Are Your Glasses Tinted?
A backslider is one who has experientially removed himself from the grace of God. Another, who has fallen through weakness, has the protection of everlasting arms beneath him which upholds him in grace (Deuteronomy 33:27). While both fell in sin, one is filled with his own ways while the other is empty in weakness and frailty, waiting for the filling and renewal of the Spirit through faith. When one is in a condition wherein he needs a statement from God as a promise, he should wait for the revelation of the promise and not wait for the fulfillment of its contents.
We do not have to wait without life. We have an all-sufficient God whose qualities provide all in all situations. He is not just sufficient for situations which complement the display of His life. He is all in even the most difficult trial. He has a ministry of life that is eternally able to reveal itself. When you are removed from Him and placed in self, then all you see will be according to sight. Your perspective on truth is regulated by what fills you.
Similarly, if your glasses are tinted blue, things will not appear the same to you as they appear to others. Is what you receive colored by your glasses? People who have removed themselves from grace do not view faith as the logical way to go because they are not filled with the Spirit. It is better to start off blind and then receive the touch of the Master´s life than to let your life be tinted so that you cannot see with the clarity of God´s mind.
2 Chronicles 33-36
Yield Not to Sin
Romans 8:28 says, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose." Though this is true, we must realize that God never uses sin to advance His kingdom. It can never by excused by saying, "God is using it to help me get to know Him better." This is a confession of deception. God works all things together for good to those who love Him and walk in accord with His calling. He does not work all things together for the benefit of the man who lives carelessly in sin. In other words, sin cannot promote God's kingdom. Consider Samson whose eyes were plucked out because of his life of sin. His sin did not complement him and it did not complement the kingdom. God will bring about good results from that which is not good only when there is recovery.
However, God can bring a good end result from our failures when we repent and recover in grace. The effects of sin must often remain, but the revelation of His character and grace to bear up under trials are positive results.
As we recover and boldly face every situation in life as an opportunity to grow in grace, we partake of the infallible promise in Ephesians 3:16-19. The "riches of his glory" are available to us, His children, in every situation!
What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. - Romans 6:15-17
That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. - Ephesians 3:16-19
Walking by Faith
2 Corinthians 4:13-15
Acting in faith should come naturally to every believer. We were made to bring glory to God. As we respond by faith to His love and mercy toward us, God wants the mind to be a center of inspiration. We need to be occupied with Christ in the midst of the angelic conflict that is warring between heaven and hell.
It is strange that Christians who are living lives of faith in action are labeled and ridiculed as being radical and unnatural. Very often these charges are made by folks who profess to know Jesus Christ. This reveals how Satan has succeeded in deceiving some believers.
If my mind is occupied with Christ and the inspiration of His Word dwells in me, then I will be quickened to reveal God even in those times when I am opposed by temptation and hell.
What is God´s attitude? It is an attitude of Love that invites everyone to come to the supper. God sends the Spirit to minister personally to us as the king had sent his servants. He is a personal God calling us into the fellowship of His dear Son (1 Corinthians 1:9, Colossians 1:13). Those whom He calls He has chosen. He calls, turns, regenerates, and baptizes them into a Body. He stands with His Church and not with the professing Kingdom. Paul clearly knew that, besides rejecting Christ, the next greatest sin was persecuting the Church of Christ (Acts 9:l-22). He called himself the least, simply because of his previous attitude toward the Church (1 Corinthians 15:9).
In this parable, the king was wroth and sent forth his armies to destroy the murderers. The Church is saved by Christ, and He does not want His servants touched. It is God's Church. Those who won't eat the message of grace become deceived in their attitude toward others. They take on the attitude of the enemy, devouring, attacking, and persecuting those who have heard the message, received it with faith, and now live in grace. It is not what people do that is the issue. Sin is not the issue. It is what people fail to receive by not accepting the invitation of grace. There is no more sacrifice for them, meaning that there is no sacrifice that makes them accepted before God except the One Sacrifice, Christ the Lamb, eternally slain. People are not made worthy by what they do, but by Whom they receive through an invitation of grace.
2 Chronicles 30-32
Invest in Doctrine
It is possible to shine as one of God's stars against the atmosphere of Satan's kingdom. Remember Daniel 12:3a, in eternity "we shall shine as stars forever" as chandeliers of love, as God's eternal mood reflecting the Son's grace.
If a person has areas of dishonesty or weakness, he must overcome them by living by every Word of God, by deliberately being set apart, and by walking in the filling of the Holy Spirit. Through the Word, we are enabled to overcome any problems we may have in the areas of lust, old habits, exaggeration, anxiety, anger or jealousy. We are delivered from evil through the Word, not through the cross. The cross delivered us from sin and its penalty, and the Word of God delivers us from Satan's systematic strategies of evil. Faith, the Spirit and prayer are all cooperating factors in our progressive deliverance from evil.
A man who puts his investment in this doctrine will change his soul. He will have maximum strength, instead of having one of the four lust patterns: approbation, power, sensual, or material (2). We can put off those lust patterns by choosing to go to the cross and the Word, as we grow in child-like faithfulness. Then we will reflect God's grace.
And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. - Daniel 12:3
That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; - Ephesians 4:22
The Priority of the Word
There is something that will judge us in the last days: the Word that has been spoken unto us. If we speak not according to His Word, it is because there is no light in us. Preach the Word, reprove, exhort, rebuke, with all authority. We are going to be taught by the Holy Spirit and we are to teach others also. I love it!
Let's speak the truth in love. Our job is to win souls and to make disciples. We win people through the power of the Holy Spirit in love. John wrote, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth" (3 John 4). As a pastor, it is such a treasure to watch those who have come to Christ grow and walk in the power of the Word of God.
When temptation and testing come, get out the old Book! In everything, give thanks; for everything, give thanks. Hit the throne of grace with prayer and faith. He will answer our prayers. How do we know this? Because God says so in the Bible.
They Made Light of It
The Father has made a marriage for the Son because of the presentation that the Son has made to the Father. Jesus' Blood presentation has prompted the earthly invitation to man to come to the marriage supper. The preparation of the supper is complete. In the parable, people are asked to come and eat with no requirement of work, preceding or following the banquet. This clearly reveals the invitation of the Father to sinners because of the Blood of the Son which has given us a Finished Work feast. In the parable, many did not come to the marriage. Though they refused, the Scripture gives no reference to sin being their reason for refusal. Particular sins did not keep them from coming, but, it is pointed out, particular jobs kept them from caring. In actuality they just had to come and eat a Finished Work meal, and yet their schedules kept them from coming.
At the end of life, some people will have allowed their schedules to keep them out of Heaven and send them to Hell. It may not be wicked sins, but only crowded schedules that keep some from coming to eat at the table of grace. It is possible that Hell will be filled with good people who were too busy to get to know Christ. Thousands are called to be saved, but they are too busy to come and eat enough to be saved by grace. They are not saved because they never had the food, Christ, put inside. They are without the life of Another that makes them accepted in Another, the life of Christ that has made us accepted in God.
2 Chronicles 26-29
Hope Foundation for Stability
It is by patient endurance that one gains mastery over his own soul (2). Hope is the great stabilizer of our soul which creates boldness, frankness (3), and dogmatic conviction. From this stability of soul comes the reflection of inner beauty. The woman of God is especially marked out as being beautified by the possession of hope as is revealed in I Peter 3:5. The women of old hoped in God and beautified themselves with inner beauty of the soul..
It is the possession of this hope that makes a person a sound and stable soulwinner as Peter says, "But in your hearts set Christ apart as holy (and acknowledge Him as Lord). Always be ready to give a logical defense to any one who asks you to account for the hope that resides in you but do it courteously and respectfully" (I Peter 3:15, Amplified).
The hope that we possess as members of the body of Christ, in union with Christ and in the age of grace, is superior hope to any other age and to any other group of people. Hebrews 7:19 calls it a better hope, founded on better promises, a better covenant (6), and a superior sacrifice - Christ Himself (7). May our lives be set apart by this hope and be revealed through our lives
Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's. - Psalm 103:5
In your patience possess ye your souls. - Luke 21:19
Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech: - 2 Corinthians 3:12
For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: - 1 Peter 3:5
For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God. - Hebrews 7:19
But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. - Hebrews 8:6
Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself. - Hebrews 7:27
The Unparalleled Word
Allow me to try to convey the extraordinary price that has been paid by ordinary people in order for us to hold the Bible in our hands, to be able to turn its pages, to drink in its precepts, and to savor its truth.
I don't want to neglect the Book or what it says. I don't want to forget its precepts and preciseness, its purity, holiness, and righteousness. The Word of God imparts a great mandate to win the lost; it communicates a great commission to go into all the world with the gospel. It contains a wonderful admonition to make disciples. There are its wonderful principles, telling us to love one another and to lay down our lives as Christ did for His Church.
It is easy to say we believe in the Bible, but it's another thing to let it take over and control every part of our lives. It's easy to say that the Bible is Truth, but it's another thing to say the Bible has the solution and answer for every problem and prayer. God's Word was written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and incarnated in the person of Jesus Christ. His desire is for the written Word to become living Truth in our hearts, so we will become living epistles to all around us.
Set as a Seal
Song of Solomon 8:6-7
Jesus Christ wants a spiritual people, a people who do not cling to earthly concepts of love but have left the wilderness of human love and entered into an ascended love through ascended life by ascended power. He wants a people who do not let earthbound relationships interfere with a Heaven-bound fellowship, a people who let their vertical with God take over their humanity. Instead of being occupied with earthly contact and signs to assure people that they are loved, God´s people enter into the true substance of spiritual love which has nothing to do with earthly ways or thoughts.
A person can seek love, and that is all right, but someone wanting physical love is entering into a wilderness relationship with human love. He is establishing a substitute for growing in vertical love. Human love makes the person feel personally wanted. He thinks it does more for him than reading a promise or being with the Body or being with God alone. There is nothing wrong with desiring pure love in its proper place, but that must not be your motivation.
Be totally fulfilled leaving the wilderness. The reason Christ has left the Bride and been gone for 2,000 years is that He wants a faith that works by love without Him being physically present except through the Body, which is His fullness. Do not wear your need for feelings in your emotions, but have love sealed on your heart. Divine love goes beyond physical circumstances and takes you into God.
2 Chronicles 23-25
Seeing the Risen Savior
The foundational truth of the Christian faith is that Jesus Christ died for the sins of the whole world (2). He shed His blood for mankind (3), and imputes His own righteousness to all who believe (4). It is this truth that saves people from everlasting punishment and makes them heirs of salvation - life eternal with Christ Jesus. But there comes a time after a person has trusted Christ as his Savior, that he must make a choice to go beyond just a nominal Christian life.
Mary Magdalene looked at the cross and said, "He's my Savior." But soon afterwards she went to the empty tomb; she saw the resurrection life of Jesus Christ (Luke 24). And one day, Peter, as frail as he was, said, "I will follow you wheresoever you go" (John 13:36-37). Jesus said, "You will not follow me now, but afterward you will." Thomas knew Jesus as the Savior, but it was not until he saw the resurrected Christ that he could proclaim, "My Lord and my God" (John 20:28). It was then that Jesus became his personal deliverer and his personal healer.
First, we must trust Christ as our Savior for eternal life; then, we have the opportunity to experience His resurrection life if we make Him to be our Lord.
And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. - John 20:28
And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. - 1 John 2:2
For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. - Matthew 26:28
Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, - Romans 4:6
The Word of God makes it clear that every revelation of grace is experienced in the heart. Here, mercy is realized, love is enjoyed, and the promises become real. It all comes down to guarding the heart.
The believer who has a hearing heart has the mind of God controlling the mentality of his soul. His emotions are quiet and calm. He has a capacity for the Word, prayer, faith, soul-winning, and missions. A capacity for forgiveness and for life in the Body of Christ is established, because the mind of Christ came in to create a new heart.
This, indeed, is God's viewpoint for every person's problem. The answer isn´t in having another counselor; it isn't some course promoting wisdom from below, with God tucked in at the end. No, the answer is in coming to grips with Jesus Christ and saying, "You created me. You died for me. You love me. Your Word is pure, forever settled in heaven. And though heaven and earth will pass away, your Word will never pass away. It is quick and powerful, and it alone can pierce my soul and spirit. It has become the wonderful motivating critic of my heart."
Accusation or Conviction
Revelation 12:11; Romans 8:38-39
There is a great deal of difference between accusation and conviction. When one accuses another, it is to reveal fault for destructive purposes. Accusation never offers creative solutions, but uses a false sense of righteousness to express the inadequacy of the accused. Satan is the accuser of the brethren. Christ never accuses us. When we fail, do we see ourselves in the light of conviction or in the black pit of accusation? Glory be to God that when we fail, love convicts of failure with righteousness by grace. Where sin abounds grace does much more abound, when we are living in the light of God´s provision. However, when we live in the false light of comparative or relative righteousness, then where sin does abound condemnation abounds much more.
We are subjects of the righteousness of Jesus Christ which comes by faith, and the accuser of the brethren is cast down. How was he cast down? By the Kingdom of our God and of His Christ. The Kingdom of Christ is the place where Jesus reigns supreme through the sovereignty of His love. There is nothing that can accuse us as long as our confession is a Kingdom confession. "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39).
2 Chronicles 20-22
The Lost Art of Worship
I Thessalonians 2:13
Worship has several different meanings. The first one to consider is that of concentration. One of the greatest truths in the Bible is to concentrate on the Word of God in specifics. Psalm 138:2b says, "For thou hast magnified thy Word above all thy name."
Worship, secondly, is when a believer honors the presence of God. He believes with all of his heart that when two or three are gathered, Christ is in the midst (2). This type of Christian has a tremendous respect for the message that God speaks through the Word of God. I Thessalonians 2:13 states, "When ye received the Word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but, as it is in truth, the Word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe." The key to being like these Thessalonian Christians is to have a heart that is prepared to receive the Word of God, a heart that reverences God's presence in an assembling of His people.
Finally, Judges 7:15 and Job 1:20-21 tell how Gideon and Job bowed down and worshiped God when they had lost everything. Job said, "the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away." Job was able to worship in the spirit because he had served God in the Spirit. May we allow God to teach us the lost art of worship!
For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe. - 1 Thessalonians 2:13
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. - Matthew 18:20
And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshiped, and returned into the host of Israel, and said, Arise; for the LORD hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian. - Judges 7:15
The Design of Deliverance
Here is the way a person can be delivered. When the Word of God is preached, it enters the mind, then the Holy Spirit transfers it into the heart, by way of the human spirit. It is God´s perfect, categorical design for illuminating a man´s soul. When a person confesses his sin, he is instantly forgiven because Jesus bore that sin upon His body at Calvary.
This is the glorious Gospel! The Word becomes quick and powerful in his life. One moment he is aware of some truth; the next moment he is mixing it with his faith in Jesus Christ. When this happens, Truth goes into his human spirit, enters the heart, and begins motivating and energizing him to live by every word of God.
What has happened? The heart has become the center of God´s viewpoint. This is where He is present in the process of the operation of grace. It has become a place where the believer can begin to initiate faith, respond in mercy, and apply God´s nature in the reality of the details of life.
God forgives with a forgiveness that we will never understand unless we believe His Word, live by it, and allow ourselves to be sanctified by it.
What does Psalm 130:4 mean when it says there is forgiveness with Him that He might be feared? It means that once He has forgiven someone, we are not to toy with that forgiveness, even as it relates to ourselves. His forgiveness is divine, produced by an eternal decree coming out of perfect justice. His forgiveness is not to be presumed against. Jesus Christ has paid for all sin and sins-He took care of who I am and what I've done. He did this once and for all and we are not to play games with the subject.
God's dealings with us are always in mercy (Psalm 119:124), and His mercy endures forever. By His mercy, He has covered and forgotten our sins, and they are to be remembered no more.
Think With Me
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord" (Isaiah 55:8). How can we have God's mind in each decision that we make during the day?
It is so important that the foundation or motivation for our decisions is pure. "A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit" (Matthew 7:18). If a person makes a choice out of human rationalization, even if it is from the good side of the tree of knowledge, it cannot bring forth the fruit of the Lord. It may produce human good, without the life of God, but it will be in vain. Every decision a believer makes should glorify God
One of the best ways to have God's thought for our lives is by remembering that, "Yet not I, but Christ liveth in me" (Galatians 2:20a), and "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Philippians 4:13). We have the authority through God's Word to have the mind of Christ because we have received Him in our hearts. "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 2:5). Through God's Word we can have His thoughts. Our roots will be found in Christ, and we will know that our daily decisions will have godly motives and will glorify our Lord and Savior.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. - Jeremiah 29:11
Staggering in an Old Economy
What is the conscience? And what causes people to stagger in dead works rather than to serve the Living God with life and in Life? The conscience is an indicator of right and wrong, so you do one to prevent the other. But when the conscience is seared by environment, heredity, and religion, the conscience is no longer sure of its own indicating measurements. It still holds what power God gave it, and it can get through to grace, though deterred by other forces.
