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.”

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Endorsed By Heaven, Hated By Hell

“And Saul cast the javelin; for he said, I will smite David even to the wall with it. And David avoided out of his presence twice. And Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with him, and was departed from Saul.” – 1 Samuel 18:11-12

For all the cultures, classes, races, and people’s, in the world there are actually only two kinds of people in God’s eyes. Those who do His will, and those who do their own will. Peter talks about the evils of those who are “self-willed” among the church in 2 Peter 2:10, and in Matthew 7:21 Jesus talks about the few who actually do follow God’s will even among the church while boldly speaking the uncomfortable truth that most, do not do God’s will at all.

Saul and David are clear examples of this. Saul was self willed, Saul trusted in his own rule, while David trusted in the Lord’s and submitted himself to God’s will when it was presented to him. When we come into agreement with God’s will, His Spirit, His anointing, His grace (favor, power, and influence) shows up to manifest that will through you. When you trust in your own will, your own plan, your own logic, your own feelings, like Saul did, you come out of agreement with God’s Will and actually come into agreement with the enemies and that grace, power of the Holy Spirit, the anointing itself departs from you.

This is what happened to Saul and he knew it. He knew that the Lord had left him, yet he recognized the favor and power of God upon David and he became envious. The Bible says that where envy is, there is strife, and contention, and every evil work. This is proven in the story of Saul and David, as Saul is driven by envy to pride, hatred, lies, slander, plotting, manipulating, oppressing, and even attempting to murder David all because David had what Saul wanted but did not possess.

The Lord was with David because that David submitted himself to God’s will, the Lord had departed from Saul because that he would not and rather then place the fault where it was due, humble himself and cry out to God in true repentance, commit to submit, and realign himself with God’s will, he instead continued to work in his own will, strength, and ability against God’s will by trying to kill David. You see, he couldn’t change God’s will to his own, so he instead tried to prevent God’s Will from coming to be by fighting against those who walked in obedience to it.

“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” – 2 Timothy 3:12

There is a high cost to pick up the cross and follow after Jesus. Yet there are also great rewards. Therefor, just like Christ, for the promise of the glory we are to endure the hardship that must first come to prove the faith that releases the grace that brings the testimony that overcomes the lies of the devil. However, those that won’t submit themselves to the pain of Passover (obedience, sacrifice, crucifixion, death of self will, faith), they often become envious of those who did, come time for Passover (glory, outpouring of God’s Spirit in power, sings, wonders, and grace).

Then come the attacks against those who lives, manifesting power of God, proves the absence of it in the lives of the self willed. The favor of God manifesting as the power of God to win battles through David proved the absence of God in Saul who saw little to no victories over the enemy.

We see this again in what we might term, a “Pharisees Spirit” that rose up against Jesus Himself. It was not the heathen that opposed Christ, but those who claimed to stand in the place of God yet had they not the supernatural endorsement of God but only the natural endorsement of themselves. Yet the more the people saw the real power of God manifest through the one who was willing to lay down self will and say, “not My will, but thy will be done” the more it proved the absence of this all powerful God from the selfwilled who claimed to represent Him, and they hated Him for it.

“Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ? For he knew that for envy they had delivered Jesus to be Crucified.” – Matthew 27:17-18

The many that Jesus claimed where selfwilled, will always move with envy and hatred against the few who submit themselves to God’s will. Yet if you will choose to be among this few, though great is the suffering of it, greater still is the reward and glory of it. For many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord Himself delivers them out of them all and miraculous is the deliverance of the Lord, every single time.

Getting the endorsement of heaven will surly get you the fury of hell, but if God be fore you, who can be against you? You want to see miracles? Come into agreement and alignment with God’s will, stand in faith as the self-willed rise up against it, and watch how the Lord parts seas to deliver you. In this does He prove His approval of you when His favor and power pour through you to accomplish what He sent you to do. Those who just talk the talk are only discredited by those who actually walk the walk, not by more talk.

