Passion Prioritizes

If you are more drawn to the things of this world then to the glory of God’s presence then you either never experienced the Glory of God’s presence or (like Adam) you are listening to the lies of the devil meant to rob you of what really matters in exchange for a temporary piece of bad fruit that looks good in the moment but rots away in the next. Don’t be so easily tricked. Set your priorities and prove your preference.

If exercising your body takes priority over exercising your faith. If entertainment draws you more than intercession. If the pleasures of the flesh pull harder than the joy of the Lord’s presence. If what you want outweighs what the Lord wants. If you give more of your time to that which is carnal than to that which is spiritual, and more of your energy to that which is temporary than to that which is eternal, then your priorities expose your passion and declare that you are a friend of the world and not of God. To which I say that anyone who would choose to prioritize the things of the world over the things of God is either horribly deceived, inexplicably foolish, or has never truly experienced the things of God.

Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also, and home is where the heart is. If God is truly your treasure and love, then you will only feel at home with Him and will prioritize your time and service to Him. If you prioritize your time and service to the world then it’s because that is where you feel the most at home because that is where your heart determines that the greatest treasure really is. If so, then it’s time to repent, set some priorities, get into God’s presence, and fall in love with the right treasure.

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” – 1 John‬ ‭2:15-17‬ ‭

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Presence Before Presentation

It’s easy to fall into routine. It’s easy to repeat what we’ve heard. It’s easy to mimic what we see others do and make excuses about why that is enough. Oh how we love to complain that nothing changes but get upset when we are asked to change?

So what exactly needs to change? Priorities. Paul tells us that prayer comes first. Before we sing we need to pray. Before we preach we need to pray. Before we work we need to pray. Before we play we need to pray. Before we do ANYTHING we need to pray. Prayers should be prioritized in our lives and in our churches and I’m sorry, but for the most part, it is not.

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

What you do in front of people should be an overflow of the infilling from what you’ve gotten in the secret place of prayer. If you have not first taken time to be poured into by the Holy Spirit (which is life), then all you have to pour out on others is flesh (which is death). Jokes might be spoken, but no yokes will be broken.

You must spend time in His presence so that you can receive something from Him to present or else you’re just preforming. While performances might be entertaining to the flesh it won’t break the yoke of bondage off the soul. People might leave feeling good but they won’t leave changed.

Get into God’s presence and let Him speak to you, lead you, guide you, correct you, teach you, change you, and fill you up. Visit His throne and get a word straight from Him Himself. Then stand in faith on that word as all hell comes against it to break your faith in it and watch all of heaven come to your defense and preform miracles to bring it about. It’s that simple. Stop trying to move people and start moving the mountains that are hindering the people from moving!

Jesus died so that we can come boldly before the throne of grace, commune with God Himself, and obtain first mercy, then authority to face all the wilds of the devil with confidence because “we know our God”! We know Him personally, we don’t just know of Him or know about Him. We know Him and he knows us because we have communed with Him, talked with Him, heard from Him, and believed.

“And it came to pass, that, as he 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

“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” – Psalms 91:1

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.” – John 15:4

“And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me…” – Matthew 7:23

“And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.” – Daniel 11:32

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.”

Will You Stand and Possess The Land?

“And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, How long are ye slack to go to possess the land, which the Lord God of your fathers hath given you?” – Joshua 18:3

The Israelites had been promises this land. God himself would deliver it into their hands. Yet they refused to possess it because they knew they didn’t have the strength or power to overcome the enemy that inhabited it in and of themselves. Herein lies the problem. Their faith was in themselves and their own limited natural ability. However, God had said that He would make them rulers over this land and their enemies. The real issue here that so upset the Lord was that they did not have the faith in Him that He was able to defeat the enemy and give them victory and territory.

You see, God didn’t say “go and fight”, He said “go and possess” because in God’s eyes the enemy was not an issue, he was already defeated! All they had to do was believe what God said and go and possess the land and God Himself would defend them in miraculous ways!

