our spirits are then indwelt by the Spirit of God; the Holy Spirit who comes to live within that person.

 

Regeneration – Reproduction; the act of producing anew. In theology, new birth by the grace of God; that change by which the will and natural enmity of man to God and his law are subdued, and a principle of supreme love to God and his law, or holy affections, are implanted in the heart. (definition from Noah Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language)

 

When the Holy Spirit comes to live within us He brings His fruit, His character and nature with Him. We are now indwelt by God’s Spirit and so our DNA, so to speak, is changed. We now have the DNA of our Father, God.

 

What is DNA? It is deoxyribonucleic acid, or better known as DNA. We all know that elephants only give birth to little elephants, giraffes to giraffes, dogs to dogs and so on for every type of living creature. But why is this so?

 

The answer lies in a molecule called deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), which contains the biological instructions that make each species unique. DNA, along with the instructions it contains, is passed from adult organisms to their offspring during reproduction.

According to God’s Word when we become new creations in Christ Jesus our spiritual DNA is changed. We have now been born of God’s Spirit and His DNA flows through our veins as it did in the original creation of man in the Garden of Eden.

Genesis 1:27 AMP So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them.

When sin entered the heart of man the spiritual nature of man in relation to God changed. The human nature, or the soul, became the driving force in man’s decision making process. He no longer could commune spiritually with His God as he had done before sin entered his heart. Spiritually he was considered dead. But that changes and he becomes alive spiritually when he receives Jesus as Savior and Lord. The channel of communication is once again established and the spirit of man is quickened or made alive. Now he can relate spirit to Spirit through the indwelling of God’s Spirit within him.

So, the Holy Spirit, when He comes to indwell man’s reborn spirit, brings with Him His fruit, or His character and nature, the fruit of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:22, 23 AMP But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge].

Once regeneration takes place the Holy Spirit begins working to change the character and nature of the person that has received Jesus as Savior and Lord. Even though at salvation, or the initial moment that a person is changed spiritually to become a new creation, the process of changing the character and nature of that person is worked out as a process. We are being changed from faith to faith and from glory to glory as the Holy Spirit works on our character development.

2 Corinthians 3:18 AMP And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit.

The Holy Spirit works in us to change our character and nature to match the Lord’s when He comes to live within us.

The gifts of the Spirit are totally different. They have nothing to do with a person’s character and nature; they are endowments for service. The Holy Spirit gives gifts as He wills to do the work of ministry and are given to build up or edify the church. They are described in 1 Corinthians 12 and 14. Love as discussed in 1 Corinthians 13 is what makes the gifts of God’s Spirit work. I like to think of the love chapter and it’s description in 1 Corinthians 13 as the mortar that holds the bricks of God’s gifts together. Without love, which is a “fruit”, or character and nature of God’s Spirit, we cannot function properly in displaying the “gifts”, or endowments of the Spirit even though He may give us with one. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are given as they are needed for the work of ministry in ministering to people in need.

1 Corinthians 12 1

1 Corinthians 12:1; 4 AMP NOW ABOUT the spiritual gifts (the special endowments of supernatural energy), brethren, I do not want you to be misinformed. Now there are distinctive varieties and distributions of endowments (gifts, extraordinary powers distinguishing certain Christians, due to the power of divine grace operating in their souls by the Holy Spirit) and they vary, but the [Holy] Spirit remains the same.

Gifts – Greek word charisma. Strong’s #5486. Related to other words derived from the root char. Char is joy, cheerfulness, delight. Charis is grace, goodwill, undeserved favor. Charisma is a gift of grace, a free gift, divine gratuity, spiritual endowment, miraculous faculty. It is especially used to designate the gifts of the Spirit.

The “gifts” of the Spirit and the “fruit” of the Spirit are two totally different things. The “fruit” speaks of our character and nature development and the “gifts” speak of special endowments for service that the Holy Spirit gives during times of need in people’s lives.

1 Corinthians 12:8-10 describes the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We will not go into them today, but verse 11 tells us how they are distributed.

1 Corinthians 12:11 AMP All these [gifts, achievements, abilities] are inspired and brought to pass by one and the same [Holy] Spirit, Who apportions to each person individually [exactly] as He chooses.

The gifts of the Spirit are given to a person as He chooses, not as we choose. They are His special endowments and He knows who needs to manifest that particular gift at that particular time. He gives them as He sees the need. The fruit of the Holy Spirit, on the other hand, is resident within the believer and is developed through time and experiences. We are molded into the character and nature of Jesus as we live day by day under the direction and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Our character and nature is changed as we yield to the work that He does within us. The gifts that He gives for service are given at special times when needed to manifest His power to supernaturally change a person according to their need at that moment.

The “fruit” and the “gifts” are often viewed as one in the same, but they are different. Growth is a process and God’s Spirit works in each one of us to develop and change us into the image of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. We are changed over a period of time. The gifts of His Spirit come upon a person for supernatural use. One, then we see as happening over a period of time and one instantaneously through the manifestation of His Spirit. It is important that we know the difference because we sometimes become disappointed that people who accept Jesus into their hearts do not immediately exhibit the change that has taken place in their spirits. We expect them to immediately be totally different. They are changed spiritually immediately but the manifestation of that regeneration within them takes time as the Holy Spirit develops His character and nature within them.

