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Aligned for Freedom

We often find ourselves in the awkward position where our strength is not enough… where our wisdom falls incredibly short. So what do the righteous do in the face of real opposition? The Bible clearly says we are not of those that shrink back, but we press forward even to the saving of the soul (Heb. 10:35-36).  This passage tells us of our greatest need… “endurance”. Endurance is a big word, but we all know its meaning… “staying power”.

Are you… am I one of those Christians who gives up easily? My heart finds no endurance in hype and it will not respond to meaningless rules… do this or do that!

I must become trained in righteousness and fellowship in the Truth that sets me free from weak and feeble mind sets.

In this verse we read about the effect of our pressing into the challenges of our faith… our soul gets saved. I think this literally means that my mind gets stubborn and unless I discipline myself I will consistently “shrink” when I’m supposed to “press in”.

Staying Power:

The objective of endurance training is to develop the energy production to meet the demands of the event before us. Someone once told me that endurance cannot be measured until our challenge becomes recognized as a challenge. I think we find ourselves giving up before we even know we are in the race. The Apostle Paul said run the race as one who wins… who gets the prize. He was commanding us to set our minds on the rewards that are gained. When we have done the will of God, we receive the promise. I want the promise, don’t you? Its the reward of my believing.

I am often looking at the struggle like a deer in the headlights, when I should be a valiant warrior taking aim at my enemy. Endure to the end and receive like the victor… Jesus – who endured the cross… that I might be able to carry mine.

Peace Worth Holding

Are you able to embrace the Prince of Peace?

The Apostle Paul experienced some of the most intense persecution from those who could not wrap their mind around his message. He was beaten and left for dead, imprisoned and ship wrecked… but he continued to posture himself in a way that enabled him to hold onto his peace.

He knew that peace was not the absence of struggle, but the Presence of a Person… Jesus! From a prison cell he penned these words:

“Be anxious for nothing, but in all things by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:6-7)

I love the promise communicated by the Prophet Isaiah who said, “You (God) will keep him (us) in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” (Isa 26:3) Trust is the key to keeping our eye focused upon Christ. Our ability to carry heavy burdens or win great battles is not on how we handle the stress, but who we focus upon.

Paul focused all of his attention upon the prize of knowing Christ Jesus – the true Prince of Peace. He lived with a belief that Christ was his peace (Eph 2:14-15). That through the Cross of Calvary, Jesus the Messiah, destroyed the barrier that the Old Testament Law established between God and us. A freedom was purchased that gave access to all of Heaven’s richest rewards… God’s Heart.

Paul exhorts us to… “let the peace of God rule in your hearts.” (Col 3:15)

Possess The Enemy’s Gates

Living Out Your Salvation:

“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” (Phil. 2:12-13)

Living the abundant life God has promised every believer, should become our ultimate experience. Yet the promise is no more than just words if there is no power to restore our past broken hearts and deliver us from the bonds of sin. In Christ all of this is possible through faith and personal relationship, where we come to see His hand upon our lives. The New Testament promise is “Christ in you the hope of glory” (Col 1:27) and “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world” (1 Jn 4:4). Fullness of joy is released in us when we have an awareness of His Presence in our lives, because nothing can defeat us and we become more than conquerors in Him.

Enemy Gates:

God’s Word offers incredible principles that bring wisdom and revelation to our experiences. One such principle that is found in the life of Abraham and Sarah was that God promised to give their descendants the “gates of their enemies” (Gen 22:17). The gates were symbols of authority. Obviously then what God was offering was a promise to release favor upon Abraham’s descendants… such favor that they would have influence in their enemy’s camp. When they showed up at the enemy’s door, they could rely upon God’s promised favor to bring supernatural breakthrough. And if their enemy chose to attack, God’s hand would become the resistance the enemy would experience first… we call this a hedge of protection. Its also spoken of as an “angelic charge over us” by King David (Ps. 91:11-13). A hedge of protective security is promised to keep God’s Covenant Child in all their ways… to bear them up against stumbling and blocked vision. Notice the effect is to allow for victory against the lion and the cobra… “the young lion and the serpent you shall trample under foot”.

You might ask, so why is that important to us?

Well we are the descendants of Abraham, and heirs of this promise! Through the Blood of Jesus Christ, we can claim this promise for our own lives. When we are mistreated or have caught the enemy stealing our goods, we can call upon God to give us favor and influence in the restoration of all that has been taken. God has offered us restoration and deliverance through this wonderful promises (2 Pet. 1:2-4).

Our willingness to stand in the midst of persecution or fight for the poor, gets God’s attention because of this promise. It is a promise He has made to all of His Covenant Children. Those who believe in the God of Abraham receive the Blessings of Abraham. The Blessing of being in Christ is that we come into fellowship with the God who restores and heals all that we have seen stolen and broken in our lives. This is the meaning of abundant life, full of joy and full of glory.

The Apostle Peter said “…you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (You) “…who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” (1 Pet. 2:9-10)

Don’t give an inch to the devil! Take dominion and occupy what God has promised you!

Becoming the Sacrifice

If you ask people what “worship” is, you’ll probably receive many answers related to music, church services, and singing. While worship certainly includes the songs we sing and the services we attend; this common definition limits worship to a time frame or specific activity. Instead, I believe the Bible teaches that worship is a lifestyle… an ongoing response to God in every circumstance and every moment.

 

 Jesus made the comment to the woman at the well outside of Sychar “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth”. (Jn 4:24)

 I have come to understand that worship takes on many forms and expressions, but it always communicates from the heart. Worship comes out of the human spirit as a declaration of truth to say… “I value God!” Loving Him for who He is and for how He has changed my life. It becomes my compelling desire to worship God from the heart… to become an undivided reservoir of love and appreciation for my King.

 While I often bring a sacrifice of thanksgiving and praise for entry into His Presence… when I get there I become the sacrifice poured out for His purpose. To set my life upon the altar is no loss; but a yielded embrace to His voice, that encourages true usefulness.

Like the Prophet Isaiah, my heart is captured and I am undone. I welcome the call to go wherever He leads me.

 …I heard the voice of the Lord saying: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?”

 Then I said, “Here am I! Lord, send me.” (Isa 6:8)

Blueprint For Enlargement

“Some time in the future I’m gonna look much better than I look right now!” This proclamation was heard at a conference I recently attended where we felt the compelling urge to prophetically step into the new places God had carved out for us.

 I am absolutely convinced that radical steps must be taken to shift us into the ground already “possessed”.

 The activity of taking the possession is a militant call for a “dis-possessing” of the present squatters. Unforgiveness is a squatter, bitterness and envy are squatters, competition, jealousy, pride, fornication, sorcery, heresies and uncleanness of all kinds are squatters upon the promise ground of God’s work in our lives. 

These deceiving spirits lie and establish false ownerships. They communicate through intimidation… not face to face, but beneath the radar. It is Satan’s goal to kill, steal and destroy without making a ripple in our daily routine. We must first awaken ourselves to the reality of the battle; then we must speak with faith and conviction into the spiritual realm (Eph 3:10). Life and death are in the power of our tongue and we overcome Satan’s lies by the word of our testimony.

His (God’s) destiny is not far from our possession; it just gets obstructed by the deceiving perspectives that the Enemy sets in our path. Deut 30:14 declares God’s pathway for obtaining the inheritance…

He says look now …..the Word is near you even in your mouth and in your heart that you may do it.

 He is speaking here of the opportunity to move into promised land through our obedient use of believing and speaking. Its the activity of faith… and the obligation of all who aim to have influence for the glory of Christ. In this day we must have Kingdom enlargement for the obtaining of every mountain of influence.

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