Posts tagged ‘Christian’

I’m a Survivor: are You Ready to get in the Faith Fight

Numbers 13:25-33- and they returned from spying out the land after 40 days. Now they departed and came back to Moses and Aaron and all the congregation…..then Caleb said,” let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it. But the men who had come up with him said, “we are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.”

Even though your faith fight might seem like a one on one fight, it’s really a team effort. God’s agenda is not an individual agenda. His agenda is a corporate one.

God doesn’t just want to bless one. He wants to bless all. We get so focused on singular thinking that we lose focus that God is not just for me, rather he is for all. We are the Body of Christ, not merely a limb. We all have a role, an important role.

We are a household of faith.

John 10:16- “I have other sheep too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd. ”

The singular mindset is against the Kingdom of God. It is an infestation of selfishness.

God wants to strengthen your faith individually, so that your corporate faith will be strengthened. When our individual faith rises, the entire Body is elevated.

The enemy is not trying to destroy your life because of you alone, but he fears what we can do together,

In the key verses, 10 spies saw obstacles. 2 saw opportunity.

The difference in those who obtain the promise and those who don’t…can be found in how you handle the opposition. We have to fight to obtain every promise that God has set aside for us.

Caleb and Joshua had a different spirit. They were ready to deal with the adversity and believe in God’s promise to them. They were ready to go all in with God.

There is a false doctrine that if it is God’s will, then it will automatically happen. We engage God’s will by faith. He has an agenda for us all, but we must actively engage it by faith in order to accomplish it.

2 kings 18:1-6- Hezekiah, son of Ahaz, began to rule over Judah……he remained faithful to the Lord in everything and carefully obeyed all the commands The Lord had given Moses.

When you fight for God’s agenda, God will fight for your agenda.

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Living in the Zone: The Principles of Multiplication (video) Robert Morris

Luke 9:12- Feeding the Multitudes with the fish and bread.

Understand that this was 5000 men, but women and children were not counted. There may have been almost 25-30k people altogether.

Principles of multiplication

1. It has to be blessed before it could multiply. What is the disciples had given out the food without Jesus blessing it? When we give our tithe, the rest of our money is blessed and God multiplies it.

2. It has to be given away before it can multiply. What if the disciples had eaten it after it was blessed instead of giving it away?

Tithing is NOT giving. Tithing is returning.

Let the Church Say “AMEN”!

I was having a discussion with a woman who was visiting our church last night. She was telling me how she was new to this whole “church thing”, and that she believed that God was with her wherever she was. She didn’t believe that she needed to be in a church in order to be a Christian. In fact, she is not alone in her belief. Have you ever heard anyone say that they feel like he or she can be a better Christian outside of church than inside of it? If you’ve ever heard anyone use that statement, or some variation of it, it is usually followed by a rant on how hypocritical churches are, how everyone tries to act like they are perfect, how nobody is real in church today.

 

In part, she is correct. You don’t have to go to church to be a Christian, and God does hear our prayers at home just as clearly as He does in a church. He can receive our worship at home just as easily as He can receive it in church. But I wonder how Christians can disregard His command that we not forsake the assembling of ourselves together.  Even in Hebrews 10:25, we are commanded to “not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing.” There are numerous reasons why it is important for Christians to meet together regularly. We can encourage each other, grow one another, assist one another, prepare one another, forgive one another, and many more things. It’s during this time that we are prepped for the work that each individual is called and chosen to do in their community.  When I hear the argument against church buildings, it just feels to me like a complete cop out. Yes, I know that there are people everyday who are hurt and wounded, scarred and scorned within church bodies. I hate that this stuff happens, and to me it seems that this happens because we are not being lead by the Holy Spirit enough. I also understand that we can thrive when in the right fellowship, and sometimes that takes time. But it just feels wrong that so many sit on the sidelines and criticize instead of getting involved. Yes, God is with us always, in every situation, but He knows how important those relationships are to our spiritual growth and maturity. In the early church, they worked everything out as a body. They gave all that they had for the uplifting and establishment of the church in that society. But even more, we have to remember that the church building is nothing but a symbolic atmosphere. Church is not a place that we go to. Church is who we are. Jesus even said as much when he declared that we are the temples of the Holy Spirit.

