“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing . . . And who is sufficient for these things? . . . we speak in the sight of God in Christ.” (2Corinthians 2:14-17)
In the early church a leader’s conduct was considered foundational for future generations. For the sake of a strong future, church leaders responsibly set an example for new and maturing converts to follow. That was the context of Paul’s invitation to follow him as he followed the Lord. Paul was possibly the greatest simultaneous expression of strength and humility we could ask for and a solid example to follow.
Applying the principle, we observe godly qualities in those who lead. We are blessed by their example and motivated to achieve like standards. Humanly speaking, we learn more by example than almost any other way and so, when those we esteem fall short of the mark the burden of error is felt by everyone involved.
On the positive side, often in response to these challenges new resolve is born – for greater integrity, sober commitment to guard personal behavior and determination to imitate the Lord in ways others can see His example through us.
1Corinthians 11:1 | Romans 3:23 | 2Corinthians 2:14-17 | Verses@Once
“Then suddenly, after I wrote down these messages, I saw a heavenly portal open before me, and the same trumpet-voice I heard speaking with me at the beginning broke the silence and said, “Ascend into this realm! I want to reveal to you what must happen after this.” (Revelation 4:1, The Passion Translation)
The Lord reveals Himself to those who seek Him – His Word, His counsel, His wisdom. He always, always is there. Especially when we reach deeply—from the deepest place in the heart—we discover depths in God; and we receive more deeply than when the approach is casual, as if to say, if I hear Him great and if not, it’s okay.
The Lord’s response to our seeking is based in knowing Him and His nature. He is a consuming fire! Not casual. In fact, God’s reach for you is intentional—every minute, every day. He never answers small. He is majestic and mighty. He fully intends to bless, prosper and increase all who seek Him with a sincere heart.
What is your need—what are you asking? Expect truth with wisdom, patience, fire and divine providence… all at the same time.
Confident trust that believes God develops in a pure conscience. You and I believe Him best when we guard against anything that contaminates our conscience, against opposing views that contradict Bible faith. Freed of that contamination we more naturally believe Him.
Human opinion of anything, factual or not, apart from God’s wisdom distracts from sincere capacity for purity, from virtue that strengthens belief, and refuses to question or accuse the Lord when conditions change in a way we don’t immediately understand.
As inspiration is drawn from the place of purity within, in the inner man of the heart, the opposite of distraction results. Pure, poised confidence in the Lord and His Word becomes a mindset, developed because purity of expression matures as we believe Him more and more.
Confident belief produces more and greater confident belief. When I “believe God,” I believe He will do as He said He would. Period.
Deuteronomy 1:31-33 | Deuteronomy 9:22-24 | Mark 9:22-24 | John 11:39-41 | Verses@Once
Right-standing with God persuades us to disbelieve and resist guilt. Even if we don’t see the Lord moving in a natural sense, we can be assured by His loving presence, despite issues that condemn us.
Guilt connects a person to the judgment God assigned to Satan – Satan is judged but you are forgiven. Jesus came to give you life. Choose confidence in His love. Refuse guilt!
Guilt is based in unbelief but mature faith refuses guilt. Instead of guilt’s agent of evil, our Lord speaks by His Spirit directly to our human spirit — guilt is a death arrow, God’s Spirit the agent of divine rescue.
Guilt exalts soul-desire over the spirit walk. Guilt is a survivor, returning again and again to influence our motivations. In the same way that the loss of breath precedes the loss of life, the things we breath in sustains life but the things we feel guilty about sustain patterns of loss or lack.
Instead of allowing the spiritual force of guilt to dictate, the Lord wants to speak to your heart about any sin on your part plus your involvement in the sin of others. Sin invites guilt so never compromise the issue of sin, and never require someone else to carry blame for your sin or the sin of another person.
Placing blame assigns guilt. Release any person you’ve held prisoner through guilt, anyone you’ve judged “guilty”. Release yourself as well. Disconnect with, and refuse the influence of guilt and the evil spirit of guilt will leave you.
God has not given you a spirit of fear (of being guilty) but of power, and love, and a sound mind!
We live in a Bible time referred to as the end of days and this generation especially belongs to the end of that time—the last of the last days. Consistent with prophecy, the world is shaking and resulting whirlwinds wear down the human spirit, a tactic of Satan carried out by devilish forces.
Also consistent with last days prophecy, many things are beyond our control. Those things spin with facts devilishly distorted to heighten emotion, create confusion, and ultimately pull as many as possible into the spin. It’s why an end-time believer’s specialty in prayer is priceless! You cannot put a price on prayers prayed in fervent faith or sufficiently thank those who pray them.
Today we see that people who know God are strong and do exploits. Our Lord is Champion and Deliverer… He prepares us before the storm. We take our position on the Lord’s side so ours is a different spin, the norm for us is divine whirlwinds of God!
Taking authority over the 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.
Make this declaration: I speak to chaotic whirlwind-situations 1) the Lordship of Jesus Christ with deliverance to separate people from chaos, 2) an uncovering of deception and a way of escape for those marked for righteousness, 3) and established faith with the power of God beyond conventional wisdom for divine results.
Daniel 11:32-33 | 1Corinthians 2:5 | Job 38-40 | Verses@Once
While his brothers served King Saul’s army the shepherd boy David tended sheep on the Bethlehem hillside. David’s father sent him with food for the brothers and when he arrived, David found Israel’s defenders hunkered down in fear of Philistine forces mercilessly taunting from positions nearby.
Mocking fearful Israel, the Philistines set the challenge: Their giant-sized warrior Goliath and one Israelite soldier would meet one-on-one. The winner and the winner’s army would be victor outright. Hearing the challenge, David the firebrand accepted, incredulous no one else had.
