Forgetting Those Things Which Are Behind

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Paul the Apostle said in Philippians 3:13-14 “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Most of us in the body of Christ would do well to listen to these words.  We would do well to go over them, over and over again, until we believe and receive the concept behind them.  Even a yesterday that was lived in error can hinder our walk with Christ today, or even tomorrow.  

I believe our Lord loves a humble and contrite heart when we stumble and fall, but I believe we grieve Him when we remain locked in to our past mistakes or failures.  The word says that there is no condemnation to those that are in Christ Jesus, but if we truly love the Lord and recognize that He is totally Holy, the enemy can buffet us with our humanistic mistakes.  

The Apostle Paul lived in the world of mistakes before he had the Damascus experience and began to live his life totally for Christ.  Yet, he became such a true follower of Christ that if you follow his writings, you begin to see that is all that he lived for.  

We as believers in Christ must learn to let go of our yesterdays.  Yes, we should ask for the forgiveness of our sins as we are prompted to by the Holy Spirit, but then we need to live the rest of our days focused on the purposes of Christ for our lives, and not focused on our failures.

Most of us have a past, and that past can remain a stronghold in our lives if we’re not careful to let it go.  I have rarely met someone who can say that they had a perfect life before they came to Christ, have you?  Simply stated, our race began the moment we accepted Jesus into our hearts, the day He called us to be His own.  If you were a child when this happened, you are among the most blessed, but if you were already a teenager or a grownup, most likely you had a past that you would rather forget about.  It doesn’t even necessarily mean that you were a terrible sinner, but simply that when you got born again, you simply recognized your sin nature, perhaps for the first time.

The word tells us that we are a new creation, that all things have become new.  Sometimes it doesn’t feel that way, but our feelings have nothing to do with it.  God’s word has to be the ULTIMATE say in our lives.  We should not have to be convinced, but if we do need convincing, we should speak what He says about us, over and over again, until the Spirit of God convinces us and we begin to walk in it.

I watched a war movie recently and I heard someone say to the family of a dead soldier that “A person is never more courageous as when they put away their past pain in a box and lock it up.” For some reason, that spoke to my heart.  We as believers must learn to put our past pain, whatever the source, in a box and lock it up and never go back to it again.  In this way, we can pick up our head and run the race for Christ.

Who likes carrying around old baggage; none of us do, and God doesn’t expect us to.  He said “My burden is light and my yoke is easy”.  Hebrews 12:1-3 “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.”

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, let us run the race for the joy set before us!

Rebellion Is As Witchcraft

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In 1 Samuel Chapter 15 we read the story of King Saul being instructed by God through Samuel the Prophet that he was supposed to attack Amalek and utterly destroy both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.  In other words, he was to destroy ALL that belonged to that kingdom.  However, King Saul thought he had a better way, so he spared Agag, king of the Amalekites, and he also spared the best of the sheep, and all that he considered good.

The result of this disobedience to God, not so much to the Prophet Samuel (because Samuel was only speaking in God’s behalf), was that in Vs. 23 Samuel says to King Saul “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubborness is as iniquity and idolatry.  Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king.”

In today’s society, we have a problem with submitting and respecting authority.  All you have to do is see how society has become about “pleasing self”, “saying whatever comes to their mind”, without regard to authority.  Some don’t even respect the law any longer.  This is true whether they are on the job, or simply out in society.

The word of God tells us that we are in this world, but we are not of this world.  This rebellious society that we live in, many times has infiltrated the Church.  Why else do we have a constant influx of believers moving from one church to another?  At the slightest provocation, people leave to find “the perfect Church“.  There is no such thing as a perfect Church, because all churches are run by imperfect people, and if there were no imperfect people before you arrived, there will be, when you get there.  Just speaking truth here, because according to the word of God, it is the truth that sets us free.

As I was worshiping the Lord today, I began to understand just how easily we fall into Satan’s well laid out trap sometimes.  The point is that if we have a problem with the authority within the Church, then we most likely have a problem hearing and obeying God’s voice too.   I say that because if we can’t abide in harmony because we have a problem with someone having authority over us, and we are seeing, speaking, interacting with that person or persons, then how in the world can we be abiding, hearing and obeying the voice of the Holy Spirit, that we cannot see?

It’s a sobering thought, isn’t it?  We can all relate to times when we just make up our minds that we “just don’t like the way so and so is running things” .  The most sobering thought should be to even consider that we might be doing the same thing to the Holy Spirit of God as He tries to counsel us.  These thoughts broke my heart.

In the story of King Saul, the Lord said to him that He had rejected him from being king.  I realize that we are under a new covenant and that Jesus does not reject us so easily; however, that does not mean that we do not suffer the consequences of turning a deaf ear to Almighty God!

