Category Archives: Faith

~The Role of Godly Relationships ~

Ephesians 4:16  ~ from whom (Christ) the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

          Notice it says, “by what every JOINT supplies.”   What is this joint that Paul is talking about? What exactly is the supply coming from this joint?

          I think most of us understand that God uses the human body as an example of how the body of Christ works. With that in mind, consider what a joint is. It is not a body part, but the connection between the parts. it is the joining of one or more parts together. The “joint” is the relationship between the parts. We are “joined and knit together” by what every relationship supplies. The supply of the Spirit comes through the relationships we have with other believers.

          This supply of the “joint” will cause growth and edification to the body according to the effective working of every part doing its share. So, what if we, the parts, are not “effectively working?” What if  we are hurt, confused, misunderstood, or deceived? What if we are simply the wrong part in the wrong place? What if we are just ignorant of how all this works so we don’t put enough emphasis on the relationships and make it all about how each part is functioning or not functioning.

In our physical bodies, when there is pain and injury to any joint it affects all the surrounding parts. It limits mobility, reduces overall strength, severely limits the function of all the surrounding parts. It is the same with a spiritual body.

While praying one day I said by the Spirit, “Lord, I thank you for the Body of Christ that validates you to the world.” As soon as I said those words, I saw in the Spirit an Arab man sitting in a wheelchair with his head down. In bold white letters, written across this image was the word, “INVALID.” As I looked closer at the image I saw that it was Jesus in the wheel chair. I cried profusely at what He was showing me. He gave me understanding of what He was telling me.

The Lord was showing me how our behavior has made Him an invalid (not valid) to the world. The world sees us put ourselves first, instead of Him and others. They see the selfish ambition that causes envy, jealousy and every evil work. It is no different from their own behavior. We must be separate. We must be different.

When I was a young boy, I remember my grandmother, who was a nurse, using that term to describe someone bound to a wheelchair, whether temporary or permanent. I began to think about the significance of that word, INVALID… Not valid. What a terrible thing to say about a person.

James 3:14-18

 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

        We can be the right body part in the right place, but if we are not relating properly with the other parts of the body, we actually cut off the supply of the Spirit coming to us and through us. Furthermore, if we are selfish and prideful in our relationships we become a landing strip for demonic activity according James 3.

         When the parts are effective at doing their share, with humility and deference, right relationship and true fellowship occurs inviting the Holy Spirit to provide a supply that brings growth and edification. It is how the parts relate that brings the supply, not the strength of the part. It is the fellowship of the parts that bind and knit us together. It is the “joint” of fellowship that allows us to experience God on a level that goes beyond what we can experience on our own.

Fellowship isn’t just a bunch of fellows in the same ship, its a bunch of folks called to community by divine appointment to be an expression of God to the world.

Hebrews 10:24-25

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

We need to celebrate our local church and the relationships we have there. If we are broken and separated from the body we should reconnect. Be a peace maker, gather with an awareness of the importance of right relationship. Come with humility, come with expectation, come to join in God’s work and be a blessing to God and all you are in relationship with. Lets make Jesus a valid option to the world.

JC

The Unprofitable Prophet.

Jeremiah 23:29-32

Is not my word like fire, declares the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? 30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, declares the Lord, who steal my words from one another. 31 Behold, I am against the prophets, declares the Lord, who use their tongues and declare, ‘declares the Lord.’ 32 Behold, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, declares the Lord, and who tell them and lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or charge them. So they do not profit this people at all, declares the Lord.

          In these last days we are witnessing an abundance of false prophets and false prophecies. Although false prophets are speaking things they declare is the Lord, we also have inexperienced prophets that have not learned how to properly steward God’s word, speaking words out of season with wrong interpretations of what God is saying to His church. Then we have true prophets that are hearing from God and speaking His word in season to help shape the culture of the church and prepare her for what is coming. However, even a true prophet can make a mistake or be deceived.

          How are we to tell the difference? What can help us discern which voice to listen to? What is our responsibility as the hearer? What is our responsibility if we are a prophet?

          First let me say, we have a responsibility to hear God for ourselves. There are few things more tragic than to name Jesus as Lord and never experience intimacy with the Father. This is available to all. This is the reason Christ came.

          A terrible price was paid so God could get back inside us. He has given us everything we need pertaining to life and godliness. We can’t afford to blindly trust others to hear from God for us.

We must know our Fathers voice!

          Pride and selfishness has corrupted the beauty and dulled the hearing of the Church. With itchy ears she runs about seeking the next word, the next teaching, the newest revelation, with no intention of walking any of it out. Carrying a head so burdened with unused knowledge that she doesn’t know what she believes or why she believes it.

          We must turn to the Lord and lay everything we have and everything we are at His feet. Humility under the hand of Almighty God is our protection against the deception from false prophets and false prophecies. It is also protects us from giving false prophecies if we are a prophet.

Jeremiah 23:21-22

“I did not send the prophets, yet they ran; I did not speak to them, yet they prophesied.
22 But if they had stood in my council, then they would have proclaimed my words to my people and they would have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their deeds.

          When we fail to stand in God’s council for ourselves we lack discernment and are easily deceived. It is His council we are after, not mans. The council of man is tainted with the fallen perspective of pride and selfishness.

Pride distorts and darkens.

Humility brings clarity and illumination making direction and timing clear. Intimacy is the answer to all the questions above.

          Intimacy with God is primarily where transformation takes place. The Great Potter shapes us into His image as we pursue the mystery of who He is. If we will embrace this truth and give ourselves over to this process we leave no room for deception and discerning the truth becomes easy.

JC

Why is it Hard to Read the Bible?

          Have you noticed that reading the Bible is actually harder than reading a secular book or magazine? I have picked up a good fiction novel and finished it within a day or two many times. In fact, I have read Christian books about the Bible and have been able to cruise through most of them in a short time as well. However, when I pick up the Bible and determine to read say…5 chapters, by the time I am done (if I finish) I am exhausted! Why is that!?

