Deliverance

Day 115

On Day 115 of our 120 Day Upper Room Prayer Campaign we pray prayers of deliverance as we see how to be set free and how to walk in the faith and authority to see other set free also

Teaching on Understanding Spiritual Authority mentioned in this podcast:

https://youtu.be/SmNCG-a5YIE

Listen to today’s Prayer Podcast for more and to pray along with us!

Why Jesus?

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” – 1 Peter‬ ‭3:15‬‬

The spiritual “market” in the world today “has options.” You have Buddhism, Islam, Scientology, Hinduism, and many other minor religions. When I grew up with sales training as my vocational direction professionally, the one thing you have to answer to be successful is, “Why your product?” Or “Why your service?” If you cannot confidently and precisely answer those basic questions, you will find your level of success in sales will be severely lacking.

So, Christian, I ask you,

“Why Jesus?”

If you’ve been Biblically “born again” (John 3), you DO have an answer.

The clean man answers the addict, “He delivered me from addiction!”

The courageous man answers the fearful, “He filled me with unwavering faith!”

The overcomer answers the failing, “He filled me with His power!”

The faithful man answers the adulterer, “He filled me with His love and faithfulness!”

The hopeful man answers the hopeless, “He brought me through my valleys!”

As Christians, we should always have an answer as to, “Why Jesus?” If you don’t have an answer for the inquiring, respectfully, you may have to wonder have you actually met the King of Kings. When He touches its felt! When He delivers, it’s public! When He heals, it’s apparent! When He breaks the chains of bondage, it’s heard! It’s seen! When a life has been transformed, it’s obvious!

If you’re reading this and you really haven’t experienced the “2 Corinthians 5:17 Christianity”, then you haven’t really experienced JESUS. Some have gone through the motions, while others are IN MOTION with Jesus! If you haven’t, call out to Jesus today to be transformed from the inside out!

“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

If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” – John‬ ‭8:36‬‬

If that IS you,

get out there and unashamedly proclaim the goodness of your God! Think of this question,

“What has Jesus done for you?”

The answer, …is YOUR answer!

So why Jesus?

Because He CHANGES EVERYTHING!!!!

Uprooting Iniquity

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you. Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies: because thou didst trust in thy way, in the multitude of thy mighty men. Therefore shall a tumult arise among thy people, and all thy fortresses shall be spoiled, as Shalman spoiled Beth–arbel in the day of battle:…” – Hosea‬ ‭10:12-14‬ ‭

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

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

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

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

The Forth Man in the Fire

“Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” – Daniel‬ ‭3:24-25‬

Nebuchadnezzar had built an image for himself and he desired that men worshiped it. So he passed laws that all tongues and peoples must bow and worship his image. Scripture records that three Hebrew boys, faithful and submitted to God, refused to submit to the ungodly, unjust, and demonically inspired laws of the land. They bent the knee daily to God but would not bend it to Nebuchadnezzar’s idol image.

When the three boys were brought by accusers before the king and questioned as to weather or not the accusations of there refusal to submit to Nebuchadnezzar’s law was true, they did not hesitate even for a moment to profess God’s authority to be greater then Nebuchadnezzar’s and their determination to obey their Heavenly King before their earthly one.

“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed–nego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” – Daniel‬ ‭3:16-18‬

Now there are a few things that we need to take into consideration here. The first is that these boys had no promise of deliverance from the Lord. No great sign or assurance that God would intervene in any miraculous way. However they did have great faith that He could, coupled with an intimate knowledge of who God is which gave them faith in His character.

“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 ‭

The next fact to take into consideration is that these three young men had great title, position, and power compared to most of their brethren as indicated in verse 12. They knew by standing in defiance to this law they were going to loose everything, not just their lives, but very good lives. Yet still they reply, “we are not careful to answer you.” In other words, they didn’t think twice, with no hesitation, they laid everything, their great possessions, positions, clout, and power down for the glory of an even greater God. They loved God more then anything this world had to offer, more then even their own lives. For remember that they did not know weather God would deliver them alive or not, yet they chose to stand for Him anyway that they would (even in dying) have a testimony of loving faithfulness to God; knowing that even in death they would be delivered from the oppressive hand of this temporary earthly king into the loving arms of their eternal heavenly King.

