Esther, A Blueprint For Revival

“And Esther said, The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman. Then Haman was afraid before the king and the queen.” – Esther‬ ‭7:6‬ ‭

Esther was an orphan Jewish girl amongst those that had been taken into captivity who eventually became the Persian queen. During which time Haman, a pompous and prideful man, desirous of vain glory and the worship of men, became angry with Esther’s cousin for both refusing to bow to Haman and for gaining favor with the King through humble faithfulness. To which ends he began to slander the Jews and put out a decree to have them all killed.

Upon hearing this Esther called a fast, prayed, sought an audience with the King, humbled herself before him, spent time with him gaining His favor, then pleaded with him to cancel the plans of the enemy. Because of the Kings love for Esther, his wrath was stirred that this enemy would dare to harm her and those she loved. The King then turned everything around by decreeing that Haman be put to death publicly on the very gallows he had built to hang Mordecai, (Ester’s cousin). More then that only, because of Mordecai’s faithfulness, through prayer powered divine intervention, Mordecai was not only protected but promoted. He was given the King’s robe and ring (which granted him both Royal favor and authority), as well as all the possessions, land, and territory of his enemy Haman.

This is more then a great story, it’s more then history, it is the blueprints for powerful intercession, spiritual warfare, and revival! (As well as the personal role of every woman of God in her family, church, community, and world.) When God’s favor comes upon someone (as it did on Mardecai) the enemy will surely be stirred to jealousy and begin plotting, planning, slandering, manipulating, and decreeing death. Then ought to step in an Esther, one who will fast, pray, seek an audience with the King, humble themselves before Him, draw close to Him, gain favor, plead with Him against the plans of the enemy, and because of the closeness of their communion, see His wrath kindled against all that have risen against them and all those they love. 

You see, Esther’s favor did not only protect and bless her, her favor was extended to those she loved and fought for. In like manner, when we draw close to God and gain favor, that favor is also extended to those we love the most through our prayers and the love of our King for us. Esther already had all she could ask for, she had the heart of the King, yet through her relationship with the King was Mordecai given the territory of the enemy, along with favor and authority to rule over it. 

Let this be a reminder to every intercessor or congregant. Your pastor will only take the ground you petition the King for. Without the Esthers there are no Mordecias because the Hamans win. Yes Mordecai got the ring, the robe, and the parade, while Esther remained hidden behind palace walls, but great is her reward in heaven for her name is written in eternity. Every true life giving, devil defeating, territory taking revival in history, though fronted by a Mordecai, was actually brought about by Esthers hidden behind palace walls seeking an audience with the King.

“And Esther said, The adversary and enemy is this wicked Haman. Then Haman was afraid before the king and the queen. And the king arising from the banquet of wine in his wrath went into the palace garden: and Haman stood up to make request for his life to Esther the queen; for he saw that there was evil determined against him by the king. Then the king returned out of the palace garden into the place of the banquet of wine; and Haman was fallen upon the bed whereon Esther was. Then said the king, Will he force the queen also before me in the house? As the word went out of the king’s mouth, they covered Haman’s face. And Harbona, one of the chamberlains, said before the king, Behold also, the gallows fifty cubits high, which Haman had made for Mordecai, who had spoken good for the king, standeth in the house of Haman. Then the king said, Hang him thereon. So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king’s wrath pacified.” – Esther‬ ‭7:6-10‬

“God is jealous, and the Lord revengeth; the Lord revengeth, and is furious; the Lord will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies. The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the Lord hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.” – Nahum‬ ‭1:2-3‬ ‭

“Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” – Psalms‬ ‭23:5-6‬ ‭

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Give Us a King

“Then the men of Israel said unto Gideon, Rule thou over us, both thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son also: for thou hast delivered us from the hand of Midian. And Gideon said unto them, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the Lord shall rule over you.” – Judges‬ ‭8:22-23‬ 

The mark of a truly great man or woman of God is not one who has many followers but one who directs many to follow Christ, even as they themselves follow Him. Oh, how often do we see men building their own kingdoms at the expense of God’s? How often do we see men heaping followers after themselves. Platform seekers, head counters, prestige hungry, attention greedy, desirous of vain glory. Brothers and sisters, it ought not to be so among those claiming to be of God. Jesus taught to choose the lowest seat, to esteem others better then self, to choose to be servant of all, and if the Lord exult you in this life then so be it, but if He choose to wait until the life to come to do so, then that’s all the better.

