Rejoice in the Lord, Always!

“I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together. I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.” – Psalms 34:1-4

We praise Him in the storm because we know He’s in control. We thank Him on the shore because we know He steered the boat. We rejoice with Him on the mountain cause we know He’s blessing us. We love Him in the valley where He’s teaching us to trust. He is good in all His ways, He is faithful evermore. He is wise, and just, and strong, and true. He is my risen Lord!

God is worthy to be praised in every situation. His wisdom is to be esteemed and His love to be trusted. When one is fully persuaded of who God is, that He is God, that nothing is too hard for Him, that He is good and cares for His dear children, that He is faithful and fulfills all of His promises, then they will be able to thank in faith and praise in every situation.

In this does a true revelation of His great and perfect love cast out all fear. For if He is for us, what can stand against us and prosper? What shall be impossible? What will He withhold from us that is truly good for us? When we learn to trust in who He really is. That He is love and He is faithful to the end, and what He has spoken He is able to achieve it. Keep believing, keep praying, keep pursuing, keep praising. He knows what He is doing, so trust Him and love on Him daily in the waiting, and the journey will become just as beautiful as the destination.

“Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.” – Philippians 4:4

“The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” – Psalms 34:7-8

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.” – Psalms 91:1-2

Make Us Like You

Give us an unshakable faith. Make us un-offend-able. Make us dependable. Make us like You! Produce good fruits in us that will not wither in drought or be devoured by locus. Make us sweet like your Spirit, not bitter or hardened from the relentless attacks of the enemy. Bring us rain in our season. Reveal to us the reason for prolonged winters. Teach us the lessons that will bring lasting blessings. Make us a people stedfast, tried, and tested, purified and perfected, patient and enduring, and trustworthy with Your outpouring.

Make us like You, even if it comes with a wilderness, a Gethsemane, and a Judas. Give us Your heart, lay upon us Your burdens, show us Your sorrow for the lost and the hurting. May we share in Your grief as Your broken heart beats for a bride that’s deceived and a church that’s asleep. May we stand strong in the fight and sure in the faith, determined to be the one that eases Your pain with a love that is true, a devotion unmoved, and a thankful, graceful, faithful attitude.

We know we can trust You, you do not waver or lie, let us be the ones that You too can trust, that bring joy to Your heart and ease to Your mind. Make us Like You, loving, joyful, peaceful, longsuffering and kind. Help us press through the difficult times and maintain these fruits of goodness, faithfulness, genteelness, and patience. Let them be the stones that take down our giants. Give us Your words full of power and grace, truth and compassion, anointing and faith. Make us like You, tried and true, a heart that’s devoid of pride, selfishness, bitterness, envy, malice, strife, contention, or fear. Let our self die here, as we pick up our cross, follow after You and dare to make, “Make us like You”, our daily prayer.

“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” – Matthew 5:48

“Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” – 1 Peter 1:16

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance:” – Galatians 5:22-23

“Ye shall know them by their fruits.” – Matthew 7:16

Still a God of Power!

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” – 2 Timothy 3:1-5

Paul warns of a deception that would arise in the church in the last days. Having a form of godliness, they claim to belong to Christ but yet they deny the overcoming power of His Name and blood! From such people, Paul warns, turn away! Flee from them! Have no part in it. In fact the word “turn away” is the literal definition of repent. Paul warns that one need repent of being among those that are like this.

The list of previous sins, including unholiness, are things that they are ok with. They teach that you need not (or cannot) be freed from the bondage of sin, removing the limitless power of the true God of scripture (of whom nothing is impossible) for the powerless justification of a god of their own making who is not stronger then the enemy or the sin he binds you in. They preach unbelief and claim it is Christianity when it has no power to set the captive free. It’s a fallacy and Paul said to repent of it and flee from those who teach it.

“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might agree with him.” – 2 Corinthians 11:3-4

Jesus said that because the Spirit of God was upon Him, He received powered to set the captive free! Then He died to make a way for that same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead to be received by you and me!

The Word says that the Anointing “breaks the yoke” of bondage to the enemy! If there is no yoke breaking power in your church then it’s because Jesus (who is the anointing) is not in it! Flee from it! If there is no yoke breaking power in the god that you serve, then it’s because it is not the real God of scripture who is unchanging! Flee from it! If there is no yoke breaking power in your life then it’s because the yoke breaker is not the Lord of it! Flee from it! Repent of it! Die to it and come alive in Christ by the power of the limitless Holy Spirit!

“But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” – Romans 8:11-15

He is still a God of power, if your god is powerless or limited in anyway then it is not the God of the Bible! Come to the Anointed One! Come to salvation, deliverance, and freedom! Come to Jesus! Not just a hollow form of godliness laid down in words that justify peoples emptiness, defeatedness, powerlessness, and sinfulness! But a God of limitless power and demonstration unto the shaming of the limitations of the enemy that has been placed underneath His feet!

