To Love God

“Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” – Matthew 22:36-40

So the greatest of all God’s commandments is to love God. So how do we love God? What does that look like, because we all know that true love is more then just words.

“Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me…” – Matthew 15:7-9

Love is rooted in trust (or faith) in that person, admiration for them, and thankfulness toward them. I can’t tell you how to love, but I can tell you the fruits (or evidence) of someone who does.

“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” – John 14:15

Love desires to please because it is thankful. Love obeys because it trust. Love serves because it admires. Jesus said that if we truly love Him then we will keep His commandments. Paul goes further to tell us that because love drives us to please the one that has our affection, then keeping Jesus’s commandments is never something grievous to us, but joyous! We desire to serve our King because we love Him. Like a bride laboring to prepare for her wedding! It may be toilsome at times but not grievous. Paul said that though Christ had made us free, he chose to make himself a slave to His service out of love, trust, and thankfulness! True love compels us to do this for those that we love! Love looks like service!

“He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.” – John 21:17

Jesus told us that true love for Him will cause us to obey Him, but not that only. If we truly love them then we will care about what matters to Him. His lambs. We will be driven daily to minister to them. To relay His truths to them. To lead, encourage, and direct them in the paths of righteousness. To teach them to love Him like we do. To feed them. True love is selfless and will cause you to lay your own plans, desires, wants, needs, and life aside to put God and other’s fist. Because love is sacrifice.

“Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” – Matthew 22:36-40

When we chose to become a servant to God and a servant to others we show not only that we truly love Him, but we show also the very fruits of who He is; for God is love. He came to show us what that looks like in the form of the servant King Jesus. Who said plainly, “ I came not to be served but to serve”. Then bid us to come and follow after His example.

“But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” – Matthew 20:25-28

The word minister means “to serve”. When you love God you will be driven to minister to Him, and will have a desire to minister to others for Him. Like a bride laboring to please her groom, it’s not a chore anymore. She does it because she wants to. In this is the fruits (or evidence) of love. Service, selflessness, obedience, faithfulness. A heart of service that desires to please God and feed His sheep. A life sacrificed for the one we love and what matters to him. Like a father does for his family, or a mother for her children, or a bride for her beloved.

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

“I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine:…” – Song of Solomon 6:3

One Family

“But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?” – Galatians 2:11-14

What an unexpected situation this must have been. Paul, a man who had never walked with Jesus in the flesh but was disciplined enough to walk with Him daily in the spirit, publicly rebuked Peter the disciple of Christ for not acting like Jesus or rightly reflecting His teachings to the people.

What happened here? Pride is what happened here. The Gospel of Jesus is the gospel of the Hebrews completed. So while Peter had gained some notoriety sharing the good news that this King of the Jews named Jesus had made a way for all men to be brought into the glory of His Kingdom, a slight pride had arisen in those who were of this heritage and had believed. In doing so a division, a schism entered the body and the family that Christ had died to unite became divided.

“That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.” – 1 Corinthians 12:25

The believing Jews thought themselves better then the believing gentiles, they understood and kept the old ways, they were ritualistically clean, they were important, they were the chosen, and they separated themselves to show it! In that moment Peter had a choice to stand for the lowly as Christ so often did, are partake of this pridefulness and separate with them. Which is exactly what he did!

“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.” – Proverbs 16:18-19

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” – Galatians 5:1

When Peter, being a leader, did this his actions immediately began to influence others to walk in it and Paul had to put a stop to it. After all, the whole mandate of Israel from the beginning had been to be a nation of priest that would go out and welcome other tribes, tongues, and nations into the family of God but they had failed to do it. Therefore Jesus Himself came to achieve this mandate and through Him were all men made equal. No more Greek or Jew, male or female, rich or poor but all had equal access and so ship in God’s Kingdom! This is the gospel and it was being undermined by the pride of men who wanted to feel a since of ownership in what Jesus did. A little superiority when Jesus came to demonstrate humility. It was arrogance and it was dangerous to the message of Jesus and the souls that it was meant to reach. So Paul has to correct it, and because this error was demonstrated publicly where it could lead others astray, it had to be corrected in a public way that those who had agreed with it might see their mistake and repent.

