Sunday, January 27, 2013
Isaiah 12:2, 3 Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; 'For YAH, the LORD, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.'” Therefore with joy you will draw water From the wells of salvation.
YAH is the shorter form of the Lord's holy name Yahweh, or Jehovah. It means the self-existent One; the “I AM WHO I AM” He is the eternal I AM, the Alpha and Omega, the same yesterday, today, and forever. All of life is contained in Him. He is our strength and song and through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, has become our salvation!
The Hebrew word for salvation in that verse is ysuwah (yesh-oo-ah). It means aid, victory, prosperity, deliverance, health, help, salvation, and welfare. It is very close to the Hebrew name of Jesus, Yeshuwa, or some spell it Yeshua, meaning “He will save”. Jesus, our Yeshuwa (Yeshua), has become our salvation, our deliverer, our healer, our provider, our help, our health and our welfare. His salvation is more than just forgiveness of sin; it is whatever you need for your provision spiritually, mentally, physically, emotionally, financially, and in all areas of man's spirit, soul and body! When you reach down into the wells of salvation for healing you have joy knowing that by the stripes of Jesus you were healed. (1 Peter 2:24; Matthew 8:16, 17) With joy you reach down into the wells of salvation to find the provision that He has made for you for “My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus”. (Philippians 4:19)
The more that we praise Him the more the awareness of His salvation rises up within us and becomes a well of living water flowing freely from that salvation that He has placed with in us. The joy that comes from this well of salvation within us is said by Jesus in John 7:38 as becoming a river of living water that flows from the Holy Spirit within! When the Holy Spirit comes to live within you He brings His fruit with Him. One of the aspects of the fruit of the Spirit is joy!
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Jesus told the woman at the well in John 4:14 that “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”. It is from drawing from the wells of salvation that we find life through His Spirit; the life that brings joy. When a person becomes joyless it is an indication that they are not drawing from the well of salvation within them. Praising God causes that living water to bubble up within us. When we stop to think about all that He has given us in salvation we can't help but praise Him! He is worthy to receive glory and honor and praise!
In 2 Peter 2 the scripture talks about the characteristics of false teachers and verse 17 says that they are “wells without water”. They have no salvation within them that gives life. They are simply clouds carried by a tempest but have no rain within them. They look good but there is no basis of credibility within them that signifies the life of God. They carry a false and destructive doctrine full of “words of emptiness” as recorded in 2 Peter 2:18:
For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error.
That which appeals to the flesh is in opposition to the Spirit, Who is the author of the wells of salvation within a born again believer. False teachers appeal to a person's flesh rather than their spirit. Galatians 5:16 says:
I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
When you draw from the wells of salvation you will be drawing from what God has placed within your spirit, not what arises out of the lusts of the flesh. The flesh lusts against the Spirit so you can know when the Holy Spirit rises up within you it will be for God's glory, not for the satisfaction of your fleshly desires. The Holy Spirit always draws a person closer to Jesus; He magnifies the Lord and glorifies God. The flesh always appeals to what feels good and satisfies the soul of man. The works of the devil always draws a person away from God, to live independent of God, outside of God's best plan for man.
What well are you drawing from this morning? Are you praising God and depending on His power, life and Spirit within you? Do you have joy that flows from the wells of salvation down deep in your heart? Have you grown stagnant and feel that the life of God has left you?
If you lack joy, begin to praise the Lord. Lift up your voice and sing praises unto Him. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
In the book of Psalm the name YAH is found 44 times. Many of the references in Psalm involve the compound word Hallelu-Yah, translated “Praise the LORD”; the word literally means “You must all praise Yah!” So praising God is not an option; it is a command and as a result of our obedience to praise His name we receive joy unspeakable and full of God's glory. We draw freely from the wells of salvation to praise Him with our whole being and joy flows freely into our lives. God's commandments are not burdensome, but are given to us for our own benefit.
