Circuitous Routes

July 22nd, 2014

To fear the Lord causes us to align with His authority. We stay on track because we fear (reverence) Him and discipline our lives according to His love, doing the right thing, preferring biblical truth, and choosing what is just according to His character. In this case fear is a good thing! Hold that thought.

The opposite is seen in Israel’s forty years of wandering. To wander is to pass familiar scenery, again and again, and again. Israel let slip vital connection to the One whose leading is everything. Their path through a small area geographically became a difficult long journey. The Israelites were always close, but still far from their promise.

Like Israel, your answer is right in front of you and it just may have been there all along. Now you’re back where you started. This time align with Him, not with what others say. He is at work in your life to will and do of His good pleasure. Don’t try to fix God’s image or adjust His power lines. Instead, prefer His Spirit-promptings and prophetically declare:

Today I stop going in circles. I say to mountains that stand in my way, move! I renew my mind with the Word. My mind is washed by the water of God’s Word. No destructive force will succeed against me. I align with the standard raised over me – only blessing, never curse. I bind and stop deceptive thoughts. The night season cannot torment for I cover my life with the blood of the Jesus and release victory into my mind and thinking. In Jesus’ Name I take the day – evening, then morning . . . I take it! 

Amen – so be it!

He Has the Preeminence

July 21st, 2014

The Lord presides over everything today; before we experience or even realize it, He not only is “there” but is already holding everything together. His order was established in the beginning: “And He is before all things and in him all things consist.” Colossians 1:17

The Kingdom of God is among men. His working in our lives and today’s outcome will be determined in what we believe about Him and that what He is doing is important. To the extent we believe Him, we can participate with Him as the day unfolds.

Our Lord is before all things and in Him all things consist, are held together. Nothing will happen today He does not pre-know; however, He has given His authority to us, to be vitally involved, participating with Him by faith, both in prayer and action.

He has the preeminence. We co-labor with Him. We are joint heirs together with Him.

Amen.

Colossians 1

As David Did

July 20th, 2014

While his older brothers served King Saul in the armies of Israel, the shepherd boy David tended sheep in Bethlehem’s hills. David’s father sent food for the brothers by David and when he arrived, Israel’s army was hunkered down in fear of the opposing Philistine forces taunting from positions nearby.

Mocking, the enemy issued a challenge. Giant-sized warrior Goliath and one Israelite soldier would meet one-on-one and the winner of the contest (and his army) would be the outright victor over the other. Given the challenge, David the firebrand accepted, incredulous no one else had, and this is where we pick up the story.

The enemy Philistine confidently made his move. David the boy shepherd responded, running quickly toward Goliath. Prepared for this mortal combat with only a staff, a sling and five smooth stones, David made his move. One stone from the bag . . . into the sling . . . ready, aim, release! The stone found its mark, deep in Goliath’s forehead and the giant-of-a-man came down, face first. Using the giant’s own sword, the boy finished him off. David triumphed, giving the victory to Israel’s army and the cruel, relentless Philistines turned in retreat. With a mighty shout the Israelites surged forward, pursuing the enemy straight to their base camp, plundering all the way there and all the way back! Finally, David took possession of the victory – Goliath’s head goes to Jerusalem for display and the plunder of weapons to his personal tent.

We should do as David did!

Every challenge to our covenant with God should be answered decisively and we should continue decisively against every threat, including its source, until everything in that camp is plundered, the challenger marked for destruction and the source of trouble evicted.

Resist the enemy and continue to resist.

Don’t stop. Don’t resist and then back off as though each battle is isolated; battles are connected, not isolated. An enemy allowed uncontested retreat will return again more forcefully. Also bring an end to patterns that engage the same battle over and over again. Do as David did! Stop patterns of threat with fearless zeal and godly conviction.

You will recover all.

Amen!

1 Samuel 17:48-58

Vital Connection

July 19th, 2014

The person who experiences God is never at the mercy of arguments from those who do not – beyond religious arguments from those who know nothing of the Spirit and contradictions from a secular view, in relationship with the Father we experience His love and are forever connected to Him!

