Monday, July 16, 2012
I have for so long been interested in the different personalities we see in people and how they function in life. Being a primarily left-brained individual I have leaned more to hearing God's voice through the Word than in getting His Spirit's direction through the intuition of my spirit being filled with His voice flowing within me through the prophetic or dreams and visions. Understanding the functions of both the left-brain hemisphere and the right-brain hemisphere has helped me to identify how God is speaking to me; what His voice sounds like and how to know that it is Him and not my own thoughts or the deceptive thoughts of the enemy.
Left-brained people are studious, precept upon precept types of people, being often inclined to think logically and methodically. They are usually detailed oriented people. Right-brained people are led more by feelings and emotions. They are fun-loving, outgoing people who are often considered the “life” of the party. God's voice rises up within us, from our hearts, and is then processed through either the left-brain hemisphere or the right-brain hemisphere. He wants us to be developed in hearing His voice, able to function at His direction, through whatever part of our being the message is delivered. He desires us to be fully His so He can flow through us to touch all of humanity for His kingdom's work.
The functions of the left brain hemisphere are: spoken language, right body control, number skills, written language, reading, and reasoning. The right brain hemisphere functions are: left body control, music awareness, 3-dimensional forms, art awareness, intuition, and imagination.
In looking at these differences between the left-brain and right-brain functions, you have probably identified your strengths, thus forming an idea of which brain hemisphere you primarily function through. For me, the left-brain is the more comfortable area through which I function, but as I worship the Lord and listen to His voice I find that I am becoming more and more aware of how God speaks to me through the functions of the right brain hemisphere. When I went to school the areas of academic learning were those of reading, writing and arithmetic. The right brain hemisphere functions of music and drama were electives, thus the left brain hemisphere was developed far more than the right brain hemisphere. Although, since I was musically talented and singing was always a large part of my life, I had a mixture of left and right brain activities. As I have developed my ability to still myself before the Lord, focus the eyes of my heart on Jesus, tune to the Holy Spirit within me and write what I felt God was saying to me, I have found that He speaks through so many more of the right brain hemisphere functions than I had ever imagined. The prophetic is a function of the right brain hemisphere, as well as dreams and visions. God wants all of us so that He can direct us through whatever brain hemisphere function He wants to use. He definitely speaks through the study of His word, but He also speaks through the prophetic, including dreams and visions.
2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Acts 2:17-18 NLT 'In the last days, God said, I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. In those days I will pour out my Spirit upon all my servants, men and women alike, and they will prophesy.'
The more time I spend in the Lord's presence, worshiping Him and fellowshipping with Him, the more sensitive I become to His voice and the more aware I am of Him flowing through me with the living waters of His Spirit, bringing refreshing to me and to those to which I am ministering. We probably can identify more with hearing His voice through His word than we can with hearing it by the intuition of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes we are afraid of those things that we don't understand and thus we shy away from learning something new about the Lord because we fear we will cross over into error. But God would have us to totally abandon ourselves to Him. He is not to be feared, but to be trusted. The Holy Spirit is the person of the God-head that is in operation in the hearts and lives of people here on earth today. He is the One who fellowships with us, speaks to our hearts bringing revelation knowledge of the Lord Jesus into our lives. Jesus said the Holy Spirit within us flows out of us like rivers of living water.
John 7:38 “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
Shortly after I was baptized in the Holy Spirit I attended a conference and in responding to the altar call when the Evangelist prayed for me I was slain in the Spirit, or as some call it, overcome by the Spirit. During the time that I was lying on the floor being ministered to by the Holy Spirit I felt within my stomach a bubbling come up, like a spring of water. I know now that the bubbling was the Holy Spirit within me springing forth with His life giving waters that would form the river of life within me that would minister not only to my needs, but the needs of those around me. He is the giver of life, the member of the God-head that anoints us with His power to witness of the Lord Jesus and minister to those around us. God anointed Jesus of Nazareth, Jesus in His humanity, with the Holy Spirit and with power so that He could go around doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil. (Acts 10:38) He will do the same for you and me today!