“And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. 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 ‭12:10-11‬ ‭

“According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” – Philippians‬ ‭1:20-21‬ ‭

This blow to Nebuchadnezzar’s (and the devil that influenced him) pride infuriated him and the boys were thrown into the fire. However, the boys faith had so completely set God up to receive glory in the face of the pride of both men and Devils that fancied themselves to be deity among men, how could God not move to take advantage of this perfectly impossible situation? So he did! The fires, turned up seven times hotter then normal, served only to burn up the boys accusers and the ropes that bound them as they walked victoriously in the fire with God, unhurt by any of it because the fire of God’s love burned hotter within them then the man made trial by fire burning around them.

In this was a testimony of God’s great faithfulness to those who love Him seen and shared with others unto the stirring of faith for a thousand generations. Because these three boys decided to trust in God completely in the face of utter loss, no matter the cost, God took what the devil meant to destroy them and turned it around for His glory, and theirs also. Had it not been for the fiery trial that was set before them, and their willingness to walk through it by faith, they would have never walked so closely and personally with the forth man in the fire or had the testimony of it to stir faith in others. So have faith and in all things remember, when you choose to stand with God, God will stand with you, even in the midst of a fiery furnace as you see your accuser (the devil) destroyed, your bondages burned away, and your relationship with your deliverer become more real and personal then you ever thought it could, to the ends that others might see and believe.

“And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king’s counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them. Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed–nego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God. Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed–nego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.” – Daniel‬ ‭3:27-29‬ ‭

Stand Firm and Pray!

“Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.” – Daniel‬ ‭6:10‬ ‭

God had great favor on Daniel, even from his childhood. This favor was very evident to all around him and was a great testimony of the God whom he openly, relentlessly, and continually served in the midst of Babylon. Surrounded day and night by a worldly hedonistic pagan culture, Daniel kept himself apart from it with continual prayer, fasting, and submission to the word and will of God, and all knew it for a burning flame such as he could not be hid in this darkest of places. 

By today’s standards, and certainly by the standards of his day, you might call Daniel a religious fanatic. Yet God did fantastic things for him, and through him changed a King and a nation. Of course such unashamed faithfulness to God does a bit more then draw God’s favor to you, it also draws the attacks of the enemy, and the jealousy of men. This was surely the case for little Daniel. The princes of the region (under the influence of the devil) became very jealous of Daniels favor and blessings. So they got together and began to plot and scheme how they might destroy him.

Envy (especially of the anointing / God’s favor) will lead (according to scripture) to gossip, slander, malice, manipulation, lies, hatred, and can even go as far as murder (either spiritual or physical). In fact, James 3:16 tells us that envy, if allowed to take root in a heart, will grow into strife, and can bare the fruits of “every evil work.” This was certainly the case with these princes and rulers. They knew that they could not find fault with Daniel unless it be His obedience to God. So they brought a decree to the King that no one make a petition to any other King or God for 30 days. 

Playing on the Kings Pride, he agreed. When vile, deceitful, envious people want to trick you into coming into agreement with their evil agendas, they will do it with flattery. They will work your pride against you, against others, and even against those you love. They will make it seem like they are for you and want to help you, all the while they are seeking to destroy all that you love and hold dear.

The King, blindsided by the flattery of this decree, did not think it through and hastily signed it. This brings us to our opening passage. Daniel knew about the decree, yet was ever faithful to his God and ceased not to pray to Him daily, as he had before. The princes, knowing this would be the case, then ran and told the King that Daniel (whom he favored) had broken the decree and though the King desired a way to excuse Daniel from this law, he could not. A law once spoken, could not be broken. Therefore, the King did something very unexpected in his desperation to see Daniel saved. Being inspired by Daniel’s faithfulness and having the testimony of God’s evident and tangible favor upon him continually, the King made a decision to do himself, that which the enemy had gone to such lengths to stop Daniel from doing… Having no other option, King Darius put his trust in Daniel’s God, fasted, and prayed.

“Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee. And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel. Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of musick brought before him: and his sleep went from him.” – Daniel‬ ‭6:16-18‬

Daniel did nothing himself, but to stay true to God. He continued to serve God with all his heart and wavered not when his earthly authorities came against his heavenly one. He chose to trust in God and take his side and allow the greater authority to show forth it’s dominion over the lesser. He did not compromise even a little, but went right on serving God in obedience the same as before the order was given and trusted in God for whatever may come from it, even if it killed him. However, what it really did was allow God to position him to prove the unmatched power of his God unto the saving of a King and a people, and further prove God’s approval of him.

“Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions. And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions? Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever. My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt. Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God.” – Daniel‬ ‭6:19-23‬ ‭

In the end, because Daniel stood firm on God’s word in faith, he was delivered, the King got saved, his enemies were destroyed, and the nation was changed as a new decree when forth for all to worship Daniel’s God. Note that in all of this, Daniel did nothing but stand in faith. He did not argue, debate, or defend himself. He did not fuss or fight. He just kept on serving God in every way that he had before and trusted in the salvation of the Lord, no matter how it came, and come it did! 

God used it all for His glory and still is to this day, yet none of it would have happened had Daniel given in to the decree of this lesser authority over the wishes of the Greater one. If Daniel had sought more to please men then to please God. Had Daniel, succumb to fear of punishment and faltered in his faith, none of it would have happened, none would have been saved by it, God would have had no glory in it, and the faith of millions for a thousand generations would not have been stirred by it. The pivotal moment in this historical and heroic event was not an instinct to fight, or a reaction to flee, but a decision to stand. A decision to stand his ground, to stand on God’s word, to stand in faith in the face of both men and lions and see what fantastic and impossible things God could do. 

“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. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the (Rhema) *word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Holy Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” – Ephesians‬ ‭6:13-18‬ 

Losing The Sight But Keeping The Vision

mountain-top“And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying, Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatic, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me. And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.” – Matthew‬ ‭17:14-21‬

In verse 16, the man had brought his son to the disciples first for them to heal his son, and they could not. You have to remember that these are the same disciples that had just gotten through witnessing Jesus feeding 4,000 people with seven loaves of bread and a few fish. They saw him walk on the sea of Gallilee. Again they witnessed Jesus feeding 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish, and had 12 for baskets left over. Let’s not forget the “Mission of the Twelve”, were they even cast out devils!

“And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits; And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse: But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats. And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. And they went out, and preached that men should repent. And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.” – Mark‬ ‭6:7-13‬ ‭

Don’t forget that Peter had made his confession of faith when Jesus asked His disciples in Matthew chapter 16 verse 15 “who do you say that I am?” and Peter answered, “thou are Christ, the son of the living God.” So when the man told Jesus that the disciples couldn’t heal his son, Jesus looked and said “oh faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you?” The disciples couldn’t understand why they could not heal the boy so they go to Jesus apart. Matthew chapter 9 verse 28 explains that they asked him privately and Jesus answers them, “because of your unbelief.” Then He further explains about faith.

How many miracles does Jesus have to do, and how many blessings do we have to receive before we are able to totally trust in Him no matter what the situation? How long do we have to live for God? How long do we have to have the Holy Spirit before we can totally trust in God?

If you look at “mountains” as a great difficulty in your life (it can be any situation), then when the word “mountain” is used, it is a difficulty that seems to be huge in our eyes and we can’t “see” around it because it’s so big. The mountain is so wide and broad that we can’t see around it, and the height of the mountain is blocking our sight of God. With our sight being blocked, our minds or distracted and are not focused on God. The “mountain” seems impossible to climb because it is too high and steep to go over, and two broad and wide to go around, and it seems like it will take forever to try to get across this mountain where we can get our sight back on God.

In Mark chapter 9 verse 29, the phrase, “this kind” suggest that there are different kinds of demons. Just as there are many different difficulties in life. We go through trials and storms. We stumble, fall, and wander off the path of righteousness. With these difficult times we go through, it indeed is hard but we still have our sight on God and are still strong in faith. When we stumble and fall, we still have God in our site and can feel His presence near and we know that all we have to do is get up and start our journey again. When we are going through a trial Jesus is right by our side guiding us in our journey. We know He is very near and is still in our “sight”. When a storm comes along and we or being tossed to and fro, as the disciples were, and the rain comes pouring down on us, we can still “see” His light because He is our lighthouse. Even in the midst of a storm we can still have “sight” of Jesus. Our site may be blurred from the pouring rain but we can still “see His glorious light” that will guide us through the storm.

