Make Us Like You

Give us an unshakable faith. Make us un-offend-able. Make us dependable. Make us like You! Produce good fruits in us that will not wither in drought or be devoured by locus. Make us sweet like your Spirit, not bitter or hardened from the relentless attacks of the enemy. Bring us rain in our season. Reveal to us the reason for prolonged winters. Teach us the lessons that will bring lasting blessings. Make us a people stedfast, tried, and tested, purified and perfected, patient and enduring, and trustworthy with Your outpouring.

Make us like You, even if it comes with a wilderness, a Gethsemane, and a Judas. Give us Your heart, lay upon us Your burdens, show us Your sorrow for the lost and the hurting. May we share in Your grief as Your broken heart beats for a bride that’s deceived and a church that’s asleep. May we stand strong in the fight and sure in the faith, determined to be the one that eases Your pain with a love that is true, a devotion unmoved, and a thankful, graceful, faithful attitude.

We know we can trust You, you do not waver or lie, let us be the ones that You too can trust, that bring joy to Your heart and ease to Your mind. Make us Like You, loving, joyful, peaceful, longsuffering and kind. Help us press through the difficult times and maintain these fruits of goodness, faithfulness, genteelness, and patience. Let them be the stones that take down our giants. Give us Your words full of power and grace, truth and compassion, anointing and faith. Make us like You, tried and true, a heart that’s devoid of pride, selfishness, bitterness, envy, malice, strife, contention, or fear. Let our self die here, as we pick up our cross, follow after You and dare to make, “Make us like You”, our daily prayer.

“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” – Matthew 5:48

“Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” – 1 Peter 1:16

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance:” – Galatians 5:22-23

“Ye shall know them by their fruits.” – Matthew 7:16

Still a God of Power!

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” – 2 Timothy 3:1-5

Paul warns of a deception that would arise in the church in the last days. Having a form of godliness, they claim to belong to Christ but yet they deny the overcoming power of His Name and blood! From such people, Paul warns, turn away! Flee from them! Have no part in it. In fact the word “turn away” is the literal definition of repent. Paul warns that one need repent of being among those that are like this.

The list of previous sins, including unholiness, are things that they are ok with. They teach that you need not (or cannot) be freed from the bondage of sin, removing the limitless power of the true God of scripture (of whom nothing is impossible) for the powerless justification of a god of their own making who is not stronger then the enemy or the sin he binds you in. They preach unbelief and claim it is Christianity when it has no power to set the captive free. It’s a fallacy and Paul said to repent of it and flee from those who teach it.

“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might agree with him.” – 2 Corinthians 11:3-4

Jesus said that because the Spirit of God was upon Him, He received powered to set the captive free! Then He died to make a way for that same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead to be received by you and me!

The Word says that the Anointing “breaks the yoke” of bondage to the enemy! If there is no yoke breaking power in your church then it’s because Jesus (who is the anointing) is not in it! Flee from it! If there is no yoke breaking power in the god that you serve, then it’s because it is not the real God of scripture who is unchanging! Flee from it! If there is no yoke breaking power in your life then it’s because the yoke breaker is not the Lord of it! Flee from it! Repent of it! Die to it and come alive in Christ by the power of the limitless Holy Spirit!

“But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” – Romans 8:11-15

He is still a God of power, if your god is powerless or limited in anyway then it is not the God of the Bible! Come to the Anointed One! Come to salvation, deliverance, and freedom! Come to Jesus! Not just a hollow form of godliness laid down in words that justify peoples emptiness, defeatedness, powerlessness, and sinfulness! But a God of limitless power and demonstration unto the shaming of the limitations of the enemy that has been placed underneath His feet!

“But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power. For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.” – 1 Corinthians 4:19-20

“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

“For with God nothing shall be impossible.”- Luke 1:37

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

Jesus has been given all power, authority, and dominion! He has taken the keys (authority) of the kingdom away from Satan and given it to His anointed. Those who truly believe Him, to walk in it! Overcoming victory over the enemy is available to those who truly believe in the real Him. Not in a powerless faithless victory-less form of godliness, but in Jesus! The Son of the Living God! The Holy and Anointed One! The Truth, the Way, and the Life! The overcomer! The Resurrection! The Deliverer! The Savior! The Victor! The real Jesus!