We love the sermons about how Saul stood head and shoulders above the rest, about how the crown chased after David, and how wisdom befell Solomon. We love the stories of the kings but we forget the sad truth that laid the foundation for their being. The fact that Israel refused to let God be King over them personally and ever sought to follow a man. 

You see God did not desire for Israel to have an earthly King. God instituted a series of Judges over Israel, from which we get the book of Judges. These were prophets, warriors, deliverers, protectors, enforcers, and ministers of God to the people. They were servants of God for the people from among the people in times of distress and need, meant to point their hearts and minds ever back toward God, their true King.

You see, at this time the heathen nations of the earth served and even worshiped men as King, but Israel (an archetype for the church) was meant to be different from the world. They were to serve and worship God as King. Yet they were ever seeking to be like the world and follow after men rather then God. Even the men and women that God raised up to minister to them and their needs in times of trouble such as Gideon became their object of idolatry as they tried to make him their King. Gideon, being a true man of God with fear, reverence, and humility, refused to let this happen, but how often does it still happen in the church today? After all, that’s how most ministries, movements, and denominations are built. 

People of God, we ought not to follow after personalities or people. We ought to follow after God personally, He alone is our King and if it’s one thing we can learn from the history of Israel, it’s that even good kings eventually get replaced by bad ones and corruption sets in because all kingship outside of God’s Kingship is idolatry. The church was never meant to follow men, they were meant to follow God Himself. Only the weak, prideful, and rebellious insist on doing so through men of stature, title, prestige, and pomp and just like Israel who insisted on having an earthly king to follow, (though it may start off well) it was always to their spiritual demise in the end. 

Yes God still sends judges; servants of truth, deliverance, and protection for the flock, but these are only pasturers (from whence we get the word pastor), hired hands of the shepherd. The flock is not theirs, they do not lead it, they only feed it. Less they lead it away from the true shepherd and invoke His wrath. Which was the reoccurring fate that Israel gained for itself for seeking to follow after men like the world did, and the church in general to this day does the same.

The book of judges ends with one of the saddest verses in the bible. After being told repeatedly that God was their King, and the people continuously refusing to submit to Him but rather seeking to fit in and be like others, insisted on following a man. So that finally God was grieved enough, stepped back, and gave them exactly what they wanted. You can not reject God (or His Words) to follow a man, and not expect Him to depart. You can’t serve two masters. There is only one King, one authority, one truth, reject it and you reject Him, which means that He is no longer your King. And so for all it’s redemptions, victories, and struggles, the book of Judges ends with these heartbreaking words:

“In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” – Judges‬ ‭21:25‬

“Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations. But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the Lord. And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not be King over them.” – 1 Samuel‬ ‭8:4-7‬ ‭

(Read the rest of 1 Samuel chapter 4 to see the curse that God pronounced over Israel for demanding that they be allowed to follow a man and how perfectly it parallels those among the church who do the same)

“Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?” – 1 Corinthians‬ ‭1:12-13‬

“Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” – Ephesians‬ ‭4:3-6‬ ‭

“And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.”‭‭ – John‬ ‭19:14-15‬ ‭

Where Is Your Confidence

“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:” – 1 John‬ ‭5:14‬ ‭

James 4:3 tells us, “you ask and do not receive because you ask amiss“. In other words you ask for what you want according to your own will for the building of your own kingdom. Therefor, God does not listen. After all God was not made to serve men, but men were made to serve God. So ought men to come to God in prayer seeking His will, and then by praying in agreement with it can you be assured that that prayer will be answered. 

I believe the church could turn the world up side down (even as it did in the book of Acts) if it spent less time in prayer telling God what to do and more time asking Him what to do. The greatest gift of Jesus’s sacrifice, short of His atoning cleansing blood, is His empowering Holy Spirit which allows us to all become priest and commune directly with God.

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” – Hebrews‬ ‭4:16‬ ‭

The reason we are no longer under law is because we no longer have to go to external stone tablets, scrolls, or men, to seek out what we ought to do, we can go to God directly. We can get on our knees and talk to Him ourselves and He will direct our path. We can learn His voice that we not be deceived into following any other. (Not of men or of demon.)

