Archive for September, 2010

Living In Awe

God is bigger than what we think of Him; in fact He enjoys doing things beyond our definition of impossible and then asking us to join Him in the activity. Walk on water? Multiply bread and fish? Calm a storm with a word? Heal the sick or cast out demons? How ’bout raising the dead? With God nothing is impossible, but try these on our own… I don’t think so.

God is the God of the Impossible!

 Jesus told His disciples that they should feel honored and never offended by the opportunity they had to see and know mysteries that had never been revealed to others (Mt 13:16-17). His use of parables concealed the revelation of Truth, so that those who were seeking for life would have to dig beneath the worldly surface of religion and human understandings. Living in Awe of God was something Jesus wanted His followers to appreciate as a way of life. The answers to most of their questions could only be embrace at the heart level… beyong the mental understanding.

Jesus told Peter, “Blessed are you Simon, …for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in Heaven.” (Mt 16:17)

 The Apostle Paul explained this idea by saying that the “natural man” does not comprehend the things of the spirit, because they are spiritually discerned; in other words, they are revealed from Heaven (1Cor 2:14). He spent time praying that there would come more wisdom and revelation from Heaven so that the things of God could be more widely impacting the regions, where he preached (Eph 1:15-20). Experiencing the grace of Heaven begins with humility and an awareness of the awesome-ness of God (1Pe 5:6-7). That’s why the Psalmist could say, ”the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Ps 111:10).

Humility receives Gods assistance, while pride receives God’s resistance!

“For as the heavens are higher than the Earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9)

Word and Spirit

 

“Without the Spirit, we dry up – Without the Word, we blow up… With the Spirit and the Word, we grow up.”

Its kind of a quirky little quote, but it does emphasize a Truth that must be understood if we are to become balanced disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “It is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” (Jn 6:63) What Jesus wants us to understand is that the quality of life He offers in His words, can only be revealed and released, through a relationship with the Holy Spirit. Its the Spirit that quickeneth, supernatural life. 

 It is the Holy Spirit that causes the abundant life to flow from our innermost being; like rivers of living water. (Jn 7:37-39)

One of the most amazing partnerships pointed out in the Bible, is the fellowship between the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. They are inseparable and complimentary in the life of the Christian. To live with wisdom and love, balance and character, strength and power, we must have a steady diet of the Word and the Spirit.

Listen to the Apostle Peter: “We have the prophetic Word made more sure, that you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place… for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” (2Peter 1:19-21)

The Apostle Paul said, “God has revealed His purposes to us through His Spirit, for the Spirit searches all things, yes the deep things of God.” He goes on to explain that the Holy Spirit is a teacher and that though our understanding of the Words of God and the revelations of the Spirit; “we have the mind of Christ.” (1Cor 2:10-16)

 What an amazing reality, that somehow we could comprehend the thoughts of God. 

The Ministry of Jesus

“The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom to the prisoner and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Lk 4:18-19)

“Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” (Lk 4:21)

The ministry of Jesus is clearly articulated within the context of this passage… to bring good news of favor for the poor, the prisoner, the blind and the oppressed. This was His anointing, it was His purpose and it served as His Divine mandate. His ministry was the communication and activation of a kairos (clicked in) moment, where God was saying “Now the Curse is Broken!”

This was the appointed time of Jubilee!  

Jesus would step onto the path prepared by John the Baptist in order to say, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!” (Mt 4:17) Every person that was healed, every demon that was cast out, every lie that was brought into the light was experiencing it (Lk 4:40). The ministry of Jesus was the ushering in of a Kingdom (Lk 4:43).

 The Kingdom of God has come near and at its coming the brokenness of our world… is healed. (Mt 11:3-5)

The Good News is that God intends to redeem, renew and restore His creation. He is moved with compassion and has seen the frailty and brokenness of humanity. “They were like sheep without a shepherd.” (Mt 9:35-38) The Shepherd has come; sent from Heaven and through the giving of His own life for the sheep, has made a way for the curse to be lifted (Gal 3:13). 