So the person joins a church. But in this church he finds no revelation, visitation of mercy, or manifestation of grace. The conscience becomes religious and may be good, but through the letter of the Law, which is Tree of Knowledge goodness. There is no grace and no visitation of mercy but only a conscience by law of God. People under this inherit a conscience according to the law. They are religiously oriented but not regenerated. A law of God from the Bible takes over for grace, and Moses becomes a substitute for Christ (John 1:17). The conscience bows down to Moses, and we live as good as we can but not as good as He is. People then live in the conscience they have been taught through heredity, environment, and religion. They let that conscience be their guide instead of the revelation of love and grace.
Do not let good and evil be your indicators, leaving you void of the Word of God, which is the conviction of truth in a conscience of communion.
2 Chronicles 14-16
Without Christ, Without Hope
What is the grace that is to be brought to us when Jesus appears? It is that we will appear with Him in glory (2), and will be glorified (3), while He is admired in us by all (4).
We can see clearly that hope is never a maybe prospect or an objective fantasy in the heart, but it is a dogmatic certainty based on the historical event of Jesus Christ's sacrifice. It involves the childlike and exciting anticipation of our glorification, an anticipation that produces a godly urgency (5), a deep sense of destiny (3), and impetus for personal purity (6) in this life.
Hope in the worldly or cosmic sense is not really hope at all. It has no defined prospect, nor does it have a definite object. This hope is merely subjective; it is only despair that is appeased by ideas of a possible after-life or some desperate notion of reincarnation. The Bible proclaims dogmatically that those who are without Christ as the object of their hope have no hope at all. All of us were at that point at one time in life (7). Separate from Christ means absent of hope, for the Bible proclaims that to be without Christ is to be without hope. Hold fast to the hope you have in Christ so that He may be proclaimed in you as people see your confidence.
That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; - Ephesians 2:12-14
When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. - Colossians 3:4
Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. - Romans 8:30
When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day. - 2 Thessalonians 1:10
But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; - 1 Corinthians 7:29
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. - 1 John 3:2-3
That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. - Ephesians 1:12-14
The Great Cover-Up
The greatest cover-up of all time occurs when God Almighty takes an imperfect man and hides him in Himself. He covers him with His hand, so that He cannot see his sin. That´s a cover-up!
We are hidden in the Rock, our Savior, Jesus Christ. We have been covered by His nail-pierced hand. His glory passes by us and He covers us with His hand so He cannot see our sins. The average Christian never considers what this means, and it is so difficult for Finished Work believers to communicate in a world of Christianity that hasn´t experienced something that is finished.
We are hid with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3). We are in Christ as new creatures (2 Corinthians 5:17). We are seated above (Ephesians 2:6) and joined to His body, flesh, and bones (Ephesians 5:30). We are one spirit with Him (1 Corinthians 6:17). Purchased, redeemed, bought, hidden, cleansed, perfected, and complete- we are all of these things!
Baptized in the Calling
The human spirit functions in God-consciousness, the Father. The human soul functions in the power of the Spirit, the Son. The human body functions in the power of the Word, the epistle. The Father gives us His thoughts to make us God-conscious. The Son gives us the power of redemption over self in the soul. The Word gives us life and direction in the path of light for the Body.
The Word of God is not just to answer particular needs, but it is to go beyond a need and to bring a visitation of the Throne. Function in the Throne with the provision of eternity, the revelation of reality, and the manifestation of life. We were in revelation through Corporate manifestation. We are now under the phase of visitation through revelation. A visitation is when the Holy Spirit is allowed to visit so deeply that anything on the heart of God is in the entire Body. It is when a person or a group is so walking in God´s revelation that the Throne is able to manifest totally its detailed attitude of God in the steps we take down to the smallest point, that the Throne might flood us with power, heat, and fire according to the Word.
As the Word visits with power, Jesus in His government executes His one purpose to build a living Church that expresses His fullness by which believers are eternally possessed.
2 Chronicles 7-9
His Desire, Our Joy
God wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth (2). God's deepest desire is for all men to be saved (2). We, as believers, have the privilege of being a part of fulfilling God's greatest desire. We can see His desire come to pass as we respond to His great commission that He left with us. "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father , and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world" (Matthew 28:19-20).
It is no wonder that as we go in His name to tell others of His salvation that we are filled with such joy. Paul and Barnabas told of all the conversions of the Gentiles. Acts 15:3 says that, "They caused great joy unto all the brethren." They were fulfilling God's deepest desire presenting people with salvation and watching them respond positively.
What a privilege to share in God's desires. We can rejoice with the angels when a sinner turns to the Lord (3). May we never lose sight of this. For the joy of the Lord is our strength (1) and it comes from seeing people accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ (4).
Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength. - Nehemiah 8:10
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. - 2 Peter 3:9
I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. - Luke 15:7
For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? - 1 Thessalonians 2:19
1 Samuel 17:45
Values lead to goals, and goals are checked by performance. Your performance is checked by God´s Word and God´s grace, which are always there to help you. Therefore, you have the ability to develop your capacity to concentrate on the Word of God.
In every area where a desire, a goal, and a purpose is formed through the grace of God and the will of God, you will understand what it means to have a dream.
As a teenager, David took care of his father´s sheep. When David was threatened by a lion and a bear, he was so God-conscious that God gave him a beautiful victory. David pictured himself as a great warrior for God. Then one day, he defeated the giant Goliath and protected the entire nation of Israel from the reign of the Philistines. David, who had a dream as a lad, went out with his slingshot and killed Goliath.
David had a dream.
Sanctified in the Word
Psalm 51:12; Hebrews 4:12
The Word will release me or place me in bondage. It will set me free or bring contention into my moral conscience, as it is exhilarated with pressure. Faith gives me liberation as it is mixed with the Word, but without faith, the Word convicts my moral conscience without any release of the life of the Word. It pounds me with guilt, exercising righteousness without the experience of imparted righteousness which gives me the complementing provision. The Word either blesses and edifies or becomes a bone of contention, because it is always faithful to reveal the truth. It consumes sin or it convicts of sin. How I treat the Word of God reveals how the Word of God will treat my moral conscience (John 1:9).
The moral conscience has nothing to do with salvation. It can ultimately lead me to the Creator if it is not seared, but it is not a substitute for redemption. It can lead you to the truth, but in itself it has no saving quality. It is only through the Word of God that we are redeemed and our spirit is released in Life instead of held in bondage to our soul in the desires of self. It is so important to be quickened with the Word daily, that your soul and spirit might function in God´s order. We eat manna daily and fellowship with God continually, so that the Word can discern our thoughts, reveal life or death, and separate the soul from the spirit so that we do not have to live in our flesh. The Word fills our minds with His thoughts that are forever settled.
2 Chronicles 4-6
Philippians 3:10 is often quoted but seldom understood. It sets forth the Christian's goal, then the means and process by which that goal is reached, thus holding the mind steadfast. "That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death."
"That I may know Him." The one reason for our existence as believers is to come to know the Lord Jesus Christ, and it is through this knowledge that we know our heavenly Father. This settles the mind. Entering into this wonderful fellowship of union with Him is going to require the best of our attention while on earth and all of it in eternity.
The key to knowing the Lord Jesus here and now is the Word of God. We can learn about Him through our general study of the scriptures, but we can only get to know Him personally by feeding upon Him therein. In our devotions, we should concentrate on the Living Word as revealed in the written Word.
Everything that has to do with our Christian life (mind, emotions, and will) and the longed-for freedom from the power of sin and self is in our Lord Jesus Christ. Through our spiritual birth in Him, we know Him in person to be the very source of our life. "Your life is hid with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3).
That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; - Colossians 1:10
Meet Threats with Promises
Think of the things that threaten society. Loneliness and anxiety are said to be the two greatest threats to our well-being, yet these things are seldom discussed. Secret, mystical loneliness and anxiety threaten those who are adventuring in the world of the unknown, taking on the struggles and strife of survival.
Cosmic loneliness and cosmic anxiety rob believers of the privilege of developing their self-image with God, of entering into the creativity of God´s grace. These things rob them of the privilege of living by faith through God´s promises. They also rob them of humility that comes through God´s Cross, and of love that flows through God´s Spirit.
As we learn God´s promises, they become a part of us, and sooner or later they become our resource. Instead of going into the resource factory of this world´s kingdom, we will draw from the divine enterprise of spiritual industry. We will develop a life of spirituality and live in a very practical, industrious way.
The Evidence Withheld
2 Timothy 3:5
Realize the ones whom God has sent. Come under a total government in the power of strength. Rid yourself of all independence. When we come to the Cross, we are void of all rationalization. We are there only in the humility of dust to be available. No longer will we live under a partial course, but will exist in the total authority of the Spirit who purged our lives.
Will God give us anything less than the power and authority He gave the seventy (Luke 10:1)? Does God make people go without revelation, without the gifts and without giving eternal results?
Would God have given them something He would not give us? If we view the situation as it is today, we could presume that God is withholding something because we see no power or evidence of Life. But it is man who has withheld his heart from God and has not yielded to the government of the Spirit. Because of our own deviated choice, we now have something that has lost its substance, its holiness, its piercing words, its clarity, its completeness, its avid application, and its quickening capacity.
People call that a representation of Christ, and yet they have never been visited with the presence of God through a government. Jesus Christ wants us to go in the power of Apostolic Christianity with a river that flows from our heart, a fire that burns in our soul, a walk in the government of love, and an authority whose distinction and manifestation you cannot deny.
2 Chronicles 1-3
Take Up thy Cross and Follow Me
Every believer must determine with his own free volition to take up his cross on a daily basis. He must count the cost, he must deny himself, and he must follow Jesus Christ in a continuous, deliberate act of laying down his life. "I beseech you therefore, brethren by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God" (Romans 12:1-2).
The cross is God's provision for my life. I deny myself every day of my life. I know very well what I am doing. The cross, mentally and emotionally, is something I take up deliberately every day.
If we could see what God sees in our behavior, we would realize that the reason we have human provocations and confusions is because we have failed to take up our cross. Often, we think that trials are the cross, as they are sent by God to cause us to grow. This is not the biblical definition. The cross is not represented by difficulty, it is something we take up voluntarily, in the same manner that Jesus took up His cross in obedience to the Heavenly Father.
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. - Philippians 2:5-11
1 Thessalonians 4:17
God made you in His image, and He sent His Son to die for you on the Cross. When you were saved, He came to live inside you and He will never forsake you. He loves you forever, with an everlasting love. Someday, He's going to make you perfect, either when you go home to be with Him in death or when He calls His Church to the clouds in the Rapture. At that point, He will give you a perfect body just like His Son´s body.
Every Christian has this destiny. We have eternal life, and we are destined to spend eternity with God. As members of God´s royal family, we are destined to be saints forever. He is calling us to enter into an eternal purpose and to be conformed to the image of His Son.
Oh, what a destiny! This is why now, as you prepare to meet Him, He wants you to have a joyful, abundant, pure life. He wants you to make positive decisions toward His Word and His Spirit, and bring every thought into obedience.
Respond to God´s Ordination
Luke 10:1-16; Ephesians 4:11-13
Jesus Christ sends people in the government of the Spirit. Whatsoever they decide, God backs them. Christ is the Redeemer, the Living and Written Word of eternity. Whom He sends He will confirm, and what is done through them He will keep. Thousands do not understand this. You have no right to reject those whom God sends. You either endorse God´s men or a measure of your life will be lacking, and you will reap corruption. You do not have an alternative to make your choice of support for or against. If you reject whom Christ sends, you reject Christ (Luke 10:16). If through your own volition you go against God´s life, you never can escape the reality of what your decision will cause.
We are living in the Apostolic succession that has never ended. The Apostles received authority and then they trained others, and the gifts were recognized. When the Apostles died, others replaced them who in turn trained others and so on as God raised up men through grace.
Apostolic succession has been going on for 2,000 years, but the meaning was lost in the Laodicean spirit. People now do not literally obey the Apostle and Prophet. They only honor to a measure in natural desire. The Word of truth will challenge those lives that have rejected a government and repudiated a Cross. Flee from independence. Realize the ones God has sent.
1 Chronicles 27-29
The Sustenance of Life
Andrew Murray in his book entitled Holy in Christ states "The link between Redemption and Holiness is Obedience. Obedience is the path to union with God's Holy Will." Man's obedience is the listening to and doing the will of God in his life. "And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" (Philippians 2:8). Christ's example of obedience is man's example of performing the perfect will of God. Paul admonished us to bring "into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (II Corinthians 10:5). Christ learned "obedience by the things which He suffered... and became the author of eternal salvation unto all them the obey Him" (Hebrews 5:8-9).
Christ's obedience was the sustenance of His life. In doing God's will, He drew upon the Father for strength, and so must we. His life was characterized by "...not what I will, but what thou wilt" (Mark 14:36b) and out of obedience He could say "...the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink?" (John 18:11b).
It was through disobedience that man fell from God and His blessings; and it is only through obedience to God's will that man can again enjoy his status. Obedience leads to righteousness (2) and a purification of the soul (3).
And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt. - Mark 14:36
Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? - Romans 6:16
Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: - 1 Peter 1:22
People don´t always love you as you are. They reject you when you are bad or when you have done wrong. But God loves you just as you are. God forbid that we fail, but He loves us even when we do fail.
Remember, God loves you as you are. You must learn to love yourself as you are. I´m not talking about living in sin or taking God´s grace as a license to sin, but I´m saying that God loves you just as much in your weakness as He does in your strength.
God accepts us with our strengths and our weaknesses. He wants us to develop through His Word, His Spirit, and His patience. God will be patient, kind, and gracious. He will help us through transitions while we are not yet what we want to be.
The Government of God Releases Life
1 Corinthians 12:13
The Holy Spirit has a government. In that government, all of God is revealed and released. Everything God is and wants and all He can do comes only through the government of the Spirit. The government is on Christ´s shoulders (Isaiah 9.4), but God the Holy Spirit executes the power and authority of the government in this time of grace (Acts 5:3). He has been chosen to baptize with fire, interpret the Word, give gifts, and get our souls through to God in prayer.
The key to releasing the Kingdom of God is the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is in charge of revealing Who the Son is, what the Son is doing, and what He wants to do through us. Obviously, Satan, through his spirits, wants to obstruct you from entering into the government of the Spirit. You can enter into anything, even the gifts, but unless the Spirit controls your heart in sovereign grace, unless He can reign to release, relay, convict, communicate and direct, you will never have anything but a form of godliness. A person may love God in his emotions, but unless the government of the Spirit comes, there will be no application of the Finished Work in his life.
No Christian can afford to be outside the government of the Spirit. You must be baptized in the Body and let God teach you. You must be in the government of Christ and the Body to be in the government of the Spirit.
1 Chronicles 24-26
Pure convictions are derived from the standard of God's Word. We must not allow our natural design or desires to affect or change our convictions.
Opinions can fluctuate anywhere from legalism to lasciviousness, but in every case they deceive the soul and keep it from receiving conviction. They also make a person self-confident without sensitivity, study or prayer.
Opinions preserve self. Convictions preserve the purity and life of Christ. True confidence and boldness come from knowing the mind, character, nature, and ways of God (2). Satan wants to break down the protective walls of conviction so that we will exchange them for opinions that favor self. He matches his bait to a secret craving of the soul and with it provides the opinion to justify responses to that bait. Psalm 45:7 promises a blessing to the one who loves righteousness and hates iniquity in a clear-cut stance with truth.
Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. - Psalm 45:7
But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD. - Jeremiah 9:24
Living in the Light
2 Corinthians 3:17-18
Wherever light can get in, it will come in. Wherever darkness can enter, it will. Light always overcomes darkness, but darkness can also obscure light. If I turn the lights off in my house, the darkness fills the places once occupied by the light. But when I turn the switch, the lights come back on, taking over the darkness.
As we look into the mirror of God´s Word, we receive reflections of precise light, and we are changed into God´s image from glory to glory. Here, glory means the substance of God´s divine nature being reflected through our humanity. It means that we reflect the precise attribute of God´s nature that is needed for the moment.
As God´s divinity begins to control our humanity, our humanity becomes an instrument for God´s divinity. Together with God, we cooperate in the essence of our souls, realizing that we still have an individual soul, but now our individuality is covered by God´s divine life.
