Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Wise Person Will Develop A Habit Of Prayer!

…Steadfastly maintain the habit of prayer (Romans 12:12-J.B. Phillips).
The Father wants us to develop our intimacy in prayer with Him. He wants prayer to become a habit. The prayer habit will be one habit that can transform the atmosphere of your life.
E.W. Kenyon, in his book In His Presence says: Prayer should be as natural as breathing and as enjoyable as eating. Prayer should be as unconscious as our communication with one another. He goes on the say: You can’t spend any length of time in prayer without being affected by it. The quietness, the unshaken faith, the deep unsounded peace that pervades the Godhead, will overflow into the prayer’s life.
Many people find prayer a great challenge. The flesh struggles with relating to a God you can’t see. But God is the Father of spirits. He relates to our spiritual nature, not to our mentality and emotions. Here are some tips to help develop the prayer habit.
First, you must know that the Father sees you as righteous; that is. As though you had never sinned! Our sin debt has been completely paid by Jesus, and God sees us as pure as Jesus before Him! It’s as though we have never sinned!
Secondly, you must know that The Father loves you as much as He does His own Son. In John 17:23, Jesus prays that he Father will reveal to us the fact that You have loved them as you have loved me!  You must know that you are endeared to the heart of the Father, and that He wants your companionship and fellowship.
Then you must begin to develop your fellowship with Him based on your right standing with Him according to the Word; not according to your feelings. Take some time to get alone and just tell Him that you love Him and tell Him how glad you are to be saved from sin and redeemed from hell. Regardless of feeling, talk to Him!!
Then, remind God of what His word says about you, and of what His word says about answered prayer. Talk to Him in specific terms about every single concern you have in life, and ask Him specifically to help you.
Share your heart life with Him. Bear to Him your thoughts and feelings about everything in your life. Tell Him everything; the good and the bad!  Ask for His mercy, aid, and help.
Take time too to pray in the spirit, in other tongues. Your spirit, in communion with the Holy Spirit will pray God’s perfect will in all areas of your life.
Start slowly. You may pray to begin with for ten or fifteen minutes. That’s just fine. If you keep it up every day, you’ll find the need to pray longer. You’ll find it easier and easier to express your heart and you’ll begin to want to take more time.
Life will become a partnership between you and the Father. You’ll begin to talk over every problem, every challenge, and every circumstance good and bad with Him. And before long, you will have developed and unconscious communion with Him that will erase fear and worry from your life.

Prayer will become an unconscious act of communion throughout your day. Daunting impossibilities will turn into opportunities for your Father to show Himself strong in your life. You’ll begin to fulfill Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

It's Time To Be Spiritually Alert And Awake!

I had a dream some time ago which I believe was from the Lord. It prompted me to get up earlier than usual that morning to pray. In the dream, I was with a number of people from our church. The setting seemed to be that we were engaging the enemy in some kind of battle.
We all had rifles and weapons. I was being fired upon by a guy with a rifle. And I was asking the others with me to help cover me. But instead of helping, they were just sitting there with their arms by their side as if in a semi-conscious state or half-sleeping. They just would not help me. I shot at the enemy myself and I was concerned that I would be hit. Those with me seemed oblivious to my plight! I called out and called out but those with me just would not help me!
We are living in dangerous days just prior to the rapture of the church and the second coming of Christ. The world is quickly changing, and events are leading towards the return of Jesus to earth! We should be rising up to win the lost and minister to the multitudes in darkness around us. This is the time to believe for a harvest of souls and to be aggressive in the things of God.
Yet too many believers act as though they are asleep, absorbed in life and its activities and unaware of the actual dangers that are around spiritually. Soldiers must remain alert if they are to prevail in conflict.
A battle is not won by an army of one! A battle is won when the soldiers work together for the common cause of victory, helping one another and together aggressing to root out the enemy. When one soldier is attacked the others come to his aid.
Let’s arouse ourselves out of our slumber and pay attention to what happening around us with the deepening darkness. We have the tools for victory in this fight of faith. We have the Word of God, the Name of Jesus, the blood of Jesus, and praise and worship as the weapons of our warfare. If we sleep in the day of battle, we will lose the fight. But if we remain alert and aware, the Lord will enable us to win!
And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts (Romans 13:11-14).
But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.  But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief.
You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.
Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him (1 Thessalonians 5:1-10).
Stay awake!