“For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.” – 2 Corinthians 10:18

“And these signs WILL follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” – Mark 16:17-18

“For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.” – 1 Corinthians 4:20

“Increase”

“And makest men as the fishes of the sea, as the creeping things, that have no ruler over them? They take up all of them with the angle, they catch them in their net, and gather them in their drag: therefore they rejoice and are glad. Therefore they sacrifice unto their net, and burn incense unto their drag; because by them their portion is fat, and their meat plenteous. Shall they therefore empty their net, and not spare continually to slay the nations?”

Habakkuk 1:14-17

Now here is a picture of fishing for men that we don’t hear preached very often. A word of judgment and wrath from God because that many men had been gathered in, yet the glory and praise for it was being given unto the instruments used to collect the increase rather then to the God who brings the increase. They began to worship their own nets, the works of their own hands because by them they became prosperous.

This is a very carnal mindset and is quite dangerous as it both grieves the Holy Spirit and provokes God to anger. It happens more then we realize, and it serves the devil by stirring up envy, strife, and devision among the body. Crediting your own preaching, teaching, denomination, singing, program, promotions, anointing, movement, or gadgets for a soul saved is worshiping your net rather then the God who put the increase in it.

“For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.” – 1 Corinthians 3:3-7

Paul continues this passage by stating that; yes, everyman will be rewarded according to his work and obedience to the leading of God’s voice to do that work. However, that man cannot take credit for what that work accomplished because only God can make the work bare fruit. You can be obedient to plant a seed but only God can make it suddenly spring into newness of life! So you better Cry Out to God that He bring the increase or else your labors will be in vain. Yet when He does, don’t go praising your own hand for planting a seed, or your rake, or tractor, or field, praise God who brought that dead seed to life and made it fruitful that all the rest not continue to be wasted!

Remember that when the tool gets the praise for how God used and blessed it, God gets angry and throws the tool down. He will not share His glory with an other, He would rather work tool-less. When someone truly cry’s out in faith, God will answer. He will come and do what no man can. When the real Jesus shows up, the fish do too and you will see increase that you never saw before. You can use the same tools, in the same way, but you’ll get totally different results. When this happens the temptation will rise up to take glory for what God Himself has done. When this happens, stop and remember that you’ve planted these same seeds and work this same ground before and didn’t get the same results, so Praise and Glorify God who sent it. Don’t start worshiping your net as this great and special net that can do what no other net can do. Worship the God who filled the net as a great and. special God who can do what no other God can do, and He will keep doing it.

“And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret, And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.” – Luke 5:1-7

The Rewards Of Righteousness

We read of great exploits throughout the scriptures preformed by righteous men and women of God. We also read many marvelous promises of God, nearly all of which, again are contingent upon righteousness.

“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” – James 5:16

“For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.” – 1 Peter 3:12

“The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry…The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles…Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.” – Psalms 34:15,17,19

“I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” – Psalms 37:25

So what exactly is righteousness and how do we attain it that we might walk in these blessings and power? First we must come to terms with the truth that God is no respecter of persons, if He did it for Elijah, Abraham, Peter, and Paul, then He will do it for you if you meet the same conditions they did.

“Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” – Acts 10:34-35

“… The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.” – James 5:16-18

So we see that according to James (the brother of Jesus), everyone has equal opportunity to walk in righteousness unto miracle working power. We also see according to Peter (the disciple of Jesus) that God is no respecter of persons picking certain people out of favoritism. Instead He will use anyone (are as the Bible often puts it) “whosoever” will fear and reverence Him and walk righteously. Peter also makes it very clear that if we do not walk in righteousness then we are not only missing blessings, we are missing Jesus all together because only the righteous “are excepted by Him”. So how then do we walk in righteousness?

The first thing you have to come to terms with is that you cannot do it apart from God. Not by good deeds, or intellect, or strength of man. Doing what you think is right is self righteousness and God says that your righteousness is as filthy rags before Him. However, doing what God says is right is walking in God’s righteousness. Even if one claims the Name of Christ yet does not do His will, then he is self righteous just like the Pharisees.