Strong As the Reigning Thought
1 Corinthians 7:24
Never consider quitting God´s business even if you are going through the worst trial. Abide in your calling. A man is to be steadfast, immovable, and always abounding. He is a conqueror over demons, chambering, and strife. The man of God is incarnated with the Spirit.
What it takes to stop a person reveals where he is in his experience. If he stops, he is without the provision of Christ. God brings a trial to reveal His beauty. Yet the person takes it to reveal that he was out of the Spirit when it happened. If a person cannot face pressure, he has made a provision to experience natural strength.
Be fervent in the Spirit. Be intensely exercised inside of Christ. You cannot say a trite thing one moment and be fervent the next. If you want the gifts to operate, put on the totality of Christ. The natural tree and its provisions must be dead. Your Adam nature must be totally dead. As you enter into God´s methods and means, you will be as strong as you allow His thoughts to reign. You will be loving as you allow His affections to monopolize you. You will be just as powerful in prayer as you are fervent in your request in faith.
Be instant in prayer. Don´t analyze the faults of yesterday, but pray in the presence of God today. Do not evaluate someone´s humanity, but be instant in prayer and be of the same mind as Christ. Enter into the dynamic Christian reality that the manifestation of the Word of God can be said to be found in you.
1 Chronicles 20-23
One of Satan's strategies is to keep believers looking for their portion in this life instead of from God (2). One of these portions is in materialistic things such as wealth. The Christian who trusts in his wealth, depending upon it for his happiness, is in reality bankrupt. He has been robbed of the very thing that can bring satisfaction and contentment. Riches can never satisfy the needs of man (3).
"Godliness with contentment is great gain" (I Timothy 6:6). It is a very special thing when a believer learns to be content, instead of covetous. Godliness is sound, doctrinal thinking that is in accordance with the Word of God. The believer who receives the Word, mixes faith with what he hears, and allows truth to become resident in his soul becomes "built up" and rooted in the Word of faith (4).
According to God's evaluation, the man whose soul possesses the wisdom and application of truth is much richer in the economy of God's Kingdom than the man who possess material wealth and considers himself rich because of temporal blessing. Proverbs 13:7 (Amplified) contrasts the two. "One man considers himself rich, yet has nothing (to keep permanently); another man considers himself poor, yet has great (and indestructible) riches." When you look at this world and how few materialistic things you have, remember "Riches profit not in the day of wrath" (Proverbs 11:4a).
There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches. - Proverbs 13:7
Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. - Psalm 73:25
There is one alone, and there is not a second; yea, he hath neither child nor brother: yet is there no end of all his labour; neither is his eye satisfied with riches; neither saith he, For whom do I labour, and bereave my soul of good? This is also vanity, yea, it is a sore travail. - Ecclesiastes 4:8
Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. - Colossians 2:7
Shout to the Mountain
Every mountain, every hill, every crooked place, must bring us to God. Instead of turning our backs on Him, we can come to Him and hear Him say, "This is the way, walk ye in it" (Isaiah 30:21).
Shout to the mountain.
Shout to the valley.
Shout in the crooked places.
Shout at failure, sin, and guilt.
Shout against those who criticize and judge. Shout against the legalists who add works to grace and make their religion a hindrance to true Christianity (Romans 11:6).
Shout, "Grace, grace!" to the mountains. Those mountains will fall before us, and we will be led in straight paths that we have not known. The Light of the World will drive away darkness.
Put on Christ
We must have Christ on all the time. No one who has ever put on Christ has had the devil get through. A person who has come into an audience with Christ and accepted Him, makes no provision for the flesh and experiences no want. He does not consider a change in terms of the horizontal because the Lord is his Shepherd. He has the Word, the Spirit, and Christ within him. He does not need great changes spiritually because he knows that he is growing in grace.
Putting on Christ is first realized by being totally fulfilled within. A person does not have to develop or cultivate something before he is fulfilled because he is not looking for something to happen. Adam is the only one who has wants and needs and demands. When a person fellowships in a relationship that is divine, he is living in the provision: CHRIST. Putting on Jesus Christ is not girding yourself with concepts, but it is arming yourself with Light (Romans 13:12), which is the Person of Christ. That which I have put on constrains to give out, to revenge the powers of darkness, creating a capacity for light in other people´s lives. The investment of light may take over a stronghold of darkness and substitute victory there for death. God borrows your vessel to honor others, allowing them to experience God´s thoughts toward them through your pure and kind affections (Romans 12:l0). You bring out the best in their relationships with Christ because you have found Christ to be the best in your life.
1 Chronicles 17-19
He is All
Remember that God is sovereign. His plan is perfect. Since He is righteous (2), He will deal with us in perfect justice. Since God is just (3), He will never do anything that is unfair, and He is love (4), He will love us in each situation of need. In John 14:19b, Jesus said, "Because I live, ye shall live also." Since God is omniscient, He knew about our trials and heartaches long before we experience them. Since God is omnipotent and all powerful, He gives us strength to overcome any temptation that may come from Satan or the flesh. Since God is omnipresent, He is right here wherever we are, as the object of our healing, forgiveness, and growth. God is immutable; He will never change His attitude of love toward us (5). God is filled with grace (6). He will supply our needs according to our capacity to believe in Him as the object of our lives, and the subject of our being.
Trust in Him today. Trust Him for your healing, for your finances or your business adventure. Trust Him for your loneliness. Think on the truths in His Word and be encouraged.
And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: - Colossians 3:10
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. - 2 Timothy 4:8
Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; - 2 Thessalonians 1:6
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. - 1 John 4:8
For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. - Malachi 3:6
But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. - 1 Peter 5:10
Put On Jesus Christ
The Lord Jesus Christ, in all of His uniqueness and beauty, wants us to understand in divine perspective that no Christian is ever to "get in touch with himself." That´s no way to be set free from worldly attachments. You don´t have to search yourself. The Lord Jesus-the God of all mercy, the God of all grace-does the searching.
If the Holy Spirit reveals that something is wrong in my life, I agree with Him and let Him turn me. The Christian life can be reduced to this simple process: First, you take off the old man. Then, you put on the new man. You do this every morning, just like you put on your clothes before you leave your house to go out in public. You put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and then you purpose to make no provision for the flesh (Romans 13:14). Spiritually, you can enter into the angelic warfare from a position of strength.
No Vacancies for the Devil
The most difficult job for the Spirit is to make people walk in what they receive. God wants a Body-quickening. No longer does God want us to be loitering in passivity. No longer does God want us rioting, that is, demonstrating an emotional Adam. No longer does God want us to live in subjective want, wanting things because of who we think we are in Adam. It is vital and important that we be sensitive to the Spirit as every moment passes, never getting up to be ourselves but always putting on Christ. We are not to live in what we confess, good or evil, but we are to live in the righteousness of a New Covenant. If we do not put on Christ, then we are reserving our thoughts to make a provision for the flesh. If instead of praising God inwardly, for example, we make provision not to praise Him, then murmuring, or some other form of death, takes its place.
To put on Christ, you literally act toward Christ. You do something personally with Christ. Never practice being the same and not doing something with Christ. Cast off all that is outside of Christ. Many people do not do this. As sincere as they are, as conscientious as they are with what they know, they get up with what they knew yesterday and do not deliberately get involved by putting on Christ. For example, they look at others, yet do not cast off their human opinions. A person may always put on a coat to protect him from the cold and yet he never puts on Christ in a fresh way.
1 Chronicles 14-16
His Word – Our Life
As a child of God, all of God's promises belong to us. For us to receive all the gifts that Christ offers, we must look to the Scriptures, learn of their content, and appropriate what we find. The Word of God, is rich with promises that have already been made, but how will they benefit us if we do not know about them?
If a man with a ravenous hunger were offered the opportunity to eat as much as he wished from a cuisine of fine food, do you think that he would refuse? Would he say, "I do not have the time right now"? Most assuredly he would not! The Word of God is the food we need not only to sustain our spiritual life (2); (3), but to cause us to grow up into "the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Ephesians 4:13). There are many provisions stated in the Bible that will take care of any area of life in which we are lacking.
If a person feels unloved, lonely, insecure, bitter, hurt, if he has been rejected, or if pressures and details in his life seem to be more than he can handle, he will find in God a present help in trouble (1). So, look to God's Word and the provisions which He has already made for us. His Word is our very life.
To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. - Psalm 46:1
But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. - Matthew 4:4
And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. - Luke 4:4
Run with This Message
Run with the truth that all things work together for good. Because you trust God in your love for Him, He will continue to bless you. Furthermore, He will not let anybody or anything reverse your blessings, and He will not let anyone curse you.
Our time on earth is the only opportunity God has to demonstrate His great love toward us. Only here can God show us the depths of His love, forgiveness, patience, and mercy, because in heaven we will not have old sin natures. The former things will be passed away.
On earth, we are getting to know what God is like before we are perfected. The time is short, so let's use the opportunities we have to receive God's love and share it with others. As we grow in our trust in the Lord, we help others to know that all things work together for good.
Reveal Eternity in Your Corner
God cannot win a lost world with a sick church. He can only do it with those who will receive His energy through His Word. Jesus wants to be able to come right down with revelation and to have people simply receive it without confessing sickness in relation to Adam. Just hear the Word and thank God as you go out in the power of His energy. It is not humble to confess the truth about Adam. Confess the Kingdom, the promises, the Spirit, the victory, and all things being in Christ. Do not hold onto your selflife. There is no need to re-educate our subjective mind. It is not a need for positive thinking, but a need for positive faith. Positive faith takes the Word and obeys it. Positive faith walks after 38 years being an invalid (Luke 5:25). Positive faith knows that we must just touch the hem of His garment to be healed.
Hear and receive and be as alive as the Word is. Positive faith measures life by the promises, but even when it cannot hold onto the promises, God has committed Himself to us beyond the promises. Use words of divine energy instead of confessing the weakness of the flesh. Instead of what you learn through the performance of the flesh, live in Who you know through a revelation of a Person. Adam will always deny power, fret, murmur, compare, and place himself in a corner. He stays there instead of using the corner to reveal eternity. You cannot get along with Adamic security when God has revealed the Son of Eternity.
1 Chronicles 10-13
When a person is restless, he has not come to Jesus to find rest. He looks to himself and others to find joy and peace, but it is a futile attempt. The only true rest for his soul is the rest that God has provided for His people (1). There is a perfect peace and inner happiness for the people of God, which comes only through concentration on Christ and on the living Word of God (2). When a Christian's mind is stayed upon God and His provisions, the mind is kept from rationalizing the problem. It does not focus in on details while the servant of God preaches a message. It does not have a bad self-image.
The mind that is stayed on Christ is occupied with grace, and is dominated by God's love. It is this occupation with the Lord Jesus Christ that brings inner healing; it is concentration on doctrine that settles the emotions, heals wounds, and allows faith-rest to take over the mind. Faith-rest is more than just a principle. It is meant to be a reality in every believer's life. Just as the word implies, it is a rest that comes from faith in God. Romans 10:17 says, "Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God." It is the Word of God penetrating your soul that will heal you.
There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief. - Hebrews 4:9-11
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. - Isaiah 26:3
His Plan Is Greater
1 John 4:19
We love God on two levels: Positionally, "we love him, because he first loved us" (1 John 4:19), and experientially, we love Him by allowing the Word of God to dwell richly in our hearts (Colossians 3:16).
Without the Word dwelling richly in my heart, I can never understand the plan of God. The Word of God reveals the will of God for every believer. It allows me, as a believer, to choose to live in God´s permissive will. But once I repent and forsake my sin, God overrules the consequences of those negative choices and works them together for good.
As the Word of God dwells in my heart, I will begin to understand grace, and my conscience will control my thinking. God´s plan is greater than our sin, greater than our iniquity, greater than our mistakes, greater than our failures, greater than our successes. His plan is greater than every single thing about us.
Nothing Beyond Its Sickness
1 Corinthians 11:27-30
Christianity can be insanity without Christ manifesting His divine mind upon every human being who has ever responded to redemption. Christianity can be insanity if a man lives in the incurable nature of self. Even in the church there is sickness. The professing church members may confess something they are not, may not experience what they confess, may not give what they receive, and may not live in that to which they have been redeemed. If a person on the one hand says, "God is love," and then evaluates people on the basis of his capacity to love without entering into love´s redemption, then that person ends up with a form of love but denies its power. Christianity is insanity if love does not monopolize the Christian´s manifestation of life. A fainting heart cannot produce any more than its life. A sick head cannot give beyond the substance of its own sickness (Isaiah 1:5). If a church gets into legalism, jealousy, and judging, how does that stand with the health that God´s love gives to a people? People live in the sickness of their own mental attitudes and yet they profess the principles of Christianity. They themselves cannot experience what God says. They cannot give what they receive, and they cannot apply what God works in them.
God has committed Himself to us, so that we can live in the sanity of a sound mind, a mind that lives in the pure restraints of the Spirit, liberated to live above. We allow God to commit Himself to us with Life.
1 Chronicles 7-9
Regardless I Will Have Peace
The Apostle Paul learned the secret of contentment, which means that he was satisfied to the point where his soul could not be disturbed or disquieted regardless of external situations in his life. The sufferings of the Apostle Paul were extremely intense because of his ministry and calling. He endured imprisonments, beatings to the point of death, was stoned and shipwrecked three times finding himself at the mercy of the sea, suffered perils of nature, bandits, had to toil in hardships, sleeplessness, hunger, thirst, cold, and lack of proper clothing! And at the same time, the Apostle Paul carried within himself the daily, inescapable pressure of caring for the churches. He learned to endure all things and accomplish all things through the strength and power of Jesus Christ (2), never feeling sorry for himself or being overcome with self-pity. Paul commanded the church to follow after his example and observe those who have patterned their lives after his example (3).
There are many circumstances that have the potential to produce tremendous anxiety, unrest, tribulation, hurt, and unhappiness in the life of every believer. Matthew 5:45 tells us that the Father "makes His sun rise on the wicked and on the good, and makes the rain fall upon the upright and the wrongdoers [alike]." Divine contentment is not the removal of adversity, but the inward sufficiency of Christ that carried us through adversity.
According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. - Philippians 1:20-21
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. - Philippians 4:13
Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. - Philippians 3:17
Eternal Rest, Eternal Joy
I have everything that eternity has because I have eternity in everything. I´m not going to insult eternity by being occupied with time that limits eternity. If God wants to take time to reveal eternity, I will glory in eternity while I am waiting in time.
When I enter into God´s rest, I enter into the mind of God which rested from before the foundation of the world. When I enter into His rest, I cease from working and trying to define peace. Jesus Christ died for me. He was resurrected for me. He went to heaven and took me with Him positionally. He sent the Holy Spirit, and He lives inside of me. It´s eternal life through an eternal work by the eternal Spirit in an eternal body.
I have eternal joy because I've entered into an eternal redemption. I have an eternal purpose, given in grace for eternity. When I enter into His rest, I am a partaker of God´s glory for ever and ever.
Taking on an Image
Romans 8:29-30; 2 Corinthians 3:17-18
Every day I live I want to be as sweet as God will let me be, but as hard against the devil as necessary. Know what mood to live in because of the actual need of truth in every situation. Dare to believe God and to step out and challenge. Know that you are weak, but that you received God´s ministry because your weakness made itself available for God´s strength.
We do not come to God because we are educated or because we are of good speech. We do not come because of any attribute of our own. We come because God called us. We grow with our heart becoming softer. We want the Word to keep us soft, tender, and kind, as we live in truth with conviction, sure direction, and a single eye. Do not lose your first love. Do not allow your lack of convenience to take away your spiritual comfort. Do not allow your schedule to take away your appointments with God. Do not allow misunderstanding to harden your heart, but only to make you humble in a ministry of reconciliation toward others. Pharaoh had subjective reservations about God, and it showed up. What you reserve subjectively against objective truth as it is revealed in life will display itself as a testimony, and your countenance will testify against you (Isaiah 3:9). As a man thinketh, so is he (Proverbs 23:7). What a man thinks against truth is what he is in experience. You will reap what you have sown in your thoughts.
1 Chronicles 4-6
II Thessalonians 3:16
Contentment is derived only from the Lord. In this verse, He promises to be our sustenance, and it has nothing whatsoever to do with our earthly lot in life. Philippians 4:7 describes the manner in which the peace of God becomes a great and rich provision. This peace is defined as "that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God, content with its earthly lot."
This peace "transcends all human understanding," and will be the "garrison and guardian of the believer's heart and mind" (Philippians 4:7). Peace is an untroubled, undisturbed state of well-being (3). It becomes the keeper and guardian of the believer's heart, which is the "buffer" between the sensitivity of the human soul and its capacity to be influenced and controlled by externals. This peace brings inward control of the soul's well-being, because faith is fixed upon the stable, unchangeable favor of God provided for the believer through his union with Jesus Christ.