Monday, September 15, 2014

With Every Act Today, We Are Planting Seeds That We Will Harvest In Our Future!

While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease (Genesis 8:22).
Seedtime and harvest is a universal law of God on earth and in the kingdom of God. Everyday, with every act, we are planting seeds that will produce a harvest!
The harvest is determined by the seeds that are planted.
What kind of harvest are you expecting in the various areas of your life? Look at the seeds currently being planted by your words, thoughts, attitudes, and actions! Tomorrow’s health, material well being, relational stability, spiritual stamina, etc., are determined by what you sow today. You just don’t get something for nothing!
Give and it will be given to you: good measure pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you (Luke 6:38). This law is as stable as the rising and setting of the sun. Cooperate with it, and you’ll have a life of blessing. Work against it, and misery will keep you company!
Paul said it this way: Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
Let’s sow seeds today that will benefit the kingdom of God, and that will bring blessing to others and to our own lives. Sow time in the Word and in prayer today. Sow words that bless, heal, inspire, quicken, and mend. Sow attitudes that will glorify God and exalt Jesus. Sow actions that will produce health and plenty.

You’re casting seed today with every action, and you will harvest that seed in your future. Make it count!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Act Like God Does And Call Those Things That Do Not Exist As Though They Did!

(As it is written, "I have made you a father of many nations) in the presence of Him whom he believed — God, Who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did (Romans 4:17).
God wants us to imitate Him in all things. One of the ways He desires that we imitate Him is in calling those things that do not exist as though they did. The above verse is rich in helping us understand the basic concepts of walking by faith.
First of all, notice that it says that God calls things that do not exist as though they did. Calls in this verse refers to speaking words. And that’s an important part of understanding faith. Faith must be released with words!  And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, "I believed and therefore I spoke, we also believe and therefore speak (2 Corinthians 4:13). But what does it say? The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart (that is, the word of faith which we preach) (Romans 10:8).
Faith never floats out of our heart independent of our words. Words convey faith from the human spirit to God.
Then notice in this verse that God calls those things that do not exist as though they did. He changed Abram (exalted father) to Abraham (father of a multitude). Jesus is the lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Everything exists in two realms; first the spiritual and then the natural. God spoke the world into existence from things unseen with words (Hebrews 11:3).
To put this together, I must speak what God says about me and my life even when it doesn’t seem that it is true. I must say I believe I’m healed according to the word while the symptoms get worse in my body. I must say my God is meeting all my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus while the bills are piling up. I must say in all these things I am more than a conqueror through Him who loved me while I feel defeated. I must say He promised to never leave me or forsake me even when I feel alone!
Faith receives before it sees the results. It believes before there is any manifestation of the answer to prayer. And it talks the way it wants things to be, not the way they are!
I have lived this way now for many years. Obstacle after obstacle, challenge after challenge has come my way just as they come to your life. Through the years I have made a choice to act in faith by calling those things which do not exist as though they did when sickness, overbearing circumstances, financial lack, or whatever comes my way. And time and time again God has proven Himself faithful to His Word.

Years ago we outgrew the church building we built. I asked the Lord for a new piece of property with a new building adequate for long term growth. And then the test began. My board and I looked for several years at all kinds of property and buildings and it seemed as though we hit a wall at every turn.

For years I reminded God of His word over and over again. I thanked Him for providing the property and building we needed even though nothing seemed to be working out. I knew that if I trusted God and acted as though I believed His Word by calling those things that do not exist (that are not visibly seen that I asked God for) as though they did exist and were mine, that sooner or later they would manifest! Some days I wondered how long it would take, and the temptation came to doubt. But, I would instead say out loud what i believed and the doubts would leave!

We have been in that new property for a year now! God honored His Word. I have hundreds of stories in my own life just like that.  Start today to call those things that do not exist as though they did and watch the miracle working power of God work for you too!

Friday, September 12, 2014

God Will Finish What He Started In You!

