Tuesday, October 15, 2019

You are Loved!

10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. 1 John 4:10 NLT
We love Him because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19 MEV

  Much of this year we've been studying who God really is, despite the maligning of His character by the religious traditions of men. We've been learning how to receive all He provided for us. And learning how to walk in the freedom Christ procured for us. This is the life of Grace. That is, walking in all God has for us, not by our own achievements, but by what Christ perfectly accomplished on our behalf in the Finished Work. 

 Today, I sensed the leading to bring to remembrance a vital truth we need in order to walk in the fullness of the freedom Christ provided. This truth is something we need to continually be reminded of. That is the vital truth that we are loved by God. We are loved!

 This love from God is not based on our emotions, our response, or even our behavior or conduct. This perfect love from God our Father is rooted in who He is and not what we do. Through wrong thinking, some get the idea that God loves us, even more, the better we behave, the more we accomplish, and how much we achieve. 

 Nothing could be more erroneous. God's love is based on His perfect goodness and perfect mercy and who He is. God is love. He doesn't just have love, He is love. He is agape love, that is unearned, undeserved, unconditional love. 

 God's love has no limits, no barriers, and nothing will restrain it. There are no hinderances or blockages to this amazing love. So there is nothing you aren't doing enough of, or anything you could do or continue to do that will cause God to decrease His love for you, or stop loving you altogether. 

 God's love is eternal and never-ending. Doing more things for God isn't going to make Him love you more. Committing sins or living in immorality isn't going to cause Him to stop loving you. Certainly, doing good works, spending time in devotion and worship, going to church, reading and studying the Word, sharing your Faith is good and profitable. However, these good things won't make God love you more. 

 In order to walk in freedom, we must also know that no matter how many times we fail, falter, foul-up, or more frankly sin, God still loves us. His love doesn't wane each time we fail. His love is unmoved by our behavior. Why is this so important to know and remember?

 Look at Peter. He denied Christ three times. Surely, he felt like a failure. That he didn't measure up. He made grandiose claims that he'd never leave or forsake Jesus. Real trouble showed up and Peter was quick to say I don't know the man. 

 The way traditional religion represents God, you'd think God's response would be to reject Peter. He would say "You forsook me so I forsake you!" Yet that's not the message God had for Peter. 

But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.” Mark 16:6-7 NKJV

 God had angels herald the Good News that Jesus is alive, He is risen from the dead. There message? They said go tell the disciples and Peter. God specifically mentions Peter. No matter how Peter felt, God declared Him a disciple still. That is the Love of God! That's the restorative Love of God!

 So you see, even if you take the next toke on your joint, or the next drag off the tobacco cigarette, watch another X rated film from the video rental store, or get on the internet and view pornographic material, if you commit the same sin again and again, know God STILL loves you! God may not be pleased with the action and it doesn't honor the Finished Work, but His love for you is ever-present and unchanging. 

 His love is everlasting and eternal. Knowing how much we are loved propels us to freedom. Saturating ourselves in this love is key in changing our desires inwardly. God's Love changes us from the inside out. It's His timetable, not any man's. Embrace this Love and walk in freedom.

 In summation, God's love is everlasting and eternal. It is unearned and unconditional. We can't make Him love us more or less. Again, embrace this perfect love. This love within compels us to see life differently. We begin to look at people the way Jesus does. Instead of cursing your enemies, pray for them. Pray God's goodness overtake them. Remember His Goodness causes men to change not hardships. Receive a fresh revelation of His great love for you and bask in this love. Boast of His love for you not your love for Him. mage by DreamPixer from Pixabay

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Finding Freedom from pornography by Grace through Faith.

 36 Therefore if the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed. John 8:36 MEV

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. 
Galatians 5:1 NKJV

 God's Grace is greater. God's love is stronger, deeper and never failing. God is faithful even when we are unfaithful. These are Gospel truths rooted in the Grace of God and the Finished Work of Christ.