Father, I thank You and praise You today for the great salvation that You have provided for us through the crucifixion of Your only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. He is our Yeshuwa; our Savior! Father, I thank You for the joy that comes as we praise You and draw freely from the wells of Your salvation. I pray that all who reads this will enter into that covenant of salvation with You that fills them with all that they have need of from forgiveness of sins to physical and emotional healing. May they find You, the Savior today, Lord Jesus, and experience the freedom of Your salvation. Father, open the eyes of their understanding to see that they need the salvation that You so freely offer. May today be their day of salvation, the day that they receive Jesus as Savior and Lord and walk in the fullness of all that You have planned for their lives. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Saturday, January 26, 2013
1 John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.
Nike coined the phrase “just do it” and emphasized it with the swoosh that is displayed on their athletic shoes. But did you know that the word NIKE is actually a Biblical word? Nike is the Greek word used in 1 John 5:4 for victory. It is pronounced nee'-kay and is used only one time in the Bible and that is in this verse where it means conquest; the means of success; --victory. From the root word of Nike comes the word nikao which means to subdue; conquer, overcome, prevail, get the victory. It is through our faith that we learn to press through to the victory; to overcome and experience the conquest of success; to prevail until the battle is won and the victory is ours! Faith overcomes!
But it's one thing for us to say that faith is the victory that overcomes the world and another to actually experience the testing of our faith that proves our strength and ability to stand firm until we win the victory. The pedal meets the metal during the test and trial of our faith. James said that the testing of our faith produces patience. And that when that patience or endurance is completed that we will be perfect, or mature, lacking nothing. We are strengthened as we endure the test of trials and our faith is pressed and stretched to the point of breaking.
According to Livestrong.com it is said that when your muscles burn it is typically the sign of an effective workout. “Burning and soreness indicate the building and recovery of muscle mass.” Of course, if you press your muscles to the point of injury then you have exceeded what is necessary for an effective workout and defeated your purpose in exercising. But a good workout works to build and strengthen the muscles and in a similar way the exercising of our faith muscle also strengthens it and brings us into the new level of victory that God would have us achieve through our faith. It is through the endurance that we experience through trials that breaks down our faith muscle and rebuilds it to strengthen it and make it effective.
James 1:2-4 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
So, what do you do when your faith is being tested? What brings the NIKE into your life? How do you overcome when it seems that all hell is arrayed against you?
Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; But happy is he who keeps the law.
Focus is a very important aspect of exercise whether it is for bodily benefit or in a spiritual battle. What you keep your eyes set on determines the direction you will take in any endeavor. Where there is no direction, no vision, no prophetic revelation the people cast off restraint; they run in all different directions with no purpose or meaning to direct them to their goal. For faith to be effective we must focus on the author and finisher of our faith; we must look unto the One who establishes our faith.
Hebrews 12:1, 2 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Lay aside the things that are hindering you from achieving the victory and look unto Jesus! Look into the face of the One who authored your faith and Who finishes it or matures it in you. Keep your focus on what God has instructed you to do. Don't look to the left or the right but keep your focus on Jesus for He has already walked the way to victory through overcoming death, hell and the grave through His crucifixion. A person cannot take another person where they have not been themselves. Jesus has already been where you are going; He won the victory! He experienced NIKE in His own life. He will show you the way to take to NIKE!
Zechariah 4:5-10 Then the angel who talked with me answered and said to me, “Do you not know what these are?” And I said, “No, my lord.” 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. 'Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone With shouts of “Grace, grace to it!”'” Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying: “The hands of Zerubbabel Have laid the foundation of this temple; His hands shall also finish it. Then you will know That the LORD of hosts has sent Me to you. For who has despised the day of small things? For these seven rejoice to see The plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. They are the eyes of the LORD, Which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth.”
You may be thinking that there is no way you can achieve the victory in a certain area of your life. Sometimes the obstacles before us seem to be insurmountable, and we cower down in fear that we will not be able to withstand, much less achieve the victory. But just as Zerubbabel was told by the angel so I believe that God would say to us today that it is not in our own strength that we are able to attain the victory, but that our faith is empowered by the Spirit of God within us. He is the One who does the actual work to strengthen us and enable us to win. Anything that is done through human effort is no match for the enemy of our souls that is a spiritual entity. It is by God's grace and through our faith that the Holy Spirit is allowed to work in and through us to achieve the victory!
The angel told Zerubbabel that through the Spirit's power in him the mountain would become a plain; it would completely disappear and be as flat ground before him. But it would begin as a small thing. His ability to complete the temple would grow as he depended on the Spirit within him to help him. God gets the glory when we yield to His power within us to complete what we are called to do. Our faith grows as we see Him work in our lives. We are strengthened and encouraged to complete the work before us when we understand that if God is for us there is no foe that can stand in our way. Your mountain will become as a plain before you as you yield to and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit within and walk in His power and ability.
God told Joshua that there would be no one who could stand before him all the days of his life because God was with him.
Joshua 1:5 “No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.”
