Faith Is

March 1st, 2015

Faith is evidence. Others see what we believe in our actions. Like our response to a challenge is a measure of what we truly believe. We are established, not in mere desire, but “by faith” in what we believe from God’s Word. Desire alone, even strong desire, cannot produce faith’s result. Desire alone frequently ends in disappointment, even unbelief.

God moves in sync with His Word. When our desires conform to His Word we move with Him. We obey Him and faith finds its completion – the Kingdom advances, greater levels of faith are attained, and the heart expands to believe more!

Our part is to believe Him . . . not the situation.

Faith is evidence.

Amen.

Hebrews 11

Traditions That Negate

February 28th, 2015

Religious tradition often questions God’s authority, replacing divine authority with human method and penalizing those wanting to know and obey the LORD. Generations, present and future, are affected by the error of such flawed dictates.

The Lord’s heart in the matter is clear, as should be our own: Anything that questions God’s authority to govern also rejects His will—anything that rejects the will of God is rejection of God and His Spirit, a rejection of divine direction and truth.

We are accountable before the Lord to base our lives upon truth and refusing every contrary claim, even if it means stepping away from established traditions of family, convenience, and a more popular view. The Church is also accountable and will answer for every teacher and teaching that dims the light of truth or ridicules supernatural power and presence.

It’s time to stop backing up on your convictions in this matter. Don’t be double-minded. Take your stand.

Amen.

Mark 7:13 | Read, in context, Mark 7

An Entrance

February 27th, 2015

Practically speaking, anything we fence with borders has a gate. Rooms have doors and nations have entry points. Individual lives, too, have borders and are accessed by a door – an entrance. Parents understand the principle and know that speaking to a child who either cannot or will not hear, is like trying to go through a door that’s locked from the other side.

The principle is also spiritual. Paul requested prayer “for an entrance and an utterance” knowing his message would fail unless he could both reach and be heard by those appointed to hear.

In daily life every report needs a door, as also does every threat and every wrong spirit. Each must first enter your thoughts and belief structure to successfully affect you. While spiritual discipline does include patience to wait for doors to open and what to do in the meantime, in the case of ungodly or wrong things, instead of allowing that door to open, possess it!

Abraham’s faith proved true when faced with the sacrifice of his only son Isaac; he received the blessing of innumerable descendants who would “possess the gates of their enemies”. Later Abraham’s relatives, in sending Rebekah with Eliezer to become Isaac’s wife, blessed her with the same words: “And may your descendants “possess the gates of those who hate them.”

Take advantage of your standing with God. Covenant blessing includes authority over any trouble in your physical or spiritual house. Declare God’s blessing. Remove anything that does not belong in your life. Thank God for His unlimited spiritual provision and refuse unbelief concerning complete deliverance for you and all who are in your house!

Now . . . close the door.

Amen!

Ephesians 6:19 | Colossians 4:3 | Mark 13:34 | Acts 11:14 | Isaiah 61:7-9 | Genesis 22:17 | Genesis 24:17 | Verses@Once

The Third Heaven

February 26th, 2015

I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven. (2 Corinthians 12:2)

Spiritual life develops as a procession. God leads and those who follow realize a seat “in heavenly places” has been provided for them. They are presently seated with Him there—in heavenly places. Paul referred to this realm as the third heaven, a present-tense reality; an inheritance lived daily by faith. So, for the person who is spiritual, faith according to heaven’s arrangement is a way life and is to be lived here . . . on earth as it is in Heaven!

Writing to the Ephesians Paul continues his revelation: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, (Ephesians 1:3). . .which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:20). . .and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6) . . .to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places (Ephesians 3:10). . .For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12]

In contrast, life in a natural sense—meaning not spiritual, including anything other than life in the spirit—is another matter. Life in the natural can be done, even done well, without a shred of Bible faith. Paul made the distinction—men forfeit a higher, spiritual inheritance to choose the proverbial bowl of stew and momentary relief or satisfaction. The natural life and religious niceties are fine but not where you go in a crisis. When a natural, manageable-with-the intellect setting changes unexpectedly to intense spirit activity, natural senses do not work as well.