Philippians 1:6 AMP And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.

The Holy Spirit is always at work in each one of us working to develop us into the image of Jesus. Don’t become disappointed when you do not see a complete change immediately as it is a work in progress. He’s still working on you and me!

Father, I thank You for the process of change that You work in each one of us as we yield to Your Spirit within us. I pray that we each will cooperate with His power to change us into the image of Jesus. Father, I pray, also, that we will yield to Your Spirit as He desires to endow us with His gifts for the work of ministry. I pray that we will be ready to receive that gift when He sees the need for its use. Only You, Lord, know what needs to be given for the needs of the people around us. Father, I thank You that You are ever changing us and working through the situations around us to perfect Your work in each one of us, to Your honor and glory. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Love Crucified, Arose!

Love crucified, Arose! Love, Jesus Christ in the flesh, was crucified and arose to life once again, overcoming sin, sickness, disease, poverty and lack, that you and I might walk free, redeemed, bought back from the throes of sin, sickness and poverty, to experience His love in all its fullness!

 

I am convinced as Wayne Jacobsen says in His book, “He Loves Me”, that God’s children live “less loved” because we do not fully understand or receive the love that Jesus died to give us. God is love! There is nothing within Him that could love us any more or any less because His very essence is love. There is nothing that we can do to cause Him to love us any more or any less because He loves to the fullest extent of the word. Love is unconditionally granted to you and me because that is His character and nature.

 

As human beings we often put conditions on our love for each other. Our love is tainted by our feelings, our expectations of the other person and our need for our own selfish desires to be fulfilled. Thus, we put demands and expectations on people that often cannot be attained through our own human abilities. Paul said about the Corinthian church that their love towards him was restricted because of their own affections.

 

2 Corinthians 6:11,12 NLT O Corinthians! We have spoken openly to you, our heart is wide open. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections.

 

Our own affections for others are often restricted because of unmet expectations that we have that the other person can’t possibly meet. The only One that can truly meet the needs of an empty heart is God. I remember when I was single waiting for God to introduce me to the one that He had picked out for me to marry. During that time He taught me a lot from His word and through fellowshiping with the Holy Spirit about marriage. One of the things that He said to me was that marriage wasn’t about what one person could get from another, but it was all about what that person could give to the other to help them be all that He had designed and created them to be. Love is about giving, not receiving. But our affections often restrict our ability to love unconditionally.

 

It is only as we understand and receive the unconditional love of the Father that we can pass that love on to others.

 

1 John 4:16-19 NLT We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in Him. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face Him with confidence because we are like Christ here in this world. Such love has no fear because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of judgment, and this shows that His love has not been perfected in us. We love each other as a result of His loving us first.

 

As we receive God’s love the fear of being taken advantage of leaves because we know we are secure in the Father’s love and there is nothing that can change that for us. His love expels the fear in our hearts that we will not have our needs met because He is the need-meeter, not the other person. As His love is perfected in us we are free to be ourselves and to pass that love on to others. His love overcomes all obstacles in our path and sets us free from fear and torment.

 

Romans 8:35-39 NLT Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death? (Even the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from His love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels can’t, and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away. Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

God’s love is all-encompassing; it completes us. It is through our union with Christ Jesus, love personified, that we are complete and lack nothing in our ability to love others as He loves us.

 

Colossians 2:9, 10 For in Christ the fullness of God lives in a human body, and you are complete through your union with Christ. He is the Lord over every ruler and authority in the universe.

 

Even though we are complete in Christ Jesus the manifestation of all that that encompasses is a process that He works in us as we grow in our level of maturity in Him. We are a work in progress!

 

Paul said in Ephesians 3 that He prayed for the Christians at Ephesus that they would know God’s love completely and in experiencing that love they would grow into the fullness of the life and power that comes from God.

 

Ephesians 3:17-19 And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in Him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love really is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

 

It is through trusting Christ Jesus to fulfill the deepest longings of our hearts that we come to know God’s love. As we experience His love He imparts His supernatural ability to love others and it flows from us as we are secure in the love of God as our supply, not another person. He works that in us through His Spirit as we fellowship with Him through prayer and Bible study.

 

Are you lonely and feeling unloved today? God loves you with an everlasting love. He has lavished His love upon us through the giving of His Son, Jesus Christ, as the payment for your sin and mine. Jesus was crucified to give us life and that more abundantly. Are you living “less loved” because you don’t fully understand and receive His love? May you come to know Him personally and experience the love of God that passes all understanding that you may find your fulfillment in Him and Him alone.

