Sin Opens Closed Doors

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” – Galatians‬ ‭5:1‬ ‭

Temptation in itself is not sin, for even Christ was tempted yet the scriptures record that He was without sin. However, Jesus was not continually tempted by the same temptation as many people are because He took authority against it, resisted it, rebuked it, and overcame it.

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” – James‬ ‭4:7‬ ‭

We can do the same because the same authority that Christ had, He has given us through His blood and Spirit and the power of the adoption that it afford us, which is grace, the authority of sonship!

“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; …” – Romans‬ ‭8:16-17‬ ‭

“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.” – Romans‬ ‭8:11‬ ‭

If you are a blood bought, born again, Holy Ghost filled child of God then you not only have the authority to kick sin of your life, you have the authority to also chase away the temptation and not allow it to linger at the door of your heart!

Temptation is sin at the door! Think of it as a devil knocking on the door of your heart offering an unholy council. You do not have to open that door! You can tell it to go away and it must obey! This is where “resisting” the devil comes into play.

If you choose to open that door and let it in you have given place to the devil and sin has entered your heart. When you receive the devil’s council you have opened the door and let him in. When you act upon that council you are in open sin and have chosen to give the devil place on the thrown of your heart.

“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 ‭

This is all by your own choice because Jesus suffered and died to grant you the power to say, “no, get ye behind me Satan. You are under my feet. I Am above and you are beneath, I’m not trading places with you. You are a defeated foe! You have to go, in the Mighty Name of Jesus Christ, my King!” Rebuke him, cast him out.

In the same manner we see in scripture that Jesus stands at the door of our heart and knocks also. Yet still, you have to choose to let Him in, to give Him the thrown of your heart, to listen to His Holy council, and to obey it unto righteousness. It’s your choice, it’s all your choice, you have the power to make it. You have been given dominion over your own heart, it is your choice what you give access to it. Even Jesus won’t force His way in, you have to choose to open that door and let Him in. It is the same with sin. It has no dominion over you, the devil only has the authority that you give him. Start believing that and stop giving him dominions that he has already lost. Your victory has already been won, believe it, live it, and by that faith you will overcome.

“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 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. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. (the power and  authority of sonship)” – Romans‬ ‭6:12-14‬ ‭

“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 ‭

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The Hands of Christ 

“Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” – 1 Corinthians‬ ‭12:27‬ ‭

We’ve all heard the phrase, “we are the hands and feet” of Christ. This phrase is an indirect quote that summarizes chapter 12 of the book of 1 Corinthians. The chapter as a whole explains that though Christ’s Spirit still remains, His physical body is no longer in this world. Therefor, until He physically returns on that fateful day, we are to allow our physical bodies to be used by His Holy Spirit to continue His work and ministry in His stead. 

This is why the chapter begins with Paul identifying the spiritual gifts that Christ functioned in and explains that those who have His Spirit will allow themselves to be used as His body continuing His physical work by continuing to function in these gifts, as He did that the overcoming power of the Kingdom of God against the works of the kingdom of Satan would continue to be demonstrated in the earth to the freeing of souls from it’s lies, bondages, and limitations. This is why, “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom!” It is the power to set at liberty those that had been captive! Liberty from fear, from sin, from sickness, from demonic oppression, from torment, from all the works of the devil, because it is authority!

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

This is the truest since of what it means to be the hands of Christ! Demonstrating the authority of the Kingdom! Through out the New Testament when the command was given to “lay hands” on someone, the Authority of the Kingdom of God was about to be demonstrated in the Name of Jesus! The sick were healed, the oppressed delivered and set free, demons cast out, the dead raised, the lame made whole, the Spirit of God was given, gifts were stirred up, callings manifested! The power of Christ’s authority became alive causing people to have faith in the grace (or power) that had been made available to all through Jesus Christ! 

“Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant… But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to EVERY MAN to profit WITHAL.” – 1 Corinthians‬ ‭12:1, 7‬ 

Here’s the exciting news! Nothing has changed! It still works the same today! Only our faith in it has changed so that you see only the rare few who dare to read the bible for themselves and belief it actually walk in the truth and power of it! A lot of people talk the talk but only the few who know who their God is and truly believe actually walk the walk in freedom bringing, hell overcoming, demon stomping, territory taking, life changing, faith stirring, miracle working power and authority! 

