Joshua and the Bride of Christ

img_5852An examination into the warfare of God

Since the dawn of mankind, we have all been active participants in an age old battle. From the origin of sin to the Battle of Armageddon, a war rages all because Satan desires a foothold in heaven. As Paul illustrates in Ephesians 6: 12, we are in a battle against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

John of Patmos quotes a voice in heaven as saying:

1Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. (Rev. 12:12)

In this life we have a very real enemy, and he has an army of his own.  And so the attacks come, whether big or small, nation against nation, man against man, spirit against spirit. And yet, to even begin to understand this war, we must first understand our enemy and the battlefield we find ourselves in.

Even in the days of Jesus’s earthly ministry, there were those who sought access to the kingdom by force. Jesus made an interesting observation when he said, (Matthew 11:12) “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.”

Sadly, we see this same “force” at work within the church today. There are those who seek to force the Holy Spirit to conform to their own desires. This force, Jesus witnessed as violent, causes damage to the kingdom. It is a weakness in the wall of an otherwise fortified city.
Still, for so many, taking is easier than obeying. And therein lies the first battlefield. The front lines of this violent war…the heart.

Know whom you serve

In Genesis 12 God promises Abraham he will make a great nation from him and that his decedents will claim the land of Canaan. God tells him he will be a blessing, and that in him shall all families of the earth be blessed. But why did God promise him his generations would dwell in Canaan, of all places?

Because God had plans to establish a foothold of his own. And Abraham was faithful to the extent that God credited it to him as righteousness (Genesis 15:6; Romans 4:22). Such was Abraham’s faithfulness that everywhere he traveled throughout the land, he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord. Effectually, petitioning God to come dwell among them, even in pagan lands.
Through Abraham’s faithfulness (righteousness), God was advancing His camp, and preparing a way, that thru him, all families of the earth would be blessed.
Abraham was claiming his promise. And his claiming was in obedience to God’s voice.

Verily I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven…. Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (Matthew 18:8-20)

By contrast, the Canaanites are described in the Bible as a wicked, idolatrous, and fierce people. Descendants from Ham, the cursed son of Noah. The Israelite spies whom Moses sent into Canaan reported what they described as the descendants of Anak (Numbers 13:28, 33) – giants, whom by comparison, the Israelite’s saw themselves as grasshoppers. The Israelites were so afraid of these large inhabitants that they refused to claim the land God had promised them. In the end, only two, Caleb and Joshua were bold enough to enter. With the exception of Joshua and Caleb, that entire generation of Israelites was denied entry into Canaan, because of their lack of faith.Obedience is required.

In due season, Joshua –descendant from Abraham – was commissioned by God to fulfil the promise God had made. Joshua, understanding his commission, declares, (Joshua 24:14-15) “…Choose you this day whom you will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

Understanding whom you serve is critical. But it starts with a choice. Joshua acted in faith on God’s promise and entered enemy lands.

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (John 10:27-28).

Do not be afraid. No man has the power to remove you from the hand of God.

Know your commission

Loosely defined, a commissioned officer is a commanding officer in a unit. It is a ranked soldier who understands his authority. Jesus remarked on the eagerness of men to snatch and carry off the riches of heaven’s blessings like spoil from a conquered city. (Matthew 11:12) It grieved him that there were (and still are) those who would seek to take the kingdom for selfish gain. He even compares them to children who sit in marketplaces calling for attention to their games.

There is no power in this type of action. It foolishly misses the purpose of giving mankind access to the kingdom. Jesus clearly defines the commission of his followers (Matthew 28: 18-20) when he says, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

The church received its commission upon the death and resurrection of Christ. Just as Joshua received his commission upon the death of Moses. (Joshua 1:1-18) The LORD commanded Joshua to be strong and courageous, and to not be afraid, neither dismayed, but that the LORD God would be with him wherever he would go. (Joshua 1:9)

Both commissions were given with the promise that they will not have to fight alone, and both commissions give a directive to take ground from the enemy.
Why then are some acting like children playing games in the marketplace, while the enemy is waging war on God’s people?
There is no authority in attempting to force God’s hand to your own benefit. Know whom you serve. If you are not obedient to your commission, you are in the enemy’s camp.

Know your battlefield

Before Joshua was able to take the walled city of Jericho, the LORD spoke to him, directing his every move. After the miraculous drying up of the Jordan River so that they crossed over into the Promised Land, the LORD instructed Joshua to remove twelve stones from the river, out of the place where the priest had stood with the ark, and take them to their campsite. (Joshua 4:1-5) Joshua did so, calling twelve men, one out of every tribe. Joshua explained the meaning of the twelve stones was so that all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty: that you might fear the LORD your God for ever. (Joshua 4:24)

By comparison, the bride of Christ is described as a walled city with gates and foundation stones. (Rev 21: 9-27) Specifically, twelve gates representative of the twelve tribes, with an angel stationed at each gate. Additionally there are twelve foundation stones, representing each of the twelve tribes, and twelve walls, with the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. But John of Patmos notes, that in the new city, there was not an ark or temple within, for the LORD God and the lamb are the temple of it.