Acts 10:38 “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.”
Luke 11:11 NLT “You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! If you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.”
You may have not heard a lot of teaching about the Holy Spirit. What we are not taught cannot be understood and there will be no faith to believe for it and thus cannot be received. Faith comes by hearing the word of God so we must hear and believe in order to receive.
Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
It was years after I had been born again that I was taught about the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit in my life. I knew that the Holy Spirit ushered me into the Body of Christ and lived in my heart after I received Jesus as Savior and Lord, but I did not know about His power and anointing and the gifts that He brought into my life. I grew in my knowledge of Him as I hungered for all that God had for me and opened my heart to believe and receive. Every spiritual growth process starts with hunger and thirst.
Jesus told the woman at the well in John 4:10 that He had living water to give to people who wanted it.
John 4:10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
John 4:13, 14 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, “but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
Jesus is speaking of His salvation to the woman at the well. He uses the illustration of a fountain of living water being within the person who receives Him. That fountain is the formation of the river of the Holy Spirit that He was saying that people would receive in John 7:38.
Have you received the river of the Holy Spirit within you? Do you know and understand that there is a difference between the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the baptism of the Holy Spirit; that they are two separate occurrences? I didn't feel fully alive until after I had been baptized in the Holy Spirit. My growth in the Lord was increased tremendously after receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I found that I could hear His voice more clearly, the word became alive to me and I was able to see victory in the battles that I fought against the enemy. I had a friend that sticks closer than a brother and was able to fellowship with Him through my heavenly prayer language. Christianity was opened to me through the subsequent event of the baptism of the Holy Spirit and I began to understand how God's voice rises up within me and flows through the different functions of my left and right-brain hemispheres. His Spirit empowers me to understand how God created us to function as He moves within us bringing His word to life either through the left-brain hemisphere functions or the right-brain. He will do the same for you!
Father, I thank You for baptizing me in Your Spirit. I am thankful, Holy Spirit, that You live within me and flow out of me like rivers of living water. I need You in my life. Apart from You, Lord Jesus, and the power of Your Spirit within me, I can do nothing. There is no good that dwells in my flesh and my dependency is upon You alone. Father, I pray for my friends this morning who may be wondering about this event and maybe are not very knowledgeable of it. I pray that You will reveal the truth of it through Your word to them and by the indwelling Spirit that they may ask You for that living water and receive the fountain of the Holy Spirit welling up within them. I pray that they will desire all that You have for them and will seek You for the answers to the questions that they have. Thank You, Father, for hearing and answering my prayers. I believe, Father, that I receive when I pray. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Sunday, July 15, 2012
Ephesians 3:20, 21 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
This portion of scripture is one of my very favorite ones! To God be the glory for the “exceedingly abundantly” things that He does in my life! I like that phrase “exceedingly abundantly”. What exactly does that mean?
Exceedingly – according to Webster's 1828 dictionary – to a very great degree; in a degree beyond what is usual; greatly; very much.
Abundantly – Greek word – perissos – Strong's #4053 – means superabundance, excessive, overflowing, surplus, over and above, more than enough, profuse, extraordinary, above the ordinary, more than sufficient.
To me the exceedingly abundantly says – in a degree beyond what is usual, God works in me in an excessive, overflowing, manner that is profuse and above the ordinary of what I could ever think or ask, according to, or in a manner consistent with, His power that works in me. To Him be the glory by Christ Jesus to those who follow in the the generations that continue forever and ever. Amen, So be it!