Contentment is the product or effect of the mind that thinks in accord with the mind of Jesus Christ. The mind identifies with his death, His resurrection, and also His sufferings. Self-sufficiency and divine contentment are premised upon the veracity of that which is outside humanity. It is founded and built upon the promises of God.
Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all. - 2 Thessalonians 3:16
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:7
Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. - Philippians 4:9
Some Christians seem to think it glorifies God for them to live in discouragement, fears, anxiety, and frustrations. "I had a bad week, but I guess that´s what God wanted for me," they say.
No, beloved, God did not want you to have a bad week. God wants our minds, our wills, and our emotions to be at rest. God wants to see our minds change and be renewed because we are His people.
God can quicken us to enjoy the purity of the promises. We can experience the joy of defeating the devil through our faith in Christ. God wants us to see a situation change in answer to our prayers.
In 2 Kings, Elisha´s servant looked out and saw an army surrounding them. But Elisha prayed, and God opened the servant´s eyes and revealed God´s chariots of fire protecting them.
We need this kind of vision. We need a heart that sees that God is with us at all times and in all circumstances. Our expectation must be the expectation of a winner because God will always cause us to triumph.
The Design of God's Choice
Exodus 4:10-12, 16
Never evaluate those whom God has chosen. If you reject whom God sends, you are rejecting Christ Himself (Luke 10:16). Those men are there for you in Christ´s stead (Exodus 4:16; 2 Corinthians 5:20a). What would actually happen in your service with God if you recognized that those men were chosen to be in the place of God, sent by God? You would have the experience of all they spoke as God executes His authority through their vessel.
God will choose the ones whose hearts He alone knows. Moses asked God to choose Aaron instead of himself. But God knew that Aaron was a compromiser who had no courage to execute his convictions. Moses said he was slow of speech and he angered God. God makes a person in the sovereignty of His own design. Do not reject the variety that God has ordained. God is never intimidated by someone who does not have fluency.
Aaron was the better speaker, yet God chose Moses. God knew Aaron would sell out on God the first chance he had. Aaron was a follower, for when Moses went on the mountain, Aaron submitted to the people as they made an idol. Aaron did not have the power to lead, but grace called and used both Moses and Aaron.
Every time a testimony is given on the life of Christ, a person´s heart will either become meeker in love or harder in rebellion. Grow with God as His life is expressed. See yourself in the message and do not separate yourself from its penetration of life.
1 Chronicles 1-3
At first, many of us respond to our Lord as the bride responded in Song of Solomon 2:16 where she said, "My beloved is mine and I am his. He feedeth among the lilies." There was a sense of her possessing Christ, a sense of her personal pleasure as she held onto Him. But after a period of time, in Song of Solomon 6:3, she says something entirely different; "I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine."
It is a fact that we must continue to grown in our relationship to possess Him. First, he is mine. Then, after receiving the teaching of the Word of God and applying categorical doctrine relating to the details of life, we say "I am His." What does that mean? This is a picture of progressive selflessness as we grow in our relationship with the Lord. We progress in our relationship with the lord. We progress in our availability to His will and purpose. We become available to His thoughts, through doctrine. Notice, in Song of Solomon 7:10, the bride says, "I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me." Oh, how beautiful is the growth of her Christian experience! Now, it was her Lord's personal pleasure that became her concern. After all, Revelation 4:11 says. "For his pleasure are we created." "There are pleasures at his right hand forevermore" (Psalm 16:11).
Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. - Revelation 4:11
Raised Up by Love
2 Corinthians 12:15
The poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning was an invalid; she couldn't even sit up in bed. But then, she met Robert Browning, another famous poet, and they fell madly in love.
On the first visit from Robert Browning, Elizabeth sat up. She hadn't done that before. His love for her made her able to do something she couldn't do before. On another visit from Mr. Browning, Elizabeth got up and walked. Before long, the couple married and settled on the coast of Italy, where she was completely restored to health.
The amazing love of Robert Browning for Elizabeth Barrett got her out of bed. She sat up, walked, and was never an invalid again! She met someone who cared for her; someone who loved her out of her problem.
That´s what Jesus does. He loves us and lifts us out of our infirmities. He gives us health and joy and true love.
Forsaking the Voice
The Spirit of God speaks only that which He hears and yet people continually speak without hearing from God. Their knowledge precedes what is said instead of hearing what Heaven's Throne has stated to be true. People talk in the name of Christianity through their own concepts and call it truth. They guide people falsely because they themselves are not living under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Here is a group. They may believe in the Holy Spirit, but they will in a hope for a future experience. They are not occupied with the Spirit's teaching and ministering which will lead them into all truth and give them an experience of the Finished Work. Other people do not pray according to the Spirit, but they pray according to what they think must be done. They do not intercede according to the sovereignty of God's voice. They take principles that they know about healing and then apply them and hope they work. They forsake the voice of God and do not allow God´s sovereignty to reveal to them His plan.
God is always changing in terms of His manifestation. Always look for a personal God who deals as He wills in every situation. Know sovereignty by knowing nothing but Christ. If people live according to concepts, then Satan has them all figured out. But the obedience of those who hear the voice of the Spirit cannot be figured out by the devil (John 3:8).
2 Kings 22-25
Your Frame of Reference
A person's frame of reference is that supporting structure upon which he bases all evaluation. The frame of reference provides a foundation for judgments and a support for decisions. It decides for you and is your standard. Your frame of reference is you.
God wants believers to have as their frame of reference a) that which Jesus set His face like a flint towards (2); (3), b) that which He would not be sidetracked from (4), and c) that which Paul gloried in (5). That is the Cross of Jesus Christ. We are not so much concerned with the wooden stake on Golgotha, but what was accomplished there. "For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin" (II Corinthians 5:21a).
There on the cross He finished the work on our behalf that the Father had given Him to do (6). At Calvary, God reached down to man and said, "I love you this much" (7), (8).
Jesus Christ has only one cross. And He wants it to be your frame of reference. He wants you to have that cross as your mental and emotional support structure. That cross is His cross. "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he" (Proverbs 23:7).
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. - Proverbs 23:7
For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. - Isaiah 50:7
“I Am Life”
Anyone who enters into the sheepfold must enter in by Jesus Christ. A person who enters in finds pasture. He finds a place of rest, a place where he shall not want. As he grows, he finds a local church that teaches the whole counsel of God, Finished Work Bible doctrine-the pasture of the Word of God.
This is a provision of the abundant life Jesus came to give us. He is the life-giver. You can always tell where someone is in his walk with God by how he accepts what God gives: abundant life.
Jesus said in John 14:6, "I am life!"
Be around Christ and receive His life. Be around Christ, and you will know who to follow and what to do. You will not have an existence of striving and struggling in your emotions, your lust patterns, and your old sin nature. Christ came to crucify and bury all of those things. Be around Him and His people, and you shall have life!
Hearing Brings the Revelation
Luke 8:18; 10:39-42
Be careful how you hear. No one can hear unless he is crucified. Hearing the voice of a Person will produce eternal effect. People try to implement what they know to be true without hearing God, which produces the faith revealing the righteousness of His life. Even Jesus Christ, in the perfection of His own true judgment, laid down that which He was, to hear the voice of the Father ( John 5:30).
Jesus Christ first heard from the Father and then entered into identification with us through death. Through that one death, we through Christ become sons of God led by the voice of the Father as communicated by the Spirit. The Spirit first wants to teach us to listen. Don´t seek for power, but listen and receive a word that is powerful. Many seek for things without hearing from God in the definition of life. They look for abstracts to give them purpose in their Christian experience, instead of living by the voice of the Father which imparts faith to reveal the Son. They are always looking for something in their Christian life because they have never received sufficient understanding of the Finished Work that comes through the Word of the Father.
The Son can be living in a person´s heart and yet that person does not progress in the grace of the revelation of the gift. He has no effect in his ministry because God is not effectively speaking through him. The Word of God gives you the faith to lay down your life (Romans 10:17), revealing the manifestation of the voice of God.
2 Kings 20-21
Learn of Him
The Apostle Paul knew he was nothing in himself, but by the grace of God he knew he had something great to offer people. "Although I am less than the least of all of God's people, this grace was given me; to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ" (Ephesians 3:8, NIV). But before he could minister to others, he had to go through a period of learning, which for him was three years (2).
Do we realize what message God has raised us up to deliver? Like Paul, he wants to equip us with the message of the riches of His grace. But we must first enter into God's institution of learning.
We too must prepare before we can effectively share Christ with others. How do we prepare? By learning of Christ! "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest unto your souls" (Matthew 11:29). Abraham learned by faith. "By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went (Hebrews 11:8).
As we obey, we allow the Holy Spirit to teach us of the great wealth Christ offers us. Jesus Christ was the Son of God, but He learned obedience through the things He suffered (3). Are we willing to enter into God's institution of learning to be educated in His way, whatever the cost, so we can have and share the riches of Christ?
Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. - Matthew 11:28-30
Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. - Galatians 1:17-18
Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; - Hebrews 5:8
Authority in Godly Humility
I would suggest to you today that, if there is anything I have learned as a pastor, it is that two cannot walk together unless they be agreed. I have loved counseling sessions when God´s people have agreed with God. They simply agree with God, no matter what their situation happens to be. That is a precious thing.
Humility means that I agree with God´s character. If I agree with God´s character and trust it, then I still have every right to ask and to believe. But then, I totally accept the grace and love of His character to preserve me and bless me in whatever happens. If what I want to happen doesn't take place right now, I am being conformed to Christ´s image in the meantime.
God sometimes teaches us to wait upon Him. In this process of waiting, we grow in trust and in divine expectation. Quietness and confidence become our strength. We come to an agreement with God that His plans and His purposes are perfect and eternal. We see that all things are of God and that all things are for our sakes.
Falling Short of Victory
Christ gives the Word. Does a person identify with that Word or fall short of identification through self ? He may accept God´s Word in his mind, but not have the strength of will to act in obedience. With the mind the person may identify, but in the will he lives in Adam. He may give mental ascent to the Word of God, but never let the will of God give him an inward victory.
Confessing with your mouth does not necessarily mean victory, but confessing with your will is victory. People say, but they do not do. They run around with a Christian banner, but they are people who have never been saved in their will. Their will has never experienced a crucifixion. They cannot say, "Not my will but Thine be done." Do not just mentally acknowledge the Word, but will with God. People who will with God abide forever in the victory of Christ. They do not just confess something with their mouth and then live as a contradiction. They know the will of God as a living experience. They are renewed in their mind because they have fulfilled the will of God with a submissive heart (Acts 13:22).
How does one will with God? It is by losing all self-identification and wholly following Christ to experience His identity. We abide in the will of God, which is His identity. And then whatever we will shall be done, because it is a direct desire of His will expressed through us in identification ( John 15:7).
2 Kings 18-19
It is very comforting to know that, although we are in a worthless condition, God's love blots out our sin. "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow" (Isaiah 1:18). It is not possible to function in a daily walk of victory with Christ without understanding God's infinite grace toward us. Listen to His voice which says, "Live in grace," and realize that it is a time of unconditional love directly toward you.
God manifested His absolute integrity toward Israel when He declared, "I covered thy nakedness. Yea. I swear with thee and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord" (Ezekiel 16:8b). "I swear" is the Hebrew word shaba, which means "I seven you. I did not pass by to give you a conditional covenant. I want to show you a 'finished work' to redeem the terrible condition of your soul." Seven is the number that represents perfection of the work of Christ.
Oh, if Christians could only understand the principles set forth in Ezekiel 16 and Hebrews 6! God made an oath to His people in the Old Testament, "I seven you. I rested on the seventh day. The works of men are over on the sixth day. Meet me at my resting place, at the foot of the cross, for my work is finished."
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. - Isaiah 1:18
Any relationship that manipulates or controls is the wrong authority. True authority, however, is often misunderstood. God gives authority figures as gifts of His grace for the administration of His work in this world. It is important that we help these leaders. We should build them up in their faith.
When authority is weakened, there is the potential for confusion. God´s delegation is designed to keep people in the midst of the warfare that persists in Satan´s cosmic system.
Bona fide authority doesn´t come from who you are or from the title that you hold. Real authority is exercised through submission. If you are submitted to Christ, then God will make sure that His authority is in your administration.
Jesus Christ has authority because He submitted to the Father´s plan and was led by the Holy Spirit in His humanity. This was the key to every miracle connected with His ministry, and this kind of submission is the key to our success as well.
Decisions Apart from God
How many counselors give their evaluation by sight and reason and never wait upon God to renew them with the strength of His perfect will? They never consider the sovereignty of God because they assume the right to judge according to their own understanding of the letter of the Word of God. Each case that involves a child of God also includes a plan. Our advice by sight could draw a person away from the sovereign plan of God experienced through faith.
If one partner in a marriage is not saved, the other can be coerced by wrong counsel to submit at all times. The counselor giving such advice has failed to abide by God´s Word. The Bible says that when Christ is the head of the man, then the man is the head of the woman (1 Corinthians 11:3). God´s nature never will submit to Adam. The husband or wife who has given his life to Christ has Christ as his head. By receiving the life of the Head, he automatically operates in the same love, mercy, forgiveness, and grace that God Himself does.
A wife must submit to her husband as it is fit in the Lord (Colossians 3:18), but she cannot be the cause of his salvation (1 Corinthians 7:14). She can be a living example to draw him to Christ, but the verse in 1 Corinthians means that her unsaved husband is set apart that she may operate in the life of Christ as she walks in the Spirit. The responsibility before God for his salvation is his responsibility and not according to her walk before God.
2 Kings 15-17
Rest for God’s People
Many Christians live a fast-paced life, but they never learn to set apart a time to rest. They continue in endless activity, hurrying from place to place. "And he said unto them, come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while; for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat" (Mark 6:31).
God rested on the seventh day from His work, even before He gave the ten commandments (2). God explained that the land must lie still if it is to produce (3). When the land lies fallow, it receives nutrients back into it so it can produce better the following year. And, "there remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God" (Hebrews 4:9). God has set apart a time of renewal for His people. Honor God's principle of rest so that you will not become weary in your daily activity and service.
Think what this could mean for you as you take yourself away from the pressures of this life to be quiet and receive from God. "For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief" (Hebrews 4:10-11).
But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the LORD: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard. That which groweth of its own accord of thy harvest thou shalt not reap, neither gather the grapes of thy vine undressed: for it is a year of rest unto the land. - Leviticus 25:4-5
And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. - Genesis 2:2
That which groweth of its own accord of thy harvest thou shalt not reap, neither gather the grapes of thy vine undressed: for it is a year of rest unto the land. - Leviticus 25:5
1 John 4:17
When God´s power is working for me, I thank Him that I am saved. Even when I´m failing, His power is working toward me when another believer comes and communicates the truth to me in love.
When I receive the truth in meekness, the Holy Spirit works in me. But, when the Holy Spirit works through me, I enter into a manifestation of His life. The power that is working in me, now works through me. As God is in heaven, so are we in this world. We reveal the person of Christ in a spiritual manifestation (Galatians 1:15- 16).
This manifestation develops my capacity for the Kingdom of God within me and, as a result, I become stabilized. "Wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times" (Isaiah 33:6a). We now experience the presence of God through divine realization.
In an Ordered Step
Do I ever see persecution as a means for God to work suffering in my life, to affect me with His authority during that suffering so that the authority in my life may be effectively God´s? Joseph had been lied about, but that never once caused him to falter or to go into a remission from believing God.
He reigned effectively because he suffered relevantly. If you are rejected and misunderstood, do not react, but take all thoughts into the captivity of a Cross. You will have the authority of God´s nature and the attributes to fulfill God´s plan. The average Christian never learns to suffer well. He reacts against those whom God brought in His sovereignty.
Without the acknowledgment of a sovereign plan, man has no control over his own flesh as it plans its revenge mentally and emotionally. What was allowed in the plan so that one might see God has now turned to a display of Adam. Joseph suffered well, so he reigned well. He had the wisdom to accept sovereignty without challenging God´s purpose. He could identify with the guilty. "You may have sold me from human viewpoint," said Joseph, "but really God sent me to preserve life."
If our eyes, emotions, and heart are fixed on God, believing in the sovereignty of having our steps ordained, we will never charge others with the consequence of the plan, but instead we will say, "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." You will never have a problem with any situation if you believe that all is of God and for your sake.