          When asking the Lord about this He gave me some real insight as to why this happens and I want to share.

          First off, the Bible is a LIVING book! God’s Word is ALIVE and ACTIVE, it is full of GRACE and TRUTH!

HEBREWS 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

          Anytime we are exposed to the living Word of God it requires spiritual and physical effort. The impact of truth on the carnal man cause the fallen nature to DIE! Your carnal man does not want to die so the flesh resists even opening the Bible, let alone reading multiple chapters.

Consider this passage of scripture in light of these thoughts:

Exodus 33:20-23 But He (GOD) said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.” 21 And the LORD said, “Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. 22 “So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. 23 “Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.

 Understand that reading God’s Word is your carnal man’s FACE to FACE encounter with God! To truly die to self you MUST have constant exposure to His Word.

GALATIANS 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

          If you maintain a disciplined approach to reading and studying your Bible you will be successful in “Dying to Self.” This is a core message of the Gospel and without the old man dying, you will never experience the fullness of the new man in Christ.

COLOSSIANS 3:10 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

EPHESIANS 4:21-24 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

  • Is the Bible harder to read than other books? YES!
  • Is it more beneficial than any other book? YES!
  • Is it spiritual food and nourishment for us? YES!
  • Is it required to live a successful Christian life? YES!

          So be encouraged! The Bible is just as difficult to read for others as it is for you. So discipline yourself to have DAILY exposure to, and INTAKE of God’s Word and put to death that nasty old flesh so the NEW MAN, CHRIST, may live in and through you in fullness!

JC

Why Christians don’t Prosper

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          I have continually interacted with many different denominations and have been exposed to their various doctrines and traditions. After a few decades of this, something becomes glaringly obvious; No denomination has all the answers, not YOURS, and not MINE.
To give you some background on myself, I am currently involved in the Pentecostal denomination but I have been involved with Four Square, Full Gospel, Baptist, Methodist and Word Of Faith. Denominational titles mean very little to me because they were all birthed out of disagreement on doctrine. I don’t call myself a “Pentecostal,” or any other church group moniker, but simply say that I am a friend to all who believe on Christ and serve Him.
Before I was married I led bible studies and mens groups that had a diverse mix of denominations and beliefs and I was constantly challenged to examine what I believe and why I believe it. Sometimes it would serve to strengthen my belief, and sometimes I would be forced to change what I believe based on my new understanding of the Word of God. I think this is a healthy thing. I have come to love being around people who challenge my beliefs because it always points me back to the Word, and that is where all the answers are. I have said this many times, “If I am in a group of people who agree with every word I say, then I should probably find a new group.” Not that I am just naturally contrary, but I see the value of relationships that challenge me to be better, stronger, and clearer on what I believe. 

          I have been taught that it is God’s will for you to prosper. Over that same period of time I have been challenged just as much that the “Prosperity Message” is a false doctrine, a wrong emphasis, even a doctrine of devils. Because of this, I have continued to revisit the scriptures concerning prosperity and have come to the conclusion that people who resist the doctrine that God wants His people to prosper are completely ignorant of God’s Word concerning the matter. On the flip side, most Christians that are gung-ho about prosperity are equally as ignorant. I see both groups spending entirely too much time defending their position and not enough time pursuing the truth. So I have decided to put my 2cents worth in and I welcome any comments or insights… as long as you have scripture to back it up. Your personal opinion is meaningless if not founded on the word.

          So, Here we go! The Bible is absolutely LOADED with promises concerning financial and material blessings. Before I prove this with the scripture, let me say this: I understand the bad taste people get in their mouth when they see abuse in this area. I also know that most Christians in the world never grow past being a spiritual toddler so they are very impressionable and easily influenced by others. They have swallowed the religious tradition and ignorant assumptions handed down by their leaders without question, without seeing what God has to say about the matter themselves. Furthermore, there is too much focus, from too many TV preachers on the topic of prosperity that are NOT teaching it the right way. Do yourself a favor, don’t take their word for it and don’t take my word for it, search the scriptures yourself.
So lets open this up with some “in your face” scripture about YOU being rich.

2 Corinthians 8:9 ~ For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.

          That’s right, RICH is a bible word. To understand this scripture you really need to read all of 2 Corinthians 8. Paul is talking about ministry and liberal giving. This is bible. One of the first principles of being prosperous is being a liberal giver. That disqualifies most Christians right there! Being a liberal, cheerful giver is the first step to enjoying biblical prosperity. If you don’t get this right, you will never have faith to receive the promises of material and financial blessings.
The words “rich” used in this verse have been explained away as meaning spiritual blessing only. They are two slightly different words in the Greek, but look at the definition of rich in the latter part of the verse. This pertains to YOU.
RICH ~ plouteō 1) to be rich, to have abundance. a) of outward possessions. 2) metaphorically, to be richly supplied. a) is affluent in resources so that he can give blessings of salvation to all.

Notice the phrase, “is affluent in resources so that he can give blessings of salvation to all.” Does it take money to give salvation? In many cases, YES. It takes money to do ministry. Even Jesus had a treasurer. It took money to feed and equip His disciples, it took money for travel and lodging, paying taxes, etc. and it still takes money today.
One of the greatest tragedies of our time is that ministers who have given their life to the call of God and the tending of His sheep live in poverty or struggle financially. In some cases it is the ministers fault for not embracing the gospel of prosperity, in others it is the church council, the deacon board, or the sheep in general for not thinking enough of the gift of God in their lives to insure that finances are never a concern for the minister.
At the same time, it irks me to see so many televised preachers teach a twisted “prosperity message.” To every truth there is a road and there are ditches on each side.

          The predominant message on prosperity has the tendency to get people in the ditch of either excess, selfishness, and abuse, or the ditch of ignorance and avoidance. People need to find the truth for themselves so that they can stay on the road, not letting spiritually blind leaders guide them into one ditch or the other.
On another note, I need to address the popular doctrine of:

“It is God’s will for EVERYONE to prosper financially.”

