Stirred Up

Today I had to clean out our swimming pool. The water looked clean, it was clear and pretty. However, there was some debris that was settled deep on the bottom where the filter didn’t reach. So I got in there with the pool vac. As I did it stirred up the water and by the time I had finished, even though I had gotten a lot of stuff out with the vac, the water was no longer clear and the whole pool actually looked worse then before. I thought, “man, I didn’t know how dirty, and in need of work this pool really was until I got it all stirred up”

You know, our soul can be a lot like that pool. We think we’re doing pretty good when things are calm. We seem pretty clean spiritually, but what happens when something “stirs you up“? What filth rises up that had been settled deep down in your heart that you didn’t even realize was there? I think that sometimes God allows the enemy to rise up against us to stir us up and show us how dirty and in need of work we really are. 

You are growing spiritually, you have allowed God to remove many big things from your life, and your feeling pretty clean. You just know that you are ready to be that refreshing pool of Holy Spirit living water to others. Then a friend betrays you, your spouse pushes you over the edge, someone comes against your kids, something happens that really stirs you up and stuff that you didn’t know was in you starts to come to the surface. It is in these moments that we need to stop and run to the thrown room. It may be the time that you feel the least worthy to be there but it is when you most need to be there, so you can humble yourself, acknowledged these formally hidden heart issues (such as offense, pride, anger, unbelief, control, unclean lips, self centeredness, vain glory, etc.) as sin before God, confess it, repent of it, and ask His grace to overcome and remove it!

Don’t become discouraged by the stirring. I would not have known how desperately the pool needed my attention had it’s issues not been brought to the surface by it getting stirred up. Likewise we would not realize how much we need to get before Jesus and let Him work on cleaning us up had our own junk not come to the surface by the things that stirred us up. The goal is to be so completely pure that, just like the pool, even when stirred up it still stays crystal clear because there is no filth left to surface. 

The fastest way to achieve this is with a different kind of stirring, by stirring up the Holy Spirit in prayer daily so that He can reveal and remove those things hidden deep within you. You see, I began to realize that the bottom of the pool had gotten so dirty because I had not been spending time in it stirring up the waters so that the pump could do its job. Likewise, if we do not spend time every day in prayer stirring up the Holy Spirit and letting him do his cleansing work in us, then the water will fall still and junk will begin to accumulate and settle in. 

So in this I see that we will face a stirring that will cause to surface that which is deep within us one way or the other. Either gently by daily time stirring the waters of the spirit in prayer, or chaotically by something stirring the emotions of the soul. Ether way, what’s in your heart will eventually come to surface. Clean it up and keep it clean by keeping it stirred up in the private place of prayer to your glory that it doesn’t get stirred up in public to your shame.

“…out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” – Luke‬ ‭6:45‬ ‭

“… and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” – Genesis‬ ‭1:2‬ ‭

“Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” – 2 Timothy‬ ‭1:6-7‬ ‭

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Get To Know God

“And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.” – 2 Thessalonians‬ ‭1:7-10‬ ‭

Do you know God? No, I didn’t ask if you know about God, I mean do you “know Him”? Do you personally know Him? Do you know His voice? His Words, His character? Do you have a personal relationship with Him? Does He come in and sup with you? Because if He does not regularly come in and sup, visit, commune, speak, teach, and fellowship with you, then He is still standing outside the door knocking. You haven’t actually let Him in. 

“Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” – James‬ ‭2:19-20‬ ‭

Just knowing that He exists isn’t enough. Knowing that He is at the door isn’t enough. Knowing that He is knocking isn’t enough. You have to actually let Him in and fellowship with Him, talk to Him, listen to Him, get to know Him, love Him, and obey Him.

“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. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” – Matthew‬ ‭7:21-23‬ ‭

A lot of people know about God, but very few actually come to know God. It’s heart breaking because Christ suffered and died that we might be reconciled unto the Father and inter in boldly before His thrown. We no longer need a priest to inter in for us but we ourselves can hear directly from God and fellowship with Him like Moses did. Yet with this great unmatchable gift laid before us, we choose entertainment, distraction, relationships, pride, worldly lust, gain, grudges, traditions, doctrines, ambition, and outright sin to keep us from it. We choose these poisonous gifts of the world over this precious gift from God just like Adam and Eve chose the serpents fruit over all that God had labored to make available to them. 