However, the first thing we must do to obtain this is to choose to lean not on our own understanding. James 4:6 says that “God gives more grace to the humble“, therefore, to grow in grace we must first humble the pride of our own “understanding” and be willing to say, “Lord, anyone can be deceived, and everyone has room to grow. I lay all pride aside, and cease to assume to know. Teach Me, Oh Lord. I want to know You more. Show me Your Glory.” After all, as close as Moses was to God, if even he saw fit to pray the prayer, “Lord, show me Your glory.” How much more ought we to desire and see a need to do so ourselves? 

There is so much more to God then any of us can imagine and so much that He desires to reveal of Himself to His children. God is willing to teach, but only those who are willing to learn. After all, how can He fill you up with His knowledge, wisdom, and Spirit if you are already full of yourself? Come to Him empty, humble, and willing and He will fill you up and cause the overflow of it to bless all those around you. 

Know that there is nothing in and of ourselves that is worth giving to anyone. So then only those who choose daily to empty themselves of their own understanding, knowledge, and will so that they can in faith receive God’s, will have anything worth giving to others. So in all things, at all times, humble yourself, step out in faith, and say, “Lord, not my will, but Thy Will be done. Teach me how to pray, what to say, when to wait, how to obey. Teach me, oh Lord, Your perfect way.” 

“Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.” – Psalms‬ ‭25:4-5‬ ‭

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.” – Proverbs‬ ‭3:5-7‬ ‭

I tell you this of an assurity, that in the end, those who put their confidence in God’s will, will see miracles, for they will see what only God can do. While those who keep their confidence in their own will, will never see more then what they themselves can do, and that’s not very much. 

Prayer: “Lord, I choose to put my confidence, not in what I know or can do, but in what You say and want to do. I give up my will so that I can take up Your cross and follow You. I give up my conditions so that I can pick up Your commission and see Your impossible Will be done in the earth. Lord, what I have to give has been proven to change nothing, but what You have to give changes everything. Therefore do I choose to place my confidence in You and in every Word You say, for nothing is impossible for You.”

“And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” – Matthew‬ ‭10:7-8‬ ‭

“But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” – Matthew‬ ‭19:26‬ ‭

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” – Hebrews‬ ‭11:6‬ ‭

“For with God nothing shall be impossible.” – Luke‬ ‭1:37‬ ‭

A Call to Prayer

“Thou, O Lord, remainest for ever; thy throne from generation to generation.” – Lamentations‬ ‭5:19‬ 

In the midst of lamentation, through every situation, in every generation, and over every idol nation, God is on His thrown. No matter how out of control things become, in your life, in your school, in your place of work, in your community, in your nation, or in the world, remember that God only allows lamentations to come to shake us awake, to call us to pray, to cause us to look up and remember that He is there, that He is our hope and if we will but remember Him, believe in Him, turn to Him, and call upon Him, everything will change.

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles‬ ‭7:14‬

Let’s face the reality of this sad truth (at least for most people). When things are good, God is not so real to us as when they are not. It is true that He is near to the broken and heareth the contrite because the desperation of their situation causes them to prioritize and cease to minimize their communion with God. Desperate people in desperate situations are desperate to get through to God and will lay aside all pride, vanity, preconceived notions, religiosities, and distraction and just cry out to God. What if we didn’t wait till we were in dire straights to allow the desperation of our situation to cause this activation of faith? What if we just “choose” to humble ourselves and do it now. No matter how it feels. No matter what people think. No matter what others say. Choose to remember how real He is, how present He is, how He longs to hear from you, to see you have the faith to start crying out for the things that are pleasing to Him in both your own heart and in the world around you, before it comes to chaos.

Most will not do this, this is why tribulations come upon the church and the world alike, because God is waiting for His people to pray, to believe in Him enough to show it in their actions, to love Him enough to want to obey and draw closer to Him, and to love others enough to intercede on their behalf. Then and only then will He act. 

Yet their are always those few who don’t wait to be humbled, they are willing to humble themselves. These are they who believe in Him enough as a real living present and powerful God to desire to draw close and get to know Him. They choose to spend time with Him, to speak to Him and hear from Him in prayer and in His Word. They don’t just love the idea of Him, they fall in love with Him. They get to know Him personally and these are the ones that He places His trust in when all else is falling apart. 

These faithful few already know their God and His voice, and another they will not follow. Therefor does He position them in advance of the storm to show forth great exploits unto the building of faith and the glory of God to lead others through it. Because, you see, while in the midst of chaos when others are just coming to terms with the fact that God is still on the thrown, these precious humbled souls don’t just know that God is on the thrown, they know the God who is on that thrown, and in the end, that makes all the difference.