When there are “mountains” however, where it seems that there is no hope, no way around or over because it is just too wide to travel around and too hard to see over and steep to climb, where your sight of God has been blocked and you can’t see God, it is “This kind” that comes forth by nothing but by prayer and fasting! When our mountain comes, we take for granted the power given to us from Jesus which is the Holy Ghost! We forget that we are God’s children, and our faith may come into question. We began to focus on how huge the mountain is when we have a lack of prayer. When we begin to have a lack of prayer our sight of God becomes blocked by this huge mountain. Then we forget that the power we possess to get over the mountain is from Jesus! When we forget about the power we possess which is the Holy Ghost, we begin to forget about Jesus. When you forget about Jesus you can’t “see” Him anymore. Then you focus more on your problem and it’s all that you see. When you lose sight of Jesus, you don’t know where to go and what directions to travel anymore. We think about turning back and going back to where we came from or we give up and quit and wander off. This is because our
“sight” is blocked from the “vision” of God!

We lost our vision! “oh faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you and suffer you?”

Faith = Vision

We need to pray! So we can still keep our “sight” on God. Even if we can’t see Jesus we still have “faith”. Matthew chapter 17, verse 20 says “if you have the faith as a grain of mustard seed you shall say unto this mountain, removed to yonder place; and it shall be remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you”. Just a little faith to keep on going and move towards God and not to give up. If we have “faith” then we still know where Jesus is, that He is still there with us even though our site is blocked. That He is waiting on us to move forward. We know where we need to travel, what path to take, and what direction to move towards.

It is during these times that we need prayer and fasting. Yes, prayer is powerful but we also need to fast. In Mark 9:29 Jesus says, “this kind cannot come forth by anything but by prayer and fasting.” When a mountain comes into our path and blocks our sight to where we cannot see Jesus, everything seems impossible before our eyes and there seems to be no hope, this is where we have to “demonstrate” our determination and perseverance to God. We need to “keep our vision”. We have to “demonstrate” our belief. That we know that He is able to lead us over this mountain. We have to “demonstrate” our “faith”. Even though we do not see Him, or are even able to feel God’s presence is still there, He is still leading us and guiding us. Even when we feel alone and that no one else is there to help, “we have to know” that “Jesus is always there”. We have to “demonstrate” our “willingness”. We have to be willing to sacrifice to see God’s will accomplished. God’s will is that we climb over that mountain. God’s will is that we still believe in Him and the power of Jesus through the Holy Ghost! God’s will is that we have the “faith” in Him to where even when we lose sight of Him, that we will still have our “vision” of God. God’s will is that we overcome and claim victory over our mountains that we face in life. Many times in these situations that we face, we have to be willing to make a sacrifice. Sometimes we have to kill the flesh so the spirit can grow. Through fasting we can resist our flesh and make a sacrifice in order to see God’s will accomplished.

In this, we begin to see the hand of God reaching out and grasping our own hand and “leading us over our mountain”. Over our problems, over our situation, over our habits, over spiritual walls. He helps us.

But we have to still “keep our vision” of God, even when we “lose sight of him”. Even when our mountain seems to get too big, where the mountain blocks our sight of God. We still have to keep our vision. We must still keep our faith to overcome. This kind can come forth by nothing but by prayer and fasting.

Submitted by @ Chris Adams

The Whole Truth About Harlotry

“Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither (to the house of a harlot): and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him, Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant. But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.” – Proverbs‬ ‭9:16-18‬ ‭

Proverbs is a book of wisdom full of deep revelation, avenues of understanding, and instruction in moral character. In proverbs chapter 9, warning is given against the entrapment of harlotry, including both premarital and extra marital sexual encounters. It warns the weary soul to steer clear of those that entice in such ways at all cost. Yet when we look closer at the original wording used here it brings the revelation of the warning being given so much deeper.