But there was one requirement for Joshua to be successful and that was that He was to be strong and courageous and keep his focus on the word of God to observe it and do it.
Joshua 1:7-9 “Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
Folks, be strong and courageous! Stay in the word and do what it says! And the NIKE, the victory, will be yours! God has promised that He is with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you. The victory is in sight even when it looks like it's not going to happen! Do not be dismayed for your God goes before you into the battle. He will enable you to win! Just DO IT!
Father, I thank You for going before us into every battle that we face. I thank You for the victory for You are with us to strengthen us and enable us to win! Father, I pray for those today who are afraid. I pray that by Your Spirit that they will see that You are with them and there is no enemy that can stand against them when they place their hope and trust in You. Father, I ask that You would help them to stay in focus; that they would “just do it” knowing that You are backing them. When they feel led to speak to someone about You but are afraid of rejection, may they depend on Your strength within them and just do it! May they focus their eyes on Jesus and look to Him for their faith for He is the One who is the author and finisher of their faith. Thank You, Father, for the victory that we have in Christ Jesus! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Friday, January 25, 2013
Deuteronomy 9:1-3 “Hear, O Israel: You are to cross over the Jordan today, and go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourself, cities great and fortified up to heaven, “a people great and tall, the descendants of the Anakim, whom you know, and of whom you heard it said, 'Who can stand before the descendants of Anak?' “Therefore understand today that the LORD your God is He who goes over before you as a consuming fire. He will destroy them and bring them down before you; so you shall drive them out and destroy them quickly, as the LORD has said to you.
God had told His people that He was giving them their “Promised Land”. It was a land filled with milk and honey, or a prosperous land, full of opportunity and abundance. He was sending them in to possess it, to make it their own. But there were giants that resided in that land. In this portion of Scripture He told them to know and understand that He was bigger than the giants; that He was going before them to assure their success in possessing their promised land. They were not to pay any attention to what they had heard about the giants or what the giants had done to others that had gone into the land before them. It was because of His presence and protection with them that they were assured of being successful and victorious in defeating their enemies and experiencing all that God had planned for them.
Numbers 13:27-30 Then they told him, and said: “We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. “Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there. “The Amalekites dwell in the land of the South; the Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the mountains; and the Canaanites dwell by the sea and along the banks of the Jordan.” Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.”
When it came time to cross over into their Promised Land Moses sent some spies into the land to assess the land, the inhabitants and the strength and size of their cities. He instructed them to bring back some of the fruit of the land. When they came back they had a cluster of grapes that was so large it had to be carried on a pole between two of them. The fruit of the land was just as God had said, luscious and bountiful! But the report of the giants in the land was as He had said as well. Instead of listening to God and following His directions for success in taking the land they believed the negative report of the spies and allowed the fear of the giants to keep them from possessing what God had given them.
We sometimes react to the “giants” in our land today just as the Israelites did in their day. The stories of the Israelites are meant to show us types and shadows of the spiritual battles that we fight in possessing our spiritual promised land. God has given us the land, but we often believe the negative report of the giants over the fruit that we see that can be born out of the battles that we have to fight to win the victory and receive the fruit of the land.
Matthew 11:12 “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.”
There is a war going on in establishing the kingdom of heaven in the hearts and lives of people. The giants are still in the land and we, as believers in Christ Jesus, have been commissioned by God to take the land, to establish God's kingdom in our world. Can it be said of us that we are violent warriors, taking the land for Christ Jesus? Or are we as the Israelites, cowering in fear, believing that the giants are bigger and more violent than us and allowing that negative report to stop us from receiving all that God has for us?
1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
We are the King's kids! We are a chosen generation of royal priests, a holy nation, God's own special people. We have been sent out to proclaim His praises and establish His kingdom in this earth! The giants will always be around, but the fruit of victory is greater than the report of the size or strength of anything that the devil would throw at us!
Romans 8:31, 32 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
God goes before us into every battle; He is for us, not against us! The victory is assured because of who we are in Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
We are more than conquerors! In Numbers 13:30 Caleb quieted the people and told them “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” God is still saying to His people today to go up and take the land for we are well able to take possession! We are well able to win! With God going before us into every situation we can take the kingdom with violent force and establish His rule and reign in the hearts and lives of people. He has made us kings and priests before Him and we shall reign with Him on the earth!
Revelation 5:10 “And have made us kings and priests unto our God; And we shall reign on the earth.”