“… but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. And they that understand among the people shall instruct many:…” – Daniel‬ ‭11:32-33‬

“Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. 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:” – Joel‬ ‭2:15-19‬ ‭

All His Promises Are Yes and Amen!

“For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.” – 2 Corinthians‬ ‭1:20‬ ‭

How encouraging! All God’s promises are yes and amen! Praise God! …what does that mean… Come on, admit it. You’ve had thoughts like this too. 

It’s obviously a good thing, it makes my spirit joyful, it encourages my soul, but what exactly does it really mean. 

In the previous verses Paul was making the point that nether he, nor his fellow ministers had wavered in their words, their teachings, their testimonies, or their faith. Though they were all under great strain to do so. They were being slandered, imprisoned, pursued, persecuted, and abandoned, yet their message never wavered because the message they preached was not their own, it was God’s and God doesn’t change.

“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” – Hebrews‬ ‭13:8‬ ‭

God is consistent, therefor His words are consistent, yet James 1:8 tells us that “a double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” The word translated to “mind” in that passage literally means “spirit“. Therefor, a person listening to more then one spirit will be unstable in all their ways. Yet the person (as Paul was) who is listening to only the Holy Spirit will be consistent, even as God is consistent.

Going back to our opening verse, we find that this is exactly the point that Paul was trying to make to a wavering people who had begun to listen to an other spirit and had become confused. The word translated to “yea” in the original Greek means “sure“, and the word translated to “amen” means “firm“. In other words, all God’s promises (or words for that matter) are sure and firm. They are unchanging, unwavering, and unmovible. He will do what He says He will do. Whether in blessing or in judgement, His word will not return void. That does not release is from the conditions He has set out for abstaining His promises, in fact it binds us to them, but likewise, nether does it leave any room for doubt in His faithfulness. For the sake of His Name, He will fulfill His promises, for they are sure and firm because He is faithful and true, therefor we can say yes and amen!

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” – James‬ ‭1:17‬ ‭

Don’t be like the Corinthians that Paul was correcting who had fallen from their steadfastness in the faith because they were listening to other spirits. God is consistent, He is not changing His plan. He is faithful! If He starts it, He is faithful to finish it! Be faithful to Him because He will surely be faithful to you. Don’t quit the race 2 minutes from the prize! No matter what it looks or feels like, choose to stand in faith on that which He has told or promised you, praise Him, and declare that all His promises are yes and amen! 

“Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” – Hebrews‬ ‭6:17-20‬ ‭

Are You Spiritually Love Sick?

“Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples: for I am sick of love.” – Song of Solomon‬ ‭2:5‬ ‭

Most of us know what it’s like to be love sick. That empty, depressing, lonely, heart desperate, anxious, unsettled feeling you have when you are away from the one you love the most. Sometimes you can’t even eat because your heart is more fixed on that person (or the absence of them) then on the desire for food. The negative emotional states mentioned above are also scientifically proven to severely weaken your immune system making you far more susceptible to physical illness as well. So when a person is love sick, it often starts out as an emotional state but, if prolonged, often ends up as a physical sickness. Therefore, being “love sick” is a very real thing.

Having said that, has it ever occurred to you that the same thing can happen if the bride of Christ doesn’t get to spend personal time with Him? Think about it, a true relationship with Christ is based on a deep love. When asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus answered “to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37). He also said that if we love Him we will keep His commandments (John 14:15), and that we fall in love with Him when we truly come to realize that He first loved us when we were yet unlovable and gave Himself a ransom for us that He might redeem us from the curse that we brought upon ourselves. (1 John 4:19)

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” – Ephesians‬ ‭5:25-27‬ ‭

So we see that, though some may need to be saved by fear of hell (Jude 1:23), it is falling in love with Christ that will cause us to spend the personal time with Him that will truly change us into a fit bride. You see, when the above passage says that the bride of Christ is “cleansed and sanctified by the washing of the water by the word“, that is a special kind of “word“. The Greek word used there is “Rhema“, which means His living spoken word, spoken directly and personally to you, as in prayer, devotion, and personal time with Him. 

This is not to be confused with “logo’s” which is the written word. Logo’s speaks of law and that which is written and passed down, but Rhema speaks of that which is spoken directly to your heart from God in the present. This is what brings conviction, instruction, direction, revelation, comfort, encouragement, and love, for it is in communion that we truly get to know someone and fall more and more in love with them. This is why Jesus encouraged us often through His “logos” written word from the past, to come in and sup, or commune with Him that you might receive His “Rhema” spoken word in the present. 

