Behavior and attitudes change subtly over time, and unless something or someone brings them to our attention, we aren’t necessarily aware of wrong patterns that develop. The person least likely to say anything good may be the needed attention-bringer. All criticism contains an element of truth.
It’s important to listen to what your opposition has to say. An opponent will tell you things friends might not. An adversary’s criticism often sheds light, yielding up missing pieces to the puzzle, perhaps an embarrassing detail or maybe, and especially, the key to breakthrough.
Satan is accuser and adversary, and we know of course to steadfastly resist him—absolutely; but another place in the Word instructs “agree with your adversary.” A friend “sharpens the countenance of a friend” and ideally that’s true, but when was the last time a friend was the sharpening iron to get your attention and force you to see the thing you absolutely refused to admit about yourself?
We can be thick-headed—slow to really get it, if you know what I mean! Recurring patterns are both cause and effect and, undetected, those continue unrestrained in repetitious circles while we honestly haven’t a clue why our breakthrough is delayed.
Whatever a man sows he will also reap.
1 Peter 5:8 | Matthew 5:25 | Proverbs 27:17 | Galatians 6:7 | Verses@Once
Guilt is a spiritual force.
Guilt is a survivor, returning again and again to influence motives. Guilt is a death arrow to relationships. Guilt finds its base in unbelief – refuse to align with it! Never negotiate with guilt and never require someone else to carry guilt-blame for your sin or someone else’s. Disconnect with guilt and the evil force of guilt, responsible for trapping you again and again, will leave.
Faith in God refuses guilt. The Lord appeals to the human spirit by His Holy Spirit, not through guilt. The Spirit’s appeal is opposite to guilt, the agent of divine rescue and encouragement and not condemnation, so never allow guilt to dictate. You want to hear the Lord, not guilt, clearly, in your heart.
Right standing with God is solid ground to stand against guilt’s connection to evil. Don’t allow guilt to dictate to you—ever! Inquire of the Lord what is right. If you’ve done anything other than what is right, ask forgiveness and move on. Settle it in your own mind from now on, give guilt “no place.”
Don’t allow guilt to dictate.
John 16:8-11 | John 16 | Verses@Once
Abraham was not weak in faith. Responding to God’s promise of a child, an heir, Abraham did not consider two obvious facts—the deadness of his own aged body and his wife Sarah’s dead womb (Romans 4:19).
Make a list of things that except for faith you might have deemed lifeless – dead. Hold that list before the Lord and pray: Lord, what will You do with this?… Will You restore?… Will you breathe life into this deadness?
As with Abraham, the Lord’s presence comes dramatically—supernaturally! Time may obscure hope but God’s promises override every impossibility, every physical limitation, and the deadness of unbelief.
Romans 4:19 | John 15:5-6 | Verses@Once
We partner prophetically with the Lord. We see ahead to envision the future, declaring Thy Kingdom come, Lord, thy will be done on earth as it is, just like it is, in heaven. We declare the Kingdom with a present “now” perspective, combined with prophetic “future” expectation.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ proclaims God’s plan for His creation. The power of that plan is made known in His message and its demonstration, separating the hearer to it. Prophetic ministry declares something beyond—separating us for something better and greater.
Avoid anything that denies the importance of prophecy. Keep your own vision high—stay above the chatter. Preserve those deep roots in God, always reaching deeper. Depth calls for more depth, more truth, and truth is a separator.
Perception may not be everything, but impressions create an expanded version of the way something seems, making it seem real, making it seem true. A wrong impression, even with no basis in fact, grows to take on a life and spirit of its own. Try finding the end of that rope!
It’s the same with the human perception of God. We perceive Him on a level we can relate to, that we comprehend mentally. For example, the Bible contains accounts of numerous divine visitations, instances when the Lord or an angel or angels appeared to men and women. Those at the center of the experience usually could not fully grasp it.
That’s because the human experience demands explanation. So how do you explain the Lord’s appearing to you? When man in his humanity interprets the divine, the explanation and perception are likely something inferior.