There are always going to be battles in a Christian's life. We have an enemy who has a plan to steal, kill and destroy from us, but the good news is that we have the Greater One on the inside of us to give us the victory!
1 John 4:4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
We are of God and have already overcome, even before we go out into the battle, because the God who lives within us is greater than the enemy that we face in the battle! Praise the Lord! So the questions to reflect upon today are: “Will you believe the report of the Lord that the giants in your land have no power to stand against you? Will you respond through godly violence, ready to go into battle and win?”
“....the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.”
Father, I thank You for equipping us to fight the giants and win the victory! I thank You for placing Your Spirit within us to be the Greater One in our lives; the One who enables us to overcome whatever obstacle that is placed before us. I pray this morning that as we look around us and see the lost, the hurting, the sick and oppressed that we will have the same mind that was in Christ Jesus who came to destroy the work of the devil in people's lives. I pray that we will look at the fruit of the land and not believe the negative report that we can't take the land because of the giants. Father, give us a kingdom mindset that sees the victory and knows that we are winners with God and well able to conquer our Promised Land. I pray that we will become passionate about being all that You have created and called us to be. I pray that we will be determined to defeat the enemy that has blinded the minds of those who are perishing; violent in persisting to pray, in witnessing of Your goodness and in driving sickness and disease out of people's lives. Father, we are Your army! May we go forth with victory in our hearts and a determination to see Your kingdom come and Your will being done on earth as it is in heaven! Thank You for working with us as we preach and teach Your word, confirming it with the accompanying signs! Thank You for giving us the victory! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Sunday, January 13, 2013
John 4:34-38 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. Do you not say, 'There are still four months and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this the saying is true: One sows and another reaps.” I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.”
As I was walking through the flea market yesterday I came to the table of a lady that was selling beauty products. As a woman and a former beauty consultant I am always interested in products that will cover up the effects of aging and enhance a woman's natural beauty. This lady's table of products was especially interesting to me because I noticed a book on the end of the table about the fruit of the Spirit. Aha, maybe I was not just drawn to the beauty products, but could this be a divine appointment that God had set up for me?
Jesus said that His food was to do the will of Him who sent Him and to finish His work. He told His disciples that they didn't have to wait for the harvest because the fields were already white for harvest. In Matthew 24:14 He told His disciples that one of the signs of the end of the world will be that the gospel will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end would come.
As I talked with the lady who was selling the beauty products I learned that she was trying to raise funds to go on a mission trip to Kenya. That really sparked my interest and I began to converse with her about her trip, her fears, her desires and the plan that God for her life; to not only send her into the world to minister to the needs of the people of Kenya but also to set her free from a long-standing fear of flying through a trip oversees. Before I left to go on in my pursuit of flea market bargains she asked me to pray for her. So my husband and I joined together in agreement with her for a successful ministry trip and as we prayed God ministered His sweet presence in that place, right in the middle of the flea market, to a worker ready to be sent out into the harvest field. I was so blessed to be a part of what He is doing in her life.
When I got up this morning the Lord began bringing back to my remembrance some scriptures that He has been speaking to me personally. They all tie together with, I believe, what He is getting ready to do in the end-time harvest. If we are sensitive to His Spirit and willing to move at His direction to touch the lives of others that we come into contact with, He will set up the divine appointments that will be productive for His Kingdom's glory.
Is your food to do the will of the Father? Are you ready to go at the direction of the Lord to speak to those that He brings into your presence? Jesus was ready in season and out of season; ready to preach to the lost, heal the sick, raise the dead and to spread the good news of the gospel with all whom God placed in His path. He told His disciples that the lost and hurting are all around them; all they needed to do was lift up their eyes and look. The same is true in our lives today. Those that need the hope and healing that God has placed within us through the presence of His Spirit are waiting all around us for us to share it with them. The anointing of the Spirit of God is upon us, within us, and around us to win the lost, heal the sick and raise the dead. But are we willing to go into all the world? Are we willing to speak when He says speak? Are we willing to lay hands on the sick at His direction and see them healed?
2 Timothy 4:1-5 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the world! Be ready in season and our of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching, For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
Paul told Timothy that there was coming a time when people would need a strong approach to the Word of God and that he should be ready to preach the word in season and out of season. In other words always be prepared to share God's word with those with whom you come into contact with. Be ready! Be prepared to convince, rebuke and exhort those that need to hear God's word; that need to be encouraged; that need to be corrected! Be ready to share what God has placed on the inside of you with others!