 

So, we see that church is not something that we do. We don’t do church. We ARE church. The same praise and worship; the same bible study that happens on Sunday mornings or Wednesday evenings, should be the same thing happening in our lives every day. How else can the church be effective if this is not happening? I would also argue that if we are honest with ourselves, we surely have to know that the reason many of our church buildings are not as effective as they could be stems from the lack of Christians willing to step in and step up to their callings. I believe that God created the church to be an entity of self -preserving power from the Holy Spirit. He calls people to church assemblies because they possess gifts and talents that can help prepare and equip that assembly to affect radical change in that community.  In every church body there is everything that church needs to be successful.

 

So, to me, a Christian who has time to complain about what church is not, needs to focus inward. Maybe the reason that your particular church is not meeting your expectations is because you aren’t doing your part. Don’t sow seeds of sedition. Be the change that you want to see in your church.  If there is a ministry that you think would meet your needs, chances are that it would meet others’ needs as well. Start it! DO something! Do ANYTHING! Make sure that your life AS the church is filled with the Spirit of God, so that your life IN the church assembly can be fruitful and powerful.  There is no perfect church, but there are churches all over the world in the midst of being perfected by the Spirit of God.

 

Maybe it is time that we pray for God to take us back to the early days of the church, as seen in Acts. It was a place where nobody had too much, and nobody had too little. It was a place where not only the Apostles did work, but the congregation bared an equal responsibility to preach the word with urgency and love, and signs followed them as well.  It was a church on fire, a Body in the world, yet living very much beyond it. And while it should be easier for us to be more effective, with social media, etc, the true battle lies in our own hearts. We persecute each other, because we are not truly BEING the church.

 

Christ is returning for a church without spot or blemish. What will He find in us, Church?

 

Until next time, be blessed.

Breaking New Ground: Is Your Soul Pregnant?

Spirit- redeemed at salvation
Soul- In process of redemption
Body- redeemed in Heaven

Gal 5;16-17- walk in the spirit and you will not fulfill the desires of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.

Your flesh will always try to lead you against God. The Spirit does the opposite. This is a never ending conflict. We can never stop fighting.

-Just because I have wrong feeling doesn’t mean I’m bad, because the flesh will always desire the old habits and things. I have to realize this and fight against them. We often condemn ourselves because of what we think. As a Christian, our job is to take those feelings and place the under subjection to God. Take captive ever bad thought to the Spirit of God. We have the power. W have to do it.

-We try to justify our flesh. We compare how we think that we are doing in our flesh as opposed to another time. This makes us callous and ignorant to our true condition. Many times we don’t allow our everyday sin to bother us. If sin in our live doesn’t bother us, we have allowed ourselves to be ruled by our flesh.

James 1:18-21- of his own will, he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might b. kind of first fruits of his creatures. So then, my bellowed brethren, be swift to hear…..therefore Lu aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word

-God will always impregnate me first, then give me the baby later. It doesn’t happen right away. You receive the word first, then see the fruit later. Our problem is that we want to hold the baby without going through the pain and trials of the pregnancy. We don’t wanna understand the hardships that come along with the process. We give up way to easily.

-How do we get pregnant? By the word of God sticking to our spirits. God wants to impregnate us o that he can bring forth fruit.

Heb1:3- whatever God speaks, He upholds it by His power.

Gen 1:3 God said let there be light…day 1
Gen 1:16- God made 2 great lights

Th first words that God spoke are still being upheld by His power.

-if God spoke something to my spirit, IT’S STILL ON!!!!

Something Short

At our church, we have been on a 21 day fast. We are in the last week presently. I can say that this has been one of the most fulfilling fasts that I have ever embarked on, partly because this time for some reason, I have been able to remain focused. I was looking forward to this fast before it even began. I believe that there is something marvelous happening in my life and in the lives of others throughout my church, and churches around the world. There are so many who are fasting right now. I think it’s completely fabulous to see so many starting the year off on a sacrificial note. Over the course of this fast, I think that God has been impressing upon me the benefits of a positive, faith filled life. Even though our struggles have really been hard, for the most part I haven’t been able to dwell on them. Instead, I’ve focused more on God’s goodness. Sure, there have been times where I’ve wanted to condemn myself for sins of the past that have been forgiven for, but God has really been faithful during this time.

Last night though, seems like all at once I felt the weight of everything that has been happening just land on my shoulders. I felt worry, anxiety, fear. I understand that this is a natural happening, and I have been praying since last night and into today, because I refuse to give in. I serve a good God, and my spirit realizes that everything happens for a divine purpose. God is building ministry into my wife and me. And while my mind continues to toss around “what if” statements, I know that God’s rest is here for me to walk in. I know that His peace is here for me to clothe myself in. That hope hakes all the difference in the world.

