Posts Tagged ‘problem’

Power of Persuasion: Part 3

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” (Hosea 4:6)

  • “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 8:37-39)
  • “I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.” (2 Tim. 1:12)


Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (Jn. 8:31-32)

The Truth shall make you free… free from sin – free from ignorance – free to find a confident place to rest your hope! This Power of Persuasion is the Believer’s platform of reality. In things pertaining to the Kingdom of God, our life is directly tied to a knowledge of the Truth! Remember “Truth” is reality from God’s perspective!

Ignorance is simply a lack of knowledge! You cannot live in what you do not know! As the Bible clearly indicates – a knowledge of the love of God and a confident assurance in Christ’s ability to do what He says… brings us deliverance and strength! Ignorance causes all kinds of confusion and division… even destruction among those who are content to live in it. Confusion, division, and disagreement abound… even in religious circles. I would even go as far as to say, Christianity is experiencing its greatest challenge to date… the weak efforts to disciple its followers. The Body of Christ seems unwilling to find its footing on Biblical foundations. God’s people are divided, because they are spiritually blind and Biblically illiterate. The Church promotes hundreds of different denominations, wearing different names, worshiping in different ways and teaching different doctrinal beliefs. It is important that we consider why there is so much confusion, disagreement, and division… because God does not approve of this reality.

The Words of Jesus have not changed. He said, “I will build My Church” upon Himself – the Rock of Revelation… that is that Jesus is “the Christ, the Son of the Living God” (Mt. 16:18). Jesus is seeking a people who will become “one” in spiritual knowledge and unity (Jn. 17:20-23) and once again walk in the Glory of God!

So What’s Going On Today?

Does the Bible contradict itself? Is it impossible to understand? Do people fail to study diligently enough, resulting in ignorance? Are the problems caused by following man-made creeds and authority instead of following the Bible? The answer to all these questions is… What did Jesus say?

  1. The Key is to Know Him: To become persuaded requires an encounter and some experience with God and His Son Jesus, the Christ! (Jn. 17:3)
  2. Next Make Room for His Words: To become persuaded means there must be a renewing of our mind! (1 Cor. 2:6-16)
  3. Finally Willingly Trust in God: To become persuaded takes an enormous amount of faith – faith comes by hearing …the Words of Christ! (Rom. 10:17)

“Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” (Col. 2:8)

We need to understand that its not a new problem! Even in Christ’s day, the People of Israel had a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge (Rom. 10:1-3)… and the Sadducee crowd found themselves in error, because they did not know the Scriptures (Mt. 22:29). Its amazing how passionate we can become and be completely wrong in the arena of knowledge. We must know Him and have a knowledge of the Truth, in order to exhibit the kind of character that pleases God and the kind of power that makes a difference in the world. We must be continually growing in our knowledge of the Truth so faith will increase and the Holy Spirit will feel welcome to guide our steps.

Here is the Apostle Paul’s word: “I Press Toward the Goal”

Because there is a Prize… “And it becomes the Power of Persuasion”

Its God’s voice calling me upward in Christ Jesus!

“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 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. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.” (Phil. 3:12-16)

Set Free By Christ!

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.” (Gal. 2:20-21)

Almost all denominations of Christianity have valued portions of the Laws of Moses (Mosaic Covenant) and added them to the New Covenant established by Christ. Without being aware of it, this has made most Christians guilty of the whole Mosaic Law… which says it all must be kept. At the same time, there becomes a growing hypocrisy in our understanding of the New Covenant. We teach about grace, and want the guidance of the Holy Spirit; but keep mixing it with Laws that no longer serve the same purpose for the Christian Believer as they did for the Jew. This is not to say that we cannot learn many wonderful truths from the Mosaic Law. We are just no longer bound relationally with God through that “spiritual agreement”. We are in covenant relationship with God through a New Covenant ratified by Jesus Christ, not by Moses!

The Issue is Spiritual Freedom:

The fact that most churches have not understood this vital point, has caused us to loose sight of ”grace through faith” and minimize the very power of the New Covenant itself. Most denominations have become very good at mixing the Old Covenant instituted by Moses with the New Covenant. They have forgotten that the Old Covenant has become obsolete while the New Covenant is the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. It is our freedom. The problem is that there are consequences to stepping away from grace… a loss of freedom.