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” – Matthew 7:21

“And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.” – Matthew 12:49-50

Therefore, believing and doing what God says is right is true righteousness, and what is this but faith? Real faith. Not just empty faith professed but true faith expressed! This is why without faith it is impossible to please God and without righteousness you are not excepted of Him. You see true faith is believing what God says because scripture says that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. You seek, God speaks, you believe, trust, and obey, which will cause you to be in right-standing with Him and He will count you as righteous. For the word “righteous” literally means “to be in right standing with God.

So this means that in order to be righteous then we have to hear from God so that we can then choose to believe what we have heard. Hearing comes by God’s Word, either logos (His Written Word) or Rhema (His present personal spoken Word). Therefore, in order to walk in righteousness we have to believe both the scriptures and what He speaks to us personally in the place of prayer. Therefor, if you are not personally hearing from God daily through His word and in prayer and personal communion then you cannot walk in righteousness because you have not heard His instructions and only have your own righteousness to lean on.

“And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the Lord.” – 2 Chronicles 12:14

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” – Proverbs 3:5-6

Your own plan, your own idea, your own logic, your own agenda, your own ministry, your own words, your own understanding, your own strength, your own tools, your own skills, your own wants, your own wisdom, it all equates to your own righteousness which equates to filth to God. Therefore, if you do not seek God for His words to give you His wisdom, His plan, His insight, His instructions, His strength, His power, His promise, His will, His righteousness then by default what you do will be your own will and that is evil in the sight of the Lord.

“For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” – Romans 10:2-3

“…Presumptuous are they, selfwilled…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;” – 2 Peter 2:10, 13

So we see that it takes both humility and faith to walk in God’s righteousness. It takes humbling ourselves to recognize that we need to seek God to hear His voice, and once we have heard it it takes faith to trust and obey it. However, man in his natural fallen state cannot hear God’s voice, for his sins have separated him from the righteousness of God. So if you don’t hear God’s voice then there is something you must do first.

You must humble yourself, confess your faults unto God, and repent. Then by faith you must call upon the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ and ask Him to wash you clean with His blood and fill you with His Spirit so that you can go boldly before the thrown of Grace where you will then have direct access to God, His voice, and His righteousness.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17-21

By faith it can be yours. God is no respecter of persons. If you believe what He said enough to do it by faith then you will gain access to the very thrown of God and being reconciled back unto the Father, He will then begin to minister to you, to teach you how to hear his voice and be led of His spirit into all truth.

However, once that He has begun to speak to you and instruct you, you must then daily humble yourself to hear what He is saying and have faith to believe it no matter how difficult it may seem. Remember that He truly is God, that nothing is impossible to Him, that He gives more grace unto the humble, and that nothing shall be impossible to those who truly believe because He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Remember that it doesn’t matter who you are, it matters who He is, and what He says.

If He says it, you believe it and walk in it, and that will position you in right standing with Him. Submit to this and you will be standing right where He wants you so that when the time comes and the curtain is drawn you will be in position to play your part in the destiny that He has planned for you and it will be counted unto you as righteousness.

“And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.” – Romans 4:21-22

“Is any thing too hard for the Lord? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.” – Genesis 18:14

“And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” – Matthew 17:20

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

“God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” – Numbers 23:19

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

“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” – Matthew‬ ‭5:6‬ ‭

Prayers for All Men

“And I persecuted this way unto the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women. As also the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders: from whom also I received letters unto the brethren, and went to Damascus, to bring them which were there bound unto Jerusalem, for to be punished.” – Acts 22:4-5

Paul (at this point called Saul) had been a very hard man, hunting, imprisoning, and even murdering the followers of Christ in an effort to eradicate them completely. Yet as he recounts his journey to Damascus where he had an encounter with Jesus, repented, and got saved, he makes an interesting statement that the Lord is drawing my attention to this morning.

Paul stated that he was going to Damascus to take those who were bound there to Jerusalem to be punished. No doubt he was referring to Christians that had been imprisoned for their testimony of Jesus. He was literally on his way to gather them and bring them to the priest in Jerusalem to be tried and most likely executed.

We all know what happened to Paul during this trip, but today my mind goes to the persecuted Christians who were in Damascus waiting for him to get there and rip them from their homeland to face execution in Jerusalem. How they surely prayed such fervent prayers for God to deliver them, yet I wonder if they (having so fresh Christ’s teachings and example) prayed for God to deliver their persecutor? Will, when we all stand before God on the day of judgment and the account of every man’s life be read, hear the story of how the prayers of these few nameless believers set on course these events that would change the world forever?