As His people we have permanent invitation to spend time with Him. Alone with Him, we gain much needed understanding and answers to our questions: “And when they were alone, He explained all things to His disciples.”

For the one who truly knows God, the connection is vital: Jesus taught and crowds gathered. Many stopped to listen but returned again to their former routine; but others stayed, investing time to stop and listen and to them Jesus explained all things.

Relationship takes time. Those who remain outside don’t know how to understand or experience the Lord; but as disciples in relationship with Him we glean from that vital connection and share in all things pertaining to His Kingdom.

Amen.

John 17:20-23, Mark 4:33-34, Mark 4, Verses@Once

What Was I Thinking?

July 17th, 2014

Paul’s letter to the Philippians instructs believers to discipline their thoughts, (what they think about, dwell  on, meditate, etc.) choosing to “think” right things – anything true, noble, just, pure, lovely, a good report, virtue, praiseworthy. Choosing to discipline the thought life means concentrating on right things.

The opposite is true of wrong thinking. To dwell on a thought over a period of time until the way is opened to believe certain things prescribed in the thought. Including background logic that comes with choosing to ponder the thought and all it brings with it. Our lives today are a composite of how we think and what we have come to believe as a result.

To be honest, we should admit to entertaining thoughts (even obsessive thoughts) that contradict our faith and, despite knowing better, continue with the habit and its consequences, continuing with thoughts (and resultant beliefs) that undermine genuine faith and dishonor God. We don’t discern the seriousness of the snare. We do not SEE the problem. We choose not to.

God’s love in this matter is to deliver – His love extends help to overcome bondages stemming from wrong thinking and the result of wrong thinking; the result is we become like those thoughts! He will deliver us, removing broken and out of order conditions in the process. Looking back, those who have been delivered are shocked to realize wrong thinking held them. They were sympathetic to and in sync with wrong thinking.

Amen.

Philippians 4:8-9

Faithful Stewardship of the Gift

July 16th, 2014

The Lord remembers you – your gift(s) and calling(s), like Israel’s, are deposits He makes into your soul. He does not renege on those. He looks faithfully toward you. Guard the vision given to you . . . your part is a treasure, a much-needed, indispensible part!

Facilitating the vision of others for vision’s sake is noble but don’t forget the Lord’s word to you. It takes less effort and is less costly to do someone else’s vision (though maybe at the expense of your own) so do your best to avoid that. Avoid religion’s pull to define you. Focus again. Remain clear. Stay with the words you heard on the mountain.

Keep in mind the Lord’s word to you. Don’t put it off.  Remember first of all, it is required of a steward to be found faithful.  Step back. Look again. What did the Lord say?

Amen.

Romans 11:29 | 2Peter 1:17-19 | 1Corinthians 4:2 | Nehemiah 9:7-8 | Verses@Once

Divine Spin

July 15th, 2014

We live in the end of days. The world is shaking and the resulting whirlwind wears down the human spirit, designed that way by devilish influences. Many things are beyond our control. Those things spin — facts distorted to heighten emotion, create confusion, and ultimately pull as many as possible into the spin.

This time is why the believer’s specialty in prayer is priceless! The people who know their God are strong and do exploits. The enemy-destroyer is Satan but our Lord is Champion and Deliverer – He prepares us in advance of the storm.

We take our positions on the Lord’s side. Ours is a different spin . . . divine whirlwinds of God!

With authority over chaos and spin, we prove the Word given ahead of time, for this time. As we pray, the Lord is magnified – judgment against actions, mercy for those responsible.

In His Name, we speak to chaotic whirlwind-situation: 1) the Lordship of Jesus Christ—deliverance to separate the person from the situations; 2) uncover deception—a way of escape for those marked for righteousness; 3) established faith—the power of God beyond conventional wisdom.

Amen.