“For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” – Galatians 3:26-29

“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: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” – 1 Peter 2:9-10

Yes there are times when open public rebuke is justified. Not when looking to find something wrong in others to prove your view superior, for that is a Pharisaical pride. But when others are hurt, by that pride. When the family is divided. When some are made to feel less important to God when He suffered and died to destroy that lie forever! Jesus leveled the playing field. Those who were worthy were made unworthy and those who were unworthy were made worthy so that all must come to Him for redemption. He is the root and all branches were stripped away so that anyone who hopes to find life must be grafted in to Him so that no pride can glory in His presence. Rather you are a man or a woman, a gentile or a Jew, a king or a beggar, a child or an elder, all who humble themselves and acknowledge that they have nothing to offer, no right to be part of what Christ did except they repent and cry out to Him to be grafted in are welcomed and made to feel at home in His presence, His Kingdom, His family. We must be born again and if we have been born again, then who we were no longer lives, but it is Christ who lives in us! Our only hope of glory.

“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. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” – Galatians 2:20-21

“But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” – 1 Corinthians 12:20-27

Cry Like Peter

“But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased. Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.” – Matthew 14:30-33

Peter was eager! Peter was full of faith! Peter asked God to call him out of his comfort zone! Peter got his shot and jumped at it! Then the attacks came. The storms of the enemy rose up against him and He took his eyes off of Jesus and the mission that God was preparing him for. He looked at the storm, he listened to the winds roar, he felt the waves rise up to overtake him and he became fearful of them. In that moment, His faith was more in the enemy to defeat him, then in Jesus to defend him, and In God to deliver him and he began to sink. To be claimed by the enemy that was just moments before “under his feet”, that sea.

God cast our past into a sea of forgetfulness but that does mean that it won’t rise up boisterous against us and try to reclaim us through fear, condemnation, temptation, bluffs, and plain old bullying. As long as we keep our eyes on Jesus and our faith in Him who has had all of this placed under His feet with all authority and calls us to follow Him, to walk this path of righteousness, to put this enemy beneath us, then we cannot be defeated!

“What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” – Romans 8:31

However the moment you listen to the roaring, set your eyes on the storm that is coming, focus on your feelings being tossed about like a raging sea, and put your faith in its ability to over take thee, even with the King of Kings within your reach. Then you will sink! Sink into despair, regret, temptation, unbelief, frustration, and condemnation. Then my friend, I have seen it time and time again, the next step (if not corrected) will be to grow envious and begin to condemn and speak against those who still have that water walking faith, and even agree with the enemy when he begins to call it all fake. No, God is real and NOTHING shall be impossible for those who believe.

So what do we do when we see that we are beginning to sink into this dark sea? We do what Peter did! We cry out to Him! “Save us Jesus! You did it before, you can do it again! I put my faith back in You, your redemption, and your power to tread upon the enemy!” And in an “instant” He will raise you up and put it all back under your feet again! Those who walk with Jesus, walk in victories, seeing the enemy daily defeated!

Some say that they have prayed and nothing changed. I think that the key here is the state that Peter was in when He cried out to Jesus. He did not recite a practiced prayer, he did not try to sound eloquent, educated, or dignified there in the sea. He did not try to make since of the situation and work his way back into God’s good graces. He believed that he was going to be destroyed and he CRIED!

Put yourself in Peter’s place in that moment. He was being overtaken by something that meant to kill him and Jesus was his only hope of salvation. So he CRIED for Him to save him. That cry of utter abandon, no need for understanding, and urgent desperation in belief of the complete and eminent damnation that he was facing, as well as Jesus’s ability to save him from it. That’s the cry that heaven is waiting for. That’s the cry that opens the door of grace. That’s the cry of someone who has remembered the source of their water walking faith.

“And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.” – Exodus 2:23-24

The Israelites had gone into Egypt under good terms but over time they became more and more immersed in the culture and sins of Egypt. They set their eyes on the luxuries, tuned their ears to the flatteries, and turned their hearts to the idolatries of this spiritually dark land; and before they knew it they were entrapped and enslaved by it. In their bondage they began to cry out to God to save them. Their babies where being killed as soon as they were born, they were made to work long days with little reward for it and no hope of retirement, and worse of all they were not allowed to worship the God of the Bible openly and freely like the other religions of the land could daily. They were oppressed on all sides, emotionally, physically, and spiritually, and so they cried!

How do you think their prayers sounded, how did that cry go out from them. I think a bit like Peter’s did. Fervent, urgent, desperate! And Heaven heard it! My friend why aren’t we praying like this? Is our culture any different then Egypt? Is our damnation any less prevalent then Peter’s was in that moment?