 

Father, I thank You for the great love that You have demonstrated towards us in giving Your very own Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sin. I pray that You will open the eyes of our understanding to see and receive Your love, Father, that we might all be filled with the fullness of your power and ability to love others. Father, I pray for those who may be lonely and hurting today, that You might show them in ways that they will understand Your love and be warmed by Your embrace. I ask You, Father, to help us to release the love that You have placed in our hearts to those around us. May we not be critical and judgmental, but open and loving. Thank You for giving us Your Spirit to work in us to effect the fullness of Your love in our hearts. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

A Child Of The King

A Daughter Of The King

I’m so thankful that my heavenly Father loves me and cherishes me as His daughter.

 

God wants to be intimately involved with our lives and He loves us with a perfect Father’s love. There is no fear in His love because fear involves torment and causes us to run from His presence. How can we say we love Him when we are afraid to come before Him for one reason or another. We see that in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve sinned. One of the first things they did was to hide from their heavenly Father. Instead of running into His arms of love and giving Him the opportunity to wipe away their fears, they ran away from Him.

 

For years I have always spent a special time with the Lord first thing in the morning, and I still do. However, some days I’m not as alert as others and some days it takes me a little longer to get moving. It’s in those times that I feel less connected to my heavenly Father. These times affect my ability to enjoy my fellowship with my Father.

 

One morning recently I experienced one of these times when I just didn’t feel as aware of His presence as I usually do. In praying about this situation the Lord spoke ever so gently to me and ask me how I would treat one of my children if they got up not feeling well and was having a difficult time of interacting with me. And I responded that I would take my little one in my arms and rock her/him speaking tender words of love and affection for her/him while she/he took their time in waking up, stretching and acclimating to their day. It was then that He brought to my memory these verses in Psalm 103:

 

Psalm 103:13, 14 NKJV As a father pities his children, So the Lord pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.

 

Then He spoke this to my heart:

 

“You are free to be yourself, Child. I have set you free to live as I direct you. You are free to come into My presence any time you want. I am always here waiting to meet with you. It’s okay for you to take your time to prepare yourself to meet with Me. I am not a harsh taskmaster who demands your attention before you do anything else. Relax in My love and enjoy being with Me. Let your hair down, so to speak, and relax. Envision your child coming to you. You don’t demand their every moment or expect them to give up all other life activities for you. And neither do I, My Child. I created you and placed you in the world in which you live. I created your body to function. Every season of your life is different from the last. Don’t feel that you must go through life the same way every day. I am not into formulas; I want a living relationship with you. I understand your moods, your ups and downs and your physical needs and limitations. Relax and enjoy Me as I enjoy you. You are the apple of My eye. I delight in you. Don’t allow condemnation from the enemy to push you away from Me. Come to Me and I will refresh you.”

 

In reflecting on His tender words of love I am reminded of some scriptures that describe who we are as His children.

 

John 1:12, 13 NKJV But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

 

Those who are born again, or who have received Jesus Christ as their own personal Lord and Savior have become children of God. The scripture says that He gave them the “right” to become His children.

 

Right – Greek word exousia – one of four words defining “power” in God’s word. This definition means the authority or right to act, ability, privilege, capacity, delegated authority.

 

As children of God we have been given the authority and right to act as His children. Paul tells us in Ephesians 3:14 that we are named after our Father because we are in His family.

 

Ephesians 3:14 NKJV For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

 

My children, when growing up, carried the name of their Father; my son still does. They were known by their family name and I love them because they are my children. They are not perfect, but they are mine. As a mother I look past their faults and love them because they are my children. God loves us because we are His children. We carry His name: Christians, Christ followers. Just as I am delighted in my children, so He is delighted in those who have chosen to follow Jesus Christ and have become His children. We have been given the right to act as His children because we ARE His children!

 

Psalm 139:17, 18 NKJV How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You.

 

If you are having a difficult time understanding God’s love for you I pray that you will take the time to talk with Him about it. Get to know your heavenly Father as a loving Father, not a God who is far way.

 

Galatians 4:6, 7 NLT And because you Gentiles have become His children, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, and now you can call God your dear Father. Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are His child, everything He has belongs to you.

 

Father, I thank You for Your great love that has brought me into Your family. I thank You for Jesus laying down His life that I might have life through Him. I thank You that I am Yours and You know me intimately. You know my going out and my coming in and even the words on my tongue before I speak them. You are intimately acquainted with me because I am Yours. Thank You for loving me unconditionally. Father, I pray for those this morning who may be living “less loved” than what You would like for them to live. I pray that You will open their eyes of understanding to see how much You love them and how pleased You are with them. May they experience the love of God that passes all understanding and live in the freedom that You have given us as Your children. Thank You, Father, for being patient and kind with us when we fail You. Thank You for forgiving us when we sin and fall short of Your glory. Thank You, Father, for giving us the right to be Your children. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

 

Fear Verses Faith

Matthew 8 26

Fear and faith cannot both be in operation at the same time!  If fear is present faith isn’t.

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

When fear is present the mind is clouded and foggy.  But God says that He didn’t give us a spirit of fear, but one of the things that He did give us was a sound mind.

Sound mind – Greek word sophronismos – A combination of good judgment, disciplined though patterns, and the ability to understand and make right decisions.  It includes the qualities of self-control and self-discipline.

