Monday, June 11, 2012
Psalm 25:14 AMP The secret [of the sweet, satisfying companionship] of the Lord have they who fear (revere and worship) Him, and He will show them His covenant and reveal to them its [deep, inner] meaning.
When I first started developing a daily relationship with the Lord, He brought me to this scripture. It became a burning desire within me to know Him, to experience Him and to have Him reveal to me the deep, inner meaning of the covenant I have with Him purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ. I still have that burning desire today to move up higher in my relationship with the Lord. He constantly draws me to new levels in Him as I pray and study His word. It is my relationship with Jesus Christ that brings me satisfaction and contentment in my life. Nothing else works; but the word here says that it is a secret of sweet, satisfying companionship with the Lord.
It is through that daily interaction with the Lord that the mystery of Christ is made known by His Spirit to us. Paul speaks of that mystery in Ephesians 3:3-5 “how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets;”.
Paul had a living and vital relationship with Jesus Christ where the Holy Spirit could reveal to him the mysteries of Christ. He became that trusted companion that the Psalmist described in Psalm 25:14. It was as he spent time with the Lord that He entrusted him with the gospel and was able to make a difference in the lives of those that he came into contact with.
Ephesians 3 goes on to tell us that God intends for His church, those who are in sweet, satisfying companionship with Him, to be able to reveal the manifold wisdom of God to the principalities and powers in heavenly places. He wants to bring each one of us believers to the place where devils tremble at our sight; where the principalities and powers see in us the image of Christ and where we are living examples of the wisdom of God. He wants His church to be the force that conquers evil in this world; that brings salvation to the lost, healing to the sick, deliverance to the oppressed, and sight to the blind! It is as we experience the sweet, satisfying companionship of the Lord that He reveals the deep, inner meaning of His covenant so that we can become His body, the church, that shows the principalities and powers in heavenly places His manifold wisdom!
How can we do that? It begins by spending time with Him and grows through interaction with Him; through prayer; through Bible Study; through fellowship with the Spirit. It begins small and grows as it develops. As God began to draw me up closer in my walk with Him I was praying about the enormity of what I was discovering that He intended for us to be and do and I asked Him how I was to do this. A God-birthed idea is always bigger than anything you can ever expect to do on your own. He quickly reminded me of a verse in Zechariah 4:6:
So he answered and said to me: “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit,' Says the LORD of hosts.'”
You see, it's not up to us to do these things on our own. He doesn't intend for us to be a powerful force that the devil reckons with alone, but it's by His Spirit within us that He will show the principalities and powers in the heavenly places who He is! It is as He moves through individual believers that the world around us comes to know who God is! The Lord goes on to tell us in Zechariah 4:10: “For who has despised the day of small things?” He begins working in us in small things, through daily interaction with Him and then develops as we mature into the bigger plans that He has for each one of us. People like Billy Graham, who have touched untold millions for the cause of Christ, each began with a small, daily interaction with the Lord. For, you see, God is no respecter of persons.
Acts 10:P34 Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality,”
God looks for willing vessels that He can flow through to further His kingdom in the hearts and lives of people! Are you willing to be one of them?
Father, I thank You for giving us each the opportunity to be in Your plan to show the principalities and powers in the heavenly places the manifold wisdom that You have. I thank You for revealing through us the mysteries of Christ to those who are lost and without hope in this world. Thank You, Lord, for counting us worthy to be vessels that You can flow through to bring healing and wholeness to the sick and hurting. Thank You, Lord, for speaking through us to effect change in people's lives! You are awesome, Lord God and I praise You this morning for revealing the deep, inner meaning of Your covenant through a living and vital relationship with You. I pray for my friends this morning, that You would continue to give them understanding of Who You are. Father, that You would satisfy them with through their relationship with You so they would not seek love from food, or addictions, whatever it might be. I pray that they would be satisfied with their sweet companionship with You. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Sunday, June 10, 2012
Psalm 42:7 Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; All Your waves and billows have gone over me.