A couple of God's “exceedingly abundantly” things in my life:
After standing in faith believing for four years that God would bring a godly mate into my life, He did just that! I prayed and followed the directions I felt I received from Him to cooperate with His plan for my life. It included selling my home of 18 years, resigning from a position with over 10 years tenure, moving to a large city 90 miles from my home, obtaining a new job and ultimately marrying the man that I believed He had brought to be my life-mate. All was well for 7 ˝ weeks until my new husband sustained a massive stroke and went home to be with the Lord the following day. I was devastated! I found myself alone in a large city, on a new job and left to face a lonely future. I plunged into a darkness that forced me to totally depend on the Lord. I knew if I didn't make myself get up, go to work, continue to pray and read my Bible and get out and go to church that I would be dead before long. Depression closed in on me; suicidal thoughts tried to force their way into my nights and the “good life” seemed to have slipped away with my husband's death.
But GOD had a different plan! About 9 months after my husband's death the Lord spoke through my Pastor one Sunday morning with a message that would give me hope of the “exceedingly abundantly” thing that He wanted to do in my life. He said “you may have lost a loved one this past year, but you can't fully embrace what God has for you in the future if you don't turn loose of the past”. All of a sudden a new hope entered my life. God began to speak to me about the possibility of another mate. He told me to go home, get back on eHarmony, and start over again. I didn't want to do that; I didn't want to face another disappointment. I had to push fear out of my mind. I obeyed but I told the Lord in prayer that I was not going to chase after a man; if He wanted me to talk to someone He would have to have him contact me. Well, that was the 20th of June, 2008. On the weekend of July 4th a match came up for me with a gentleman from Tennessee. I wasn't really interested in a long distance relationship since I was living in Lenexa, Kansas, at the time, but I didn't feel that God wanted me to close out the match so I just left it open and waited. On July 13th, four years ago, Gerald contacted me. As I got to know him, I realized that he was everything that I had seen in my studies of the Word about what a godly mate should look like. He was God's answer to my prayer for a godly mate! After a short courtship, Gerald and I were married on October 11, 2008. God did exceedingly abundantly above all that I could ask or think in bringing new life to me through my marriage to Gerald! He has given back to me what the enemy stole!
The most recent “exceedingly abundantly” thing that He has done over and above all that I could ask or think happened just yesterday when I was nominated for the Very Inspiring Blogger award for my blogs on Word Press. I would have never thought that God would move in such a way as to inspire the heart of a sweet, Christian lady such as Jacqueline Waller of www.healingforthenation.com to honor me with such a nomination! How awesome is that? Many thanks to you, Jacqueline! It just goes to show you that God does choose those who don't really match up through worldly standards to the honor bestowed upon them, for it is not anything that I have done on my own, but God, as He has moved through me, has written what I tell of in my blogs!. (1 Corinthians 1:26-31) To God be the glory! Promotion comes from the Lord as He moves in the lives of people.
Psalm 75:6,7 NLT For no one on earth—from east or west, or even from the wilderness—can raise another person up. It is God alone who judges; he decides who will rise and who will fall.
And there are more “exceedingly abundantly” things that God has done in my life, but these are the two that I felt impressed to share with you today. All that I really feel that God has asked of me is expressed in His word in Isaiah 43:10-13:
NLT “But you are my witnesses, O Israel!” says the LORD. “And you are my servant. You have been chosen to know me, believe in me, and understand that I alone am God. There is no other God; there never has been and never will be. I am the LORD, and there is no other Savior. First I predicted your deliverance; I declared what I would do, and then I did it—I saved you. No foreign god has ever done this before. You are witnesses that I am the only God,” says the LORD. Form eternity to eternity I am God. No one can oppose what I do. No one can reverse my actions.
I am simply His witness; His servant, chosen to know Him, believe in Him and understand that He alone is God! He is the only Savior and He has given me new life to replace the bondage of sin to which I was once a slave. There is no one who can oppose what He does and no one who can reverse His actions. He declared to me what He would through my life, by His Spirit not my own ability, when He called me into His ministry. His word to me was: Zechariah 4:6: .....'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' Says the LORD of hosts. To God be the glory! I am so blessed to be His witness; His servant, proclaiming the way of the Lord to those that I come into contact with. I love Him and am privileged to be His child!