People this ought not be so, nor does it need to be. The choice is yours. Jesus made a way, it’s a straight and narrow way, but it is available to any who will choose to take it, and it leads straight the the thrown of God. It’s available now, open the door, let Jesus in, talk with Him, listen to Him, get to know Him, and He will teach you how to walk this thing out by faith. Not by faith in what you think you know, (for that is self righteousness) but by faith in what He says (which is walking in His righteousness). 

“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

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

“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 ‭

God is real, people! He is real right now. His power is real. The Holy Spirit is real. Miracles, signs, and wonders are real. Yet I urge you today to wake up and understand that Hell is real too, and Jesus really is coming back, but only for those who personally know Him and are known by Him. Knowing about Him won’t save you, in fact it will only assure you a greater damnation being without excuse for not getting to know Him. So how do you get to know Him? The same way you get to know anyone. You spend time with them. Personal one on one time “with” them. Jesus is knocking, take the time to open that door, invite Him in, sit and sup, visit, talk, listen, commune, and be taught personally by God. We are not promised tomorrow, we are not guaranteed another chance. We are only guaranteed damnation if we fail to take the chances given to us in the limited time we have to take them. Today is the day of salvation. Now is the appointed time. Open the door while He still knocks, because when He opens the door Himself it will be too late. Know that you will stand face to face with God one way or the other, better it be now by choice and loving invitation, then later by force to receive eternal damnation.  

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” – Revelation‬ ‭3:19-22‬ ‭

“AWAKE O’ SLEEPER!”

imageI once heard a sermon by Brother Leonard Ravenhill titled,  “While Men Slept“. It’s one that I soon intend to hear again, because never before have I been as convicted over this sin as I am today!

You see it only takes a little distraction and a little ease to throw you off track in your walk with Jesus. Just 2 days ago this very thing happened to me. Even though I’ve repented and returned to Him with my whole heart, I’m still stricken with grief and regret for the pain I caused my Heavenly Father. In this day and time (Last days, End times), Church, we have no time to waste! No time to take it easy and get comfortable: We are at WAR!

If we are not actively taking enemy territory, then we are by default loosing ground! I spent 2 days at physical rest and ease, but Spiritually, it felt like I got hit by a train! Crushed under the weight of my own guilt, first for allowing the enemy to distract me, but then more so, when I did not immediately reset course. How quickly and easily it happens to Spiritually loose focus, but far worse is to know it did, and delay in resetting it.

Thank GOD for His merciful hand in giving me that Spiritual knock on the back of my head, the way my Dad used to do to me as a kid when I got out of line. So when I got down to pray and open up the WORD these words jumped off the page at me so strongly I would have hit my knees to the floor had I not already been there… so my heart did!

“O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not.”
‭‭Jonah‬ ‭1:6‬‬

These words broke me! Then awoke me!
The conviction of simply being at ease, filled with mental distractions instead of Spiritual determination. I’m absolutely broken because while I was busy in ease untold numbers of souls slipped into eternity, the majority of them entering eternal torment in Hell, many of whom were lied to by church people saying that heaven was their home if they would repeat a prayer, when it was a heart change they needed!

Let this be the quickening you need as well… Arise O Sleeper! Call upon thy GOD!!!

Submitted by Heather Wright

Are You In Need Of A SPIRITUAL ALINEMENT?

img_5195Just as physical pain can indicate the need of physical care and correction to the body, so it is with the Spiritual. Many times GOD allows a pain to come that it may bring to our attention a condition that is the cause of it.

Quick example:
I discovered early on in my life that the physical labor I was doing was causing me much pain. Day after day of manual labor was causing my back to hurt, and many times I could not sleep until I got my back realigned so the pain would go away. Only then, I could rest properly to be ready for work the next day. Without that realignment, I would wake up crying in pain, and every day be in more and more pain.