Now let me preface this by saying that both men and women can be guilty of harlotry since any act of premarital or extra marital sex makes you a harlot in God’s eyes. Having said that, we see in our opening verse the harlot’s enticing words that stolen water taste better and bread eaten mischievously is more exciting. These are obviously polite ways of saying that fornication and adultery with her is more exciting because you know it’s wrong. However if you look closer at the word for “eaten”, which implies the partaking of, we see that in the Hebrew this actually meant “to partake in sorceries”. Why would the writer of proverbs be telling us that a harlot is actually a sorcerer causing his or her consorts to partake in acts of sorcery?

For the answer we need only to read the next verse. She tells him how much more exciting this will be but “he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell”. At first glance we might assume this to mean that she will cause you to be sent to hell because of the sin she is drawing you into. While that is most definitely true, that is not actually what it’s saying. First let’s look at the word translated to “dead“, in the Hebrew this word was “Rapha” and it meant “ghost“, “evil spirit“, or “demon“. Next let’s look at the word “guest“, this word was “qara“, which meant “to summon” or “invite in“. So what this passage is really revealing is that the excitement is coming from the influence of demonic sources. It is literally saying that her house (and actually her herself) is full of demons that her sinful acts have summoned from the depths of hell and is enticing you to partake of them (or take them in) unknowingly. 

Paul warns the church of Corinth of the same thing, while explaining it further when he says:

“What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” – 1 Corinthians‬ ‭6:16-19‬

In this is Paul warning of not just a physical house, but your spiritual house. That is to say, the Temple of the Holy Ghost, which is your body. When you are joined to a harlot, you become “one flesh“, or “one temple“. Therefore, every “guest” she has welcomed becomes your guest also. In other words, every demon and evil spirit in her (or his) temple is now in yours, for they have become one temple. Whatever was in her (or him) is now in you. Their temple is defiled by the welcoming (or summoning) of the demonic through their sinful and rebellious actions, and now yours is also because you joined your temple with theirs, made it one temple, and invited in all their “guest” from the depths of hell.

“For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.” – 2 Peter‬ ‭2:20‬ ‭

Just as was warned of in proverbs, the enticed didn’t know the devil’s agenda in it all, but it happened all the same because of his foolishness not to obey God’s words which are never given as mere advice or even for the sake of dictatorial control, but as a commandment for the sake of salvation and your own protection from the plots and plans of the enemy against your soul.

“O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!” – Deuteronomy‬ ‭5:29‬

You see, these sexual sins seem exciting because the harlot’s demons are enticing you externally, but once you fall into the snare of acting on it, you have then welcome them in internally. You have given them your temple. You have given place to the devil, and since God will not share His glory with an other, the Holy Spirit is grieved and departs and the devil gains an other foolish victim. If this vise has been used against you, then repent, turn away from the wickedness, call on God to cleans your temple, evict the enemy, and return the joy of your salvation before it’s too late. Today is the day of salvation. Now is the appointed time. Call upon the Name of the Lord while He may be found. No one is promised tomorrow, you might not get an other chance. 

“But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them.” – Ephesians‬ ‭5:3-7‬ ‭

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

You Must Forgive To Be Forgiven

Black-Man-Praying-1“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” – Matthew‬ ‭5:44‬ ‭

We as Christian’s need to be an example, but how can we be an example to people if when they hate us we hate them back? When they persecute us we persecute them back? Thats not the right example. Out of all the people in the world that hated Jesus and persecuted Him ,did Jesus hate them back? Did He persecute them back? Well here’s your answer for those questions:

“And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.” – Luke‬ ‭23:33-34‬ ‭

There is your answer after they beat Him and then crucified Him on the cross, instead of Him hating them, He said; “Father Forgive Them For They No Not What They Do“. If we are Christians, then we need to be like Christ. If you are a Christian, you have no excuse to not forgive somebody because we have to be like Christ!

“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” – John‬ ‭15:18-19‬ ‭

This is saying that the world will hate Jesus’s followers. You can’t expect the world to love you. The second you surrender your life to God you are no longer of this world, He adopted you into His family, and because He adopted you out of this world, this world is going to hate you. I mean, you can’t expect the world that is of the devil to love the people that are of God!! So being that the world is going to hate you (or already hates you), you have to learn to forgive because God did the same for you. So I will leave you with Jesus’s words in Mark 11:25-26 which says that you need to forgive people and if you don’t, then neither will God forgive you.