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns (Phil 1:6 – NLT).
This verse has been a great encouragement to me over the years. Discouragement and disappoint affect us all at times. At one point in my life, it seemed as though all that the Lord had done in my life was for nothing. The enemy attacked me with discouragement as I looked back at where I had been and then looked at where I was at that time in my walk with the Lord. My goals had not been realized. My plans had been hampered by circumstances beyond my control.
I’ve found that the toughest times in life can actually be the times of greatest spiritual growth. As fire tempers metal, difficulties have a way of bringing the dross, the negative things that hinder life, to the surface in us. And then the Father in His gentle, loving way begins the process of ministering life and changing us.
The Holy Spirit is the earnest of our inheritance. When the Father brought you into His family, He placed a down payment within you. The indwelling Holy Spirit is the guarantee that He will finish what He started.
Listen to Him speak to you today:
The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands (Psalm 138:8).  
The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day (Proverbs 4:18 - NIV).
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13).
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:18).
The Lord is well able to finish what He started in you. Don’t give up while in process!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Feed Your Faith the Way You Feed Your Body Every Day!

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17).
We need to feed our faith daily on the Word to keep it strong just like we feed our bodies daily for energy! Our Faith is the victory that overcomes the attacks that come against us in a fallen world. Hear Jesus says to us today: If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.
Right now in the circumstances of our lives our faith is either pulling us towards or unbelief is pushing us away from: healing in some part of our bodies, financial supply, change in a grueling circumstance, a better job position,  or daily ministry to the unsaved.
Time spent building up our faith today by meditating in the Word will ensure that we’ll have the needed faith when a crisis arises in life or with some family member. We should not wait until we need it to get faith. We should plan ahead and build it up now. I take time every day to meditate on scripture and build up my faith. In the end, it’s what we can believe that determines what we receive from the Lord.
We should not be like the people in Jesus’ hometown who limited Him by their unbelief. Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them.  And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching (Mark 6:5-6). We should give Jesus the ability to live big in us and minister strongly through us by keeping our faith fed on the word of God every day.
I’ll leave you with these familiar passages that I actually meditated on this morning. These are part of my personal daily meditation:

God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? (Numbers 23:19)

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly (Psalms 84:11)
My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips (Psalm 89:34).
Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven (Psalm 119:89).
The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever (Isaiah 40:8).

So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void,
but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
(Isaiah 55:11).

Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am ready to perform My word.”(Jeremiah 1:12).

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away (Matthew 24:35).
For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them (Mark 11:23-24).


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Grace Is God's Ability To Help You Do What You Can't Do Yourself!

But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in your weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me. So for the sake of Christ, I am well pleased and take pleasure in infirmities, insults, hardships, persecutions, perplexities and distresses; for when I am weak [in human strength], then am I [truly] strong (able, powerful in divine strength) (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

Grace is unmerited favor. Another definition of grace that I came across years ago is God’s ability to help you do what you can’t do yourself. Grace helps your inability and your weakness. We’re helpless to save ourselves from our sins so God’s gives us His grace through faith and we enter the family of God and our sins are cleansed.
Faith changes things and circumstances as we exercise it and stand in the tough times. But grace is directed towards us personally. Faith changes things but grace changes people.
Grace helps me in every small detail of life. Grace quickens, empowers, motives, and changes me. Jesus by the grace of God took our sins and freed us from its wages. When I come to the end of myself and feel whipped, defeated, and powerless, grace enters, lifts me up, and enables me in the impossible circumstance.
Hebrews 4:16 tells us that God’s throne is a throne of grace. We can approach it with boldness to find the necessary strength to face every challenge that life brings our way.
Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God's unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it] (Hebrews 4:16 - Amplified).
Grace is accessed by prayer.  Jesus obtained the grace in the garden of Gethsemane during a time of prayer to go to the cross and become our sin.  And He was withdrawn from them about a stone's throw, and He knelt down and prayed,  saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”  Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him (Luke 22:41-43).

That angel no doubt brought the grace to Jesus necessary for Him to fulfill His mission to become our sin, be separated from His Father, and pay our sin debt. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God might taste death for everyone (Hebrews 2:9).

Today, grace is available for every challenge you face. Divine ability is waiting for you to tap into it to help you in family matters, in tense relationships on the job, in situation with your children, or to enable you to conquer a life dominating habit. Let’s approach the throne of grace early today and obtain the necessary grace for this day’s challenges. We are never alone. The Father’s ability, strength, wisdom, guidance, life, power, and nature are ours today. It’s called GRACE. Spend some knee time today accessing it!