In the same manner Spiritual Alignments are just as necessary and even more so! As individuals being the body of Christ, this is so important! This is what GOD is doing with each of us daily…

All you need to remember is:
F.L.A.T.
Firm Foundation
Lie at rest
Allow GOD to make necessary adjustments
Trust and obey GOD (our Great Physician) And…
Keep coming back for more.

FIRM FOUNDATION:
Jesus Christ-the Word
(The Way, the Truth, the Life)
The ROCK of our Salvation and Foundation of Faith

“As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him. For who is God save the Lord? or who is a rock save our God? It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.‭‭” – Psalms‬ ‭18:30-32‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”‭‭ – 2 Timothy‬ ‭3:16-17‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.”‭‭ – Luke‬ ‭6:46-49‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”‭‭ – Hebrews‬ ‭4:12‬ ‭KJV‬‬

LIE AT REST:
Secret place; Prayer closet
Get alone with GOD and set your gaze upon HIM, loving HIM to become more like 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 ‭11:28-30‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”‭‭ – Psalms‬ ‭23:1-6‬ ‭KJV‬‬

ALLOW GOD TO MAKE THE ADJUSTMENTS NEEDED:
Fix your gaze upon GOD to see your heart desires change to HIS

GOD’s Words to JESUS:
“I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;”‭‭ – Isaiah‬ ‭42:6‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.”‭‭ – Psalms‬ ‭17:15‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”‭‭ – 2 Corinthians‬ ‭3:18‬ ‭KJV‬‬

TRUST AND OBEY GOD (THE GREAT PHYSICIAN):

“Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”‭‭ – James‬ ‭1:21-25‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”‭‭ – Philippians‬ ‭3:20-21‬ ‭KJV‬‬

As individuals being many members of the body of Christ, these same principles equally apply! This is what GOD is doing with us corporately as the Church:

Apostle Paul to Timothy:
“But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”‭‭ – 1 Timothy‬ ‭3:15-16‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.”‭‭ – Ecclesiastes‬ ‭5:1‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.”‭‭ – 1 Corinthians‬ ‭12:12-27‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.”‭‭ – 1 Corinthians‬ ‭12:4-11, 28-31‬ ‭KJV‬‬

More excellent way? What way? That is answered by the very next chapter. This is the only gift that is given to us all by the Holy Spirit:

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”‭‭ – 1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:1-13‬ ‭KJV‬‬

So it doesn’t matter what good deeds you do or how many gifts you have… it’s all in vain, if it’s not done in selfless, sacrificial love. GOD has given us the gift of LOVE, because that is Who HE IS, and who HE wants us to become! Truly it is better to give than to receive, because the more of this gift of LOVE you give, the more it multiples!

“And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;”‭‭ – Hebrews‬ ‭12:5-15‬ ‭KJV‬‬

The more we become submissive in our relationship with JESUS CHRIST the more we will become just like HIM, causing us to fulfill the law by love!

“For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.”‭‭ – Galatians‬ ‭5:13‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Any operation done outside of this gift of love hurts the body as a whole, but the more time spent alone with JESUS in relational intimacy, the more we will become the pure bride HE’s returning for.
Remember: Without this Spiritual Alignment to God’s word and will we cannot STAND, WALK, OR FIGHT! It’s VITAL that we keep it!

Submitted by Heather Wrigjt

Pride Brings a Fall but Humility Preserves Your Soul

“Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:” – Romans‬ ‭11:19-20‬ ‭

In this very important passage, Paul warned new believers of the dangers of pride, unbelief, and falling away from the faith. He explains to them that the Jews who refused to believe God, though they had been His chosen people, had in essence been broken off (or disinherited). Because all unbelief in what God is trying to tell you is based in pride, which is trusting more in yourself and your assumptions, (your understanding, what you’ve been taught, what you think to be right or true, and so on). It is so important never to assume anything with God, to even assume that you can assume is prideful. In all things seek God and be willing to be taught and led by Him.

“Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew‬ ‭18:4‬ ‭

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” – Romans‬ ‭8:14‬ ‭

The passage then continues to emphasize the pride of believing that because one was disinherited and an other was grafted in, that the graft is somehow better or more secure then the original. Paul assures us that this is not the case. He urged the new believer to grasp onto humility in fear, stating that if the natural children were disinherited for not trusting Him, how much more would the adopted children be cast off if they so chose in pride to trust in their own leading and not seek to be led by His Spirit and voice? 

