Archive | January 2012

The Power of Agreement

A person is as good as their word.  The word agree as two primary definitions:

1) Have the same opinion about something; concur.

2) Approve of (something) with regard to its moral correctness.

Numbers 30:2 says

If a man makes a vow to the LORD, or swears an oath to bind himself by some agreement, he shall not break his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.

The Bible says if two of you or more agree touching anything in (Jesus) name it shall be done.

We know from the Bible that words have remarkable impact.  So when we are in casual conversations, do we ever take notice to how many of the things that we are agreeing to each day?  Sometimes when we are listening to someone talk on the phone and saying, “yeah,” or “uh-huh” then we are agreeing with them.  We are even agreeing with them when we say “that’s right”.  Essentially in casual conversation we are agreeing with whatever the other person is saying.  The Bible also says we are supposed to pursue peace with all people so sometimes when we don’t agree we are put in a situation where we have to risk offending the person.  This is especially difficult on the phone.  You want the other person to know that you’re listening so you make casual comments, when it may not even be good for you or them to agree with what they are saying.  When you are talking to an unsaved person, you have to be very careful exactly what you say when you around them so that you don’t lose them, but at the same time bring them conviction or allow them to see who Jesus really is.

I was put into a situation where I learned the power of agreement at a very early age.  God allowed for me to have a test to see what I was made of before I was born again.  There was a group of girls trying to get me to say that I didn’t like this girl and said that she was “stuck up”, but if I remember correctly I didn’t say that, but I said something to the effect of, “So-and-so is the way that So-and-so is”.   At least that’s what I remembered myself saying.  But I think I may have said, “yeah” to the girls without realizing.  So then after I was enjoying myself with my friend, who was afraid of these girls because they were older, these girls came back and said, “You said So-and-so is stuck up” I was caught by surprised, and the girls caught me on my “yeah”, but from then on I learned that the power of agreement is very important, especially with what you agree to.  I may have ignored this lesson early on, but it has come back to me as of late as I am listening to my conversations on the phone, especially with unbelievers.

There’s so much a fear of rejection for people who are not solid in their faith, that they will risk not offending the person and limit what God is trying to say to them.  But we must choose our words carefully because they have lasting power.  I think journalists and authors know this importance of choosing their words, particularly their writing very carefully, but this can also be in conversation.

That’s why it is very important to be led by the Spirit in all that you do or say, because you will be accountable for every idle word spoken, and the works that you do will be tested by the fire, and the works that bear fruit will stay, but the others will be cast into the fire.

The WORD of God has power.  When you come into agreement with the Word of God, then it can have power in your life.  But the problem is that most of us, including myself are so distracted by the enemy’s schemes, or our own desires, that we neglect the Word of God, and when we neglect the Word of God, then all that we do will be perishing because we will have no food to sustain ourselves.  The Word of God is the fuel, and the Spirit is the Engine of our Car.  Our car can’t work without engine or fuel.  Prayer is like starting the Car and faith is what is able to get you to go.

But that brings us back to the question that how do you maintain a phone conversation without defiling your mouth or coming into some kind of agreement with someone especially with someone who thinks that they are right all the time and is looking for you to agree with them?  The key is to keep silent, and to say “I’m listening” or participate in way by providing feedback without being argumentative.  When they are wrong let them know that they are wrong, but also remember that God may use them to speak to you in a certain way to get you to see something about yourself.

If someone is always speaking negative around you and promoting fear instead of faith, confess to them what the Bible says about the situation.  That’s why Bible reading is so important, that you can soak in the Word, and let it become rhema in your life.  It’s not just about memorizing scriptures, but once you arm yourself, you are able to give a defense for any situation that may come.   This takes wisdom, and God says we can always pray to have wisdom, and once we pray we continue to believe seek daily the LORD so He may impart His wisdom on to you.  Whatever you agree with can change your destiny, or the other person’s destiny.  If you believe all the negative words spoken over to you, or you believe the words spoken by the devil, then it’s going to be very difficult for you to fulfill your destiny because all you have believed is lies.  You don’t have to agree all the time.  You must choose your words very carefully because there is no backspace key for our mouths.