As I was praying this morning this scripture verse kept coming to me.....deep calls unto deep...the Lord spoke to my heart. Face to face and heart to heart seeking the Lord is my greatest desire. He calls unto me morning by morning to come to the banqueting table of His love and feast upon the treasures and riches of His grace. He draws me close to Himself and feeds me from the manna from above, just as He fed the Israelites in the wilderness, only His manna for me is spiritual manna, that which I need to sustain and strengthen my spirit man. He speaks and says, “come and drink from the fountain of life. Refreshing waters flow over you in My presence, washing away all the effects of the world around you. Deep calls unto deep, Child. I call unto you. I draw You to myself to share the treasuries and mysteries of Who I am. I long to share Myself with you. Draw near to Me, Child, and I will draw near to you.”
The Psalmist who wrote Psalm 42 was in a place where he was desperate for God; he couldn't live without the presence of the Lord. It is from that point of view that he wrote “As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God,”. Do you see the thirst that he had? It was a desperation. The deer pants for water because he is so dry and thirsty he can't live without a drink of water. He runs and runs until he is almost exhausted seeking to find the water that will sustain his life. It is with that type of desperation that he writes “deep calls unto deep”. He needs what he will receive in the presence of the Lord just as the deer needs the life-sustaining water of the brook.
Are you desperate for the Lord? Do you seek Him with your whole heart? Do you long to hear Him speak your name, touch your heart and wash over you with His refreshing? Years ago I started getting up early in the morning to meet with my God. I would pray and read His word and some mornings just bask in His sweet presence. I felt that sweet presence of the Lord drawing me to Himself this morning. His voice, so calming, washes over me with a sense of peace, that all is well because He is here with me. I've been through times when I couldn't have made it from day to day without the presence of the Lord. Times when I felt as if life were over for me, but in those times He would draw me to His side and cover me with His presence and strengthen me for the journey ahead.
Isaiah 40:27-31 Why do you say, O Jacob, And speak, O Israel: “My way is hidden from the LORD, And my just claim is passed over by my God”? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.
Your way is not hidden from the Lord; He never sleeps or grows weary; nothing ever gets past Him. He knows everything that is happening in your life and He wants to give you the strength that you need to run and not be weary, to walk and not faint. He longs to fill you with the very sense of His presence. But if you don't come to Him you can't receive what He has for you. If you don't make time for Him you will never know the joy of being in His presence.
Psalm 16:11 You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Do you need strength for your journey; joy to overcome the sadness of life's disappointments? Do you long for eternal pleasures that fill you to overflowing with God's goodness? Everything that you need is found in Him and He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6) He will not turn you away. When you go to sleep at night you can rest in peace knowing that He is watching over you. He never sleeps and He never slumbers. He's always working!
Father, I thank You for the sweet sense of Your presence this morning. I thank You for calling me and drawing me to Yourself. Thank You for infusing me with Your strength and joy for the challenges that lie ahead of me. I know that with You I can deal with the issues of life. I pray for my friends this morning, Father, that You will draw them to Yourself and cover them with the shadow of Your wings, protecting them from the disappointments that life sometimes holds. Father, move in their lives by Your Spirit and call unto the deep recesses of their hearts to draw near to You. Give them a hunger and thirst like that deer that the Psalmist was speaking of that can't live without the sweet flow of Your presence. Give them an encounter with You that will forever change their lives, just as You have done for me. Thank You, Father, for hearing and answering my prayer for I believe that I receive when I pray and I know that it is Your desire for Your children to seek You with their whole hearts. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Saturday, June 09, 2012
2 Corinthians 1:21, 22 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
God has sealed us as His! That is such a comforting thought to me. A seal in Biblical times represented authority; the authority of a King. When a King would put his seal on a document it could not be changed. It was put in effect and could not be revoked. God, our majestic Father, has sealed us as His and the evidence of that seal is the presence of the Holy Spirit within us.
The Amplified Bible says it this way:
21 But it is God Who confirms and makes us steadfast and establishes us [in joint fellowship] with you in Christ, and has consecrated and anointed us [enduing us with the gifts of the Holy Spirit]; [He has also appropriated and acknowledged us as His by] putting His seal upon us and giving us His [Holy} Spirit in our hearts as the security deposit and guarantee [of the fulfillment of His promise].