“For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.” – Romans‬ ‭11:21-22‬ ‭

This is one of the most sobering passages in the scriptures. One that we should remind ourselves of daily, knowing that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and that God is no respecter of persons. We are all special to God, but not one is more special to God then the other. He demands trust, respect, reverence, submission, attention, and humility, which are the attributes of faith. Those that refuse are cut off, yes even from among those counted as His own. While those who submit are grafted in, even from the lowliest and least. Let this be a warning that none are above God’s judgment, and that no pride will go unpunished, not even the pride of believing that you are too good or too special to be cast off when God did it to the very apple of His eye, His own people who ceased to trust in His voice and followed that of other men and their own flesh.

“But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” – 1 Corinthians‬ ‭9:27‬ ‭

“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” – Philippians‬ ‭2:12‬ ‭

“Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished. By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil.” – Proverbs‬ ‭16:5-6‬ ‭

“The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul. Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud. He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he.” – Proverbs‬ ‭16:17-20‬ ‭

Stand Firm and Pray!

“Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.” – Daniel‬ ‭6:10‬ ‭

God had great favor on Daniel, even from his childhood. This favor was very evident to all around him and was a great testimony of the God whom he openly, relentlessly, and continually served in the midst of Babylon. Surrounded day and night by a worldly hedonistic pagan culture, Daniel kept himself apart from it with continual prayer, fasting, and submission to the word and will of God, and all knew it for a burning flame such as he could not be hid in this darkest of places. 

By today’s standards, and certainly by the standards of his day, you might call Daniel a religious fanatic. Yet God did fantastic things for him, and through him changed a King and a nation. Of course such unashamed faithfulness to God does a bit more then draw God’s favor to you, it also draws the attacks of the enemy, and the jealousy of men. This was surely the case for little Daniel. The princes of the region (under the influence of the devil) became very jealous of Daniels favor and blessings. So they got together and began to plot and scheme how they might destroy him.

Envy (especially of the anointing / God’s favor) will lead (according to scripture) to gossip, slander, malice, manipulation, lies, hatred, and can even go as far as murder (either spiritual or physical). In fact, James 3:16 tells us that envy, if allowed to take root in a heart, will grow into strife, and can bare the fruits of “every evil work.” This was certainly the case with these princes and rulers. They knew that they could not find fault with Daniel unless it be His obedience to God. So they brought a decree to the King that no one make a petition to any other King or God for 30 days. 

Playing on the Kings Pride, he agreed. When vile, deceitful, envious people want to trick you into coming into agreement with their evil agendas, they will do it with flattery. They will work your pride against you, against others, and even against those you love. They will make it seem like they are for you and want to help you, all the while they are seeking to destroy all that you love and hold dear.

The King, blindsided by the flattery of this decree, did not think it through and hastily signed it. This brings us to our opening passage. Daniel knew about the decree, yet was ever faithful to his God and ceased not to pray to Him daily, as he had before. The princes, knowing this would be the case, then ran and told the King that Daniel (whom he favored) had broken the decree and though the King desired a way to excuse Daniel from this law, he could not. A law once spoken, could not be broken. Therefore, the King did something very unexpected in his desperation to see Daniel saved. Being inspired by Daniel’s faithfulness and having the testimony of God’s evident and tangible favor upon him continually, the King made a decision to do himself, that which the enemy had gone to such lengths to stop Daniel from doing… Having no other option, King Darius put his trust in Daniel’s God, fasted, and prayed.

“Then the king commanded, and they brought Daniel, and cast him into the den of lions. Now the king spake and said unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee. And a stone was brought, and laid upon the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet, and with the signet of his lords; that the purpose might not be changed concerning Daniel. Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of musick brought before him: and his sleep went from him.” – Daniel‬ ‭6:16-18‬

Daniel did nothing himself, but to stay true to God. He continued to serve God with all his heart and wavered not when his earthly authorities came against his heavenly one. He chose to trust in God and take his side and allow the greater authority to show forth it’s dominion over the lesser. He did not compromise even a little, but went right on serving God in obedience the same as before the order was given and trusted in God for whatever may come from it, even if it killed him. However, what it really did was allow God to position him to prove the unmatched power of his God unto the saving of a King and a people, and further prove God’s approval of him.

“Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions. And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions? Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever. My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt. Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God.” – Daniel‬ ‭6:19-23‬ ‭

In the end, because Daniel stood firm on God’s word in faith, he was delivered, the King got saved, his enemies were destroyed, and the nation was changed as a new decree when forth for all to worship Daniel’s God. Note that in all of this, Daniel did nothing but stand in faith. He did not argue, debate, or defend himself. He did not fuss or fight. He just kept on serving God in every way that he had before and trusted in the salvation of the Lord, no matter how it came, and come it did! 

God used it all for His glory and still is to this day, yet none of it would have happened had Daniel given in to the decree of this lesser authority over the wishes of the Greater one. If Daniel had sought more to please men then to please God. Had Daniel, succumb to fear of punishment and faltered in his faith, none of it would have happened, none would have been saved by it, God would have had no glory in it, and the faith of millions for a thousand generations would not have been stirred by it. The pivotal moment in this historical and heroic event was not an instinct to fight, or a reaction to flee, but a decision to stand. A decision to stand his ground, to stand on God’s word, to stand in faith in the face of both men and lions and see what fantastic and impossible things God could do. 

“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the (Rhema) *word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Holy Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” – Ephesians‬ ‭6:13-18‬ 

Losing The Sight But Keeping The Vision

mountain-top“And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying, Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatic, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me. And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? 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. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.” – Matthew‬ ‭17:14-21‬

In verse 16, the man had brought his son to the disciples first for them to heal his son, and they could not. You have to remember that these are the same disciples that had just gotten through witnessing Jesus feeding 4,000 people with seven loaves of bread and a few fish. They saw him walk on the sea of Gallilee. Again they witnessed Jesus feeding 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish, and had 12 for baskets left over. Let’s not forget the “Mission of the Twelve”, were they even cast out devils!

“And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits; And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse: But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats. And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. And they went out, and preached that men should repent. And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.” – Mark‬ ‭6:7-13‬ ‭

Don’t forget that Peter had made his confession of faith when Jesus asked His disciples in Matthew chapter 16 verse 15 “who do you say that I am?” and Peter answered, “thou are Christ, the son of the living God.” So when the man told Jesus that the disciples couldn’t heal his son, Jesus looked and said “oh faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you?” The disciples couldn’t understand why they could not heal the boy so they go to Jesus apart. Matthew chapter 9 verse 28 explains that they asked him privately and Jesus answers them, “because of your unbelief.” Then He further explains about faith.

How many miracles does Jesus have to do, and how many blessings do we have to receive before we are able to totally trust in Him no matter what the situation? How long do we have to live for God? How long do we have to have the Holy Spirit before we can totally trust in God?

If you look at “mountains” as a great difficulty in your life (it can be any situation), then when the word “mountain” is used, it is a difficulty that seems to be huge in our eyes and we can’t “see” around it because it’s so big. The mountain is so wide and broad that we can’t see around it, and the height of the mountain is blocking our sight of God. With our sight being blocked, our minds or distracted and are not focused on God. The “mountain” seems impossible to climb because it is too high and steep to go over, and two broad and wide to go around, and it seems like it will take forever to try to get across this mountain where we can get our sight back on God.

In Mark chapter 9 verse 29, the phrase, “this kind” suggest that there are different kinds of demons. Just as there are many different difficulties in life. We go through trials and storms. We stumble, fall, and wander off the path of righteousness. With these difficult times we go through, it indeed is hard but we still have our sight on God and are still strong in faith. When we stumble and fall, we still have God in our site and can feel His presence near and we know that all we have to do is get up and start our journey again. When we are going through a trial Jesus is right by our side guiding us in our journey. We know He is very near and is still in our “sight”. When a storm comes along and we or being tossed to and fro, as the disciples were, and the rain comes pouring down on us, we can still “see” His light because He is our lighthouse. Even in the midst of a storm we can still have “sight” of Jesus. Our site may be blurred from the pouring rain but we can still “see His glorious light” that will guide us through the storm.