The early church and many believers around the world today face the dangerous of wicked men like Saul was, yet though they may have to keep a separation for safeties sake their prayers for them can infiltrate the most dangerous places and hearts if we will but be faithful to send them. It was too dangerous for a believer to walk up to Saul and speak the gospel to him, yet the prayers of the saints from a distance went where no man should and did what no man could. So never stop praying.

Though surely many more did, we do know for sure that at least one of Saul’s victims did indeed pray for him even while Saul aided in his death. As Stephen was martyred by stoning, Of which Saul was present, he prayed this prayer.

“And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.” – Acts 7:59-60

Jesus commands us to pray for those who hurt us, use us, and persecute us. How much more does He expect us to pray without ceasing for those who just don’t agree with us or listen to us? Sure, God could have poured out wrath and sent a bear to devour Saul on the road to Damascus and delivered the believers that way. But it was far better that God pour out mercy and send Jesus to deliver Saul on the road to Damascus that he, the believers in prison in Damascus, all the thousands of lives that Paul’s preaching reached, and all the millions of souls that his writings have since reached would all be delivered through this one act. This is why God delights in mercy. Mercy is better then wrath. Pray for mercy with a merciful heart. Pray for all men, pray for the ones that need it most, for the Saul’s. After all, it’s the Saul to Paul testimonies that have the greatest impact in proving the limitless ability of the life transforming power of our Jesus. So pray, even when it’s too dangerous to get close to a person or situation, still pray. There is no distance that prayer cannot span, no heart it cannot pierce, no terrain it cannot infiltrate, no enemy too fierce. So pray, everyday, for all men.

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

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

“Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” – Matthew 18:18-20

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;” – Isaiah 61:1

Pastures Before Palaces

God had chosen David to be king over Israel. This had been prophesied over him as a child in his father’s house. Yet once the Word of the Lord was spoken over David’s life and the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, you would think he would be caught up in a whirlwind of exciting events as he was placed on the thrown. But that’s not how it happened, with God that’s pretty much never how it happens. David received this prophetic word of the Lord over his life, the Spirit of the Lord rested upon him, and the anointing was poured out on him, then he was sent back out to tend his father’s sheep in the fields.

“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

Nothing spectacular happened. No instant promotion, no glitz, no glam, just mocking brothers, a dusty field, and a bunch of needy sheep. You see, David had been promised but was not yet ready to be positioned. He had been anointed but had not yet had his faith in that anointing proven that he would rightly and confidently know how to use it. God had announced the show, but had only begun to set the stage for it.

David was humble and lowly among his people and even among his own house. It would take a miracle to make him King, and that is exactly how God does things. Before David could be King, God would have to do something very unexpected, something that only God could do that would put David’s name in the mouth of the people and prove God’s approval of him. This event would take great faith, as would the events that followed it, for once men see the favor of God on you, some will sing your praise, while others slander your name, and others still will seek to kill that which God has ordained.

This was going to take faith. So God did not send little David out to the palace where guards, grandeur, and great abundance reside. He sent him into a sheep fold where weakness, wounding, and wondering reside. In the palace men learned how to put on a pretty show, but in the pasture David learned what God wanted him to know. In the palace men learned how to be celebrities, a king after men’s own hearts, but in the pasture david learned how to be a Shepherd, a King after God’s own heart.

“And when God had removed Saul, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.” – Acts‬ ‭13:22‬ ‭

David learn how to lead the flock by walking where he expected them to walk. He learned how to mend up the broken, how to set at liberty those who had become bound up, how to defend the defenseless, and how to depend on the strength of the anointing to do it all, even in the face of impossible resistance.

Yes, God was going to do something that would put this humble unknown boy’s name in the mouths of all Israel. He was going to cause him to defeat a giant that no one else had the courage and faith to face. But first God had to build that faith into David’s spirit. This could not be done in the palace with all it’s protective walls, armed guards, disconnect from others, and ease of life. This had to be done in the pasture, this had to be rooted in love for the flock he had been given charge over.

