Posts Tagged ‘life’

Covenant Resources

(Ps. 103:1-5) Bless the Lord, oh my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and forget not all His benefits:

  1. Who forgives all your iniquities,
  2. Who heals all your diseases,
  3. Who redeems your life from destruction,
  4. Who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies,
  5. Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

My Heavenly Father renews my spirit (Eph 3:16). He offers resources, benefits and inheritance that strengthen my confidence and encourage my walk of faith. Each one of His benefits are promises to meet the need and teach me of His power and His Glory. Along the pages of my Bible; you’ll find written and dated Covenant principles that remind me of His provision for me. They are truths that will not fail!

  • He Forgives: (Isaiah 1:18)

Jesus tells us of the Father’s agreement through the blood of His own Son. A Covenant of Forgiveness and Grace. “This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins” (Mt. 26:28).

  • He Heals: (Isaiah 53:5)

I love the way Jesus fulfills His Father’s will and establishes the truth for our provision at the same time. “When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.” (Mt. 8:16-17)

  • He Redeems: (Psalm 34:22)

Jesus declares us - righteous by faith (Rom. 3:21-24)! A reality that cannot be accomplished by our own efforts is made available through a free gift. Because we take refuge in the promises of God, there is a fellowship in the Holy Spirit that enables me to be free from the grip of sin. I am free to live in the destiny God has for me. Redemption allows me to watch as God restores the brokenness and fears of the past.

  • He Crowns: (Psalm 8:5)

The word crown can also be translated “clothed” and we see that Jesus tells His disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they were clothed in power from on high (Lk. 24:49). Its the Father’s will that His Children be clothed with Glory and walk in the power of the Holy Spirit. The benefit of the Father’s Promise (Acts 2:4 & 8) gives us influence over the world’s system and releases supernatural impact right where we live.

  • He Satisfies: (Psalm 23:1)

Jesus makes the evidence of salvation a renewal every morning. He meets with me and satisfies my soul as a Good Shepherd leads sheep to pasture. His invitation becomes an abiding rest and empowerment. On the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus stood on a high place and shouted, “If anyone thirsts, let him come unto Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” (Jn 7:37-38).

Drinking at the Well

These are days of discovery where a generation is experiencing the joy and abundance of living lives full of the Holy Spirit. I have never seen a time so permeated with great opportunities to hear God’s message and fellowship with people who have become radically effected by the Wells of Salvation.

Isaiah 12:1-3 “And in that day you will say; Oh Lord, I will praise You; though You were angry with me Your anger is turned away and You comfort me. Behold God is my Salvation, I will trust and not be afraid. For YAH, (Yahweh) the Lord is my Strength and my Song, He also has become my Salvation! Therefore with joy you will draw water from the Wells of Salvation.”

The Old Testament Prophet Isaiah said it would be like this… that a day would come where a people would draw out the living water from the wells of salvation; that a resource of joy would be released within their lives. They would drink deeply of the spiritual life and they would overflow as a bubbling expression of freedom.

Free from fear and free from wrath; God’s people are made to drink deeply from these wells. (1 Cor 12:13)

  1. This life giving water becomes our Strength!
  2. This joy that we experience becomes our Song!
  3. This heaven sent grace has become our Salvation!

The New Testament writer Paul encourages us to live filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph 5:18). He tells us to keep being filled, keep drinking of this living water everyday and as you receive and flow out into the world around you, there will be an evidence of God’s impact upon others. You are God’s delight and His invitation still remains. So come drink deeply with joy, draw out of His resources within you and know the One who fills your heart with life.

Real Grace

The word “grace” has significant meaning for our relationship with God, ourselves and one another. Grace is God’s love offered. As a gift is freely given, so grace must be received to be appreciated. God offers us something beyond ourselves, yet within our reach. The power of this gift called grace, grows when we truly understand how it works in connection with faith and trust.

Grace is a Person:

God so loved the world that He gave us the gift of His only Son (Jn 3:16-17). Jesus is the gift of grace to all mankind. He is the way, the truth, and the life of God, given as the full representative of grace. Through Jesus, God comes to us and reveals Himself to us, because we cannot by ourselves find God. Jesus as our advocate with the Father comes to help us know Him and believe in Him as He really is. We cannot do this by our human limitation, because we get so blinded by carnal perception. We need God’s grace.

Religious Perceptions:

Religion can be negative to our perception, as it creates a way of seeing through boxes of morality, judgment and expectations. In fact, so many people are bound to religion that Christianity is often defined more by what it rejects than what it believes.

If we are sinful (and we all are), we may not want to come to God, thinking that God is unapproachable and will punish us for our sins. We may get the idea that we must be “good enough” to be acceptable to God. But this is where grace becomes so significant. Its the gift of God!