Why isn’t heaven hearing our prayers? Maybe because we don’t take where we are serious. Our eyes have not been opened to what is really around us. It’s time to wake up. We need deliverance. Once we truly see it, and cry out like we believe it, God will hear and in an instant, reach for us.

Oh, my deliverer is coming, because I will cry until the sea gets quiet and Egypt is reminded who the true God really is! Let your voice (which transcends heaven and earth) be louder then the storm, the winds, the waves in all their boisterousness, all the armies of Egypt with their horses and chariots! Our faith is not in any of this! Our faith is in Jesus who has the power and authority to deliver us! So our focus will be on Him and we will pray, and praise, and cry out with all desperation unto His Holy Name until He hears from heaven, steps in, reaches out His hand, and changes everything! He’s done it before, He can do it again!

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

“And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” – Luke 10:18-20

A Blameless Confession

When we truly confess our sins as sin, taking responsibility for them and repenting of them, God is faithful and just to forgive them. Our wrongs toward Him or forgotten, cast as far as the east is from the west into a sea of forgetfulness and we are found blameless in His sight and before all the courts of heaven. Therefore, on our part confession with blame is not excepted in God’s Kingdom, or else Adam would have been forgiven. When God walked into the garden and confronted him, he confessed that he had sinned and eaten of that which God had told him not to, but then he blamed everyone else for why he had to. Be became the accuser of the brethren when he was created for intercession, to protect and defend them, to pray and to plead for them. Instead he did nothing but point out their guiltiness. At this point God had to judge all of them when His heart is set on mercy and forgiveness.

Jesus showed us a better way, the right way. Where Adam failed, Christ prevailed. Where Adam blamed his bride for his sin, Christ died in intercession for His. Adam failed and all fell with him, Christ prevailed and redeemed us from our sinfulness and He did it with forgiveness. This is why He was so adamant to teach us that we MUST first forgive in order to be forgiven. We have no excuse for this. He did it for us and we MUST do it for them. We must walk in the footsteps of Jesus in order to follow Him into the Kingdom. He walked the straight and narrow, He showed us the way, He demonstrated it with His life, then bid us “come and follow.”

“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 6:15-16

“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” – Psalms 139:23-24

Blame creates justification for your sin. It says that someone else needs to be saved and changed. Someone else caused me pain and made me this way. The enemy comes to still, to kill, and to destroy. He causes destruction by the hands of men, but we are not accountable for them. God will deal with them, both in this life and at the judgement. You will, however be held accountable for how you dealt with it.

No man can pluck you out of His hand, but you can choose to walk away from it. To return to the vomit that you once hated. To become the one who is now to blame for leading others astray, rather then being the one that shows them the right way. Don’t justify sin by blaming the wicked for being wicked, sinners will sin for their is no truth or light yet in them, but we do have a choice in how we respond to it. We can draw closer to the defender of the defenseless, who Himself was abused, despised, and rejected; and choose to pray as He did, “Father forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing.” Or we can choose to become offended, defensive, unforgiving, sinful, selfish, hurtful, and wicked like them and end up sharing in their judgment in the end.

Don’t let the devil win. Every besetting sin rooted in something that once happened and how you reacted to it. Don’t hold on to it by blaming the tools of the enemy for the wounds that they caused you when Jesus bore our suffering to become our healing, our balm of Gilead. Identify the root and heal the infection that is poisoning your soul and blocking salvation by forgiving them, acknowledge your wrong responses as sin, ask God to remove all of it, and where the devil meant to use you to continue wounding others unto more entrapment, God will instead us you to minister healing and bring freedom from the snares, wounds, plots, plans, and bondages of this cruel enemy.

“Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?” – Jeremiah 8:22

A balm is a healing agent, and Gilead is a place of rule. What you allow God to heal you of is the place He will use you to rule over the plots of the enemy from. You will have authority to minister healing and deliverance from that same woundedness in others. Where the enemy wounded you and bound you up, God will heal you, set you free, and give you rule and authority over the enemy that once tormented you. So that now being placed under your feet, you can torment him and free others from his prison of sin, pain, damnation, and unforgiveness wherein their is only a death sentence, unto forgiveness, deliverance, salvation, liberty, freedom, and a blessed life with Jesus in eternity. It was not your choice to be wounded, but your response to it is. Choose forgiveness and become a minister of deliverance.