Now be warned that a true Rhema word from the Lord will never contradict the Logos word since they come from the same source, as all manifestations of the Godhead will always agree with each other. (1 John 5:7-8) However, the importance of personal time with the Lord cannot be overstated. It is in this time that you are truly changed and develop the drive, strength, determination, and grace to be a good and faithful bride. Yet as with any true relationship, if time together is neglected the relationship wanes, suffers, weakens, and eventually you will stray from it. This is why Jesus said that the fruit of those who do not abide in His love and remain connected will wither and they will eventually end up being cut off and cast into the fire (John 15:6).

Now to come back to our opening point about being love sick. Having seen that our relationship with Christ is one of love, partly expressed as all love relationships are, by personal communion, we may come to realize that many of the emotions, anxieties, stresses, depressions, and even illnesses we face come from the fact that we are not spending time with the one we love the most. Jesus! 

Many of the aggravations and offenses we struggle with may stem from a feeling of being robbed of that time by others or meaningless task. Furthermore, much of the guilt that struggling believers carry may be rooted in this lack of personal communion time with the Bridegroom, and the root of much envy may be found in jealousy against those who do. Yet if we are honest we have to admit that we will make time for what we love the most. Though the devil will steal your time, over work and overwhelm you, it is up to you to fight for time with the one you Love, and if you truly love Him, then fight you will. 

“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” – Jude‬ ‭1:3‬ ‭

Just like the love sick fool who doesn’t eat because they care more about seeing or hearing from that loved one then their own belly, if you must fast to find the time and energy to get to Him, you will. The truth is that being love sick is real, not just for your spouse but for the Bridegroom also. It you do not make personal time to talk with and hear from the Lord then you will get spiritually sick, and believe it or not this can lead eventually to even becoming physically sick.

“My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” – Proverbs‬ ‭4:20-23‬ ‭

Again the word for “word” in the original text here means the literal spoken word of God. A direct and personal message from the Word Himself to you, His bride. When you spend time with God and hear from the Lord (who is our help), it brings hope, which ignites a flame of passion, which drives action, to which the testimony of, stokes the flames of faith in love in others unto salvation and eternal life. But more then that only, hope literally brings health, that you might not only have life, but have it more abundantly! 

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

“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” – John‬ ‭10:10‬

“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 ‭

What Is The Law Of Christ?

“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” – Galatians‬ ‭6:2‬

Under the Old Covenant God had given mankind a law to follow. He wrote this law in stone and placed it before the people. However, Christ came to bring us a New Covenant, so does the Covenant of Christ come with a law also? Well according to Galatians chapter 6, verse 2, it does. However this law is not written in stone, so where then is it written?

“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” – Jeremiah‬ ‭31:31-33‬ ‭

“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” – Ezekiel‬ ‭36:26-27‬ ‭

In these two Old Testament prophecies of the coming New Covenant, we can plainly see that there is a law that comes with this New Covenant. However, it is not a law written on stone tablets but in the heart of the believer who by faith receives a new transformed heart and a new Spirit, God’s Spirit, the Holy Spirit! Through the blood of Jesus cleansing us and giving us a new heart and the power of His Holy Spirit within us being made manifest through us (which is grace), we are then changed into a new creature in Christ! One who is not only able to fulfill the old law (through a new and lasting sacrifice) but also to walk in the holiness of the new law of Christ!

“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” – Romans‬ ‭8:9-14‬ ‭

So what is the law of Christ? You see, Christ actually raised the bar on the law but at the same time empowered us to attain it. For where sin abounds, grace (or God’s favor, power, and divine influence, which can be summed up as the power of the Holy Spirit of God) abounds all the more to overcome that sin. 

“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.” – 1 John‬ ‭4:4‬ ‭

“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” – Romans‬ ‭8:37‬ ‭

Let us take, for example, when Jesus said in Matthew 5, “it is written, thou shall not commit adultery, but I say if you even look in lust, you sin. It is written also, thou shall not murder, but I say if you even hate your brother you are guilty of the sin of murder.” In this, Jesus was trying to show them that in the Old Covenant, that law was “written” on physical stone therefore they identified and judged physical sins. However, under the New Covenant the law would be written on their heart and would identify and judge heart sins before they became physical actions.

