This Christmas

December 20th, 2014

Times of challenge are teaching times when we learn a lot about ourselves. Resulting pressures expose the true crux of the matter . . . the challenge may have little to do with the immediate, but connect more to something earlier, something hidden from view. Under pressure, confronted with details we never realized were there, we seem to find the end of that rope and finally for the first time, acknowledge hidden issues we could not see before pressure exposed them.

Abram began to journey, aiming for a land the Lord had revealed. Along the way he turned toward Egypt, anticipating he’d find the supply there to meet the unexpected needs of his entourage in what perhaps was (no, obviously was) a lapse of confidence in the God He began following. In a second instance, later in the journey, Abram’s decision concerning his wife’s servant, Hagar, altered the plan God gave and Hagar, now suddenly disposable in Sarah and Abram’s eyes, did not “go away” as they hoped. God did not allow it.

The same is true of situations today. It may be the one thing you haven’t considered. The core problem has become something “more than” and it will not go away because God will not allow it to. The story of Abram’s compromise reminds us that discipleship and accountability protect us – not just in small and every-day matters, but also when, left to our choices, like Abram, we are allured into wrong and often devastating choices.

Being accountable to a person or group protects us as we journey; accountability saves us, often from ourselves! Humility is not the norm for most people but choosing to submit to someone wiser is a critical first step. It means we ask for, and receive counsel when we know we need help. It also means others come (sent by the Holy Spirit) to our rescue when we’re clueless about our greatest, deepest need. In both – in seeking counsel and receiving it – the Lord puts His spotlight on the heart of the matter – the problem back there that increasingly, suddenly, and especially lately, has become the voice making us, and everyone around us miserable.

This Christmas the Lord will not allow you to get off into another wilderness, another wrong setting, and certainly not another relationship that takes you away from His presence! This year you will face it. When you do, worship will be the next thing you experience. Remain there. Heal there. You are in His Hand.

I prophesy, this Christmas your experience will be “Emmanuel, God present with us.” He comes. He reveals.

O come, O come! Emmanuel!

Amen.

Genesis 13:1-4, Genesis 16, Psalm 1, Psalm 51, Verses @ Once

Promotion Comes From The Lord

December 19th, 2014

The Lord is the one who promotes men and women here on earth. Ambition is weighed in light of the original design seen in Abraham’s calling: In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed; and, in thee shall all nations be blessed.

The design given Abraham is also ours, our measure for planning for the coming New Year. God’s foundational design, established for Abraham and his lineage, is our pattern. Abraham’s calling belongs to each of us, therefore we are distinctive among our peers and blessed to promote the Kingdom in our family and nation: In you all the nations shall be blessed. (Galatians 3:8)

Our worldview lines up this way. We were positioned before the foundation of the worlds to be ambassadors of His love. (Ephesians 1:4, 1 Peter 1:20) The field we are called to is our field of increase – where we experience the greatest increase. In that field, we fill up to the max and impact to the utmost all the Lord intended when He called, then sent us: Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven!

Begin now to prophesy concerning your promotion in your calling-field and all that must take place there in 2015. 

Amen.

Psalm 75:6 Genesis 12:3, Galatians 3:8, Ephesians 1:4, 1 Peter 1:20, Luke 19:13, Matthew 6:10Verses@Once 

Tear Down And Build

December 18th, 2014

We live in the end-times, the end of an age when human discovery aligns with biblical understanding in an ebb and flow of seasons and times that admonishes us to redeem the time. Born-again Christianity is especially keen on the idea, incorporating end-time expectations with heaven’s perspective “the joy of the Lord is your strength!” (Ephesians 5:16, Nehemiah 8:10) Combining joyful strength (ours) to redeem (time) we take on the Lord’s end-time perspective plus His supernatural strength to live in these times.

Joy is strength – springing up, breaking through, and overcoming; joy adds might, carries the day, nurtures genius, creates from the inside, moves to the outside, outclasses opposition, remains confident, is poised under pressure, marks with favor those the Lord has marked (the crème de la crème) and strengthens those possessors of God’s divine perspective for exploits.

Look ahead. Even antichrist – his evil empire crumbling and unable to accomplish world domination – will fall from all pretense of power and receive instead a permanent “career move.” Despite his centuries long attempt at massive take-over (Daniel 11:35-39), former enemies of righteousness, once aligned with that evil one, will join with the martyrs and all those born again to inherit the Kingdom of Christ Jesus, rulers of righteousness, on earth, for a thousand years! (John 3:3, 1 Peter 1:23, Revelation 20:4)

Surface truth is seldom the whole truth. Discern each day spiritually as though it’s the last.