Needless to say, at the time, of Joshua, the ark of the testimony served as the seat of God among his people. Joshua’s obedience in something as small as pulling stones from a river set the stage for a sweeping victory. Still, Joshua waited on the LORD to take Jericho.

And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, nay; but as captain of the host of the Lord am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, what saith my Lord unto his servant? And the captain of the Lord’s host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so. (Joshua 5:13-15)

Only through Joshua’s obedience and decision to serve the LORD whole heartedly was God able to remove the reproach of Egypt from them and make pagan land holy. Joshua may have had to face some faith shaking situations along the way to taking Jericho, but the LORD was with him. Every step of the way.
In preparation to taking the walled city, the LORD commanded him to take his men of war, and march the city once a day for six days. (Joshua 6:1-4) But that also, the ark was to be brought as well, with seven priest bearing seven trumpets before the ark, they were to blow each day and on the seventh day, they were to compass the city seven times, and the priests should blow their trumpets, and the people were to shout with a great shout. (Joshua 6:5)

In Revelation, John is shown a prophetic vision of a coming battle, in which seven angels stand before God and they are given seven trumpets. He then sees, a golden alter before the throne, in which an angel mixes incense with the prayers of the saints, the smoke from which ascended up before God.

And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake. And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. (Rev 8:2,6)

Remember Jesus’ words in Matthew about binding and loosing? What is done on earth, is done in heaven. Certainly the battle described in Revelation is a future conflict, and the battle at Jericho is, for us, in the past. But the Commanders of the armies on the battlefield have never changed. There is a purpose in all things God ordains.

He is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Heb. 13: 8) If you want victory, know whom you serve.

Know that victory is the Lord’s

And it came to pass on the seventh day that they rose early about the dawning of the day, and compassed the city after the same manner seven times: only on that day they compassed the city seven times. 16 And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the Lord hath given you the city. (Joshua 6:16)

Joshua declared victory in boldness of faith before the walls ever came down.
20 So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. (Joshua 6:20)

Likewise in the final battle as described in the book Revelation, the trumpets sound, and voices are heard in heaven proclaiming victory.

And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever… And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail (Revelation 11:15, 19-20)

In both battles, victory is proclaimed before the battle begins. Claiming is more than believing. It is faith in action.
In comparing the two battles, a lot of parallels can be made. But the most significant are the understanding that prayer reaches the throne room of God and has the power to bring heaven to earth, faith is acting in obedience. Aligning your heart with God’s word, knowing his voice, accepting that the battle is inevitable for the present time, learning to lean not on your own understanding, and when to take your sword and declare victory in Jesus’s name, are all necessary combat skills.
Battles aren’t won in our time, they are won in God’s time. He is a God of peace, but he is also a Commander of heavenly host. And you have been called to battle.

Know whom you serve.
Know your commission.
Know the battlefield.
Know that victory is the Lord’s.

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. (John 1:1-4)

The spirit of antichrist is already at work in the church. Many who claim to be men and woman of God are opening gates that are allowing the enemy in. Yes, you have been called to battle, but you have also been given all you need to succeed. Start using your commission and take ground from the enemy.

The Bride is preparing for her wedding day. Will the devil not know what is to come?

“There is only one place the devil has a right to be and that’s under your feet.” – R.W. Shambach

Submittes by Christy Peers

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I Hear The Sound Of An Abundance Of Rain 

“Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the Lord will do great things. Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength. Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.” – Joel‬ ‭2:21-23‬ ‭

In the early verses of this chapter we see a depiction of a land laid waste by relentless attacks from the enemy. It seems as though all hope is lost, the ground lay barren, the walls are down, the food stores are gone, the beast of the field (the sheep and oxen) cry out for help. All because of the onslaught of the enemy and selfish devourers.

All hope seems lost, what good can come from all this waste? Yet in verse 21 everything turns around with the sounding of this one prophetic proclamation! 

“Fear not oh land, for the Lord will do great things.”

The land is still ravaged, there is nothing yet to see, but a cry went up, and in response to the cry a Word came down, and as soon as that prophetic Rhema Word was spoken it released promise, and the promise released hope, and hope stirs faith, and faith opens the gates of grace, and grace brings life! 

“Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.” – Proverbs‬ ‭13:12‬ ‭

When God speaks, it is assured, for His Word will not return void. Once He speaks it, it’s already released and nothing can stop it for He knows the end from the beginning and would not speak that which would not be so. If He said that it will be, it will be! Therefore you can stand in faith for it, no matter what comes against it, no matter how impossible it seems, no matter how barren the land looks, remember that God specializes in bringing dead things back to life. So how does He bring a seemingly dead promised land or territory that has been trampled under foot by the enemy to its utter ruin to life? By sending the rain.