Heavenly Father,

I pray for you to forgive us, Heavenly Father, for all the things that we have come into agreement that did not come from You.  Forgive us for believing all the lies.  Forgive us for every idle word spoken.  Forgive us for anything we have done that is displeasing to You.  Let us choose You today to guide our words and our actions and to put into our minds the right thoughts, and allow us to choose those thoughts according to Your will and purpose.    I pray for the bloggers, authors, journalists, out there that they may have the right words to say, and also for the evangelists, that they may be guided by Your Spirit Lord God, and that You will bring all of us unto the paths of righteousness and holiness.  If we have fallen short today forgive us, and let us receive restoration.  The glory belongs to You Lord in our lives.  We Thank You Lord God.

In Jesus Mighty Name I Pray

Amen.

God raises the dead and dry bones

Ezekiel 37 says:

The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”

So I answered, “O Lord God, You know.”

Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of theLord! Thus says the Lord God to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.”’”

So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them.

Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”’” 10 So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.

11 Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. 13 Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. 14 I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken it and performed it,” says the Lord.’”

Many of our lives are in grave conditions and they are so dead.  There are so many dead Christians walking around that are dead inside.  They think they are walking right with God, but on the inside there is something that that is missing.  What is missing is the power and Presence of the Holy Spirit operating in their lives.  They are just walking around with no life and they are caught up in the sins of this world.  When the enemy comes upon them, they don’t know how to fight because they are so caught up in themselves and their own lives.  They are caught up in their own burdens, but they don’t know what God’s burden is.  I was listening to some of the praise and worship songs, that I have selected on youtube, and I find that the ones that bring me into the presence are all about me, and today the Lord was speaking to me, that there is something wrong with this picture.  We know it’s all about Him, but how can we can realize the implication of that statement.  It takes the Holy Spirit.  It’s not just the Holy Spirit hovering upon you, but we have to abide in the Presence of God Almighty through the Holy Spirit.  That is what will get us to what is missing in our lives.  Sometimes we are so concerned with finances, jobs, getting fit, and other distractions, that we refuse to take time to pray and really seek God and His presence so that His presence is made among us.  I mean, this is the God who is more immense than the universe, and He wants to spend time with us.  So in this passage of Scripture, it says, that the Lord will bring the people of Israel out of their graves, and He will put His Spirit in them, and He will place them in their own land.  All throughout the Book of Ezekiel, you see the Lord emphasizing, “Then they will know that I am the Lord.”  All He wanted was for them to realize that He was the Lord.  We know that Jesus is Lord, and that was the same thing that He experienced when He came and He was in the town of Bethany, when He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead.

Jesus speaks to Martha:

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25)

And then again to Mary:

32 Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”

33 Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. 34 And He said, “Where have you laid him?”

They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.”

35 Jesus wept. 36 Then the Jews said, “See how He loved him!”

37 And some of them said, “Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?”

Then there is the miracle:

40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?”41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying.[d] And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.” 43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”

Both times in Ezekiel and the Book of John, God was trying to in essence prove that He was God, but they were stubborn to believe.  God has actually been proven so many times in the Bible and even in the world today, but people refuse to belief.  They have to an act of faith and it is something that you cannot comprehend with the mind or with logic, but it is something beyond that.  It is something that the Spirit of God has to remind you.

Doubt is a very dangerous thing.  Skepticism is a very dangerous thing.  We don’t want to be like Thomas who saw then believed, but we want to be the ones like Abraham, when all things seemed impossible, He still be believed.  Jesus said that if we believed we would see the glory of God.  We like to get into the presence of God and then we follow the tabernacle example to get into the presence of God, but if we simply don’t believe, if we don’t act out in simple faith and trust God, then the Presence or glory of God, will not be upon our lives. The Bible has warnings for us in the last days, that says that many people will fall away.  Even in books like Ezekiel and Isaiah, they say that only a remnant, or a chosen few will be left, so few that a child can count them.  It is a warning for us all.  If I’m not preaching to anyone else, I’m preaching to myself, that we need to not let anything stop us from believing that Jesus is God, despite what our emotions say, or what our circumstances are.  We have to be led by the Holy Spirit, and we must seek Him, until we find Him because we don’t want to be cast away from the One who loves us beyond measure.  We have to endure to the end and overcome all the trials and tribulations, because if we don’t there is a threat lingering for us.  Sometimes we have become so casual with God, that we lose the awe and reverence of our King.  One of the things that God hates the most is pride.  It is pride and idolatry, so if we have anything in our hearts that is exalting ourselves or anyone else before God then we need to come to the place of surrendering that idol or that self-exaltation and laying it down before the feet of our King.