If you aren’t successful in the way you expected, don’t be discouraged and yield up the time – redeem it! Dismantle anything not built right in the first place; it cannot stand – tear it down!

And if you have broken through and achieved your desire, don’t plateau there. Instead, enlarge even more, extend even stronger, grab two or three others and bring them with you – this is your opportune time to build, baby, build!

Amen.

Ephesians 5:16-17, Daniel 11:35-39, Nehemiah 8:10-11, Revelation 20:4, Psalm 11:3, John 3:3-7, 1 Peter 1:23, Verses@Once

The Forerunner

December 17th, 2014

Where Jesus has entered in for us [in advance], a Forerunner having become a High Priest forever after the order (with the rank) of Melchizedek. Hebrews 6:20, AMP

Some individuals go ahead of the rest, their lives opening a path that leads the way for others to pursue the Kingdom. We honor these mentors as forerunners for our future. We have prospered standing on their shoulders.

Humanly speaking, those who demonstrate personal effort and achievement seem to stand out more than the ones doing critical groundwork to pave the way. We typically notice obvious achievements more than those behind the scenes doing the spiritual heavy-lifting.

A spiritual approach is different. Anyone who is spiritually mature realizes we are blessed to step into much for which we personally have paid little. A forerunner paid the greater price, investing in rigors we may never know. The true estimation of how far we’ve come includes their sacrifice to get us there!

Go back to where the forerunner’s mark established and launched you; go back to the genesis of your journey with the Lord. Identify those who opened the way. Thank God for them. Pray for them. Rehearse their counsel and imitate their courage and then do the same for those who have begun to follow you.

Amen.

Truth Tellers

December 16th, 2014

King David repented to the Lord and acknowledged his sin, and the Lord’s requirement for truth. David understood divine wisdom is always linked to truth so for him, a departure from truth meant a refusal of wisdom, a position we, like David, cannot survive unscathed.

Parents know that wisdom, developed in the heart of a child, will champion truth, leading to more truth and greater depths of truth; but the opposite, a foolish heart, will darken and the child as he grows cannot see that the thing he grips in his right hand is a lie. The Bible teaches that foolishness is bound in the heart of a child and a wise parent guides the child in refusing foolishness, choosing wisdom instead.

The principle is critical. Anytime we feel entitled to something, believing it is uniquely separate from or not subject to the law of God, or that we can get away with it once or twice and then justify what we’ve done as though hidden from God, the denial is ours alone. The evidence of truth and purity of wisdom prove that God is not in it.

A fool says in his heart there is no God and the foolish heart believes it is not subject to God and so cannot accept godly wisdom but instead refuses obvious truth.

But God’s wisdom is truth. His wisdom is perfectly just. It is greater than sense reasoning, accumulated learning, or mere opinion and comes through the power of the Holy Spirit who directs and empowers us to conform to it.

Teach truth. Tell the truth. Never stop presenting truth.

Amen.

Romans 12:2, Psalm 51, Isaiah 44:20, Psalm 14:1, Psalm 53:1, Verses @ Once

The Prayer Of Faith Will Heal The Sick

December 14th, 2014

Compassion for those who are sick means that we care deeply for them; their concerns are ours also and we are touched, as is our Lord, with the feelings of their infirmities. We are committed to strengthen them with prayer but we also know that the one who is sick is also responsible to engage the Lord concerning any kind of affliction.

In the book of James we learn anyone who is sick is to ASK for prayer, an expression of faith toward God. Their appeal is to God.

Elders, as leaders of God’s people, are instructed to respond to a request for prayer that’s made in faith and to pray for them with faith-filled prayer, thereby demonstrating faith in God that His promise to heal is true.

Without faith we cannot bless God. Without faith even our ability to receive healing is affected. Without confident knowledge of God’s Word concerning His promise to heal us, we are less confident and true healing faith is small.

Go to God’s Word. Invest quality time reading and meditating His Word concerning healing so that your faith to believe for (and receive) healing grows, the anointing for healing can work on your behalf and you are able to release your faith in God to heal.

Speak words that agree with the outcome you desire.

Trust God to deliver you.

Amen.

Believing-prayer James 5:15, The Message
Prayer of faith James 5:13-17, NLT and James 5:13-17, NKJV

Renegade Meditation

December 13th, 2014

In this Christmas season and in the year ahead speak “life” words concerning the thought patterns you want to change, even saying aloud to yourself correct thoughts and patterns of thought. Then align your “thinking” accordingly. The Lord has said, “I know the thoughts I have for you” . . . so we know the Lord disciplines His thoughts . . . be assured He expects you to do the same.

Thoughts produce thought patterns so spiritual discipline includes guarding our thoughts – one renegade thought produces more of the same, a potentially consuming pattern of thinking which is the last thing needed when you are believing God and standing in faith for a manifestation of His Word in your life.