“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 3:21-22

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

“Nay, in all these things we are more than overcomes through him that loved us.” – Romans 8:37

In Remembrance of Me

“For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.” – 1 Corinthians 11:23-24

I once endured a great depth of pain and affliction for someone that I loved trying to help them and save them from their own bad decisions. Years later while in conversation a remembrance of this situation came up and to my great sorrow they did not remember it. They did not even truly believe that it happened and therefor did not appreciate the depths of my sacrifice for them. I wanted no apology, they did not need to make amends, I just wanted them to acknowledge what I had endured for them and appreciate it and it broke my heart all over again when it didn’t happen.

Yet it was in this moment that the Lord showed me the depths of healing that the simple act of taking communion brings to Him, when we truly remember what He did and appreciate it. However, it also showed me the sorrow that it can bring when we take it unworthily, in “unbelief”.

Do we really believe what He endured for us? Not only the physical brokenness but but His broken heart over us. How He gave His all to show us His love for us while we played the harlot with an unworthy lover right before Him and yet even while His heart was breaking as He had to endure witnessing this, He still poured out His blood for us. Do we really remember His suffering? Because I think if we did, then we would never again be tempted to cheat on Him with sin, to return to that other lover, in fact it would cause us to hate it for what it did to Him. To repent of it and beg for forgiveness. To love on Him daily and appreciate Him for what He did. This is the power of communion, of truly remembering.

As I broke the bread I took time to remember His brokenness and feel it. Not just a broken body and the things that He did, but His broken heart over what He witnessed while being despised and rejected by the ones He did it for. His broken heart over our rejection of Him for our other lovers, whatever pleased the flesh, whatever the wicked one suggested in our ear. Yet oh how Jesus still poured out His blood, suffered, and died to save us from those other lovers bent only on destroying us and hurting Him through us, even while we were yet still with them. In remembering this we will come to know the depths of a true communion.

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8

Breaking the break I remember His broken heart over all of this and I remorsed over it, I repented and thanked Him for it. Then I took the cup, the blood, the forgiveness. The price He paid for my redemption, and I realized the order of communion was with intent. First the bread then the wine, the body then the blood, repentance then forgiveness, remorse then redemption from it, conviction then conversion, remembrance then love. The body, then the blood.

“We love him, because he first loved us.” – 1 John 4:19

“For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband (Christ), that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 11:2

Fine Tuning

Early on in my walk of faith it seemed that correction came in wide easy to see strokes with neon flashing signs. Things that were obvious sins or error and were simple to correct. Yet as my walk with the Lord deepened and He laid upon me more responsibility the instructions and corrections became more confusing and at times even frustrating.

He would push me in a direction, then I would run out and get corrected for over stepping, then I would cry out in confusion, frustration, disappointment, or discouragement. “Lord You told me to do this? Why am I now being corrected for it?” Until the Lord responded, “I’m fine tuning you.”

He knew exactly what to say to help me understand that day. You see, as a musician, that one statement was all I needed to see the big picture of what He was telling me. In my mind I saw a guitar being tuned. Turning the tuning peg in one direction or the other. To the untrained ear it is easy to hear when it is wildly out of tune. It is easy to know which direction you need to go to get it back inline enough to play some lovely melodies. However, at this point, while it may seem to be in tuned to most on lookers and by standers, to the sensitive skilled and discerning ear of the master conductor preparing you for a place in His great Symphony, there is still some fine tuning to do so that all will work together in harmony.

It is in this time of “fine tuning” that you end up going back and forth a lot. “Do this, wait no, too much, correct it. Turn this way, do you hear how you missed it? Go back and do it again. Your close but not yet perfect. I need a certain sound that will resound and do it’s part in the work of the whole without distorting the over all sound, message, and melody of the great Symphony that I have chosen you to be part of for Me. Have patience and don’t quit. Don’t get frustrated or discouraged and leave the class before you’ve passed. I’m not mad or disappointed, I just need you to take the corrections and learn the lessons because I Am preparing you for your appointed position. And when you are pass this class and are fine tuned at last, what an amazing sound you will make when you finally take your place and it will all come together to preform My good Grace!” How perfect is the work of our King? So don’t get discouraged in the season of fine tuning.

“That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” – Ephesians 4:14-16

“Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.“ – James 1:3-4

“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” – Matthew 5:48

“To Them…”

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” – Romans‬ ‭8:28‬

It was at a very early age, I feel deeply in love with God.

Everything God was, I adored.

Everything He had for me, I wanted.

Every Word He spoke, I was listening.

All things God, His sovereignty, His omnipotence, His love & mercy, even and especially His discipline & chastisement, I learned early to reverence, long for, and respect.