When the curse is reversed, the oppression of Satan is broken and God’s creation is blessed!  

Now, we who are His disciples must comprehend the “Big Picture” and aim to become Kingdom Agents. Called to usher in a New Day, we focus our efforts on allowing the Holy Spirit to break into our lives, to break into this world and bring healing and blessing to the nations. Every victory now anticipates the promise of a better future. Satan is fallen and God is blessing His creation… through the ongoing ministry of Jesus.

Posture Against the Accuser

“And they overcame him by the Blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony and they did not love their lives to the death.” (Rev 12:11)

The power to overcome the Accuser of the Brethren, resides in the ability to believe in the Blood of Jesus Christ. To claim the Grace as our very own and surrender all for but one goal… to be His story.

That’s what a testimony is… His story lived in me.

Satan brings temptation, accusation and condemnation at us with a desire to destroy our destiny in Christ. Yet by God’s Grace we have been made the Victors simply by His finished work on Calvary’s Cross. There is now no temptation; that He has not made a way of escape (1 Cor 10:13), no accusation; that He has not paid full price to pardon (1 Jn 2:2) and no condemnation; that His sacrifice has not completely wiped clean (Rom 8:1).

I shall all the more praise Him!

Our posture must be that we refuse to allow any words other than the Word of God to define our future. When the Accuser attacks, instead of descending to his level of reasoning, we must ascend to the Throne of Heaven in praise. Drawing near to God, we run into His Presence. This place of immunity, is the place of our destiny.

Silencing the Accuser

Have you caught yourself saying this over and over again… “Oh man! I did it again.” I do all too often and for no other reason than, because I am human.

I fail at times and feel overwhelmed and hopeless! (Rom 7:14 & 24)

 In the Bible there is a being called the “Accuser of the Brethren” and he stands day and night accusing and attacking the people of God (Rev 12:10). His goal is to release guilt and shame in us to such a degree that we give up and call ourselves failures.

Yet failure is something God never speaks over His Children… He calls them Loved; Accepted & Forgiven!

 I love what the Bible says about a righteous man; that he falls seven times and gets up eight (Prov 24:16). A righteous man is one who is just more stubborn than the Accuser of the Brethren. Actually a righteous man knows that he must resist the Devil, because he is like a roaring lion, set to devour us with words of condemnation (1Peter 5:8-9). We must resist the accusations and the shame we feel when the enemy tries to overwhelm us with intimidation and fear tactics.  

When we resist the Devil, he does flee! (James 4:7)

Jesus taught us that when He delivers us from an evil spirit, that spirit will go through arid places and find no better house to dwell in than the one it was removed from… so it returns. Interestingly the house gets cleaned up and looks better, but it is empty. It was swept and freshly upgraded, but left unprotected at the evil spirit’s return. The evil spirit doesn’t just come back by itself however; it brings seven more spirits stronger and more intimidating than itself (Matt 12:43-45). To conquer the person’s resistence and occupy the house; takes some strategic thinking. The Devil is a master at deception… he is a thief and a murderer, with no mercy for the weak.

But God… He is our Strength in the time of trouble! (Ps 46:1)

The good news is that although at times we fail, every time we resist the Devil we become stronger.

 Deuteronomy 28:7 says ”The LORD will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven”. I think this is a powerful testimony of how God handles our returning accusers… He says “I thought I told you to get out, now get away from this Child of mine”.

God is invested in your success! (Rom 8:37-39)

The Apostle John said that the Holy Spirit lives inside of us… and “He that is in us, is greater than he that is in the world” (1Jn 4:4). He wants you to carry His victory into all the world. It can begin today in your own home, right where you are. Don’t give in and don’t give up! If you will resist the Accuser of the Brethren, he will find himself silenced and flee from you. Just remember that he will return for more punishment.

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