Heavenly Father,

We trust and know that You are our King, and that You are exalted above the throne and that no one else is like You Lord God.  Let Your Spirit be upon us and take us to that next level of Your holiness, and repentance, and a closer walk of faith and believe that You are the very one who can raise the very dead souls who are in the graves, and let them come forth like Lazarus did, and that You have put Your breath and Your Spirit in us and upon us.  Restore us to what we were created for and not to the bondage of curses that have been applied to our lives because of sin.  Help us to glorify You in all that we do and not to seek our own fame.  Help us to surrender our lives to You each and everyday, and help us to have the God kind of faith that pleases You.  Help us to strengthen the feeble knees and the hands that hang down, but help us to walk upright and boldly to conquer every obstacle in our way that keeps us from fulfulling Your plan and purpose of our lives.  Help us to be walking breathing living testimonies of Your living power in our lives.  Touch our lives right now Lord God, and let Your presence be known among us Lord God.  Please protect those that are going under persecution and the Body of Christ in these last days that we are in.  I apply this prayer with the precious blood of Jesus.

In Jesus Mighty Name I pray,

Amen.

 

Where are your priorities for God’s Kingdom?

This message is primarily for Pastors and leaders that may or not be in full time ministry.  Where do you spend most of your time?  Do you spend most of your time working for money?  Do you spend most of your time in ministry working, thinking that you are doing something for work?  Some leaders spend all their time with their ministry that they neglect their families and then they end up getting divorce or their children often feel neglected.  Don’t get me wrong, ministry work is good, and vital, and should take a very important part in a leader’s life, and even Jesus left His brothers and His mother outside, but sometimes in efforts of being shining lights to the world the most we neglect the very most important people in our lives and then their our home life suffers.

When you are trying to evangelize, and then your child comes to you asking you to pray for them, or maybe just to talk to them, do you turn them away and say that “No” I am too busy.  I just watched the movie “COURAGEOUS” yesterday, and it showed how these fathers learned the lesson of how to be good parents in instilling the Godly authority upon their children’s lives.  SPOILER ALERT:  The main thing that got to me was that the father spent so much time at work, that he didn’t have enough time to spend with his daughter and then his daughter died and then he went through emotional grief.

We don’t want to get to that place where mothers and fathers neglect their time with their children, or husbands neglect their time with their wives or visa versa.  It should be God first, family second, and ministry and/or work.  The way it is for most people is work first, ministry second, God third, family last.  Some people are in ministry and they haven’t sought the presence of God to dwell with them, that when they are in ministry they are just doing legalistic things, and things that just need to get done for the sake of evangelism.  This can be very dangerous.  If you have not repented and sought out God before you enter into ministry, and gotten into ministry, then it won’t matter if there is an interruption from your family members when you are going to minister because God’s presence will help you solve that problem when otherwise you would be operating out of your own flesh.  We should never get into ministry work out of a sense of obligation.  It should be a desire that dwells from the heart and something that comes from the inside that you are willing to lay down if God calls you to do something else and God has a way of interrupting plans.  If you have this mode of “I have to do it this way” and “be stuck in this schedule”, then God has no way of operating through us because essentially His will has to remain dominant in us.  We have to show Agape Love to people around us.  Don’t get into the trap of obligation.  You may have a purpose in fulfilling your ministry, but sometimes your primary purpose is to be a parent and instill values to your children so that when they have problems then they can go and depend on God.  If you don’t have children, then the intimacy that you have with God first, and then your spouse should be expressed in the relationship and I’m not saying that to tell you what to do because I know any better, but I can say that I know what results from people who don’t spend enough time with their families.  That’s what results in crime and violence, suicide, depression, and major problems because parents don’t spend enough time with their families and husbands and wives don’t spend time together realizing that this is a commitment that they have entered into for life.  It’s sad to see that some people will never get beyond where they are because they refuse to see the things that are wrong in their lives and change, I’m preaching to myself on that one.  Sometimes we see but there is so much of our own flesh in there and pride, that is not willing to subject to God and His ways and it all becomes about head knowledge and not a heart transformation.  What we need is a real heart transformation from God and that is what can help us to determine priorities.  As long as we don’t see the things that are dangerous and obstacles in our lives and the things that can become stumbling blocks, then the enemy will use our own weaknesses against us.  That is why it is good to have a good prayer life.