The Issue of Life or Death:

It all has to do with what you “behold” or set as your standard of relational truth! One covenant brought death (and always will); the other brings Life (Rom. 8:2). If you believe any of the Old Covenant is still binding to a believer in Christ, then it will become the basis of your perception of obedience. We must, however; read what the Apostle Paul has to say about the cornerstone of the Old Covenant, the Ten Commandments (2 Cor 3:4-18). The central goal of the Old Covenant is to behold our sin and make sacrifices according to how we have fallen from glory (Rom. 3:23), but the goal of the New Covenant is to behold the Glory of God as it reveals itself in the face of Jesus (2 Cor. 4:6) and is manifesting itself in our personal transformation (2 Cor 3:17-18). We are moving from one level of glory to another level of glory by the Spirit of the Lord… its our freedom in Christ.

Again… “We are moving from one level of glory to another level of glory by the Spirit of the Lord.” That’s our freedom in Christ!

How Jesus has Set Us Free:

The Holy Spirit is changing us… and it effects our behavior, our attitudes and our giving. Yet, to live under the law of obligation (like the tithe or circumcision) actually releases two deceptive realities… shame or pride. Both of these problems are “religious spirits” that aim to rule our behavior and limit our relationship with the Lord Jesus and those in the Body of Christ. When we find ourselves unable to live up to the standards set by those more mature than us, it releases a false sense of guilt, shame and condemnation. When we live according to some arbitrary religious standard and find ourselves successful without the need of faith, we become vulnerable to personal pride and boasting.

Jesus came to do away with the “measurements” on all levels and substitute His life for any standard – perceived or real… we become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:21). He became our standard bearer so that we could walk in freedom, being led by the Holy Spirit and feeling the joy of a living relationship with the Father. Its a freedom to live, grow and serve as God would have us serve. Its not a license to sin any longer, but a freedom to live by faith and relationship with Christ, through the Holy Spirit… and where the Spirit of the Lord is – there is liberty!

Whom the Son sets free – is free indeed! (Jn. 8:36)

The Ingathering

“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field.”  (Luke 10:2)

Jesus said to His disciples that there were fields before them that were ripe for gathering, but one problem would hinder their harvest… few workers! Three things are pointed out by Jesus, that if those disciples would begin doing them, they would see some amazing results.

1st - See What Jesus Sees:

So many disciples have no clue that the world is waiting for their witness. They cannot see the fields in which they live. They cannot perceive anyone wanting what they offer and they find themselves paralyzed by fear when asked to share their faith. We must become equipped with a vision of the fields Jesus sees and has placed us in! Hungry people are filling their lives with alternative lifestyles and they need to be presented with a clear message of spiritual truth.

Embrace a vision for the lost, the lonely and hurting around you. God’s love and the cross of Jesus are motivating forces, but we must feel what the Holy Spirit is speaking into our hearts. The fields, His field is ripe for harvest and you are an Ambassador for Christ, carrying His message. You and I are designed to carry heaven’s atmosphere into our earthly sphere of influence. Our behavior and lifestyle are dictated by how we see. So today ask God to give you a vision for the harvest and a perception of how deeply His field needs your voice.

2nd – Prayer: Work the Field

Jesus expects us to ask, seek, knock and keep on knocking (Mt. 7:7-8). Through prayer, God will position people around you and your co-workers, loved ones and friends. At significant times; in God’s timing, workers will come with a word from heaven to witness of Jesus. But know also, that the very act of asking is as powerful as the act of speaking.

Notice that in the next breath He said, “Go… I am sending you” (Lk. 10:3). If we are praying for workers; we must also be prepared to be workers, to speak when the opportunity arises. You are not only looking for God to answer your prayer, but you a waiting before God to be the answer to someone elses prayers. Jesus is Lord of the harvest… you and I must be faithful to the harvest in prayer and witness. Work the field!

3rd – Lean on God:

This cannot be emphasized enough! The subtle truths we often forget are that these are His fields and He is the Lord of the harvest. He knows how to reach people, how to gather them and how to keep them. Reliance upon God is essential in everything we do, say and believe (Prov. 3:5-6). We must speak to God in faith… and be careful with what we see in the natural or hear on the “grapevine” – we must look to Jesus with our eye on His Word. There are no gimmicks to lead someone to Christ, and there are no superstars with fancy degrees. Just simple people, with a tesimony and a vision to be used by God. Impact is made when an authentic voice with an experience shares their relationship in Christ with others.