When there are “mountains” however, where it seems that there is no hope, no way around or over because it is just too wide to travel around and too hard to see over and steep to climb, where your sight of God has been blocked and you can’t see God, it is “This kind” that comes forth by nothing but by prayer and fasting! When our mountain comes, we take for granted the power given to us from Jesus which is the Holy Ghost! We forget that we are God’s children, and our faith may come into question. We began to focus on how huge the mountain is when we have a lack of prayer. When we begin to have a lack of prayer our sight of God becomes blocked by this huge mountain. Then we forget that the power we possess to get over the mountain is from Jesus! When we forget about the power we possess which is the Holy Ghost, we begin to forget about Jesus. When you forget about Jesus you can’t “see” Him anymore. Then you focus more on your problem and it’s all that you see. When you lose sight of Jesus, you don’t know where to go and what directions to travel anymore. We think about turning back and going back to where we came from or we give up and quit and wander off. This is because our
“sight” is blocked from the “vision” of God!

We lost our vision! “oh faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you and suffer you?”

Faith = Vision

We need to pray! So we can still keep our “sight” on God. Even if we can’t see Jesus we still have “faith”. Matthew chapter 17, verse 20 says “if you have the faith as a grain of mustard seed you shall say unto this mountain, removed to yonder place; and it shall be remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you”. Just a little faith to keep on going and move towards God and not to give up. If we have “faith” then we still know where Jesus is, that He is still there with us even though our site is blocked. That He is waiting on us to move forward. We know where we need to travel, what path to take, and what direction to move towards.

It is during these times that we need prayer and fasting. Yes, prayer is powerful but we also need to fast. In Mark 9:29 Jesus says, “this kind cannot come forth by anything but by prayer and fasting.” When a mountain comes into our path and blocks our sight to where we cannot see Jesus, everything seems impossible before our eyes and there seems to be no hope, this is where we have to “demonstrate” our determination and perseverance to God. We need to “keep our vision”. We have to “demonstrate” our belief. That we know that He is able to lead us over this mountain. We have to “demonstrate” our “faith”. Even though we do not see Him, or are even able to feel God’s presence is still there, He is still leading us and guiding us. Even when we feel alone and that no one else is there to help, “we have to know” that “Jesus is always there”. We have to “demonstrate” our “willingness”. We have to be willing to sacrifice to see God’s will accomplished. God’s will is that we climb over that mountain. God’s will is that we still believe in Him and the power of Jesus through the Holy Ghost! God’s will is that we have the “faith” in Him to where even when we lose sight of Him, that we will still have our “vision” of God. God’s will is that we overcome and claim victory over our mountains that we face in life. Many times in these situations that we face, we have to be willing to make a sacrifice. Sometimes we have to kill the flesh so the spirit can grow. Through fasting we can resist our flesh and make a sacrifice in order to see God’s will accomplished.

In this, we begin to see the hand of God reaching out and grasping our own hand and “leading us over our mountain”. Over our problems, over our situation, over our habits, over spiritual walls. He helps us.

But we have to still “keep our vision” of God, even when we “lose sight of him”. Even when our mountain seems to get too big, where the mountain blocks our sight of God. We still have to keep our vision. We must still keep our faith to overcome. This kind can come forth by nothing but by prayer and fasting.

Submitted by @ Chris Adams

The Wisdom Of Trusting God’s Plan

“It is as sport to a fool to do mischief: but a man of understanding hath wisdom.” – Proverbs‬ ‭10:23‬ ‭

The bible says that because the rewards of iniquity are not paid quickly, it is in the heart of man to do wrong, but nevertheless, you can rest assured that that reward will come, a wage well earned and paid in full when we least expect it. Know that all wickedness will be judged, all selfishness avenged, and all pridefulness humbled before the great and mighty day of the Lord. Likewise, will all righteousness be rewarded, for God is both just and faithful. Therefore, it is only a fool who loves mischief.