Shortly after Christmas as I was praying the Lord spoke Isaiah 54:2 and 3 to my heart and I have been meditating on what it means to me in my own life and ministry. I believe that it is tied to the divine encounter that God set up for me at the flea market yesterday.
Isaiah 54:2, 3 “Enlarge the place of your tent, And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; do not spare; Lengthen your cords, And strengthen your stakes. For you shall expand to the right and to the left, And your descendants will inherit the nations, And make the desolate cities inhabited.
Even though I believe He spoke this to me personally it is an instruction for the Body of Christ as well in preparing the end time harvest. He's saying get ready for increase; prepare room for those who will come into the family of God! The time is at hand for you to move into and reap the harvest. Ministry expansion is coming and you must be ready to share with those who are lost, hurting and in need of the Savior.
In verse one of Isaiah 54 God speaks of supernatural birth and how the barren would be giving birth to children. It may be that you have never shared the good news of the gospel with anyone. But get ready for God is about to do a supernatural work in your life. He needs our cooperation to work with Him in bringing in the harvest. Lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes. Work on developing your relationship with the Lord so you can be sensitive to His Spirit within you. Do what needs to be done to prepare yourself for supernatural increase! God is getting ready to expand to the right and the left through His children. He is on the move to give us the nations for our inheritance. He is making desolate cities once again alive with His people. God is on the move! Will you go with Him?
Father, I thank You for the divine appointment You created for me yesterday. I know that You set that up as it was not even in our plans to go to that flea market yesterday; we were headed to another destination when we saw it and decided to stop in. Father, I thank You for placing someone there for me to minister to and encourage in her walk with You. Father, I know that the end time harvest is at hand and I thank You for placing workers in the harvest field. I ask You to impress upon the hearts of your people the need to be prepared; the importance of watching for opportunities and making sure that our hearts are ready to speak when You give the instructions. Father, I pray for those who are lost and hurting and in need of Your saving power in their lives. Father, soften their hearts and prepare them to receive the good news of the gospel as Your workers come into contact with them. Make them ready to be born again, healed and set free from demonic oppression. Cause us to be bold in our witness; unafraid to reach out to them and minister whatever You place on our hearts. Father, may Your will be done in our lives; may we be Your hands and feet extended, Your mouthpiece to minister forth the saving and healing word of God to whomever You desire. Thank You for the privilege of being Your representatives in the world around us! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Friday, January 04, 2013
Judges 6:12-14 AMP And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, The Lord is with you, you mighty man of [fearless] courage. And Gideon said to him, O sir, if the Lord is with us, why is all this befallen us? And where are all His wondrous works of which our fathers told us, saying, Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt? But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian. The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in this your might, and you shall save Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you?
Your identity and purpose are directed connected. We were created to accomplish great things for God, and He puts the highest value on our lives. But, as Gideon, we must agree with God in order for His purpose to be fulfilled in each one of us. Gideon was hiding in the wine-press, trying to thresh their harvest of wheat. He couldn't see past the oppression of the enemy to see the goodness of God. Many times we get caught up in the “why me, Lord” attitude of our lives. We can't see that bad things do happen to good people and that God is not the author of those things, but that He works through them to establish His plan and purpose for our lives. Gideon's people were under the oppression of the enemy because they had turned away from God and He had allowed them to live according to their own purpose and plan.
Judges 6:1-2 AMP BUT THE Israelites did evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord gave them into the hand of Midian for seven years. And the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel. Because of Midian the Israelites made themselves the dens which are in the mountains and the caves and the strongholds.
When we step out from under the protective umbrella of the Lord we open the door for the enemy to come in to steal, kill and destroy our lives. The Israelites had opened that door and were suffering the consequences of their actions. Gideon couldn't see that the enemy's oppression was directly tied to their disobedience in not walking in the power and presence of God in their lives. He had taken the “why us” attitude of “if God is with us, why is all of this befallen us?” Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever thought that God had deserted you because of all the bad things that were happening in your life? And yet, even though Gideon was living under distress and persecution, God still had a plan and purpose for his life. In fact, He told Gideon that he needed to get up and go in his might or strength because He was going to use him to save his people from their enemies. God was sending him out on an assignment! The conditions were not perfect, in fact they were far from perfect, but God had a plan and a purpose for Gideon being right where he was. He was in the perfect place for God to move through him to effect change in the lives of others.