Whether it be a home, church, a ministry, a school, a geographical region, or a nation, there is no territory that God cannot take, there is no land that He cannot make fruitful, just pray for rain.

When someone, or some flock finally gets desperate enough for change, gets hungry enough for the truth and cries out, truly faithfully cries out, God will answer their cry. And His answer was, “I’ll send the rain“. 

“Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God? Then will the Lord be jealous for his land, and pity his people. Yea, the Lord will answer and say unto his people, Behold, I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and ye shall be satisfied therewith: and I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen: But I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things. Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the Lord will do great things.” – Joel‬ ‭2:17-21‬ ‭

Yes the enemy had done great things, but the greatest that the enemy can do cannot compare to the least of what God can do. Therefore when God promises to do great things in response to the enemy doing his own great things, you can rest assured that God is preparing to release the greater things! 

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” – John‬ ‭14:12‬ ‭

Now let’s talk rain. In Israel the rains come twice a year. The former rains come in October right before their planting season. This rain comes to soften and prepare the ground to receive the seed. The former rain comes moderately, or just as much as is needed to prepare the ground for the seed and no more, less it spoil the young plant. After this season of moderate rain and seed sowing, there is a season of dryness that only sees random sporadic showers only every now and then as the plants grow. However, in April the latter rains come. These rains are greater then the former and serve to cause the plant to put on fruit and bring in a mighty harvest!

Scripture parallels these outpourings of rain to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The former rain can be paralleled to the day of Pentecost where the Holy Spirit was poured out to prepare the soil (the hearts of men) to receive the seed (which is Jesus and His Words according to Galatians‬ ‭3:16‬ and Matthew 13).

Now though they both give access to water, understand that rain is different then springs and wells. Jesus said that for those who thirst and would ask to drink of Him, He would give them springs (or wells) of living water within them that they never need to be thirsty again. This is a personal indwelling of His Holy Spirit that allows the believer to draw up the words, gifts, power, and revelation of the Holy Spirit of God for themselves even in times of external drought. For there is indeed a famine in the land, but not one of food and water, one for the word of God. However, rain does not have to be drawn up it just pours out. It is not hidden, it is external for all to see and it falls on all manner of plants, including the tears. So while the well within the believer pours out of the believer to further their believing, the rain pours down on everyone causing dry parched ground to spring to life and ushering in new believers. The well sustains you through the dry season but when the rain comes, fruits manifest, and the harvest becomes plentiful! So pray for rain! 

Even though that internal well of the Holy Spirit is available to any believer that ask it of Christ, there have only been a few actual outpourings of this Holy Spirit rain through history and they have all been utterly astonishing. After the outpouring at pentecost (the former rain) the few scattered showers of this Holy Ghost rain have come to be known as the great Revivals of the past such as the Hebrides, Welch, and Azusa Street Revivals. Yet there is still a latter rain coming and the latter will be greater then the former for the latter rains purpose is to bring in a great final harvest of souls for the Kingdom.  

“Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.” – James‬ ‭5:7‬ ‭

Now let’s make this personal. We can clearly see this prophetic parable for its over all message, yet I also see this same cycle of seasons play out in the lives of God’s faithful servants and the ministries (or lands) they labor in. Many have experienced such devastation from the onslaught of the enemy. The devourer came in and wrecked their lives and stripped them bare. Then in desperation they cried out and God answered. He spoke hope, life, and a promise to them. Then He sent His Holy Spirit to rain personally upon the garden of their heart and planted His truth in it. In this season they see such mighty moves of God both toward them, and through them toward others. The rain is falling. Everything they need just seems to fall into place. This is their former rain. However too much rain on a plant that is too young to handle it will only serve to spoil and kill the plant. So the former rain is given moderately. Then out of nowhere the dry season comes. It’s not so easy now but the plant is growing even though it seems at times that it might die, God sends a sporadic shower every now and then just as needed and the plant gets stronger and stronger. The plant might even question at times what it has done to chase the rains away, how ridiculous a notion that a tiny plant could run off the mighty rains, not understanding that “to everything there is a season.

Finally when the plant is strong enough to take the weight of the real outpouring, the latter rains come in their proper season, the plants stand strong in the midst of it, and their fruit fully comes to bare as the harvest begins. At last, the fruit they bare in this mighty harvest is then spread out abroad to start new fields in new lands laid waste by the enemy that they too may become fruit and bare harvest in their seasons, if only someone will cry out in desperation and be faithful to pray for rain, both the former and the latter. And as soon as God speaks the promise of a harvest, proclaim it and stand on it! Even while the ground is yet dry, for you always hear the Spirit of God before you see it manifest. This is why we walk by faith and not by sight, faith in what He says, not in what we see! So pray, listen, and stand in faith, because though I see clear skies and dry ground, what I hear is the sound of an abundance of rain! 

