But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, “I believed in God, so I spoke.”1Corinthians 4:31
Every life is a story others read. For example, my life and what I believe rings true when I share sincerely in conversation and by my actions. In contrast, pretense doesn’t come across as true – pretense is not natural, not sincere. The person listening can tell. Religious pretense is not God’s highest for you.
What I say is what I believe and words reveal my heart and thoughts. People know what I believe by what I say. If I tell you my view and give every appearance of sincerity, what I speak consistently over time lets you know I really mean what I say.
My belief and my words go together. Interrupt my day-to-day words with inconsistent actions, and my strength to believe will be less. One tests the other. Words tell our story.
For Christians, words reflect beliefs and most importantly, release faith. In the serious battle for genuinely precious things it makes a difference. Mature discipline orders words we speak consistent with what we believe, a basic part of true Bible faith. Thoughts lead to actions and sincerely held beliefs communicate.
Your life is a story others read.
Every generation has a company of those who are willing, who respond to God’s stirring to advance His Kingdom in supernatural ways. Today, for our generation, we receive that baton from those who’ve gone before us, those stirred by the Lord in specific seasons, for specific tasks. We remember their purity and “stir ourselves up” in imitation of their bold faith.
In response to words from the prophet Jeremiah, King Cyrus of Persia, a pagan king, was stirred in his heart to build the Lord’s house in Jerusalem. At a critical time, stirring in prayer and in words spoken through prophets advanced God’s plan for the Hebrews.
Isaiah was stirred this way and in response to his prayers the Lord did rend the heavens—the Lord did come down! And hundreds of years after Isaiah the heavens opened once and for all at the finished work of the Cross. If the Lord did not stir His people to pray there wouldn’t be a voice in prayer sufficient to turn back threat and darkness. Isaiah said the Lord calls forth those who are willing, those who stir themselves up to take hold of God’s leading.
Today, in this generation, The Lord marks those who “call on the Name of the LORD”, men and women who stir themselves in prayer and with action so that iniquity [twisting] is turned away from our land!
Amen, so be it!
Then Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) and all the people who were with him rose early and encamped beside the well of Harod, so that the camp of the Midianites was on the north side of them by the hill of Moreh in the valley. And the LORD said to Gideon, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’ Now therefore, proclaim in the hearing of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is fearful and afraid, let him turn and depart at once from Mount Gilead.’” And twenty-two thousand of the people returned, and ten thousand remained (Ju. 7:1-3, NKJV).
Some battles serve us well, drawing the proverbial line in the sand, compelling us to act. The process helps us choose the Lord’s way because we learn from the battle that choosing something other than His way has negative consequences so obvious we don’t really want to risk it.
In the resulting pressure pot, it helps to realize two things: You really can live one day at a time with sufficient faith to take the day, using the light (of revelation) you have. Much of what we will experience today is, in fact, answered prayer, answers to earlier petitions that press us into the very thing the Lord has for us.
Answers from the pressure pot contain revelation that, when walked out, contain supernatural outcomes—peace of heart and mind to know that your best effort has been invested well and your reward includes the tangible fruits of your ordeal. Peace. Tangible.
On the other hand, and this would apply to anything in life, if your revelation is compromised you not only accomplish little, but tomorrow’s starting point begins where today’s compromise occurred—at the point where giants were too big, and revelation too small.
As was the case for Gideon, battle pressures can be God’s catalyst for change. Subsequent spiritual battles measure God-given potential. In family and professional matters as in every aspect of life, pressures are useful, pushing otherwise timid warriors to a braver stance, persuading those reluctant to mastermind an explosive stand, with spiritual authority, ready before the Lord.
The pressure pot… a perfect container to usher you through the eye of the needle!
Judges 7:1-3, NKJV
Humanly speaking we have a certain capacity to prefer other’s needs over our own. Doing so brings out the best in us – humility, nobility, dedication, selfless discipline. Some people obviously have more of this capacity than others and some, seemingly, have none at all.
As Christians interacting with those around us, empowerment by the Holy Spirit adds supernatural possibilities. We live and treat others nobly because we have the Holy Spirit directing us and therefore the same leading Jesus had when He was on earth.
Jesus is our example. He chose the Spirit’s leading and therefore, ultimately, the Father’s will. Jesus came for that very purpose, to do the Father’s will, “laying down His life” for mankind so they could choose. As a result, choosing brings the same Spirit and leading and the same supernatural way of life He demonstrated.
Every day you and I lay down our lives in service to others, preferring their needs over personal preferences or convenience, happy to do so and hopeful we have made life better and the load lighter. Many times, just being there, our presence, makes all the difference. For those surrounded by enemy activity that’s “too strong” for them, we lay down our lives to change theirs, helping and ministering to them.
Like the parting of the sea that allowed Israel to cross safely to the other side, your kindness to another person is a sovereign, supernatural rescue. Never stop laying down your life this way. You lay it down and the Lord raises you up again.
Whatever a man sows, that is what he will reap.
Psalm 118:15-17 | Galatians 6:7-8 | Verses&Once
Israel’s future was secure in its soon-to-be-king. Faced with threats he was calculating. In contests confident. Intimation did not bend him and Saul’s offer of armor to wear confronting Goliath… refused by the boy warrior.
That fateful day came, and the decision was made. For David the battle was over before it began, affirming words predicting the outcome. Authority spoke, destiny slipped into gear and God’s man David advanced.