 These truths need to be firmly established in our hearts. Especially when dealing with sinful, destructive habits. We are beginning a series on finding freedom from pornography. And if you are free from this terrible habit, then apply these truths to any area of life the enemy is trying to convince you that you're not an overcomer. 

 This habit is wreaking havoc in the Church, the Body of Christ, today. Stats show that 47% of families in America say it's a problem in their home. Another shows 56% of divorces involve one party's obsession with pornography. Still, another says 68% of church-going men and 50% of Pastors view pornography on a regular basis. The most staggering statistic from this source reveals only 7% of pastors say their church has a program to help those struggling with pornography. 

 So we can see people are not walking in freedom. Too often, ministers don't want to talk about this issue in the Church. Unless of course, they want to preach at people and put condemnation on others. 
"Christians look at porn! Pastors the night before they preach look at porn! Oh, look at all these sinners in Church. We need a revival!"

 Wonder how many men and even women deal with the same habit in these churches but are too ashamed to admit it? Wonder how many are too fearful to seek help, lest they are called worthless sinners who don't really love Jesus enough? Instead of condemning these believers why not pray for them? Why not take a step back and see how they see themselves? Feelings of unworthiness, feelings of hopelessness, feeling like God is fed up with them? 

 Let's establish some truths to find lasting freedom. Is pornography sin? I know with some counterfeit-grace groups they redefine sin based on what secular lost society deems right or wrong. Reject all forms of counterfeit-grace. Jesus when He walked on Earth, detailed the commandments. He didn't give a higher standard under Grace. He revealed that this was always the standard, but religion diluted it.

 Paul, under Grace, showed us that the Love of God within wouldn't lead us to walk in immorality. He lists the moral aspects of the Ten Commandments and reveals when we love others we won't steal, won't lie, and won't cheat them. He also speaks of the adultery command. As we mentioned, Jesus detailed what adultery is, it's not just a physical act, it's a lustful thought. Pornography is a lustful activity. Thus, it is in fact sin, it violates God's Love and demeans human sexuality and the marriage covenant. 

 We've established it's sin. Now we must also establish another truth. Even when we sin, we are still the Righteousness of God in Christ. If we don't walk in this revelation condemnation and guilt and shame will flood your thoughts. 

 Jesus made us Righteous. Not by our efforts or by our obedience, or our performance. This is His Righteousness, not our own. Therefore we are just as Righteous as Jesus. This Righteousness is irrevocable. Our Righteousness in Christ doesn't fluctuate based on our performance or our behavior. 

 Another truth we must establish within is the truth that we are forever forgiven. Jesus' Blood washed away all our sins. Not just the ones we committed before we received Jesus, but all of our sins. Paul and John affirm our complete and total forgiveness, past present and future. 

 Finally, one major truth we must also establish is the truth that those in Christ are in fact eternally secure. Eternal security is not light on sin, just big on Jesus and His Finished Work. To find freedom from sinful habits, you must know you're still Righteous, forever forgiven and eternally secure. If you know God is never going to disregard or disown you, you have confident hope that He is with you no matter what. He is there with you in the muck and mire leading you out to full freedom. God isn't finished with you, what He began in you, He will complete it. 

Jesus affirms our eternal security;
24 “Truly, truly I say to you, whoever hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has eternal life and shall not come into condemnation, but has passed from death into life. John 5:24 MEV

 In summation, I want to reaffirm who you are in Christ to begin your journey of freedom. Knowing who you are in Him, now, right this moment, no matter your behavior, will compel you to see there's hope. Addiction and habits try to eliminate hope. Sin likes to keep us hopeless. God says He isn't fed up or finished with you. His plans and purposes are irrevocable, unchanging! He's not done with you, He's just getting started! It's not over! There is hope! Jesus is the waymaker! Our freedom! 
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Putting a Demand on God's Provision of Blessings and Abundance

10 The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]. John 10:10 AMP

19 And my God will liberally supply (fill until full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 AMP 

 We've been in an extended study concerning God's provisions. We are seeing more and more how to receive them in our lives. We see the need to put a demand on what belongs to us. Again this is not demanding of God as some unruly petulant child selfishly throwing a tantrum until they get their way. This is putting a demand on a supply that is already yours. God graciously provided it for us.