We are to judge ourselves that we may not be judged, therefore, it is a good thing for all of us to periodically check out our communication with God.  Are we hearing him every day?  Does he trust us with insight and wisdom?  Do we see the fruit of the Spirit operating in our lives?

Our God is a good God who desires to bless his people!  God forbid that we have rebellion operating in our lives, because God sees it the same as witchcraft!

Another matter to consider is that if we are not submitting to the authority that God has placed in our lives, whether on the job, or at the Church, then how in the world can we expect to have authority over the enemy?

I just pray that God help us all, that he remove the blinders and the shackles and set us free to understand what the Spirit is saying.  I pray that he finds willing and obedient hearts in all of us that are willing and anxious to obey his voice.  I pray that we understand that it is God who places people in positions of authority, and that it is his desire that we understand his kingdom principles.  I pray that he finds none of us as believers, in places that he would call rebellion and witchcraft.  PROVERBS 3:5-8 TRUST IN THE LORD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND LEAN NOT ON YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING; IN ALL YOUR WAYS ACKNOWLEDGE HIM, AND HE SHALL DIRECT YOUR PATHS.  DO NOT BE WISE IN YOUR OWN EYES; FEAR THE LORD AND DEPART FROM EVIL.  IT WILL BE HEALTH TO YOUR FLESH, AND STRENGTH TO YOUR BONES.

 

 

 

Speak Those Things That Are Not

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Romans 4:17 in speaking about the faith of Abraham states (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did….

The Book of Genesis describes how God created the earth by calling those things which did not exist as though they did exist, AND THEY THEN EXISTED!

 

When we believe God and his promises, and I only say when, because the truth of the matter is that many times we as believers actually struggle with believing!  This world and the enemy of our soul seem to have a stronghold on us that keeps us from reaching to God to obtain His many glorious promises for our lives.  What surrounds us at times seems to have the upper hand; it seems to have us more convinced than the word of our Almighty God. 

This captivity of our soul needs to be broken, and sometimes the only thing that is going to break it is going to be the confessions out of our own mouth.  Others can break it off us temporarily, maybe, but a more permanent solution is to retrain ourselves to speak those things which do not exist as though they did exist, just as the scripture says.  It is the word of God that has the power, and if God said it, it is so! 

Example Nr. 1:

Say you feel spiritually troubled and maybe you don’t even know exactly what is causing you to feel that way.  A “God confession” might be to say “Greater is he who is in me, than he who is in the world”.  What are you saying with that?  You are declaring that the Spirit of God who lives within you is greater than the evil spirit that is attempting to make you feel defeated.

You might declare that the “Joy of the Lord is your strength”!  Guess what?  Unless you counter what seems to be reality, and an unholy reality at that, you are likely to remain trapped. 

Now you might declare the scriptures and for a moment it may not seem to be working, but you stay with it long enough and I guarantee you by the infallible word of God, that that thing will BREAK, because His word does not return to Him void, but it accomplishes His purposes for your life.

Example Nr. 2:

Say you’re experiencing fear over some circumstance.  2 Timothy 1:7 says “For God did not give me a spirit of fear, but one of power, one of love, and of a sound mind.”

I personally memorized this verse from the very beginning of my walk with God.

And by the way, a great way to memorize scripture is to write it down, post it in a place where you will see it every day, and just simply read it often.  Very soon, you will have memorized that scripture that you have placed before your eyes, even without trying to memorize it.

On the subject of fear, remind yourself, out loud, that the word of God says in 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.”

The bottom line is that the word of God is always our weapon of choice, it is called the sword of the Spirit, and like a sword, it cuts into, cuts out, and destroys the weapons of our enemy.

When we declare the word of God instead of what we are feeling or experiencing, we are calling those things that are not, as though they are.  We are actually calling the word of God into existence, and it is the Lord himself that brings it about.

Remember how we got saved, we confessed with our mouth and believed in our heart.  This is the same concept, but instead of confessing what we are feeling or experiencing, we confess the word of God that brings about the victory from the realm of the Spirit into the natural realm where we live.  By confessing the word of God instead of the problem we, by the grace of God, bring it into existence by the faith in our hearts that what God says is supreme over everything else. 

This does not mean that we will not face troubles in life because the word says that in this world we will have tribulation, but Jesus said, do not worry for I have overcome the world.  This to me means that he has overcome the world for US.  How?  He has given us the weapons of our warfare that are not carnal, but they are mighty through God for the pulling down of strongholds (2 Corithians 10:4).  Those weapons can be found throughout the Word of God.  Find your weapon today!  The Holy Spirit will guide you to it.  You might even find that there is surely more than just one weapon for your specific situation.  Once you find them, don’t let up, don’t let go, be persistent and you will see the deliverance of the Lord!