2 Kings 11-14
All Things to All Men
I Corinthians 9:19
In I Corinthians 9:19, the Apostle Paul states, "For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more." Paul had official right as an Apostle, but he gave them up for the furtherance of the Gospel. Yes, he had liberty, but as a spirit-filled believer, he submitted to the royal law of love. He realized that his freedom meant nothing unless it was conditioned by love.
Paul used his right for the Gospel's sake and to liberate others who had lost their rights. Paul's first desire was not to correct them, but to impart to them the life he had received. He identified with the Corinthians so that God's love could create a capacity in them. The light would shine into darkness and create more light (2). Light does not compromise with darkness, but it supplies the provision to change it into light.
The believer who goes soulwinning puts the needs of others before his own. The missionary makes a decision to identify with those who are in desperate need to hear the Gospel. "I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some" (I Corinthians 9:22b).
For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. - 1 Corinthians 9:19
For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. - 2 Corinthians 4:6
Little by Little
We may win many victories all at once, and certain problems may be gone almost instantly. Still, sometimes God drives out our enemies "little by little."
The word "beasts" in Deuteronomy 7:22 speaks of unclean spirits. These are driven out of our lives little by little so we won´t become proud in the achievements of our flesh. Many Christians condemn others when they themselves are failing in the same areas.
I have been through many processes in my life simply because of my age and my experience. But I cannot be critical of someone else who hasn´t had the same time to grow as I have. We are all in a process of growing in grace. "Little by little" means there will be times when we will need to use rebound. We will continue to grow in grace. We won´t quit. We won´t give up. If we fail, we don´t stop and condemn ourselves, but we continue to go forward.
God will honor this type of integrity, and it will become our strength in the honor and dignity of grace.
2 Timothy 2:12
Do we blame others for what, to God, is simply the absolute sovereignty of His plan? If we are occupied in our evaluation with the assumed fault of another, we will never be able to identify with his need. It was God´s sovereign will to have Joseph sold by his brothers in Genesis 37. Many people would look at that situation and completely miss the sovereignty of God. Without the acceptance of sovereignty, we cannot enter into the purpose of the plan which was to reveal the heart of God in compassion and love. How many people would be occupied with accusing the brothers for their apparent wrongdoing and never identify with them to be the provision for their need?
A person cannot help another person unless he can identify with him. Thousands cannot identify with others because they do not see the sovereignty of God in the plan. Joseph knew that what looked to be like a curse was only the beginning of an coming blessing. He included himself in the truth that all things are of God and all things work together for good (Romans 8:28; 2 Corinthians 5:18).
Though he suffered in Egypt, he was raised up. As a man suffers in humility, so will he be given authority to reign by love. The measure he suffers will be the measure of his authority. You only reign effectively because you suffer relevantly, in a mind that is Christ´s.
2 Kings 7-10
What would you think if someone said to you, "Breathe without ceasing?" You would not take offense at it. the apostle Paul said, "Pray without ceasing" (I Thessalonians 5:17). Prayer is to the Christian what breathing is to all mankind. The prayer of the saints are precious (2). Prayers are like incense to the golden alter before the throne (3).
It is so easy to harbor petty grievances with our friends and become subjective over situations. Job, however, prayed for his friends and received double what he had lost. Luke 18:1 states "that men out always to pray, and not faint." Jesus possessed omniscience; yet, He depended on prayer.
Let us not forget that we are dependent on the Father. Prayer is surrendering to the heart of God. It is our very lifeline to the Father. It is what makes us effective Christians. As breathing is vital for the body, so too our effectual, fervent prayer will avail much. "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (James 5:16b).
And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; - Luke 18:1
And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. - Revelation 5:8
And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. - Revelation 8:3
Put On the New Mind
One problem I have noticed is that too many Christians have become familiar with their fallen personalities and their natural temperaments. They dismiss this all by saying, "Oh, that´s just a part of being human."
Shame on you! Who wants to hear that? Yes, we are human. But we are to live as people who have faced an empty tomb. We are people who have the power of divine ability, the power of God that can make a man live forever and will give him a perfect glorified body.
Let´s have new minds every morning through the mercies and compassion of God. Let´s have new lives, new beginnings, new hearts, new motives, new premises, new presuppositions, new conclusions, new friendships, and new relationships. Let´s leave the oldness of the letter and simply live as new creatures, according to the New Covenant, with a new life.
Delivered Before Deliverance
People want to experience God´s deliverance without experiencing God´s nature. They want to prosper and be in good health without having their soul prosper in discipleship. They want to be in God´s infantry without the basic training ordained by God. They want to walk on the Emmaus road without first the crucifixion. They want to experience Heaven without identifying with blood on a Cross. They want to be more than conquerors without having their flesh life conquered by a Cross. They want to reign with Him without suffering with Him. They want to be successful without being disciplined as a worker.
Israel wanted to be delivered without experiencing the Deliverer. But God wants to work in the nature of His patience. He wants the promises to become life before deliverance takes care of life. He wants them to rejoice because of what they heard instead of making demands on God before their appointed time of deliverance. It would have glorified God had they walked in faith and, by the time they were delivered, already been delivered in their mind. If we are mentally delivered because of the mind of God, no type of physical bondage can ever stop us from walking in God´s presence. God wants to work Himself into the place you are living. Before He honors your request, He wants you to honor Him in total commitment in your heart. God wants us to experience His nature so that we can enjoy the deliverance of His character.
2 Kings 4-6
Many times when we have a problem or sickness, we feel as though no one wants to bother with us. The same was true when people were still under the law. If anyone touched a sick person, he was considered defiled and unclean. (2). Therefore, many people were outcast because of their sickness. No one would come near or even associate with them.
Then Jesus came and He touched those who were sick, and made those with leprosy whole (3). Jesus is not ashamed to be touched with our infirmities. "For we have an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities" (Hebrews 4:15a). When the woman with the issue of blood touched Jesus' cloak, Jesus asked, "Who touched Me?" he did this not because he was ashamed to be touched by her, but because He wanted her to make a confession that she was healed.
It is so reassuring to know that whatever is troubling you, whether it is sickness or sorrow, Jesus is there to heal and comfort you. He is our high priest who has been tempted, and has suffered just as we are. He is there with all power (4), waiting to help you. Reach out and touch Him.
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. - Hebrews 4:15
And the LORD spake unto Moses and to Aaron, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When any man hath a running issue out of his flesh, because of his issue he is unclean. And this shall be his uncleanness in his issue: whether his flesh run with his issue, or his flesh be stopped from his issue, it is his uncleanness. Every bed, whereon he lieth that hath the issue, is unclean: and every thing, whereon he sitteth, shall be unclean. And whosoever toucheth his bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. And he that sitteth on any thing whereon he sat that hath the issue shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. And he that toucheth the flesh of him that hath the issue shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. And if he that hath the issue spit upon him that is clean; then he shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. And what saddle soever he rideth upon that hath the issue shall be unclean. And whosoever toucheth any thing that was under him shall be unclean until the even: and he that beareth any of those things shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. And whomsoever he toucheth that hath the issue, and hath not rinsed his hands in water, he shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. And the vessel of earth, that he toucheth which hath the issue, shall be broken: and every vessel of wood shall be rinsed in water. And when he that hath an issue is cleansed of his issue; then he shall number to himself seven days for his cleansing, and wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in running water, and shall be clean. And on the eighth day he shall take to him two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, and come before the LORD unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and give them unto the priest: And the priest shall offer them, the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for him before the LORD for his issue. And if any man's seed of copulation go out from him, then he shall wash all his flesh in water, and be unclean until the even. And every garment, and every skin, whereon is the seed of copulation, shall be washed with water, and be unclean until the even. The woman also with whom man shall lie with seed of copulation, they shall both bathe themselves in water, and be unclean until the even. And if a woman have an issue, and her issue in her flesh be blood, she shall be put apart seven days: and whosoever toucheth her shall be unclean until the even. And every thing that she lieth upon in her separation shall be unclean: every thing also that she sitteth upon shall be unclean. And whosoever toucheth her bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. And whosoever toucheth any thing that she sat upon shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. And if it be on her bed, or on any thing whereon she sitteth, when he toucheth it, he shall be unclean until the even. And if any man lie with her at all, and her flowers be upon him, he shall be unclean seven days; and all the bed whereon he lieth shall be unclean. And if a woman have an issue of her blood many days out of the time of her separation, or if it run beyond the time of her separation; all the days of the issue of her uncleanness shall be as the days of her separation: she shall be unclean. Every bed whereon she lieth all the days of her issue shall be unto her as the bed of her separation: and whatsoever she sitteth upon shall be unclean, as the uncleanness of her separation. And whosoever toucheth those things shall be unclean, and shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. But if she be cleansed of her issue, then she shall number to herself seven days, and after that she shall be clean. And on the eighth day she shall take unto her two turtles, or two young pigeons, and bring them unto the priest, to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And the priest shall offer the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for her before the LORD for the issue of her uncleanness. Thus shall ye separate the children of Israel from their uncleanness; that they die not in their uncleanness, when they defile my tabernacle that is among them. This is the law of him that hath an issue, and of him whose seed goeth from him, and is defiled therewith; And of her that is sick of her flowers, and of him that hath an issue, of the man, and of the woman, and of him that lieth with her that is unclean. - Leviticus 15:1-33
And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. - Matthew 8:3
Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; - Colossians 1:11
In Union with the Conqueror
We are in union with the Conqueror, that One who has triumphed over all things, and that´s why we are more than conquerors! We are in union with Him.
All we have to do is to set our minds on things above (Colossians 3:2). We need to learn to do this moment by moment and let our conversations be from heaven (Philippians 3:20).
I´ve watched what happens when Christians talk carelessly. They become easily distracted and sometimes confused by the details of life. Many get swallowed up and are overcome, when they should be overcomers.
Our conversation must be from heaven-not from a worldly, cosmic point of view. Conquerors walk by faith, and are continually filled with the Holy Spirit. God gives overcomers His ability, His power, and His presence (1 Peter 1:5).
The Love of Substitution
Many people who have chosen the course of their lives do not want to be left responsible for its consequences. Instead they blame their state on the natural things of the world such as heredity, environment, people, personalities, and situations. They do not want to stand alone before God and face what their own selfishness has produced. Selfishness lingers only because man will not find a substitute for his life. A substitute is one who, in the willingness of his heart, agrees to take your place.
Man in the vanity of his own heart could not substitute for someone without remuneration for himself.
If Jesus Christ had demanded repayment for the life that He gave, we would be forced to serve Him out of bondage. Many Christians try to get others to submit and to serve them through the letter of the Law. They legislate a standard instead of imparting life. They give others a standard or a goal to reach and then leave them without the life and power needed to reach it. They give advice without the anointed revelation of God´s mind. They operate without power toward others, trying to make them reform to their own self-desires paraded through the letter. They take a right that Jesus Christ Himself never took. Jesus Christ never legislated anything to us. He only died for us, without condition or thought of remuneration, and then committed His life to minister to us the victory won through the Cross.
1 Kings 20-22
Shut the Door
Matthew 6:6 states, "But thou, when thou prayest, enter int thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly." The Father wants to spend time with you in secret. He wants a time when you shut the door on all of your mental, emotional, and physical pressures. He wants to impart His heart to you today. Have you stopped lately to spend time with your Heavenly Father?
When we take time with the Father in secret, He will answer in public. Think of these promises concerning prayer! "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you" (Matthew 7:7). Jesus said, "and all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive" (Matthew 21:22), and "whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son" (John 14:13).
Think of all the heartaches that God's people have suffered because they have not prayed. "And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor" (Isaiah 59:16a).
Let us shut the door and approach the Father alone in prayer. Let us have a life that is one of asking. We will soon find the power of God to handle every detail of life.
And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him. - Isaiah 59:16
Find God´s Life
I cannot perform God´s will through religious effort. I am not going to try to live the Christian life. It is impossible. Instead, I am going to receive from the Word of God and allow the mind of Christ and the Holy Spirit´s power to become the instruments to establish God´s Kingdom within me.
By grace through faith, I receive objective transformation followed by subjective conversions. If I lose my soulish life, I will find God´s life. God´s estimation of His Son is, "Thou art worthy." The Father sees me hid in Christ. Therefore, He sees me as worthy, not because of anything I did but because of what Jesus did for me.
When I lift up a personal cross, rightly esteeming His character, I realize that I am worthy of the Father´s provisions for my life because I am hid in the Son. In this way, I am setting my affections on the things that are above, and I am being renewed after the image of the One Who created me.
Waiting in or Waiting For?
Some people wait upon God to experience the continual arrival of God in the midst of life´s situations. Others wait for God to send something beside God before they will live in God. One abides in and the other wants more than he already was given in which to abide. God will not bring a second blessing when He already has blessed you with all spiritual blessings before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:3). You may experience a deeper fellowship in those blessings which may bring you into a higher step of grace, but there are no levels to spirituality, for we are in an even place. From divine viewpoint we are perfect (Hebrews 10:14) and therefore are covered in the truth of that perfection as we grow into it. We do not need anything to step ahead except the direction of God in Christ. Do not wait for God to send something which He already gave. Christ is all in all (Colossians 3:11). We receive the garments that clothe us in the life of Christ. His victory was won at the Cross and is given from the Throne. That victory descends in a visible manifestation through the usage of an earthly vessel.
Man for God leaves man without God. God for man leaves man without man to live in God. Live in the realization of what has been given. Do not wait for a second experience and then have that occupation cause you to forfeit the preeminence of Christ in your life. David waited for God to lead him in the truth of a victory. God will wait on us with truth when we wait for Him in life.
1 Kings 17-19
Walking in His Will
It is essential for the child of God to understand and actively enter into the will of God for his life. Many believers do not know God's will, either because of ignorance or other factors that hinder them from following Christ wholeheartedly. These factors may include an unwillingness to take up the cross daily, lukewarmness, sentimentality, natural preference, or following personal interests.
The person who is willing to follow Christ in the perfect will of God is told what to do in the Word of God. "order my steps in thy Word; and let not any iniquity have dominion over me" (Psalm 119:133). As the Word instructs the believer and tells him what to do, the Holy Spirit eventually tells him where to go geographically, in order to apply the details of the instructions. "The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple" (Psalm 119:130).
When we are controlled by the understanding of God's Word, we are able to "walk in the Spirit" (Galatians 5:16b). When we follow the instructions of the Word and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we are then able to discover and walk in God's perfect will. This is only possible by depending upon God's provision of grace, and is not a result of any of our human striving or self-effort. "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way" (Psalm 37:23).
Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me. - Psalm 119:133
A Personal Cross
Many Christians are plagued with problems that never seem to go away because they will not take up their cross. They do not accept their death, burial, and resurrection with Jesus Christ.
I must make a decision to take up my cross each moment of the day. If I am passive toward that decision, my passivity reveals that I am taking up my cross only occasionally-usually when I receive material blessings.
For example, when an employee takes up his cross daily, he always has more fun in the office and he works with a consistent level of energy. He doesn't get mad at co-workers, because he has disconnected himself from the "old man" who is angry all the time.
Even Jesus, though He was without sin, faced strong temptations in His humanity, especially after He had fasted for forty days (Matthew 4). But Jesus refused to connect with those temptations. He made choices to honor the Father´s will in every situation.
"Not my will but thine be done." This is what it means to take up a personal cross.
Imaginations Against Faith
2 Corinthians 10:1-6
Do not let thoughts exalt themselves above what God says in His Word. Satan always wants to attack the possibilities you have in your God-given potential. He views the incapacities man has, magnifies them, and then presents them in proportion to a seed of faith. By sight the odds may look overwhelming, but all is in your favor because of an inheritance.
Satan says, you will not make it with God; your weakness is too great. That is an imagination against faith, a thought that tries to exalt itself against the knowledge of God that you can do all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13). I receive Christ´s strength in the midst of my weakness to reveal a Kingdom, a God, a treasure.
Do not allow resentment to exalt itself against the forgiveness of God toward other people. Revenge that thought with the thought of unconditional love. Cast down all that would exalt itself against love because you obey God´s thoughts in love. Be disciplined in the thoughts of God. If I do not cast down imaginations and high things, I will live with the wrong thoughts. Those thoughts will destroy my capacity to think, leaving open the field of my emotions.
Your mind is a field controlled by thoughts rebellious to the Master´s will. Yet after the death of a Son, destroying the power of the self-life of man, the field will bring forth fruit according to the thoughts of God (Matthew 21:33-43; Mark 12:l-10).
