Waiting On Perfection

“Even the Lord God of hosts; the Lord is his memorial. Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and judgment, and wait on thy God continually.” – Hosea 12:5-6

If you want the greater things that only God Himself can do to be the legacy (or memorial) of your life, you’re going to have to learn to wait on Him. God’s ways are not our ways, nor His thoughts our thoughts. He is so much wiser, higher, more powerful, more able that we cannot truly understand the scope of His plans. Therefore, do we have to take only the small snippets that He is willing to show us by faith and wait for Him to piece them all together in impossible ways.

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

This requires much waiting on the Lord. Patient faithful enduring waiting. What we can do is far too limited to bare the mark of the divine, but when we seek, pray, trust, obey, and wait for God to do what only He can in a way that only He can does it go down in history as a memorial to the Lord. To His power, to His glory, to His faithfulness to the fervent prayers of a righteous faithful servant who is willing to seek, pray, trust, obey, and not least of all… wait on the Lord.

“As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.” – Psalms 18:30

God is perfect, His plan is perfect, and His timing is perfect. Therefor waiting on God is waiting for perfection and perfection cannot be contemplated, counterfeited, or competed with. It can only be memorialized in the awestruck hearts of men as that which only the Lord God Almighty could have done! But it only comes to and through those who are willing to prove their faith by obeying and not straying in the waiting.

“Now therefore stand and see this great thing, which the Lord will do before your eyes.” – 1 Samuel 12:16

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Prayer Changes Everything

Through scripture every time the narrative of the story changed, every time the flow of events took a sharp turn, it was marked by prayer. Truly nothing of significance ever happened in scripture but by prayer and nothing significant will ever happen in the church or the life of a believer but by prayer.

It is by prayer that Abraham commune with God and became his friend. It was by prayer that Moses gained instruction to free a people. It was by prayer that Hanna birthed Samual and revived a nation. It was by prayer that Christ was strengthened in the garden to bare the cup of crucifixion. It was by prayer but 120 people in an upper room received the infilling of Holy Ghost. It was by prayer that the early church lived, breathed, endured persecution and still prospered and persevered in great power. It was by prayer that every great revival and move of God in history was birthed, and it will be by prayer, brought back into fashion by the desperation of tribulation, that the true church is reestablished in the earth.

Prayer changes everything, if nothing seems to be changing it’s because the church is not praying. The devil is not scared of your plans, his are more cunning. He is not scared of your programs, his or more stunning. He is not scared of your promotions, his are more dynamic. He is not scared of your personality, his is more magnetic. What he is scared of is your prayers because his are powerless and yours unlocks the resources of heaven to do what no man on earth or demon in hell can.

Oh if God’s people would pray. If they would stop trusting in the arm of the flesh and the tools of Egypt and pray, everything would change. It always does, when God’s people are willing to humble themselves, admit that they can’t and start crying out so that God will!

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

“Pray without ceasing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:17

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

The Cost of Discipleship

“Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,” – Philippians 3:4-8

Paul, (once called Saul) a well educated Pharisee of high regard and degree, had an encounter with Jesus that challenged everything he had been taught to believe. If anyone had a right to trust in his flesh, in his logic, in his upbringing, in his education, in his religion, in his own strength, in his own knowledge, it was Paul. He not only had reason to trust and cling to it all, but also a vested interest in doing so as he had so zealously believed these things in which he had been taught that it had cost people’s very lives at his hands in defense of his beliefs.

Yet now he had more then words on paper or someone else’s teaching, he had an experience and a choice. Do I cling to what I thought I knew, or do I humble myself before the mighty hand of God and submit to what He Himself is revealing to me, not just in words, but in power and in demonstration?

“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

Paul chose to abandon all, to count everything that he thought he knew as dung, everything he thought he was, everything he had hoped to attain, everything. He humbled himself, laid it all down at the feet of Jesus and said, “I count it all as dung that I might attain You.” Not to know about Jesus, but to know Jesus, personally. Paul was willing to give up everything he thought he knew and sit humbly in prayer and be taught how to follow Jesus, by Jesus Himself. A privilege that Christ died to make available to all of us through the Holy Ghost whom he sent to lead us into all truth. However, we cannot be filled with the Holy Spirit, nor His divine truth if we are already full of ourselves. We have to be willing to be emptied first. We have to humble ourselves before the mighty hand of God and count all that we think we know, are, and want as dung that we might attain Christ.