What about you? Can you look back through your life and see the “exceedingly abundantly” things that He has done for you? I'm sure they are there, for God is no respecter of persons. What He has done for one He will do for another.
Acts 10:34 Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality.”
Partiality – Greek word prosopoleptes – means: A receiver of a face, one who takes sides, showing favoritism, exhibiting bias, showing discrimination, showing partiality, treating one person better than another.
God doesn't show favoritism! He loves you just as much as the next person. What you see in His word that He has done in the lives of those that we refer to as Biblical characters He will do in your life as well. That's how faith is born and grows. We see it in His word, believe it and receive it for ourselves. I simply listen to what God says to me, believe it and receive it. Then I wait for God to do it! When I was standing in faith believing for a godly mate He gave me several scriptures that were “rhema” words from the Holy Spirit to me that I constantly proclaimed as being so in my life. He showed me Bible stories of marriages that He brought together, such as Ruth and Boaz, so that faith could arise in my heart and I would be able to believe that He would do the same for me.
God loves you, child of God! He wants to do for you the “exceedingly abundantly” things that are far above what you could ask or think! He wants to display His power in and through you to bless you so that you can be a blessing to others around you! Will you believe? Will you receive?
Matthew 21:22 “And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”
Father, I thank You for doing exceedingly abundantly above all I could ask or think in my life. Thank You for blessing me with Your great salvation! Thank You for calling me to be Your servant and to share You with the world around me. Thank You, Father, for those who follow my blogs, who listen to my teaching and receive me as simply a vessel that You have chosen to flow through. Father, I pray that I may be as much of a blessing to them as they are to me. Thank You for all those You have brought into my life. Thank You for allowing me to know them and share Your love with them. I pray that you may continue to move in me, changing me, and molding me into Your very own likeness, conforming me to the image of Your Son. Make me a blessing to the world today, Father! In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
To see my Very Inspiring Blogger award go to http://aviesplace.wordpress.com
Saturday, July 14, 2012
1 Corinthians 1:26-31 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption—that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the LORD.”
Recently our Pastor asked my husband and myself to lead a class on marriage. For various reasons, neither of us felt qualified to do that. When I questioned the Lord about why we would be chosen to lead this class He simply stated to me that He doesn't call the equipped; He equips the called. God doesn't think like us. He chooses those who are not wise according to the world's standards to fulfill the calling of God so that He can get the glory and not us. God rejects human wisdom because of its pride and self-glory.
Psalm 75:4-7 “I said to the boastful, 'Do not deal boastfully,' And to the wicked, 'Do not lift up the horn. Do not lift up your horn on high; Do not speak with a stiff neck.'” For exaltation comes neither from the east Nor from the west nor from the south. But God is the Judge; He puts one down And exalts another.
I like how the Living Bible says verses 6 and 7: “For promotion and power come from nowhere on earth, but only from God. He promotes one and deposes another.”
The horn speaks of strength so what the Lord is saying is don't be talking about how you can do things in your own strength. That's prideful and reflective of a person with an attitude that always is right. A stiff necked person has his feet planted in his own way of doing things. He always thinks he is right and there is no way but his own. But God brings promotion; not our own abilities or prideful attitude. He is the Judge; the one who decides matters and gives the decisions that will maintain or bring about a right state of affairs. We might think it's our own abilities that gets us where we're going, but God is the One who gives promotion.
1 Timothy 2:20, 21 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.
Your attitude makes all the difference in the world. If God has called you to do what seems to be the impossible, then He will equip you as You yield to Him. I've felt inadequate so many times, and yet when I stand before the people God always comes through for me. He has never failed to minister through me when I've yielded myself to do His will. That's all He's looking for...a person who is willing to stand up and be used; just a vessel that He can flow through. He chooses those people who feel that they are nothing so that He can add His super to their natural to make the supernatural!
Paul, who said he was the chief of all sinners, was humbled by the fact that God called him into the ministry. He said in 1 Timothy 1:12-15:
And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am chief.