When fear comes the mind loses all perspective of what is taking place and goes immediately to the worst case scenario.  The devil plays off of our fears and weaknesses.  He looks for loopholes to get a foothold in our lives.  But faith sends fear away.  If faith is present fear can’t stay.  The mind becomes disciplined and self-controlled, good judgment and optimism of the future comes to the forefront.  Hope takes the place of fear and God becomes bigger than our fears.

Will fear push God to the side in your life this morning?  Or will faith takes its place and exalt the name of Jesus above all others.  Fear is a name and it is under the name of Jesus!

Father, I thank You that I do not have to fear what lies ahead for You go before me into every situation.  I thank You for your power within me is greater than the one who is in the world.  Father, I pray for those this morning who may be afraid of what is happening in their lives.  I ask You to reveal Your greatness to them and give them faith in the place of fear.  Father, I thank You for giving each one of us a measure of faith to meet the obstacles that lie ahead of us.  I pray that we will each one exercise our faith to believe, beginning with the small things and working up to the big things in our lives.  Father, You’ve said that when we speak with our faith that even though its just the size of a mustard seed that it can move trees and pull them up by the roots and plant them in the sea.  Father, may we take that little faith that we might have in what is happening in our lives and use it to effect change!  Thank You for Your Spirit’s power and ability within us that does exceedingly abundantly above all that we could ask or imagine!  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

Victory In Christ Jesus!

John 16 33

Jesus proclaimed victory for those who would be “in Him” even before He won the victory.  The victory was won and secured for all who would place their trust in Him when He hung on that cross, crucified, buried and resurrected on the third day!  And yet even before He went through the tribulation of the cross, He proclaimed the victory!

Romans 4:16, 17 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed–God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;

God proclaimed Abraham to be the father of many nations even before he had placed the seed of a son within the womb of Sarah his wife.  In view of the impossibility of that child ever being born, God proclaimed it as so!  He calls those things which do not exist as though they already are in existence!

Hebrews 11:1, 3  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

Framed – Greek word katartizo — means to arrange, set in order, equip, adjust, complete what is lacking, make fully ready, repair, prepare.

What is it in your life that you need to see as completed, repaired, or set in order?  Have you placed your trust in Christ Jesus?  If so, you have the same Spirit within you that raised Christ Jesus from the dead.  That same Spirit that speaks life into dead things!  That same Spirit that causes you to be an overcomer even before you’ve gone into the battle!

Romans 8:11  But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

What are you saying about the mountain of opposition that lies before you?  Are you speaking about your mountain or to it?

Mark 11:22-24  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.”

Father, I thank You for making me an overcomer in Christ Jesus!  I thank You that the victory has already been secured for me to walk it out!  I will take my rightful place in Him knowing that because He went to the cross on my behalf I can can overcome all the challenges in life that rise up in opposition against me.  Thank You for giving me life in Christ Jesus!  I will speak to the mountains and not about them!  I will call for life to enter into the dead places in my life!  I will reign in Christ Jesus because of what He did for me on the cross!  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.

Three C’s In Life!

Three C's to life
Joshua 1:1-3 AFTER the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, it came to pass that the LORD spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying: “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel. “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses.”

 

There are times in our lives when we come to a fork in the road, so to speak, and a decision has to be made to take the road that we feel God is leading us to or the road that leads to our own ways, the ways of the world. Choices come to each one of us and it is up to us to take a chance for change to happen. God directs through our free will as we discern the Spirit of God in His leading us through life.

 

Four and a half years ago, I entered one of those periods where I had a choice to make. It was to stay where I was or join with the man that God had brought into my life to be his life mate. Even though I felt it was God’s plan for me to marry him, I was given the freedom to choose. I chose to go with what I felt was God’s plan and married Gerald and moved with him to where we currently live in Tennessee. My life totally changed! Some of those changes took more adjusting than others. And I am still adjusting to certain ones. But I am so thankful that God brought us together and gave my life new meaning!

 

Every day we encounter choices. One of the things that God instilled within me some years ago is this little statement: “The choices that I make today will affect the quality of my tomorrows”. You see, even though God has a plan for our lives, we have the choice to go with it, pursue Him to find out what purpose He has prepared for us and to discipline ourselves to follow His direction in fulfilling it. I get to choose which road I will take; the one that will lead to a long, healthy life that enables me to fulfill His plan for my life, or the one that satisfies my emotions and flesh.

 

The Israelites were given a choice: to follow God’s leading into the Promised Land or continue to live wandering around in the wilderness. Joshua told the people to prepare themselves for change.

 

Joshua 1:11 NKJV “Pass through the camp and command the people, saying, ‘Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you will cross over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which the LORD your God is giving you to possess.”

 

A successful change doesn’t just happen. We need to ready ourselves for those changes. Esther went through a year’s preparation to become the Queen to King Ahasuerus.

 

Esther 2:12, 13 NKJV Each young woman’s turn cae to go in to King Ahasuerus after she had completed twelve months’ preparation, according to the regulations for the women, for thus were the days of their preparation apportioned: six months with oil of myrrh, and six months with perfumes and preparations for beautifying women. Thus prepared, each young woman went to the king, and she was given whatever she desired to take with her from the women’s quarters to the king’s palace.