 

Just How In Love Are You With Jesus

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I think the title of this blog is valid, or should I say, the question as to how much we truly love Jesus.  True love is a hard thing to find in this day and age, because the concept of love has been watered down to such a degree that now when people think about love, they think only of themselves.  How much love can they get, and not how much love they can give.  I believe true love is two-fold, and it has to flow both ways.  If it only flows one way, it is flawed, and sooner or later, it will wear out.  All this to describe what love in our natural world seems to be, but my subject matter is about loving Jesus.

If the world has gotten lost along the way regarding what true love really is, it just makes me wonder if we truly understand what it really means to love Jesus, the one who died for us.  If we struggle with what love really means in the real world, how then can we understand the supernatural love of God, and how then can we give back a supernatural love to God?  How can we give anything that we do not fully understand?

So it all begins with searching out the motives of our hearts, because if those motives have been seared in the natural realm, it just might be that they are also off when it comes to our love of Christ.  I don’t know that any human being can offer a perfect love even in the natural realm, but we must at least try to understand His love which he says is “unconditional”.  Who in this world offers us an unconditional love?  This is a pretty deep subject, for who can describe the perfect love of God?  All I know is that his love overwhelms me.  His love separates me.  His love is all that I desire.  He says in his word “That we are in this world, but we are not of this world”, so our understanding of his ways and his love cannot be understood with our natural minds or even our natural hearts.  The love of God can only be understood with our spirit man, the very spirit within us that he brought to life by his Spirit when we were born again.

Each one of us must ask ourselves what it is that satisfies us?  I realize that there would be a multitude of answers to this question, but if you would think back, you would probably realize that your answers right now might be entirely different from what you might have answered just a few years ago, a few months ago, a few weeks ago!  If that is the case, you would come to understand that nothing really satisfies forever, except the love of God and our love for him.  The love of God remains constant, when we’re good and when we’re not so good.  The love of God is unchanging and he is never too busy to hear us, his line doesn’t ring busy, and he doesn’t put us on hold.

But again, our question is quite another matter.  Our question has to do with how much you and I truly love Jesus.  How often is he on your mind?  How often is he on your heart?  How often do you life up a praise or a prayer unto him who knew you before you were ever formed in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139)?  How often do your thoughts turn to him who says in his word that his thoughts toward you are as numerous as the grains of sand (Psalm 139:17-18)?

I know that we can’t be expected to love him as much as he loves us, only because we are still in this human form, but I believe we all can still afford to give him more of ourselves than what we have!

I pray right now that the love of God overwhelms you through and through, and that he sets you free from any wrong concepts of what true love really is, and that he fully convinces you of what his love for you really is, in the name of Jesus Christ, the son of God!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God

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I sometimes wonder if we understand what it means to seek the kingdom of God first and all His righteousness and then everything else will be added to it. We have some half-hearted believers out there, and perhaps I am one of them too. What does it truly mean to seek the kingdom of God first? What does it mean and all of His righteousness? Do any of us dare to explore such a topic? This world is full of enticements and distractions that seem to take our heart away from the things of God. True or not true, you ask yourself, and I’ll do the same? God is an all consuming fire who is well able to satisfy every physical and emotional need that we could ever consider. Didn’t he create us after all? Shouldn’t he be the one who understands our every need also? I believe that he is our all sufficiency, but the truth of the matter is that we are more interested in fulfilling ourselves with the things of the world, things that are not necessarily God related. I’m not saying that God wants to consume our interests and our time, but he surely deserves more than what most of us give him, doesn’t he? That is a question that only each one of us can answer. I know that as believers in Christ, we certainly must have the capacity to be complete fulfilled in Christ, and not necessarily have such a need for the so many other things that this world has to offer. The Bible gives the parable of the ten virgins, five were wise and had their lamps filled and five were foolish and took no oil with them. The Bible goes on to say that at midnight a cry was heard “Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him”. Matt Chapter 25. The foolish virgins wanted to borrow oil from the wise virgins, but they got none. The foolish virgins represent a believer that has been too occupied with life or pleasure and has somehow failed to fill himself with the Word and the Spirit of God. It’s evident what the wise virgins represent. This is a picture of the bride of Christ, because he is the bridegroom. Does anybody agree that life is a whole different ballgame that what it used to be? What with all these electronic gadgets at hand, cell phones, IPads, etc, It would be wise to occasionally take a moment and gauge ourselves personally, and honestly asking ourselves which category we fit in. Time is tight, but time is what we make it, and when you consider that God is the creator of time, you can easily decide how quickly he would respond to us if we were to ask him to somehow make more time for us to spend with him. Not to bore you with details, but when I used to work, I used to get up early in the morning to pray. When I would happen to get up late, I would ask God to give me the time to pray, and he did, and I always got to work on time. Try it, you’ll like it! Ask and it shall be given to you, pressed down, shaken together and running over. Be blessed in Christ alone!