“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 ‭16:17-18‬ ‭

“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 ‭

Until Christ returns, we have been given the commission to continue His ministry in every aspect that He preformed it, functioning as His body led by His Spirit moving in His gifts by the power of His grace that He made available to us by His sacrifice. Upon His return, we will all have to face Him and give an account of what we did, or didn’t do with this great gift and commission that He suffered so much to give us. I for one would like to hear those words, “well done, My good and faithful servant. Inter into rest.” Yet I fear for the many who will hear, as the unfruitful servant who buried his talent did in Matthew‬ ‭25:30‬, “cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Note that this was a servant of God, a believer in God, yet he did not make it in because He did not bare fruit for the kingdom. He hid and wasted that which Christ had given all to give to him. Yes, he called Him Lord, yes he believed in Him, but he did not do His will, he trusted in his own ability and buried the gift that God had given him, that had he used, would have allowed him to do greater things then he could have ever done on his own. God would have multiplied and compounded the return of souls for the kingdom like interest on money in the bank if he had just used the gift that he had been given access to. Don’t let other people’s fear and unbelief rob you of your faith unto the hiding of your talents. Let your faith rob other people of their fear and unbelief by the digging up and using of your talents. 

“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. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: …;” – 2 Timothy‬ ‭1:6-8‬ ‭

The gifts are given as tools for the harvest, to continue His work and demonstrate the reality of the authority granted by the victory over Satan that was won for us at Calvary. If you truly believe that Christ overcame His enemy and put Satan under our feet then these signs will follow you because you will walk in victory and authority speaking, doing, and living the power of this good news! If you will only believe, then you will give His Spirit, your body, to do His will. Then will you truly be His hands and feet, then will His gifts and talents be used to the harvesting of souls with interest! Then will signs, wonders, and miracles follow you, because you have believed, truly believed. 

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

Purged For The Master’s Use

“But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.” – 2 Timothy‬ ‭2:20-21‬ ‭

I see this passage in two lights this morning. In the first I see the reality that many times throughout scripture when God desired to use Israel He could not because of sin, rebellion, or complacency in the Kings, priest, governors, and so on. Though He wanted to move through them, He could not do so because it would endorse their actions as acceptable by Him and misrepresent His character. God is Holy, therefor can He only endorse a people that demonstrate who He is to the world and in doing so become a light in the darkness and a beacon on a hill.

So then God would have to purge his people of these impurities through the fires of affliction and trial. Through seasons of being pressed by their enemies, through wildernesses, through times of desperation, dependency, oppression, rebuke, wrath, correction, crying out, and coddling He would slowly work these weaknesses to the surface and skim them away until He had a people that were pure, holy, devoted, and faithful that He could use for His glory.

He does this even to this day in ministries that He desires to use. He cannot endorse with the power of heaven, that which does not rightly represent Heaven. Therefor does He take them through trials, battles, and wildernesses until the vessels of dishonor have been purged and the ministry is refined that He might use it to the fullest of His glory.

“And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.” – Malachi‬ ‭3:3‬

The second light in which I see this truth applied is in the life of the individual believer. Despite what a preacher might have told you at salvation, Jesus never promised that the journey would be easy, only that the destination would be worth whatever it cost you to get there. Not unlike the Israelites in the wilderness, the journey was full of trial but those that made it through entered the Promise pure, even though they lost some vessels of dishonor along the way. 

Likewise each of us carries some junk with us from the Spiritual Egypt (our old life that we were delivered from) and we can’t take that stuff into the Promise Land so the hardships and attacks of the wilderness come to prod us to decide what is most valuable to us that we might be willing to discard the vessels of dishonor that we are still hauling with us from Egypt. There are things that will keep us from the promise God has for us, but if you will be willing to simply purge yourself of those things, then the vessels of honor that are fit for the masters use can enter into promise and be used by Him to the fullest. 

“Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another.” – Isaiah‬ ‭48:10-11

“Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:” – 1 Peter‬ ‭1:6-7‬ ‭

Is Anything Too Hard For God?

“The mountains saw thee, and they trembled: the overflowing of the water passed by: the deep uttered his voice, and lifted up his hands on high. The sun and moon stood still in their habitation: at the light of thine arrows they went, and at the shining of thy glittering spear.” – Habakkuk‬ ‭3:10-11‬ ‭

Mountains tremble before Him, floods obey Him, the sun, moon, and stars stand still for Him, the very universe is the works of His hands, nothing that is would be without Him making it so, is anything too hard for God?

The heavens are silent in anticipation of His words, the dust of the earth comes alive at His breath, the seas part at His unrest, is anything too hard for God?