“And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.” – Mark‬ ‭11:25-26‬ ‭

Submitted by @ Marissa Bazer (age 12)

Trusting God vs Trusting Self

on-my-knees“Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you. Ye have plowed wickedness, ye have reaped iniquity; ye have eaten the fruit of lies: because thou didst trust in thy way, in the multitude of thy mighty men.” – Hosea‬ ‭10:12-13‬ ‭

Roman’s chapter 8 tells us that all who are Christ’s are led by His Spirit. John 15 tells us that we must abide in Christ or else our fruit will dry up, wither away, and we will be cut off and cast into the fire. Herein, lies the reality of a victorious Christian life. Abiding in the presence of the King, tapping into the life giving, fruit baring power of God through daily prayer, worship, reading, communion, seeking, hearing, and obeying. By this does the grace of God flow out from the vine (which is Christ) into the branch (which is us) that we might produce the fruits of righteousness (which is obedience to the voice, word, and will of God). This brings life to us and others through the anointing backing up those words and actions with the power of the Holy Spirit of God.

The enemy of faith in God (faith that causes us to seek, trust, abide in, and obey the leading of His Spirit) is faith in self, which causes us to seek, trust, abide in , and obey the leading of the flesh. This is the struggle that wages war in our members described in Romans 8. It has been the root of every right and wrong action taken since the beginning of time. All the way back to the garden when God placed two trees in the midst of the garden, the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge. One embodied trusting God unto life, the other embodied trusting self unto death. He set before us life and death, and told us to choose life, but we chose to lean on our own understanding and it led to death. It always does. Stop trusting in your own limited understanding, your plan, your abilities, your tree of knowledge. Humble yourself, crucify the flesh, trust in God, follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, and choose life. God is not looking for people that can lead, when men lead they lead others into a pit, He is looking for men who can follow. Only once you learn to humble yourself and follow, can you then be led out of the pit. This is the test of faith, this has always been the test and few are they that pass it. Choose ye this day. Choose to humble. Choose to follow. Choose life.

“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness. The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.” – Proverbs‬ ‭14:12-14‬ ‭

“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 ‭

“Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” – Matthew‬ ‭7:14‬ ‭

“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.” – Deuteronomy‬ ‭30:19-20‬ ‭

Jesus’s Hard And Humbling Warning To The Church

14739“And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” – Matthew‬ ‭18:3-6‬ ‭

When this, “the millstone” verse is read or quoted, it is often used to illustrate God’s deep love for, sense of protection over children, and extreme distain for those who hurt them. While this application is surely true, when read within the context of the surrounding versus we see that he was actually speaking of spiritual children. That is to say, those who have just come to the faith and or new babes in Christ.

“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.” – 1 Peter‬ ‭2:2-3‬ ‭

In this we see God’s great disgust for those who offend and discourage those that are young and unlearned in the faith. Saying that it were better for them that they had tied a huge heavy stone around their neck and drowned themselves in the sea. The fact that He used a “millstone” for this expression was no coincidence, for you see, millstones were used to “crush wheat” and wheat has always been used by God to represent His people. Don’t crush God’s tender wheat (young believers) or the very thing used to crush them will be what drags you down into the abyss. Furthermore, He is pointing out that it will have been by your own hand that you tied this thing to you and dove in, to your own destruction and damnation.

Yes offense will come, all who will live Godly will suffer persecution, but woe to the person that causes the offense. Especially when it comes from those who should know better. You see, if you go back to verse one of this passage, you will see that Jesus was actually talking to His disciples here. Therefor, the intended recipients of this message build upon the point that Jesus was making. He was saying that God is so greatly offended when those such as themselves, who are more established in the faith discourage and cause to stumble those who are younger through pride, envy, arrogance, jealousy, selfishness, selfish agendas, or lack of compassion and patients.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” – Galatians‬ ‭5:22-23‬ ‭

Sinners will sin, the world will offend, but woe if that offense comes from within. For the passage continues by stating that God deems it better to actually cut off a member from the Body of Christ then to allow it to drag the whole body to hell with it because of offense. (Which is to say, discouraging or being a stumbling block to others by way of causing offense)

“But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh! Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.” – Matthew‬ ‭18:6-11‬ ‭