           Is this true? Yes, and no. Like any good Father, God wants only the richest and best for His kids. That being said, money may not always be the best thing for children, especially immature ones, (which make up the majority of the Body of Christ)
If you give a ten year old $1000. and told him/her to do whatever they want, spend it however they want, they would likely go crazy and buy a bunch of electronic devices, video games, useless toys, and enough junk food and candy to put them in a sugar coma. The money would not only be wasted, but none of these things are going to do anything to help them spiritually or give glory to God, and in truth, could actually hurt them.
I have a relative that has been in and out of prison all his life. He’s never learned any responsibility, abused drugs, and has no respect for anyone. He only thinks of himself. The worst thing that could happen is for him to suddenly come into a large sum of money. He does not have the character or restraint to keep himself out of trouble and money would just give him more opportunities to screw up and self destruct.
He believes that if he had money everything would change, but money doesn’t change your character, it only serves to magnify it and make it more evident.

          Many Christians have this same mentality. They seek and pursue financial blessing far more than their own spiritual progress and live a life full of frustration and disappointment, always looking for blessings that never come. Look at a couple of verses and you will see God’s heart on this matter.

3 John 1:2 ~ Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

This is not just a letter from the Apostle John to “the beloved Gaius”, But to ALL people, for ALL time.
Prospering in your soul is important. The more prosperous you are in your soul is a reflection of how mature and developed you are spiritually. A maturing soul indicates a growing likeness to the character of God and an increase in spiritual maturity. Notice that John stated his desire for Gaius to prosper and be in health AS HIS SOUL PROSPERS. John said this by inspiration of the Holy Spirit and it indicates that there is an important connection between YOU prospering and being in health and the prosperity of your soul. Look at another verse that makes this clear.

Joshua 1:7-8 ~ 7Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

In this passage we see that prosperity and success is dependant on keeping God’s Word in your mouth, meditating on it, and DOING IT. This is not just Old Testament Law, but a spiritual principle that we see throughout the bible and still applies to us today. This causes you to grow spiritually, prosper in your soul, and develop strong Godly character, and when you do this, God said THEN you will make your way prosperous, and THEN you will have good success. Why is it that so many believers that are hot on the prosperity message choose to ignore this?
T          hat being said, just because you are a Christian doesn’t mean you have good character. Just because God has an inheritance for you does not mean He will give it to you knowing it will hurt you. He is a better father than that. You may be thinking of the prodigal son mentioned in Luke 15, how he asked for his inheritance, the father gave it to him, and then he wasted it and brought himself to total ruin. What you need to realize is, the son was a grown young man not a child. He was mature enough to leave home on his own. This is a warning to mature Christians.
I have three boys from the age of 12 to 18 years old. Everything I have, they will inherit. If my 12-year-old asked me for his portion of the inheritance now, should I give it to him and let him go and do as he pleases? I would be a terrible father if I did that. He has a lot to learn and a lot of maturing to do yet. I have to believe that God is at least as responsible as I am.

           This raises another issue that most Christians are completely confused on. Spiritual maturity and just how mature people THINK they are. I will just say this point-blank; If you have been a Christian for only a few years, say, less than ten, regardless of your commitment and how much you have learned, you are not a mature Christian. On the other hand, if you have been a Christian for 60 years, that does not mean that you are mature spiritually. Spiritual growth does not happen automatically.
The point is, just because you have grown some spiritually and prospered in your soul a little doesn’t mean that you can handle the responsibility that comes with money. Regardless of that, the promise of prosperity is STILL yours.
Another twisted belief we see prevalent in the Church is that IF someone is blessed financially, they are mature and understand biblical principles concerning prosperity. This is a huge problem in the church for many reasons. One mistake I see Pastors make continually is putting a person in a position of authority based solely on the fact that they are prosperous, and are big givers to the ministry. Pastors feel that because of big financial support, a person should have some influence and a voice about the workings of the ministry. Or they allow them a title and position to insure their continued financial support. You will find that NO WHERE in the Bible. This is a recipe for disaster, and more Church splits and other hardships have come from this mistake than any I can think of.
Rarely will you see prosperity come all at once. When it does, it is usually followed by destruction. Just look at most of the young entertainers in our culture.

“Prosperity is a journey that is travelled in the vehicle of faith, navigated by wisdom, and fueled by love for God and His people.”

           The purpose of the journey is not prosperity in itself, but to ever be maturing into Christ-likeness. All of the experiences, the ups and downs, good and bad times, the rich relationships, the successes and failures, are all tools to help shape and define the character of God that is just aching to rise to the surface and show up in our life.
It is the life of the Spirit in Christ, and adherence and commitment to God’s word in all these circumstances that prospers our souls and insures our prosperity.

2 Corinthians 1:20 ~ For all the promises of God IN HIM (in Christ) are yea, and IN HIM Amen, unto the glory of God by us.

“If your focus is prosperity and not the journey of living the Spirit filled life in Christ…you may never arrive at your destination.”

            In a nutshell, I think this is a balanced understanding of the prosperity message as God intended it, and I will leave you with this one thought that will help put it in perspective;

“If your primary focus as a Christian is health and wealth for yourself, you have reduced the gospel to a self serving, powerless theology that brings a reproach on Christ.”

           That being said; Here are some rich promises from God’s word to show you what God thinks of prosperity.

Psalm 84:11 ~ For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
Hebrews 11:6 ~ 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.
Proverbs 3:8-10 ~ 8 It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. 9 Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: 10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.
Deuteronomy 8:18 ~ But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.
Luke 6:38 ~ Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
Psalm 35:27 ~ Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.
Proverbs 22:4 ~ By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life.
2 Corinthians 8:9 ~ For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
Matthew 19:29 ~ And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
JC

The Word was God!

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THE WORD WAS GOD!

Just take that in for a minute…..

John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.

         So, “in the beginning was the word,…”

          What is a word? Why was Jesus called “The Word?” Why are words so powerful? Why, according to Proverbs 18:21, is death and life in the power of the tongue? We see in this first portion of John the incredible creative power that the word possesses.