The sick are healed by His mere thought, at His command the dead are raised, the possessed and oppressed are set free with no battle fought at the mention of His Name, is anything too hard for God

Creation groans, the unknowable made known, the lost were called home, and the ages sewn when He rose to His thrown.

Time was divided, hell’s fate was decided, sin was requited, and love reignited. It’s time to get excited that nothing is too hard for God!

He is smarter, wiser, stronger, more fierce, and more faithful. Whatever you’re facing, our God is able. Believe that He is that which He is and nothing will shake you knowing that He won’t forsake you. And if He be with you, what can overtake you? He’ll make you to breakthrough, He will prepare you a table in the presence of your enemies.

Kingdoms fall before those who believe, if only more had ears to hear and eyes to see the great and mighty things that happen on your knees they would be more eager to run to the King, if they truly believed that nothing is too hard for God.

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

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

Shining The Light Of Love

“Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints; That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.” – Philemon‬ ‭1:5-6‬ ‭

In this, our opening passage, we see what makes ministry effective. That being, to love God first with all your heart. Jesus said, “if you love me, you will keep my commandments.” A true love for God that supersedes a love for self will cause you to do that which is pleasing to the Lord by nature. The love nature over powers the sin nature in the same way that all people have a sexual nature that is fleshly and sinful, yet the love for their spouse over powers that sin nature that when they truly love their spouse more then self, they will not fulfill the lust of the flesh into adultery out of love. In this we see why we are so often referred to in scripture as the bride of Christ. To fulfill the lust of the flesh once becoming the bride of Christ is cheating on God (spiritual adultery) and it breaks his heart for he is a jealous God. Yet if we truly love him, then honoring, serving, and obeying him will be a desire, a joy, and a natural thing just as it is for a bride to her groom. Others seeing this and desiring a love like this will then likewise be inspired to be good and faithful brides also. They will see that you have something different and many will seek out how to obtain it themselves. 

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

The next thing our opening passage identifies is a love for others. All effective ministry is rooted in love. Love for God first and love for others second. Even correction or rebuke must always be rooted in love or it will be of no effect at best and of ill effect at worse. Pride, arrogance, pomp, wrath, preeminence, flattery, fluffery, and the like will minister only death to the hearer, but love covers a multitude of sin. Love will not flatter, it will encourage. Love will not condemn it will correct. Love will not gossip, love prays. Love does not limit, love believes. Love sacrifices, love labors, love endures, love hopes, love fights, and love never gives up. When you truly love others you will minister with the heart of Christ, be it in tender mercies or loving reproof, all will be done in humble loving selfless brokenness. This alone will bring men to Christ for it is love itself that is the witness that turns the hearts of the children back toward the Father and the Father to the children.

“Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.” – 1 John‬ ‭4:17‬ ‭

Lastly, don’t be afraid to let the light of love shine through you for all to see. Show forth charity in the sight of others because not only is love contagious, but it glorifies God who is love. The absence of heat is cold, the absence of light is dark, the absence of God leaves a void for Satan to fill and since God is love, we can conclude that the absence of love is evil. So herein lies the answer to the age old question of why there is so much evil in the world. It is there only because we have given it place through an absence of love manifested, love for God and love for others. So if you really want to see the darkness flee, then ask the Holy Spirit of God to light His flame of love in your heart and bring the light of it to the darkest places. Let love manifest through you in word, deed, and action in the sight of men that faith in the love of God might arise in them. In this alone will you effectively be able to set the hearts of men ablaze and go light the world with the gospel, the good news, the witness of Jesus Christ proven by a testimony of love that nothing can stop.

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” – Matthew‬ ‭5:14-16‬ ‭

“And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:” – Hebrews‬ ‭10:24‬ ‭

“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 ‭

The Wilderness Of Sin

“And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt. And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness:” – Exodus‬ ‭16:1-2‬ ‭

God had just miraculously moved in mighty ways to deliver the Israelites from Pharaoh. God had brought them out of Egypt and defeated their enemies in the Sea before their very eyes. All of Exodus chapter 15 was a song of praise that they sang to God about how He had so moved to bring forth such undeniable and miraculous victories against their foes! Yet as soon as the singing stopped and chapter 16 begins we see that they went from praising God for His great power and might, right into the wilderness of Sin and began murmuring against Him, His methods, His wisdom, and even the very power that had just brought them this great victory. 

