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 ‭

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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

“If God is not King, …Then He is not Savior”

“In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” – Judges 21:25

Since I was a child, I’ve heard it said, “Many want Jesus as Savior, but not Lord.” An old but very relevant point today. Reading this passage this morning, this verse stood out at the conclusion of chapter 21.

Without a king, there is no “rule” of the people whether corporately or individually. Inadvertently people will pursue their own lusts or desires if there is no ruler or law keeping them accountable to a will other than their own.

“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.” – Proverbs 12:15

Historically, Israel was to remain a “theocracy” (ruled by God) and not a “monarchy” (ruled by a king), but they wouldn’t have it. They demanded of Samuel the prophet to give them an earthly king. Ultimately, we all have a king; the question is who? Whether the Spirit unto life? Or sin unto death?

“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” – Romans 6:16

The salvation of Jesus we speak of is a “saving” FROM sin because of its “end game,” death. The “Kingship” of our Lord Jesus is to reference our “sanctification” as to “maintain” that position of our saving. Him being ruler, and us being servants to obey.

Whether you believe this or not, we all have choices in life that dictate a consequence that can either be positive or negative. A parent tells a child what they should do, but ultimately the child chooses whether to obey mom & dad, or disobey. This is simply no different with God: A choice given from God to mankind of whether to surrender & serve Him, or not.

“Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.” – Romans 6:13

If you don’t want Jesus as your King (ruler), then you can’t have Him as Savior… They go hand-in-hand.

Jesus our Savior pulls us out of the pit, and Jesus our King keeps us from the pit!”

“Increase”

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

Habakkuk 1:14-17

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Rewards Of Righteousness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“…Presumptuous are they, selfwilled…And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;” – 2 Peter 2:10, 13

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Baal the god of gain: Robbing GOD of Glory

“If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the Lord your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the Lord thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee. If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth; Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is among you. If thou shalt hear say in one of thy cities, which the Lord thy God hath given thee to dwell there, saying, Certain men, the children of Belial, are gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye have not known; Then shalt thou enquire, and make search, and ask diligently; and, behold, if it be truth, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought among you; Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword. And thou shalt gather all the spoil of it into the midst of the street thereof, and shalt burn with fire the city, and all the spoil thereof every whit, for the Lord thy God: and it shall be an heap for ever; it shall not be built again. And there shall cleave nought of the cursed thing to thine hand: that the Lord may turn from the fierceness of his anger, and shew thee mercy, and have compassion upon thee, and multiply thee, as he hath sworn unto thy fathers; When thou shalt hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep all his commandments which I command thee this day, to do that which is right in the eyes of the Lord thy God.” – Deuteronomy‬ ‭13:1-18‬ ‭‬‬

“The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, Hear ye the words of this covenant, and speak unto the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem; And say thou unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel; Cursed be the man that obeyeth not the words of this covenant, Which I commanded your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, Obey my voice, and do them, according to all which I command you: so shall ye be my people, and I will be your God: That I may perform the oath which I have sworn unto your fathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as it is this day. Then answered I, and said, So be it, O Lord. Then the Lord said unto me, Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying, Hear ye the words of this covenant, and do them. For I earnestly protested unto your fathers in the day that I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, even unto this day, rising early and protesting, saying, Obey my voice. Yet they obeyed not, nor inclined their ear, but walked every one in the imagination of their evil heart: therefore I will bring upon them all the words of this covenant, which I commanded them to do; but they did them not. And the Lord said unto me, A conspiracy is found among the men of Judah, and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. They are turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, which refused to hear my words; and they went after other gods to serve them: the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant which I made with their fathers. Therefore thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them. Then shall the cities of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem go, and cry unto the gods unto whom they offer incense: but they shall not save them at all in the time of their trouble. For according to the number of thy cities were thy gods, O Judah; and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem have ye set up altars to that shameful thing, even altars to burn incense unto Baal. Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble. What hath my beloved to do in mine house, seeing she hath wrought lewdness with many, and the holy flesh is passed from thee? when thou doest evil, then thou rejoicest. The Lord called thy name, A green olive tree, fair, and of goodly fruit: with the noise of a great tumult he hath kindled fire upon it, and the branches of it are broken. For the Lord of hosts, that planted thee, hath pronounced evil against thee, for the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have done against themselves to provoke me to anger in offering incense unto Baal. And the Lord hath given me knowledge of it, and I know it: then thou shewedst me their doings. But I was like a lamb or an ox that is brought to the slaughter; and I knew not that they had devised devices against me, saying, Let us destroy the tree with the fruit thereof, and let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name may be no more remembered. But, O Lord of hosts, that judgest righteously, that triest the reins and the heart, let me see thy vengeance on them: for unto thee have I revealed my cause. Therefore thus saith the Lord of the men of Anathoth, that seek thy life, saying, Prophesy not in the name of the Lord, that thou die not by our hand: Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts, Behold, I will punish them: the young men shall die by the sword; their sons and their daughters shall die by famine: And there shall be no remnant of them: for I will bring evil upon the men of Anathoth, even the year of their visitation.” – ‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭11:1-23‬ ‭‬‬

Over and over again, all throughout Scripture, the LORD gives us warnings of this image of Baal that was worshipped by the people. And due to the fact that GOD has been continually speaking (loud and clear) about the seriousness of this thing HE DESPISES called “Baal”

So I began to ask Him “LORD, what is it? What is this thing YOU so despise?” I knew it was an idol made in the image of a man, but I wanted to hear it from HIMSELF, so as I asked HE responded, “It’s wealth, riches, possessions, prosperity, plenty, and SELF-SUFFICIENCY; It’s the idol of “life without GOD”, it’s the very sin of thue Laodicean church!