1 Kings 14-16
Robe of Righteousness
Our eternal salvation is based upon the character and veracity of the nature of God. God has finished the work at Calvary; you simply believed. It was not just a time of love. It was a time of loves (2). This means that God will love you in the realm of your mind and your emotions. He will bless your soul because of your worth to Him in redemption, your shared inheritance with Christ, your positional standing in the royal priesthood of believers, and for your experience with the Word of God. these are the attitudes expressed by the use of the plural. "And I spread my skirt over thee and covered thy nakedness: (2). The word "spread" is paran, meaning that "with the wing or end of my skirt I covered thee." The Savior is standing with a helpless child at His feet. Jesus Christ's perfect righteousness has taken care of the entire terrible, ugly situation that is the result of sin. Spreading his skirt over our nakedness, He totally covers our sin. What a majestic picture of our Lord as redeemer, covering His bride with His robe of righteousness; "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels" (Isaiah 61:10).
Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine. - Ezekiel 16:8
The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; - Isaiah 61:1
Spiritual momentum is something that defines your progress, showing you how you are growing in grace and knowledge without obstruction. When trials and tests come in the valley experiences, you go from strength to strength.
There is momentum, a divine impetus taking place in this whole new soul creation that´s now filled with New Covenant thoughts. You have a brand-new life. There is phenomenal momentum and you are reflecting thoughts from above and revealing the nature of God. You are a Christian who understands the new creation.
This new life spiritually comes into the soul that is now functioning as a watered garden. The Holy Spirit transmits His life and keeps us from falling (Jude 24). That life is in us, and that life keeps us going forward!
Thoughts That Gather Straw
There is no such thing as an emotional problem. That is the staggering truth according to the mind of God through His Word. As a man thinks in his heart, so is he. My emotions are the result of my thought life. My emotions will be regulated by that which is outside God, if I am not within the heart of His thought. It is a thought problem and not an emotional problem. There is not one emotionally disturbed person who did not get that way but through his thoughts.
We have a personal Savior and we have a personal devil. The devil is a hard taskmaster, pressuring people to collect from the earth instead of receiving an inheritance from Heaven. Satan wants your occupation to be upon your bondage so that you will never hear a word of deliverance. Satan crushes people with pressures, so that they cannot see beyond their troubles. They are bowed down to the view of the earth, never seeing the light of the Son of God.
We have a Personal Savior. Father, I will not think a thought unless you teach me what to think ( John 5:30; John 14:l0-11). As a Son, I can do nothing of myself ( John 5:19). Father, here I am. Open your mouth, Son, and I will fill it (Psalm 81:10b). The result of the thought of God: Resurrection Life, flowing out of one to another. I can do nothing in self according to eternal life value. Eternal life value is God Himself.
1 Kings 11-13
Measure the Cost
I Corinthians 2:2
"He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed" (Proverbs 13:20). What characterizes an objective wise man? It is simply a consistent life that originates at the foot of the cross. God's desire is for us to possess I Corinthians 2:2 relationships: "For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ and Him crucified."
A personality rapport, with no life and potential bondage at every corner is the very best a subjective relationship can offer. What a complete deviation from true, Christ-like companionship. Peter outrightly rebukes our Lord, saying "God forbid, may it never happen that you should go to the cross" (2). This is a picture of our subjective counterpart. Our Lord discerned subjective thinking in Peter and immediately resisted him. "Get thee behind me Satan; thou art an offense unto me; for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men" (Matthew 16:23).
People who have entered into objective relationships have measured the cost of true discipleship and have met at the only neutral ground, the foot of the cross. They are the people who have found the riches of true fellowship.
Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. - Matthew 16:22
For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. - 1 Corinthians 2:2
The Exceeding Greatness of Grace
A believer becomes so secure when the Word of God is allowed to dwell in his soul. The Holy Spirit flows in the richness of grace. Psalms and hymns are alive in the heart. The richness of the Lord´s personal presence is manifested in the revelation of His nature. This person has entered into a faith that rests in God´s promises, in His love, and in fellowshipping with Christ.
People, circumstances, adversities, and negativity no longer affect this person. All the things that come against his emotions cannot wound or injure the self image he is deriving from Christ. No longer is he occupied with his own failures. He recognizes that failure is only temporary, because he can never fall below his position, which is in Christ.
We are hid with Christ in God. Therefore, our failures can never nullify our acceptance in the Beloved.
Three Days from Egypt
God has a plan, and Satan has a challenge. God has a purpose, and Satan has a proposal to keep you from that purpose. God has a life, and all Satan has is bondage. God is a friend, and Satan is a taskmaster. God wants to bring His people out, but Satan does not want to lose his hold. Many people willingly proclaim by their rebellion that they have an alliance with the devil. If people think they are getting away with something when they do not yield their heart inwardly to the government of God, they are not.
Pharaoh will, through taskmasters, make your life in Egypt very hard if you stay there. God sent Noah before the flood. God sent Enoch and Elijah before judgment. God sent prophets before Israel went into captivity. Mercy comes before wrath trying to keep you from facing wrath without mercy. Accept the provision of grace now instead of giving a place to the devil. God gave Pharaoh an opportunity to let the people go, just as God gives us, through the initiation of the Word, an opportunity to cast down bondage and come out from under our Pharaoh.
It is no longer a matter of us battling with our Pharaoh. It is a matter of us yielding to God and allowing Him to bring us into resurrection separation, three days from Egypt. Have life out of death, liberty out of bondage, forgiveness out of sin, and peace instead of judgment-resurrection separation.
1 Kings 8-10
Song Of Solomon 7:9-13
Total surrender to Christ is depicted in these verses as the Bride kisses Him in submission to His perfect will. She was filled with His desire to go to the villages and fields to reap the harvest of souls as a joint partner in His vision.
Many of us respond in pride, as did the Bride in Song of Solomon 2:16, when she said, "My beloved is mine and I am His." There was a sense of her possessing the Shepherd, a sense of her personal pleasure as she held onto Him. But later, in Song of Solomon 6:3, she says, "I am my Beloved's and my Beloved is mine." She went from proud possession to submissive surrender, which happens as the believer grows into the fullness of Christ's disposition. At first, the believer says, "He's mine." However, receiving the teaching of the Word of God and applying the categorical doctrine in the details of life over a period of time reveals that He is the source and His children are but vessels for the outpouring of His love. As this progression of selflessness is established, the believer says, "I'm His." In this process, the natural disposition receives less and less attention while availability to God's will becomes total abandonment. Song of Solomon 7:10 says, "I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me." His love is shed abroad in her heart, and pleasing Him becomes her only concern. Revelation 4:11 says, "For his pleasure are we created."
Tests of Faith
As a believer begins to grow, God will test his obedience and his insecurities. Abraham left Ur of the Chaldees, and, after some time, he came into a land of famine. He had a family to take care of, so, being reasonable, Abraham went down to Egypt. But God said, "No." Abraham had been called to go by faith to a place he didn't know.
God promised to meet his needs and to show him great favor. But Abraham was so occupied with himself and his personal needs by sight that he wasn't hearing God. Of course, God would allow a famine to reduce Abraham to faith!
Faith is the only thing that pleases God (Hebrews 11:6). Never make a decision based on circumstances, needs, or provision, because your provision comes by having faith in the living God. God deliberately allows His plan to make us insecure. He has to reveal our insecurity to us before He can deal with it.
Thought Transferred to Action
Song of Solomon 5:2-3
As the mind of Christ overtakes us, we, the beloved of Christ ,rest in thoughts of Him alone. Thoughts find their real value in the actions of our life. Without the transition of thought to action, how is Christ revealed? A revelation takes an uncovering, as a seed thought breaks through the ground of faith to bear life above. Here in this portion, she, who was beloved of God, was resting in the comfort of her thoughts. She had settled into the satisfaction of all she had been given by her Beloved. With the gift, comes the commission of presentation. We are called to give, withholding nothing but the right of being possessed by God. It is imperative to realize that through possessing nothing, we are possessed by One who possesses all things. We obtain without thought of possession so that we may give all.
Though she was dwelling with Him in thought, she was not attuned to His heart. There would have been no differentiation in their choice for that moment if the oneness of their union was in experience. She was not instant in her response. It grieves Christ when He ministers directly and we delay our obedience. Seek the Lord while He may be found. Call upon Him when He is near. A delay will increase and intensify a tendency to do as one wants with the exclusion of humility to His call. Though she was occupied for God, she wasn't occupied with God. Her comforting thoughts for God brought a delay toward the constraining love of God.
1 Kings 5-7
Love Guided by the Word
I John 2:5
Ask a number of persons on the street today the meaning of "love." What will they say? Probably every person would have a different answer. Christians will offer many opinions. Believers often say "God is love," and think of true love as an abstract emotional euphoria.
The Psalmist in Psalm 119:66a said, "teach me good judgment and knowledge." He cried out to the God of knowledge (2) to teach him specifically how to discern and act properly in the diverse details of life. Paul taught in Philippians 1:9 that love should abound "more and more in knowledge and in all judgment." He wanted believers to have a discerning and precise love led by proper teaching from the Bible. How different this is from the world's concepts! People need to be taught by God as the Thessalonians were. They had been "taught of God to love one another," because they had received the Word "as it is in truth, the Word of God." In I John 2:5a, John wrote, "Whoso keepeth His Word, in Him verily is the love of God perfected." Direction from the Word of God will perfect our love with a healthy flow.
Jesus said that man should live by every Word of God. How we need to take that into the area of love! Let's love by every Word of God.
But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. - 1 John 2:5
Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. - 1 Samuel 2:3
Thoughts of Heaven
1 Corinthians 15:53-54; 1 Thessalonians 4:17
Thinking about heaven should motivate us to stay fervent. In heaven, we will be with all of God's precious saints. We will meet our precious loved ones who have gone home before us and enjoy our families forever.
There is not a Christian I know who doesn't get homesick for heaven as he grows older. It's not that we want to leave just to get out of the mess down here. We want to live on earth with Christ; yet, we have a desire for heaven.
Once we are saved, our purpose is to reveal Christ on earth. By God's design, we were made to reign forever in heaven. Our new life is from heaven. Right thoughts are from heaven. Our conversation is in heaven. Our prayers are through Christ, who is in heaven. Our faith and hope are from heaven. Heaven is our provision.
We were designed to leave these bodies of weariness, sickness, disease, and death as we are being made ready for heaven.
Always Possible with God
With God all things are possible. If I stay with God when I am failing, the life that makes all things possible will take over. We never have to walk away feeling defeated. The rich young ruler was not told by Christ to go away. Though weakened by the temptations of his possessions, he could have cried out to an unfailing friend. A heart that is after God has no reason to walk away because of the sight of weakness. As soon as the rich young ruler walked away, he cut off the possibility of God making him strong in grace.
Stay with God and He will cause you to triumph. Do not leave the possibilities of grace because you have esteemed something to be impossible. We are blinded by our own sight in situations. The story is told in Mark 10:46-52 of a man who was blind and yet cried out in his weakness to God. Though he had no evidence that God would hear him, he knew the nature of God´s character. He was not influenced by those around him, though they charged him to be quiet. He knew that Christ was his possibility and that when He passed by, all impossibilities would be made possible.
Peter, at times, failed and denied the Lord (Mark 14:71); yet despite his backslidden state, Peter was the first to meet the Lord on the shore ( John 21:7). Peter reached for the Lord in his weakness. Instead of going away because of weakness, we must stay with God and receive the grace to be kept.
1 Kings 1-4
I Chronicles 22:12-13
God has prepared so much for us. "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine" (Ephesians 3:20, NIV). "For no matter how many promises God has made, they are 'yes' in Christ" (II Corinthians 1:20a, NIV). He is willing to bestow the riches of heaven on us if we forsake the foolish ways of the world and cling to wisdom. "How long will you simple ones love your simple ways?" (Proverbs 1:22a, NIV). "I say that wisdom is better than folly, just as light is better than darkness" (Ecclesiastes 2:13, NIV). They are deceived very easily because they believe anything (2). We must forsake those ways and get wisdom, even though it will cost us everything (3). We need to come out and be separate, to touch no unclean thing (4), so that we will not be influenced and led astray. We must break off our friendship with the world (5). We must get understanding so we can forsake the simple things in our lives. Once we make this choice, favor will be given to us (6), we will be even tempered (7) and we will observe the laws and have success in all we do (1).
Only the LORD give thee wisdom and understanding, and give thee charge concerning Israel, that thou mayest keep the law of the LORD thy God. Then shalt thou prosper, if thou takest heed to fulfill the statutes and judgments which the LORD charged Moses with concerning Israel: be strong, and of good courage; dread not, nor be dismayed. - 1 Chronicles 22:12-13
The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going. - Proverbs 14:15
Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. - Proverbs 4:7
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, - 2 Corinthians 6:17
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. - James 4:4
Good understanding giveth favor: but the way of transgressors is hard. - Proverbs 13:15
He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit. - Proverbs 17:27
Think of what Christ did for us when we received Him. He saved us from the penalty of sin. He separated our sins from us and buried them in the sea of His forgetfulness (Micah 7:19). God cannot remember our sins, and He will never impute them to us.
If we habitually sin, God chastises us as a loving Father, without condemnation, to bring us back into the proper family relationship. The Lord´s correction is gentle and always for our sake. He reaches out His hand and seeks to bring us home when we have wandered away.
In the Garden of Eden, after Adam and Eve sinned and tried to hide themselves, God called out to them and said, "Where are you?" He does the same thing with us. He will never forsake us. He will create a clean heart in us and renew a right spirit when we turn to Him. He will restore our joy and uphold us.
What a thing it is to be saved!
Grow in Cooperation
2 Corinthians 6:1
When we cooperate first with God in our mind, then all our outward expressions and actions can be reconciled to His heart. What would it be like to walk with God in our desired religious intentions and yet be without the freshness of His fellowship within? Only those who are yielded to a Cross and under submission to a government co-labor with Christ. Many labor for Him, toward Him, and with the use of His Name, but those who make no claims of their own spiritual stature are those who are workers together with Him. Many want to establish themselves with their own spiritual resume before God, to prove their availability and acceptability for promotion in God´s Kingdom. Those who work with Him are hid in Him and therefore neither receive nor expect recognition for their labors.
Those who live with one half of their mind in objective knowledge, go away in weakness never finding the grace of God´s life. They do not commit their entire mind by faith. You are first blessed with what you know, and then you grow in that which you receive by faith.
The rich young ruler came to Christ in his weakness yet went away sorrowing (see Matthew 19:16). Christ told him to sell all that he had. If he had responded in the transparency of his weakness toward his possessions, he would have walked on with God in grace. He went away feeling that all was impossible instead of walking with God who would make all things possible.
2 Samuel 22-24
"A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance" (Proverbs 15:13a). It "doeth good like a medicine; but a broken spirit drieth the bones" (Proverbs 17:22). When the Spirit-filled Christian ministers to an individual and communicates Christ's life, there is a language in the countenance. The Word of God produces a cheerful expression without superficiality.
Many times, people encounter extremely difficult trials in life where words are not appropriate. Friends may not know what to say; yet, despite the silence, there is a language that is spoken in their countenances. It reveals love and support, and it communicates life, favor and kindness. Facial expressions can also testify against people who do not have the Word of God in their hearts. "The shew of their countenance doth witness against them" (Isaiah 3:9a).
Then there is the language of a smile. When a person briefly sees a friend, but does not have an opportunity to speak with him, a simple smile can express how he feels. "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend" (Proverbs 27:17).
When you are in a situation where words do not seem appropriate, remember that the Lord speaks through your countenance. Sometimes this is more easily understood than words. "Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance" (Acts 2:28).
Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance. - Acts 2:28
Many people grow weary in the greatness of the way. It is possible for the outward man to become weary serving God while the inward man remains fervent (2 Corinthians 4:16). Weariness comes from our human nature, but fervency comes from the treasure within our earthen vessels (2 Corinthians 4:7).
Fervency speaks of four things: having an active, intense love through Christ; kindness that stretches out in grace; perseverance with a warm, glowing fire in our hearts; and being sensitive and thoughtful in our identification with mankind.
In 2 Corinthians 7:7, Paul made reference to a "fervent mind." Christians are exhorted to have fervent hearts, in 1 Peter 1:22. Also, 1 Peter 4:8-10 tells believers to "have fervent charity," to "use hospitality without grudging," and to minister the same grace they have received "one to another."
Think of this subject carefully. Because of the hour in which we live, it is vital for us as believers to be stirred up in Christ so that He might reign in our hearts.
Evidently, It is Faith
The Word comes first into the conscious mind as objective knowledge. When given the place, Satan will come in subsequently to produce mental blocks. Knowledge is no threat to the devil, but when the subjective mind has faith quickened with objective knowledge, Christ is victorious over the devil.