The fool craves mischief like sport, or a hobby. Their evil heart finds pleasure and purpose in manipulation, meddling, gossip, and slander because their trust is in themselves. Therefor they feel a since of false accomplishment in the illusion of control that comes from their faithless interjecting into situations and lives. However, the wise know that the creator is in control of all creation and they humbly except their place in it. Not leaning on their own understanding and trying to force their will, they seek in wisdom, to gain understanding from the one who is in control that through understanding His will in a situation, they might be made all the wiser. In other words, they trust God. 

You see, a life of true faith, is a life without manipulation! When you meddle, manipulate, speak guile, foolishness, or malice, stir up strife or contention, force your emotion, will, or wants on others, and feel some since of pleasure, accomplishment, or relief from that, then you are showing that your faith is rooted firmly and solely in yourself, your will, your understanding, and your wants. However, taking for an example Joseph who was hated, hurt, rejected, sold by his own brothers into slavery, lied about, abused, imprisoned, and forgotten for a time, yet he placed his faith in God who he knew was in control and had a reason for this season so that in the end he could say to those who had seemingly wronged him, that he knew it was all actually by the hand of God positioning and training him to do greater things then he could have ever done on his own. His faith was in the Lord and that trust was rewarded all because he sought understanding from God and therefor did not manipulate his way out of God’s perfect plan, nor murmur against it, but served patiently and faithfully through it. Let us all endeavor to do the same remembering that God’s ways are not our ways, because God’s ways are perfect and ours are not. So trust His way no matter what it looks or feels like in the moment. He has a reason, He is getting you somewhere to do something and if you don’t abandon His plan for your own then you will see the glory and wisdom of it all in the end. Trust and pray and wait and praise and thank in faith in the waiting, and be among the few who get to see what God can truly do, that you yourself never could. 

“And they sent a messenger unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying, So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him. And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants. And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.” – Genesis‬ ‭50:16-21‬

“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 ‭

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.” – Psalms‬ ‭37:23-24‬ ‭

Glorying In Infirmities

“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” – 2 Corinthians‬ ‭12:10‬ ‭

Is anything impossible for God? No of course not. By His very nature what He says simply is, for creation lies in the power of His words. However, sometimes He chooses to do things, or not to do things that baffle our human minds. In our limited understanding we may question God, the devil might get in our ear and even cause us to doubt the goodness of God, but if we will but trust in His infinite wisdom and unfailing love, and seeking Him for understanding, wait patiently until all be revealed, we will always see a greater purpose in our pain then the pain itself. Not unlike the pain of delivering a child, once the reason for that pain comes forth it becomes not only worth it all.

Often times those greatest in the faith endure the most afflictions. This seems counter intuitive to us, but I’m sure the process of pruning seems counter intuitive to the tree. How can cutting away its beautiful lively luscious branches until it looks mangled and near death be helping the tree? Yet it is a time proven fact that no amount of water, fertilizer, or babying can compare to the amount of fruit that comes forth in its season then from the act of pruning.

Likewise, sometimes we must be pruned also. We need certain things to be cut away in order for us to become fruitful to our fullest potential. However, sometimes God will also allow things to come upon us not for our good but for the good of others. This is a trial of faith that is reserved for God’s most loyal and trusted soldiers. For example, Job went through his great trials for you and me. So that you and I might draw faith from His unwavering resolve in the midst of utter brokenness. That once knowing his plight we might (as Paul said) follow after his example as he followed after God, and in the face of unimaginable sorrow and suffering, be able to say as he did “yet though you slay me, still will I serve you! 

“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” – 1 Corinthians‬ ‭10:11‬ ‭

Remember that according to zither book of Revelations, we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony, because the testimony validates the power of the blood and the testimony only comes by way of a test. For it is the testing of that faith that creates a testimony of faith!

Then there is this, sometimes there are those that God trust so deeply and desires to use so greatly that for the sake of humility He must allow an infirmity. Moses might have been thought a god if it had not been for the frailties of a speech impediment. He surely was no god, the man could hardly speak, yet God chose him to be His mouthpiece, speaking through him that which would be re-uttered for thousands of generations. 