Similarly, people judge others according to what they personally would do under the same circumstances or what they think they know about the facts in the situation, even taking liberty to change or add to those facts. It’s their perception.
And they judge spiritual matters, even God, in the same way—on their level, within their experience, limited by mindset and lifestyle, filtered by the mind; they interpret by their intellect despite being limited factually about the heart of the matter or heart issues involved.
Since mankind is like this, the Lord says to us abstain from every form of evil, even the appearance of evil. While it is true that God knows the heart and a relationship with Him is totally a heart matter, on the outside, among those around you, the human condition trusts in and takes its queue from appearances rather than true heart issues involved.
Abstain from every form of evil – even the appearance of evil.
Matthew 28:1-7 | Ezekiel 40:1-4 | Verses@Once
Promotion comes from the Lord as a reward with eternal implications. Natural rewards, too, reflect yesterday’s investment. Men reward themselves where God will not, and God rewards where mankind cannot.
The Lord’s reward arrives with Him and is according to what has already been done – before. Also, the Lord rewards according to what we store on the inside – in the heart, our inward, hidden treasure.
The most profound part is the heart—always. We should do as David did; he prayed for truth in the deepest part of His being: “Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, And in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.” (Ps 51:6)
The Lord’s reward is with Him.
Isaiah 40:10 | Isaiah 62:11 | Revelation 22:12 | Verses@Once
Today we pray for our Father’s Kingdom to come and His will to be done. With expectation in every fiber of body, soul, and spirit, we lean into Holy Spirit leading and prepare for the day. We are called to it!
Prophetically, we see it—Kingdom power and the glory of our Father in those who are Spirit-inspired, who follow divine promptings with unction and a witness of the Spirit.
Religious men think it foolish to trust God and obey Him completely, but the spiritual man doesn’t flinch nor yield at all to such pride. Instead, with wisdom and confident strength of spirit, the one who is spiritual presses in with discernment to take the day!
2Corinthians 3:18 | Matthew 6:10 | 2Timothy 3:16-17 | Hebrews 11:8 | Psalm 10:12-13 | Verses@Once
“Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. . . Christ, the head of the body. For he holds the whole body together with its joints and ligaments, and it grows as God nourishes it.” (Colossians 2:7 & 19, NLT)
The strength of a thing is its foundation. The architect’s design envisions the structure’s height, adding sufficient foundation below to support the structure above—the deeper the foundation the higher the building can go.
Individual success, including the measure of how far we can advance, derives from depths of spiritual character, the most critical support for intellectual growth, vital for strong and healthy emotions.
In matters of faith people often confuse the issue, believing they can make the Lord one option among many as their source for success, and making Jesus Christ merely one of several higher powers. They are incorrect. Jesus is the MOST high power.
The Lord Jesus Christ is the greatest power and sure foundation for success. The Lord’s power is superior power. He is Almighty God. His strength is the mission strength we need for daily life, for every believer.
The Almighty sends you forth today with a sure foundation empowered with all power and all authority.
Isaiah 28:16 | Colossians 2:7, 19 | John 15:13 | Mark 12:31 | Luke 9:1 | Verses@Once
The Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, submitted to His Father’s plan and today we are delivered from darkness and every plague and impossibility and receive instead the strong arm of the Lord—the strength of the LORD working through us to make all things possible.
“Who has believed our report and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?” (Is 53:1)
- arm – arm, especially a forearm; arm, power, shoulder, holpen (help), mighty, strength
- revealed – to uncover, remove, to discover or show oneself, to be uncovered, be disclosed, nakedness, make known, show, reveal
Isaiah’s prophecy and its fulfillment affirm God’s redemptive plan. The Son glorified the Father. He obeyed… even unto the death of the cross. God extended His arm to make a way for man and Isaiah prophesied Messiah’s suffering would deliver humanity. His suffering redeemed you and me.
Who has believed our report?
Isaiah 53:1 NKJV | Isaiah 53:1, NASB | Philippians 2:8 | Verses@Once
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