When we mediate on (dwell upon) a thought or pattern of thought, momentum for it builds, producing fruit of the original thought. An entry point for deception can only come when the focus of our thoughts develop around something God does not approve of, because anything He does not approve is the essence of unbelief.

So, what to do?

Reverse all those negatives. Turn them around and send them back where they came from. Meditate in the Word until your focus corrects. Change the main, central thought of the old and include all related thoughts that were subservient to the main one. Isolate those renegade ideas and ban them from your circumstances.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the LORD, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.” (Jer. 29:11-14, NKJV)

Amen.

Jeremiah 29: 11-14, NKJV, Jeremiah 29, Verses@Once  

Deceptive

December 12th, 2014

In Acts we find the sobering story of a husband and wife who agreed together to publically lie about the selling price of their property, their pretense of honesty meant to deceive church leaders responsible for the distribution of money given to the church for the poor and others in need. Contributions were not required but were a private matter of generosity – those who gave did so willingly.

Instead of sincere generosity, the couple lied about the amount, choosing to further deceive their neighbors and friends. In the public confrontation that exposed them, church elders pointed them back to the source of their deceptive and flawed logic, a hidden place in their character where their decision to lie became the root catalyst for a horrific unfolding of events.

“How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord?” . . . “Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”

The underlying cause and source of their deception was identified. Satan had filled their heart to lie to The Holy Spirit. The story’s lesson concerns any deceptive act; deception in anything, even small things, puts us in partnership with spiritual forces of deception. Satan, the author of all deception, must first gain entrance to our heart, then settle in to establish a pattern.

Ultimately, when our resistance is completely breached – when the heart has been opened to deception – he subtly builds a darkened hiding place where capacity to deceive others develops and a spiritual gateway for further deception is created. The opening is a spiritual door – not spiritual in a good sense and definitely not from God.

To partner with deception is never a good business idea—not savvy or clever in any sense. All forms and levels of deception work against the will of God and never carry His blessing. Furthermore, once deception’s door is opened, more deception is insured—more deceiving others and more being deceived by Satan to continue the process.

For those willing—those who personally choose—to live honestly while also championing deliverance for anyone snared by deceit, God’s Word offers this instruction:

“But as for you, continue to hold to the things that you have learned and of which you are convinced, knowing from whom you learned [them], And how from your childhood you have had a knowledge of and been acquainted with the sacred Writings, which are able to instruct you and give you the understanding for salvation which comes through faith in Christ Jesus [through the [a]leaning of the entire human personality on God in Christ Jesus in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness]. Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action).” (2Tim 3:10-16)

Amen.

James 3:15, Acts 5: 9, 4, 3, 2 Timothy 3:10-16, Verses@Once

Seated With Him

December 11th, 2014

“For he raised us from the dead along with Christ, and we are seated with him in the heavenly realms–all because we are one with Christ Jesus. And so God can always point to us as examples of the incredible wealth of his favor and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us through Christ Jesus.”

Don’t forget the position God has given you. You are seated with Him and your day is filled with spiritual insight for understanding; you are seated with Him and have that enviable position from which to address the things you will face today: “And we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us understanding so that we can know the true God. And now we are in God because we are in his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only true God, and he is eternal life. Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.”

Don’t forget. Always take the high road. Those closely connected to God are strong and do exceptionally well, always taking the high road with poise to raise the bar for everyone around them. Seated with Him, you are known for your wisdom and have discernment for exactly what to say.

Hallelujah!

Amen.

Ephesians 2:6-7, NLT, 1 John 5:20-21, NLT, Verses @ Once

Patience

December 10th, 2014

The Lord is patient with us beyond anything we can really relate to. His patience with us is not something we always extend to others—we need patience from the Lord and from others but think much less often to extend it.

We see the ordeal others are processing thru and wonder why it’s taking them so long; but the Lord, who always sees and watches, is always patient.

Maturity teaches that patience is part of wisdom; despite the wait or delay in achieving results, once I really know what God wants, my wisdom refuses to settle for less.

My leadership ability, too, is measured by my ability to patiently wait. I am responsible to lead with confidence that outcomes will be favorable and the people I have waited for patiently will join me at the finish line.

The mature person understands the distance between the waiting and the “I have it” of a new day and more hopeful time. Compared to all it may take to get there . . . it’s worth the wait.

The end of a thing is better than its beginning;
The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
(Ecclesiastes 7:8)

Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. (Hebrews 10:36)

Amen.

1Corinthians 13:4-5, James 1:3-4, Ecclesiastes 7:8, Hebrews 10:36, Verses @ Once