The Bible says “Seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness and the rest shall be added unto you.”  That is His way of doing things and His way of entering into His Presence.  He knows all the people’s needs.  You may have so many people that you want to evangelize or minister to, but sometimes if you have someone with a broken heart at home, then you haven’t really listened to God about what is important.  That’s why it is good for families to have a family altar, where they bring their needs and discussions before God, and discuss His Word and pray as a family so that they can grow closer together.  That may be difficult to do when some of the members of the family are not saved yet, but the ones that are should be as living examples of the light of Christ in whatever the believers in the household do.  Sometimes parents get tired of giving love to their kids especially when they are older, but as the movie COURAGEOUS talks about, the parents have to let the child know that they are adults.  If you have a ministry and you want to encourage your children and your household to have the Presence of God on your lives, then I encourage you to have a family altar.

 

The Book of Joshua says, “As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”  This is the meditation for today.

 

The Tests of Life

Many students take tests in school and life, and many people learn and get educated in the real world, but how many of them realize that there is a God testing them through tests that they have to go through in life? James 1 says, ”
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

Sometimes in life we go through physical ailments, and different problems and we’re wondering why?  Why are we going through all these trials?  James, or in the original Hebrew, Yacov, says to count it all joy when you fall into trials.  You ask how can you experience joy when you fall into trials?  It is because the testing of your faith produces patience.  God is building up fruit in your life of patience.  Waiting for your physical healing, waiting for your financial breakthrough, waiting for everything to work out.

There is a reason for suffering.  Part of that is to partake of the sufferings of Christ.  When we have been fully tested, and we can confidently say that we trust in God, then God will be able to remove the disease, or we will have a lasting crown when we get to heaven.  God is a God of justice and a God of vengeance, and He wants our faith and trust in Him, and in Him alone, but in this society we have fallen away from trusting Him alone for everything.  We have man-made solutions for everything.  We know that God cannot work without man sometimes because He does not have hands and has to use people through His Holy Spirit, but sometimes we forget the power, might, majesty of the Holy God, that we don’t realize what He can do for us.

It seems like ever since I’ve been born again, it’s always been one thing or another.  One area of testing or another, and for me it was mostly physical.  When I wasn’t suffering physically, I was backsliding, and sometimes I had grace windows.  God has done so many things for me.  I am just amazed at how many times He has saved my life on the road when driving.  I’ve had so many near hits and collisions.  I just thank God for the miracles He has done in my life.  He is doing a refining work in our lives making us be prepared to meet Him, seeing that our faith never fails us.  Sometimes, familiarity comes in, when we have seen how many times God comes through, that we don’t take reverence of what He can do in our lives.  We begin to take it for granted.