“And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.” – Acts‬ ‭17:30-31‬ ‭

Yes, the standard of righteousness is definitely raised under the New Covenant, because that we now have God’s Holy Spirit within us and His grace moving through us to empower us to produce these good fruits, which was not available to those of the old covenant. However, Christ makes it even simpler for us. He sums up all of the laws of both the Old Covenant and the New and shows us the one dividing factor between the two.

When asked in Mathew 22:36, what the greatest commandment in the Old Covenant was, He said, in short “To love God first and far most, and to love others as much as you love yourself“. It states that if you would do this you would automatically fulfill all the laws and words of the Prophets. However, when Christ spoke of the New Covenant, knowing it would be backed up by the power of the Holy Spirit, He gave this new all encompassing commandment that would, in like manner, cause you to fulfill all of the law now written on the heart of the believer (if they truly believe Him). That is this, “to love God first and far most, and to love others “as He loved them“. This is indeed a “New Commandment” for the New Covenant. No longer was it sufficient to simply love others as much as you love yourself, but now you are required to love others more then yourself, like Christ did. To be willing to esteem others better then self, to suffer and sacrifice for others, to love one and other, to pray for one and other, to bare one and others burdens, this is the Law of Christ. If you will in all things choose to love others more then yourself, then you will always do what is right in God’s eyes. In this is the Saint perfected, that he walk in perfect love. 

“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” – John‬ ‭13:34-35‬ ‭

“For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” – Matthew‬ ‭5:46-48‬ ‭

“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.” – 1 John‬ ‭4:16-17‬

“Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. 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;” – 2 Timothy‬ ‭1:6-8‬ ‭

Be Fruitful and Multiply

“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” – Genesis‬ ‭1:28‬ ‭

Be fruitful and multiply! This is the first commission given to man upon his creation by God. It remained his commission until Christ came and through the miracle of the rebirth, man who has already been born of water unto a physical birth and given a physical commission, was then through Jesus able to be born again of a Spiritual birth unto a spiritual commission. 

In essence the second commission was the same as the first, “be fruitful and multiply“. However, while the first commission was physical, the second was spiritual. That is to say, that the first was to be fruitful and multiply physically for the purpose of taking physical dominion over the earth, but the second was to be spiritually fruitful and multiply spiritually for the purpose of taking spiritual dominion over the earth. 

“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, 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 alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” – Matthew‬ ‭28:18-20‬ ‭

Therefore in order to effectively multiply (or grow) the spiritual family of God then we must be fruitful, for what is fruit but the reproduction of the tree, and what is Christ but the very tree of life by which we may obtain eternal life? 

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” – John‬ ‭14:6‬ ‭

Christ being the first good tree bore good fruit which then planted the seed of righteousness into those who believed His words and teachings. As those seeds grew into mighty trees themselves (metaphorically speaking), He then commissioned those trees to “be fruitful and multiply“. 

Again I point out that the fruit is the reproduction of the tree. Therefore, if the seed of truth and fruits of righteousness that Christ bare are received into the soil of your heart by faith then you will grow to be a mighty tree planted by the water (the Holy Spirit) and after a season of maturing, will produce fruit which will then (through the faith it stirs up in others) be planted in others and grow them into mighty trees producing the same fruits of righteousness. This is how the kingdom of God is reproduced and grown. This is how the land is taken, subdued, and dominion manifested.

“Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” – Hebrews‬ ‭12:11‬ ‭

“And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.” – Philippians‬ ‭1:9-11‬ ‭

“Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” – Matthew‬ ‭7:19-20‬ ‭

So what exactly are these fruits that one who has had the truth of the word of God planted in their heart by the Holy Spirit through faith in the teachings and actions of Jesus Christ? (As depicted in the parable of the sower) This fruit that Christ bore that caused others to have faith in His testimony by seeing the fruit of it manifest in His life? The same fruit that Christ expected His followers to bare that others might see and believe in the life changing power of His grace? The fruit that Christ Himself said that if you do not have then you are not His regardless of what you say for it is the evidence of planted and cultivated faith?

“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.” – Galatians‬ ‭5:22-24‬ ‭

So choose today to believe Christ’s words and teachings. All of them. Let them take root in your heart and by faith in it, He will send His grace to cause that seed to spring to life, grow, mature, then finally become fruitful and multiply. 