“For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” – Matthew 6:14-15

“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” – Matthew 7:13-14

“And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there: And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” – Isaiah 35:8-10

“Whom the Son sets free, is e free indeed.” – John 8:36

“Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” – 2 Corinthians 3:17

“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 2:15

“Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” – Micah 7:18-19

Small Sticks

Small sticks start big fires. Every revival in history was started by humble no named praying people who burned hot and burned up fast. Yet the fires that started with them ignited larger groups of people and organizations that changed the climate of entire nations.

When you build a fire you don’t start it with a tree trunk. You start with a stick. A small, humble, seemingly useless stick. A fire starter. Not the mass of the mighty oak that boast of it’s use in building strong boats, or the straight pine useful for it’s timber that grows tall in a short time. Not a fallen horse apple raised up and revived to make weapons of war, but a useless small stick trampled under the foot of men. These humble vessels are what God chose to be the best kindling. They have nothing to loose, no other use, they are easily lit, they burn hot and burn quick. Yet they are perfectly fit for the purpose for which they were created. They are the humble catalysts of change, without them there could be no larger flame.

Real fire changes all that it touches. It consumes, it removes, it renews, it warms, it transforms, it brings light, it sets predators to flight. It can clear land for the planting or come as a raging judgment, whatever it’s purpose it’s beginings are humble. A small fire, a burning, little pieces of kindling often in the hidden. So don’t think yourself useless to the Kingdom. When you feel you have nothing else to offer, offer yourself. You might just find that you were called to be a living sacrifice. A small stick. A fire starter for a larger movement. A Wesley, a Braiderd, a Moses, a David, a Ten Boone, a Kolmen, a Paul, or one of the many countless saints nameless to History but famous in eternity. Who’s stories will be celebrated before all of creation and the day of judgment.

We see the blazes of denominations and movements, through the ages; revivals and reformations. Let us not forget that the men and women among them where ignited by someone. Yes, it was the work of the Holy Spirit, but He used a small stick as His wick. He lit one or two, then a faithful few, who ignited the masses and brought change that lasted through generations and even entire dispensations of time.

Fire changes things, but every big fire began with small sticks. The unseen, the humble, the talentless, the committed, submitted, Holy Ghost lit conduits of grace. Stir up your faith, don’t give up, your not useless. Instead, give all and He will use you to ignite, to revive, to bring dead things back to life!

It’s those small sticks of history that more easily came to the reality that they had nothing to offer God, no gift, no talent, no skill, no strength, no useful thing to offer their King. So they gave themselves instead and God lit them ablaze and used them to light everyone else. Their faith, released His grace. Them the wick, Him the flame. They gave their all and He gave them all. A divine exchange that changed everything.

“Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.:” – 1 Corinthians 12:22-23

Prayer:

Lord we have nothing to give, but we give you ourselves. Nothing but a small stick. Use us. Completely consume us for your purposes. Start a fire with our lives that will burn hot and bright for generations no come. Use us for Your glory, Lord. In Jesus Name we pray. Amen

“But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” – James 4:6

“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. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.” – Romans 12:1-9

Movement

“And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.” – Matthew 4:19-20

God is a Spirit and all spirit has voice. Faith is believing and responding to that voice. James tells us that faith without works is dead because we cannot claim to believe the words of Jesus without obeying them. Likewise we cannot claim to be led by His Spirit without following it.

“He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.” – John 12:25-26

“And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” – Genesis 1:2-3

The Holy Spirit is a spirit of movement. It has purpose. It is on a mission and we have been commissioned to assist it. Therefore, we cannot do as we will and expect the power of heaven to endorse our pride, decisions, ambitions, or self willed actions. We must seek the Lord with all our heart and where He goes we must follow, and in doing so will we be in position (or right standing) to be used by Him to fulfill His plans and purposes.

“For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” – 2 Peter 1:21

Without faith it is impossible to please God. Those who truly come to God must come humbled, knowing that He is God and we are not. And knowing such, desire to diligently seek Him for His will and wisdom and once we receive it to act to follow His leading. We may not fully understand it. We may not know the beginning or the ending of what He is doing but by faith we choose to play our part in it as He gives it to us knowing that He will work all things together for the good of those who love Him. Once we begin to move this way in faith, then we begin to see the operations of grace that prove His great will, power, wisdom, and victorious overcoming awe inspiring faithfulness and causes us (and all men who witness it) to further trust in Him.