“But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power. For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.” – 1 Corinthians 4:19-20

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

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

“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?” -Jeremiah 32:27

Jesus has been given all power, authority, and dominion! He has taken the keys (authority) of the kingdom away from Satan and given it to His anointed. Those who truly believe Him, to walk in it! Overcoming victory over the enemy is available to those who truly believe in the real Him. Not in a powerless faithless victory-less form of godliness, but in Jesus! The Son of the Living God! The Holy and Anointed One! The Truth, the Way, and the Life! The overcomer! The Resurrection! The Deliverer! The Savior! The Victor! The real Jesus!

“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” – Revelation 3:21-22

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

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

In Remembrance of Me

“For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.” – 1 Corinthians 11:23-24

I once endured a great depth of pain and affliction for someone that I loved trying to help them and save them from their own bad decisions. Years later while in conversation a remembrance of this situation came up and to my great sorrow they did not remember it. They did not even truly believe that it happened and therefor did not appreciate the depths of my sacrifice for them. I wanted no apology, they did not need to make amends, I just wanted them to acknowledge what I had endured for them and appreciate it and it broke my heart all over again when it didn’t happen.

Yet it was in this moment that the Lord showed me the depths of healing that the simple act of taking communion brings to Him, when we truly remember what He did and appreciate it. However, it also showed me the sorrow that it can bring when we take it unworthily, in “unbelief”.

Do we really believe what He endured for us? Not only the physical brokenness but but His broken heart over us. How He gave His all to show us His love for us while we played the harlot with an unworthy lover right before Him and yet even while His heart was breaking as He had to endure witnessing this, He still poured out His blood for us. Do we really remember His suffering? Because I think if we did, then we would never again be tempted to cheat on Him with sin, to return to that other lover, in fact it would cause us to hate it for what it did to Him. To repent of it and beg for forgiveness. To love on Him daily and appreciate Him for what He did. This is the power of communion, of truly remembering.

As I broke the bread I took time to remember His brokenness and feel it. Not just a broken body and the things that He did, but His broken heart over what He witnessed while being despised and rejected by the ones He did it for. His broken heart over our rejection of Him for our other lovers, whatever pleased the flesh, whatever the wicked one suggested in our ear. Yet oh how Jesus still poured out His blood, suffered, and died to save us from those other lovers bent only on destroying us and hurting Him through us, even while we were yet still with them. In remembering this we will come to know the depths of a true communion.

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8

Breaking the break I remember His broken heart over all of this and I remorsed over it, I repented and thanked Him for it. Then I took the cup, the blood, the forgiveness. The price He paid for my redemption, and I realized the order of communion was with intent. First the bread then the wine, the body then the blood, repentance then forgiveness, remorse then redemption from it, conviction then conversion, remembrance then love. The body, then the blood.

“We love him, because he first loved us.” – 1 John 4:19

“For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband (Christ), that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 11:2

Fine Tuning

Early on in my walk of faith it seemed that correction came in wide easy to see strokes with neon flashing signs. Things that were obvious sins or error and were simple to correct. Yet as my walk with the Lord deepened and He laid upon me more responsibility the instructions and corrections became more confusing and at times even frustrating.

He would push me in a direction, then I would run out and get corrected for over stepping, then I would cry out in confusion, frustration, disappointment, or discouragement. “Lord You told me to do this? Why am I now being corrected for it?” Until the Lord responded, “I’m fine tuning you.”

He knew exactly what to say to help me understand that day. You see, as a musician, that one statement was all I needed to see the big picture of what He was telling me. In my mind I saw a guitar being tuned. Turning the tuning peg in one direction or the other. To the untrained ear it is easy to hear when it is wildly out of tune. It is easy to know which direction you need to go to get it back inline enough to play some lovely melodies. However, at this point, while it may seem to be in tuned to most on lookers and by standers, to the sensitive skilled and discerning ear of the master conductor preparing you for a place in His great Symphony, there is still some fine tuning to do so that all will work together in harmony.

It is in this time of “fine tuning” that you end up going back and forth a lot. “Do this, wait no, too much, correct it. Turn this way, do you hear how you missed it? Go back and do it again. Your close but not yet perfect. I need a certain sound that will resound and do it’s part in the work of the whole without distorting the over all sound, message, and melody of the great Symphony that I have chosen you to be part of for Me. Have patience and don’t quit. Don’t get frustrated or discouraged and leave the class before you’ve passed. I’m not mad or disappointed, I just need you to take the corrections and learn the lessons because I Am preparing you for your appointed position. And when you are pass this class and are fine tuned at last, what an amazing sound you will make when you finally take your place and it will all come together to preform My good Grace!” How perfect is the work of our King? So don’t get discouraged in the season of fine tuning.

