Friday, August 26, 2016

The Floods and Winds Of Life Will Destroy A Person Who Willfully Chooses To Ignore God's Counsel

Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall (Matthew 7:24-27).

The foundation of a house determines its strength. Wind and water are powerful forces of nature, but a house built on the right foundation can remain strong when they rise against it.
Likewise, a person who chooses to be a doer of the Word of God, that is ,to put the Word into practice, has a firm foundation in life. Adversity has many faces and comes to us from so many sources, but a person who chooses to live life by obeying the Word will come out on top every time!
The Word of God never changes nor will it ever fade into useless nothingness. It’s eternal (Matthew 24:35). The Word of God will always accomplish the purpose for which it was sent (Isaiah 55:11). The Word has been sent by the Father to produce forgiveness, healing, strength, love, joy, patience, victory, prosperity, and abundance.

The Father is always watching over His Word to make it good where believed (Jeremiah 1:12). Earthly things wear out, but the Word of God endures and is ageless (Isaiah 40:8). It is stronger than rock, and is forever established and settled (Psalm 119:89). The Father will never break the covenant He has with His Word. It will always produce fruit, and will be honored by the Father in the life of whoever believes it (Psalm 89:34)!
Since the Father’s Word is so sure, the best assurance of a blessed future is obeying and lining your life up with the Word of God right now. A step away from the Word is inviting disaster. A decision to go your own way at the neglect of the Word is an invitation for the thief to invade your life by stealing, killing, and destroying in some way. It’s a real bad idea to forsake the Word of God for your own way!
I’m still amazed at how a person can hear the Word week after week, month after month, and year after year, and still refuse to act on it when challenges come. Don’t ever let yourself get so burdened that you make a decision that is contrary to the Word. Never turn a deaf ear to God’s will as found in the Word. That decision is a disaster in the making. The flood and winds of life will destroy a person who willfully chooses to ignore the Father’s counsel.
Over the years I’ve seen people overcome great adversity and succeed when failure seemed apparent by simply firmly choosing to obey God’s Word when it was not the most convenient or the most comfortable thing to do. You’ll always come out on top if you’ll obey God and stand on His Word. It’s not always the easiest route. And yes, there are challenges when you choose the Father’s way through the Word. But the end result will always be the same. Victory, success, peace, and joy will rule your life!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Obedience, Prayer, Spiritual Strength, And The End Of Self-Effort

The last couple of days I’ve been talking about Ezekiel 47 and the river that flows from the Millennial Temple and how it speaks so strongly in our day of the moving of the Holy Spirit among us. Today I want to look more closely at Ezekiel 47 and the different levels of water that may give insight into what it takes to allow the Holy Spirit to use you in this hour.

Measuring as he went, he took me along the stream for 1,750 feet and then led me across. The water was up to my ankles. 4 He measured off another 1,750 feet and led me across again. This time the water was up to my knees. After another 1,750 feet, it was up to my waist. Then he measured another 1,750 feet, and the river was too deep to walk across. It was deep enough to swim in, but too deep to walk through. (Ezekiel 47:3-5).

Water up to my ankles is literally water to the soles of the feet. This speaks of our walk of obedience to the Father. The Father tells us in Isaiah 1:19 that if we are willing and obedient we will eat the good of the land, but that we will be consumed by the enemy if we walk disobediently! God told Israel that they could have the land that their feet treat on: Every place on which the sole of your foot treads shall be yours… (Deuteronomy 11:24). A life of blessing is not automatic. We must purposely pursue God’s best for our lives. We must pursue the will of God!

Water up to the knees speaks of the power of a consecrated prayer life. Jesus tells us that if we will meet Him in the secret place, He will reward us openly with His Spirit and power (Matthew 6:6). We are as powerful as we are prayerful! Only as we pray with fervency can we see the full purpose that God has for us individual and corporately fulfilled!

Water up to the waist speaks of spiritual strength. Paul encourages us to gird our waist with truth (Ephesians 6:14). It’s the Word of God that provides spiritual strength! …I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one (1 John 2:14). Isaiah 33:6 reveals: Wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of your times, and the strength of salvation. Wisdom and Knowledge is the Word of God! We can only be strong in the Lord as we are strong in the Word! This provides a foundation for the Holy Spirit to be able to use you!

Finally, Ezekiel mentions water deep enough to swim in. This speaks of the end of self-effort in the life of a Christian. The Lord wants each one of us to come to place that we  turn over to Him the reigns of our life or the the control of our life! Smith Wigglesworth perhaps summed it up well when he said: All of me-none of God; less of me-more of God; none of me-all of God!