David had invested all into this little flock in the wilderness. It was all he had, an impossible promise and a little flock of sheep. David loved his little flock, he had raised them up himself. Therefor when a lion arose to devour them, he (for loves sake) would not let them be destroyed. Little David put his own life on the line to fight for this little flock and the Lord made him victorious. Then came a bear, a stronger foe seeking to devour his little flock, yet David having his faith in God’s deliverance strengthened by his encounter with the lion, bravely stood his ground against the bear as well and was yet again victorious.

David knew that God had delivered him and his flock from these foes and had used his hand to do so. So when the day came that Goliath challenged Israel and mocked the power of her God, David knew that this foe would be no different. So much had God built little David’s faith in the pasture defeating lions and bears in the Name of his God, that while others were running from the fight in doubt, David was literally running to it in faith. In this did the people see the heart and power of a true King, chosen, trained, and anointed by God Himself, that all the glitz of the palace could not counterfeit.

God’s ways are not our ways, they are higher then our ways, but they are perfect in all of their ways. If God has truly called you to do great things for His Kingdom, then don’t be surprised if He puts you in a pasture instead of a palace. He has a plan. True Pastors are made in Pastures, not palaces. The lessons learned and the faith earned in the battles overcome in the pasture are the only thing that make a King worthy of the Name of our Lord God and Master. Man’s Kings are trained in palaces but God’s Kings are trained in pastures. So be encouraged. Love, learn, wait, anticipate, and believe. What the Lord has spoken, He will cause to be through the abundance of His impossibilities. In the meantime, grow in faith and grow in grace so that when the stage is all set, you will run into place.

“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. Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the Lord be with thee.” – 1 Samuel 17:34-37

“Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands. 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.” – 1 Samuel 17:45-48

Saul’s Sin

“And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.” – 1 Samuel 15:24

Pastor, it is not your job to please the people, it’s your job to please God. The shepherd is supposed to drive the flock, the flock is not suppose to drive the shepherd. When the sheep heard the shepherd you can rest assured that the whole lot of them will end up in dangerous territory chasing after greener pastures.

Saul, as King over the congregation of Israel got his instructions on how to lead this flock straight from God. He knew what needed to be done, but he didn’t do it. Instead he harkened unto the voice of the people and he lost the kingdom because of it.

Pastor, seek the Lord and obey His voice and leading, not the people’s. It is better to have God’s endorsement then the people’s for it is God who gives the anointing that breaks the yoke and sets the captive free.

Moses did what God said and his congregation hated him for it. They turned against him over and over agin, but every time God enforced His words and endorsed Moses for obeying it. No weapon formed against him was allowed to prosper. The weapons surely formed, many times his own congregation tried to kill him but every time God moved in miraculous ways to defend, deliver, and prove His approval of him. In this were the weapons against him not allowed to prosper.

Saul on the other hand, did not listen to the leading of the Lord and obeyed the voice of the people instead. In doing this was a weapon being formed against him that would prosper. Saul failed to destroy all of the Amalekites and keep Israel separate from them and their sins as the Lord had instructed. Because he failed to trust God and destroy the Amalekites, in the end the Amalekites destroyed him, as it was an Amalekite that struck his death blow.

God’s wisdom is greater then our wisdom and His far-sight is more encompassing then ours. It does not matter what we think, see, hear, or feel, we must trust what God says and do it. He sees the big picture. He sees the snare the devil is laying. He tells us how to avoid it. It’s up to us to trust His voice and obey unto deliverance or choose to listen to self or others and walk right into it. The choice is ours. As for me, I choose to obey God’s voice and trust Him to validate, prove, endorse and enforce it because I know that His plans for me are for good and not for harm (Jeremiah 29:11) but the devil’s plans are to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10).

Trust God’s voice and no weapon formed against you will prosper. Trust the people’s voice in opposition to the leading of the Holy Spirit and the weapon formed against you has already prospered by your own allowance.