The first commission was given to establish physical dominion of the planet, while the second commission was to establish spiritual dominion of it. Yet in both cases the dominion was already given by the decree of God, but the spreading of seed and baring of fruit was the way by which He had designed (or commissioned) it to be made manifest. So no matter how many other ways you try to make it happen, God’s way is the only way it will work. So get before God, ask Him to plant His truth in you, receive it in faith no matter how much it contradicts your logic or pride, let Him cultivated it in you, prune you when necessary, and produce the fruits of righteousness. When you come to bare the fruits of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, genteelness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance through grace by abiding with Christ in prayer, devotion, communion, and worship, you will see it begin to be reproduced in others as disciples are drawn unto you and Christ commissions you to go forth, “be fruitful and multiply“. You see, the testimony of the fruit being produced in your changed and victorious life is the evidence that stirs faith in the power (or grace) of the life changing blood of Jesus Christ. So if you want to be useful in the Kingdom of God, victorious, full of dominion and fulfill His great commission, then you first need to seek God, humble yourself, submit, and and allow Him to cultivate these fruits in your life until you bare them freely and faithfully. There is no shortcut, this is how God has commissioned it to work.

“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 ‭

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.” – John‬ ‭15:1-8‬ ‭

The Demonic Depths Of Envy 

We all know that the bible speaks strongly against envy (or jealousy). In 1 Peter 2 and Titus 3, we are told that even though this is a natural condition of fallen man, as soon as we get saved it is among the first things that must go. As the Holy Spirit comes upon us at salvation by faith, He begins to convict us and empower us through grace to cast out every “vain” imagination and few imaginations are as “vain” as envy. In Fact, according to scripture, the one thing that gives jealousy access into your heart is “vain glory”, or “a desire for attention”.

“Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.” – Galatians‬ ‭5:26‬ ‭

When the devil sees someone desiring attention from anyone for any reason, he sends the spirit of jealousy to watch for an opportunity to enter, and yes jealousy is most definitely an evil spirit as stated in the book of Numbers chapter 5 verse 30.

When the person desiring the attention eventually at some point doesn’t get it and someone else does, that spirit gets in their ear and tells them all the reasons that person didn’t deserve it and all the reasons they did. At this point the believer needs to rebuke those thoughts and rejoice for the blessings of others because as soon as you choose to agree with that spirit, you give it access.

“Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.” – Ephesians‬ ‭4:26-27‬

Once you have given Envy access it then begins to work at your heart, mind, and emotions until what’s in your heart eventually reaches your lips and all manner of gossip, slander, guile, lies, bitterness, malice, manipulation, contention, and devision comes out and begins to tear down and defile others around you. Having been allowed to go this far, what has come out of your mouth then begins to drive your actions through pride into snares and entrapments making you the very tool of Satan against others and setting you at odds with God as you sow seeds of hatred and offense among His children. If allowed to continue, envy can go all the way to physical murder, even though spiritual murder (a far worse crime) has already been committed as you have caused others to stumble from their steadfastness in the faith through your planting of contention, offense, and bitterness in them. 

“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” – Luke‬ ‭6:45‬

“But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” – James‬ ‭3:14-16‬

This one seed of envy truly, if allowed access into your heart, can grow into every other sin imaginable and the thing that draws it to you is a desire for attention so guard your heart from this always and be content in faith in whatever God has given you, where ever God has placed you, and with whoever God has placed you with.

“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” – Hebrews‬ ‭13:5‬ ‭

“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” – Proverbs‬ ‭4:23‬ ‭‬

Now for the faithful and humble servant of the Lord who has faced the viciousness of envy’s wrath coming against them from others for no cause, I offer you this hope and revelation. Because that envy is brought on by a desire for attention (or vain glory), it will ALWAYS rise up against those who have the favor and anointing of God on their lives, and because it is incited by an evil spirit, the attacks often come before the victim themselves even sees the manifestation of that favor, yet the devil knows it is there and “envies” it. 

We see this through out scripture in the lives of Joseph, as jealousy drives his own brothers to attempted murder, then to sell him into slavery. What were they jealous of as the boy had not yet done anything of notoriety, but for the favor and anointing of God on his life that would later lead to greatness was the devil envious through them.

We see it in David’s life as Saul recognized God’s favor and anointing on him and grew envious to the point of harassing, hunting, and seeking to kill David out of jealousy.

We see it in Daniel’s life as the politicians in the Kings Court grew jealous of God’s favor and anointing on his life and conspired to have him thrown to the Lions. 

We see it in Jesus’s life as God’s favor and anointing on Him caused jealousy to rise up in the pharisees to the point of having him crucified. 

Make no mistake, it was envy that hung Jesus, an innocent man, on that cross, and it is envy that will rise up against all those who will follow in His likeness and living Godly, humbly, and sacrificially, attain the favor and anointing of God themselves.

“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” – 2 Timothy‬ ‭3:12‬ ‭

“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” – Matthew‬ ‭16:24‬ ‭

We forget that one of the fruits of the Spirit is “longsuffering“. Many modern translations have change this word to “patience“. While patience is surely a virtue, the original word “long-suffering” is far more fitting, as “patience” only implies waiting, but “long-suffering” implies faithful and humble endurance of great trial, tribulation, and suffering. You see, the problem is this, those that have a desire for attention are focused on self, therefor they cannot please God. However, when they see someone who’s desire was to obey God in faith (which does please God), they become envious of that persons closeness to God. They desire their mantel but have not (or will not) take on their sackcloth and ashes, their waiting, their sacrifice, their long suffering. 

Everyone wants the double portion but few are willing to go through a Job experience to get it, so they envy those who have. Don’t be like Job’s friends, don’t become Joseph’s brothers, don’t be a Pharisee or a Saul, don’t be jealous or desirous of vain glory. Trust that God sees what you do not, has been there through what you have not, and is rewarding what you cannot understand with a just and faithful reward. Therefore, rejoice for those who have through much longsuffering attained favor, take the lowest seat, and patiently await your own reward by selfless faith, in due time. 

“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” – 1 Peter‬ ‭5:6-7‬ ‭

Wait On The Lord

“Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause. Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.” – Psalms‬ ‭25:3-5‬ ‭

When seeking God for instructions on a situation, the last thing we ever want to hear is “wait”. Yet it is in the waiting that true faith is expressed. There are times when God instructs us to take certain actions and this can be very difficult as they usually stand in direct opposition to the actions that our flesh wants to take. However, I have found the hardest obedience has not been that which God has told us to do, but that which He has told us not to do, or to wait on doing.

Waiting when God says wait (which very few actually do) shows true faith. It demonstrates that you truly do trust God’s wisdom, foresight, power, ability, and faithfulness above your own. This is the hardest test for anyone to pass and those who do are always counted by God as faithful, trusted, and friends.

We see it as a defining character in faithful Abraham, who after receiving the promise, wavered not in unbelief but waited 25 years for His promise to be fulfilled, being fully persuaded through it all that what God had promised He was able to deliver in the perfect way, at the perfect time. For this did God count him faithful, trustworthy, and a friend.

We see it in Joseph who after receiving his promise in a dream waited faithfully for about 20 years (part of it in prison) before he saw the fulfillment of that promise. For this he is counted of God, faithful, trustworthy, and a friend.

We see it in Moses who faithfully waited laboring in the wilderness for 40 years to see a generation brought to the land they were promised. Never wavering in faith for what lied ahead even when all else did and rose against him for it. 

We see it in Noah who once being given the promise of salvation from a coming judgment, was faithful to hold on to that word and labor both building the ark and preaching righteousness to a world that did not want to hear it and only ridiculed him for it. Yet for about 100 years he was faithful to do this while he waited for God’s actions to validate his own because he was fully believed what God had spoken to him. 

We see this in Job who sat in pain, brokenness, and torment refusing to give up on the faithfulness of God. He fully chose to put and leave his trust in Him alone against all advise and logic. Even through unimaginably painful trials and testings while all around him mocked, ridiculed, and blamed him for all the wrong being done to him. Yet he still put his trust in God and waited on the redemption of the Lord. He trusted that God’s eyes were always on the righteous and in the end, he was vindicated and received far more in reward for his faithfulness then he had ever lost. 

Let’s face it, we see it in all the biblical patriarchs. This virtue of waiting in faith for God to fulfill His promises, enduring all manner of slander, malicious attacks, and persecution from both the enemy and all those around them. Yet it was their faithfulness to endure the waiting and choose to continue to trust God, no matter what, that set them apart from everyone else and gave them a special place in both God’s heart, and in history as He did indeed eventually reward their faithfulness greatly. When you prove your faithfulness to God, you can rest assured that He will prove His faithfulness to you. He will not leave you in shame, He will reveal, restore, fulfill, and so much more. So trust in the Lord, and wait for your reward. 

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” – Hebrews‬ ‭11:6‬ ‭

“I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” – Psalms‬ ‭27:13-14‬ ‭