I remember when I was first born again, there were these ferocious  dogs coming toward me, and some faith leaped out from my inner man saying, “IN the name of JESUS I COMMAND YOU TO LEAVE!!!”  I said it four times to those four dogs and they left.  They went cowering in the other direction.  Everytime after that for a while it worked and I didn’t see dogs like that and I had the faith and confidence to know I had a weapon.  But as time grew by I’d say even years, when I didn’t see dogs in my neighborhood or anything like that, and I faced other trials one even life threatening, that God had to rebuild my walk of faith.  This time it was a lot more difficult especially because I had to relearn how to walk again, and I was only 26 but it changed my walk.  God kept testing me on faith and bringing me from glory to glory.  When I was first born again, I was still pretty much a carnal Christian, but I slowly started to remove the carnality from my life with the help of the Holy Spirit.  I used to not have obedience and discipline not to read the Word of God everyday, and then I finished it once in 3 years and then I started to read it daily until I finished it again in six months.  Importance hear is not in time or how much I read, but in that I was dedicated to reading my Bible and soaking in the Word of God.  I have had times when the Word of God just came to my spirit, when I didn’t even recall reading that, but the Holy Spirit brought it to my remembrance.  We can get to a dangerous place, where the name of JESUS has lost it’s power for us, and when we get to that place it can keep things from happening.  The name of JESUS is very powerful.  Every name has to bow down to the name of JESUS.

In the Old Testament, like in books like Isaiah, and Jeremiah, the people of Israel were often tested and rebuked when they didn’t pass the test.  They would bow down to idols and let them take over their lives instead of serving the One and Only Living God.  They refused to believe.  So God poured out His wrath to them, and some of it is going to happen in the future because God is like a husband who loves His wife and He doesn’t want anything to happen to keep her away from Him.  He had given the people leniency time after time, telling them through prophets that these idols have no power, no authority.  With Elijah He even told Elijah to put these idols to the test.  Elijah tested the idol worshippers if they can cause the fire, and their gods could not do anything, but Elijah put God to the test, and God was able to produce the fire.  “And Elijah came to all the people, and said, ‘How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.'” 1 Kings 18:20

God is often testing us to see if we will truly follow Him, or follow after idols in life.  We may or may not have statues or images of carved things in our homes and lives, but God wants us to see if we will truly seek Him.  Many times I am sitting here looking at my laptop and sometimes even my television thinking, have these things become idols for me?  I still struggle with the issue of food from time to time and I have to come to realize that these are all areas that God is testing me.

A key link to testing is obedience, if you are obedient with a little God will give you more.  If you are faithful with just a little God will give you more.  You’ll notice that you’ll be tested more severely in your weak areas, which are the areas where there is more potential for faith.  Some of my weak areas would be with food and discipline with what I eat, so for that sometimes I end up with things coming upon strictly from what I ate.  One time I ate from Jack in the Box, and I’m not saying anything bad about Jack in the Box, but when I had clear instructions from the Lord not to eat those things and all I had is 1/4 a burger and 1/2 a taco, but then I felt the punishment for disobedient because I learned that I have to treat the body like it is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and sometimes I have to take verses like “Do not worry about what to eat”, and “Whether you eat or drink, do everything for the glory of God”, in second place to God’s clear instruction to my spirit.  In that case the best verse would be “The Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak”.   This is a weakness, but I have also learned that if you “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness all will be added unto you”.

Often it’s all about the waiting.  God’s timing is perfect.  When you are trusting in God’s timing then things work out in your favor.  He’s never late and if you learn to just trust in Him and wait upon Him.  The problem with the Jews was when they were studying the Scriptures when Jesus came, they read about that God’s Servant was supposed to come in a certain way, but they didn’t read the parts that followed that if they wait upon Him, then they will see Him coming.  That’s probably why Jesus hasn’t come yet because He is testing man’s patience to see how long and how far they can trust Him.  Will they be willing to wait until the eleventh hour for Him to come to the rescue or will they want Him to come immediately?  The Bible does mention the hastening of His coming.

Wouldn’t it be nice after all these testings to see that you have made it to the end without anything wavering that you have completed your destiny and your purpose, that you have obeyed the will of God?  There is a secular expression that says, “Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”  God has plans not to harm you, but to give you a future and a hope and for this reason He is letting you go through the testings of life so that your patience may be perfected.  So the more patient you become the less you will be tested.  That process shapes actually the whole fruit of the Spirit, so that a person grows through spiritual maturity and more and more into the likeness of God knowing that the Holy Spirit given by Jesus Christ abides in the person.  The more you have been tested and the more you have overcome and not by your own power but by the Spirit of God abiding in you, the more righteous a crown you will receive in the eternal life.  So let us be conquerors in Christ knowing that He has given us victory over the evil and we will be able to stand in the last knowing that we have done the will and purpose of the Mighty God.