Growing deep into His Word, both spoken in personal quiet time, and His written Word (the Bible), I consumed all…

The more I matured in it over the years, and especially here and now in ministry, the more I began to see many “areas of opportunity” for the church to align completely with HIS Words, not our desires.

It is an unfortunate reality, but so often times we mistakenly see things that make us feel better, without taking it all into proper context. Namely, the conditions His Word lays out for us to obtain such blessing.

This opening scripture is just a “single grain of sand” in the “beach” of examples we can so easily miss and overlook scripturally. Take note of the title of this devotional, as it is to emphasize the nature of the specific audience that “all things will work together” for: to them who love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Does God love and desire the BEST for us? Of course… But those things that make us better spiritually, are the same things that will require our complete surrender of ourselves, or better: To Die. Christian living is not meant to make us “better;” it’s meant to “start completely over”

“Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a NEW creature: old things are passed away; behold, ALL things have become new.” – ‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:17‬

“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.” – Luke‬ ‭9:23-24‬

To summarize, we have to take “the good” WITH the “sacrificial” All His promises are true, but they are usually not inclusive, usually they are exclusive. My father-in-law, our senior pastor and overseer, always says to “count the ‘if’s’ in the Bible” Salvation in and of itself is a HUGE example of these “conditional” verses:

“I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” – Luke‬ ‭13:3‬

FORGIVENESS:

“For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” – Matthew‬ ‭6:14-15‬

LOVE:

If ye love me, keep my commandments.” – John‬ ‭14:15‬

DISCIPLESHIP:

“Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;”. – John‬ ‭8:31‬

And there are so many countless examples of this, all throughout the scriptures.

God loves us, yes, and is merciful, but even mercy given to the woman caught in adultery, Jesus’ exhortation revealing the expectation was “Go and sin no more” (John 8:11) God’s mercy and love are designed to lead us to repentance, which leads to everlasting life.

Of course dear reader, you can neverearn” that salvation, but when He freely gives that precious eternal gift by way of grace & faith, we are to walk in the life of sacrifice that holiness would require. (1 Peter 1:16)

Prayer: Lord Jesus, forgive me if I have overlooked or misused Your Word. Let me not be presumptuous of Your Word to fit my desires, but may my desire become Your Word!

Take a Stand: There’s More at Play than You’re Seeing

“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed–nego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” – Daniel 3:16-18

We’ve all heard the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. How these 3 Hebrew youths stood for God when no one else would and so God stood with them when no one else could. How they were willing to refuse to obey ungodly authorities that commanded them to disobey the will and word of God. How their faith and determination to take God’s side at all cost set the stage for God to prove Himself real to the faithless many through this faithful few and bring revival to an inter nation.

But today I want to zoom in on the mindset that led to all of this. Let’s examine for a moment what these three youths were really facing. Because when dealing with the enemy, what we see on the surface (in the physical) is only a shadow of what is really there in the spiritual.

You see the Chaldean “accusers of these brethren” on the surface were but envious, power hungry, attention seeking men. But in reality what these boys were really dealing with were demons. Paul himself parallels the Chaldeans with demons in Acts chapter 13. Looking beneath the surface is not something that many modern Christians like to do but Paul boldly called out the demonic that was driving the actions of the physical men that were rising up against him and we would be wise to do the same.

Furthermore, these three boys were not dealing merely with a king, a leader, the man Nebuchadnezzar, but with a principality. The Antichrist spirit that ruled the region through Nebuchadnezzar. You see, though wrapped up in a charismatic worship service full of great music with all manner of instruments, Nebuchadnezzar’s decree that all must worship this image or be killed is a clear character of the Antichrist spirit.

“And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” – Revelation 13:15

Yet while all this was going on, the music, the worship, the idolatry all set up by this wicked principality that everyone in the region bowed in agreement too, these three kids chose to refuse. They risked all knowing that God was able to deliver them but even if He didn’t, they would not compromise and be in agreement with this unrighteousness. Knowing that to refuse to stand against sin is to choose to agree with it, and to agree with it is to endorse it and silence convictions against it.

“If the spirit of the ruler (Principality) rise up against thee, leave not thy place (stand your ground); for yielding pacifieth (justifies) great sinners.” – Ecclesiastes 10:4

Now let’s look pass the surface on the three Hebrew boys side of what happened. What exactly were these demonic powers and Principalities fighting so hard to stop them from doing? Praying. There is nothing that the demonic fears more and thus fights more then a praying people. When you read their story one thing stands out, they were committed to prayer and fasting! They would not compromise, they would not justify the lies of the enemy, and they countered them on their knees calling on a greater authority. This is what the enemy feared, why he hated them and attacked them, but it is also why God Himself stepped in and defended them.