“The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” – John 3:8

“And it shall be, when thou shalt hear a sound of going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt go out to battle: for God is gone forth before thee to smite the host of the Philistines.” – 1 Chronicles 14:15

“And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.” – Acts 2:2

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” – Acts 1:8

“For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.” – Acts 22:15

Victories and testimonies come to those who believe enough to move when spoken too! When it doesn’t make since, like the despises did. When you’re not equipped, like David did. When there’s no glory in it, like Jesus did.

Our God is a God of movement, and every movement began with the command to “go”. So evening if you don’t know where it will end, trust Him and listen! Leave everything behind, pick up your cross, and follow Jesus.

“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” – Mark 16:15

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” – Matthew 28:19-20

“And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.” – Deuteronomy 31:8

Every great victory and move of God in history began with a man willing to be moved by Him. To obey His voice by faith, stand in the face of giants, and trust in the Lord’s deliverance! Then when others witnessed it, they were all moved and it became a movement. The Holy Spirit, is a spirit of movement so don’t become stagnant or paralytic. Sometimes there’s an army standing by frozen in fear, hopelessness, and unbelief just waiting to see the faith of a David that is willing to move when God says that it’s time to take out Goliath and go claim your promise. If God is for us, who can be against us. So pick up your stone (which is Jesus) and start moving in obedience, and you will surely see great and mighty victories!

“And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David. Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled. And the men of Israel and of Judah arose, and shouted, and pursued the Philistines, until thou come to the valley, and to the gates of Ekron. And the wounded of the Philistines fell down by the way to Shaaraim, even unto Gath, and unto Ekron. And the children of Israel returned from chasing after the Philistines, and they spoiled their tents.” – 1 Samuel 17:48-53

“I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: And I will give thee the treasures of darkness (mysterious gifts), and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.” – Isaiah 45:2-3

Drive Them Out!

“And the Lord said unto Moses, Depart, and go up hence, thou and the people which thou hast brought up out of the land of Egypt, unto the land which I sware unto Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, Unto thy seed will I give it: And I will send an angel before thee; and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite:” – Exodus 33:1-2

God promises a pleasant and peaceful land flowing with provision and blessing. Of course the enemy would resist and they would have to fight and trust God for victory in it, that He would move to remove all of the opposition.

When God promises you a land of milk and honey, know that it will come with bulls and bees, and some giants that do not want to let go of these things. Yet will God move mountains and part seas to bring amazing victories. Only trust in Him, His plan, His way, His wisdom, His power, provisions, and salvation, and you will surely win! Do NOT take matters into your own hands, trust in your own wisdom, or take credit for what He is doing!

God speaks for a reason. He sees what we cannot see. He knows the end from the beginning and we must humble ourselves and trust enough to follow His leading in everything. Or else we will set ourselves up to fail.

“And ye shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land, and dwell therein: for I have given you the land to possess it. And ye shall divide the land by lot for an inheritance among your families: and to the more ye shall give the more inheritance, and to the fewer ye shall give the less inheritance: every man’s inheritance shall be in the place where his lot falleth; according to the tribes of your fathers ye shall inherit. But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell. Moreover it shall come to pass, that I shall do unto you, as I thought to do unto them.” – Numbers 33:53-56

God had promised victory in driving out the wicked inhabitants of the land that God had given them. He gave them all the authority, power, and provision of heaven to accomplish this mission. He even warned them what would happen if they didn’t. If they allow this evil to stay, though God gave them the backing of heaven to completely remove it, then this enemy would plot, plan, provoke, deceive, vex, torment, and eventually over take them.

Though this enemy were actual men, they were controlled by evil spirits and the sins and acts of selfishness that they drove them to commit. So for the Christian today I say, don’t play with sin. It will start pleasant but lead to torment. Don’t listen to the ideas planted in your head by those evil spirits that God has called you to drive out. No matter how much it might seem to make since. God knows what He is doing. Trust Him! Don’t allow the enemy to stay in the land that you have been given. God has made available to you, through the blood of Jesus, all the resources and power of heaven to drive these unclean things out, lest they vex you and eventually overtake you while taking everything that God had for you, from you.

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

The conquest of this promised land, though it began gloriously in a day of overcoming demonstration and victory, was not to be won completely in one fight. In the same way that out glorious salvation is followed by a daily pushing forward and growing in grace that we call sanctification, taking hold of the promised land was to be a gradual increase and growing, a pushing forward and going day after day. Seeing more land taken and more giants slain as they pray, obeyed, followed God in faith.