If pride comes before a fall then humility comes before true exaltation. Don’t assume to know anything but that God is smarter, humble yourself, repent, and seek His face and He Himself will fill you up and raise you up in the demonstration and power of the Holy Ghost in due time. All it will cost you is everything, but when everything becomes equated to dung to you in comparison to Christ, then everything becomes a very small price to pay.

“If any man come to me, and hate not (count of no regard in comparison to your love for Christ) his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. (Compromise) So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” – Luke 14:26-35

Are You Praying For The Lost?

“I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.” – ‭‭John‬ ‭17:9‬ ‭

John chapter 17 is a beautiful, inspiring, and touching piece of biblical history. This is Jesus’s actual prayer to the Father for His followers, both then and to come. When we think of Jesus praying we often think of the “Our Father”, but it’s important to remember that the our Father was not actually Jesus praying. The disciples had asked Jesus how we should pray and Jesus gave the Our Father as an illustration or instruction in how we ought to pattern our prayers.

For example, in the Our Father He shows that we need to express thanks and worship, pray for forgiveness of our sins (trespasses), acknowledge our forgiveness of others, submit to His will, and cry out for His return. These are all principles that our prayer life should readily consist of, but are not things that He Himself needed to pray.

Jesus prayed to the Father for Himself in the garden of Gethsemane crying out for mercy, then submitting to the Father’s will, then for strength and was strengthened for the trial to come. However in John 17 we see Jesus praying not in a teaching mode, or in a petition for help and strength, not seeking for wisdom, (which we should all do daily) but in intercession. We see Jesus praying a genuine prayer to the Father, for us!

“But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” – Hebrews‬ ‭7:24-25‬ ‭

Those who have believed in Jesus’s Words and have come to salvation and restoration of the Father through his atoning blood now have Jesus as their High Priest! This means that Jesus Himself intercedes on their behalf and this chapter is a glimpse into that eternal intercession! But hold on! The scriptures tell us that Jesus is our High Priest (the head of all the priest) but it doesn’t stop there, it also says that we (who are redeemed) are all priest under His order also.

“And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” – Revelation‬ ‭1:5-6‬ ‭

So then if we are priest also then what is our job? A portion of that answer can be found in our opening passage from within Jesus’s own prayer. Jesus says something very strange in verse 9. He tells God the Father that He is praying for His followers, but not for the world. You see, as High Priest, Jesus ever liveth to make intercession “for us” (His Priest), and then as His priest we (the redeemed) live to make intercession for the lost!

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

While we do help to bare the burden of Christ in praying for the saints, we also exclusively carry the mandate to pray without ceasing for the lost. The Bible is very clear that except for the prayer of repentance, God does not hear the prayers of a sinner. However, if you are a saved, sanctified, blood bought, Holy Ghost filled child of God, then He does here yours. Therefor, you can “intercede” on their behalf. In other words, they cannot stand boldly before the thrown of God and make petitions or plead for mercy, but you can. So do it for them! The fervent prayers of a righteous man avails much!

“Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.” – John‬ ‭9:31‬ ‭

So redeemed mothers, pray for your unsaved children, the Lord hears you! Godly father’s, pray for your ungodly leaders, the Lord hears you! Sanctified Church, pray for the apostate church, the Lord hears you! Christian families, pray for your community, the Lord hears you! Saints of the living God, pray for the lost, the Lord hears you! Pray and keep praying for them, even as Christ keeps praying for you!

“I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil of it.” – John‬ ‭17:15‬ ‭

“Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God? Then will the Lord be jealous for his land, and pity his people.” – Joel‬ ‭2:17-18‬ ‭

Set Apart

I think that the disciples had a hard time wrapping their heads around God’s plan because they thought that Jesus had come to overtake the world system when really He came to overturn it.

I think many believers still have the same problem today. They want to be kings of the earth instead of kings in the earth. Paul said that we are in this world, but not of this world. We are kings and priest of an whole other Kingdom. The sooner we stop trying to over take the world system the sooner we can start overturning it by the power of a better one.