Daniel 11:32-33 | 1Corinthians 2:5 | Job 38-40 | Verses@Once

Discernment & Spiritual Understanding

July 14th, 2014

Understanding is basic to intellectual strength. To have understanding in a matter means action can be taken to improve or remove, to analyze and intellectually conclude certain things in a basic way. More importantly, understanding is a powerful key to spiritual strength. The spiritually mature person knows that in the process of understanding something clearly, the intellect is involved but our need is more than intellect alone can supply. Two Greek words, phronesis and sunesis, both meaning “to understand”, explain these levels of understanding, one basic and intellectual, and the other discerning and spiritually perceptive:

  • Phronesis (fron’-ay-sis) is basic understanding that is practical and analytical. This understanding is basic intellectual or moral insight and includes prudence or wisdom, results in action taken, and is basic to taking correct action. “We do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” (Colossians 1:9) “Brethren, do not be children in understanding  . . . in understanding be mature. (1 Corinthians 14:20).
  • Sunesis (soon’-es-is) is discernment and judging, a greater depth of understanding in addition to the basic phronesis. Jesus’ understanding was astonishing for a boy of only twelve. He comfortably discussed spiritual matters with top leaders and teachers, impressing them with his depth of understanding. This term means the ability to put together for clarity, to clearly discern and quickly comprehend, to discern and critically assess: “All who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers.” (Luke 2:47)

As followers of Jesus we have sunesis, the same understanding He possessed. We gain this understanding from time in His Presence (Emanuel, God with us) and His Word. Much of what we call prophetic insight today is this kind of developed, disciplined and mature understanding that discerns the true nature of things. For the spiritual person, understanding comes from being in God’s Presence and through meditation and study of His Word. For those who are spiritual, understanding is more complete because discernment and judgment are present. The spiritual man judges all things and is prompted by godly discernment; his decisions are more accurate and go deeper than surface pretense. 1Thessalonians 5:21 | Matthew 1:23 | Deuteronomy 6:5-7 | Psalm 119:11 | Verses@Once

His Peace Means His Lordship

July 13th, 2014

Anytime spiritual opposition comes we are enticed to be disobedient in some way. In the challenge, the degree to which Scripture is really settled in my heart (and is final authority for the situation) predicts whether I will obey Scripture’s leading. If I only partially obey – taking control of the rest on my own – my unbelief is found out.

Obviously we think we would never disobey on purpose – we love the Lord too much; but in areas of our own lordship—areas where, like Job, we fear the worst – we struggle to stay in control and, more often than we’d care to admit, remain controller-lord over the very area we want to obey the Lord’s leading. Two “heads” never work very well.

But that can change! Our limitations in this are defined as anything we are not sure God will handle, especially in critical or life-threatening situations but also in small things. To change, learn to release those things to the Lord and receive His peace in return. Trust Him. Believe Him. He CAN handle it.

It has been said that peace—shalom, will be the single greatest end-time sign upon the life of the Believer.

And these signs shall follow you in My Name.

Amen.

2 Peter 2:19-22,Mark 16:17, Romans 12:21, 1 John 4:4, Verses@Once

Strength On Loan

July 12th, 2014

And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, “Who touched my clothes?” (Mark 5:30)

And the whole multitude sought to touch Him; for there went virtue out from Him, and healed them all.” (Luke 6:19)

We need those around us who, just by his or her presence, add strength to our position, their very presence bringing calm to the situation and strength to our spirit. Jesus’ ministry was marked by this very thing—strength went forth from Him and into all kinds of people; virtue went out of Him and into lives that were instantly marked—changed!

The Gospels refer to this strength as virtue, or miraculous power; from Hebrew, virtue is gevurah, meaning miraculous power or strength. Also, the book of Revelation speaks of this strength as miraculous power, manifested in God’s people: ”And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ; for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” (Revelation 12:10)

Believers who walk in the Lord’s virtue express His strength and miraculous power. Think about it, shouldn’t such divine presence be strength to comfort, heal, or do whatever is needed or, has the Lord changed His ministry? No, he has not changed; He gives life—abundant life! And when exalted in an individual’s life, He works through them in powerful ways to give abundant life to any situation, right now—today!

God’s Presence in our lives ministers life and rebukes Satan’s accusing taunts; and because we know Jesus wants to bring His Presence into situations through us, we operate as the virtuous and strengthened people he has made us to be, suppliers of strength to those who need His strength. We make ourselves available to stand with them. We have strength to loan!

Amen.

Mark 5:30, Luke 6:19, Revelation 12:10, Verses@Once