WORD def:

“A word is a physical expression (by verbal, written, or other actions) that carries ideas and “CREATES IMAGES” The very nature of the word shapes the image that it produces.”

GOD def: Merriam Webster,

the supreme or ultimate reality: such as

1) the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe.

2) a being or object believed to have more than natural attributes and powers and to require human worship; specifically: one controlling a particular aspect or part of reality.

         If the Word is God, then God is the Word, then both definitions should accurately describe both the Word and God. If these definitions are not interchangeable in our minds, then our understanding of God and His Word are lacking.

Honoring God = Faith

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         In reading Luke 7, the account of the centurion’s servant being healed and his great faith, I noticed something that I believe is the key to The Roman’s faith, and the main reason it is recorded for us in the Bible.

          In Matthew 8 it says the centurion came to Jesus, But Luke gives us a more detailed account. The centurion didn’t come to Jesus at all! He sent his Jewish buddy’s because he knew the Jews saw Romans as gentiles and not heirs of the covenant. We know his friends were Jews because in Luke7:5 they say ” he has built us a synagogue.”

          The centurion never came to Jesus because he didn’t see himself worthy. (Luke 7:7) and (Matthew8:8). He honored their beliefs as much as he could and still got his request made known. But then it occurred to him, I am not even worthy that Jesus should come under my roof, that would be a violation of their tradition and could bring Jesus into a bad light. So he sent more friends to stop Him before He arrived.
          This was not the false humility the we often see among Christians, but a genuine concern for the wellbeing of Jesus and a deep sense of honor for His position and authority. He thought about every detail of what he was asking Jesus and how Jesus would be affected, not just about what he needed. His desire was not to cross any lines that would be dishonorable or inappropriate.
honor          The centurion knew that he didn’t come under the authority of the Jewish God because he was a gentile. Yet he recognized that Jesus not only had authority, but power to exercise that authority. He knew if he could get that authority to acknowledge him, he would have his request. However, the roman was not going to do it at the expense of his honor, or the honor of another person in authority. It was the centurions honor that showed his level of faith.
          Faith in God is revealed by a persons actions, not just words. Jesus Himself said in Luke 6:46  “Why do you call me Lord, Lord and not do what I say?” What is Jesus implying here? Is He saying “If I am really your Lord, you will do what I say?” Is He saying, “I am not your Lord because you fail to honor me with your disobedience.” Both are true!
          The reason we do not see more signs, wonders and miracles today is simply because we don’t properly honor the One who has the power to produce signs, wonders and miracles. We honor God with our lips but our hearts are far from Him. (Matthew 15:8, Isaiah 29:13) 
          When you have the free will to do whatever you want, what you actually do shows your heart, not what you say. True faith must have the appropriate corresponding action attached to it or faith is dead. (James 2:20)
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          Faith in God is made evident by honoring His position as creator, His authority as our Lord, and by obedience to His word. When these conditions are met, the power of God becomes readily available, and easily accessible.
Honor releases the power that authority contains!
JC

Understanding Hope And Faith

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Proverbs 13:12 ~ Hope deferred makes the heart sick: but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.

          This is a very important verse for us to understand if we are going to live and walk by faith. Understanding what hope is and how it works will help us be more effective when using our faith to get results. Understanding how deferred hope hurts our faith will keep us from hopelessness, and ultimately, making shipwreck of our faith. So first lets define hope and see how it works.

          Hope has been defined as “earnest expectation,” derived from Philippians 1:20 and I think that is an accurate definition … up to a point. You see, hope and faith are tied together just the same as fear and hopelessness are tied together. They operate on the same principles and are governed by the same spiritual laws.

I think a better definition of hope is: “A vision of good and blessing obtained from God and His Word”.

In contrast, here is my definition, as I understand it, of hopelessness: “A lack of establishing and maintaining proper vision.”

The Lord said this to me:

“Hope is a picture that God paints on the heart with brushstrokes of revelation.”

          Hope is the vision, or picture, of our faith. It is the blueprint for what we are believing for. Hope is the spiritual eyes of our faith, and our faith gives the substance to our hope, and is the evidence to us, and others, of the things hoped for.

Hebrews 11:1 ~ Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

          Hope does not see with the natural eye. Hope sees with the heart, or more accurately, the inner man. Hope sees things finished before they even start. Hope sees the future, the end result, the goal, the vision. Hope is the eye of faith.

          Hopelessness sees with the natural eye. Hopelessness sees with the 5 physical senses and it has more faith in the current circumstances and the bad reports than in God’s promise. Hopelessness sees the future too, and it is dreadful. Hopelessness is the eye of fear.

What does it mean to have hope deferred?

Proverbs 13:12 ~ Hope deferred makes the heart sick: but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.

          When something is deferred it is put off, postponed, or moved from one place to another. When our hope is deferred in means that we begin to look away from the vision of hope in our inner man, and begin looking at another blueprint, another picture, another vision, one that is contrary to our hope. When we defer our hope for another vision, another blueprint, another end result, we hurt our heart and do damage to our inner man … we make our heart sick.

          There are many words in the Old Testament Hebrew that we translate sick. This particular word means to crack open and split apart as with an opening wedge. If you have ever seen someone split firewood with an axe or a maul, this is the picture of what happens to our heart, when our hope is deferred. Not a pretty picture is it? Furthermore, we don’t just hurt our spirit, but our entire inner man.

          Without going into a long lesson of the three parts of man, understand that we are a triune being. We are a spirit, we have a soul, and we live in a physical body. The word heart used in Proverbs 13:12 doesn’t just refer to the spirit man, but the entire inner man. We have and outer man, (our body) and we have an inner man, (our spirit, and soul). Our inner man is the eternal, spiritual part of our being. The body is the temporal, or temporary part of our being.