Paul said his ability to function in his ministry calling was because Christ Jesus enabled him and counted him faithful. He realized that it wasn't anything that he did to fulfill his ministry calling, but it was Christ Jesus within him that did the work. God's grace is exceedingly abundant! It was only as he yielded to the Holy Spirit within that he was able to accomplish the work that God had called him to do.
God qualifies a person by looking at their heart, not their exterior appearance. He doesn't qualify a person based on academic level or their prestige in society. He looks for a person who is humble towards Him, easily teachable, and willing to be a vessel that He can flow through to touch the world. King David did not appear to Samuel like the one that God would pick to replace Saul as king and yet He told Samuel, the prophet, that He doesn't judge by the exterior appearance of the person like men but He looks at the heart.
1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at this physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
Samuel went down the line with all of Jesse's sons, looking for the one that the Lord had chosen to replace Saul as king, but he didn't find him in all the sons that were in the room. The one God had chosen was out in the field tending his father's sheep. He hardly looked like kingly material; he was only a lowly shepherd boy who spent his time with sheep. How could he possibly lead a nation? And yet after God got through training Him, He was a mighty man of God leading God's people with wisdom and strength. It is said of him that he was a man after God's own heart. David was anointed with the Spirit of God to fulfill the calling that God had on his life.
1 Samuel 16:12-13 So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the LORD said, “Arise, anoint him for this is the one!” Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah.
Once Samuel anointed David the Spirit of the Lord came upon him enabling him to do what God had called him to do. That's the way it is with one who has been chosen to fulfill God's calling on their life. The anointing to do the work of ministry comes as you step out in the calling of the Lord on your life. The Holy Spirit comes to anoint you for the work of ministry.
In whatever God has called you to do, He will equip you! Don't think that you have to do it in your own power or ability. You just have to be willing, prepare yourself through prayer and Bible study, and then yield to Him for His power to flow through you as you minister. God's super with your natural becomes the supernatural!
Father, I thank You for equipping those whom You call to do Your ministry. Thank You for not leaving them to do it on their own. Thank You, Lord, for flowing through them and anointing them to do the work that You want done. Father, I pray that as we yield to You that You will fill us to overflowing with Your Spirit and anointing to minister in Your name. Thank You for the ones that will come into the kingdom of God as You touch through each and every one of us as we step out in faith believing that You will use us. May You be glorified in us! In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Friday, July 13, 2012
Romans 7:6 AMP But now we are discharged from the Law and have terminated all intercourse with it, having died to what once restrained and held us captive. So now we serve not under [obedience to] the old code of written regulations, but [under obedience to the promptings] of the Spirit in newness [of life].
If we can really grasp what the Lord is saying in this verse we can be set free from a “works” mentality and liberated to walk in the grace of God, by the direction of the Holy Spirit!
Discharged – according to Noah Webster's 1828 dictionary it means unloaded; let off; shot; thrown out; dismissed from service; paid; released; acquitted; freed from debt or penalty; liberated; performed; executed.
Through the work that Jesus did on the cross of Calvary we have been freed from the debt of the Law. The Law called for an eye for an eye; performance to the highest standard; strict adherence to the Ten Commandments; the requirement to live a perfect life. But through the blood of Jesus we have been set free from the requirement of working to be accepted through keeping the Law. We can now live by the Spirit, according to His promptings. We live by the grace of God through faith in Christ Jesus!
Intercourse – a running or passing between. Communication; commerce; connection by reciprocal dealings between persons or nations, either in common affairs and civilities, in trade, or correspondence by letters; intimacy through sexual relations.
We often think of intercourse as in the sexual intimacy between a husband and wife and it is that, but we can also think of it as any type of intimate communication such as: we have an intercourse with neighbors and friends in mutual visits and in social concerns; nations and individuals have intercourse with foreign nations or individuals by an interchange of commodities, through the purchase and sale of such things, and through treaties and contracts.