Success

Success comes as we set a goal to attain the desired results. We get a glimpse of the good that God has set before us and focus our attention on that goal. Proverbs 29:18 says that where there is no revelation, or vision, the people cast off restraint. When we do not have a goal in mind we wander around mindlessly wondering what to do next. There is no restraint or boundaries that we have set to stay within that keeps us focused.

 

Deuteronomy 31:8 NKJV “And the LORD, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.

 

Yes, there are obstacles ahead of us. Even the Israelites knew that there were giants in their promised land. But God told them that He was going before them to destroy them and disarm them so they could go in and conquer the giants. (Deuteronomy 9:1-3) Know that whatever changes are in your future, God has already gone before you into that place of the unknown to prepare a successful entrance for you.

 

Keep your eyes on Jesus! Make sure that you have a positive mental picture of success in your mind. The book of Hebrews, chapter 12, speaks of success in running the race that we have set before us. (Hebrews 12:1, 2) God says that we are to lay aside every weight and sin that ensnares us and keeps us from running the race that is set before us. We do that by keeping Jesus in our mind’s eye. We look unto Him for the strength and ability to reach our goals, to accomplish a safe transition from the choice we have made to the changes that are on the horizon.

 

We embrace the challenge of change. Without change there is no growth. Without growth one becomes stagnant without being able to see a purpose in life. God has created us as winners, not losers. He has placed His children above and not beneath and has made us the head and not the tail. God’s original plan for man was that he would rule and reign over his life and have dominion over every living thing that moved on the earth, outside of other people. We often fail to realize that in our redemption Christ Jesus purchased back for us the authority that God gave Adam in the garden of Eden.

 

Romans 5:17 NKJV For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)

 

Jesus, Himself, told His disciples of the authority that He has given each one of us to reign over the enemy’s power that tries to stop us from experiencing the life that He died to give us.

 

Luke 10:19 “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”

 

Change brings challenges, but if we don’t step out in faith to embrace them and look for the areas that God has given us to exercise our authority over our own destinies then we will not ever see the manifestation of all that He died to give us. We must make the choice to take a chance on God in order to see a change in our lives.

 

Stay on track. Peter didn’t start to sink until he took his eyes off of Jesus. Jesus set His face like flint in order to stay on track with the plan that His Father had asked Him to fulfill. (Luke 9:51) There will always be distractions in life. Our emotions get involved, especially when times get rough, and we wonder if we’ve heard God clearly in what He has asked us to do and the changes that we are to embrace.

 

Those around us are watching us make choice to take a chance on what we believe God has asked us to do. Will we show them that we can do it? Or will we wander back into the wilderness where we have the comfort and safety of the same old, same old thing? The Israelites immediately had a river at flood stage to cross before entering into their Promised Land. The Lord went before them and stopped the waters of the river so they could cross over on dry ground. They were challenged to enter the water before He stopped up the river so they could exercise their faith in Him and see the miraculous happen when they trusted in Him to do what He had promised them. The had to believe and act on that belief in order to see the fulfillment of the promise. We have to do that today as well. God responds to our faith.

 

Joshua 3:13-17 NKJV “And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests who bear the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, that the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off, the waters that come down from upstream, and they shall stand as a heap.” So it was, when the people set out from their camp to cross over the Jordan, with the priest bearing the ark of the covenant before the people, and as those who bore the ark came to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests who bore the ark dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks during the whole time of harvest), that the waters which came down from upstream stood still, and rose in a heap very far away at Adam, the city that is beside Zeretan. So the waters that went down into the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, failed, and were cut off; and the people crossed over opposite Jericho. Then the priest who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan; and all Israel crossed over on dry ground, until all the people had crossed completely over the Jordan.

 

It was after they had crossed the Jordan river that the Lord told them to get stones from the middle of the river and set them up as a memorial on the shore so that their children would see them and ask them in later years what they were representative of. It was to be a memorial to their children and their children’s children for generations to come, for forever!

 

Joshua 4:5-7 NKJV and Joshua said to them: “Cross over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of the Jordan, and each one of you take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the children of Israel, “that this may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’ “Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be for a memorial to the children of Israel forever.”

 

The stones were to be a memorial for their children of what God had done for them; of the changes that He had made in their lives, so they would know that if He did it for their fathers, there was no obstacle that would stand in their way of God doing the same thing for them. Our faith affects those around us. When we respond to God in faith believing that He will do what He has promised in making the changes in our lives to bring us into a better place He honors that! And others are changed because of the changes they see in our lives.

 

Will you make a choice today to take a chance to follow God into the changes that He wants to make for your future? Fear of the unknown is what usually stops us from following God into our future. I could have feared marrying my husband, moving to a different state, being miles and miles away from my family, having no job and embracing a whole new life but I chose to take a chance on God and embrace the changes that He wanted to make in my life. How about you? God will never leave you to embrace the unknown by yourself.

 

Psalm 139:7-10 NKJV Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me.