His life on the line and isolated in the struggle David reached within for strength stored in those earlier days of preparation, then took aim on victory as protector of his charge. Human skill cannot explain David’s win that day. It was the Lord who battled and won.
Then David said to the Philistine, ‘You come to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.” (1Samuel 17:45)
1 Samuel 17
Any difficulty powerful enough to stand between you and the Lord must logically be greater than He—right? Actually no. But if your mind is not renewed by God’s Word you just might fall for that kind of logic.
Truthfully, and in fact, nothing is greater than His love for you and nothing can hold you back from receiving His love. God is determined to bring you out!
Think about that.
At the core of destructive forces we find the true nature of that force – oppressive. Don’t be misled by that. Don’t put your faith in that. Don’t believe you’re losing and don’t buy into failure’s devilish taunt, “where is your God now?” Refuse to be misled—refuse to believe that anything can separate you from His love. He is right there with you and has a harvest of good things for you, ordained and certain, even if you cannot see it right now.
Stay in faith. The Holy Spirit is leading you. Despite those destructive circumstances around you, He is with you and will carry you through and bring you out! When all is said and done, the Lord’s fragrance of peace, not the smoke of hellish fires will mark and distinguish you.
Go to the rock from which you were hewn. The Rock of His Presence is your portion. He is for you—who can be against you?
Daniel 6:16, 20, 24, 27 | Joel 2:17 | Isaiah 51:1-3 | Romans 8:35-39 | Matthew 16:19 | Matthew 18:18 | Romans 8:31 | Verse@Once
“Use your heads as you live and work among outsiders. Don’t miss a trick. Make the most of every opportunity. Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, and not cut them out.” (Colossians 4:5-6, The Message)
Ever notice people who have a lot to say but cannot stop long enough to listen? The person who talks endlessly is a distraction. They dominate your time and impose every imaginable opinion, complete with mentally exhausting details and mindless chatter about selfish ordeals, including past and present personal issues.
For you, it’s a challenge to process all that information (even if you wanted to), but for that person, they are so into themselves they have no clue their mire of words is a conversation trap for others. Avoid those people.
Godly conversation should ebb and flow with shared ideas as an interaction that ‘adds to’ everyone involved, something they didn’t have before the exchange. Now THAT is inspiring! Interest in others—in their lives and needs—is a sensitivity every believer should cultivate, a discipline to hear what is said—to really hear it—and, having heard, be ready to offer a godly, Word-based perspective. As Christians we practice the skill that edifies others with words. We share our Lord’s call to minister words seasoned with salt; and like the preservative qualities in salt, our words preserve and minister life, elevate rather than reduce: “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.” (Colossians 4:6, NKJV)
Colossians 4:5-6, The Message | Colossians 4:6, NKJV
Every ambition can be weighed in light of God’s original design as seen in Abraham’s calling. The design given to Abraham is ours also. God’s foundational design, established for Abraham and his lineage, is our pattern. We are distinctive among our peers and as a family are blessed to bring forth the Kingdom: In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed; and, in thee shall all nations be blessed.
Our worldview should line up this way. We were positioned before the foundation of the worlds to be ambassadors of His love. The field we are called to is where we find increase, is where we experience blessing and fulfillment. In that field, we impact to the utmost all the Lord intended in sending us as messengers to bring forth His supernatural Kingdom: Thy Kingdom come and Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven!
Agree with Him. Boldly prophesy promotion in your calling-field. Declare all that must take place in that field. The Lord knows details. He arranges. You have sown, now He moves behind the scenes to reveal truth. You have stood for Him. Now His strong arm will both vindicate and reward your faithfulness.
He knows. He is power. He is might. His reward is with Him.
Psalm 75:6 | Genesis 12:3 | Galatians 3:8 | Ephesians 1:4 | 1 Peter 1:20 | Luke 19:13 | Matthew 6:10 | Verses@Once
Many believers are trained to discern the times and by wisdom know what to do in situations affecting the future. More are trained this way than is realized and for those who are, hyped and repeated threats are ineffective weapons, while peace of mind and heart provide solid confidence when everything else is shaking.
In matters of daily life and on the global scene where the future of nations is determined, the distinctive of one who is trained is clear—spiritual discernment comes with spiritual wisdom, is the fruit of study and the result of discipline. Also a spiritual weapon is obvious: God’s Word is prioritized and rescues future generations from both unbelief and non-belief, stopping the advance of inherited plagues–sicknesses, diseases, maladies, mental and emotional impairments, quirked and dysfunctional behavior, fears and doubt.
Among the untrained, however, are those conditioned to accept, rather than resist philosophies that ignore God’s established truths. Among the untrained, the slightest threat creates fear and fear gives way to more conditioning.
Those without the benefit of daily, biblical training operate akin to those who do not know God at all. The untrained man incorporates stress, dysfunctional and inherited maladies as though it were a right of passage to popular echelons of the spiritually immature. The untrained man prefers the methods of men to the design of their Creator, putting their very lives at risk while the greatness of what God has prepared for them goes unclaimed.
The trained man has purpose, as an arrow shot from the bow is purposed. The untrained man is diminished by what he fails to discern, never receiving his inheritance. Instruction and preparation are now making the difference; many will advance under the direction of the one who wisely did not squander hidden times of preparation.
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