“And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.” – Exodus 14:13-14

You see, to possess the land is to believe what God has told you and stand on it. It doesn’t matter how big or how strong the opposition to it is, God will fight for you in miraculous ways, He is your defender, your shield and your buckler. The Israelites faith was in their limits and not in God’s omnipotence, and so they feared the enemy who was weaker then God but stronger then them.

The passage continues with each tribe being told exactly what land they were to abide in. Yet they did not because of the report of other men who told them that the enemy was undefeatable. In doing so they actually put more faith in the enemies power then in God’s and more faith in the words of men then in the Lord’s. This greatly grieved and angered the Lord, therefor did they not possess the land because they did not abide in the truth; for to abide and to possess are one in the same. They are to “stand”, or “continue” in.

“Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.” – 2 John 1:9

In the same manner, many today fall away from the destiny and promised that God had for them. Because they did not abide (or continue) in the truth that God has spoken. They believed it when they left Egypt (decided to turn from the world and confess Christ), but they didn’t believe it when they got to Canaan (faced some opposition to what God said).

Faith is not a one time proclamation, faith is a steadfast determination to trust in what the Lord has said and stand on it. In this only to we possess the land (promise) that He has for us. Yes their will be opposition, yes it will be great, but yes God is able and faithful to deliver the righteous out of any trial and get Himself some fame and glory doing it. However, this can only happen if we are willing to stand. He speaks, we stand on it, the enemy rises against it, God does the impossible, defeats the enemy, gives us the land, we possess it and tell others of the wonderful works of our God.

“I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.” – Psalms 118:17

So stop putting your faith in the faithless words of faithless men and start putting it in God’s. Stop putting your faith in the power of the enemy and start putting it in the Lord. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord will deliver you out of them all, if you are willing to stand. So grab hold of His words, steady your faith, and stand and possess the land.

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” – Ephesians 6:10-11

“But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” – Matthew‬ ‭24:13‬ ‭

A Liberation Generation Rising Up

“Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit. Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the Lord. For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water. Is Israel a servant? is he a homeborn slave? why is he spoiled?” – Jeremiah 2:11-14

I whole heartily believe that God is once agin saying these words. This passage expresses the astonishment and bewilderment of the Lord over what His people had done. It made no since why a people who had access to a God of power and victory, a God who can do all things, a God who overpowers the enemy in every way, would choose to adopt the bondage’s and mindsets of the unbelieving and adapt them to their view of god, causing them to create a powerless, god of their own making. A work of their own hand and imagination.

“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” – 2 Timothy 3:5

The God of scripture is all powerful, nothing is impossible for Him and therefor, nothing is impossible for those who believe in Him. After all, we are made in His image, His likeness, His glory, His Sonship! The people of Jeremiah’s time however, had looked upon the fallen state of the people’s around them and taking their sin and the bondages of it upon themselves then created a god after their own fallen image and likeness. One who had no victory over sin, no power over the enemy, no way, no truth, no life, no deliverance, no healing, no salvation, no hope.

God marveled at the people who had actual written accounts of His greatness and all that He was capable of, yet they chose to make up this weak powerless self serving god that was not at all Him and serve it as though it was. Why trade the glory and majesty of the God of scripture for this faithless powerless fake that is unable to deliver you from the powers of the enemy?

God continues to explain the depths of this problem when He states that they have given up the fountain of living water that flow freely for all who are willing to ask Him of it (which Jesus Himself says is the Holy Spirit). Instead they created for themselves broken cisterns that could hold no water. Because that they justified sin and created a god of their own making who had no victory or power to deliver them from it, they created a state for themselves where even in the midst of a spiritual down pour, an outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit when even a cistern would normally be filled up, still they could hold no water (Holy Spirit).

“In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)” – John 7:37-39

Jesus said that His Spirit was this freely given fountain of cleansing, refreshing, and overcoming power. Scripture says, “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” It is an all powerful, liberating Spirit. It saves, it heals, it delivers, it liberates! Yet many live in defeat today because, though having a form of Godliness, they have denied the power thereof and in doing so have rejected the Holy Spirit, the liberator! They then create a helpless, hopeless, powerless, victory-less, god of their own making and serve that bringing shame to the true God’s Name and stirring wrath against themselves on the day of judgment. Their lack of faith and faithfulness has driven them to make themselves into broken cisterns that cannot hold water. The Spirit Of God is not with them, neither His power, nor His authority, nor His liberty. And that is the sad state of much of the church today.