 Today, it seemed good to address another provision we have in Christ. The provision of the blessing of God. If you've followed this blog I have already addressed the excess and error of the prosperity gospel. That is the, give and you'll be rich and if it didn't work then you're a sinner and God can't provide until you measure up, idea of prosperity and provision.

 One truth I have been shown in my Christian life is the reality of how finite humans always take things into two extremes. One side I just addressed, declares prosperity and provision is about luxury planes and mansions and everyone a millionaire. That is excess. That's not what God promised.

 Then, on the other hand, you have the other extreme. This extreme is just as, if not more, wrong as the other is. It's the idea that God can't bless you today. That all His provision is merely spiritual. This is the "can't help you, Jesus." This is the Jesus who can forgive you, make you righteous, eternally secure your salvation, but can't help you in this life, only in the life to come. His arm is not strong enough to provide, to heal, or to help you financially today. 

 Both of these extremes are wrong and deny the character of our Father. So apart from excess let's examine this provision of blessing. Let's see what God has done for us in the Finished Work. What Christ has purchased and procured for us in His perfect redemption.

Look at God's heart from the beginning. He had provisions in the Garden of Eden. He didn't put Adam into a place of poverty to keep him humble. He lavishly blessed Adam. He didn't make Adam starve, struggle, or scrimp to get by. 

 In the Old, we see God's heart for His servants, the people of Israel. He said He took pleasure in the Prosperity of His servants. Did you get that? He actually takes pleasure in, it brings Him joy, it pleases Him to bless. God is not a tyrant wanting His people to struggle.

 This same principle, this same truth, is found in the New. John declared above all else God wants us to prosper and be in health. This passage in 3 John, can be used to excess as I have mentioned, but look at what He is actually saying here. 

 God desires above all things our well being. Besides you receiving Jesus and being filled with the Spirit God wants you walking in wholeness, spirit, soul, and body. Are we not complete in Christ? Inwardly, He has made us Righteous, forgiven, cleansed, accepted, approved and eternally secure. God's perfect will is we be complete outwardly just as we are inwardly. 

 Well, if it's God's will why am I always broke or can't seem to afford much? Why am I in lack? What about those starving kids throughout the World? Great question. Why are there so many who are walking around not Righteous? That is a bona fide free Gift that has been made available to whosoever would just receive it. Why have so many not? 

 I don't mean to make light of lack and insufficiency. I just don't want to put it all off on God. As if it's God's fault we are not a success in life. Let's truly define what success is. Having a healthy marriage. A loving family. A caring family. Being the best you can be where you are employed. Being a light in this world. 

 Not everyone is going to be wealthy rich. We can though have enough provision for our family and enough left over to be a blessing to God's kingdom. What we must remember is operating in God's wisdom is key here. We need to be wise in our financial dealings. 

 Education or skills training. Advancing in your job. Being a wise spender. These are things we need to hear more about. God and the natural are not opposed to each other. What does this look like?

 It's depositing God's Word on provision in your heart. It's feeding continually on His Word. Faith comes this way. It's taking the time to acknowledge God in every area of your life. It's paying attention to God's hand moving in your life. Take a second glance. God is moving even if it's the little things. 

 An unexpected discount. An item goes on sale you need. Finding money in the pocket of old clothes. Seeing a coupon for something you need. Gifts from loved ones that came at just the right time. It's even getting an extension on a bill. 

 That's one thing, some people get into trouble because they don't communicate with their creditors. Being wise in financial dealings is success. Living within your means is successful living. God's hand is in this because He can lead us and guide us with His wisdom. This is also part of the provision of blessing.