When you need spiritual help, remember true disciples of Jesus Christ are acquainted with heavenly realms—far above principalities and powers and rulers of darkness; before the crisis arrives they know what to do and how to pray. For them, Calvary is the supernatural turning point for every crisis. Hallelujah!

Amen.

2Corinthians 12:2 | Genesis 25:29-34 | Philippians 3:19 | Romans 16:18 | Verses@Once

National Redemption

February 25th, 2015

“The Lord looks down from heaven and sees the whole human race. From his throne he observes all who live on the earth. He made their hearts, so he understands everything they do. The best-equipped army cannot save a king, nor is great strength enough to save a warrior. Don’t count on your warhorse to give you victory—or all its strength, it cannot save you. But the Lord watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love. He rescues them from death and keeps them alive in times of famine.” (Psalm 33:13-19, NLT)

In every nation there are seeds of greatness, a treasure reflected in the national persona, seen in its contributions to others – an expression of divine purpose and alignment with heaven’s plan. National virtue undergirds greatness that assures the future.

Also present are seeds of downfall and greed; this seed, sown carelessly and without regard for others, corrupts and breaks down national ethos . . . God blesses a righteous people but unrighteousness locks Him out.

And so we pray for nations and peoples. In divine shaking greatness is birthed . . . a national awakening, a national redemption. The standard is raised and voices join in, speaking “as one” to a nation’s peril, to any people in despair. One voice begins then more join in – the sound of the Lord comes!

Father, I decree spiritual strength and backbone in my nation to face any threat. I speak national blessing and decree we will not “break” under weights of deceptive influence. Instead, I declare truth and virtue! We, your people, “believe you” to bring Your Word concerning this nation to pass – destructive plans are found out and Your plan prevails, divine purpose is established, and many voices join in crescendo of prophetic declaration: Kingdom of God come! Will of God be done . . . on earth as it is in heaven!

Amen!

Psalm 33:13-19 | Psalm 33:8-22 | Verses@Once

Collective Power

February 24th, 2015

The idea of covenant is God’s. Ancient cultures picked up on the idea and used covenant-making principles to preserve, among other things, the wealth of the family line, and also to ensure strength of protection against enemies and outside threats.

Apart from God’s loving administration of HIS covenants, covenant agreements often produce something other than godly results for family covenants. According to F. Douglas Pennoyer, * writing on the subject of collective activity among families and people groups, ungodly covenants are the underpinning for families and communities whose goal in making covenant is restrictive, in a negative sense.

In such cases, working together as a unit, the family’s influence is exerted to hold everyone inside established family boundaries. The resulting limitations firmly maintain family traditions that emphasize ties to family so that the family – not God – becomes the source of strength with unspoken, behaviorally-enforced agreement that perceives outsiders with suspicion and contempt, and literally a threat to the family’s security.

By working together as a family this way, competition for dominance and the upper hand is passed to the children, teaching them compliance with family spirits – spirits associated with a particular family, unique to that family’s beliefs.

God’s idea of covenant isn’t like that. Based on His covenant plan, God called Abram away from family and homeland to a land and purpose of the Lord’s choosing. Abram obeyed and trusted God, a decision of his choosing. He became patriarch of the Hebrew people and even received a new name given by God—Abraham, meaning father of nations.

The promises of God to Abraham are not only for him but also for generations to come: “In Your seed (children) all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.” You and I were in the heart of God when He created Covenant. He gave us the Kingdom along with every imaginable blessing and made us family. 

God loved, gave, and saved. We believe Him and receive Kingdom, connection, and life!

That’s the plan.

Amen.