What I'd like to point out from the use of the word “intercourse” in the Amplified Bible's translation of this verse is that we no longer are tied to an intimacy with the Law in being required to fulfill all its requirements because Christ Jesus did that for us; He came not to destroy the Law but to fulfill it:
Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.
In His fulfilling the Law, He opened up a new way for us to achieve righteousness with God. It is now no longer necessary for us to work to obtain right standing with the Father, but instead we “receive” the work that Jesus did on our behalf by faith, and so we are set free to “be” who He created us to be instead of working to attain the perfection of the righteous requirement of the Law.
Romans 8:1-4 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
You see, Christ Jesus set us free from having to try to attain our righteousness through fleshly efforts. He broke down that wall of separation between God and man through His work on the Cross for each one of us.
Romans 7:6 AMP “...... So now we serve not under [obedience to] the old code of written regulations, but [under obedience to the promptings] of the Spirit in newness [of life].”
Now that we've been set free from trying to obey to the Law, we can live by the promptings of the Spirit! Praise the Lord! We don't have to try to keep every rule that was required by the Law. We can live by the Spirit of God within us as He directs us and prompts us. We are free to “be” instead of chained in bondage to a set of rules and regulations! The rules are still there as guidelines, but are not requirements for acceptance by God. When we live by the prompting of the Spirit He will always bring back to our remembrance what pleases God, in living a life of integrity, but our acceptance is no longer based on what we do; it is based on who we are in Christ Jesus.
Galatians 3:13,14 NLT But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When He was hung on the cross, He took upon Himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” Through the work of Christ Jesus, God has blessed the Gentiles with the same blessing He promised to Abraham, and we Christians receive the promised Holy Spirit through faith.
Father, I thank You for giving Your Son to die for me that I might be free from the law of sin and death! Thank You for making it possible, Lord Jesus, for me to have eternal life through Your sacrifice on the cross on my behalf. Thank You, Lord Jesus for taking the curse of the law for me and giving me life through the Holy Spirit in its place. Father, may we fully understand all that You have purchased for us in salvation. Help us to understand; give us revelation knowledge of all that we have and are in Christ Jesus. Open the eyes of our hearts to see what You see and understand Your great plan for us. Thank You, for giving us new life in Christ Jesus and for Your Spirit Who lives within us directing us and prompting us to live according to Your principles. Thank You for blessing us, Father, and for making us a light shining into the darkness to lead others to You. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Thursday, July 12, 2012
1 Corinthians 16:9 For a great and effective door has been opened to me, and there are many adversaries.
Have you ever known that you were supposed to do something but everything seemed to being going against you? Paul recognized the opportunity ahead of him, but he also saw the opposition. With every opportunity there will always be opposition and obstacles placed in our path to try to detour us from what we are trying to accomplish. We feel the calling and are excited at the new opportunity placed before us, but we often cave in when opposition appears. However, the obstacles that are placed in our path are simply stepping stones on our path to success!
Paul talked about so many different obstacles that had been placed before him in Acts 20 and in verses 22-24 he tells us how those oppositions affected him:
Acts 20:22-24 “And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, “except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. “But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”
Paul knew that opposition awaited him everywhere he went, but he had learned to overcome it; to not allow it to stop what he felt he had been called to do. Reaching the goal at the end of his life was bigger than the fear of what the opposition could do to him.
You may think that this doesn't apply to you; that you are not on the same level with Paul. He was a great preacher and apostle called to the work of ministry. But whatever you feel you have been called to do, whether it is to take a new job, make some changes in your lifestyle or health, get married, or go to college, there will always be obstacles to face and overcome. With every new endeavor there are new challenges! If we will take the proper attitude towards the opposition we will find that it will actually work for our good.