SOPA, PIPA and Bible Copyright Laws

I don’t know what the exact Copyright Laws are about the Bible, but from what I can gather – if you quote beyond what is the Copyright Law for the Bible, and especially if you use resources like Biblegateway or Bible.com, then according to SOPA and PIPA you could end up in a lot of trouble.  If I mention how much I might end up into a Copyright infringement.  Stop Online Piracy Act, and Protect Intellectual Property Act, are bills being passed in Congress today, that would stop people from freely being able to copy or quote online sources, without direct written permission from the writer.  That makes things like Online Evangelism more difficult and hard to maintain.  All of the Bible Translations except for KJV is under Copyright protection or so I heard.  We need to urge Congress not to pass these Acts.  We need to stop these Acts from passing.  You know me, I quote a lot of Bible passages, and if I feel restricted from using a certain amount in a piece of work (with the threat of 10 years in jail or site redirecting [so I’ve read]) for using that translation.  We need to pray that this bill gets stopped in its track.  Urging all Christian Bloggers, and Online Evangelists to pray for these bills not to be passed.

Being provoked to number the people

In 1 Chronicles 21 it says,

1 Now Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel. 2 So David said to Joab and to the leaders of the people, “Go, number Israel from Beersheba to Dan, and bring the number of them to me that I may know it.
3 And Joab answered, “May the LORD make His people a hundred times more than they are. But, my lord the king, are they not all my lord’s servants? Why then does my lord require this thing? Why should he be a cause of guilt in Israel?”
4 Nevertheless the king’s word prevailed against Joab. Therefore Joab departed and went throughout all Israel and came to Jerusalem. 5 Then Joab gave the sum of the number of the people to David. All Israel had one million one hundred thousand men who drew the sword, and Judah had four hundred and seventy thousand men who drew the sword. 6 But he did not count Levi and Benjamin among them, for the king’s word was abominable to Joab.
7 And God was displeased with this thing; therefore He struck Israel. 8 So David said to God, “I have sinned greatly, because I have done this thing; but now, I pray, take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have done very foolishly.”

I went through the same exact temptation at the beginning of the year when WordPress came out with it’s summary of statistics of what the blog was doing in the year 2011.  It was good to look at for your information, but when you begin to have pride, that this is what I have done, then there is a very humbling experience.  I went as far as taking the “Where are you from” section and calculating based on site views who visited from where and looking to see what were the most popular blog entries.  I guess I am not alone in looking at this presentation link, and my statement is not to condemn anyone, but I started to feel really bad after I realize what I had done.  I had gotten to the point where I was wrestling with God, that is this really a sin, do I still need to confess it? After all, God gave me this blog, and I have chosen to use it for Him, then the glory goes to Him.    There is one thing to confess it before God, but after looking at the video Are You too strong for God, I realized that this was something I needed to confess publicly.  There is something to be said for being transparent, where you don’t go hiding in corners and hoping that nobody sees what you do behind closed doors.  You may be embarrassed, and people may ridicule and persecute you, but it is something that needs to be done. It is called laying it all on the altar.  So that people know the real you and not some shadow or mask that you are hiding behind as far as the sin in your life.  It also takes listening to God to and knowing what is the right thing to do.  I may think that the numbering the people didn’t hurt anybody, but if I want to walk in complete health then I have to take this verse into consideration,

12 “When you take the census of the children of Israel for their number, then every man shall give a ransom for himself to the LORD, when you number them, that there may be no plague among them when you number them. Exodus 30:12

Thank God for Psalm 91, and verses like “a thousand shall fall at your side, and ten thousand by your right hand, but it shall not come near you.”