Lord, help us all to relinquish control of our day through obedience and prayer. May we step out into the deeper water of Your Presence, Your Word, and Your Spirit where You carry us where You will, and where you enable us to be a blessing to others!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Three Important Traits We All Need To Develop to Be Used By God

I believe the Lord is endeavoring to move the church into a place where the Holy Spirit can flow freely to through us to others. His passion is for every believer to be used to minister life to others. As we open ourselves up to be obedient to the Holy Spirit’s  promptings, expect the signs and wonders that follow the ministry of the Word to increase! (Mark: 16:20).

Yesterday I began discussing the river that flows from the Millennial Temple of God and how that is analogous to the moving of the Holy Spirit right now in our day. The water flowed from the temple, and the farther it flowed the deeper it went; ankle deep, knee deep, waist deep, and waters to swim in (See Ezekiel 47:1-9). Here are a few thoughts about the water flowing from this temple and how it applies to the moving of the Holy Spirit among us right now at the end of the church age.

Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; and there was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple faced east; the water was flowing from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar (Ezekiel 47:1).

Notice that the water flows out, not in! The Holy Spirit will work in us only as we get our eyes off of ourselves and began to live to bless others. Put yourself last and others first. An acronym for JOY is Jesus, Others, You. Remember that Job was delivered from his terrible plight when he prayed for his friends (Job 42:10). Jesus said give and it shall be given to you (Luke 6:38). The Spirit can flow from us when we put others first!

Notice in this verse also that the water flowed from the Temple, a Holy place. Only as we pursue the holiness of God will the anointing of the Spirit flow. We’re encouraged to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God (2 Corinthians 7:1)! We are to be holy in all our conduct, for it is written, be holy, for I am holy (1 Peter 1:14-15). Purity precedes power!

Lastly notice that the water flowing from the temple flowed from under the threshold. This speaks to us of the humility of spirit by which we should live. Notice Isaiah 57:15:
For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. Personal humility draws the presence of God!

Peter tells us, Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5).  John the Baptist proclaimed, He must increase, but I must decrease! (John 3:30).

Let’s make a choice today to put others first, to pursue holy living, and to live in humility so that the Spirit of God can use us with His might and power to give glory to Jesus and to bless others!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Mitch Horton Live: Are You Willing To Step Into The River of God?

Mitch Horton Live: Are You Willing To Step Into The River of God?: In my vision, the man brought me back to the entrance of the Temple. There I saw a stream flowing east from beneath the door of the Temple...

Are You Willing To Step Into The River of God?

In my vision, the man brought me back to the entrance of the Temple. There I saw a stream flowing east from beneath the door of the Temple and passing to the right of the altar on its south side. The man brought me outside the wall through the north gateway and led me around to the eastern entrance. There I could see the water flowing out through the south side of the east gateway. Measuring as he went, he took me along the stream for 1,750 feet and then led me across. The water was up to my ankles. He measured off another 1,750 feet and led me across again. This time the water was up to my knees. After another 1,750 feet, it was up to my waist. Then he measured another 1,750 feet, and the river was too deep to walk across. It was deep enough to swim in, but too deep to walk through. He asked me, "Have you been watching, son of man?" Then he led me back along the riverbank. When I returned, I was surprised by the sight of many trees growing on both sides of the river. Then he said to me, "This river flows east through the desert into the valley of the Dead Sea. The waters of this stream will make the salty waters of the Dead Sea fresh and pure. There will be swarms of living things wherever the water of this river flows. Fish will abound in the Dead Sea, for its waters will become fresh. Life will flourish wherever this water flows (Ezekiel 47:1-9 - NLT).

We’re living in the time that the Father will be fulfilling the prophecy of Joel 2:28 in full! He desires to pour out His Spirit on all flesh! And this is the time for the body of Christ to take full advantage of our personal relationship with the Father through the Holy Spirit.

In the above passage, Ezekiel saw the future Temple of God and saw a river flowing from it. The water began as shallow as ankle deep and grew in depth; from ankle deep to knee deep, to waist deep, until it became waters to swim in!

The river speaks to us church age folk of the anointing of the Holy Spirit and its rise in our lives and ministries, and of the harvest of souls that we should seek to bring into the kingdom of God.

There is rising a stream as it were of the Holy Spirit that the Father desires that we jump into. We must be willing to get wet if we want God’s best. We must be willing to go where the Holy Spirit through the Word is leading us! At first, we’re ankle deep, and for the most part we can choose our direction.

Then as the water of the Spirit gets deeper, we feel the tug and weight of the water. Knee deep, we can still push ahead in some self-effort. Waist deep water is more difficult to navigate. It takes a lot of flesh effort to resist the waist deep water’s tug.

But when the water becomes deep, perhaps over the head, and becomes waters to swim in, we become completely controlled by the current of the water! And that’s where the Lord wants to take all of us; to a place where we are no longer in control of our lives. He is in control. We simply allow Him to take us where He wills!