So why this post? I don’t know. I just think that sometimes it’s good to encourage others by what you are going through. Sometimes it is hard to keep a “God centered” view on life in the middle of the storm, but God will choose to redeem us FROM the struggle, or He will redeem us THROUGH the struggle. It’s our job to learn to praise him WHILE we struggle. If we ask, the Holy Spirit will help us remain focused. It is that focus on Him, that can translate into overcoming faith, regardless of the trial or tribulation.

So, stay hopeful. Receive His rest and His peace. That is my prayer for you today.

Be blessed!

Just a Blurt

There are some times when God blesses with such expediency that it sends shock waves through your system. Times when we see the results of Him moving with such precision that it is astounding to us. I just want to say this morning that God can touch any of us at any time that He pleases. His arms are not too short, neither are his ears deaf, his eyes short sighted. His plans are fool proof. His goals are recession proof. His dreams for us are failure proof. And while our faith will never be perfect, all it takes is just a little for God to move mountains on our behalf.

Yesterday evening at prayer, my wife and I really took the opportunity to pour out our hearts to God. We lifted everything up to Him, praying for whatever came to mind, and whatever cause came to mind. We prayed for the Kingdom of God to be born anew in our hearts, that the passion and fire for God that we knew once in our first conversion would never be stifled again. We prayed for those who had blessed us, and those that we will be able to bless in the future. We prayed that this year of shifts and changes, this year of tests and trials in the hearts of Christians would be so beneficial that Satan would be fearful even now of results yet to come forth. Friends, there is something so powerful in the works, but it begins in our hearts and minds. It begins in our spirits. As we strive connection with God and our fellow Christians, the things that we will see happen in this calendar year will have ramifications throughout the rest of our lives. I realize this sounds so vague, and I’m no prophet, but I just feel in my heart that God will astound us this year, and because of this, we will go forth and conquer new ground at a frantic pace.  So, I just want to encourage you. Stand firm. Speak life. Stay close to God. Don’t despise the things of God, no matter how insignificant they might seem to us. Esteem what He esteems as important. When you fail, get back up and look ahead, not behind. Don’t spend so much time focusing on what was lost that you can not see what has been gained. Seek after wisdom. She is readily available. She stands in the middle of the streets, calling out to us with a frantic voice. Seek understanding.

I know that this is a different kind of post, especially from me. I just have this overwhelming feeling, this sensation, that what God is working in the spiritual realm is going to shake this earth to it’s core once again. And I pray that we would be ready, a people centered in His will, kneeling patiently, waiting to submit to His every whim. God is so good to us, friends. His love endures forever. Give thanks, and know His power.

 

Be blessed.

Optimist? Faith Filled? Apple? Orange?

I was thinking today about an issue that my wife and I are having at the moment. One thing that I have noticed during our church’s fast, is that I have become more positive. I’m choosing to see the vein of silver in dire situations. But the question came to mind of is being positive being in faith? or more directly, because I believe that things will work out, am I believing that God will make them so?

What I have noticed, is that being positive is not exactly having faith. Many times, I think we cancel out our faith by making statements , which mightbe faith statements by themselves, that give God a way out in case things don’t work out. Take this example:

God will work this out. He will provide the money that we need by the date.

Now, this is fine by itself, but watch this…

God will work this out. He will provide the money that we need by the date, BUT even if things don’t work out, God will provide another way to our goal.

Now, I’m not saying that is wrong or right, but I’m thinking about a few instances in the Bible. When Abraham was lead to take Isaac up to the mountain to sacrifice Him, He did so with the faith that God would not take Isaac, but even if He did, He had the power to raise him up again. So, that seems to fall in with my example. But also notice that when Caleb and Joshua came back with their report on the promised land, they said that they believed the Israelites were well able to take the land. There was no if, no and, or but about it. It was a definitive statement, based on faith in what God had already done, and what they believed Him to continue to do for them.

So, which is it? Do we believe and make our positive, faith filled confessions and add an out clause in the event that our faith falls through? Or do we just believe with no safety net and speak as Joshua and Caleb did following their spy trip into Canaan?

I don’t have a real answer for you. I’m leaning toward the faith without a safety net option, but that is the difficult one. Putting completely out of your mind what might happen if nothing happens. Trusting God’s will to be done.

What I do know is that having faith can make you a positive person, and I want to be a faith filled Christian living without a safety net. I hope I’m progressing to that point. You’ll have to search your own heart to see where  you fall on the spectrum. May we all pray that we can be as Jesus was and is…faithful, and faith filled.

Til next time, be blessed.