“And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” – Colossians‬ ‭2:15‬ ‭

God did not let Moses become pharaoh to save His people in Egypt (which he could have, being the next in line to do so), he called Moses to both forsake Egypt and be an example that would lead His people out of Egypt as they did the same. By calling for separation from the Egyptian world system God was then able to pour out His power two fold, in favor toward Those who had put their trust in Him and in wrath toward those who had put their trust in the things of Egypt (the world system).

“And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the Lord am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine.” – Leviticus‬ ‭20:26‬ ‭

“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” – 1 Peter‬ ‭1:15-16‬ ‭

The Kingdom of Heaven it so far removed and superior to what is, that it does not come to take over what is, it comes to disprove and dispose what is. It’s time to stop trying to build a better pyramid, come completely out of Egypt, go out into the wilderness, and let God teach you how to build something that His presence can inhabit.

Yes Egypt is comfortable, yes Egypt is grand, yes Egypt brings glory to the works of your hand. Yes the wilderness is humble, yes it is plain, yes it forces dependence on God, often through pain. Yes it’s a sacrifice, yes it takes faith, but on the other side of the wilderness a promise awaits.

“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,” – 2 Corinthians‬ ‭6:17‬ ‭

“And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them: and I will get me honour upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten me honour upon Pharaoh, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen. And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them: And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night. And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.” – Exodus‬ ‭14:17-21‬ ‭

Pick Up Your Cross : Jesus’s Alter Calls

“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. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” – Matthew 16:24-26

We commonly see the “if you believe in Jesus and want to be saved raise your hand” message given in church. We see many hands go up but few lives changed. Why? Jesus never told anyone that they could be saved by a raised hand or even merely by what they said. In fact He often warned not to believe what people say outwardly professing to be sheep when inwardly they were actually wolves. So how did Jesus give an alter call?

Jesus’s alter calls when something like this: “if you want to follow Me, deny yourself, pick up your cross, follow Me and My example. If you are willing to give up everything in the life you have you will be saved. If not, then you won’t.”

If you have not died to self then you are not alive unto Christ. When the rich young ruler came asking Jesus to be counted among His own, Jesus pointed out to him the one thing that He knew he was not willing to give up attempting to show him that anything you are not willing to give up for Jesus is idolatry. For him it was his money, he was not in any open sin but because he loved his money more then God and when He asked him to lay it down he would not then Jesus did not accept him.

Salvation is a surrendered will in all things that will reflect in a transformed life. When Nicodemus asked Jesus what he had to do to be saved, Jesus told him that he had to be “born again”. In other words, you have to be changed into something totally new, you can’t hold on to anything of your life and be saved, not your sin, not your desires, not your plans, not your ideas, not your comfort zone, not your logic. Or else you will end up just like the Pharisees who rejected the salvation of the Lord while claiming to already walk in it and were called by Jesus, “vipers and children of hell”.

When Jesus offered salvation it was salvation from sin, from selfishness, from self service and self will, from idolatry, and because they were saved from these things they were by proxy saved from hell. If the person was not willing to be changed then they were not willing to be saved and Jesus never made them think that they were. He told them the truth for the sake of their soul. True salvation is a laying down, or surrender of your will for God’s. If this exchange of wills has not happened then you are not saved. As the old hymn says: “All to Jesus I surrender, all to Him I freely give. I will ever love and trust Him, in His presence daily live.”

You see most people want Jesus to save them from hell, but not from themself, they want to be saved from punishment for sin but not from the sin that brings the punishment. The reality is that if you’re not saved from sin, you’re not saved from hell either. In fact the Bible says that if you choose to remain in your sin after that you have received the knowledge of the truth of Jesus’s sacrifice to liberate you from it and have been sanctified by His blood washing you of it, that not only does His sacrifice not continue to apply to you but hell will actually be worse for you because that you have by your actions (regardless of your profession) trampled His blood underfoot treating it as powerless, common, worthless, and unholy.