 As far as the supernatural, yes God does provide financial miracles and such. I recall years ago I had some financial needs, and I just deposited God's Word within my heart about blessing, prosperity, and wholeness. I kept reading and meditating on these passages. I can't explain it but God met that need supernaturally. 

 What am I saying? You can pray to God about money. You can ask Him to help. You can also take authority over the wicked one. He attacks sometimes with infirmities and sickness, so he also attacks financially. Take authority over the enemy. Tell that defeated devil to cease and desist, "devil, take your hands off my finances! I bind you from attacking my money! I loose all God's provisions for me!"

 That's not crazy. It may sound it, but it's not. We as believers need to enforce satan's defeat. We need to lay claim to what is ours. 

 Another thing that is crucial in this area is our attitudes and our words. Constantly grumbling, expressing frustration is counterproductive. If we are in frustration we aren't in Faith. Why? Because Faith is resting in what Jesus did. If we are in frustration this is a sure sign we were trying to make things happen by our effort and strength. It proves we were trusting in the arm of the flesh, not God.

 Resist fear. Fear says God won't help you or can't help you. This need is bigger than God. You must cast those thoughts down. Trust His great love for you. 

 Now, what about those in lands that are in a famine and lack? What about those in third world nations? Sadly, we are in a fallen, fractured world. Evil men can rule over people. As a result, insufficiency and famine abound. We can pray for them. We who are blessed can help, by bringing relief to those in these lands. Supporting missions that feed and medical missions that bring healing, is vital. We don't receive a blessing just to keep for ourselves. We want to channel His blessings to others. We are blessed in Christ, and therefore should be a blessing to others. 

 In summation, put a demand on what's yours in Christ. Don't allow bad attitudes, grumbling, complaining be your words. Instead, focus on the provision. Don't look at what you don't currently have but look at what you do have. Be thankful and rejoice. Put a demand on His supply. Receive His favor in the financial realm. Don't limit what He can do. Jesus said He came to give us abundant life, not lack and insufficient life. So by Grace through Faith receive all He has provided for! 
Image by Александр Мартинкевич from Pixabay 

Monday, September 23, 2019

Putting a Demand on Abundant Grace and the Gift of Righteousness

19 But my God shall supply your every need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 MEV
21 God made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21 MEV

 We've begun a study concerning God's provisions. We've come to understand, that these provisions are already ours through the Finished Work, not our work or performance. We've established the vital truth that though these provisions are already ours in Christ, we must reach out and freely receive all He has provided. 

 We've seen God's provision for our healing and wholeness. Today, it seems good to share on one of the most powerful and amazing provisions God has for us. That is the abundance of Grace and the Gift of Righteousness.  

 Did you know when you received Jesus that He made you the very righteousness of God in Christ Jesus? That as a believer you are just as Righteous as Jesus? That you are just as accepted and approved of God as Jesus is? That you can stand before God without any fear, guilt, inferiority, shame or sin? It's not because of your goodness but Jesus' performance on your behalf.

 This is the Good News of Jesus Christ! This is what brings triumphant victory in our Christian life. This is how we overcome in every area of life. Yet not all celebrate this news.

 Some tradition-minded cringe at these words. Just what do you mean by accepted by God as much as Jesus is? What exactly do you mean by approved of God? No, you must prove your worth and acceptance before God, they would say. 

 Only the truth of God's Word will provide deliverance to the tradition-bound. When they see the light of God's Word freedom comes. They see what religion tried so hard to conceal. 

 Let's then look at the provision of Grace and Righteousness;

We are saved by His Grace, not our works or performance

 He has made us accepted

 He has made us Righteous in Christ. Righteous apart from works

 There is a clear provision for Grace and Righteousness. So if it's mine in Christ, what do you mean by putting a demand on God's provision of Grace? Why do I need to put a demand on what's mine already?