“The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts.” – Haggai‬ ‭2:9‬ ‭

“And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain.” – 1 Kings‬ ‭18:41‬ ‭

“Remembering our Frame”

“This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not .” – John 8:6

For me, this is probably one of the most intriguing verses to find in the Bible.

Quick Background:

If you’re familiar with the verse and/or passage, you’ll know it involves a pretty unfortunate, embarrassing, public-shaming scene for a woman caught in an adulterous act. If you pay pretty close attention to the exact wording, scripture says that this exposure happened IN the temple where Jesus was sitting teaching the people (8:2), as well as the woman was literally caught in the very act of adultery. (8:2)

For the record, I write this, not for shock value, but for a clear picture of the Biblical account of the unfailing mercy, immeasurable love, and forgiveness of our God. Not only were the religious leaders shaming her in front of “the congregation,” but they were actually ready to kill her.

The writer, John, points out their malicious attempt to catch Jesus in a controversial stance for which to accuse Him, but Jesus begins His huge winning response by first stooping down, ignoring the accusers, then “doodling in the dirt.” It was the doodling part that had me stuck at, “Why?” Then all of a sudden, the Lord graciously reminds me of a single attribute of Himself, easily overlooked, but relieving & profound all at the same time:

“[14] For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.” – Psalm 103:14

Personally, having studied the scriptures since childhood, I can say that today, I am totally convinced that Jesus shut out the world around Him, and had a momental and monumental inward reflection of remembrance that we quite literally are dust, as he was passing his fingers through it reinforcing the need for a merciful reply, as opposed to a wrathful one.

Now I obviously cannot, nor am I attempting to say that this is in-fact exactly what He was thinking, or answer why He wrote in the dirt; it is subjective, but I can’t help seeing anything else. When you consider the full context of the scenario, Jesus’ dirt drawing, the. blunt-profound & humbling response to the Pharisees, added with the merciful hand of forgiveness stretched to the woman literally lifting her up out of the dust, it connects perfectly. It’s as if it reinforced His stance of a merciful reply. It can also sound something like, “He who is not ‘dirt,’ cast the first stone.”

To be fully understood, Jesus’ merciful act was to position her in His grace to, “go and sin no more.” (8:11), but if God brings to His remembrance that we are frail and destitute humans that aren’t much more than breathing dirt of the ground, how much more should we take that to account when we might become frustrated or angry or unforgiving to the “dirt piles” around us. We ourself are one. I’m reminded of a portion of the most memorized, (yet seemingly least taken to application) prayer: “…Forgive us our trespasses AS WE FORIVE THOSE WHO TRESPASS AGAINST US…”

It’s time we remember too…

We need to humble ourselves,

Have patience with others,

And forgive 70 x 7 (indefinitely)

(For Full Passage)

John 8:1-11

Get To Know God

“And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.” – 2 Thessalonians‬ ‭1:7-10‬ ‭

Do you know God? No, I didn’t ask if you know about God, I mean do you “know Him”? Do you personally know Him? Do you know His voice? His Words, His character? Do you have a personal relationship with Him? Does He come in and sup with you? Because if He does not regularly come in and sup, visit, commune, speak, teach, and fellowship with you, then He is still standing outside the door knocking. You haven’t actually let Him in. 

“Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” – James‬ ‭2:19-20‬ ‭

Just knowing that He exists isn’t enough. Knowing that He is at the door isn’t enough. Knowing that He is knocking isn’t enough. You have to actually let Him in and fellowship with Him, talk to Him, listen to Him, get to know Him, love Him, and obey Him.

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” – Matthew‬ ‭7:21-23‬ ‭

A lot of people know about God, but very few actually come to know God. It’s heart breaking because Christ suffered and died that we might be reconciled unto the Father and inter in boldly before His thrown. We no longer need a priest to inter in for us but we ourselves can hear directly from God and fellowship with Him like Moses did. Yet with this great unmatchable gift laid before us, we choose entertainment, distraction, relationships, pride, worldly lust, gain, grudges, traditions, doctrines, ambition, and outright sin to keep us from it. We choose these poisonous gifts of the world over this precious gift from God just like Adam and Eve chose the serpents fruit over all that God had labored to make available to them. 

People this ought not be so, nor does it need to be. The choice is yours. Jesus made a way, it’s a straight and narrow way, but it is available to any who will choose to take it, and it leads straight the the thrown of God. It’s available now, open the door, let Jesus in, talk with Him, listen to Him, get to know Him, and He will teach you how to walk this thing out by faith. Not by faith in what you think you know, (for that is self righteousness) but by faith in what He says (which is walking in His righteousness). 