Remind yourself that God is wanting to include you in this adventure of a lifetime… the ingathering of the harvest.

Define Success

“This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.” (Joshua 1:8)

When you take your car to the local garage because it is pulling to the left. The first thought is, “Are the tires wearing evenly?” We think that all we have to do is buy four new tires and the problem would be solved. However, in most cases the problem isn’t with the old tires. The problem is with the vehicle’s alignment. The alignment is what needs to be fixed, before; even new tires run smoothly.

Remember the old quote, “only a fool continues to do the same thing, expecting different results.”

When we look around our world today, we see a lot of wear and tear on the family, Church, community, and nation. But, we don’t have a family problem, community problem, or even a job problem. We have a perception problem! As harsh as that may sound, it boils down to how we see… and define our success. It boils down to how we align ourselves with the purposes of God’s Kingdom.

Re-focus Everyday:

We must fine-tune our thoughts and feelings daily and re-focus on the truth of God’s Word! Its where renewal come from… you and I suffer from well-worn ruts in the brain and heart. We need to be checking ourselves often, so that we are not being pulled off course. When Joshua was entrusted with the leadership of the People of Israel, he was told to hold fast to God’s Book; to not turn away to the left or right. We share the same call and the same promise… success in God’s Kingdom is all about alignment.

God’s truth is not just information… it is our success!

Beyond the Limits

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13)

If you want to experience a fresh reality of life, influenced by the power of God; you need to discover how to live beyond your limitations. There is a Living Resource in Jesus. He is the Christ – the Son of the Living God, mighty to deliver and faithful to strengthen the weary. I can almost hear: “Yeah, that’s easy for you to say. If you were in my situation you would see that it’s not that easy to change things.”

Changing things will not change things!

For most people there is a natural resistance against the unknown, even if it is wanted desperately. People do not like to be where they are… but they are afraid to risk what they have relied upon.

I want to let you know of the 3 things that will limit God’s power in your life and offer you the alternative that will not require you to change anything… God will do it for you! These might feel like baby steps, but they will benefit you and your awareness of God’s activity in your life. Sometimes our biggest hurdle is that we lean on ourselves when we think we are trusting God! So, let these sink in…

1. Fear limits God – So Let God Love You!

When we are afraid we start becoming anxious and reason things out. Fear of men, fear of rejection, fear of success, fear of failure, fear of losing friends, approval or your job, all kinds of fears come to the surface when life gets overwhelming. Let me remind you that love casts out ALL fear! The people who do not know the love of God, fall apart like a house of cards in a wind storm. They cannot handle the weight of adversity, because they cannot trust His care for them. To know God is to allow Him to love you, just as you are… warts and all. You can always tell the size of a man’s character by the size of the problem it takes to discourage him.

2. Unbelief limits God – So Let God Prove Himself!

Unfortunately we live in a culture of unbelief. The news, our friends and family, and even most churches; often speak and act out of unbelief. You may not doubt that God can do amazing things, but you might wonder why He would do anything for you… its about His willingness to do it. Recognize God is willing, because He likes you.

I can have the faith that God can heal, but at the same time not believe that He will do it right here, for me. That is how the leper felt when he asked Jesus if He was willing to heal him (Mk. 1:40-41). Jesus was willing!

I can know that God supplies all my needs, but still not walk in an assurance that He will do it when I’m in a tight spot. That is how the Apostle Paul felt when he was in need (2 Cor. 7:5-7) for when he arrived in Macedonia (Acts 20:1) he had a difficult time “with trouble all round – conflicts outside and anxiety within”. But God, who cheers the depressed, gave him comfort by the arrival of Titus. That encouragement and strength was what the Apostle Paul needed… supernatural grace to reign in life!

3. Disobedience limits God – So Let God Speak to You!

If God tells you to do something – do it, even if it might not look like the smartest thing to do. Who cares about what other people say when you have a word from God? You might need some wisdom in how or when to step up, hut remind yourself that you’re not alone. God can even bless a mistake made out of faith more than a mistake made by doing nothing! If you step across the line and stop over thinking what God should you, you will see His power begin moving in your life.

So get rid of fear and unbelief and be obedient to what He says and you will see greater miracles in your life. You will find yourself trusting in the One who makes the impossible possible… in the One who is always for you!

“And if God be for you who can be against you?” (Rom. 8:31)

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