“The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble. My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.” – Proverbs 4:19-22

“Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, are these (the excusing of sinful deeds). For if ye thoroughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye thoroughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour; If ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt: Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever. Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit.” – Jeremiah 7:4-8

The Holy Seed Have Mingled Themselves

47A33CF9-3EC4-4713-B7FA-6B72596D9834“Now when these things were done, the princes came to me, saying, The people of Israel, and the priests, and the Levites, have not separated themselves from the people of the lands, doing according to their abominations, even of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. For they have taken of their daughters for themselves, and for their sons: so that the holy seed have mingled themselves with the people of those lands: yea, the hand of the princes and rulers hath been chief in this trespass. And when I heard this thing, I rent my garment and my mantle, and plucked off the hair of my head and of my beard, and sat down astonished. Then were assembled unto me every one that trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the transgression of those that had been carried away; and I sat astonished until the evening sacrifice. And at the evening sacrifice I arose up from my heaviness; and having rent my garment and my mantle, I fell upon my knees, and spread out my hands unto the Lord my God, And said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens. Since the days of our fathers have we been in a great trespass unto this day; and for our iniquities have we, our kings, and our priests, been delivered into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, and to a spoil, and to confusion of face, as it is this day. And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the Lord our God, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our God may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage. For we were bondmen; yet our God hath not forsaken us in our bondage, but hath extended mercy unto us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us a reviving, to set up the house of our God, and to repair the desolations thereof, and to give us a wall in Judah and in Jerusalem. And now, O our God, what shall we say after this? for we have forsaken thy commandments, Which thou hast commanded by thy servants the prophets, saying, The land, unto which ye go to possess it, is an unclean land with the filthiness of the people of the lands, with their abominations, which have filled it from one end to another with their uncleanness. Now therefore give not your daughters unto their sons, neither take their daughters unto your sons, nor seek their peace or their wealth for ever: that ye may be strong, and eat the good of the land, and leave it for an inheritance to your children for ever. And after all that is come upon us for our evil deeds, and for our great trespass, seeing that thou our God hast punished us less than our iniquities deserve, and hast given us such deliverance as this; Should we again break thy commandments, and join in affinity with the people of these abominations? wouldest not thou be angry with us till thou hadst consumed us, so that there should be no remnant nor escaping? O Lord God of Israel, thou art righteous: for we remain yet escaped, as it is this day: behold, we are before thee in our trespasses: for we cannot stand before thee because of this.” – Ezra 9:1-15

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” – 2 Corinthians 6:14-18  

When people read this they think of marriage or engagement, but did you know that this applies to much more?!

I once was convicted by GOD for even striking hands with the ungodly… a high-five or fist bump to some is a greeting, but in GOD’s eyes HE sees it as a sign of agreement and more than likely the ungodly (knowingly or unknowingly) do as well.

See once the sign of agreement happens the devil has access by right, fellowship with devils = relinquished authority over them!

These are dangers of agreement and fellowship of the ungodly.

What fellowship?

What communion?

What concord?

What part?

What agreement?

The answer is NONE! There should be no fellowship and agreement from the HOLY to the ungodly! The very word Holy means “set apart and sanctified”. We have all heard of the bad apple in the bag example of what happens to the whole bunch if the one rotten is allowed to remain. That which is unclean will definitely defile the clean, never will it work the other way around. Only AFTER the unclean has been made new by the cleansing power of the blood of Christ can they be received into fellowship with the Holy.

Remember:

“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

The devil is well aware of the effect of this scheme and how well it works. This one thing, I believe, is the most common plot of the enemy! Infiltrate and infect, till that which desires to remain holy must separate. I look around and see this happening to almost every church I have attended. It is how the devil has destroyed the people of GOD all throughout history and is still actively doing so today. Whether corporately as a church body or individually in our daily relationships, the plot remains the same… because it works!

So no matter how difficult or uncomfortable it might be, choose the separation from the world and stay set apart unto GOD. I’d much rather have the whole world offended by my separation, than to be cut off by my GOD because I offended HIM!