In this reality we see the great power of God manifested through the meekest of vessels insuring that God alone gets the glory and is worshiped for His words and actions, not the man that relayed them. This is what Paul was praising God for in our opening passage. He was thanking God for his infirmities knowing that it was only because of his weakness that God would choose to use him at all. He recognized that because of the great revelation and power that God brought forth through him that God had to also with that allow for an infirmity to show forth his mortality that he not become worshiped himself. All saw the power of God healing the sick through Paul, yet he could not heal himself proving the power was God’s and not his own, and that he was but a mortal man walking out the will of an immortal God. All the more it proved the power of God when others saw his resolve and faithfulness to continually labor to walk out his faith even in the face of pain, rejection, opposition, heartache, and infirmity, all for the love of God and the sake of others, and rejoiced at the opportunity to do so that God might be more greatly glorified. Let us be thus minded, and endeavor to do the same.

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:” – Philippians‬ ‭2:5‬ ‭

“For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me. And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” – 2 Corinthians‬ ‭12:6-10‬ ‭

None Good But God

“And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” – Matthew‬ ‭19:16-17‬ ‭

In this passage Jesus makes it very clear that only God is good, yet we read in 1 Corinthians 6:9 that only the righteous will make it to heaven. How can this be? The answer is very simple. To be righteous and to be good, though commonly thought to be so, are not the same thing. To be good implies that you are inherently and naturally good in and of yourself. That of your own goodness you will make good decisions, of your good knowledge you will judge rightly, of your good nature you will always do what is good for others, of your good understanding you will choose good outcomes. This just isn’t so. The reason Jesus said that not even He was good, but God only is the same reason He also said that He did nothing unless His Father in Heaven told Him too and said nothing unless He heard God speak it to Him first. In this was God’s goodness enacted through Him unto righteousness, and Christ being our example, the same applies to us.

You see, truly only God is good. God’s perfect knowledge, understanding, plan, justice, wisdom, love, and selflessness is the essence of all that is good. Only that which comes from God is (or can be) good, not anything that comes from us. For example our talents or selfish, prideful, and desirous of vain glory, but God’s gifts are good because the talent is from us but the gift is from God. In this do we understand the error of Cain’s sacrifice. Cain offered the fruit of his own hand and thinking that it was good, desired God to agree with him. He was not worshiping God, he was worshiping self (his own good work) and asking God to participate. Abel on the other hand, like Christ did not do what he thought was good but simply did what He who is good told Him to do. Though he surely did not want to, he did not rely on what he thought was good but what God said was right, therefor was he counted righteous in the eyes of God.

You see while being good implies that you yourself hold the capacity in and of yourself to understand and do that which is perfect and good, being righteous simply means to be in right standing with God. In other words, to do what God says is right. This is why Jesus told the rich young ruler in our opening text that though none are good, if he will but obey the commandments he will have eternal life. If you will do what God says then, though you yourself are no good, you will still do what is right because you are not following the leading of your corrupt flesh but His good and Holy Spirit. In this simple truth do we come to terms with the reality that though none in and of themselves are good, all who choose to obey God can be righteous. Simply stop trusting in yourself, your knowledge, your skills, strengths, and abilities, and start putting your faith in God and in every word that He says unto obedience. For man shall not live by bread alone, but by every single word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Lean not on your own understanding but in all your ways acknowledge God’s good and perfect wisdom, will, justice, and love, and let Him direct your path. In this will you be in right standing with God and counted among the righteous on the day of judgement.

Seek, pray, read, and obey. No you are not good, that’s why you must trust and obey the instructions of the only one who is. This is what Jesus was telling the rich young ruler who was use to trusting in himself. Jesus made it clear that He did only what God said to do because He was flesh and flesh is not good, therefore he chose to obey the Holy Spirit of God, because only God is good. So choose to do the same. Choose today to stop trusting yourself, your emotions, your skills, your talent, your strength, or what you think you know, for your heart is deceitfully wicked above all, insted choose to trust God and be led of His Spirit, for He is good. In this is your flesh crucified that Christ’s Spirit might live through you, allowing you to become the righteousness of God enacting the will of the Father in this present world. 

“But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” – James‬ ‭1:14-18‬ ‭

“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.” – Romans‬ ‭8:11-14‬ ‭

“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” – Matthew‬ ‭7:11‬ ‭

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: …” – 1 Corinthians‬ ‭6:9‬ ‭