 Glad you asked. In one of the most powerful passages revealing our provision of Grace and Righteousness, the answer to this question is found;
17 For if because of one man’s trespass (lapse, offense) death reigned through that one, much more surely will those who receive [God’s] overflowing grace (unmerited favor) and the free gift of righteousness [putting them into right standing with Himself] reign as kings in life through the one Man Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). Romans 5:17 AMPC

 What a powerful passage! What a powerful provision. We can reign in life as kings through Christ Jesus. So what's the answer to the question in this passage?

 Most translations simply say those who receive Grace and Righteousness reign in life. However, look at this passage in Young's Literal Translation;
17 for if by the offence of the one the death did reign through the one, much more those, who the abundance of the grace and of the free gift of the righteousness are receiving, in life shall reign through the one -- Jesus Christ. Romans 5:17 YLT

 I have never heard anyone ever preach on this point. It's clear from this translation. It's not just having the gift, it's actually receiving of the gift. You may have accepted the truth of Grace and the free gift of Righteousness, but are you actively receiving of these gifts? 

 This is what I mean by putting a demand on God's provision of abundant Grace and the free Gift of Righteousness. It's not just having the gift but receiving of the gift. What does this look like?

 When you fall, falter, fail, plain sin what do you do? Do you allow thoughts of shame and guilt to dominate you for a length of time? Guilt and shame can paralyze your growth in Christ. 

 Shame and guilt don't just stop at saying within you that what you did was wrong, but that you are wrong. That you are just a no-good sinner. A shameful filthy person. If you don't put a demand on the provision of Righteousness, that is actively receiving of the gift in these moments, guilt and shame will overtake your thinking. God's not separated or disconnected from you but your thinking will try to convince you that you are. Reject those thoughts. Receive of your Righteousness.

 Traditional religion, this world system, and the enemy use guilt and shame to put you down. The biggest weapon they use is that of condemnation. That's why we put a demand on the provision of Grace and Righteousness and walk free from guilt and condemnation.

 Condemnation tolerated, contaminates your spiritual perception. It makes you think and feel you're apart from God, though He has never left or forsaken you. That's why we should put a demand on the provision of Grace and the Gift of Righteousness. We reject those accusations of the enemy. We refuse those stifling feelings of guilt and shame. We rest in our right standing and acceptance and approval because of the Blood, the Finished Work, the redemptive work of Jesus. 

 In summation, we have been given a powerful provision. We are made Righteous and highly favored in Christ. Condemnation seeks to cause us to shrink back from intimate fellowship with our Father. Receiving of the provision means we reject condemnation and we embrace our new identity in Christ. We have guilt-free, shame-free, fear-free, fellowship with our Father who rejoices over us with joy. All because of Jesus. 
Image courtesy of Idea go at FreeDigitalPhotos.net 

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Putting a Demand on God's Provision of Healing and Wholeness

19 But my God shall supply your every need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 MEV
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. 3 John 2 KJV

 In our last post, we began looking at God's provision. We saw that we can make a demand on the supply God's already given us in the Finished Work. Seeing there is so much truth in this, I sensed the leading to continue examining this truth. 

 Today, I want to focus on the provision God has made for our healing and wholeness. Tradition minded Christians have fought this truth since even Jesus' time here on Earth. Pharisees and Sadduccees were angry when He healed on the Sabbath day. In other words, provision may be there but not for right now, not for today. 

 Their "descendants" today are saying the same thing. They are the couldn't-sees or the wouldn't-sees. They still echo the sentiment that healing isn't for you today. It's not for right now. They push healing off into the other side of this life. Death is how you get healed they teach. In Heaven, there is no sickness or disease. So dying provides you with the means believers can be healed. 

 Interesting that they acknowledge that healing and wholeness are found in Heaven. Didn't Jesus tell us when He was teaching prayer in the Old Covenant, that we should pray that His will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven? Portions of that prayer are valid today. This being one of them. If healing and wholeness is the way it is in Heaven, shouldn't we pray that it be that way here on Earth too?