Understanding Mercy:

All sinners experience guilt, brokenness and emotional pain. But faith is our humble belief in God’s mercy. Mercy is simply God not giving us what we deserve so that grace can become visible. When we understand mercy, we naturally turn toward the one showing us that mercy. This turning is an act of humility, because we recognize the favor (grace) being shown us is undeserved and it causes us to feel like a burden is lifted from our shoulders. There are all kinds of burdens that mercy lifts when someone favors us.

Clarifying Our Focus:

It is important that we reject sinful behavior, but never reject ourselves or the person we see sinning. Unfortunately, in real life, many of us have the tendency to blend the two into one: we often associate the behavior with the person. In this way, we become condemning and judgmental, hypocritical and proud.

This is where God’s grace becomes visible. Jesus is not a policeman, but an advocate. An advocate is somebody who pleads the case for mercy and stands on behalf of the guilty before the accuser or the judge.

Restoration and Hope:

In the parable of the prodigal son, the father is not judgemental and condemning, but a restorer of broken relationship. Jesus tells us, he throws his arms around the returning son and kisses him, while his servant is commanded to prepare the house for a party.

Consistent with Grace:

Jesus would have us see God as the waiting Father, who runs to embrace the son at the first sign of his turning toward home. “This son was lost, but now has come home! Bring out the robe, the ring and the sandals, for my son was dead and is alive again. Prepare the fatted calf… tonight we feast!” (Lk 15:20-24)

Walking in Real Grace:

The other son is caught up in the epic battle with religious seeing and self-righteous attitudes. Jesus does not approve of that moralistic attitude, because it is hypocritical. In offering grace to others, Jesus wants us to embrace people at the first sign of turning toward home. Its not that we condone what they have done as much as we embrace who they really are. He wants us to know that grace is God’s unconditional love revealed at the first sign of humility. The Apostle Peter said “…be clothed with humility, for God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble” (1 Pet 4:5).

Rending Heaven

“Oh, that You would rend the heavens! That You would come down! That the mountains might shake at Your Presence. To make Your Name known to Your adversaries, that the nations may tremble at Your Presence.” (Isa. 64:1-2)

Like many of you, I have felt the despair of this season. We are in a very narrow place and even as the nations rage, there is a sense within my heart that all is not well. Everything that can be shaken is being shaken. If we are not careful, each of us might be tempted to believe that we are alone in this season. The Tempter would love for us to believe that God is not with us, that He doesn’t care about our challenges and that no one, not even our closest friends, are concerned about us. Yet, we must not allow the devil to cause us to surrender one step or one inch of our Kingdom posture. We must stand on His Word and tell the devil, “It is written!”

Releasing His Word:

When God says He will rend the heavens, He means that He will tear open a portion of heaven for His entry. He intends to come down by releasing His Word to us. The word “rend” is connected to the same word in Greek which means to “call out”. God is calling out! He has violently ripped a hole in the spiritual atmosphere and come into our world… His Word has become flesh and dwelt among us. As unsettling and unnatural as it was for a virgin to conceive and as foolish and unacceptable as it was for the world to embrace; God was rending the heavens and making Himself known to the nations. Why? Because His very Name is life, peace and salvation!

Let me repeat: His Name is Life, Peace and Salvation!

This “calling out” means several things. First, it implies that God will call out to us. He will make His name known to us, to call us to accountability. He knows us by name and He desires that we know Him… that we know His voice and His Presence. That we recognize love when it is demonstrated by a cross. It also implies a calling out to our enemy… His adversary! That’s right, can you picture this? Not only is God rending the heavens and calling out to us with words of life, He is also calling out to our enemy; the accuser, who accuses us day and night. What’s He saying… “It is Finished!” The day of vengence has now come…

  • I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Acts 2:19-21)

God is once more rending the heavens and coming down to us, by releasing His Word. Will we hear Him? He is speaking concerning our breakthroughs, as well as exposing the strongholds that are blocking His advancement in the Earth. He is speaking new strategies and equipping His people with power to transform the culture one person at a time. Shaking is not a new thing, its a God thing… God is revealing His purposes in the Earth and exposing the enemy at the same time. Our responsibility is to walk in God’s Promises and trust in His Fathering Heart.

Understand His Intentions:

Position yourself to hear the Voice of Your Redeemer! Remove the old garments for the Bride Groom stands ready. Cast aside the influence of Babylon (the world system) and Mammon. Shake yourself free from discouragement that latches onto your mind. Renewal and refreshment are awaiting the Bride as she sees with the eyes of faith and love. This Bride Groom comes with fire in His eyes, declaring His intentions. The Lord is extending peace like a river and the wealth of the nations like flowing streams (Isa 66:12). He comes anouncing His intent… “I have come for My Bride!”