“That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” – Ephesians 4:14-16

“Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.“ – James 1:3-4

“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” – Matthew 5:48

“Remember”

“And having a high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”

Hebrews 10:21-22

Jesus was not kidding when he declared, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matt. 28:18)

He occupies the highest throne of authority! Remember:

He called a coin out of the mouth of a fish.

He stopped the waves with a word.

He spoke, and a tree withered.

He spoke, and a basket became a banquet.

He spoke again, and demons fled, sickness was healed, and even a battalion of soldiers collapsed instantly!

Economy, Meteorology, Botany, Food supply, Governments,… “All things have been handed over to me by my Father” (Matt. 11:27)

So when we pray, we need to remember just who it is that hears us! Taking all things He is and has done should stir a faith and peace in our valleys when we call out to Him!

So pray! Since God works, prayer works. Since God is good, prayer is good. Since you matter to God, your prayers matter in heaven. You’re never without hope because you’re never without prayer. And on the occasions you can’t find the words to say, just call on His name. He is near to the brokenhearted and they of a contrite spirit.

Going forward, when you spend your time with Jesus in prayer, just as with communion, do it in remembrance!

“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;”

Colossians 1:16-19

Take a Stand: There’s More at Play than You’re Seeing

“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

We’ve all heard the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. How these 3 Hebrew youths stood for God when no one else would and so God stood with them when no one else could. How they were willing to refuse to obey ungodly authorities that commanded them to disobey the will and word of God. How their faith and determination to take God’s side at all cost set the stage for God to prove Himself real to the faithless many through this faithful few and bring revival to an inter nation.

But today I want to zoom in on the mindset that led to all of this. Let’s examine for a moment what these three youths were really facing. Because when dealing with the enemy, what we see on the surface (in the physical) is only a shadow of what is really there in the spiritual.

You see the Chaldean “accusers of these brethren” on the surface were but envious, power hungry, attention seeking men. But in reality what these boys were really dealing with were demons. Paul himself parallels the Chaldeans with demons in Acts chapter 13. Looking beneath the surface is not something that many modern Christians like to do but Paul boldly called out the demonic that was driving the actions of the physical men that were rising up against him and we would be wise to do the same.

Furthermore, these three boys were not dealing merely with a king, a leader, the man Nebuchadnezzar, but with a principality. The Antichrist spirit that ruled the region through Nebuchadnezzar. You see, though wrapped up in a charismatic worship service full of great music with all manner of instruments, Nebuchadnezzar’s decree that all must worship this image or be killed is a clear character of the Antichrist spirit.

“And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” – Revelation 13:15

Yet while all this was going on, the music, the worship, the idolatry all set up by this wicked principality that everyone in the region bowed in agreement too, these three kids chose to refuse. They risked all knowing that God was able to deliver them but even if He didn’t, they would not compromise and be in agreement with this unrighteousness. Knowing that to refuse to stand against sin is to choose to agree with it, and to agree with it is to endorse it and silence convictions against it.

“If the spirit of the ruler (Principality) rise up against thee, leave not thy place (stand your ground); for yielding pacifieth (justifies) great sinners.” – Ecclesiastes 10:4

Now let’s look pass the surface on the three Hebrew boys side of what happened. What exactly were these demonic powers and Principalities fighting so hard to stop them from doing? Praying. There is nothing that the demonic fears more and thus fights more then a praying people. When you read their story one thing stands out, they were committed to prayer and fasting! They would not compromise, they would not justify the lies of the enemy, and they countered them on their knees calling on a greater authority. This is what the enemy feared, why he hated them and attacked them, but it is also why God Himself stepped in and defended them.

So determine today to start looking past the surface of the men and situations that rise up against you and start seeing the reason that the enemy is angry so you will move in wisdom and know how to defeat him. Pray without ceasing. Stand your ground. Stand for righteousness. Stand for holiness. Stand for God, and He will stand with you no matter what you go through. In the end let it be said of me that I would rather stand in the fire with Jesus, then in the palace with the Chaldeans and the self worshiping antichrist spirit king leading them.

“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him. He also shall be my salvation: for an hypocrite shall not come before him.” – Job 13:15-16

Please God

Day 103

On Day 103 of our 120 Day Upper Room Prayer Campaign we pray for the fortitude to be God seekers and not people pleasers as we see how man pleasing ministries lead to nothing but idolatry

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

Nineveh

Day 82

On Day 82 of our 120 Day Upper Room Prayer Campaign we pray for God to give us a heart for those who have wronged us that we not miss our revival in waiting like Jonah almost did.

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

Compromise

Day 73

On Day 73 of our 120 Day Upper Room Prayer Campaign we pray to break the generational curses brought on by spiritual complacency and compromise as demonstrated through the life of Eli.

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