God has a plan and a purpose for your life, my friend. Gideon was afraid, but God offered His presence and power to equip Gideon to do the work that He had called him to do. He will do the same for you. God never sends us out to accomplish His work without His grace and empowerment to do it. His presence and power always goes with us. But He expects us to work with Him in accomplishing the task we are sent to do. The Israelites had been crying out to God for help and He had sent a prophet to tell them why they were in bondage. It was at their own hand. Their own decisions to live in their own ways was what got them into the mess they were in. God reminded them through the prophet of the good things He had done for them in the past. He had brought them out of the house of bondage to establish them as His very own people; to bless them and make them a blessing to the nations around them. They were to be a people that others would fear because they were His people. The surrounding nations would see the mighty power of God as He worked through His people, the Israelites, and they would know that God is real.
God has not changed His plan and purpose for the lives of His people even today. He still wants to exhibit Who He is through His people so others will be drawn into a relationship with Him. God has a plan and purpose for your life just as He did for Gideon. Will you follow His call to go forth and make a difference in the hearts and lives of those around you. Will you be the one that shows the way of salvation to the lost and discouraged?
Gideon questioned the Lord about how he could be the one to save his people when he was the least in his father's house and his clan was the poorest in Manasseh. He couldn't see himself of any value in his own sight. He needed to change his perspective to see himself as God saw him. God answered his questions about his inability with this statement:
Judges 6:16 AMP The Lord said to him, Surely I will be with you, and you shall smite the Midianites as one man.
God is all-powerful; He is all-seeing and He is all-knowing! He knows exactly what to do at the right time. He told Gideon that he needed to “go in this might of yours” because He was the one who was sending him. The first thing that we have to do to make changes in our lives is to “go”; to “get up and do something”. It is impossible to guide a car that is not moving. You can't turn the steering wheel. The car must be running and engaged in drive for you to be able to steer it. God wants us to get up and go in what He has placed within us. Then He will give us the direction and power that we need to accomplish the job. But the first step is always ours. Will we agree with God that He wants to do something through us? When we have taken that first step God will always be right there to empower us to go forward!
Judges 6:34 NKJV But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon; then he blew the trumpet, and the Abiezrites gathered behind him.
The phrase in this verse, “But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon”, in the Hebrew, actually says “The Spirit of the Lord clothed Himself with Gideon”. The Spirit of the Lord lives within you if you have received Jesus as your own personal Savior and Lord. You are the temple of the Holy Spirit; the house that He lives within! You are of so much value that He purchased you with the precious blood of Jesus! He goes with you wherever you go.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NKJV Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.
God has a plan for His body today. It is to spread the gospel; to make disciples of all nations, to heal the sick, to cast out demons, to destroy the works of the enemy. He wants to do those things through you and me!
Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. “God therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit; “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
Mark 16:17-20 “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; “they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.: So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.
God has a plan for His people today. It is the same as it was when He spoke these words to His disciples just before He ascended back into heaven. The plan still applies to His people. We are to go into all nations and preach the gospel; make disciples, baptize new believers, lay hands on the sick so they will recover; speak with new tongues; encounter and disarm demonic spirits.....And the Lord works with us to accomplish all that He has called us to do!
Mark 16:20 NKJV And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.
It's not up to us to go and do the work under our own power. It is our responsibility to go and act as He directs, but He does the work to confirm the word that He wants us to preach, whether it is through actual preaching of the word or however we are ministering to the people. He is the one who works through the believer to accomplish the work!
Will you be the vessel that He will flow through today to effect His kingdom's work in someone's life today?
Father, I thank You for the plan and purpose that You have for each one of us. You are the God who lives within us. You go everywhere that we go; and You want to work through us in each individual situation to spread Your word and do Your work in the hearts and lives of people who are lost and hurting. May we be willing vessels that You may flow through to do Your work in our world today. Father, I pray for those who are having difficulty seeing themselves of value to You this morning. I pray that they eyes of their understanding might be enlightened to see that You have a great inheritance in them. I pray that they might see that You love them with an everlasting love and You have a good plan for their lives. Father, restore what the devil has stolen from them through His deceptive work in their lives. Give them a glimpse of the great love that You have for them. Show them that they are worth the blood of Your Son as You gave Him to save them from their sin. Father, cause them to see the extreme value that You have placed on their lives. Grant them deliverance from the enemy of their souls! Thank You, Father, for living within us and for equipping us to do Your work in our world around us. May You receive glory and honor through each one of us as we go about our daily lives today! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
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