Overcoming the Stench of Sin

This week God pointed something out to me about the stench of sin, that was so tangible, that it could not be escaped.  We have a plant, and I think it is a curry plant.  Every winter we bring it in so that the bitter freezes don’t get to it.  We have allowed it to come inside the house until at least the weather is not so harsh.  A while back we were told to put some buttermilk in the plant to make it grow.  So we tried that again this winter.  But the plant is inside the house and in the process of being removed outside as we speak, probably due to a cracked pot, another parable altogether.  Anyway while it was in the house, it was giving this horrible stench, this stench that smelled like refuse, and was very pungent and putrid.  I kept trying to figure out the ways of removing the odor without harming the plant.  While the plant was outside the house it was not a problem, but once it was inside the house it became a real problem.  I was reminded of how God feels when He is around our sin, the stench of our sin, and sometimes our flesh- carnal nature, is so strong, that He is trying to see what He can do without harming the plant, but if the pot is cracked, and the water does not retain, then He may have no choice except to remove it and let outside of the house.  That doesn’t mean that God doesn’t use cracked vessels, because after all He is the Master Potter who molds the Clay. It reminded me very much of the tabernacle in the Old Testament, and how the priests would have to light the incense just so God would not have to smell the rottenness of the flesh.  It was a type and a shadow, of the Heavenly Tabernacle, as it says in Hebrews.

Christians have an entry way to get into God’s Presence, which is shown by the Tabernacle.  To read more about the Tabernacle – you can find it in Exodus, and through other places in the Bible.  It usually consists of the outer court, the inner court, and the Holy of Holies.  There is the lampstand, the altar of incense, the table of showbread, the Ark of the Covenant, and the Mercy Seat.  Just from memory, that is what I can recall.  Oh, wait, there is the golden altar too, I just saw that.  In the Old Covenant, there was a very thick veil or curtain covering separating the inner court with the Holy of Holies.  It was about 40 feet high and very, very thick.  Even horses drawing to pull it apart, probably could not pull it apart.  Every once a year, during the Day of Atonement, the priests could enter into the Holy of Holies, and make a sacrifice for sin.  But when Jesus died, the veil was torn, which was very symbolic and literal for what He has done for us.  Some of us look at what Jesus has done for us, and see the Grace part of it, but we don’t really know exactly what God has done for us when Jesus died on the Cross.

After some of us have become believers, we get to the point of complacency, and familiarity, where we lose the awe and the reverence for God, as in the last video I posted said.  We don’t realize that our sin is abominable to God, and that our complaining, murmuring, bad attitudes, bad temperaments, gossip, laziness, rudeness, fearfulness, gluttony and the multitude of things that we do wrong each day, are quenching the Holy Spirit. Sometimes it’s our own strength that is a stench to God, but sometimes it’s our sin, our own flesh that is abominable to God.

Paul says in Romans 7,

21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

So there is this constant struggle and war for believers against sin and godliness.  They are constantly at war.  The stench of sin is abominable to God, but we still sin.  How do we combat this problem?  We are supposed to crucify the flesh, or the carnal man, and put on the mind of Christ.  It also takes knowledge in His Word to do this.  We are supposed to grow in the knowledge of His Word, and not just the New Testament, but the Whole Counsel of the Word.  No Scripture is of private interpretation, and that means that each Scripture must be interpreted in line with other Scripture.  But we are also supposed to watch and pray. (Refer to previous post)

Often times, we put the Presence of God in a box, that we are supposed to enter into His presence our way, but He has a protocol – as it said in the video.  What is the most important part of the protocol- well there are actually two, there is Plan A, and there is Plan B.  Plan A is obedience to God.  That is of utmost important to God, without being obedient to God and His Word, God’s Will and God’s plan for your life cannot come into picture.  But because we are not perfect, and prone to error at times, the second part, is Repentance, which is vital if your going to have a healthy walk with God.  All of this is combined with Prayer, and I must admit, that I don’t pray as often as much as I should, and that is the reflection on the quality of life that I have.  We all know that God’s grace there, and it is always there for us when we need to be picked up, but we must not take it for granted.

Isaiah 35:8 says –

8 A highway shall be there, and a road,
And it shall be called the Highway of Holiness.
The unclean shall not pass over it,
But it shall be for others.

