Faith In Your Friend

“Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead. But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.” – John‬ ‭12:9-11‬ ‭

Lazarus, having had the life giving resurrection power of God displayed through him began to share his testimony. Now only by faith in Jesus could these people be saved, yet it was because of Lazarus’s testimony and from witnessing him walking in this newness of life that their faith was stirred and they began to believe on Jesus.

This miraculous work of God in Lazarus’s life demonstrating the very real and present power of heaven not only drew the attention of many people as they turned their ears toward him and their faith toward Jesus, but it also drew the attention of the enemy. The Pharisee’s, the religious insurgence of the devil, those same people who Jesus called “vipers” and “children of hell”, those ministers of Satan masquerading as ministers of light, actually began plotting to kill Lazarus, whom God had just raised.

Think on that for a minute. God himself raised this man to life, and the priest are trying to kill him again to hide the power of God. Because you see, by God demonstrating His power in someone else it showed that these priest didn’t have it themselves because they could not do what God had done through these men. Oh how the pious leaders of many a church seek to spiritually kill those who God has demonstrated the real and present power of the kingdom through because it shows their own lack of relationship with God.

Remember that Lazarus had this testimony because that he was “a friend of Jesus.” He was very close to Christ, He supped with him and his family, he visited with them, he ministered with them, he laughed with them, and in their time of deep trial and pain He wept with them. They were friends of Christ. In these times of visitation they had listened to Jesus, believed Him, followed Him, ministered with Him, sacrifice for Him, and suffered beside Him. The Pharisee’s on the other hand, had resisted Him, rejected Him, distanced themselves and their congregations from Him. Even to the point of forbidding and shunning them from seeking after, or listening to, this miracle working man of God, Jesus.

Yet, though not just his comfort but his very life hang in the balance, still did Lazarus boldly proclaim that which God had said and done! How could he so fearlessly do this? First of all he was fully persuaded that heaven, hell, and the resurrection were real and that this was the Christ, the only way to attain it! When you KNOW of whom you speak, you can faithfully and unwaveringly say, “to live is only to serve Christ and to die is still yet gain”! Secondly, he was able to stand in the presence of all the onslaughts of hell and fear no evil because the LORD was with him. He had faith in the love, power, protection, and plan of this man who had become both his savior and friend. When we come to know Jesus in that same way, then we will be driven to do that same thing.

When God opens up heaven and pours His life giving resurrection power upon your life in miraculous ways, it demonstrates the reality of our real and present Christ! However, only when you boldly tell others about it does it then stir their faith and turn many people to Jesus. Yes the more you turn others toward the real present living Messiah in all of His Glory that they may have a personal relationship with Him also, the more the enemy will rise against you. (Usually by those who claim to represent Him but don’t actually know Him because that when He came to them, they resisted him.) 

Yet if you will but simply trust in your faithful friend Jesus and stand for Him, professing what He has done and spoken, then He will stand with you and nothing outside of His plan will overtake you. In this unshakable faith is the enemy overcome and eternity gained, not just for you, but for many who witness you being a witness of Him.

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” – Revelation‬ ‭12:11‬

“Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead. But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.” – John‬ ‭12:9-11‬ ‭

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Beware of Dogs

“Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.” – Philippians‬ ‭3:2‬ ‭

Paul warns the church of Philippi to be ware of dogs in this, his letter to them. The word translated to dog here in the original Greek was “Kyon”, which referred to either a dog or a man with impure thoughts. Paul, explains further how to identify the character of these dogs among the sheepfold that they might better recognize them by their mindset. In doing so he instructs them in this simple truth. 

God is no respecter of persons, of prestige, of ritual right, or carnal knowledge. He is a respecter of faith and faith only. Not faith in what you think you know, in who you think you are, or even in what you think you believe, but faith in what He says. This alone impresses and pleases God. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Therefore, only those who believe in what He did so that we can hear from Him directly and then once hearing have faith in what He has said to them (even as Abraham did), have laid down their own righteousness (what they think is right) to take on and walk in true righteousness, God’s righteousness (what God says is right). In this, obeying God’s voice and spoken word to him, was Abraham counted righteous for our example. 

To this end does Paul state in this letter to Lydia and the elders of her church that of all men he was most worthy to trust his flesh but even he was deceived by it, therefor did he lay it down and if he could not trust to rely on it then no other can either. Nor should they judge in whom they trust by means of it. Paul’s pedigree, his degree, his perfect performance of ritual and knowledge of the law, everything he thought he knew, he had to count it all lost, that He might gain Christ. Christ didn’t die so that you could keep on assuming that what you have to offer in your own knowledge, strength, skill, talent, or zeal is worthy of God’s notice. He suffered and died so that you could be atoned for and enter in to His presence to build a real relationship with Him, so that you can hear directly from Him, and trust (or have faith in) Him enough to follow His voice and leading in every situation. Anything less is ritual, idolatry, pride, and unbelief wrapped up in a dead sheepskin. 

“Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.” – Philippians‬ ‭3:2-11‬ ‭

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 ‭

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 ‭

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 ‭

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 ‭

Uprooting Iniquity

Having grown up on a small family farm there are many aspects of scripture that have daily come alive to me. Parables of sheep and goats, sowing seeds, pruning vineyards, equal yoking, dealing with wheat and tears, ridding the chaff, and so on. There is a lot to be said about my wilderness college, as I call it. There are deeper revelations and understandings to be had of the scriptures found in putting your hands in the dirt and to the plow and actually doing what the biblical writers did, then to sit in a classroom and be told what they said.