He has consecrated us, set us apart, established us and anointed us as His and then put the evidence of that seal upon us by the Holy Spirit and His gifts within us. When He looks at us He sees His seal and the evidence that He has promised us that we are His! How awesome!
This morning as I was praying the Lord said to me: “Yes, Child, I have set My seal upon you. When you go through deep waters I will be there with you. When you experience trials I will help you. I have sealed you with My Spirit within; You are Mine.”
God has set His seal upon every Christian, denoting them as His. The Word says that the devil comes like a thief to steal, kill and destroy God's people. All of these attacks are illegal against the ones who are sealed with God's evidence of being His. The attacks against believers by the enemy are attempts to enforce illegal action against them. A thief usually works in the darkness and always against the law. What he does is illegal. The devil has no right to attack a child of God, but he gains ground through what we allow him to do by not resisting him. James 4:7 says that we are to submit to God and resist the devil. We don't have to receive everything that the devil throws at us. We can seek God for the strategic plan that will defeat the devil in our lives. We are God's children, washed in the blood of the Lamb, sealed by the Holy Spirit and off limits to the devil!
1 Peter 5:8, 9 AMP Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour. Withstand him; be firm in faith [against his onset—rooted, established, strong, immovable, and determined], knowing that the same (identical) sufferings are appointed to your brotherhood (the whole body of Christians) throughout the world.
God doesn't intend for His children to become the devil's lunch! He has provided us with all that we need to defeat him in our lives. But we must fight! We can't ignore him and expect him to go away. When he comes with temptation we must resist him. When he brings a package of sickness and disease we must turn him away. When he threatens us with fear and doubt we must counter it with the Word of God. We have to fight and be determined to win! We can run to the protection of our loving Father and find out what we need to do to counter the devil's attack. We are His. He has provided the way of escape from every attack. It is up to us to seek Him and find out how to defeat the enemy before he defeats us! And then we must carry out the plan until the battle is won!
2 Corinthians 2:14 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ,....
God has created us to win! He leads us in triumph in Christ Jesus! The Amplified Bible says we are the trophies of Christ's victory. Jesus paid the price so that we could win in our fight with the enemy!
Father, I thank You this morning that I am Yours. I have Your seal upon me. Thank You, Lord Jesus, for purchasing my redemption. This morning, I pray for my friends that may be under attack from the evil one. Father, You have sealed them with Your authority and given them Your Spirit within as evidence of that seal. I pray that they will not allow the enemy to steal, kill or destroy anything else in their lives. Please show them the plan to defeat the enemy in each situation that they encounter. Help them to stand strong in You, Lord, and fight until they win. Father, give them the assurance that You are with them, fighting right beside them and enabling them to defeat the enemy! Thank You for the victory, Father! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Friday, June 08, 2012
Years ago I struggled with low self-esteem. Many sincere Christians deal with this issue on a daily basis. I found the only way to combat this was to get into God's word and find out how He felt about me in order to overcome the negative thoughts and feelings I was experiencing. So I prayed often, read my Bible faithfully and highlighted verses that especially spoke to me about His love for me. I also read lots of books by Christian authors who offered hope and encouragement. Then the Lord had me prepare a list of what I've named as my “Spiritual Vitamins” to speak over myself every day. Jesus said in Matthew 12:34 that it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks. If you want to change what is coming out of your mouth you must change what is in your heart.
Jesus also said this in Matthew 15:18: “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man.”
We sometimes focus on our outer appearance and leave the inner man to suffer dis-repair. We need to strengthen our inner man as well as taking care of our physical bodies. So, for any of you who might like them, here is a list of those “spiritual vitamins”, with their scriptural reference, for your use.