“And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:” – ‭‭Revelation‬ ‭3:14-17‬ ‭

Oh ok, well now I know why it makes HIM so angry! It’s the sin of “MY LIFE – MY WAY” when it’s not your life at all! It’s HIS! You are actually HIS CREATION, THAT HE CREATED, FOR HIMSELF, AND REDEEMED BY HIS OWN BLOOD! What a mess we are in for! What wrath surely is coming upon all who still worship this god of self-sufficiency today… and they are many!!! This is the sin that sickens GOD the most, so much so that those found in this lukewarm state shall find themselves in HIS vomit! To claim HIS NAME, yet worship yourself instead makes GOD sick!

Thinking to yourself, “That’s not me.” Well let me challenge you: ask yourself, Has GOD asked me to do something, that I’m not willing to do? Has GOD asked me not to do something, that I continue doing? Or has GOD asked me to give up something that I keep holding on to?

Being honest we have all fallen into this category at some point, but the important thing is that we respond to the LORD as HE brings us reproof, rebuke, and correction. Hear the LORD speak now:

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” – ‭‭Revelation‬ ‭3:19‬ ‭

“Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.” – ‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭9:23-24‬

“And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.” – ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭14:19-20‬ ‭

HE blessed, HE break, HE gave… of HIMSELF as the bread of life. God’s abundance always comes by way of giving, the devil by way of taking that which is not his!

“Will a man rob GOD?…”

“Give unto the Lord, O ye mighty, give unto the Lord glory and strength. Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. The voice of the Lord is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the Lord is upon many waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.” – ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭29:1-4‬ ‭‬‬

Submitted by Heather Wright

Praise Wins The War

“And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper. And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth for ever.” – 2 Chronicles 20:20-21

Many enemies where marching against Israel at this time, three different armies to be exact. Upon seeking the Lord for a battle plan, Israel received a strange response. They were told not to be afraid, but that God Himself would fight for them, they needed only to believe in God and His words being spoken through His prophet and praise the Beauty of His holiness!

So what does it mean to praise God “in the beauty of His Holiness”? Holiness means to be set apart. It encompasses God’s faithfulness, His uniqueness, His unmatchable power and strength, His unfailing wisdom and glory, His omnipotence, His impossible miracle working limitless ability. It is to vocally acknowledge that He is set apart from all other things and nothing can compare, compass, confound, contend with, or conquer Him.

You see, sometimes we lump Thanksgiving and Praise together, and they should both be given, however their is a difference between them. Thanksgiving is vocally expressing appreciation and faith in the things that God has done. While praise is vocally expressing appreciation and faith in the things that God can do, and will do, and is doing, but has not yet fully done, even when you see no current physical evidence or showing of it yet. It is your faith in God vocalized, not to others (as in witnessing), but to God Himself that equates to praising!

The most amazing thing about this story is that this Praise turned the tide of the war. As they praised God in faith, God Himself fought the battle for them and caused their enemies to destroy each other leaving them only to then turn their Praise into Thanksgiving!

This happened at other times in scripture as well and still happens to this day, for God is unchanging. As Debra the Prophetess and Judge over Israel sang, the very angels of Heaven came and fought along side them, defeating their oppressors. Then in the very next chapter after their victory, their song of praise changes to a song of thanksgiving.

“Awake, awake, Deborah: awake, awake, utter a song: arise, Barak, and lead thy captivity captive, thou son of Abinoam. Then he made him that remaineth have dominion over the nobles among the people: the Lord made me have dominion over the mighty….The kings came and fought, then fought the kings of Canaan in Taanach by the waters of Megiddo; they took no gain of money. They fought from heaven; the angels in their courses fought against Sisera.” – Judges 5:12-13, 19-20

This again happens in the time of King Hezekiah, as well as many other biblical accounts. God truly does inhabit the praises of His people because while worship is love expressed, praise is faith expressed. It confessed and professes the beauty that is God’s Holiness and all that it entails. It draws Him to take notice, it stirs Him to take action, it pleases Him beyond measure, and it turns the tide of the war. So praise Him in the Beauty of His holiness! Praise the impossible power, love, faithfulness, wisdom, and ability of our King and He will come and inhabit those praises, and when He steps into the situation, everything changes. So praise.

“Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” – Psalms 100:3-5

“Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts. O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth. Say among the heathen that the Lord reigneth:…” – Psalms 96:8-10

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

“… he appointed singers unto the Lord, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the Lord; for his mercy endureth for ever. And when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the armies of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.” – 2 Chronicles 20:21-22

Saul’s Sin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Holy Seed Have Mingled Themselves

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

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

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

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

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

These are dangers of agreement and fellowship of the ungodly.

What fellowship?

What communion?

What concord?

What part?

What agreement?

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

Remember:

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.”- 1 Peter 2:9-10

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

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

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


Submitted by Heather Wright