          The inner man is our spirit, and soul, which includes our mind, our will and emotions, the seat of our thoughts, appetites, passions, and desires. I like to call it, “our believer, thinker, and our chooser.” It is important to understand that these parts of the inner man are ALL spiritual, and are influenced spiritually. This is what gets damaged when our hope is deferred. Are you beginning to see how serious this is? Can you see why we have multitudes of believers that are sick on the inside? This can be avoided!

Tactical Faith 

Being tactical is characterized by being strategic, efficient, smart, and skillful. I learned a long time ago that when it comes to faith, tactical is practical. One of the greatest tactics we can learn is how to establish and anchor our hope so that it is immovable, and unshakable. there is only one way to do that, and only one place to drop the anchor, the Word of God.

Hebrews 6:18-20 ~ 18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: 19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; 20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

         Hope, in this passage, is refered to as an anchor of the soul. Your soul is the eternal part of your inner man that consists of your mind, emotions and will. If hope is the anchor, then the ship that the anchor is tied to is your thinker, feeler and chooser. If that anchor is not properly set, when the storms come and the going gets rough (and it will), your thoughts, emotions, and will, are tossed around and driven by the winds of circumstance. Your hope is not anchored to anything solid so you begin to entertain the possibility of a different outcome.

          The vision that you have of victory becomes blurry and indistinct. The picture that is most clear to you now is the storm and the damage that it is doing. Your hope has been deferred … and you become heart-sick, divided, split in two, a wedge of doubt driven into your inner man … you become double minded!

James 1:5-7 ~ If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

          This principle doesn’t just apply to wisdom, but anything that you ask God for. So how do we stay strong in our faith, nothing wavering, even in the midst of great storms, bad reports and terrible circumstances? Strong faith always begins with clear, strong hope.

          Remember that hope is the blueprint for our faith. If you were going to build a house, the first thing you would do is get the blueprints for the house you want so that the builder would know how it is supposed to look. Every detail of that house is on the blueprint so that the end result, when it is put together, looks exactly like the house you envisioned.

          Without a blueprint the builder does not have the ability to give you what you want.  If you tell the builder to build a house and don’t specify exactly what you want, he may build you a doll house, a dog house, or an outhouse! Give the builder (YOUR FAITH) the right blueprint and as he builds it and gives substance to the blueprint you will have ongoing evidence that your house will be built exactly the way you had hoped.

Hebrews 11:1 ~ Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

F.F. Bosworth made this statement: “Faith begins where the will of God is known.”

          I love that quote. If you are not fully persuaded of God’s will BEFOREHAND, and get a blueprint of God’s desire for you concerning what you are hoping and believing for, then you are basing your faith on a shaky foundation. When tests and trials come you will be easily discouraged and your hope will easily be deferred. You WILL become wavering and double minded and will not receive what you are believing for.

          The mistake most people make is that they never establish God’s will for their situation in their own heart and mind before releasing their faith. Their hope is not a clear picture of God’s desire for them, but a blurry nondescript picture formed by beliefs based on other people’s knowledge and revelation of God’s Word. We MUST know what we believe and WHY we believe it before exercising our faith.

          I see many people who are physically sick that have become discouraged, hopeless and even blaming God because of deferred hope. They can’t understand why God did not answer their prayers for healing. Their beliefs have been shaken, they are confused, and even angry at God. And yet they can’t even quote one scripture on divine healing. They have not familiarized themselves with God’s promises of healing that are literally everywhere in the bible. They are NOT convinced that it is God’s will that THEY should be healed. They never had a clear vision of hope to base their prayers and faith on. They never bothered to get a clear blueprint for their healing, so they wavered in faith and became double minded. They used poor faith tactics and they got no results.

          So what do good faith tactics look like?

Joshua 1:8 ~ This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

Proverbs 4:20-23 ~ My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. 21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. 22 For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. 23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

          These scriptures, and many others, tell us how to establish and maintain hope. It tells us how to get the blueprint of our faith on the inside of us. Hope must be established before true faith can be released, and true faith begins where the will of God is known.

          God’s Word is His will for you. Whatever it is you need, find out God’s will for you in His Word first. Wether it is healing, favor, wisdom, direction, or provision, you must be fully persuaded from God’s Word that it is His will FOR YOU.

          Good faith tactics will find as many passages of scripture possible that speaks to your situation. Pay close attention to the ones that really jump out and stir you up. These are the blueprints of your faith. These are the passages that paint a picture of hope in your heart. This is what gives you a vision of victory. This is where you drop your anchor!

          After you have taken some time to establish that it is God’s will for you to receive what you are believing for, it is time to release your faith. Before you do that however, you need to make a decision on the inside that no matter what I see or feel I will not let up, back up, or waiver. I will not be moved by what I see or feel, I will hold on to God’s promise until I see it in my life.

          Every time you put your faith on something and it does not come to pass,  your hope was deferred, you hurt your faith, you damage your believer. The more you do that, the harder it will become to establish hope and walk in faith. You will not only lose confidence in your ability to get results by faith, but lose confidence in God.

          Faith is a fight, it’s a good fight, but it IS a fight. The reason it is called a good fight is, we WIN if we don’t quit. Winning the fight of faith starts and ends with hope. Establish the blueprint of hope in your heart before you start, this is good tactics, and then resist any thought, feeling, or imagination that would turn you away from, and defer that hope. This is spiritual warfare.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 ~ For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

          This may sound a little carnal, but picture a big bouncer outside the door of your heart and mind. Every thought, feeling, or imagination that tries to enter must get carded by that bouncer. If the wrong picture is on the ID, deny it entrance and BOUNCE IT OUT of there!

Remember, TACTICAL IS PRACTICAL!

JC

What is Grace?

When you think of God’s grace, what immediately comes to mind? God’s unmerited favor? His salvation, love or kindness? I am not going to argue those points, they are all true, but I will say that grace has a broader, deeper meaning and I want to explore that in this teaching. Grace is one of the most important words in the New Testament and yet it is not well understood and even taken for granted.

Luke 2:40 ~ And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.