 

Father, I thank You for going before us into the changes that are taking place in our lives. I thank You for protecting us from the evil one who comes only to steal, kill and destroy. I thank You for opening the eyes of our understanding to see You as You go before us into the unknown. And I thank You for holding our hand as we embrace the changes that You have planned for our lives. You are great and mighty to save! Your arm is not too short that it cannot hold us and save us from disaster. You see all things and know the pitfalls that may lie ahead of us. You, in Your loving kindness, steer us around those boulders that seem to block our way. Thank You for Your righteous right hand that holds us secure in Your grip. I pray that You will show us each the way that You want us to take to walk boldly and confidently with You into our futures. I thank You for giving us courage to embrace the changes ahead of us. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

The Father’s Heart

1 John 4 10

1 John 4:9, 10 NLT God showed how much He loves us by sending His only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him. This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

 

We hear “I love you” coming out of people’s mouths so much any more. They often speak of “loving this or that” and terms of endearment for people, places and things are all categorized under “I love…..” But what kind of love is being exhibited in each of those instances and how deep and true is the love that is being spoken of? God’s kind of love is a love that is unconditional, without limits, sacrificial, selfless and true.

 

The word for love in this depth and magnitude in the Greek is “agape” and it means: an undefeatable benevolence and unconquerable goodwill that always seeks the highest good of the other person, no matter what he does. It is the self-giving love that gives freely without asking anything in return, and does not consider the worth of its object. Agape is a love by choice and it refers to the will rather than the emotion. Agape describes the unconditional love God has for the world.

 

In this description and definition of the word used for “love” or “loved” in the above verse we see the Father heart of God; a heart that gives without expecting anything in return; that sacrifices the best for the worst of us; that goes beyond the limits of expectation in provision for those upon whom He bestows His benevolent love. God exhibits the extreme definition of “agape” love. We see this further in 1 John 3:16:

 

By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

 

It is in seeing the picture of Jesus hanging on that cross, saturated with the sin of mankind that we see love in it’s extreme demonstration! This is how we know love. This extreme love is not a feeling, although feelings often accompany it; it is a choice to do the best for the one you love. The Father heart of God chooses to do the best for us. That’s why He gave Jesus to die for our sin. He knew we couldn’t do anything to deliver us from the consequences of the sin of mankind. We had to have a sinless lamb to shed His blood that we might be set free from our sin. Jesus was that sacrifice!

 

In looking at the heart of God and understanding this extreme love we come to the realization that we often use whatever example we have of a parent in relating to God as a heavenly Father. Often our earthly example is skewed, imperfect and lacking in this unconditional, sacrificial love. It is then through a clouded lens that we see God and transfer those misconceptions of a parent onto Him. We reduce Him to our picture of a parent and often believe that His love is as imperfect as our earthly parent.

 

But God is a “perfect” parent! The scripture tells us in 1 John 4:8 that God is love; He doesn’t just love, but His whole being is love. You can see a description of Him in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 where Paul speaks of the attributes of love.

 

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 NLT Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever,….

 

This word for love in this portion of scripture is the same Greek word, “agape”, and can be used to describe the love that God has for us. Since God is love, his inherent characteristics can be identified through inserting His name in this portion of scripture where it uses the word “love”. In doing this it is not meant to be changing His word, but simply to give us a better understanding of how God is, what He acts like and how He relates to His children. So we could say that God is patient and kind. God is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. God does not demand His own way. God is not irritable, and keeps no record of when He has been wronged. God is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. God never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. God will last forever,…

 

Is that the picture that you hold within your heart of God? Do you see Him never giving up on you; always loving and kind, patient with you? Or has your understanding of God seen Him as a harsh taskmaster, ready to whack you if you did something wrong? Have you related to God as “the man upstairs” or your loving Father, who delights in you?

Zephaniah 3 17

Zephaniah 3:17 NKJV “The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love. He will rejoice over you with singing.”

 

This is a correct picture of God, our heavenly Father. He is here with us, never giving up on us. He is the Mighty God who saves! He gave His very own Son to die for you and me that we might have eternal life; that we might live forever in His presence enjoying the benefits of the abundant life that Jesus died to give us. He rejoices over us with gladness! He quiets us with His love. When we are hurting He hurts with us and when we are exciting and joyous He rejoices with us.

 

There are two different Hebrew words for “rejoice” in that verse. The first one is “sus” and it means to rejoice, be glad, be greatly happy. God is greatly happy with you! He is not mad at you and He doesn’t hold grudge against you when you do something wrong. God rejoices over you!

 

The second word for “rejoice” in that verse is the Hebrew word “gil” and it means to joy, rejoice, be glad, be joyful. It contains the suggestion of “dancing for joy,” or “leaping for joy,” since the verb originally meant “to spin around with intense motion.”

 

God dances for joy over His children. He spins around with intense motion and leaps for joy over those that He calls His own. God delights in you! Can you see that? He is a proud papa! His sees His children as the apple of His eye!

 

Zechariah 2:8 NKJV For thus says the LORD of hosts: “He sent Me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.”