Jesus called this abiding in the vine in John 15. Paul said it this way in Acts 17:28, In Him we live and move and have our being! Paul also referred to this process of giving control of us over to the Father in Galatians 2:20: I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Be willing to step out into the River of God! Allow Him to work in you to the point that you’re willing for Him to decide what is best for your life; you’re willing to risk letting go of the reigns of your life and you’re willing to do whatever He says! He wants us to allow Him to use us to minister to others. People are desperate to experience the Jesus that lives in us. It’s not about trying to be a good Christian. It is about us relating personally with Jesus in His word and in prayer until we experience overflow. And then from that overflow, we minister God’s life, compassion, love, kindness, peace, mercy, and forgiveness to those around us who are walking in darkness.

Monday, August 22, 2016

God Wants Every Christian Involved In Ministering Life To Others!

And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs (Mark 16:20).

I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father (John 14:12).

I believe that God is doing something new and fresh in the church as a whole today. He is seeking to move every Christian out of their comfortable spot and into the front lines of ministry to the individuals around us everyday.

I believe that God’s emphasis today is to empower us as individuals to go out into our world of job, school, social activities and the normal routines of life and be used by Him to minister to those we come in contact with!

Those that do not have a relationship with God are in a quandary of doubt and fear as they see the world as a whole escalating out of control with no answers to the huge problems we all face. Jesus is the hope of the world, and the light of the world. And faith in God’s promises and in His love can ready and prepare all of us for the days ahead. Simply put, we have a lot of hope to share! But sanctify the Lord God[a] in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear (1 Peter 3:15).

The emphasis is now on the ordinary believer to go and do the work of ministering life to those we come in contact with! In the past the emphasis in some circles has been on the anointed man or woman of God. God wants us to broaden our thinking. Every believer is anointed with a gifting that God wants to use them in to bless others! God will answer believing prayer, regardless of who prays that prayer!

Let’s begin now to see every single day as an opportunity for God to receive glory in the way we live on the job, in the home, at school, in our social and leisure activities. Let’s begin to see every person we meet the way God would see them, as a person made in His image created to give him glory. Let’s look through the outer package as see the real person with hurts, pain, insecurity, in need of a loving Savior.

Let’s begin now to ask God every day to make us a blessing to others. When I came to the Lord forty years ago, Kenneth Hagin was one of my spiritual mentors. I read his books and listened to his messages voraciously. One things he mentioned struck a note in me. He said that many Christians pray and ask God to bless them. He said that we don’t need to pray for things that God has already given us.  We are already blessed according to Ephesians 1:3: All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.

Instead of praying to be blessed, Kenneth Hagin said we should rather pray that God would make us a blessing to others every day. That challenged me and changed my thinking. Then God gave me a scripture in Isaiah that really changed my focus. Isaiah 50:4 reads: The Lord God has given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to hear as the learned.

Let’s go about our affairs today and every day from now on, asking God to use us to minister life to others. Our obedience to speak words of life and encouragement may make the difference between heaven and hell, success and failure, sickness or health, marriage or divorce in the people we contact today. Let’s choose to be a blessing! Let’s be ready for God to use us!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Our Prayer Life Determines What God Does In And Through Us!

And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God. (Luke 24:53).

These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers (Acts 1:14).

So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart (Acts 2:46).

And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness (Acts 4:31).

Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God (Luke 6:12).
The foundation for all that God does in us and through us is in our prayer life. Jesus set the standard. Jesus’ days of ministry were preceded by nights of intense praying. The early church was formed in the incubator of prayer after Jesus ascension.
The kingdom of God functions on the prayers of the saints. The mighty forces that shape the world are not physical but spiritual. The answer to every challenge we face is first of all found in that place of solace in prayer with the Father. If Jesus heeded the importance of praying things out in His earth walk, should we not heed His example?
We’re facing pressures unheard of in previous generations. The climax of the ages is upon us. God has a grand and glorious strategy for the church in this hour. And it begins and ends on our knees! To neglect the place of prayer is to neglect the very purpose and plans of the Father for life.
Start today. Move yourself into a deeper place of prayer. Find a private place, and begin to tell the Father how wonderful He is to you. Ask Him to help you pour out your heart to Him. Then, take to Him every concern and problem. Give Him the details of what bothers you. Then ask Him to intervene and bring the solution. Remind Him of the promises of His Word to you. Spend time in thanksgiving for the answer.
While praying, take time to pray in tongues. This is the most effective form of prayer. Praying in the spirit enables you to pray the perfect will of God about the unknown future. It enables you to pray the will of God into manifestation in so many ways! Don’t neglect this secret weapon God has given to you! Use it regularly and watch the forces of the enemy back up!
The success of your day today begins in your prayer closet. Make it count!