“I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee. By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land.” – Exodus 23:29-30

But one by one the tribes stopped following God’s instructions. They got tired of growing, of pushing, of fighting, of trusting. They got distracted by the pleasantries and snared by the plots and plans of their enemies. They listened to their enticing words and began to compromise what they had heard from God for what they thought was right in their own sight.

“They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee.” – Exodus 23:33

“Yet it came to pass, when the children of Israel were waxen strong, that they put the Canaanites to tribute; but did not utterly drive them out.” – Joshua 17:13

Pastor, don’t come into agreement with someone’s sin, or compromise with their compromise just because they pay tithes. Christian, don’t come into agreement with the voice of an unholy spirit just because it brings you gifts. Child, don’t exchange the greater plan that God has in store for you for the pleasure of the land, gadgets or entertainment. Soldier, don’t disobey the orders of your King by allowing the enemy to not be driven out because it pretends to serve you. It will turn on you. I promise you. Do what God tells you too. No fear. No compromise.

No other way, but God’s way is the right way. Get rid of sin. Have no agreement with unclean spirits. Listen the the wisdom of Jesus. Use the authority that His blood gives us and drive the enemy out of the land of your inheritance. Your mind, your home, your family, your church, your community, your nation. Don’t stop fighting, pushing, praying, and obeying; and little by little, the land shall be taken. Push against the tide. Look at the giants and tell them, “no compromise! It’s time for you to go, in the Mighty Name of Jesus!” Then trust in the salvation of the Lord to complete it!

“What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” – Romans 8:31

“Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” – Mark 9:23

“Whom the Son therefore sets free, is free indeed.” – John 8:36

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” – Galatians 5:1

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

To Pray for Peace

“And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the Lord for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.” – Jeremiah 29:7

“And it came to pass, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, Is it peace, Jehu? And he answered, What peace, so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many?” – 2 Kings 9:22

As ministers we always want to see every single person saved. We go to great lengths of suffering and sacrifice to endure persecution, trial, and tribulation for the sake of being a demonstration of the message of Jesus Christ. This is the way that the hard hearted or reached and there is great reward for it in eternity.

When one suffers for the peace of many it is a good and noble thing and is honored by all of heaven. Yet there is a line of confusion that the enemy loves to blur here causing many in ministry to tolerate wolves in sheep’s clothing among the sheep out of mercy and it’s something we must learn to discern and deal with properly.

When one suffers for the peace of all it is well and rewarded, but when all are made to suffer for the peace of one it is a whole different story. We are called to pray for the peace of the place where God has positioned us. This means praying against the spirit that steals that peace from us. Refusing to tolerate the wolf in sheep’s clothing, the Jezebel that comes to hunt those with a calling. The well hidden in plain sight that we fight so hard to save sometimes, only allowing it more space to eat the lambs the moment it thinks we are looking away. Be a good shepherd, use your rod of authority, deal with the enemy of the sheep. Stop showing the enemy mercy at the expense of the weak, the wounded, the young, and the fatherless. Guard the lambs and defend the defenseless! To pray for peace is to pray against the spirit of Jezebel and to pray against the spirit of Jezebel is to pray for peace. So no more mercy, it’s time for the Jehu’s to do what they need too!

Prayer:

Lord remove what need be removed to bring peace to the places you have called us too! You have placed us as watchmen to cry out from the wall and we have often prayed for those on all sides, thinking it pride to pray against the enemy. Though we do not pray against people we do pray today against the entity and say, “enough”. Let the hand of God be against the wicked and let judgment come upon the spirits the steal the peace out of the lands of our inheritance! God, move to remove the Jezebel spirits! In the Mighty Name of Jesus.”

“I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first. Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.” – Revelation 2:19-22

Whatever it Takes

Recently I read a story of a courageous border collie named Pasty who risked her life to lead 900 sheep to safety through the Australian wild fires ravaging their land. A lot could be learned from this selfless farm hand. While most where thinking of their own pain and suffering, while most were striving to avoid being hurt, while most were trying to get away from the torment that was coming, this dog ran full force into it. She did not think of herself, she was determined to save the sheep.