God’s warning to the believer that believes they can remain in their sin, self will, self centeredness, and idolatry and still be saved from hell:

“For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” – Hebrews 10:26-31

God’s warning to the minister that teaches such things:

“But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.” – Matthew 23:13-15

God continually warning against the rise of these sinning self willed believers, their lack of fear of God, their willingness to speak against the pure things of God and the power of His Holy Spirit sent to overcome sin, and the devil’s purpose through them to filthy the bride of Christ with spots making her unfit for the Lord’s return:

“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government (God’s authority against the kingdom of hell and all its works). Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities (this who exercise God’s authority against the kingdom of hell and its works) . Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;” – 2 Peter 2:9-15

Be More

“For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:” – 1 Peter 2:19-21

All through scripture you see this principal of God’s character expressed. He is pleased with those who give the more then expected. The easiest example of this for us to grasp is expressed in the tithe and offering. The tithe (10%) already belongs to God and is expected as simple obedience but the offering (anything above the 10%) is given of your own free will and truly blesses God. Because it is given above what is expected God is pleased by it and blesses it all the more. Yet does He state that both are our duty as saints because it reflects His good character.

However, this principal applies in every area of our Christian faith. Not just finances, I only use that as a clear illustration of it. In our opening passage we see this principle laid out in a much more humbling area of our lives. That of rebuke, ridicule, revile, rejection, oppression, and attack for the sake of our obedience to God or expression of faith.

To this the scripture says that if we be buffeted (resisted, opposed, or rebuked) for doing wrong and we take the buffeting with patience and humility then we have merely done what is expected of us by God. We often pat ourselves on the back when we humble ourselves to take rebuke gracefully that we needed and deserved but God says, that this is simply not being rebellious and is expected by Him.

However, when we are buffeted (resisted, opposed, or rebuked) for doing good, for obeying His voice, for standing in faith in what He has told us, for sharing His testimony or our own, for serving Him, or for ministering to others, and still take it with patience, grace, faith, and humility, then He is well pleased. This goes beyond what is normal and common and enters into what reflects His character to others. Now this does not mean that you stop doing these things but that you keep doing them in love, without offense. Just like Jesus did, who is our example.

You just keep doing these things for the sake of the very people who are buffeting you. Not opposing them, not fighting against them, but fighting for them and humbling yourself before them willing to even lay down your life for the sake of their eternal soul. Speaking kindly to those who have spoken harshly to you. Praying for those who have persecuted you. Washing those who have betrayed you. Serving those who have buffeted you. This is the more that God blesses because it demonstrates His more then normal character to a subnormal culture who desperately needs to see something more. After all, this is exactly what we were created, redeemed, and called for, to show them that there is more. So don’t just cry for more, be the more.

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 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; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” – Matthew 5:43-48

Bold as a Lion

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, like a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” – 1 Peter 5:8

Yes the devil is ever on the hunt therefore we must be ever vigilant not to fall pray to him. He watches, studies, and picks up on your weak areas hoping to attack at the right moment when you are at your weakest so he can plan fear, offense, doubt, unbelief, selfishness, apathy, and then rebellion… Do you see the tactic?

Nearly all breaches in the wall begin with some form of fear and progress from their to agreement with the enemy, followed by compromise, then sin, and eventually out right rebellion. Fear of man, fear of what others think, fear of being alone or rejected, fear of being attacked by the enemy, of trial or tribulation, of physical or emotional hurt, fear of missing out on something, fear of not being successful, fear of not being understood or believed. Pretty much every lie of the enemy is rooted in some form of fear. Why? Because it’s all the devil has left.

Christ already defeated the devil at Calvary when He took his “authority” (keys) away. Dominion of the earth was given back to man through the redemptive power of the blood of Jesus who atoned for use and restored the physical dominion that we were created to walk in, then expanded it to include spiritual dominion as joint heirs with Christ as well. Do you know what that means? The devil now has no authority over man except that which we give up and surrender to him through agreement and fear is usually how he gets us to agree to give up our authority against him.

If you agree to be silent then the devil has already won because only the Word can silence him. Jesus spoke against the devil’s temptations when he said “it is written” and then quoted scripture. Jesus also said that the enemy, no matter how big, could be cast out if you will “speak to that mountain”. Jesus further tells us that the devil is overcome because of His blood and also the word of our testimony. So if the devil can make you afraid to speak then he has disarmed you and given himself place. If you agree with him to the point of obeying him and sinning then you forfeit your dominion and make him your master according to Romans 6:16, but it need not be so.

You see, the devil is “like” a roaring lion. In other words, he is “not” a roaring lion, he just pretends to be. Remember that he has already been defeated, through Christ you have all authority against him but he bullies, he bluffs, he pretends to be more then he is hoping to make you fearful of him so that you won’t stand your ground against him and speak.