 Let me briefly remind you that there has been total provision made for your wholeness now, in this life, as well as the life to come. 
Surely our sicknesses he hath borne, And our pains -- he hath carried them, And we -- we have esteemed him plagued, Smitten of God, and afflicted. And he is pierced for our transgressions, Bruised for our iniquities, The chastisement of our peace [is] on him, And by his bruise there is healing to us. Isaiah 53:4-5 YLT
 This is the Prophet Isaiah looking forward to the Finished Work. Now look at how Peter the Apostle looks back at the redemptive work of Jesus;
24 He Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness. “By His wounds you were healed. 1 Peter 2:24 MEV

 I'd say Jesus has made clear provision in the Finished Work for our complete healing and wholeness. Sickness, disease, and infirmity is a byproduct of the fallen World. Sometimes it is the direct work of the enemy. No matter the reason, Jesus has purchased your healing. It's time to put a demand on what God has provided and freely receive all Jesus paid for.

 Let's look at some instances in the Word of God where someone put a demand on God's provision and where some chose not to. In Mark's Gospel, we see the account of the healing of Bartimaeus. What we see is that Bartimaeus, who was blind, heard Jesus was walking by. He heard the healer was here. He cried out for healing. He put a demand on Jesus' healing power. Traditional minded ones tried to silence him. He got louder, and Jesus the Healer stopped in His tracks. 

 Jesus was demonstrating who He really is. He will always stop for the one. He will always be there for the one crying out to Him. He saw someone drawing on His power and presence. He called him and Bartimaeus responded by throwing off that beggar's garment. Bartimaeus wouldn't be quiet and refused to be denied, he put a demand on all God had for him and he reached out and freely received his healing and wholeness. You can too.

 Now let's look at another account where they didn't put a demand on God's provision. in John 5 we see the account of the healing of the man at the pool of Bethesda. This account has troubled some and they create a theology that God sometimes heals and sometimes doesn't. Why? Because Jesus saw this multitude of sick and lame and only healed one. Why? The text is clear. These sick folk were not waiting for God, they were waiting for an angel to come to stir the water.

 They were not waiting on God. There is no record of them praying to God for healing. They were waiting for something other than God. When Jesus the healer was in their midst, why didn't they ask for Him to heal them? Jesus healed a man right in front of them. There is no record of these folk being Jews who were in Covenant with God at the time. There is no reference of them even asking Jesus for anything. Hence, that's what they got, nothing.

 Not putting a demand on the provision when the Healer is present results in people not receiving. It was not a case where God said no, this is not my will. Where He said, "God is in total control, this is God's work and will that you remain sick and afflicted." This isn't a situation where Jesus said: "This is for your good, submit to this sickness and affliction." 

 Jesus is the Healer. Jesus has purchased and procured our complete wholeness in the Finished Work. Don't remain idle or passive. Reach out with the Faith that takes and put a demand on all God's provision and freely receive what He provided. Jesus is the perfect image of the Father. Jesus went throughout the land bringing healing and wholeness and deliverance. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. Jesus is the life-giver. Jesus is the miracle worker. Jesus is the blind man healer and the raiser of the dead. Nothing is impossible with Jesus. 

 In summation, there is a clear provision of healing and wholeness in the Finished Work. God wants us to put a demand on His provision and freely receive. Don't allow past experiences to deter you. Don't let the experience of others cause you to shrink back. Be bold and freely receive all God has for you. 
Image by Frank Becker from Pixabay

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Putting a Demand on God's Provisions

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 
John 15:7 NASB
19 But my God shall supply your every need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 MEV

  Over the year 2019, we've studied much on the goodness of God, His role in human hardships and tragedies and the varied traditions surrounding suffering. We've just concluded a series of study of walking in Grace and living by the God kind of Faith. For the majority of this year, we've been much focused on who God is, and what He has done for us and how to receive it in our lives. 

 Today, I sense the strong leading to share a truth about Faith and Grace and walking in triumphant victory. Often among those who proclaim the Radical Grace of God, I see a common theme. Don't hunger for the things of God, you're already full. Don't ask for God to show up He is always with you. Don't ask God to move, He's already moved. 