The Good News:

There is a good word in these times of shaking. “Though sorrow may last for the night, joy comes in the morning” (Ps 30:5). God is not finished and He has no intention of holding back… for in rending the heavens He is making His Name known among the nations. The mountains will shake, but those who have their hearts set on their Beloved… they will welcome the sound of His footsteps.

“And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Acts 2:21)

Spirit of the Age

You are invited

The word “another” in the New Testament is translated from two different words in the Greek. They are similar and yet very different. One is allos, which expresses merely a numerical difference. It literally means “another of the same kind”. For example… a second apple would be another apple, but it would be the same kind – both are apples. The other Greek word that is translated “another” in the English is heteros. It means “another of a different kind”. An orange; for example, would be another fruit of a different kind from the apple. Its basic nature is different, even though it is in the same group with other fruits.

So what’s the thought here?

Jesus makes a big deal out of this concept when He defines our calling to become His disciples.  “And another of His disciples said unto Him, Lord suffer (wait for) me first to go and bury my father. But Jesus said unto him, follow Me and let the dead bury their dead.” (Mt 8:21-22)

At first glance this would seem to be a strange reply. A person could come away with the idea that Jesus was a bit demanding. This man was a disciple of Jesus; not one of the twelve, but he certainly had potential… didn’t he? He was called by the Lord to follow, but was unsure in the immediate future that he wanted to see the impact of Christ’s teaching in his own life, family and community. He felt unable to commit to follow the Lord “at once”, or at this “opportune time”. He felt it was more important to bury his father; who many scholars believe, may not have even been close to death yet. His dedication to Jesus Christ was not great enough to walk away from the cultural responsibilities of his personal life. He was not free to commit.

After all, what would the neighbors say about him not being there to bury his father?

James and John walked away from the life they had as fishermen, to begin a new life with Jesus (Mt 4:21-22); but this man could not. He was a disciple of “another” (heteros) kind. He probably felt justified in his reluctance to follow the Lord. His reasoning was bound to his values and those values were set by natural realities, not Jesus’ invitation. He could justify staying at home and fulfill his duties there and still serve the Lord in some way.

He did not realize, he was enslaved by a “spirit”.

What this helps us to see is that often demonic spirits do not work to get you to reject the Lord. What they tend to do is enslave you to a lower level of discipleship than what God has called you to attain. Jesus tells us, “strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able” (Lk 13:24).

Remember Gates hold authority in Scripture.

The strait gate is the entrance; where a threshold of personal authority and agreement must be stepped over or broken through, in order for us to reach that higher calling… that opportune time in Christ. Many individuals sense their invitation to experience a closer walk with the Lord, but find they are not able to break free from the spirit of the age. Wow, that is an important word, because it tells us of a limitation that is often hidden in our soulish desires and cultural allegiances. The dedication and commitment to the Lordship of Christ will not be great enough to make the transition.

They want to and they seek to enter in, but are unable. They don’t realize a spirit has enslaved them to a lower form of following… “at a distance”.

This “spirit of the age” must be broken.

If we are not guarding our commitment to Christ, stretching our spiritual muscle and growing in our knowledge of Him, we can find ourselves seduced by this spirit of the age. In a media driven nation like America, this is an easier thing to fall into than we would like to believe. I am convinced (as are many) in our conservative Church culture that our lifestyles do not reflect a truly Biblical world view.

The Apostle Paul said this would be based upon the spirit of the age blinding people’s minds through unbelief, so that they do not comprehend the glory in the face of Jesus (2 Cor 4:4-6). Its not a new thing at all; in fact, he also gave this warning to the Church of Galatia, “I marvel that you are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another (heteros) gospel” (Gal 1:6).

This “another gospel” carries the seductive spirit of compromise and will cause you to feel you are doing fine on your present level of commitment and growth. You may never hear yourself say “I do not need to grow spiritually”. It may be that you just lose that fire in your belly… the hunger is gone. Maybe you intend to commit more someday, follow through with that call sometime, but right now your life is just too full to earnestly seek after God. This spirit will lull you to sleep and make you unable to follow God’s original call upon your life. And it does become stubborn.

Breaking free requires radical repentance and fasting!

Radical repentance and seasons of fasting are often needed, to reveal the chains and crush their hold around our ankles. In order to believe the Word of God, we must capture every thought and renew the mind with Truths that will set us free to live for Him and commit to Him. This is the Spirit of Life in Christ that brings joy and peace.

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