So often we abandon an assignment because it puts us in a place of pain, discomfort, or even danger. So often we fail to keep the sheep when all of Hell rises up against us. When circumstances are not easy or pleasing to us, we flee and leave them to find their own way or perish in the chaos. It should not be so. A Christian should be selfless, always thinking of others, sacrificial like Jesus.

“I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.” – John 10:11-13

God said that David was a man after his own heart. This was personified in the fact that even as a child he ran full force towards personal peril to snatch a lost sheep out of the mouth of the enemy.

“And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him.” – 1 Samuel 17:34-35

The word Christian means to be like Christ. Christ was willing to suffer and to sacrifice in order to keep the sheep. We also should, like this sheep dog was, be willing to do what we must to lead other to the safety of the Masters house. So close are so many to the raging fires of hell, yet so few do what they need to, going out into the fields and enduring all hardship in absolute selflessness to lead them away from this emanate destruction and into the arms of the Master that loves them.

“And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither….Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah.” – 1 Samuel 16:11, 13

“While I (Jesus) was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.” – John 17:12

“So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.” – John 21:15

Out of the House of Bondage

“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” – John 8:44

In the beginning Adam was created in purity and perfection, a son of God, part of his family. However he chose to break covenant with the holiness of God who is a spirit and come into agreement with an unholy one, the devil. In doing so, he chose to receive of that rebellious unholy spirit and that seed of unrighteousness was passed down through his children generation after generation, which is the inherited sin. The sin nature.

God (who is a Spirit) sees family, not in flesh, but in spirit. Those who have the rebellious spirit of Satan are considered the children of the devil, and since we are all born of Adam then we all have it. So then do we all need to be delivered from it. We need to be born again in the Spirit.

When we choose to be crucified with Christ, who we were, dies. We then receive His Spirit through a new marriage covenant in which the two become one, and are raised into newness of life; a bride of Christ. A new creation. Part of a new family. Children of God. But before we can become part of this new family, we must first choose to leave the old one. Being once children of the devil we must choose to leave our fathers house and be espoused to Jesus.

Abraham’s father was an idol maker, making him a son of Satan, but God chose Abraham to be the father of many nations. Yet before He could bring him into covenant with Him, Abraham had to first be willing to come out of his father’s house.

“Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” – Genesis 12:1-3

God moved in might miracles of love and power for the Israelites in the wilderness. He showed forth His great love and care for them. He covered them with a cloud like a husband is the covering for his bride. He provided for them. He fought for and protected them. He did all that a good husband would do. He committed Himself to them and asked that they commit themselves to Him with a marriage covenant that we call the 10 commandments. But before all of this could happen they had to first be willing to come out of their fathers house. Personified by that old pharaoh in Egypt. Children of rebellion and an unholy family, chose to leave it behind to become a bride, and a child of the Kingdom of God.

“I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” – Exodus 20:2-3

Abraham left his fathers house, the Israelites had to come out of Pharaohs house, and even Jesus went into the enemy’s house to be espoused and bring His bride out. On the night before His crucifixion he gathers with His disciples in the house of Simon. Simon was Judas’s father.

Yet what Jesus did in that house that night was so profound and amazing that it still confounds hell to this day. You see in the time of Jesus in order for a man to be espoused to a bride, a supper would be held in her father’s house. The groom and the bride to be would share a drink from a cup of covenant or agreement. She was agreeing to the marriage, to leave her fathers house and become one with her husband. To receive His name, be under His covering, and become part of His family. When the disciples drank of that communion cup that night, they became the church, the bride of Christ. Everything that was His, He willed it to them, and then died in their place as there covering to give it to them. This is the beauty of the new covenant, of what Jesus did for us. He offered to become our husband! But in order to receive if it we must first be willing to leave our fathers house through repentance and choose to be married only to Jesus. Him and Him only, no other god’s, no other idols, no other allegiances, no other lovers; we must give our whole heart, our whole life to Jesus.

“Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” – Matthew 22:36-40

“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” – John 14:15

“In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.” – 1 John 3:10

“For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 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.” – 2 Corinthians 11:2-3

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” – Ephesians 5:25-32

Remember this, that obedience to Jesus is not legalism or law, it’s love. Be committed to your Spiritual husband and thank Him with your actions for all that He has done. And above all else, be willing to leave your old father’s house just like Abraham, Moses, and the disciples did. Jesus still bids those that would be His bride to come and follow Him, and leave their old life behind. It’s time. Walk out of the house of bondage, and into a new life with Jesus.