“For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” – Romans‬ ‭10:2-3‬

“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” – 2 Timothy‬ ‭3:5‬ ‭

“And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” – Daniel‬ ‭11:32‬ ‭

God is real, people! He is real right now. His power is real. The Holy Spirit is real. Miracles, signs, and wonders are real. Yet I urge you today to wake up and understand that Hell is real too, and Jesus really is coming back, but only for those who personally know Him and are known by Him. Knowing about Him won’t save you, in fact it will only assure you a greater damnation being without excuse for not getting to know Him. So how do you get to know Him? The same way you get to know anyone. You spend time with them. Personal one on one time “with” them. Jesus is knocking, take the time to open that door, invite Him in, sit and sup, visit, talk, listen, commune, and be taught personally by God. We are not promised tomorrow, we are not guaranteed another chance. We are only guaranteed damnation if we fail to take the chances given to us in the limited time we have to take them. Today is the day of salvation. Now is the appointed time. Open the door while He still knocks, because when He opens the door Himself it will be too late. Know that you will stand face to face with God one way or the other, better it be now by choice and loving invitation, then later by force to receive eternal damnation.  

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” – Revelation‬ ‭3:19-22‬ ‭

From Barrenness to Blessing 

“And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;” – Matthew‬ ‭13:3‬ ‭

Jesus spoke in a parable of one who planted seed in four different kinds of soil. To fully grasp the context of this parable we need to first understand what the elements of the parable represent. First the soil represents the heart. Their are four different conditions in which the soil in this parable are found. We will discuss that further later.

“Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.” – Hosea‬ ‭10:12‬ ‭

The next element of the parable that is critical to understand is the seed being sown into these soils. The seed is God’s Word, but deeper then that it’s the one who speaks those words, who is the word. It’s Jesus, for Jesus is the word made flesh and it is Jesus whom is the seed of Abraham who was counted righteous because he listened to God’s voice. That is to say, he received God’s words, believed them, and acted upon them in obedience because of His faith in them. You cannot separate Jesus from His words, either logos (written in the past) or Rhema (spoken directly to you in the present). To believe in one you will believe the other, to reject one you reject the other for they are one in the same.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God….And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” – John‬ ‭1:1, 14‬ ‭

So we understand that the seed is the word and the word is Jesus but let’s go a little deeper. Abraham believed God’s voice (words) and received a promise that through his seed all nations would be blessed. That those who bless him would be blessed and those that curse him would be cursed, and that he would inherit a kingdom. The promise was to him and his seed. Most understand this to be the Jewish people by nationality, however that is not a biblically accurate interpretation. Scripture tells us that the kingdom being promised here was not to be given to many seeds (as in a people) but to Abrahams seed (singular, as in a person), and that person is Christ in whom all the nations of the world are blessed; whomsoever (of any people, gender, class, or nationality) chooses to believe in Him and in His words, for He is the word! 

“And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” – Genesis‬ ‭26:4-5‬ ‭

“Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.” – Galatians‬ ‭3:16‬ ‭

So now we can see that the parable of the sower in its deepest since being that of different people who have receive Christ (the Seed and the Word) in different ways and the outcome of it. 

The first is one who hears the word and receives the seed but is not discipled. Being unlearned they are unable to yet distinguish between the voice of the shepherd and the voice of the stranger, and following the stranger will be led astray before the seed really takes root and bares fruit. 

The second is one who hears the words of God and receive Christ with gladness! Yet they don’t go any deeper. They don’t let the word take root and breakup their heart ground, the environment of their heart is not changed by the Seed but resist it, they don’t break up their fallowed ground and seek after righteousness. They aren’t told that they have to ever seek to go deeper and to grow in the things of God, therefore they stay shallow never reaching for the deeper things of God and when the storms of trial, tribulation, disappointment, offense, and persecution arise, they are unequipped, unaware, and able to endure not having built that deep unshakable personal relationship with God that they might draw from the deep well that is the Holy Ghost ministering hope directly and personally to them and through them even in dry and desperate seasons.

“In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)” – John‬ ‭7:37-39‬

Though all of these situations are tragic, the third condition of the parable is possibly the most damaging to the faith of others. You see the third one received Christ, the seed took root, grew into a tree, and was even producing fruit! However, other things grew up around it and began to choke it out until it died and stopped producing. Distractions, worries, social status, money, possessions, positions, relationships, idols, vanity, anything that you allow to take your ear away from God’s voice is taking your heart away from it also and you will Bering to dry up and eventually die spiritually. We know that Jesus said that any tree that bares not good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire, and here we see a tree that once bore fruit yet now has become barren and fruitless. Let this sink in and never allow anything to choke out your connection to the root from which you draw your grace and thus cut off the fruitfulness of your faith. No compromise. No complacency. No idolatry. Remember, this world is not your home. 