I am a new creation in Christ, old things have passed away and all things have become new. 2 Cor. 5:17
God made Jesus to be sin for me that I might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Cor. 5:21
I am working out my own salvation with fear and trembling because it is God who works in me both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Phil. 2:12, 13
I am confident of this very thing, that God has begun a good work in me and He will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. Phil. 1:6
I have the mind of Christ and He has not given me the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 1 Cor. 1:16; 2 Tim. 1:7
I have an anointing from the Holy One and I know all things. And the anointing which I have received from Him abides in me, and teaches me all things that are true and not a lie. 1 John 2:20, 27
The Holy Spirit is my teacher and He guides me into all truth; He does not speak on His own authority but whatever He hears He speaks to me and tells me things to come. John 16:13
Jesus is the good shepherd and I am His sheep. he speaks and I hear His voice and the voice of another I will not follow. John 10:6, 14, 27
The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want or lack for any good thing. Ps. 23:1
The Word of God is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path. Ps. 119:105
God's Word have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against Him. Ps. 119:11
I delight myself in the Lord and He gives me the desires of my heart. Ps. 37:4
My steps are ordered of God because I am a good woman and the Lord delights in my way. Though I may fall, I shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds me with His hand. Ps. 37:23, 24
The Word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword. It pierces my heart and divides between my soul and my spirit. It judges my thoughts and intentions and brings change into my life. Heb. 4:12
I can take authority over the thoughts that come into my mind because my weapons are not carnal but mighty in God to the pulling down of strongholds and God has given me authority over all the power of the enemy and He cannot harm me. 2 Cor. 10:3-5; Luke 10:19
God has delivered me from the power of darkness and conveyed me into the kingdom of the Son of His love. Col. 1:13
I can submit myself to God and resist the Devil and he must flee from me. Jas. 4:7
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phil. 4:13
I thank God because He always leads me to triumph in Christ. 2 Cor. 2:14
I am the healed of the Lord because by His stripes I was healed. 1 Pet. 2:24
My God is my healer. He has sent His word and healed me and delivered me from all my destruction. Ex. 15:26; Ps. 107:20
I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the LORD. Ps. 118:17
No weapon formed against me shall prosper and every tongue that raises up against me in judgment I shall condemn for this is my heritage as a servant of the LORD and He is my righteousness and vindication! Is. 54:17
All my children shall be taught of the LORD and great shall be their peace [their undisturbed composure]. Is. 54:13
My afflictions may be many, but the Lord delivers me out of them all. Ps. 34:19
Because I dwell in the secret place of the Most High and abide under the shadow of the Almighty, I can say of the LORD, "you are my refuge and my fortress. You are my God and it's in You that I trust. Ps. 91:1,2
Because I have made the LORD my refuge and my dwelling place, no evil shall befall me and no plague shall come near my dwelling. And He gives His angels charge over me to keep me in all my ways. They hold me in their hands so I won't stumble and fall on the rocks of life. Ps. 91:9-12
Because I have set my love upon God, He will deliver me. He sets me on high because I have known His name; I know Him personally and understand His character and nature. I call upon Him and He answers me. He is with me in trouble. He delivers me and honors me and satisfies me with long life. And He shows me His salvation. Ps. 91:14-16
When I am afraid, I trust in my God; I praise His word and trust in Him. I will not fear because my God is for me. When I cry out to Him my enemies turn back. Ps. 56:9
My soul trusts in my God and I hide in the shadow of His wings until the storm passes by. Ps. 57:1
Because my God will never leave me or forsake me, I can boldly say, "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear." Heb. 13:5,6
If my God is for me, who could possibly be against me? My God gave up His only Son for me and with Him He freely gives me all things. Rom. 8:31, 32
There is nothing that can separate me from God's love. And He has made me more than a conqueror through Him who loves me. Rom. 8:35, 37
My God is greater than anything the devil or the world can throw at me. He has overcome the world and He is the greater One living in me. Because I am in Him and He is in me I have overcome the world and have the victory through my faith in Him. 1 John 4:4; 5:4
Thank You, Father, for Your Word! Lord, thank You for showing me what I needed to do to build up my spirit man and change the course of my life through changing what was in abundance in my heart. Your Word, Lord, brings life to sick bodies and changes the course of our lives! Thank You, Lord, for helping me to change what was wrong in my life. Father, I pray that my friends this morning will soak in Your Presence and saturate their hearts with Your Word. Open their eyes of understanding to see how You feel about them. Help them to walk away from their feelings and embrace the truth about who they are in Christ Jesus. Thank You, Father. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Thursday, June 07, 2012
Sometimes I wake up in the morning and the Lord has already been speaking to me about a subject during my sleep. The Word tells us in Acts 2:17-21 that God will pour out His Spirit upon all flesh in the last days and one of the evidences of that is that He will speak to us through dreams and visions. I have often experienced that. This morning as I awakened the Lord was speaking to me about His faithfulness to His Word.
Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”
God never goes against His Word! What He says He will do. When you find a promise in God's Word that applies to your situation and the Holy Spirit gives it to you as a Rhema (spoken) word for what you are going through right now, you can be assured that if you will act on that Word God will bring it to pass in your life. So many times I've been going through some trial and have had to stop myself from thinking about how awful it was by saying, “now, wait a minute, what does God's Word say about my situation?”. I've had to stop and get the proper perspective on it before I could stand in faith believing what God wanted me to believe instead of the lies that the enemy wanted me to believe.
A case in point comes back to my mind this morning of when my daughter was a very young woman, married and recently a new mother. She and her husband were young and inexperienced in life and made some poor choices which led this mother to worry a lot. But the Lord taught me some things through those experiences about His faithfulness to His Word. One night I was awakened in the night with fear about where my daughter and her family were. At that time I had no idea where they were or if they had what they needed to live or if my little granddaughter was being cared for properly. I got up and hit my knees in prayer. That was my only place of refuge where I could find relief from the torment that I was experiencing. I asked the Lord to give me a scripture to stand on that would carry me through this battle and give me peace. He took me to Psalm 91 and I began to proclaim that psalm for my daughter's well-being. He had me insert her name in the verses to personalize it for my own situation. It wasn't long until I felt His peace encompass my heart and I was able to go back to bed and sleep peacefully. I knew that God was taking care of them.
Isaiah 26:3,4 You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. Trust in the LORD forever, For in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength.
Peace comes as we focus our minds on the Lord, not on our fearful situations. We must trust in the Lord in order to find the peace and strength we need to stand strong through the battles that come our way. God is bigger than anything the world or the devil can throw at us. He is able to change our situations with just one word! When we magnify Him instead of what we are going through, He is exalted and our problems become smaller in our sight. All of a sudden we have a different perspective and see our problems as simply an opportunity for God to show Himself strong on our behalf.
2 Chronicles 16:9 “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whole heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.”
God is looking for those whose hearts are loyal to Him just so He can come to their rescue and take care of their problems in times of battle. Don't be like these who were foolish in relying on their own abilities to win the war. Rely on the Lord to deliver you from the enemy! He is looking for your loyal heart towards Him so He can take care of these things for you. He will not fail those who rely on Him!
The enemy often comes to us first with fear. He tries to discourage us through causing us to be afraid. Fear is a spirit and we must fight it in the spiritual realm. God's Word tells us in 2 Timothy 1:7 that He has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. God is not the author of fear. It comes from the devil. But God has given us power, love and soundness of mind to offset the fear that comes against us. When we rely on Him He is there to deliver us from the evil one. His power, love and the ability to make right decisions are keys to overcoming the enemy. When we seek the Lord for direction in how to handle each battle He will give us the Word from His Word and by His Spirit to overcome and defeat the enemy.
What are you fearful of this morning? I've heard different preachers say that there are 365 “fear not” scriptures in God's Word. That's one for each day of the year. We do not have to be afraid. God is willing and able to grant us the victory in each fearful situation! Rely on Him and not on your own ability to fight and conquer. Go to Him and get the Word that you need to fight spiritually that which is coming against you.
Father, this morning I am so thankful that You are willing and able to help us fight the battles that we encounter in this life. Thank You for empowering us by Your Spirit and through Your Word to win! I know that You are looking at the loyal hearts of Your people so You can show Yourself strong on their behalf when they are facing battles that the enemy is bringing against them. Thank You for strengthening us and giving us peace in the midst of the storms of life. Father, this morning, I pray for my friends that You will show them the scriptures that they need to stand on to win the battles in their lives. Thank You for standing behind Your Word and bringing to their minds the very scriptures that they need to use in fighting the enemy. Thank You for giving them the victory. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
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