Genesis 12:1; 15:1; 17:5; 22:17-18, John 3:16, John 17:3, Verses@Once
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* Pennoyer, F. Douglas, Wrestling with Dark Angels (Chapter 9, In Dark Dungeons on Collective Captivity, p.249) Ventura, California: Regal Books, Copyright 1990 by Dr. C. Peter Wagner

 

Today Is The Day

February 23rd, 2015

God’s grace means that our actions have divine enablement. Even those who give little consideration for His working still have His grace; and, because of His grace (which they refuse to acknowledge), they are able to move forward with vision. They think the favor and strength to keep going they experience are of their own doing.

In nations, too, history accounts for those in earlier times, and we personally witness many today, whose pride ultimately yields to divine grace – the Almighty God as Source, Savior, and Lord. Men may squander the divine for a season but that can change. Today is the day of salvation!

Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things? Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once?” (Isaiah 66:8)

Amen.

Ephesians 2:4-5 | Ephesians 2:8 | Isaiah 66:8-9 | Ephesians 5:15-16 | 2 Corinthians 6:2 | Verses@Once

Prophets, Wise Men and Teachers

February 21st, 2015

“Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers.” Matthew 23:34

Jesus confronts issues of the heart. Addressing the religious order of His day, Jesus confronted misdeeds and wrong thinking among the elite of the elite, the crème de la crème, whose religion was wrong because their hearts were wrong. And so, when He speaks to me today, the question for me, too, is not whether He has spoken or has He spoken clearly, but rather how much truth am I willing to hear?

The Lord often speaks to us through others – including prophets, wise men, and teachers. To overlook the prophet or wise man is to bask in being continuously taught. There are, in fact, prophets and wise men as surely as there are teachers. Study with the teacher, align with the counsel of wise men, and heed prophetic insight from the prophet God sends, before an over-the-cliff plunge.

Amen.

Riding Shotgun

February 20th, 2015

Thank God for the ministry of those intercessor-prophets who come along side – even go ahead of – God’s people, prayerfully guarding the path, prophetically clearing the way. The ministry of the interceding prophet is often missing in some congregations but thankfully, more are coming to realize the value of this authentic gift.

  • So Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak rose up and began to build the house of God which is in Jerusalem; and the prophets of God were with them, helping them. (Ezra 5:2, NKJV)
  • So the elders of the Jews built, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they built and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the command of Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia. (Ezra 6:14 NKJV)
  • But prophesying is not for unbelievers but for those who believe. (1Corinthians 14:22b)

Start at the beginning. Cut away anything you won’t not need in the coming season. After that pruning, begin afresh with what you have, primarily because you cannot begin with what you do not have. As you begin, embrace the ministry of the intercessor who often is also a prophet, and the prophet who always is an intercessor!

If your plan is to step forward and take new ground, you’ll need a prophet-intercessor . . . “riding shotgun” with solid spirit-prayer . . . declaring “Kingdom of God—come! Will of God, be done!”

Hallelujah!

Amen!

Ezra 5:2 | Ezra 6:14 | 1 Corinthians 14:22b | Verses@Once

I Have A Righteous Eye

February 19th, 2015

We are like righteous Abraham. Like him, we ignore limitations that contradict the Lord’s word to us. We are Abraham’s seed – the righteous seed of righteous Abraham who, against all odds, believed God was able to do exactly as He had promised. Abraham saw with a righteous eye the promised outcome.

So prophesy today! Make prophetic declarations of the Lord’s leading for your life and the righteous eye He has given you to discern:

I have a righteous eye—the ability to see righteously has been given to me. I have righteous interpretation today. For all that is in my life, which God has called me to watch for, I have righteous vision! My strength for righteousness is increasing! My expectation is high, not limited. Stretching to fill the container He has called me to be does not distract me. I am held tightly and protected by the Lord; by His hand He holds me close and lifts me up! Portions come from every direction to aid me as I proceed, and even unexpected portions come to me. Peace where God has placed me is my portion, with strength, and increase! Lord, YOU are the strength of my life and YOUR works are my portion, forever! 

I have a righteous eye. I see.

Amen! Amen!

Genesis 17:21 | Genesis 21:2-4 | Psalm 73:16 | Psalm 16:5-6 | Psalm 119:56-58 | Isaiah 61:6-8 | Verses@Once