 When I hear those sentiments proclaimed, the first thing I do is look at the life of those making those statements. All too often, I don't see them walking in victory. I don't see them flowing in God's healing power. I don't see signs and wonders among their midst. Should we ask for more? Should we hunger? Should we ask God to move? Is that the answer? Where is the disconnect?

 To answer, no we don't need to necessarily ask God to move in our midst. It is true that He has moved in the Finished Work. He completed the work. He has given us His Spirit. He has made available all of Heaven's resources. So again where is the disconnect?

 A few years ago, the Lord gave me an answer about hungering. We don't hunger for the things of God because we lack. We simply hunger for what He hungers for. What the Lord showed me was though the Spirit is among His people it is up to us if we want a passive presence or an active presence. 

 Passivity is the disconnect. Saying don't hunger for more, don't beg God to move is a partial truth, but this coupled with a passive spiritual desire will always breed the same result. No power or victory present or received. The truth in its fullness is yes we don't ask or beg or plead or strive for what He has already provided. We must though know what has been provided. Desire what God desires, to see His people healed, whole, and walking in victory. 

Put a Demand on the Provision

 What is the provision made? He has purchased our complete redemption. He redeemed us from the curse of the Law. He procured our eternal redemption. He bought us back from the power of the enemy. 

 Redemption perfectly purchased and procured for us has a provision for every area of our life. He has obtained our eternal salvation. His shed blood has procured the forgiveness of all our sins, past present and future. This redemption has delivered us from the power of the enemy, translating us from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of His dear Son. This so great salvation has made us the Righteousness of God in Christ. This redemption has paid for the healing of our bodies, for by His stripes we were healed. This perfect redemption brings wholeness to all areas of our life, for this new life has a supply for all things that pertain to life and godliness.

 Understanding what we already have in Christ, why aren't more walking in it? This side of Heaven we won't know each and every reason why some fail to receive all God has provided. However, studying His Word we can see there are reasons given why some fail to receive. That said, none of these reasons bring shame or condemnation or minister fear to anyone. These are not disqualifying conditions either. The enemy and religious tradition deal in shame and regret but Grace says otherwise.
 One major reason some fail to receive is that they are not making a demand on what is already theirs in Christ. Allow me to give you two examples in the ministry of Jesus here on Earth;

27 When she had heard of Jesus, she came in the crowd behind Him and touched His garment. 28 For she said, “If I may touch His garments, I shall be healed.” 29 And immediately her hemorrhage dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. Mark 5:27-29 MEV

 This is the woman with the issue of blood, you can read the entire account here. You see here that Jesus didn't single her out and minister to her. No, she heard of Him and His healing power. She saw the provision and reached out and received. She put a demand on the provision and received it fully in her life. 

 You may be thinking ok I am seeing something here but you keep using the word demand. Isn't that ordering God around? Isn't that being demanding of God? No. We aren't demanding anything of God, we are just putting a demand on the supply He provided. 

 To illustrate further, use your natural bank account. When you make a purchase, you use a bank card or write a check. What are you doing? You're putting a demand on the supply of funds in your account at that moment to purchase a product or service. So it is with God. We are putting a demand on the supply He purchased for us.

 Let's look at a situation where there was no demand made and see the results. Jesus was teaching and the Pharisees were there and the power of the Lord was present to heal, see the account here. Take note that no one was healed as Jesus taught. Yet the power or provision was readily available. It wasn't until those men tore a hole in the roof and lowered the man down and put a demand on the power of God did they receive. 