The grace of God was upon Jesus and to understand New Testament grace we should consider what was upon Him so we can understand what is upon us, for we are in Him. One of the greatest definitions of grace that I have found is:

 “The divine influence on the heart of man, and the reflection of that influence in the life of the man.”

 If you look at grace from the standpoint of divine influence, it automatically broadens your idea of what grace is. When reading the bible and you see the word grace, replace it with “divine influence,” or “God’s influence”. You will see that it fits and it will provide a deeper understanding of the scriptures.

 We really need to stretch our understanding to even begin to grasp the full meaning of grace and what it means to us as believers. The Greek word for grace is “charis,” In addition to charis, there is the word charismata, which is a word related to charis, but it is only used in reference to what have become known as the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit, which are mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12. I don’t think that anyone could argue that the those nine gifts are manifest by the divine influence of the Holy Spirit and the believer allowing that influence to reflect in his life.  

Acts 11:23 ~ When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord.

This scripture refers to Barnabas SEEING the grace of God on others. This implies that grace should be evident. That God’s influence in your heart should be manifest in such a way that it could be seen outwardly by others. We have a world full of believers that have no outward evidence of the grace of God on their lives and therefore are not a witness of the grace of God to the world. Why is that? A part of the reason is legalism. Legalism is a belief system that attempts to establish your own righteousness by following laws, rules and religious traditions. The more we allow ourselves to slip into legalism, the farther we fall from grace and deny God’s influence in our life.

Virtually the entire book of Galatians addresses this problem of legalism.

Galatians 5:4 ~ You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.

Another important aspect of grace is that God uses people to impart it to His body.

2 Corinthians 8:6 ~ So we urged Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also complete this grace in you as well.

          We see from this verse of scripture that the divine influence (grace) can come from other believers. Titus was urged to complete the grace that he started. His influence on these people was obviously of a divine nature, God influencing people with people. This is seen clearly in the fivefold ministry gifts described in 

         When I came to the conclusion that grace is God’s divine influence in my heart and its reflection in my life, I was forced to consider my definition of God. The book of James says that “God is love.”

1 John 4:8 ~ He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

With that understanding I was left with this thought; Grace is an expression of God’s love, and any time He endeavors to influence a person, it is because He wants to impart His very nature into that individual. Look at the first part the verse above, “He who does not love does not know God”. I believe that the main purpose of grace is so that we may know Him. To know Him we must yield to the divine influence of love (grace) and allow that love to be reflected in our lives.Jesus was the express image of God (love). He is our example. To yield to divine influence is to yield to love. Jesus said:

John 5:19 ~ Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.

 I think we can all agree that Jesus was completely yielded to divine influence. He only did what He saw the father (Love) do.

 

 Grace is the manifestation of the influence of God in you, with the intention that the influence is reflected in your life.

Gifts vs. Graces

This brings us to Romans 12 that most Christians interpret as “motivational gifts”. Paul is not talking about gifts, He is talking about “graces”.

Romans 12:6-8 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

There are 7 GRACES mentioned here: Prophecy, Servant (ministry), Teacher, Exhorter, Giver, Leader, and Mercy Giver.

 Look at Ephesians 4, where Paul starts talking about the 5-fold ministry gifts to the church.

Ephesians 4:7-12 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. Therefore He says: “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men.” (Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.) 11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,

You see how the order of grace and gifts are flipped in these passages?

Romans 12:6 says: gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us,

Ephesians 4;7 says: grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

It is clear that Paul is talking about ministry gifts in Ephesians 4, and graces in Romans 12. Many have called them motivational “gifts” having a limited understanding of how they work. But when we understand that they are graces we begin to better understand who we are, and why we do what we do.

What I believe Paul is talking about in Romans 12 is the differences in our gifts produced by the grace (divine influence) that is on our life. In other words, our gifting looks different because the divine influence in our heart is different. Look again at the text, and pay close attention to the wording.

To understand what a GRACE is and how it affects us, let us view them as glasses with colored lenses. When you are looking at life through those glasses, everything you see will be tinted with that color, and your actions and responses will be influenced by it. Your GRACE affects how you see things, how you deal with problems, and how you express yourself in your gifting.

For instance, if you have the GRACE of SERVANT, you see the world through that “colored lens” (GRACE). Maybe your gifting is an Evangelist. So it would be natural for you to engage in “Servant Evangelism.”

Your Grace determines how you think about things, how you approach things. For example: If your GRACE is a GIVER, and you are ministering to someone who needs healing, you automatically think of what you can GIVE to help them. Like buying them some books on divine healing, or sending them to a healing crusade and paying for the whole thing.

If your GRACE is EXHORTER, you may encourage them in faith, read some healing promises from the bible, tell them “this is nothing for God, you can beat this thing easy.”

If your GRACE is TEACHER, you think that all they need is to understand and learn more about divine healing and faith principles.

Look at the rest of that passage in Romans and notice how Paul starts the dialogue.

Romans 12:3-8 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry (servant), let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

When Paul says that he speaks “through the GRACE that is given him,” he is talking about the divine influence upon his heart. When he teaches, that influence is reflected in the life.

Grace is a big subject, and these are just a few small observations. However, grace is one of the most important words to us in the New Testament. We should endeavor to get as much understanding on it as possible. I hope this helps.

JC

 

~ Is your Mountain hearing your Voice? ~

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One of the most important aspects of faith is speaking what we believe. Jesus demonstrated this principle throughout His earthly ministry, giving us an example to follow, as well as a blueprint of how true faith actually works. Even with all of His examples, the church still struggles with this particular part of the gospel message.

Let’s look at some of Jesus examples and make sure we understand how faith works.

Mark 11:12-14 ~ And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, he was hungry: 13And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. 14And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it.

          In today’s society people who talk to trees run the risk of being put in a straight jacket and labeled a lunatic. In fact, there were many that thought Jesus was a lunatic so this shouldn’t surprise anyone.

          The Bible records Jesus speaking to many things throughout the New Testament. In every case, the things He spoke to obeyed Him. His words always had an effect on what e was speaking to. What most people don’t realize is that He did this as a man, not as God. Jesus walked this earth and ministered as a man anointed and filled with the Holy Spirit, just like you and I are supposed to be.

          Jesus was born of the incorruptible seed of God. That seed was placed in His virgin mother and He was born a man, completely void of any heavenly powers or privileges.

Philippians 2:6-8 ~ (NIV) ~ Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! 

          What we must grasp is that the same incorruptible seed that was in Christ is now in us if Jesus is our Lord.

1 Peter 1:23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever

          This understanding is essential if we are to function in Kingdom authority and power. When Jesus spoke to things and exercised His Kingdom authority He was not doing it to show off, He was setting an example for His Church to follow. He was demonstrating what could be done as a man so that we would know how to function as a new creation in this fallen and corrupt world.

Knowing who you are IN Christ is one of the most important revelations in your Christian walk. If you don’t know who you are, you won’t believe you have the authority that goes with that identity.

Lets look at another instance of Jesus exercising His authority.11speak2

Mark 4:38-40 ~ But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” 39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”

          Now this one really freaked the disciples out! They were fighting for their life while Jesus slept. I wonder how long this went on. I can see the disciples bailing water, tieing down everything that was loose, fighting with the rudder and the rope rigging. All the while, stealing glances at Jesus every few minutes thinking “when is He gonna get up and DO something?” Keep in mind that some of these guys were professional sailors and fishermen, they had been in bad storms before, so this must have been a real doosey!

               
As bad as it must have been,
the truth is, they didn’t need to wake Jesus up. They should have been able to take care of it themselves. In fact Jesus rebuked them for being afraid and having no faith.

Mark 4:40 ~ And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?

      11speak3    Jesus rebuked them for having no faith, then He showed them what faith looks like by speaking to the current circumstances. His faith was in His heart, and it was released with speaking words. If Jesus expected them to exercise that kind of faith and authority before He went to the cross, how much more does He expect it from us as born again believers? The real question is, why don’t we expect to operate like that? Although the disciples had the power to do just what Jesus did, they were waiting on Jesus to do something. This seems to be the condition of the church today, Waiting for God to do something He has given us the authority and power to do.

          Many prayers seemingly go unanswered because God has already done everything that He is going to do about the situation. He has given us the authority and power to do something about it ourself so we need to stop waiting on Jesus to wake up and calm our storm. We need to begin exercising our faith and speaking to our circumstances, our problems, our mountains!

Many times we make the mistake of praying for a mountain to be removed when we should be speaking to the mountain. The truth is, mountains don’t get removed by prayer. The understood method of mountain removal in the Bible is speaking.

Mark 11:22-23  So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. 23 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.

There is a time to pray, and there is a time to say. Simply knowing which to do in any given situation will produce greater fruit in our life.

          What else did Jesus talk to? We have the account of Peter’s mother in law being healed of a fever. Notice what Jesus does.

Luke 4:38-40 ~ And He arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon’s house. And Simon’s wife’s mother was taken with a great fever; and they besought him for her. 39And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them. 40Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them.

          Notice that Jesus did not pray for Peter’s mother in law, He spoke directly to the fever, rebuked it, and she was healed! He exercised His kingdom authority over the fever and the fever had no choice but to obey. Many times Christians are praying when they should have been SAYING.

 When you come up against mountains of sickness, bad reports, financial difficulty, trying situations, make sure that mountain is hearing your voice!

          Here is an interesting account of Jesus speaking to a dead person.

John 11:42-44 ~ And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.” 43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with grave clothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”

          This is an amazing account of Jesus demonstrating His kingdom authority by the power of His spoken word. There have been many confirmed, recorded accounts of people being raised from the dead in Jesus name. 14 accounts in the life of  Smith Wigglesworth alone. This is available to us today!

          So we see that He spoke to trees, to the elements, to sickness, and even to dead people. So ask your self this;

“Can a tree, a fever, a storm, or even a dead person hear?” Obviously they can because they obeyed His voice!

          These were just some of the mountains that Jesus had to move in His earthly ministry. What mountains are you facing in your life? If you don’t have faith enough to move your mouth, you will never have faith enough to move your mountains.

Your Mountain Should Be Hearing Your Voice!

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Mark 11:23 ~ 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.

          The signs and wonders that followed Jesus should be following us if we truly believe. Notice the last words He spoke before He ascended into heaven.

Mark 16:17-18 ~ And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18They 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.

          The truth is, we should be seeing greater works than what Jesus did. That is what He told us in His Word.

John 14:12 ~  “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.”

The greatest thing available to us is not the power to cast mountains into the sea, or heal the sick, or even raise the dead. But to have relationship with the Father. To be close Him, not having sin as wall that separates us from His presence. To express our love and devotion to Him with an unveiled face, with no guilt, condemnation or shame.

          Why am I bringing this up? Because faith like this will come easy if you are madly in love with God.

1 Corinthians 13:2-3 ~ And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

Galatians 5:6 ~ For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.

JC

 

~ How to Confess God’s Word ~

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           Confession of God’s word can be a tremendous help in establishing you in truth, building your faith, and moving you forward in your spiritual growth. God’s written word contains the building blocks of  faith. Speaking His word is the mortar that holds it all together, solidifying our identity in Him, raising us up into a holy and righteous temple, a fit dwelling place for the Holy Spirit. Speaking God’s word should be a priority in every Christians life, unfortunately for most, it is not.

          Confession should not be a mindless reciting of scripture, but an intimate part of your relationship with God. When confession is approached properly it will enhance your relationship with your Father and enrich your prayer life beyond measure. Confession should be lifted up to God as an offering, a statement of faith that lets God know that you agree with what He says about you, no matter the situation or circumstance. Confession aligns you with God’s thoughts, sets your heart in agreement with His plans, and affirms your identity as His child.

Isaiah 55:11 says this: “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.”