Finally, the last condition is what Jesus called “good soil“. The heart that hears His words, receives Him (the Seed), allows Him to grow deep roots in you changing the environment of your heart, digging down and drawing up deep wells of living water, and baring much fruit that others might be blessed and more seed spread to the pleasing of the sower. 

So what condition do you find yourself in today? Does the enemy steal the words God speaks to you as soon as they are spoken? That seed was not buried, therefor do you need to die to self and be buried with Christ. Do you need to go deeper into the things of God and the power (and giftings) of His Holy Spirit that you be better equipped to withstand the wilds of the devil? Do you need to remove somethings from your life that are choking out your personal time with God, killing your relationship with Him, and making you unfruitful? Do you want to be counted by God as good ground baring much fruit that you might hear those long awaited words, “well done My good and faithful servant, come and inter into your rest.” 

All of these bad grounds can be transformed into good ground by simply spending time with the husbandmen (the tender of the garden). Determined to get alone with God and get to know God and He will make not only Himself known to you, but He will make the condition of your own heart known to you also, that it might be mended into greater fruitfulness that you might be blessed. For it is His desire to bless but He cannot bless unfruitfulness. So call on Jesus, seek the husbandmen, cry out for Him to plow your heart, soften it, remove the thorns (sin and distractions), attend to His words, seek to go deeper into the things of God, and watch your barrenness become blessing. 

“The sower soweth the word. And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts. And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended. And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful. And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred. And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick? For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad. If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.” – Mark‬ ‭4:14-23‬ ‭

Flee & Fight

“But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.” – 1 Timothy‬ ‭6:11-12‬

The book of Timothy gives really good insight on Christian leadership as Timothy, an apprentice of the Apostle Paul is a pastor. Anyone who is called to ministry really should study this “manual for ministers”

The Christian life in many instances can be very trying at times, but God is always working things in our lives for our good, our growth, and our maturing. Timothy is exhorted in this final chapter of Paul’s letter, to flee the lusts of the world, and also to fight the good fight of faith.

Whether we are leadership or laity, the abandonment of the world combined with the pursuit of God in our battles to trust Him when it doesn’t make sense, is the fruit or evidence of our spiritual regeneration by the power of the Holy Spirit!

“If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work. Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” – 2 Timothy 2:21-22

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these ; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” – Galatians 5:19-25

“With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.” – Psalm 119:10

This morning know that no matter what you’ve done, you can run for His mercy and forgiveness of sin! The devil wants you to feel like “the fight” is hopeless. It’s not!

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John‬ ‭1:9‬‬

if you have been defeated by the enemy, submit to God and flee and fight!

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” – James 4:7-10

Take Authority

Most believers have a passion to see the nations taken for the Kingdom of God. Give us the Nations Lord, cries an eager and enthusiastic people. Yet I heard the Lord say to me once, “how can you expect Me to send you out to take the land if you won’t even take authority over the territory I’ve already given you?” 

So what is the territory that you already have authority over? The first territory is your own mind. This is your land, your dominion, your camp, and you have full authority over it to kick the enemy out. You just have to do it. 

Once you have exercised your authority in the territory of your mind and emotions, then you can expand to the territory of your house. Your physical land is your dominion and you have all authority to determine what can stay on it and what cannot. Kick the devil off of your land and throw all of his stuff out with him so that he doesn’t have a right to come back for it later. Throw his music out, throw his movies out, throw his books, magazines, and websites out, throw his idols out, throw his drinks out, throw his stuff out, and throw Him out with it! It’s your house, take authority, throw him out of it and move God in.

Now that your own land is secure you can start strategizing to reach out and take the land around you. Start praying and warring for your friends and family. Once you start to gain some ground there, start joining forces and locking arms with them to war for your church family and their families. 

Your really expanding the territory now! So start praying for your community, your schools, your state, your nation, for world wide revival, for the state of the church as a whole, for persecuted believers, for signs, wonders, and miracles. Get your marching orders and follow them exactly in faith and see miracles begin to manifest as you take territory after territory after territory…. But it all starts by taking authority over what’s already yours. Your mind, your body, and your home. Take authority, then take the land.

“(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.” – 2 Corinthians‬ ‭10:4-6‬ ‭

Get Into Position

While in prayer I had an unusual vision. Unusual because I do not live anywhere near the ocean and know very little about surfing. Yet in the vision I saw myself on a surf board in the ocean. I felt the swelling of a big wave coming, I felt the water begin to move under me, and I heard the Lord say, “get into position“. To which I jumped up onto the board in a ready and stable stance to catch this coming wave that was not fully cresting, yet was already in motion. 