 In summation, we want all God has provided and procured for us. The truth is though it won't just fall on us like ripe fruit off a tree. If it was automatic without any demand made then all humanity would be saved. We know that's not true. People who want to be saved put a demand on the provision of salvation and receive. It is the same for all of God's provision. This isn't "achieve to receive" or "strive to arrive",  this is about actually opening the gifts He has already given. So don't sit idle, don't stand passively, reach out and receive all He has provided. 
image courtesy of arztsamui/courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Monday, September 2, 2019

By Grace through Faith: the Power of Positive Confession

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 
Ephesians 2:8 NKJV

16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be by Grace Romans 4:16a KJV

 We've been in an ongoing study looking at Faith. We've answered what Faith is and what it's not. Faith is being fully persuaded, without doubt, that what Jesus accomplished in the Finished Work and What God's Word proclaims and promises is ours now in Christ. Faith is not denying reality, or making foolish choices in this life. 

 We've seen how Faith comes and how it is released. We've seen Faith isn't a passive receiver, but rather an active participant and puts a demand on all God has purchased and provided. Today, I sense the leading to continue to focus on a major aspect of our Christian life. That is the issue of our words. 

 We saw last week that words have power. Words are containers. They contain life and blessing or they can contain hurt, harm and hopelessness. What are you saying? What are you speaking? 

Me and my big mouth...?

 All throughout Scripture we see God addressing our words. Do your words bring life? Do they minister Grace to the hearer? Do they agree with God or disagree with God? See what God says about our words.

23 Whoever guards his mouth and his tongue keeps his soul from trouble. Proverbs 21:23 MEV

20 A man’s stomach will be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips will he be filled. 21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:20-21 MEV

We see clearly that our words can bring help or they can hinder our situation or circumstance. Did you know our words can affect others too? We can bring hope and life to others who may be going through a tough time. Or we can be the "downer" who speaks doom and gloom and how there is no hope in the situation. 

 Peter quotes the Psalms about the power of our words;

10 For “He who would love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit. 1 Peter 3:10 MEV

 Want to see good days more than bad ones? Want to experience joy and not sadness? Want to embrace hope and reject hopelessness? Want to have a better outlook on life instead of a bitter one? Think the thoughts of God and speak in agreement with what He has said in His Word and what He has done in His perfect work of redemption. 

 Remember the power of words and confession of our Faith. That being the confession of what we strongly believe. Jesus said we will have what we say

 If you don't want fear to dominate you and dictate your every action and thought, then speak words that agree with what God says. God says perfect love casts out fear. Speak words in agreement with God and His love. When fear tries to rear its head, speak the truth of God's perfect love for you. 

 Alongside fear is the deepest root, condemnation. Fear has torment because it has a fear of punishment. When we know we are accepted and approved and made perfectly righteous and no longer under the sentence of sin, we can rejoice freely. There is no more punishment for our sins. Jesus fully paid the price. We are free from shame, guilt, and condemnation. So fear and condemnation have no power over us. We then speak words agreeing with God and fear and condemnation flees. 

When circumstances and situations seem to not align with what God said, our words should still agree with what God said and not what it looks like. This is key, this is not denying the situation is real and ignoring it. This is choosing to agree with God, in spite of the circumstance. 

 When someone you prayed for to be saved is still in rebellion, don't agree with that behavior. Just continue to agree with what God said. When someone is a believer and you see them making poor choices, agree with God with your words. They are righteous, redeemed and made holy. 

 When you prayed and believed for your healing, the healing Christ purchased in the Finished Work, stay with what God has said and done. Your words can agree with the Finished Work or be based on the changing circumstances or fickle emotions. No matter the situation always agree with God. 

 In summation, the encouragement is to agree with God in your speech. Some believers seem burned out, discouraged, bitter, and hopeless. Why? Often it's because they continue to speak in disagreement with what God has said and done in His work of redemption. Agreeing with God produces a brighter outlook on life. Even if circumstances change for the worst so to speak, how we respond to the attacks is key to victory. 

 If all our words are "woe is me, I never get good breaks, bad stuff is always happening to me," how can you see God in the midst of your circumstance? God is there and He is with you and working it all out for your good. Yet if we continue to disagree with God, we are not receiving His help. We are relying on our own efforts, and the negative thinking and words disagreeing with God are hindering the reception of His goodness. Speak His words, agree with God, and trust in Him. Then victory will be ours. 
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay