They Cry Peace When There Is No Peace

Woman Praying by Tree_smaller“For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely. They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I visit them they shall be cast down, saith the Lord. Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.” – Jeremiah‬ ‭6:13-16‬ ‭

Here lies a warning to those that fail to warn against both sin and the consequences of it. Time and time again we see God sending a prophet with an unpopular message, willingly choose repentance of sin or be forced to face judgement for sin. Yet this voice of truth crying in the wilderness is always that of the few being drowned out by the many who cry peace, peace, when in reality there is no peace.

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” – 1 John‬ ‭4:1‬ ‭

God is ever trying to drive His people to repentance and all too often those who claim to speak for Him are speaking against Him and causing His people to error. God warns of judgments for sins in order to show us the dire need for repentance before the sentence is enacted. Therefore, when a preacher, evangelist, prophet, or anyone contradicts that message by telling them that all is well when all is most definitely not well is worthy of hell because not only have they errorred but they have also caused others to error or remain in error when God was trying desperately to remove them from error.

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” – Isaiah‬ ‭5:20-21‬ ‭

Never allow the devil to entice you to make people comfortable in their sin or you will be guilty of the greater sin. Yes God points out sin, yes God rebukes, corrects, and warns, and yes He loves you enough to send someone to try to save you from your own choices and actions knowing that you will hate and likely reject them. Likewise, yes the devil tries to justify your sins, yes the devil flatters, yes the devil lies, and yes the devil will send someone to try to make you comfortable in your current sinful state that you ignore the mercy of God’s warnings and remain unchanged unto judgment. Beware less any man or demon in hell deceive you. For I tell you a truth, the days are dark and the time is short, repent and seek the Lord while He may be found, less judgment come upon you and you be found unaware, unprepared, and unrepented.

“Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.” – Colossians‬ ‭2:8‬ ‭

“I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” – Luke‬ ‭13:3‬ ‭

“Then Hananiah the prophet took the yoke from off the prophet Jeremiah’s neck, and brake it. And Hananiah spake in the presence of all the people, saying, Thus saith the Lord; Even so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all nations within the space of two full years. And the prophet Jeremiah went his way. Then the word of the Lord came unto Jeremiah the prophet, after that Hananiah the prophet had broken the yoke from off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, saying, Go and tell Hananiah, saying, Thus saith the Lord; Thou hast broken the yokes of wood; but thou shalt make for them yokes of iron. For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; I have put a yoke of iron upon the neck of all these nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and they shall serve him: and I have given him the beasts of the field also. Then said the prophet Jeremiah unto Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah; The Lord hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to trust in a lie. Therefore thus saith the Lord; Behold, I will cast thee from off the face of the earth: this year thou shalt die, because thou hast taught rebellion against the Lord.” – Jeremiah‬ ‭28:10-16‬ ‭

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Pick Up Your Sword And Fight!

hqdefaultI am so thankful that the power of God’s Spirit living in us, His plans in our lives, and His purposes for those plans are not changed by our emotional reasoning. The power of God is not altered by emotion, because He doesn’t change. Even though our emotions sometimes resemble a roller coaster, God remains steady.

God’s power and His plans are very much alive, and are unaltered by our “feelings“. That’s comforting to me, as I can often “feel” doubt, worry, and fear. Shame on me for allowing these “feelings” in, when I do. However, when this does happens, the devil plays on such emotions, and he twists them in such a way that they might lead my thoughts that day. But, God is steady and His power is not altered by these feelings, or the devils lies, and I am reminded again that at one word of my Father, the devil has to run.

I’m not letting the devil lead. I’m kicking him out before he even starts today. We have to fight back, but remember that it is not a physical battle. So if you dropped your sword in battle when you were distracted by your emotions, pick it back up now. It’s not over.

“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places . Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” – Ephesians 6:11-13

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” – James 4:7

Submitted by @ Amelia Barr

The Power Of A Peculiar Priesthood

jesus-on-the-cross“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:” – 1 Peter‬ ‭2:9‬ ‭

In the times before Christ, God had set up a priesthood. There were priests who were given jobs, task, and authority to do God’s work, to have access to His Word, to minister to the people, to pray and commune with God, to cleans that which was unclean, and so forth. Then above the priest there was a high priest. The high priest was the only one who, on the day of atonement, could take the blood of the sacrifice into the Holy of Holy’s (an archetype for heaven) and bring it to the mercy seat (a model of God’s thrown) to make atonement for the sins of the people.

Now all of this was done as a sort of prophetic play enacting what actually needed to be done to bring true atonement but could not be done because the real mercy seat (or thrown of God) is in heaven and no sin can inter heaven. Therefor, no man or priest was ever able to bring the blood of a worthy sacrifice to the true mercy seat, to enact a real and lasting atonement. Until Jesus, that is, the first man in the history of man, since the fall of man to die without sin. (1 Peter 2:22, 2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 John 3:5)

Therefore, Jesus became not only our pure and spotless sacrifice for sin, but He also became our everlasting high priest, taking the blood of His own sacrifice into heaven and into the thrown of God where He has made atonement for the people once and for all. But it doesn’t stop there! Now that the temple of our bodies has been truly cleansed by the blood of Jesus and made Holy by this act of atonement, He then, (as He promised) ask the Father to send us His Holy Spirit to dwell within us! So that now, by receiving His Holy Spirit we are made joint heirs with Christ and children of God! Where before the authority of God rested upon the priest and kings, now as join heirs with Christ we all walk in the authority, power, dominion, and commission of the priest and kings to commune with God, walk in holiness, minister His words to others, heal the sick, cast out Devils, and take the land!

“And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” – Revelation‬ ‭5:9-10‬ ‭

Jesus did a pure and perfect work as our high priest that we might in turn be empowered to do pure and perfect works as priest of God in this earth. Do not trample underfoot the blood of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and deem it an unholy thing by denying the overcoming power of it against the enemy in all his forms and vises (Hebrews 10:29). Jesus’s victory was complete and without fail! There is nothing He can not deliver you from, nothing His blood can not remove, and nothing His Spirit cannot overcome! He sees all, knows all, and can deliver from all, if you will just believe. Do you believe? Do you really believe? Believe.

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 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 ‭4:12-16‬ ‭

Prayer Brings The Rain That Brings The Change

Latter Rain“And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.” – Mark‬ ‭4:26-29‬ ‭

We can labor, we can sow, we can till, we can row, but seeds simply will not grow until the rain come. No seed will germinate without water. Jesus likened Himself and all those that would follow Him to a seed in John 12:24 when He says that the seed has to both die and then come back to life so that it can bare fruit. That dry dead seed is buried in the ground even as Christ was buried in the tomb, and we through faith are buried with Him in baptism and through the crucifying of the flesh. However, it doesn’t end there! Now the seed needs to be raised in newness of life that it might be transformed into a new creation baring fruit that the creator be glorified and others might be fed by it even as Christ was raised from the dead on the third day! But what does that seed need to bring life to it in this dead and buried state? Water! Living water! A rain! A spring! A well! A river! And what do all of these things represent in scripture? The moving of the Holy Spirit of God for it is the power of God that brings life giving, life changing resurrection power, and none other!

“Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” – 2 Corinthians‬ ‭3:5-6‬ ‭

“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 ‭8:12-14‬ ‭

Prayer is a showing and releasing of faith, the rain represents the sending of the Holy Spirit of God to bring grace, which is the power of the Holy Spirit of God that gives life, by which we are made new, changed and bare fruit. This is paralleled by the invisible power that causes the seed to spring to life, grow, and produce fruit once it has been touched by the rain.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians‬ ‭2:8-10‬ ‭

Jesus also tells us in “The Parable of the Sower” (Matthew 13) that sharing the gospel with people is like planting a seed of truth in their hearts. He even tells us the different issues in the heart that will hinder the seed, showing us the express need to sometimes take the time to first “prepare the soil” to receive the seed by laboring to remove (or repent of/forsake) some things from that ground/heart. Yet as all good gardeners know, you could plant all the seeds you want and work the ground with all your strength but those seeds are still going to lay dormant until the rain comes.

“Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” – Psalms‬ ‭127:1‬ ‭

So what brings the rain? Prayer! Prayer brings the rain. We see throughout scripture that prayer moves the heart and Spirit of God! Therefore, prayer is the key that opens the doors of heaven when they’ve seemed to be locked up for so long.

“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. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place.” – 2 Chronicles‬ ‭7:14-15‬ ‭

If you’ve claimed the territory (faith), labored to prepare the ground (repentance), planted the seeds (the word), yet still have not seen the harvest (fruits), then pray for rain! Pray for God to send His Holy Spirit to pour out like rain on these dead seeds in this dry and thirsty land and cause life to come into them! Pray fervently! Pray faithfully! Pray sacrificially with weeping and fasting! Pray like you’ve never prayed before and the rain will come! The Holy Spirit of God will pour out upon the seeds you have planted and you will begin to see them spring to life as the grace of God (which is the power of the Holy Spirit) flows through them, changing them, growing them, and causing them to bare fruit unto the glory of God the Father!

Pray, pray, pray, and call for rain! Pray for the living water that Jesus so often promised He would send, yet every single time He gave the promise He gave it with a condition. Every time He offered it, He said, “if you ask Me, I will give”. You see, that’s why prayer is required! You have to ask Him to send it! Upon you, upon others, upon the land. Pray, cry out, send the rain!

“You say, where is the God of Elijah? I say, where are the Elijah’s of God?” Leonard Ravinhille

“…Pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elijah 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 ‭

“Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.” – Matthew‬ ‭9:38‬ ‭

“If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.” -Leviticus‬ ‭26:3-4‬ ‭

“These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren….And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 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,…” – Acts‬ ‭1:14, 2:1-4‬ ‭

“Getting to the Root”

“Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”

-James 4:8

As natural human beings, living in a corrupt world full of opportunities and temptations, sometimes we find that it can become a real fight to remain true, pure, living with integrity as the Bible clearly instructs us to once we receive salvation by His grace through our faith in Him.

The good news is God hasn’t left us “high & dry” in this life here on earth to live for Him. If you’ve ever heard me preach or read other manna’s I’ve written, you’ll know that it is by His grace alone that we are not only saved, but even sanctified as well. Empowered by His Spirit!

Anytime there is an ailment, any good doctor would try to accurately diagnose the condition to accurately prescribe a remedy or cure. Throughout the scriptures you’ll see that the “root cause” of addictions, sins of all sorts, you’ll find are rooted in self gratification.

Ever heard of the saying, “Let’s get to the ‘root’ of the problem”? We all have.

It simply means to find the origins or cause of an “issue.” Then just like a tree that is only killed at the root, we have to find the “root” and “kill it.” All of our “issues” of life, can easily simply be brought to “self.”

“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” -1 John 2:16 (KJV)

Many people greatly desire to be freed from addictions or habits that are sinful, but unfortunately not many people actually understand the “root” of their problem. Once the cause of these struggles are identified, like a diagnosis is important for a prescribed remedy, we also can Biblically diagnose our own lives and see that the remedy is to “die to self”. When flesh stops “feeling” or “desiring,” it’s much easier to refuse that which we are commanded to abstain from.

As was all of my sins I was bound by, they also were rooted completely in selfishness: the desire to fulfill my own personal desires or cravings.

Being born again is to start over with ALL NEW desires!

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” -2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)

Having said that, it’s time to crucify that flesh that pulls us to do those things that we shouldn’t.

“I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.” -1 Corinthians 15:31 (KJV)

The key to overcoming sin is to overcome your desire for self-gratification. And to do that is to metaphorically die to “self”.

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” -Galatians 2:20 (KJV)

I’ve heard it said that sin is both stupid and selfish. “Stupid” due to its consequences (death), and selfish identifying its motivation.

In conclusion, the root is always “self.” It’s time to do some “spiritual gardening.” Take selfishness up by the root!

If that is where you are today, and you want to live and walk in victory over temptations, then call out to Jesus! He selflessly was slain for us, and now our invitation is to selflessly lay down our lives for Him! He alone can set free!

“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” -John 8:36 (KJV)

Live For The One Who Will Judge Your Life

when-jesus-calls-your-name“But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden.” – Galatians‬ ‭6:4-5‬ ‭

So often we allow what others do to effect first the way we feel, then in reaction to those feelings, what we do. Yet on the day of judgment God will not ask us to give an account of what others did, He will not even ask us to give an account of what others did to us, He will only ask us to give an account of our own actions regardless of what triggered them.

“But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God.” – Romans‬ ‭2:5-11‬ ‭

“For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.” – Matthew‬ ‭16:27‬ ‭

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” – 2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:10‬ ‭

“And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” – Revelation‬ ‭22:12‬ ‭

“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.” – Revelation‬ ‭20:11-13‬ ‭

These are just a small sample of the many scriptures that express the reality that we will all be held accountable for our actions. In Matthew 12:36 Jesus tells us that on the day of judgment we will even be held accountable for every idle word that comes out of our mouth. Yet not once does it make exceptions for words or actions that are provoked by others. What others do they will surely be judged for, but how you react to what they do, you will be judged for. So never allow the thoughts, words, or actions of others to effect your actions or even your words. It’s not about who is right or who is wrong, it’s about how you react to both right and wrong treatment. Learn from Christ’s example, who was perfect, loving, innocent, truthful, and without sin. Yet he was hated, slandered, shamed, rejected, lied about, persecuted, and crucified, but still He loved, held no bitterness, spoke no guile, never strayed, and willingly gave His life, even for those who mistreated Him.

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” – Hebrews‬ ‭12:2-3‬ ‭

“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” – Luke‬ ‭9:23‬ ‭

You see, judgment belongs to the Lord and every man will one day be judged for their every thought, word, and action, you can be assured of that. You need not prove yourself to men, for what they think of you has no weight in eternity. Only prove yourself to God of whom your eternal destination rest.

“Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.” – Matthew‬ ‭10:26-31‬ ‭

God sees all, God hears all, and God knows all, let that be enough for you and care not what men see, hear, or know of you. God will reward all good for good and evil for evil lest the evil be repented of, His word is clear on that. Don’t let evil drive you to evil that both receive the rewards of evil, but let God’s goodness shine through you as you bless those that curse you and pray for those that persecute you, that the evil be overcome with good. Even when you think no one is watching, God is. He sees what no one else does, be it for good or for bad, and He will reward us all accordingly, let it be for good.

“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;” – Philippians‬ ‭2:12-15‬ ‭

The True Church Is A Praying Church

warprayer“And Jesus said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.” – Matthew‬ ‭21:13‬ ‭

The devil comes to steal, to kill, and to destroy. He steals because he is a thief (John 10:10) and the thing he wants to steal more then anything else is your prayer life. The late great Leonard Ravenhill was quoted as saying, “A praying man will stop sinning, but a sinning man will stop praying.” How true this is and the devil knows it all too well. Your personal communion with God is the daily bread that keeps you nourished and growing in the faith and the devil fears it more then anything else.

“Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” – 1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:17-18‬ ‭

The devil does not like you going to church, he does not like you reading your bible, he does not like you singing praises to God, but not so much as he doesn’t like you praying. There is nothing the devil will fight more then your prayer life and there is no service he will fight as hard as the prayer service. He will try to steal your time, your energy, and your very will to pray, because he knows that there is power in prayer and ultimately he is trying to steal your overcoming power and victory in this fight of faith of which he is the foe.

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

Through prayer do we grow in relationship with God. Through prayer do we fight for the souls of others. Through prayer do we make petitions for the saints (our brethren in Christ). Through prayer do we receive our orders for the battles at hand and revelation for the battles to come. In prayer do we wage warfare against the powers of hell and principalities of this world. In prayer do we receive comfort and reassurance. Through prayer do we commune with God. Jesus’s disciples knew this! That’s why (though they had the greatest teacher, preacher, scholar, prophet, and miracle worker the world has ever known) they didn’t ask Him to teach them how to teach, preach, read the scriptures, prophesy, or do miracles, they asked Him to teach them how to pray. You see, they knew that if they learned how to pray, how to make that connection with God, then the rest would come by default.

“And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” – Luke‬ ‭11:1‬ ‭

Prayer is the most important part of a Christian’s life. It will keep you connected to the vine (John 15:5), it will keep you showered in grace (2 Peter 3:18), it will keep you drawing from the well of living waters (Revelations 21:6), it will keep you feeding on the hidden manna (Revelations 2:17), it will keep you in the bonds of faith (Ephesians 4:3), it will keep you. Find your place of prayer today, steal away, and pray. Jesus is waiting.

“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.” – Revelation‬ ‭3:20‬ ‭

“Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:” – Colossians‬ ‭4:2-3‬ ‭

“(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (meaning “not of this world”), but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)” – 2 Corinthians‬ ‭10:4‬ ‭

 

Here is a series of audio lessons designed to help you build an better prayer life:

Fortifying Your War Room: Building A Better Prayer Life (Part 1)
Identifying The Prayer Killers And Closing Up The Breeches

Fortifying Your War Room: Building A Better Prayer Life (Part 2)
Building Up Your Armory

Fortifying Your War Room: Building A Better Prayer Life (Part 3)
Arrows In Your Quiver

Fortifying Your War Room: Building A Better Prayer Life (Part 4)
The Harness Of Discipline

 

 

 

Pursuing Our Daily Bread

“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.” – Proverbs 3:5-6 

God knows the end from the beginning. He sees the big picture, He knows where you’re promise rest and the best way to get you to it. As God directed the Israelites through the wilderness to their promised land, He supplied them with manna (or bread) from heaven but they had to go and collect fresh manna every single day. If they tried to collect it and store it up for future use, it would rot. This was to keep them on a certain path and looking to God as He directed them toward their promise. 

God still does this with us today. You see, the Manna represents the Word of God, our spiritual food, our daily bread, obtained by daily communion with Jesus who is the Word made flesh. You see, God will often give us a promise, vision, purpose, or destination then He will give us direction, instructions, insights, power, and provisions, but rarely does He ever give us the overall big picture, just “the next step”. He wants us to keep coming back everyday for the next step (or batch of manna). He wants us to learn to walk by faith and not by sight. To learn to trust and depend on Him and not our own understanding. He wants us to follow His path exactly (because it is truly the fastest route to our promise land) and not be tempted to gather yesterday’s manna, store it up, go seek our own path, and get ourselves lost or delayed in the wilderness. 

When God gives you a promise, word, purpose, or destination He will be faithful to see it through if you trust His direction and stay the course. The waiting between each falling of manna is the hardest part but “wait on the Lord” because wondering out into the wilderness on your own will only prolong the waiting that you are trying to avoid in the first place. Trust that He knows all, has your best interest at heart, and has good reason for His timing. There is purpose in the pursuit, learning from His leading, and perfection in His path. Seek Him daily, consume every word He says, and trust. It will bring life and strength to you when all else fails, just like the Manna did for the Israelites in the wilderness. 

“Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord” – Psalm 27:14 

“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna,…” – Revelation‬ ‭2:17‬ ‭

“Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts.” – Jeremiah‬ ‭15:16‬ ‭

Jesus Is Still Coming

getreadyYesterday I was expecting company to come over in the evening, so in the morning as I was doing my normal cleaning I noticed some cobwebs that had collected in the corner and some dust that had settled on the ceiling fan. These were both things that had slowly developed over time, because of this I had become somewhat blinded to it. I didn’t notice it before because it had settled in gradually causing me to barely notice it until, becoming accustomed to it being there, I was blinded to it. However, when I knew a friend was coming I began to look at my house through their eyes. How would they see it? What would they notice? Then I saw it and it had to go.

In that moment the Lord spoke to me and said, “you see, this is why it’s important that people be reminded that I am coming.” He was right! We allow things to settle into our hearts, minds, and lives gradually. A little thought here, a little compromise there, a little distraction, a lack of prayer, a little bitterness, a little pride, a little selfishness, a little lie, a little sin, a little dust building up on the ceiling fan (metaphorically speaking).

The devil takes joy in weaving these things into your life conspicuously, piece by piece like the cobweb in the corner, and we often times don’t even realize it’s there because we aren’t looking for it. Sometimes we do see it but think, “I’ll get rid of that in a little while but once we put it off, we forget and become completely blinded to it because now we are accustomed to it’s presence and easily overlook it. Oh, but when we are reminded that someone is coming soon, that Jesus is coming and that he will see every hidden corner of our spiritual house then we stop and start to look at it the way He will, and we begin to see what He will see. Then we notice things that we have previously been blinded to. Then we get motivated to clean out the junk, shake off the dust, and kick out the cobwebs. Then we wake up and get it done.

This is why Christ warned so often for us to remain vigilant and ready, always preparing and awaiting His return. One of the main reasons that the church at large is asleep today when it should be working and preparing is because it has stopped expecting Christ’s return and very few pastors and watchmen are still reminding them of it. I knew exactly when my friend was coming over and how much time I had to get my house in order, but no man knows the day or the hour that Christ will come, so get your spiritual house in order now while you still can. No one is promised tomorrow, today is the day of salvation and now is the acceptable time. Their will be no more chances when you stand before God, there will only be you giving an account of the chances He already gave you. Jesus is still coming and rather you believe it or not won’t change it, it will only change how prepared you are for it when it comes. Wake up, clean your spiritual house, trim your lamps with oil, stay awake, and watch, for the bridegroom cometh.

“Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” – Isaiah‬ ‭55:6-7‬ ‭

“Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” – Matthew‬ ‭24:42-51‬ ‭

“But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.” – Mark‬ ‭13:32-37‬ ‭

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

How To Bare Good Fruit

Girl-reading-book-“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.” – John‬ ‭15:4‬ ‭

Matthew chapter 7 tells us that not everyone who claims the Name of Jesus will inter heaven but only those who do the will of His Father. He says this in clarification of His previous statement that every tree which does not produce good fruit (that being the peaceable fruits of righteousness mentioned in Hebrews 12:11) will be cut down and cast into the fire. Then in Galatians chapter 5:22 we find out exactly what those good fruits are; love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, and the crucifying of the lust of the flesh. It is not only God’s will that we walk in these basic Christian characters of Holy living for which He created us from the very beginning to do, but the Apostle Paul takes it a bit further by stating not only is it God’s will but it is, as Christians, our reasonable duty! That is to say, the least we should expect ourselves to do if we truly believe in who and what He is, and in what He has willingly done for us.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” – Ephesians‬ ‭2:8-10‬ ‭

“For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:” – Romans‬ ‭1:17-20‬ ‭

“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:” – Hebrews‬ ‭12:14‬ ‭

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” – Romans‬ ‭12:1-2‬ ‭

“Be ye holy; for I am holy.” – 1 Peter‬ ‭1:16‬ ‭

So in this we see that we must produce good fruit, fruits of righteousness, Holy fruits reflecting the Holy character of the Holy Spirit of the Holy God which we claim lives in us and thus should shine forth through us. Yet, we read in our opening passage that we cannot produce this good fruit by ourselves, but only by abiding in Christ can this fruit be produced through us. So how do we abide? Jesus told us that if we love Him we will keep His commandments. Loving Jesus, truly loving Him with a faithful committed selfless serving abiding love is the key to obedience and joyful submission to the will of God in the same way that truly loving someone will produce these same characteristics in them toward her spouse or spouse to be.

“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” – 1 John‬ ‭5:3‬ ‭

“As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” – John‬ ‭15:9-14‬ ‭

You see if we truly love God, we will desire to abide, to be with Him, to hear from Him, to be pleasing to Him, and to obey Him. Love makes it a joy to do these things rather then a task or work in the same manner that if I cook and serve a meal to people that I do not love I am merely their servant and this is my work (like being a waiter for example), however if I cook and serve a meal to my husband and family whom I love, the task is not grievous to me but a joy because I love them and want to serve with love, in love, because of love. So you see, Love is the key.

Now that you are beginning to see the process you might ask, how do I fall in love with Jesus? The same way you truly fall in love with anyone, you spend time with them. Which brings us full circle back to “abiding”, which simply means “to be with”. How will you know what God’s will is if you don’t spend time with Him to get to know Him? How will you know how wonderful and loving and worthy of love He is unless you spend time with Him to get to know Him? How will you learn His character and faithfulness that you might fall in love with it unless you spend time with Him? How will you know what His commandments and desires for you are unless you spend time talking with Him and hearing from Him that you might joyfully obey when He does speak, knowing of whom you have been spoken to. This is why when Martha rebuked Marry for not helping her work, Jesus rebuked Martha saying that Marry was “doing what was needful”. The key word there was “needful”. Martha’s work was fruitless because she was never told to do it, while Mary was abiding waiting on a word from The Word that she might obey and bare fruit, not her fruit, the labor of her own will, ability, and logic, but His. Take time today to put everything away and pray. Get to know Jesus and you will fall in love with Him and His commands will no longer be grievous to you but a joy making it easy to bare those good fruits. Talk to Him, listen to Him, praise Him, abide with Him. Get a word from The Word and stand on that word in faith and it will be your greatest joy to not only obey it, but also to see Him move mountains to see it through stirring both your faith in Him and love for Him all the more. By this, my friend, do you grow in grace.

“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 ‭15:7-8‬ ‭

“Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” – 2 Peter‬ ‭3:17-18‬ ‭
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