 

Our heavenly Father has each one of us inscribed on the palms of His hands. He will never forget you!

 

Isaiah 49:15, 16 NKJV “Can a woman forget her nursing child, And not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, Yet I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me.”

 

God’s love far surpasses the love that even a mother can have for the child to which she has given birth. Human love can be swayed and sometimes emotions or fear cause a human mother to push away the child of her womb, but God never does that! He never gives up on His child!

 

Since we have seen earthly parents at times give up on their children and that is the only example we have of parenthood, we may have a tendency to transfer that imperfect understanding of a parent over onto our heavenly Father, who loves perfectly. But He doesn’t exhibit His love for us in that manner.

 

Jeremiah 31:3 NKJV The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.”

 

God loves us with an everlasting love; a love that never quits, never gives up, never condemns and never leaves us. His love for us goes on and on and on….. It is with lovingkindness that He draws us to Himself. He is not a harsh God; He is a loving Father.

 

If you have had a misunderstanding of God and His love for you, I pray that today you will begin to see Him as He really is.

 

Father, I thank You for the love that You show us. You love with a perfect love, Father, and I pray that we will each one begin to interact with You as the loving Father that You are. I pray that those who do not understand Your love will have their spiritual eyes opened this morning to see You as You really are. I pray that they will receive the love that You have shown them through the sacrifice of Your Son and that they will be drawn to You through Him and receive Jesus as their own personal Lord and Savior. Father, open the eyes of the blind; restore what has been stolen from those who have suffered at the hand of their enemy. Father, heal those who are sick and hurting. Establish your kingdom in the lives of Your children! In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

The Head And Not The Tail

The Head and NOT the tail

 

Deuteronomy 28:13, 14 NKJV And the LORD will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not beneath, if you heed the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them. So you shall not turn aside from any of the words which I command you this day, to the right or the left, to go after other gods to serve them.

 

I’m sure you’ve heard people describe their situations as “being under the circumstances” or “a day late and a dollar short”, or “always at the bottom of the barrel with too much month and not enough money to make it through”. Or how about this description of life: “I’m just a little under the weather right now”. “This is just my ‘lot’ in life”.

 

 

Words describing a person’s perception of how life is treating them can become the bane, or source of their harm or misfortune and the continuation in that type of life. What they’ve spoken about their situation can become a self-prophecy of what they are fearing about their lives.

 

 

Job said in Job 3:25, 26:  For the thing that I greatly feared has come upon me, And what I dreaded has happened to me. I am not at ease, nor am I quiet; I have no rest, for trouble comes.

 

 

Not all bad things that happen to us are a result of speaking negatively about the fears that we have in life, but our attitude about what is taking place in our lives often leads to a continuation of the same kind of problems. Jesus said that out of the abundance of a person’s heart comes words about their lives.

 

 

Matthew 12:34 Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

 

 

This morning the Lord has been speaking to me about self-pity. Self-pity is often the result of seeing life’s challenges as being bigger than your God. Self-pity leads to a victim mentality. It sees no way out of the circumstances or problems of life and causes you to feel sorry for yourself; hopeless and out of control. According to the Urban Dictionary the definition of self-pity is “pity for oneself; especially exaggerated or self-indulgent pity where you believe that you are the victim who has done no wrong and is deserving of condolence from everyone.” It carries the attitude that I might as well go eat worms and die because nothing is ever going to change; I’m just a loser at life. This is a self-destructive attitude and should be avoided at all costs in the life of a believer in Christ Jesus.

 

 

The way to defeat self-pity in the life of a child of God is to counter it with the truth of God’s word.

 

 

Self-pity says I can’t do anything about my situation; I’m just a victim.

 

 

God’s word says “I am made in the likeness and image of God and through Him I have dominion over the challenges of my life.” (Genesis 1:26-28)

 

 

Self-pity says I’m sick and don’t have the strength to take care of myself.

 

 

God’s word says that I am healed by the stripes of Jesus; that Jesus took my infirmities and carried my sicknesses and by His stripes I am healed. (Matthew 8:16; 1 Peter 2:24)

 

 

Self-pity says I don’t have enough money to pay my bills.

 

 

God’s word says that God is the one who gives you the power to get wealth that He might establish His covenant with you and that He will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Deuteronomy 8:18; Philippians 4:19)

 

 

Self-pity is a tool of the enemy that opens the door for his destructive power to come into your life. It keeps you in bondage to sin, sickness and disease and poverty and lack. It is an enemy that needs to be resisted! When we dwell on how bad life is for us at the time that we are going through a challenge we allow the enemy to establish thoughts of failure and defeat and if continued creates a stronghold of mental bondage. The word of God says that we should take control over the thoughts that come into our minds that are not of God and cast them down, arrest them and replace them with God’s thoughts about us.

 

 

2 Corinthians 10:4, 5 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

 

 

This is the battle that we fight, not against people or things, but against the wrong thoughts that come into our minds. Sometimes these thoughts are planted by the enemy of our souls, Satan, the devil and his co-horts and sometimes we accept wrong thoughts that come from life’s disappointments, wrong teaching or an abusive past. How other people have treated us often set us up for self-pity, thinking that we are not appreciated or loved and accepted. These are all strategies that the enemy uses to establish a victim mentality in our minds.