          Confession is prayerfully returning God’s word to Him, acknowledging your agreement with His will, and inviting Him to bring His word to pass in your life. It activates angels that hearken to the spoken word and puts them to work, bringing God’s word to pass in your life. (Psalm 103:20) If you could only see what happens in the spirit realm when you speak God’s word in faith, you would never go another day without doing it.

           The following are some examples of how I prayerfully confess God’s word. They are scriptures that speak to my heart. passages that the Holy Spirit has illuminated to me as being important in my life. I recommend reading the scriptures in your favorite translation and notice how the confession has been personalized for a conversation with God in relationship. Be mindful of scriptures that jump out to you, that have an unction on them, and personalize your own confessions.

Be blessed.

confess

Joshua 1:8 ~ Father, Your Word will not depart from my mouth, but I will meditate on it day and night, that I may observe to do according to all that is written in it. Then I will make my way prosperous and I will have good success.    

Job 22:28 ~ When I declare and decree Your word, it is established to me and light shines on my ways making my path clear.

Mark 16:17 ~ I am your disciple Lord Jesus, in Your name I cast out devils, I speak with new tongues. If I touch or consume any deadly thing it will in no way hurt me. I lay hands on the sick and they recover.

John 16:13 ~ The Spirit of truth abides in me. He guides me into all truth and shows me things to come. Thank you for Your Holy Spirit Lord.

Isaiah 54:17 ~ No weapon formed against me will prosper, and every tongue that rises against me in judgment, even mine, I shall condemn. This is my heritage as your servant Lord and my righteousness is from You.

Colossians 1:9 ~ Because of your Holy Spirit, I have perfect knowledge of what to do in every situation and I am filled with all wisdom, spiritual understanding and the knowledge of Your will for me. I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. You love me so much, that You thought I was valuable enough to die for me. Thank you Father.

Acts 19:6 & Acts 1:8~ The Holy Spirit has come on me. I speak with tongues and prophesy. I have received power because the Holy Spirit has come upon me and I am a witness for Jesus to the end of the earth.

Philippians 4:6-7 ~ I do not worry and I am not anxious over anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving I make my requests known to You God, and Your peace, that passes all understanding, keeps my heart and mind through Christ Jesus.

Mark 11:23 ~ Father, because You have made me a creative being, like Yourself, I speak to things, situations, sickness, disease, and demons, and they obey all me. I believe in my heart that those things I say will be done so I have what I say. My words have power and I use that power to change situations, help people, to destroy the works of the enemy and give glory to You Lord God.

Psalm 103:2-5 ~ Lord You have forgiven all my iniquities; You have healed all my diseases; You have redeemed my life from destruction; You have satisfied my mouth with good things so that my youth is renewed like the eagles.

Philippians 4:19 ~ There is no lack in my life Father, for You supply all my needs according to Your riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:28 ~ I love You Father and I am called according to Your purpose. All things work together for my good because You love me so much.

Philippians 4:8,9 ~ Father, You have given me the mind of Christ, so I think on the things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely and of good report. If there is any virtue or praise, I think on these things. I am a doer of Your word Lord, and Your peace is with me.

1 Peter 2:24 ~ Jesus I thank you for bearing my sins. I am dead to sin and I live unto righteousness and by Your stripes I am healed.

Romans 8:11 ~ The same Spirit that raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in me. And He that raised up Christ from the dead also quickens my mortal body because the Holy Spirit is living in me. Thank you father for the Holy Spirit. Where would I be if You didn’t father me?

Isaiah 54:14 ~ I thank you Lord, because of Your shed blood I am established in righteousness. I am far from oppression, I do not fear, and terror shall not come near me.

Colossians 3:1-2 ~ Because I have been resurrected with Christ, I seek You Father with all my heart. I set my mind and my affections on You, not on the things of this earth. You are everything to me Lord.

Proverbs 3:5-6 ~ I trust in You Lord with all of my heart and I do not lean on my own understanding. In all my ways I acknowledge You, and I trust You to direct my path.

Mark 12:30-31 ~ I love You Lord with all my heart, soul, mind and strength and I love my neighbor as myself.

Galatians 5:16-18 ~ I walk in the Spirit and I do not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. I am led by the Holy Spirit and I am not under the law.

1Corinthians 13:4-8 ~ Father, because You have placed Your great love in my heart, I am patient and kind. I do not envy or boast and I am not proud. I do not dishonor others, I am not self-seeking, I am not easily angered and I keep no record of a suffered wrong. I do not delight in evil but I rejoice in the truth. I believe the best of every person. I always protect, trust, hope and persevere. I never fail.

1 Peter 1:13-21 ~ I gird up the loins of my mind with Your word Father God. I am sober minded and my hope rests fully upon the grace that is mine in Christ. I am Your obedient child, and I am not conformed to former lusts. I am holy in my conduct as You are holy. I walk in reverence toward You Lord. You are amazing.

Proverbs 3:9,10 ~  I honor You LORD with my possessions and the first fruits of all my increase. I overflow with material and spiritual blessings.

Romans 5:17 ~ I, having received abundance of grace and the gift of Your righteousness do reign as a king in this life by Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 54:13 ~ All my children are taught of the Lord, and great is their peace.

Psalm 23:4 ~ I fear no evil for you are with me Lord, your Word, and Spirit they comfort me.

Proverbs 21:23 ~ I guard my mouth and my tongue and I keep my soul from trouble. I let nothing come forth from my heart, no word or action that would defile me.

Psalm 112:1-7 ~ I am blessed because I fear You Lord and I delight greatly in Your Word. My descendants are mighty on the earth and they are blessed. Wealth and riches are in my house and my righteousness endures forever. I am gracious and full of compassion. I guide my affairs with discretion. I will never be shaken. I am not afraid of evil. My heart is steadfast, trusting in You Lord.

Romans 12:1-3 ~ I present my body as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto You Father, for Your habitation. This is my worship to You. I am not conformed to this world, but I am transformed by the renewing of my mind to Your word. I do not think of myself more highly than I should think, but I think soberly according to the measure of faith You have dealt me.

JC