Satan wants to make faith an abstract concept, so people will be conditioned not to expect results from its initiation. The reason evidence is not always seen is that we have not looked unto Jesus that He might make evident the power of His will. We become conditioned to believe in faith, but to inhibit faith from showing its beliefs through us. When Christ died on Calvary, He needed no evidence of our approval or future acceptance of His sacrifice. He went to the Cross because a faith that worked by love constrained Him to make evident His thoughts toward men. Do we wait for circumstances or natural evidences to bring us to the place of faith? If we wait, as did the man in John 5, spiritual infirmities will keep us from finding peace in our situation. The road of superficial Christianity is crowded by the masses walking by the evidence of sight. The way of the Cross is traveled by those who respond to God alone. Christ and His authorities in delegation have found their evidences in faith and have made evident to all, the limitless possibilities of faith in accordance with the will of God.
2 Samuel 19-21
From Nothing to Everything
In a moment, the truth about Jesus can warm our hearts in the midst of our daily activities. Take you focus off of details and remember that there is no one to be found righteous, "no, not one" (Romans 3:10b); yet Christ, who was perfectly righteous, died in our place at Calvary. He "who knew no sin," became sin "that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (II Corinthians 5:21b). While we were unworthy, absolutely unable to help ourselves, we were "reconciled to God by the death of His Son" (Romans 5:10a).
In Romans 7:18a, Paul said, "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing." Man, apart from God, is utterly helpless and desperately wicked (2). Jesus said, "The flesh profiteth nothing" (John 6:63a), and "without Me you can do nothing" (John 15:5). He that sows is nothing, he that waters is nothing, but God gives the increase (I Corinthians 3:6b).
Jesus Christ is everything! Thus, the apostle Paul, in Colossians 3:11b said, "Christ is all, and in all." The disciples could not help but to speak of Jesus, and the things that they had seen and heard (3). Once Elijah and Moses had disappeared on the mount of transfiguration, only Jesus remained. When Peter, James, and John lifted up their eyes, "they saw no man, save Jesus only" (Matthew 17:8).
No matter how difficult the circumstances of life may be, set your mind on the One who made the ultimate sacrifice of His own life for you.
Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. - Colossians 3:11
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? - Jeremiah 17:9
For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. - Acts 4:20
Following God´s Order
1 Corinthians 14:40
When God orders our steps, we live in His geographical will, His operational will, His organizational will, and His perfect will. We choose the things that will glorify God rather than those things that will benefit us in our own ways.
A pastor studies. He knows that he has a great responsibility to his congregation. He must be right with God and rightly divide the Word from the pulpit. The pastor´s congregation, in turn, submits to the delegated authority of the Word.
Husbands completely submit to their head, Jesus Christ. Wives submit to their husbands, in the Lord- trusting God to work out any flaws their husbands may have. Children submit to their parents. This is God´s order. If a married couple honors God´s order in their home, they will be heirs together of the grace of life, and their prayers will not be hindered (1 Peter 3:7).
Godly order provides a capacity for meekness toward God and humility toward truth. In turn, God honors the prayers of His children, empowering them to execute His Word.
We submit to God in a situation through the life of Christ in our subjective mind. Divinely orienting ourselves to the Word of God for life, we will experience the Word of God divinely directing us when we are not oriented to our situation. Many may feel they know how to handle situations with the knowledge of past situations. They are alive only to themselves. To be alive unto God, we must experience the death of a Cross.
The death of the Cross is spiritual confession that has substance in the subjective mind. We receive truth in the subjective mind by objectively viewing our condition in respect to the life of Christ. If we view ourselves with the mind of grace, we will receive God´s provision continually.
Our need for God should not cause us to withdraw because of inadequacy but to draw near in response to love which has made godliness possible in our lives. The love that drew Christ to a Cross now draws us to the victory of a Throne. We are no longer lost in the illusions of what we want to become, but are secured in the decision of what Christ has made us to be in Him. We are hid in Christ, no longer exposed in the inabilities of Adam. When the devil attacks us mentally and we, for a moment, uncover our faults, the Blood of Christ will cover them and God will never charge them to our account. Though we turn from the truth momentarily, Christ will not forsake us because of the unconditional quality of His life.
2 Samuel 16-18
Walls of Doctrine
The simplest and yet most profound principle in the Bible is the doctrine of free volition. It is said that no king who rules over a country is as important as the person who rules over his own spirit. "He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city" (Proverbs 16:32). A believer who has a will and strong volition (through the grace of God, the Word of God and the Spirit of Christ) can actually take charge over his own mind, emotions, and life situations.
This principle of ruling is very interesting when placed with Proverbs 25:28, "He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls." The believer "without walls" is the one who does not have specific categories of biblical doctrine established as his frame of reference. The Scriptures, like walls, are a defense against the enemy. So many believers are defeated because they do not have doctrine built into their souls. "Through wisdom is a house builded; and by understanding it is established: and by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches" (Proverbs 24:3-4). The Christian must construct the walls of his soul with doctrine by hearing the Word with positive volition and concentration. This will prove beneficial when the enemy begins to come against his life. Rule over your soul with the Word of God.
Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches. - Proverbs 24:3-4
Submit to Calvary
When you submit to Calvary, you submit to the highest call in life. You submit to the greatest privilege known to man and become a servant of the Most High God. You are only on earth for a short period of time and God calls you to redeem that time.
Realize that you must be filled with all the fullness of God and filled with the Holy Spirit in order to please God by faith, serve God by grace, and obey God in love. As soon as you hear something from the Word of God, enter into faith obedience to the entire counsel of God (Romans 1:5).
Every morning you can gladly say to the Lord, "Here I am; send me! More than anything in this world, I want to live for You, love You, breathe for You, and represent You. I want to be Your voice. I want to be Your eyes, ears, tongue, feet, and hands.
"Oh God, if you can use me and keep on forgiving me, just grant me the power to live in the Spirit, and I will be so thankful!"
Man: Where Evil is Present
Man is born into a world filled with stimuli and projection. What effect does man´s environment have upon him as he grows and progresses in age? Is there a release from all the stimuli that is contrary to man´s prosperity, or is he subject to its effects?
Since birth, man has received lines. These lines are simply waves that have fallen into the trunk of our spinal column and go up through the brain. They are waves that give impulse to the sensitive neurological nerve centers. These impulses have established the routes that we are going to take. The measure and variety of the impulses that have been transmitted have formed our mental attitude in our mental capacity, and also our emotional capacity and response. These impulses also affect our wills and prompt us to do what we do. We live by these impulses, along with our experiential, environmental, and genetic backgrounds. For this reason, no matter what we try to do, evil is present with us. It is not necessarily evil as we would evaluate evil, but as God sees it, it is evil as it is not Christ´s life through the Word. Environmental, reflective, social, religious, and intellectual impulses exposed us subjectively and objectively to a very particular kind of life, a life that also has been influenced by our heredity and the discipline practices of the past. Apart from Christ, we are the products of external stimuli and not an expression of a God-given design.
2 Samuel 13-15
Cling to the Word
The Word of God is everything to a Christian. It is spirit and life (2), it cleanses (3), heals (4), and causes us to be settled with Christ (5). There are no gray areas in it. Though it contains all knowledge, its message is portrayed in great simplicity. So simple in fact that many refuse to believe, "But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ" (II Corinthians 11:3).
Our life with the Word is to be based on objectivity. Objectivity is defined as something that is not influenced by emotional or personal prejudice; having a material object as distinguished from a mental concept. Satan causes people to look outside the Bible for answers. When God gives a gift, it is always in objectivity and practicality. The devil tries to draw people away from this by causing people to think subjectively.
It is so important that we cling to the simplicity of the Bible. The Word of God is more important than anything in our lives, even our physical food (6). We are to live, "be upheld and sustained" by every Word of God (Matthew 4:4, Amplified). Cling to your very life - God's Word.
I opened my mouth, and panted: for I longed for thy commandments. - Psalm 119:131
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. - John 6:63
Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. - John 15:3
He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions. - Psalm 107:20
LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. - Psalm 119:89
Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food. - Job 23:12
Perilous times are here. Men are lovers of themselves. People display a form of godliness but in reality deny the power of God. In these days, Satan is trying to establish a lukewarm, ineffective church that will cooperate with his cosmic* plan to hinder the spread of the Gospel. More than ever, we must understand how to keep the fire in our hearts burning.
Each Christian is called to share the message of true freedom that comes from receiving Jesus Christ. Jesus said, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
Freedom isn't works striving or programming myself to be like God. Freedom is liberty to be changed from glory to glory by the mirror of the Word and the Holy Spirit. Freedom is something we stand in. We stand in it in such a way that we have power and dominion over Satan's cosmic world system.
*Cosmic, from the Greek word kosmikos, means "having the character of this present corrupt age" (see Titus 2:12, Hebrews 9:1).
1 Kings 6:27
This verse describes the inner chamber of Solomon´s Temple. Cherubim were set there. Their number was two, and they filled the room. The wing of one touched one wall, the wing of the other touched the other wall, and their wings touched one another in the midst of the house. All of Heaven filled the chamber, so that no matter where you went, it was touched by Heaven. God had placed therein His presence, and there was no room but for that which God had placed there.
In Ezekiel 3:13, the Bible says that the wings of the living creatures touched one another and there was great activity in their midst. It is the living creatures that touch one another that dwell in the midst of all spiritual blessings. The Body is the place where God commanded His blessing forevermore. In the Body, members can touch one another in life because they are not limited by the boundaries of humanity. They are secure in the presence of Heaven. They are secure in life, and they become expressive in liberty. A man does not hide his talent because of insecurity, but invests it by touching others with his portion. Christ is allowed to edify and to build the Body as the members invest life.
Man was made to be in a place where he would be touched by Heaven continually. We are touched and become the garment of Christ that others may touch us and be healed in mind, emotions, and body. We are touched, and then we touch one another.
2 Samuel 9-12
Encourage Your Faith
"But without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him" (Hebrews 11:6). Faith is the one thing that pleases God. We must do everything to promote it, and be careful not to hinder it through careless remarks or insensitive criticism.
The woman who anointed Christ's feet with precious ointment responded to Him in faith. Jesus commanded her critics to "let her alone" (Mark 14:6a). Those who walk by sight will always misunderstand and criticize those who walk by faith.
Consider Christ's remark to Peter, "What is that to thee? Follow thou me" (John 21:22). What occupied John and Peter was not the issue. The issue for us is that we must follow the Lord, standing in accordance with our own personal choice, as we respond in faith to His Word. We are not to have our eyes on other people, but on our personal walk before God. That is what counts.
We are commanded to live by faith (2), so encourage those around you to believe God and to hear the word daily. "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Romans 10:17).
And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. - Luke 17:5
For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. - Romans 1:17
Our spirituality is based on the measure of our obedience to God. Our faith is measured by believing His Word. Our ability to think is measured by how much we receive the Word of God. We measure grace by what we freely give to those who do not earn it, and mercy by how often we put grace into action by faith. Our forgiveness is measured by the precious, inexhaustible blood that Jesus shed on Calvary. We can so readily measure things as God sees them!
The first way we are measured is by how much we receive God´s love and grace. Jesus said if we ask anything in His name He will do it, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. Ask anything and He will do it!
In John 14:15, Christ said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments." Notice that the motivation for our obedience is love. If the love of God is flowing in our hearts, then we are receiving that measure of God´s eternal life which cannot be measured by time.
Storehouse of Truth
The devil can defeat us with the knowledge of truth. When the objective mind states how things should be and the subjective mind wars against it, saying it has no provision to make it that way, we have the ability of knowledge, but our minds are not made available to the Spirit by faith. We hear messages with half of our mind. The more we know, the more we go into mental frenzy. Our mind is divided by what we know we should be and what we really are. We understand the complexities of failure. This then, makes a believer feel guilty. He has allowed knowledge to stand alone, without the provision found in the life of God´s Spirit. The believer has no grace to recognize the truth presented to him in victory.
One´s attitude may be right toward his state of being and he may hate the defeat of his life; however, a mere attitude toward a condition will not change the condition. Only action in faith can bring attributes that are divinely charged to dispel defeat. If you live in attributes that turn you toward God, you will be changed into His image.
Let the Word of God set you apart from defeat. Many people condition their natural minds to know what they should be as Christians. These people become frustrated over what they are without the mind of God. Let God´s mind be in you. That is the provision that repudiates the devil. No matter how the devil accuses you, the storehouse of truth in your subjective mind is committed to reveal its victory.
2 Samuel 5-8
The Creative Approach
I Corinthians 13:5
Divine creativity is born out of unconditional love and grace and is communicated in practical action. It cares for the other person and identifies with his biological and physical make-up. It is a way to improve situations without negativity.
Whenever you think of a way to improve something, take the idea to God and He will show you a new, creative approach every time. Let us illustrate this by a practical example. An individual church member was aware of some existing problems in the Sunday nursery. Rather than approach those who ran the nursery with negativity, this individual applied wisdom. She went to her pastor and objectively identified the problem as well as offered her services two days a week to implement the solution. She initiated Christ's life, because she was willing to "lay down her life" in the situation. The pastor responded positively to her suggestion because she did not approach the problem with a critical attitude!
Few Christians understand how to approach practical situations according to specific principles from the Word of God. We are a people "set apart" (Psalm 4:3) for God and we must learn to respond to truth, as well as sacrifice to impart it to others. "Love [God's love in us] does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful..." (I Corinthians 13:5, Amplified).
Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; - 1 Corinthians 13:5
Prepared for the Call
When a man or woman is prepared, he or she will always get a call that is special. God always goes after prepared people. We are measured to be prepared vessels, meet for our Master´s use. We are vessels of gold and silver in His great house. Prepared people are sanctified, which means that they are set apart for a precise purpose.
Concerning His disciples, Jesus asked the Father to "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." Christ was saying, "Set them apart. Set their voices apart to sing My songs. Set their tongues apart to speak edifying words. May they have sanctified tongues. Set their minds apart to think with Me, to concentrate and dedicate themselves to discipline."
The Lord Jesus prayed that everything about us would be set apart precisely by His Word. Truth prepares us to follow our specific call in His specific purpose for our lives.
Claims of the Cross
The man in this portion in Mark came to Jesus, calling Him "Good Master." He desired to relate humanly to Christ and to communicate with Him in terms of goodness. But Christ did not want this man to be deceived, so He ministered to him the Cross and did not even claim His own goodness, which was derived from God´s righteousness. Christ ministered God´s will to this man; implying that he should go to Calvary. The result did not look promising by sight. The words of Christ made the man sad, and he went away grieved.
The Word of God does not deal sentimentally with people so that they will feel good without the experience of the Cross. It draws people in love, but it never withdraws when it comes to Calvary. God will sometimes press you into what you do not measure up to in faith. Measuring up is only living in a Person whose standard of life is accepted by God and given to you by grace.
People must rid themselves of the idea that Jesus always made people happy. It is not so. Here, for example, His Word made the man very sad. Many people use the Word sentimentally. They fear they will offend people if they preach the Word in the fullness of its message. Jesus did not fear. The Word He preached caused many of His disciples to walk with Him no more ( John 6:66). Christ knew, and so do many who love the Word and are not offended by its content, that it is only by being sanctified in Truth and baptized into death can we bring forth life.
2 Samuel 1-4
Many times the believer finds himself becoming physically drained halfway through a day because of an especially strenuous task or because of a lack of sleep. He needs energy to go on. This believer can be quickened according to God's Word even at times when he is physically and emotionally exhausted. God has a special provision for this. It is indescribable in value. "Quicken me according to thy Word" (Psalm 119:154b), cried the psalmist.
Jesus Christ gladly pours His energy into the human vessel when human resources have been completely depleted. This sudden burst of energy comes when the Christian serves with his entire being. His motive and source is totally spiritual and supernatural, and he ends up drawing from God's resources in everything he does. "In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength" (Isaiah 30:15b). The servant's strength is found in quietness and confidence, as he is quickened by the Word of God. That is why I Thessalonians 4:11a says, "And that ye study to be quiet."
When God finds that you are attending wholeheartedly to His work, He will provide you with strength according to His Word. Do not give up if your energy gives out and you still have a job left to do. When God calls you to a task, He will supply what you need to complete it.
Plead my cause, and deliver me: quicken me according to thy word. - Psalm 119:154
God's Line from Eternity Past
God has a divine measuring line. It is His superabundant grace, His inexhaustible mercy, and His incomprehensible love.
God´s line goes from eternity past to eternity future, and it takes care of the "now" in time. What happened at 9 o´clock this morning is gone forever, what will happen tomorrow does not exist today, and now just passed by. For us, to live is Christ.
Someone who hurt you years ago isn't living inside of you-but Christ is. The alcoholic parent who went out and did terrible things isn´t living there. It is Christ who is now living in you.