 

 

God tells us in Ephesians 6:11 that we can put on His armor to stand against the “wiles” or “schemings” of the devil. He clearly states that our fight is not against people but against principalities and powers, the rulers of the darkness of this age and spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Many times we blame others for our feelings of inferiority and failures when the enemy that we need to stand against is the devil. We do that by putting on the armor of God.

 

 

The waist is to be girded or wrapped with truth; God’s word is truth according to Luke 17:17. Jesus said we would be sanctified, set apart, equipped for battle with God’s word!

 

 

The breastplate of righteousness protects the heart and assures us of our place in Christ Jesus as being right with God. According to 2 Corinthians 5:21 God made Jesus to be sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

 

 

Our feet are to be shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Jesus is our peace according to Ephesians 2:14-18. He has broken down the wall that separated us from God the Father and established us in peace, reconciling us to God. When we stand in His peace we are on secure ground. We know that we are about the stand with stability because of what He did for us on the cross of Calvary.

 

 

We take the shield of faith to shield us from the fiery darts of the wicked one. Faith is said to be what overcomes the world for us in 1 John 5:4: For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcomes the world—our faith. Jesus said that when we come against trials and tribulations that we should be of good cheer as we are in Him and He has overcome the world for us. Faith in Him gives us the victory that overcomes the world!

 

 

The helmet of salvation protects our minds. Salvation is the Greek word soterion and it means rescue, deliverance, safety, liberation, release, preservation. It is an all-inclusive word signifying forgiveness, healing, prosperity, deliverance, safety, rescue, liberation, and restoration. Christ’s salvation is total in scope for the total man: spirit, soul, and body. When we understand what all Jesus died to purchase for us our helmet is secure and we can protect our minds through right understanding of the word of God. We no longer have to receive the enemy’s lies; we counter them with the truth of God’s word and cleanse our thoughts through right thinking.

 

 

The sword of the Spirit is the word of God. It is what we use to slash the enemy. Jesus spoke God’s word to the devil when he tempted Him in the wilderness. He rebuked every lie of the enemy with “it is written” and then quoted the scripture that countered the lie of the devil. (Matthew 4:4-10) The word of God is living and active and sharper than a two edged sword; it will not return void but it will do what it is sent out to do. (Hebrews 4:12; Isaiah 55:11)

 

 

And last, but not least, we pray: “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit”. (Ephesians 6:18) Prayer is not just coming before the Father with a list of requests. There are different types of prayers that we pray to meet the need in our lives. Prayer is speaking to God about our lives and listening to hear what direction He gives to apply to the situation at hand. Sometimes we might need to just be still and know that He is God and that He is working in our situations, righting the wrongs and making the crooked places straight. Other times we might come before Him and hear His direction to defeat the enemy that is standing against us at that moment. It could be a direct command that we need to apply to our lives or something that we need to change in how we are approaching a situation. Many times He gives specific directions for how to carry out and accomplish the victory over the enemy’s strategies against us.

 

 

If we have an attitude of self-pity we see ourselves as defeated before we ever get started. Victimization is the enemy’s strategy to keep a person in bondage. It is an enemy to be resisted and driven out of our lives!

 

 

When Peter tried to get Jesus to feel sorry for Himself because He was telling His disciples that He was going to Jerusalem to suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes and would be killed and raised the third day, Jesus rebuked Peter as being a spokesperson for Satan and an offense to Him because he tried to get him into self-pity.

 

 

Matthew 16:23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

 

 

Jesus realized that self-pity would keep Him from doing what His Father had sent Him to do. If He had entertained the thought that He was above the suffering and crucifixion that would purchase man’s salvation He would have been defeated before He ever got to the cross. But instead, the Word tells us in Luke 9:51 that “when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem,”; He was determined to fulfill the plan of God for His life in securing man’s redemption. Jesus told Peter that what he was saying was an offense to Him; a stumbling block that would have introduced self-pity into His heart that if mediated upon would have defeated what He had come to do.

 

 

Have you seen self-pity trying to invade your thoughts? If so, put an end to that thinking through speaking God’s word over your life. God has made you a winner, not a loser!

 

 

Father, I thank You for showing us the pitfalls associated with a self-pity mindset. I pray that You will help each one of us to recognize those thoughts before they have an opportunity to become rooted within our hearts. Father, I thank You for the truth that is in Your word and that when it is applied to the misconceptions and lies of the enemy that it slashes him to pieces. I thank You for the armor that You have given us to protect ourselves from the wiles of the devil. Father, I pray for those who may see themselves as victims that You would show them how You have equipped them as winners, not losers and how they can succeed through applying Your word to their lives. Father, I thank You for Your Spirit who leads us into all truth and helps us to win over the challenges of life. Thank You for the faith that You have given us to overcome the world and all that the enemy would throw at us. Thank You for the blood of Jesus that secures our salvation. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

 

 

 

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