The difference in whether we achieve success or not is in how we view the challenges placed before us. We can go into them knowing that, as a believer, we have God's support and empowerment to win; to achieve the desired goals; or we can look at the obstacles and back down because of the size of them, not having the faith that we can do it or that God is for us and will help us. The size of the obstacle is not really what is important; it is our attitude towards the obstacle that either causes us to win or lose. We win or lose by what we think about what we are up against. The battle is in the mind. Attitude is everything! You can either soar with the eagles or be confined to the ground with the chickens. Which would you prefer?
Mark 9:23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
Jesus saw that the disciples had met opposition in their ministry to the child with a mute spirit. They were not able to free him of the demonic control that was constantly throwing him into convulsions. Their inability to set the child free affected the faith of the child's father. Jesus then told the father that his problem was not that the disciples failed in ministering freedom to the child, but that it was an issue with his faith. We must believe in order to receive! Once the father had the problem identified he was able to call on the Lord to help him.
Mark 9:24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
Sometimes we are at a certain level of faith, but we need an extra boost to be fully assured that what we are believing for will come into manifestation. I know that when I started to college I believed that God had asked me to do that, but the 4 month time frame that I had to complete 10 courses became an obstacle to me. I constantly had to go the the Lord with this same attitude as the little boy's father; “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” I was at a certain level of faith, but needed the assurance that God was there, helping me to overcome the obstacles. It was a walk of faith, not of sight; I needed to trust God to help me achieve my goals.
Do you trust God to see you through to whatever it is that you are trying to accomplish? Do you believe that He is for you and will help you? The disciples thought they needed more faith so they ask Jesus to increase their faith and He responded by saying this:
Luke 17:6 So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree. 'Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,' and it would obey you.”
It's not that we need more faith, but we need applied faith. We just need to believe what God says and then act on it in order for our faith to be activated! Strong faith comes from having a strong foundation based on God's word:
Matthew 7:24-27 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock; “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”
You see the wind and rain come to all of us, but Jesus said the key to withstanding the storms is having a firm foundation based on His word and then acting on what you know that He has said. The key to standing strong is basing your life on what God says, not what you see happening around you. If God said you can do this, then believe it and act on it. It is when we ignore what God has said to us that we fall.
Paul said in Philippians 4:13 that he could do all things because of the strength that he received through Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:13 AMP I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency].
Can you say, as Paul said, that you are ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who fills your inner being with strength? He recognized his inability, but he was convinced that he could do it through Christ's sufficiency. He believed that even though there were obstacles and opposition, through Christ's strength he could accomplish his goals. When I look at this scripture I get a picture in my mind of Jesus standing over me with a funnel on top of my head pouring His strength into me. It's as if He is filling me up so I will be sufficient for whatever I'm going through, not in my own sufficiency, but in His.
God said in 1 John 4:4 that when we meet up with spiritual opposition we can know that we will win because “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
The greater One lives in you and me! How can we lose if God Himself is living and moving through us as we meet up with opposition?
Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Romans 8:37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
There is no opposition that can stop us when God is for us! He is on our side and He makes a way where there seems to be no way. We are more than conquerors through Him who loves us! Begin to see yourself as God sees you. He sees you as a winner, not a loser. He doesn't see you struggling to make it through the difficulties; He sees you rising above them and conquering them! In order to win you must change the way you think about opposition!
Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Renew your mind to the truth of God's word and the obstacles in your path will become the stepping stones to your success!
Father, I thank You for making me more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus! You have made it possible for me to always be a winner! Thank You, Lord Jesus, for strengthening me for whatever lies ahead of me. I know that I can do all things through Your strength, Lord! You are my strength and my salvation. It's in You that I live and move and have my being. Praise Your holy name! Father, I lift my friends up to You this morning that may be struggling with opposition in their lives. I ask You to show them the way over the difficulties so they may also be more than conquerors in their life's endeavors. Help them to see themselves as the victors that You have created them to be. May they devour Your word until the Spirit of God brings it to life within them so that they know they are the winners that You have created them to be. Thank You, Father, for hearing and answering my prayers this morning. In Jesus name. Amen.
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