We must not take this grace for granted, and behave in ways that our ungodly.  What is the way that God wants us to act?  It says clearly in His Word how He wants us to act.  One thing emphasized in the New Testament is love.  But it is more than that.  There is the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.  In Exodus 31:13, the LORD is revealed to Israel as,

JEHOVAH-MACCADDESHEM – The LORD my Sanctifier.

This revelation was brought when it comes to the observance of the Sabbath Law, and when it was put into place by God.
“This is the thing which the LORD commanded, saying: 5 ‘Take from among you an offering to the LORD. Whoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it as an offering to the LORD: gold, silver, and bronze; 6 blue, purple, and scarlet thread, fine linen, and goats’ hair; 7 ram skins dyed red, badger skins, and acacia wood; 8 oil for the light, and spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense.
It in the video which is posted on Being Used for the Kingdom of God…there is a part where the person preaching, mentions the spices that Esther used and that it is worship.  This spice is also used for the sweet incense, which is offered to the Lord, and it also says who is of a willing heart.  Jesus was willing to be an offering, but we have to be willing to let Jesus work in us.

As we grow closer in our walk, let us see the Lord as our Sanctifier, the One who makes us holy.  Let us put aside the weights that weigh us down and run the race before us.   Let the Lord purge our hearts and minds as we continue to grow in the image of God, and take on the nature of Christ.  This is how we overcome the stench of sin.  Jesus died for our sins, and when we sin, it’s like we’re crucifying Him all over again.  Hebrews 6:6 says ” 6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame. ”  Thank God for the hope He has given us for an eternal salvation so that we can come to see Him.  Thank God for His blood that washes away our sin.

As for the plant, it is a reminder of the stench that needs to be dealt with in my own life so that I am a pleasing fragrance to the Lord, and put a smile on His face.

Being used in the Kingdom of God

 

This sermon had a powerful punch to it.  It leaves me with somethings that need to be dealt with in my own life.  It talks about the protocol to enter into the presence of God, and how our own strength keeps God from being able to use us.  We are called to be priests and kings, and this video points out the prospects of being a priest for God, which is the duty of those that are believers.  It is about the process of sanctification.  I pray that this video will cause you to look at some areas in your own life that you might need to change, but as for me I will be sharing what I have learned sometime later, if God wills.

 

 

Justice of Christ

 

After watching this sermon, and many of the sermons that are being preached…I believe that this is a time that the Body of Christ needs to be prepared to meet the groom, but how do we prepare unless we know who He is?  Sometimes we’re so afraid of Him being a judge, but God wants us to see that He is a just judge.  He wants us to see His love and His justice, unless we just think He’s an angry God.  The young man in this sermon talked about 27 million people in slavery today, more than any other time in Earth’s history.  After knowing that it brings me back to my Freedom.  I wrote about Freedom, and the cost of Freedom, but to know that Jesus paid the cost, but a lot of the people of the world are still bound.  It makes me wish I could do something, but if all I can do is pray, then that’s what I’ll do.  On my last post I wrote about Jesus being an Advocate with the Father, and on the next night, I was awoken again by loud thundering that just ripped the heavens open and outpouring rain.  If it weren’t for thunderstorms and the power and the majesty of God that is only a little reflection through them, I don’t know how I would begin to see the Amazing Holiness, Power and Might of God in a tangible presence.  It is comforting to know that someone is jealous for me.  That someone fights passionately for me.  That someone wants to see my enemies destroyed, but I have to do my part and not turn into a harlot and go after other gods and idols.  I have to put aside the cowardiceness, and the unbelief, and take on this shield of faith and walk with the Armor of God, and also know that with God’s heart He sees me as the bride, which brings me again to the question:  Who wants to be on the wrong side of wrath of a holy God?

There’s something to be said for the natural disasters that happen – we know that many lives are lost and many homes are destroyed and many people get hurt, but it is a reminder of exactly how much power that our God has.  He has power to shake the very earth and the heavens.  These things are only a reflection of the power, but my prayer is to fully know the depth and height and width of God’s love so to be able to stand in the last day and be on the right side of wrath and not on the wrong side.  We must be careful not to let familiarity step in, where we get so used to the name of Jesus, or so used to the Bible that it has no impact on us.  Stay tuned for some more videos.