“Get into position”.  For those who have been in a season of waiting, it’s time to get into position for movement because the wave represents a move of God. You see, the counterfeit ministries that make it look like they control the move of God in their services can only move in the minor manipulation of lying spirits showing forth lying wonders, but God is greater therefore when He truly moves does He manifest the greater things.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” – John‬ ‭14:12‬ ‭

A true move of God is like a mighty wave in the ocean, you don’t control the wave, the wave controls you and what the wave does with you depends wholly on what position you are in when it comes. 

Jesus urged us continually to wait for Him and to be watchful and vigilant. Only those who will watch for Him in faith when it seems like nothing is happening will be ready to be moved by Him when the suddenlies come. Many times in scripture we read of faithful men and women of God waiting in a position of prayer, then suddenly…

“And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” – Acts‬ ‭2:2-4‬ ‭

When the suddenlies come, everything after that is rapid movement for those who were in the proper position to be caught up by it, just like my wave. You see, the wave in my vision represented a mighty move of God. I was in a position of quiet waiting; watching, feeling the move of water around me, my whole being was vigilantly focused in faith actively anticipating that which could not yet be seen. Then I began to feel the swell, for true moves of God can always be felt before they are seen, so mighty is the force of it. Many have felt this swelling and made themselves alert knowing that something big is coming, while others have fallen asleep on the board or become distracted playing in the water, having lost sight, faith, patience, or hope of what they had been waiting for. 

“Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” – Luke‬ ‭21:36‬ ‭

After much waiting in such quiet, it’s easy to question if this swell that you are beginning to feel really means anything at all, then the water (Holy Spirit) begins to move and those who have not fallen asleep on the board hear that still small voice sternly speak, “get into position“. Those that have tuned their ear to hear and (more importantly) believe God’s voice jump into position and ready themselves to ride this wave as far as it is willing to take them. But for those who have grown weary in the waiting, complacent, unfaithful, unbelieving, or distracted when the movement comes they will not be in the proper position to be carried with it. They will either have it pass right under them and have to watch it speed away from them feeling little more then the bobbing of the swell as it passes them by, or worse yet, be toppled over by it being caught unaware as they try to jump onboard at the last minute unprepared. Of the two options for those who find themselves unready to ride this wave, I think it better to let it pass you by and determine to ready yourself to catch the next one then to try to jump in unprepared and be knocked off your board under the weight of it.

So in practical terms, what does it look like to be in position? The position is submission. Patiently waiting, watching. Not sleeping on the board or playing in the water, but focusing each moment in faith preparing for the wave that you cannot see coming. If your position is preaching, then stop playing in the water and preach. If your position is teaching then stop sleeping on the board and teach. If your position is prophesying then open your mouth and speak. If your position is worship then set your eyes, tune your ears, raise your hands, and WORSHIP! If your position is leading then stand up and ready yourself to walk worthy of it. If your position is helping then stop trying to take the lead and prepare to support others as the Lord instructs that He may exalt you in due season. Yet for all of us the starting position is prayer! Get on that board, get on your knees, get your head down, and steady yourself because a big wave is coming for those who have believed enough to position themselves to be caught up by it and cooperate with it.

Now for the bystanders that never had the faith to leave the shore and get into the water (Holy Spirit), they don’t even feel it coming because they are not “in” the water and cannot feel the moving of it, but being still on the shore are totally dry. Yet they too will see it when it begins to crest and break forth. When they do, some will fear it, some will envy it, and some will be inspired by it. However for those still on the shore, by the time they begin to see it, it will be too late to start paddling out to get into position to be part of it. Therefore will they either in jealousy ridicule those that were, or in motivation resolve to mimic those who were that they might be in position to be part of the next wave. Yet, for those who are in position to properly ride this thing out, it will take them farther faster then they could ever have paddled in their own strength. So in all of this, my word to the discerning today is “Get into position.”

“While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation…. So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” – Hebrews‬ ‭3:15, 19‬ ‭
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” – Proverbs‬ ‭3:5

“The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.” – Proverbs‬ ‭20:4‬ ‭

“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” – Isaiah‬ ‭40:31‬ ‭

“And when the man that had the line in his hand went forth eastward, he measured a thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the waters were to the ankles. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through the waters; the waters were to the knees. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through; the waters were to the loins. Afterward he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over.” – Ezekiel‬ ‭47:3-5‬ ‭

“And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” – Genesis‬ ‭1:2‬ ‭

Live Like You Believe

18a2“The Lord reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the Lord is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved. Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting. The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves. The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea. Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house, O Lord, for ever.”‭ – Psalms 93:1-5‬

The Church is more to blame for the condition of the world, than the world is to blame for the condition of the Church!!!
If “GREATER IS HE THAT IS IN ME, THAN he that is in the world”, than why don’t we live like it??!