“And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” – Revelation 1:5-6

Of all God’s creatures, why does he pretend to be like a lion? Because he is jealous of the real lion, the Lion of the tribe of Judah! Because he hates the kingship (authority) that has been stripped from him and given to the righteous sons and daughters of God who are now bold as lions! So he pretends that he hasn’t lost it in hopes that you will be bluffed! He seeks to imitate, infiltrate, and intimidate the true Kings of the earth into laying down their authority and kingship so that he can walk in the void. He only has the authority that you give up and you give it up when he intimidates you with his counterfeit roar!

“Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;” – 2 Timothy 1:6-8

When you hear that roar do not go silent trying to hide from it! In stead silence him by showing him what the real thing sounds like! When the devil roars at you “like” a lion, remember who he really is, who you really are, and stir up the Gift that is within you (which is the real Lion of the tribe of Judah) and roar back!

“And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed…” – Revelation 5:5

“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.” – Romans 8:11

“The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.” – Proverbs 28:1

“Cherith Before Jordan”

“And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word. And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there. So he went and did according unto the word of the Lord: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan. And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.” – 1 Kings 17:1-6

In the midst of a land where the Prophets of God we’re being hunted and killed by Jezebel (the king of the territory’s wife), Elijah dared to trust God enough to stand before the king and boldly prophesy against them. Think about this. All the prophets where running and hiding from these people and Elijah (trusting in the mandate that God had given him) runs toward them and decrees with all confidence that it will not rain anymore except by his word.

How could he have such courage? Because he had faith. He did not go of his own will, strength, purpose, or decree but by God’s. God had spoken and he had obeyed. From the outside looking in that might look like courage, or even arrogance, but really it’s confidence, it’s obedience, it’s faith.

What a bold assignment God had entrusted to Elijah. What powerful words. What authority he wielded. What power he represented… Elijah might think it’s all up hill from here! He might think it’s time to take the kingdom! He might think that since he was the only one faithful to do this bold and dangerous thing for God that he would be catapulted into a mass ministry of glory and grandeur!

Then God speaks again! Elijah might have thought, “You just used me to speak to Kings, rebuke the rains, and shut up the heavens! What’s the next assignment Lord!” But what God speaks next is not what most of us would want to hear having just been used so mightily by God.

God tells him to “go hide thyself”, and He tells him where. “Go live in a cave in the wilderness next to the brook Cherith that is before the Jordan.” … Wait, what, why?

First off there had to be a season of time to allow the words that he had spoken under the unction of the Holy Spirit to come to pass that they might prove God’s approval of him and power through him. The prophetic works through a speak and retreat pattern. Men must choose to except or reject the word of the Lord for themselves. Therefore is the word given then time allowed to pass in mercy as the Lord confirms it and waits for it to be submitted too.

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” – 2 Peter 3:9

“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.” – Revelation 2:20-21

However, God’s mercy on the wicked is not the only reason for this wilderness, but also His love for the obedient and desire to protect and refine them further. To prepare them to cross over into new territories, to pour into them revelations and to cut out temptations. To tune their ears, to build their faith in His provision that they not fail to fear and submition to the enemy or worldly needs or desires. To learn that God is their provider, supplier, meat, bread, shelter, and fire. To remove the temptation to compromise for the promise of carnal provision because that they have learned to rely on God’s supernatural prevision! It’s where a small mustard seed of faith grows into a great and mighty tree of faith. He had faith in that one original area but rather then just keep using him there, God was growing his faith and branching it out into many different areas for greater things to come! You see it’s not so much about the small size of the mustard seed but more so about how big a tree it has the potential to grow into. It’s not about a small faith that can do big things, it’s about a growing maturing faith that can do greater things!

“Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.” – Matthew 13:31-32

God told him to go hide himself to protect him from the enemy while He cut somethings away from him that would hinder him in where God was going to bring him next. You see, God told him to stay by the brook “Cherith, which was before the Jordan”. “Cherith” means “cutting”, and the “Jordan” is “the place of crossing over into promise (purpose/destiny)”. There has to be a time in the wilderness where you allow God to cut some things away, to circumcise your flesh and heart, before you can cross over into the destiny that God has for you. He may give you a little taste of it first to plant that seed of faith but then you need to let it grow like a tree planted by the waters, like the waters of the brook Cherith. There is impossible provision there, there is spiritual circumcision there, there is revelation there, there is cultivating of your gifts there, there is growing, branching out, strengthening, and maturing of your faith there. Once the Lord has done His work on you there, He Himself will move you by removing the provision that He supplied to keep you there in the first place.