In the last line of this passage God ask, “are My people meant to be slaves to the enemy? Then why do they let the enemy spoil them?” It’s because they do not truly believe in the God of scripture and it’s high time that a people rise up who do. Read the Word of God, believe the Word of God, receive the God of the Word, ask to drink of His Spirit, let it set you totally free from your captivity, then carry it forth and cause it to flow out upon others that they might be set free as well. If your God brings no healing, no deliverance, no victory, no overcoming power, no liberation from the enemy, then it is not the God of the Bible, you are serving a god of your own making. Repent and cry out. There is hope, there is help, there is victory, and His Name is Jesus. It’s time to stand in faith in who God really is and raise up a liberation generation.

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

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,” – Luke 4:18

“Shall a man make gods unto himself, and they are no gods? Therefore, behold, I will this once cause them to know, I will cause them to know mine hand and my might; and they shall know that my name is The Lord.” – Jeremiah 16:20-21

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

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

Unbelief the Greatest Miracle Killer

en13sep33-jarius-daughter“And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.” – Mark‬ ‭6:5-6‬

Today the LORD took me to a passage in Luke 8, as He spoke to my heart. “There are so many things I long to do in the earth, but the only hindrance is unbelief in my church.”

The words pricked my heart as I began to pray on it. I believe those of the church individually stand at the judgement seat of Christ to give account to Him, will be more shocked and sorrowed by the things we didn’t do, than the things we did. As I sit here silently, at His feet waiting to hear Him speak, my heart breaks by the sorrow of His heart over the sin of unbelief in the church. With my heart trembling before Him, I read:

“And it came to pass, that, when Jesus was returned, the people gladly received him: for they were all waiting for him. And, behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue: and he fell down at Jesus’ feet, and besought him that he would come into his house: For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as he went the people thronged him. And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me. And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately. And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace. While he yet spake, there cometh one from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master. But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole. And when he came into the house, he suffered no man to go in, save Peter, and James, and John, and the father and the mother of the maiden. And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead. And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise. And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat. And her parents were astonished: but he charged them that they should tell no man what was done.” – Luke‬ ‭8:40-56‬

They GLADLY RECEIVED HIM

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” – John‬ ‭1:12-14‬ ‭‬‬

But the same crowd that waited for HIM, gladly received HIM, followed HIM, and thronged HIM, later on laughed HIM to scorn. Why, because as they saw a dead girl, JESUS only saw her sleeping. HE IS THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE!

How do we relate this to today?

The church:
Do we wait for HIM?
Do we seek HIM?
Do we GLADLY RECEIVE HIM?
Do we follow and throng HIM?
Now… do we BELIEVE HIM?
As HE works, do we really BELIEVE HIM?
Is there anything that HE cannot do? Is there anything that HE has done, that HE cannot do today? Has HE not freely given us the POWER to become HIS SONS and do the same things HE DOES?

I find the key for me to BELIEVE HIM is to sit at HIS FEET and BEHOLD HIM!

Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue fell down at Jesus’ feet, and besought him that he would come into his house.

A woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, yet could not be healed by any of them, came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched.

Seems to me the key to receiving the FAITH to believe and the miracle we need is found at HIS FEET!

Is there not a need??!
Is there not a cause??!

Out in the world around me I see dead things… dead people, dead cities, dead communities, dead situations, dead relationships, death all around, BUT AT THE FEET OF JESUS, I SEE RESURRECTION AND LIFE, GLORY AND POWER, MERCY AND GRACE, to help in time of need!
Church we need reviving!
TOUCH HIM! BELIEVE HIM! BECOME HIM!

“But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” – Romans‬ ‭8:11-17‬ ‭

“And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.” – Luke‬ ‭8:46‬ ‭

“But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.” – ‭‭Luke‬ ‭8:50‬ ‬‬

Submitted by Heather Wright