We have allowed the “spirit of error”, unbelief, and the sin-filled world to infiltrate the churches, thereby relinquishing our GOD given authority against it! Today, I’m provoked!! Today, I say, “ENOUGH!!!” Today, I choose to take up the authority and power of GOD within me and do something about it! It’s HIGH TIME that the Church fixes their gaze on their HOLY GOD, and begin to live like HE IS IN US!

“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men‭‭;” – 1 Timothy‬ ‭2:1‬‬

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.”‭‭ – Titus‬ ‭2:11-15‬‬

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;”‭‭ – 1 Timothy‬ ‭4:1-2‬‬

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:”‭‭ – 2 Timothy‬ ‭1:7-10‬‬

We have not received a spirit of fear, but we have received a SPIRIT of POWER, LOVE, and of a SOUND MIND! HE is the HOLY SPIRIT OF TRUTH! HE IS THE POWER BACKING UP THE WORD OF TRUTH, THE WHOLE COUNCIL OF GOD!
So, receive the WORD, believe the WORD, and live the WORD in the POWER AND OPERATION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT WITHIN US! Then we will be transformed into the HOLY BODY we are called to be, operating in unity by the HOLY COMMANDS coming from JESUS CHRIST, who is the HEAD of the Church unto those who seek His face, hear His voice, and are led by His Spirit. Then will OUR HOLY GOD WILL BE GLORIFIED AGAIN, AND MANIFEST HIS GLORY!

“Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.‭” – Ephesians 1:15-23‬

Submitted by Heather Wright

Living in the Miraculous 

“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.” – James‬ ‭5:16-18‬ ‭

Nothing is impossible for God, yet being just as He is, He is bound by His own words that what He has said He will do whether it be in reward or in judgment, He must do. 

James (the brother of Jesus being a son of Mary and Joseph) gives very clear instruction on seeing God move in the miraculous. In previous verses he says, “if there are any sick among you, bring them before the church, anoint them with oil, have the leadership pray over them, and this prayer of faith will move in healing upon them.” Faith requires that we believe in what God says and how He says to do things, it is trusting that He knows best enough to obey His instructions. 

The passage then continues going a bit deeper into why those prayers often don’t work, then gives us an absolute assurance that they can, if we will have the faith and humility to meet God’s conditions for it. 

First he states that we need to be humble enough to confess our faults/sins (failures), and seek Godly friends to pray with about these things with you as you press God for strength in repentance. God is clear that He only gives His grace to the humble because only the humble seek Him, trust Him, depend on Him, and obey Him. 

Grace is God’s divine favor, power, and influence, all of which are needed to preform the miraculous, and it is only given to the humble. So let your first focus be on cultivating humility toward God and reverence for His presence. Humility and reverence will cause you to trust and obey His voice and leading which will by default cause you to walk in righteousness (doing what He says is right instead of what you think or feel is right). Therefor, walking in righteousness is the second requirement to moving in the miraculous. 

If you have faithfully repented of (turned away from/ceased to do) all known sins (which are failures to obey God’s voice) as God reveals them to you, and are walking in righteousness (obedience), then the third requirement is fervent prayer. James tells us in no uncertain terms that Elijah was a man just like us. He was not super human, he was not made any different then you are I, nor were the temptations he faced any less. He simply chose to trust God, obey His voice, turn away from temptations to sin, walked in righteousness, and prayed fervently. He simply met all the conditions that God had laid out and if we will do the same, then we too will walk in the miraculous even as he did, for God is no respecter of persons, nor has His power diminished.

“Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” – Acts‬ ‭10:34-35‬ ‭

God has not changed, He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. What He does for one He will do for others if they will meet the same conditions. If they walk in the same humility, exhibit the same faith, endurance, selflessness, and trust. God is a good father that desires to give good gifts to His children. Yet we tie His hands from doing so because He, being just, cannot move against His own words. His word says that He resist the proud, therefor can He not work with the proud, only against them. His word says that He does not hear the prayers of the unrighteous, therefore He cannot move on their behalf. And above all, He cannot reward unbelief, therefore if we do not trust Him enough to seek His voice and believe it, no matter what we see, think, or feel, then He will not move; for it was because of unbelief that He withheld His promise from the Children of Israel in the wilderness until a generation arose who were willing to meet the conditions so that He could finally bring the blessing forth. 

“But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. SUBMIT yourselves therefore to God. RESIST the devil, and he WILL flee from you.” – James‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭

“Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.” – John‬ ‭9:31‬ ‭

“But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?” – Hebrews‬ ‭3:17-18‬ ‭

No, nothing is too hard for God, nor has He changed or diminished, only our faith has, our willingness to submit to God and resist the devil; to seek, listen, hear, trust, and obey God at all cost. The conditions are simple, humble yourself, listen to His voice, repent of failures to do so, trust what He says, walk in that trust no matter what, and pray fervently. In other words, believe, really believe, and these signs WILL follow those that believe. 

“And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” – Mark‬ ‭16:17-18‬ ‭