“And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land. And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.” – 1 Kings 17:7-9

So until that happens, don’t move yourself! If you cross the Jordan too soon you won’t be strong enough to handle the storms that await you there. Elijah might have thought it a mighty thing to stop the rains, but the real battles didn’t begin until after the rains had begun again and when they did, he knew where to go to get the revelation needed to survive and cross over to the next assignment… back to a cave in the wilderness, back to that place of faith building communion with God where instruction flows like a river to your soul. It’s all about learning, maturing, and growing before the going. The first cave, God had to put Elijah in to teach him, the second cave, Elijah put himself in because he had learned.

“And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?” – 1 Kings 19:9

Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit

“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:3

To be “poor” in spirit is to be humble. To these is the power of the Kingdom entrusted. The Kingdom of Heaven out-powers and overcomes every other kingdom. Therefor those whom God chooses to be it’s ambassadors in the earth must demonstrate great restraint, selflessness, discipline, and obedience; all of which are byproducts of humility.

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

Grace by definition is favor, power, and divine influence. It is the power of God’s own Holy Spirit manifested through those whom He has favored with sonship which influences them toward Holiness and the accomplishment of God‘s will in the earth. Yet we see that not everyone has the same measure of grace, (favor, power, divine influence). The Bible tells us that God gives more grace in relation to your humility because the more humble you are the more He can trust you to use this great gift to achieve His purposes, endorse His message, and build His kingdom, and not your own.

However, who gets what measure of God’s grace is not some preordained thing. Favor is not the same as favoritism. Favoritism is unjust and unfair and God is a just God. Favor however, is released when you show forth faith in what God says, humbling yourself to it. The more you act in faithful obedience the more He will trust you with greater and greater measures of grace. This is why the Bible tells us that we can “grow in grace”. Now we are not saved by our works, for without faith it is all fruitless. However true faith must produce humble obedience to God’s voice or else it is rebellion and the bible says that God sees rebellion as witchcraft. So we are not talking about faith for salvation here but a faith that grows from salvation. Jesus said that faith is like a mustard seed that starts small but grows into the largest of all herbs. The point was not how small the faith was but how much it could grow.

“Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.” – Matthew 13:31-32

Understand that God’s love for us is the same from creation to salvation and for the rebellious and unbelieving, even to damnation. God’s love never changes, it is from everlasting to everlasting. However the measure of grace (power) that we receive from Him does. He simply trust more power to those who or more humble irrespective of race, gender, or genealogy. God is no respecter of persons, He loves us all the same and gives all the same opportunity. However He is a respecter of humility and pours out the power of the Kingdom upon it, knowing that it is less likely to be misused by those more willing to follow orders and function as part of the body rather then always trying to compete with the head of it.

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

So then we see that we can grow in grace as we choose to have a more humble spirit. So how to we do that? There are many ways that the Bible instructs us to “humble ourselves”. God calls us all to do this yet only a few actually do, and those few that do are the ones He chooses to empower with mighty anointing and the greater gifts of grace.

“For many are called, but few are chosen.” – Matthew 22:14

A few ways that scripture tells us that we can humble ourselves is confession and repentance, submission and obedience to God’s Words, trusting God’s will over our own, prayer, worship, fasting, selfless sacrifice, servanthood, patients, reverence for authority. In fact all the fruits of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22 are products of humility. You might say that humility is the good soil, faith is the seed, and grace is the fruit manifested in love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.

So let us pray, “Lord help us to recognize areas where we can humble ourselves by faith that we might be made fit to grow in grace. Help us understand when situations, trials, and tribulations arise that they are blessings in disguise allowing us opportunity to choose to react with humility that your grace may abound and your perfection shine through like a light on a hill in a dark place. Help us to see opportunities to show forth selfless love toward others and obedience to Your voice. Help us to walk in humility that the world might see you walking in us, because that is what true grace really is.”