So determine today to start looking past the surface of the men and situations that rise up against you and start seeing the reason that the enemy is angry so you will move in wisdom and know how to defeat him. Pray without ceasing. Stand your ground. Stand for righteousness. Stand for holiness. Stand for God, and He will stand with you no matter what you go through. In the end let it be said of me that I would rather stand in the fire with Jesus, then in the palace with the Chaldeans and the self worshiping antichrist spirit king leading them.

“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him. He also shall be my salvation: for an hypocrite shall not come before him.” – Job 13:15-16

The Door

As I recently sat in Hebrew class listening to the teacher explain the characters in the Hebrew alphabet that spell the word “Adam”, the Holy Spirit began to speak to me of the perfection, simplicity, and complexity of God’s great wisdom all packaged up in this one little word. “Adam”.

You see in the original Hebrew the word “Adam” is spelled with 3 pictographs each having their own origin and meaning that contribute to the story of the whole. You see, the first means “something of great strength” it is also sometimes associated with God or that which is first. The second character represents a door. The third represents that which spreads out, like water does. So that though the sound translates to Adam, the first man, the story of the Pictographs in the name speak of Adam (and thus all mankind) having been created to be the door by which the strength of God’s Spirit would spread across the earth like a river!

It is also no coincidence I think that there are three letters with three meanings that describe the purpose of man’s being considering that we are three part beings, created in the likeness of a three part God. That is to say that God is comprised of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost and in that likeness are we comprised (according to scripture) of a spirit, a soul, and a body. Therefore just like the three letters of the name Adam in Hebrew is our soul (the mind will and emotions) the door by which God’s spirit (character/voice) is able to influence the body so that it can effect and spread out into the physical world.

But there was a problem. There was an other spirit knocking at that door as well and when Adam opened the door to that other spirit, he let sin into the world. Therefore in the same manner that he was suppose to be the door that let God’s spirit (character/fruit) spread through the earth, he instead let the devil and his character begin to be spread into the earth. We now call this “the sin nature”.

“And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door…” – Genesis 4:6-7

Yet where the first Adam failed the second Adam came to redeem and set God’s original plan back in motion. This was spoken of prophetically by Ezekiel when he saw the temple (Jesus’s body), and a river (God’s Spirit), flowing out of it’s door (the blood) into all the world.

“Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” – John 10:7-9

This is why on the day of Pentecost the fire was seen resting upon their heads. So that they would know that they had become the new temple, as the fire only fell upon the temple, and that river of God’s Spirit would now be able to flow out of them into all the world! So now we are back to where Adam was! We are all doors.

“Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.” – Psalms 24:7-8

Yet Jesus made one thing very clear about this door. As my dad always told us as kids, the door knob is on the inside, you have to choose to open it to Him. He will not force His way in. He will speak, but we have to open our hearts to Him and what He says. We have to ask Him to come in and teach us, and change us, and lead us. Because though He stands at the door and knocks, so does the enemy of our soul, even as he did for Adam. We have to choose to close the door to him and open it to the Holy Spirit of Jesus. Flesh cannot overcome spirit, Spirit overcomes flesh. We cannot defeat the sin nature by any work of our flesh, we simply were not designed to work that way. We must choose to open the door of our heart to a stronger Spirit (the Lord strong and mighty, the Holy Spirit), so that He will come in and overcome every other spirit, our soul, and our flesh that we might walk in the demonstration of His righteousness, going into all the world as a witness of the overcoming power of the blood of Jesus. Because in the end it comes down to this, He came and became our door, that we might go out and be His.

“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 3:20-22

“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall 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 16:15-18

Hypocrisy

Day 117

On Day 117 of our 120 Day Upper Room Prayer Campaign we pray against the sin of hypocrisy in the body as we repent of it and see how damaging it really is and how much God disapproves of it.

Listen to today’s Prayer Podcast for more and to pray along with us!

Throne Room

Day 99

On Day 99 of our 120 Day Upper Room Prayer Campaign we enter into the Throne Room to make our petitions known unto God as we see all the power and provision that He has made available for us there through the blood of Jesus Christ

Listen to today’s Prayer Podcast for more and to pray along with us!

Price

Day 98

On Day 98 of our 120 Day Upper Room Prayer Campaign we ask for the faith to pay the price to walk out the callings and mandates on our life with integrity that we live a life of legacy

Listen to today’s Prayer Podcast for more and to pray along with us!