The name of this wilderness is by no means a coincidence. In the native tongue, it meant “thorns“. If you recall, thorns did not exist on the earth before sin, but came about because of sin (which is a lack of faith). When Adam and Eve lacked faith in what God said, they doubted what God had originally told them and sinned. Therefore, mans original sin was a lack of faith, or “unbelief“. Because of this “sin“, the ground was cursed and “thorns” came up making life very hard for Adam from then on (Genesis 3:18).

Therefore, this wilderness full of thorns was called Sin for they are one in the same, cause and effect. Therefore when Jesus bore our sin, did He bare also a crown of thorns. Jesus expounds upon this truth in His telling us of the good seed that was sown in thorny ground. He explains that the good seed is His word. It is planted and grows and even produces good fruit! This represents a person who has heard the word of God and received it! It was planted in them and began to manifest through them. It was producing fruit which is the evidence of the faith in our hearts manifesting from our lips and lives! But then these thorns come up and choke it out that it dies! Jesus tells us that the thorns are “the cares of this world”, in other words, fears, worries, doubts, distractions, deceitfulness of riches, a desire for the easy way. In other words, when things got less easy then they gave up the struggle, and the faith in them in what God had both told them and done, died. The thorns stirred up unbelief in the words that God had planted in them and even with the fruit of it laying right before them, they gave up and the thorns won and took over.

“He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.” – Matthew‬ ‭13:22‬ ‭

This is exactly what happened to the Israelite’s. God had told them to do something. He had given them the promise of victory and reward. He had proven His words with great deliverances and victories already! Yet even as the fruit of this lay right before them, as soon as the struggle started to get tough and faith was required to press on, they entered the wilderness of Sin, “the land of thorns”, unbelief sprung up, and they began to murmur their doubts against both Moses and God. Sadly, just like for Adam these thorns of sin would prove to make their lives very miserable from here on out. This began their wondering in the wilderness as they tried year after year to achieve victory their own way in their own strength by their own means and could not, for promise only comes by faith. Therefore was the Promised Land given only to those who chose to believe, having faith that overcame fear even when it didn’t make since. Fear of friends, fear of failure, fear of famine, fear of foes, fear of Giants, and fears of woes. Of the over two million who left Egypt, only two proved to have a faith bigger then all their fears, and of the original two million, only these two (Joshua and Caleb) entered into promise. 

Choose not to be overtaken by the sin of unbelief and die in the wilderness like the Israelites did. Choose to put those thorns under your feet and press on believing, no matter what! And don’t be surprised if it seems that almost no one else “believes” like you do. Almost no one else believed like Johsua and Caleb did and they all missed the promise because of it. There have always only been a few that truly dared to believe, and they were all thought fools for doing so, yet God calls them great before history, and in the end, called them friend and son, saying “well done, My good and faithful one“. 

“Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” – Matthew‬ ‭7:14‬

“But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” – Hebrews‬ ‭3:17-19‬ ‭

“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 ‭

“By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.” – Hebrews‬ ‭11:24-26‬ ‭

The Truth That Sets Men Free

the-risen-christ“Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;” – Ephesians‬ ‭6:14‬ ‭

The most under noted article in the Ephesians 6 Armor of God is probably the belt of truth, yet it is the very thing on which everything else hangs. The belt literally ties everything together and secures it in place. So what is it? It is truth and Jesus is the truth, the way, and the life, no man can go to the Father but through Him. Therefor this breastplate of righteousness that is connected to the truth comes only because of Jesus.

However it goes deeper. The belt is not for looks, it’s not a symbolic piece, it has functions and one of it’s main functions concerning this righteousness that is attached to it, is to hold it in place. Sure you can always choose to take it off willingly if you desire to expose yourself to the wilds of the enemy, but you don’t have too and if you don’t, you won’t loose it because the belt secures it (keeps it in place). So let’s look deeper into the belt.

“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” – John‬ ‭14:16-17‬ ‭

The belt of truth and the Spirit of truth are one in the same. Jesus told His disciples that the Spirit of truth was the comforter and then later in verse 26 reveals that it is the Holy Spirit.

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” – John‬ ‭14:26‬ ‭

So if the Spirit of truth is the Holy Spirit then why did Jesus tell His disciples that this Spirit of truth that the world had rejected already dwelt with them but later would be within them? Because if Jesus is the truth, the way, and the life, then the Spirit of Truth, even the Holy Spirit, is quite literally, Jesus’ Spirit.