Goliath the giant warrior confidently made his move, David the boy shepherd responded, running quickly toward Goliath. Prepared for 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 first stone found its mark, plunging deeply into Goliath’s forehead and that
Taking Goliath’s sword, the boy finished him off, gaining victory for Israel’s army as the Philistines turned in retreat. With a mighty shout the Israelites surged forward, pursuing the enemy to their base camp, plundering all the way there and all the way back!
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 and its source until everything in enemy camp is plundered, the challenger is marked for destruction and the source of trouble evicted.
Resist the enemy and continue to resist. Don’t stop and don’t let up. Battles connect to the next battle and an enemy allowed uncontested retreat will return more forcefully. And don’t be tricked into fighting the same battle over and over but stop those threats as they arise, with fearless zeal and godly conviction.
Like David you will recover all.
1 Samuel 17:48-58
We were born for this time, placed strategically with destiny and purpose, living out divine appointments and connections, a prophetic people. Keen discernment is necessary, testing every level – self, family, home, nation – in faith before the Lord, believing Him, honing faith that is stronger than doubt.
We were born for this time with governmental anointings—apostolic and prophetic plus all that restores, as it was at the first. No generation can leave behind standards of truth, justice, and the original intent so pray governmentally as Isaiah declared, “I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counselors as at the beginning. Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city. (Isaiah 1:26)
We invest multiplied years of our lives—in relationships or career, in philosophies, movements or doctrine—to later realize those investments claimed precious time we can never reclaim. All those minutes, days, and weeks, often for something that wasn’t even God’s plan. Then there’s the aha moment that reveals the mistake and we seek the Lord for a fix to heal related stresses and emotional trauma and deliver us from the mess we’ve created.
At a critical point like this, make time your investment. You’ll need time to undo some things and regroup. Allow the Lord’s discipline to work salvation for you and others affected by your decisions because otherwise, the heart that initially invested in the wrong thing will do it again probably sooner than you’d ever imagine. The flesh side is predictably like that and the sould side is remarkably cooperative!
Not so the spirit! Inspired by God’s Spirit, the human spirit is a divine spotlight, searching inner depths of the heart, revealing root causes of wrong choices and motives for why we do what we do. By His Spirit, the Lord searches.
So use this time of waiting wisely – invest it. Feed your spirit. Wait for the Lord. He is beside and behind you. If you will wait, you’ll find Him just ahead of you. Your mistake before was failing to stay with the Lord and instead took the lead and did not believe Him. You trusted in your own strength and spent your reserves but didn’t achieve the hoped-for result.
Another thing while waiting… be real. If you merely refinance the mistake, you’re still stuck so don’t reach for your wallet, practically or spiritually. Don’t refinance. Re-invest! Stop laboring to receive His will from the world and learn to receive everything from the Kingdom. His is the Kingdom. He has gone ahead of you to secure everything you’ll need. Receive it.
Best of all the Kingdom of God is not shaking. The Kingdom is steady. Invest there.
Proverbs 20:27 | 2Peter 3:9 | Psalm 16:8-11 | 1Chronicles 29:11-13 | Hebrews 12:28 | Verses@Once
The Lord sanctified one day in the week and called it holy, a set-apart day—a Sabbath.
In Jewish communities around the world nightfall Friday begins the Jewish Sabbath. Throughout the day, flower vendors are busy, and the aroma of fresh bread fills the air. The brisk pace of preparation is everywhere. By afternoon the pace slows—shops close, customers in market areas gradually disappear and calm settles in streets and gathering places as the setting sun begins the Sabbath day, a special experience in the presence of Almighty God.
Bible mentions of sabbath occur more than one hundred times, half of those in the New Testament including Jesus’ teaching not to judge one another according to the keeping Sabbath in a legalistic or ritualistic way. It is His teaching on the reality and spiritual significance of keeping the Sabbath. That for six days men pursue ways that seem right to them but on the Sabbath Day, hearts recalibrate, soften, and focus on One whose way is perfect.
As a Christian I cherish God’s provision of a day set apart, a day to concentrate on the Lord, a Sabbath day. Some don’t agree and think observing the Sabbath is legalistic carry-over from pre-Christian times. But I believe keeping the Sabbath is obedience to God’s Word of blessing for His people and that the spirit of the Sabbath is eternal.
For one thing, the Sabbath is holy, a day to rest. The Sabbath is God’s provision for the human body—to protect it from disease, heal the heart of heaviness, and relieve the mind of tension and driving routines. This slow down benefits the entire human being—spirit, soul and body—with recovery and gives a sense of refreshed vision and rekindled hope.
Sabbath is time to gather family for a practical and spiritual protection of affections between family members, a time together without outside demands. Sabbath is a time to refocus on God’s goodness expressed in family with the Lord at the center, a time to slow the pace and allow time unlike other days in the week to experience His love, and re-focus ours.
Genesis 2:2-3 | Mark 2:27-28 | Matthew 5:17-18 | Verses@Once
Spiritual authority is a distinctive of disciples of Jesus Christ—in Matthew 28 verses 18 and 19, authority is the subject. Jesus said all authority, both in heaven and earth, was given to Him and that He therefore sent His disciples out with that same authority. Disciples are sent with heaven’s authority.
It’s the authority thing—God’s, not yours. You wear it. It’s recognizable to those who oppose the Lord. You’re the target they see. So, yes, the flood is a certainty, but you are a container, an ark, ordained to carry His Presence.
More of God’s authority and less fear of man means confidence in His Word permeates your life. Your level of Holy Spirit leadership attracts opposition from men… opposition meant to break your resolve, commitment, and your righteous stand for the Lord. Resist all that. Continue to go. Keep going.
Soon others will see what you have seen all along.
Matthew 28:18-19 | Matthew 28 | Verses@Once