Having said that one seemingly endless battle that we fought in our fields was a weed called Johnson grass. It’s a nasty annoying tear (weed grass) that shoots up fast and stands tall among your garden with saw like leaves that slice you open when you try to pull them and if you do succeed in uprooting it you usually pull up several good plants with it that had grown too close to it. 

After having fought with this issue for years, I asked my grandfather (who had farmed the same land decades earlier in a simpler time) how they dealt with Johnson grass in his day before tractors and herbicides were readily available here. Much to my surprise he said, “oh that’s easy. If a field got to the point of being so infested with weeds that it became fruitless, we would just turn the pigs loose in the field and let them utterly destroy it. They would devour everything. The pigs would dig up the ground and eat even the very roots leaving behind a barren sterilized field. We would then run the pigs out, put the barriers around the garden back up and start over weed free.” 

What genius and yet what sorrow in this lass ditch effort to save a field. Taking the protective wall down around a field and allowing the enemy to rush in and wreak havoc in-order to up root the weeds that are rendering the field fruitless and useless. Yet even in what might seem from the outside looking in like the farmer was giving up on the field by taking the wall down and turning it over to the pigs was actually an act of love for this field. He was not willing to leave it to the tears, he was not willing to give up on the garden. Even if he had to start over, it was better then just walking away from it because he loved it.

Believe it or not, God does the same thing to people, churches, and even nations. When seeds of rebellion, pride, error, or wickedness begin to outnumber and choke out the fruits of righteousness God removes the wall a protection and allows the enemy to rush in and over take it in hopes of rooting out rebellion through the humbling. 

“For thus saith the Lord to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.” – Jeremiah‬ ‭4:3‬ ‭

“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. Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies: because thou didst trust in thy way, in the multitude of thy mighty men. Therefore shall a tumult arise among thy people, and all thy fortresses shall be spoiled, as Shalman spoiled Beth–arbel in the day of battle:…” – Hosea‬ ‭10:12-14‬ ‭

We see this happening on a personal, congregational, and even a national scale in the story of the Israelites in the wilderness. Time and time again the weeds of sin through unbelief over took the people even though they had good leaders instructing them in truth so that in the end God removed His protection and allowed the enemy to clear the field as an entire generation (and congregation) fell in the wilderness. After which God started afresh with a new generation. Not willing to give up the field because He loved it, He did what He had to to clear the land and make it ready to be fruitful. 

God does not desire to take these harsh actions but never the less, sometimes He must, that the land (or territory) not be lost and become a wilderness. It is grieving to God’s heart to see the field trampled under foot for a season, yet because of His love for the field, He will do what He must to save it in the end and make it bare fruit again. It is surely better to avoid letting the weeds spring up, take root, and spread seed in the first place, nevertheless, when they do God will stop at no lengths to get them out. Even if He has to level the field to do it. He wants a fruitful vineyard and all that bare not good fruit or hender the fruitfulness of others He will cut down and cast out by whatever means nessisary that the whole field not be lost. So great is His love for His field and the potential of it’s fruitfulness.

“Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes. And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard. What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down: And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for (good) judgement, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.” – Isaiah‬ ‭5:1-7‬ ‭

“It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” – 1 Corinthians‬ ‭5:1-8‬ ‭

Worship Births Rhema 

Their is power in the Rhema word of God spoken out of the mouth of the believer to break yokes, take territory, heal, deliver, set free, and move mountains! However, we are cautioned in scripture to test the spirits to see if they are of God because many spirits are gone out into the world making many false professions.

One thing I have learned over the years is that any word not birthed out of worship is suspect. Why? Because worship is love expressed and God is love! Further more, true worship of God causes the enemy to flee clearing the air to clearly hear only the voice of the good shepherd. Therefore is it a safe place where the Holy Spirit is welcomed and made comfortable and the enemy is jeered and made uncomfortable!

The devil hates God and desires to be worshiped himself, therefor does he hate when God is worshiped. It enrages him to the core and he flees from it leaving his camp (or territory) in confusion and easy to take. Therefore does it not only run the enemy off and make the hearing more clear, it makes the fight easy and more effective. 

1 John 14:16 tells us that God Himself is love, but not just any kind of love, a particular type of love, “agape” love. This is a selfless sacrificial uncompromising love. Therefore we can say that God is Agape. We then read in 1 Corinthians 13 that though we may speak in tongues, or even prophesy, if we do not have Agape then it is only noise. There is no power in it because God is not in it. It is not Rhema, it is not love. 

Nothing draws the Holy Spirit of God/Agape (which is love) like a heart of love expressing love for His Agape love, and that’s what true worship is. Worship is love expressed. If it’s not love it’s not worship and if it’s not expressed its not worship. Worship is love for God expressed and in that expression is the Spirit of truth (the Holy Spirit) attracted and the Spirit of Error (the devil) repelled; and out of that is true unclouded, untainted, power filled, earth changing, heaven shaking Rhema birthed and brought forth. Anything less is just noise. 

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” – 1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:1‬ ‭