“And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” – Galatians‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭

Therefore, because of what Jesus did, we can receive His Spirit within us which changes us into sons and daughters of God and gives us dominion over all the powers of the enemy, thusly it is by this power (the power of the Holy Spirit unto sonship, or grace) that we not only obtain righteousness but it is by the same power or grace that it is held in place, unless we grieving the Holy Spirit choose to take it off.

“And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” – Ephesians‬ ‭4:30‬ ‭

The late Leonard Ravenhill often said, “I do not teach that once receiving the Holy Spirit it is impossible to sin, (free will remains) but I do teach that it is possible not to. It is possible not to! God said that there is no temptation that He has not made a way of escape from. He has made a way through the unmatchable unlimited overcoming power of the Holy Spirit, which is grace! Yet this grace only comes by faith, therefor you must believe that it can before it will. It is possible not to sin but you have to believe that the blood of Jesus made this way before God will send the grace (the Spirit of His son) to empower you to not only put on His righteousness, but keep it on. That belt of truth will hold the breastplate of righteousness in place but you will only be given it by faith, faith in this truth. The truth, the way, and the life, that is to say: the truth that shows you the only way to be raised in newness of life, bearing the peaceable fruits of righteousness, without which no man shall see the Lord. (Hebrews 12:14)

So do you believe? Do you believe that the blood overcomes sin? Do you believe that God is stronger then the devil? Do you believe that He really has made away out of every temptation? Do you believe that when Jesus told the woman at His feet to “go and sin no more”, He with that commandment made a way to obtain it? Do you believe that all power, authority, and dominion belong to Christ? Do you believe that His Spirit lives in you and grants you that same power, authority, and dominion as a joint heir with Christ Jesus? Because Jesus shed His blood to set you free, to give you power over sin, authority over the enemy, to sanctify you by the spirit of grace (the Holy Spirit) granted because of the blood. Therefor, if you do not have faith in the power of the blood to do this, you will not receive the spirit which empowers you by grace to do it. Therefore, the grace only comes by faith.

So what is the truth that sets men free? It’s the truth that you CAN be set free, free from sin, totally free, because whom the Son sets free is free indeed! Do you believe? Because you have to believe! It will only come by faith! Don’t let the devil steal your faith! If you believe, you will receive, and if you receive, you will achieve, for that is the power of God unto us through Christ Jesus our Lord! Gird yourself with this truth and you will be able to stand against ALL the wilds of the devil.

“But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” – Romans‬ ‭8:11-18‬ ‭

“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.” – Romans‬ ‭6:1-7‬ ‭

“For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?” – Hebrews‬ ‭10:26-29‬ ‭

Backed By A Greater Power

“One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the Lord your God, he it is that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you.” – Joshua‬ ‭23:10‬ ‭

I was asked recently to explain the anointing and a visual came to mind. I said, imagine that a prison guard stands in a dorm of 50 inmates and tells them to go to their bunks and nothing happens. Now imagine the exact same scenario only this time there is a swat team standing behind the guard ready to enforce those words. Being backed up by this greater power, the guard says, “go to your bunk” and now something happens. They will move voluntarily because of the greater power standing behind those words, or they will be moved involuntarily by that same power. The guard used the same words and took the same actions, but when there was no power greater then their own backing those words and action it had no effect. However, when those words and actions were backed by a greater power, then breakthrough came. This is why it is the anointing that breaks the yoke and not merely words, rituals, or routines.

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

The anointing comes by way of obedience which is the evidence of true faith. It comes by way of seeking the Lord and leaning not on your own understanding which is the evidence of true faith. It comes by way of prayer and fasting which is the evidence of true faith. It comes by way of selflessness and humility which is the evidence of true faith. In other words, it comes by way of Faith. Faith in who and what God is, and also in what He says.

“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 ‭

If you believe that He is God, that He is all knowing, then seek Him and listen. If you believe that He is unmatchable, that nothing is too hard for Him, that nothing is impossible for Him, then stand up in prayer and obedience and take the land! If you believe that the same power that raised Christ from the dead (which is the power of the Holy Spirit of God – aka grace) lives on the inside of you, then step out and share it with someone. For what you have freely been given, you are commanded to freely give. Believe not only in what He is, but also in what He tells you, and act upon it and the enemy will tremble and flee, knowing the greater power that backs up your words and actions. 

“One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the Lord your God, he it is that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you.” – Joshua‬ ‭23:10‬ ‭