Our lives are not the sins that we commit. Sins cannot control us. We are not measured by our past or by what people did to us. God´s measuring line extends from eternity past, when the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world, to the present, where we are hid with Christ in God. What´s more, it extends to our tomorrows that are filled with hope because Christ is our future.
All in All for All
Allow the Cross to be your life without rationalization because of a revelation of Christ to your mind. Do not form your own plans, but progress in the revelation presented by God to the Corporate Body. Christ wants to be all in all, through all, for all times. His plan may include sickness, incompatibility, difficult financial situations, or challenges that are not normal. Behind it all is a purpose, designed for us to grow, in humility that lets Christ be all. Many people usurp their desires above the plan and project their wishes towards God, hoping that God will agree. All is instituted for one reason: that we might win Christ. At the end of every situation, the questions are not how did I escape, or who benefited most? The question is this: did I win Christ? The question is not even whether we are successful, though that usually is God´s will. Beyond success, God might want us to be crucified on a Cross and judged when we are innocent, so that we may win Christ.
Winning Christ is not attaining a certain goal. It is being quickened together with Christ in every step so that as we run the race, we are keeping pace in life through the power of Christ. The end of every human situation is eternal substance gained in the Lord. In the end, we will lose all, except that which we have gained through the life of our Substitute.
What is won? The maturity of a life revealed through the Word and the Spirit, and magnified through the personal Lordship of Christ.
1 Samuel 29-31
Our Object of Faith
It is so easy for the world to entice us to live by sight, or to have some program that we can grab onto right now. Christians want something to happen, so they search desperately for some sign that it will be done at once. We must turn our eyes to the Word of God, which says that we live by faith (2), are made righteous by faith (3), and please God with our faith (4).
The living Word of God, Jesus Christ, is both the source and the object of our faith. Many time believers get caught up in a "sign" rather than the source of that sign. In John 4:50-54, a nobleman asked Jesus to heal his son. The nobleman wanted Jesus to lay his hand on the boy, but Jesus simply said, "Go thy way, thy son liveth." "And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him" (John 4:50). It says that this man "believed the word." He trusted what Jesus said without any sign.
We need to believe the word and go on as this man did. Let us not be held back by wondering whether a promise will be fulfilled, but let us have faith in the Word, and continue with full assurance that God has heard us. Have confidence that if the Word says it, it will be done.
So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death. Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe. The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die. Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way. And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth. Then inquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him. So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth: and himself believed, and his whole house. This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judea into Galilee. - John 4:46-54
For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. - Romans 1:17
But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. - Romans 4:5
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. - Hebrews 11:6
The River and the Tree
In the eternal city of God, there is a river. In the midst thereof is a tree-the Tree of Life, the old, rugged cross of Calvary. The leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.
The river has a purpose in its application for today. It speaks of the river of the Holy Spirit running through the world and glorifying Jesus Christ. The tree, the cross of Christ, is for the healing of all people.
The one side of the river speaks of the past, the other side refers to the future, and the middle speaks of the present. God is saying that for the past, present, and future there is a river. There in the middle of it is the Tree of Life. The presence of God, represented by that river, is also in His beautiful cloud (1 Kings 8:10-11), and His strength is in the clouds (Psalm 68:34).
Let us dedicate our bodies to him. Let God´s fire and His cloud fill us. Let us dedicate our minds and have them set apart to think only His thoughts. The presence of God will be there for the purpose of these dedications.
Who Receives the Benefits?
Do not fuel a desire that is outside of God´s will. Let go of earthly desires. Your earthly members that work to appease your natural temperament have been put to death. When you are born from above in an experiential life of faith, the use your members had through your earthly desires dies. The Word separates the soul from the spirit and you are God-conscious, elevated to the throne room of your new life. Your soul is in subjection to the objective revelation of the Spirit. As a result, the body can be controlled by Life from above instead of being dominated by that which is earthly. When your members are controlled from the earth, it is always you who benefits in the midst of discipleship instead of your being a disciple and magnifying God in the midst of the need. Put away all that would tend to be an idol, which promotes worshiping a desire instead of living by faith in the plan of grace.
What is God´s desire for me in His plan of grace? That Christ be all in me because I allow Him to be all in all things that have to do with me. Our own desires result in loss, for we do not win Christ in our own plans made without the mind of God. We may have success through our achievements, but when Heaven and earth pass away and the fire burns the dross, all that will remain are those things which cannot be moved or shaken, the gold, silver, and precious stones derived from a life lived according to the Word that endures forever.
1 Samuel 25-28
Who is in Control?
Our scripture reading today takes us to the story of the rich ruler. This young man had kept all the commandments; yet, Jesus told him he lacked one thing (verse 22). The problem here was that the ruler was in total control of his own life; he was not willing to let go of personal desires to follow Jesus.
Likewise, we as Christians oftentimes have desires which may seem to be good in content, but we are not submissive in our attitude as we seek to fulfill them. Do we yet lack in one thing as the young ruler? It is tragic to think of the hours which are wasted on tasks that God is not or may not be concerned with. No doubt, the man in Luke 18 spent a great deal of time serving God in a manner he saw fit, but he would not allow Christ to be Lord in his life. Consider Abraham, in Genesis 22:2 when God told him to offer up the greatest possession he had, his son Isaac. Do you think the Lord wanted to see Isaac die? No, it was simply a momentum test in Abraham's life to see who was in control.
The Lord wishes to be in total control of our lives. However, he will not do it through force, rather He wishes to accomplish this by our submission to him. May we purpose this day to allow Him to guide our steps.
And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. - Genesis 22:2
And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor thy father and thy mother. And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up. Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me. And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich. - Luke 18:18-23
God wants to say to us, "Don´t be fearful of what´s going on in your life. I am lovingkindness. I am righteousness. I delight in giving you my lovingkindness and my righteousness. I delight in giving you my presence. I delight in having you be the fulfillment of my purpose and the manifestation of my presence."
God delights to be present in you to do something about your condition. It is a joy to Him to be the doctor of your body and the surgeon for your physical organs and ills. He enjoys counseling you with His mind from His Word, which is Light. God delights to bless you beyond measure. He desires to do it, and He is present to do it.
"I am present in your body," the Lord is telling us. "It´s My desire to fulfill every single measure of your being, to expand your capacity with Myself. It´s My desire to heal you in every way."
People who worship a desire get perplexed when the will of God was not what they desired. A person who worships God will receive his desires because he is delighting himself in God. When one is delighting himself in God, he desires Christ. Then, he receives what he desires because his desire is based on Christ and originates in the life of Christ. Any such desire is relevant to what God wants, so the person has no desire other than what takes place because Christ motivates his life instead of desire. Nothing has to take place other than what God has placed in the plan of life. We will always be given the desires of our heart because Christ is our desire and He will never leave us nor forsake us.
Let us present our bodies to be resurrected in God´s place of appointment by faith without our consent. God never asks for the consent of Adam when He expresses the Word. Any refusal that goes contrary to obedience will never stop the sovereign plan, though stubbornness slows the pace of God´s effectual working. An effectual work is when faith is operating and we have decided and consented that we have no right for consent in the plan of God. Then, we allow God to work according to His will and do not frustrate His work through our desires.
People who have idols conform to the spirit of that idol. Their life craves that desire and not the fulfillment of obedience toward a plan which includes God´s desires.
1 Samuel 21-24
The Disciplined Child
Many people do not respond positively to constructive criticism because of a poor self-image. Criticism may wound an individual rather than correct him. God's unconditional love accomplishes more by edifying the person without compromising the details. Whenever you practice this principle with your children you are giving them an impartation of God's life instead of a natural reaction.
Let us look at a situation that is familiar to every parent. Children must learn to be disciplined in helping with household chores, but what is the best method for parents to teach the child responsibility in this area without constant correction? Here is the creative method: "Let's clean your room to help your mother this week. This will bless her, because she has been very tired and has worked hard." The child learns right habits by working and sharing responsibility and also blesses his mother. Believer's must teach and motivate their children to do small tasks the best they know how at a very young age. Before you know it the child will be disciplined to clean his bedroom and to take care of his clothes, etc. He will not do it perfectly, of course, but he will develop discipline. Practice this method with your own children and you will find it to be an effective approach. "Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right" (Proverbs 20:11).
Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right. - Proverbs 20:11
The Tabernacle Within Us
There is a beautiful story in Exodus. The cloud came upon the just-completed tabernacle, and, as a result, Moses was not able to enter into the house of God to minister. Why? Because it was filled with the glory of the Lord.
Just as the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle Moses built, it is so important today that the glory of the Lord fill us. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 tells us that we are God´s tabernacle: "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy [Spirit] which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."
God wants so much to fill His people, whom He has made, in the same way He filled the tabernacle, which Moses made. God is calling every believer to experience His presence as never before.
Desires Beyond God
1 Corinthians 8:7
Idols are very often the No. 1 problem in a Christian´s life. An idol is not necessarily a material article set before people to be worshiped. An idol can be an attitude of the heart that takes you from the fellowship of a personal Christ. Many people idolize a need instead of living in the will of God which would fulfill all their desires because they are in Him. For example, a woman wants release in her situation. She desires her husband to change. Her wanting becomes idolatry. She lives in an anxious spirit towards his changing. It is good to want him to change but not to the point that it becomes striving and contention. The motivation of her prayers for him may be the idolatry found in her own heart. It originates from setting up desire in place of God´s will in the perfection of His operation. She is striving to make a goal come to pass, by-passing God´s working and entering into the strivings of the flesh.
Many people desire to be healed, and yet they do not operate in the purity of faith so that God can operate by the law of love. Healing becomes an idol. It is something they seek and the basis of their communication with God. They want something from God before they want God Himself in communion. In other words, people have desires that go beyond their willingness to accept a Cross for their resurrection grace. They worship desires instead of delighting themselves in God in Whom all desires are fulfilled.
1 Samuel 17-20
Details Can Swell
The details of life always occupy our minds when we do not have our priorities straight. They take our attention from our mission to seek and save that which is lost (2). We become easily distracted from listening to the Word of God. We find ourselves saying, "If I can just get one more thing done, then I will be able to go to the Bible study or spend time in prayer without having to worry." But things keep coming up, and we never get around to the Bible study or prayer.
The story of Martha and Mary in Luke 10 is a good example. Mary immediately sat down at Jesus' feet, while Martha was occupied with preparing the meal (3). She probably said, "If only I can get the meal prepared, then we can sit down and listen to Jesus." But Mary's divine priorities ruled over her details of life (4). Jesus emphasized the fact that Mary chose the good portion for herself. She chose. She did not tend to the less important things first, rather she made up her mind to put the Lord first.
Our priorities can become misconstrued, and the distractions of physical tasks can take preeminence over listening to the Word of God. Let us choose to have divine priorities today so that our portion can never be snatched from our hands (4), and that we may reap eternal benefits.
My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. - Psalm 73:26
For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. - Luke 19:10
But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. - Luke 10:40
But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. - Luke 10:42
Psalm 103:10-11, 17
God, in His Book, tells us some things that our natural minds cannot comprehend-the Holy Spirit must reveal them. It is impossible to calculate heaven´s height above the earth, because no one knows where heaven is.
God knows how we think. In our limited human understanding, the way to God is upwards. We think of heaven as extending light-years beyond our solar system. With all of the great scientific discoveries, no one can fathom the size of the universe, which reaches far beyond the farthest star ever seen: This is how great the measure of God´s mercy is toward those who trust Him.
God is saying, "There´s no way I can explain to you how great my mercy is." He cannot explain how He crowns us with lovingkindness through the anointing of the Holy Spirit. No one can figure out God´s mercy, and He doesn't want us to try. "Just live before the Mercy Seat," He is telling us.
Remember, you are crowned with mercy and lovingkindness.
Yielded or Yoked?
How do our members become instruments that further the Kingdom of God? It is not by reining them into Adamic goodness. It is by receiving grace that joins them to the Lord Who imparts Life to all those who yield their members. Our members are no longer instruments that further the devil´s kingdom, nor are they implements that display to humanity a way by which Adam achieves goodness. Instead, we enter a life that is already far above principalities and powers, a life that has gone beyond the sentimentality of human attachment to the religious status quo. People try to keep up with what religion says is right and true, so that their conscience may be appeased, but the standard they are keeping up is keeping them from allowing God to raise up His standard of love.
Our members do not have to be yoked up to the earth, wherein our emotions control our mind and body and wicked cravings enter in. People crave in their own self-reaction things that would compliment them in Adam. When that does not happen, they project their unsatisfied cravings in the form of anger, hoping to inflict other people with fear and to make them yield. People´s wicked cravings enter into religion as they demand things to be a certain way according to their human concepts. They fail to realize that God cannot use members that are linked to the earth but only those that are oriented through faith unto a heavenly flow.
1 Samuel 14-16
The unsaved man is unable to reflect the treasure of Christ in his speech until he receives Christ as his Savior. The carnal Christian, though saved, often denies the authority of the Word of God. Therefore, he is excluded from speaking in such a manner that would reflect the presence of Christ abiding in his heart. A saved person who does not surrender to the will of God, but follows the desires of his own heart (2) speaks forth the evil that is present within because he is controlled by the sinful, adamic nature.
Luke 6:45b says, "out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh." Sooner or later, what is contained in the heart slips out. We have a tendency to speak our minds loosely, glibly and carelessly. The words we speak always reveal our viewpoint or frame of reference. There is a frame of reference that is characteristic of the adamic nature. It is possessed by every human being, whether they acknowledge its presence or not.
The believer in Christ is given the mind of Christ when he is born again. However, he must decide daily to fill the empty rooms of his soul with the treasures of the Word. Otherwise, he will be left under the dominion and control of adamic opinions and patterns of speech.
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. - Luke 6:45
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? - Jeremiah 17:9
Vacation with Jesus
There is nothing wrong with taking a vacation. Still, I pity people who are so tired out that they can´t wait for their next vacation. The funny thing is that when some people are on vacation, they´ll say they can´t wait to get home again. They´re all tired out trying to be happy away from home.
God´s people need rest. It´s even better, however, when you can serve God and be on vacation all the time. Isaiah 32:18 tells us that there are many resting places for the people of God. The Christian life should be one great big vacation. After all, our sins will never be imputed to us. We have passed from death unto life (John 5:24), and we are at rest in the Finished Work of Jesus Christ.
When I think of the word vacation, I think about Jesus´ words in Matthew 11:28-29: "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls."
The Once-For-All Act
In Colossians 3:5, Paul begins a description in the Greek of an act that is final, an act that is once and for all and at once. It reveals that what has been dealt with in my life has been dealt with once and for all. This is made clear in Hebrews 10: 10 where it is taught that Christ was the offering for us once and for all. But it says that it is not only once and for all but also at once. This means that every time something tries to come on us, we have to act at once on the once-and-for-all act of God´s grace, which put away the very thing that is trying to act upon us to make us act contrary to God. Do not hesitate to act immediately in the act that is once and for all.
Reservation deprives us of the victory that is ours. A delay gives the devil a beginning in the provision we make in the flesh. Why should a person have to think over that which is thought by an Almighty God Who presents only truth? Christ has taken care of Adam once and for all, but, through His life, we must act on that at once when temptation comes. The realization of the act, and its reality as it acts within us, puts to death our members that are on earth. Our members are no longer related to the dust, but to something far above it. In our heavenly position (Ephesians 1:22; 25) and in our Corporate union (I Corinthians 6:17; Ephesians 5:30), our members become instruments of life.
1 Samuel 11-13
Man has been given the gift of free volition; thus, he chooses which kingdom will rule his heart, and become the source of his treasure. Sooner or later, that which has been received, compiled, and accumulated in the mind will be expressed. Out of the evil treasure will come forth idle words of self-justification, self-defense, logical offense, and human wisdom, which is communicated in the form of personal opinion.
Hebrews 9:27 says, "And it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment." All men will be accountable for the words they have spoken. Matthew 12:37 says, "For by thy words, thou shall be justified and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." For this reason, Ecclesiastes 5:2b says, "Let you words on earth be few."
It must be clearly understood that all aspects of the Christian life, especially communication, are not to be performed as works of the flesh. Rather, they are to be carried out under the enablement of the Holy Spirit in the obedience of faith.
No matter how hard a man tries to produce godly communication in his sinful flesh, he will find it impossible. Godly communication is only the result of the supernatural transforming power of the Word of God to renew the mind of the believer (2). We receive Christ by faith, and by faith we walk in Him (3), trusting Him alone to be the source of our treasure.
As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: - Colossians 2:6
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. - Romans 12:2
For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. - Matthew 12:37