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.” – Psalms‬ ‭1:1-6‬


Submitted by Heather Wright

Christian, Stop Debating and Start Demonstrating

“He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot. Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” – Proverbs‬ ‭9:7-10‬ ‭

How often do we see believers getting caught up in debates with unbelievers? Is there any fruit in that? According to scripture, the answer is “no”. Unless a person has the fear of the Lord, which equates to an understanding of, and a belief in God’s just judgment and hell, and a reverence for His omnipotent wisdom, then they themselves have no wisdom. 

The truth is that non of us have any wisdom of ourselves, our world view is so limited and our minds, will’s, and emotions, are so easily manipulated, twisted, and confounded by the enemy who was by God’s own admittance, “the wisest creature God had created.” That means the devil is wiser then you, he is a lier, and a master deceiver. The devil will outsmart you every time, but he will never outsmart God. Therefore, to fear God will cause you to obey God, which will cause you to walk in His wisdom, which is the only wisdom that is wisdom because it’s the only wisdom that can outsmart the devil’s wisdom.

“Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made…”- Geneses‬ ‭3:1‬ ‭

“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 ‭

So understanding this we can see that it is utterly pointless to try to instruct someone who does not fear the Lord and therefor honor His wisdom above their own. So believers, stop debating with unbelievers, they cannot know the truth until they have first come to know Him that is the truth. Don’t debate moral issues with people who do not have God who is the only moral standard. Don’t debate the deep truths of the bible with people who do not have the Holy Spirit of God, it is not yet open to them. Just give them the gospel, give them the good news, give them Jesus! 

“And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” – 1 Corinthians‬ ‭2:1-2‬ ‭

Only once a person has truly had a real life changing, new creation, rebirth experience can they then walk in the humility to be instructed in the truth. Only after they have been made new and impossibly changed from what they thought they knew will the revelation of the reality that God’s ways are truly higher then their ways allow them to open up to the deeper wisdom of the way, the truth, and the life. Until then, you’re fighting a loosing fight. Trust God, He knows better. 

Stop debating and start demonstrating. You’re not demonstrating Jesus when you are debating Jesus. Show forth the good news and demonstrate the power of the the kingdom of God to set the captive free, transform lives, and do what cannot be explained or understood by the limited wisdom of man. No one can argue with your testimony, so stop debating Jesus and start demonstrating Jesus and you’ll see that the gospel  works on others when you show that it worked on you.

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

“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 ‭

“Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” – Jeremiah‬ ‭17:5-10‬ 

THE BATTLE OF THE WILL

img_5061“For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made.” – ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭57:15-16‬ ‭‬‬

Contrite: crushed to powder; destroyed
Humble: low, lowly, abase
Revive: quicken, restore to life
Heart: inner man, mind, will, emotions, character

As I understand the Scripture, GOD is looking for a people who ACKNOWLEDGE not in word alone, (but in action and deed) that HE IS GOD by a people who are destroyed in their own will, mind, and breath and lay low in disposition of character. In other words, NOT SELF-willed; but GOD-willed. Only this dead-willed people will our HOLY LORD GOD REVIVE! This is the BATTLE OF BATTLES, the war between GOD and man, and the sooner people decide to destroy their own self-will, self-desire, in humility and surrender, the sooner GOD will quicken, or revive our spirit and hearts to Himself.
GOD cannot revive what refuses to die! Even demons are more submissive to GOD than the self-willed man. The mercy of GOD waits for people to submit to HIM, but HE won’t strive with us forever, there is an end to this struggle between GOD’S WILL and self-will, but at the end of this battle which side will you find yourself on? The scariest thought for me is to be found in self-will standing face to face with GOD! For as Scripture states HE resists the proud, but gives Grace to the humble.

Compassion for the repentant:

“For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth: for the spirit should fail before me, and the souls which I have made. For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him: I hid me, and was wroth, and he went on frowardly in the way of his heart. I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners. I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the Lord; and I will heal him. But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.” – Isaiah‬ ‭57:15-21‬ ‭‬‬

GOD desires to heal us and restore us to life in Himself, but those who refuse to give up their heart, will, and desires to Him, will come under His Judgement.

Judgement for the unrepentant:

“Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not: Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee. At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – Matthew‬ ‭11:20-30‬

Submitted by Heather Wright