Stand Firm In The Faith

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Our faith is most precious because without it we cannot please God.  It is therefore of the utmost importance that we guard it with our entire being. There can be no breaks when it comes to guarding our faith.  We must be alert and on our guard at all times. 

The devil is constantly trying to get us to move out of faith because he knows that we cannot possess the land without faith.  The children of Israel didn’t possess the promise land when they could have because they had no faith.  Likewise, we cannot possess all that Christ died for us to have if we have no faith.  I Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”  Make no mistake it’s the devil who is walking about seeking whom he may devour not people or things.  He will use whoever and whatever lends itself to him to come after your faith.  Guarding your faith may mean that you will have to separate yourself from people, places and things in order to stay stedfast and firm in your faith. David separated himself from his army and encourage himself in the Lord after the enemy had invaded Ziklag and captured their women and children. I Samuel 30:6, “And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters; but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.”  David had to remove himself from all the negative talk and space in order to hear from God.   Peter said “be sober, be vigilant.” About what you ask?  About knowing who we are, what we have, and what we can do in Christ.  For a person who knows who they are; what they have and what they can do in Christ cannot be devoured.

Faith is both offensive and defensive.  We use it to gain and to defend.  I Peter 5:9, says “whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”  Notice it says, “whom resist stedfast in the faith”.  While we are using faith to lay hold on the things of God, we are also using faith to resist the things of the devil.  Our faith rejects and resists the things of the devil and accepts and receives the things of God.  This is why the devil comes after our faith so hard.  He knows that if we stand firm in faith we will accomplish our goals, realize our dreams and fulfil our destinies.  We need only remember that our Father God has never failed or gone back on His word.  He has proven over and over again His faithfulness.  As we read and reflect on God’s faithfulness it strengthens our faith and empowers us to stand firm on His word.  You are not alone.  All who will to possess the things of God are faced with the same distractions and many are standing firm and possessing all.

The God Of Heaven Prospers Us

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Nehemiah 2:20

“Then answered I them, and said unto them, The God of heaven, He will prosper us; therefore, we His servants will arise and build; but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem.”

I think when we think of God prospering us, we think of God being far off in heaven and only prospering us to be where He is one day.  However, Nehemiah said “the God of heaven He will prosper us” while embarking on something that was well beyond his qualifications and experience. Nehemiah was aware of God being present there with him to help him prosper in accomplishing the greatest thing he would ever do.

Paul said in Romans, 8:31 “…If God be for us, who can be against us”. Imagine that, God is for us not against us!  God is for and not against our dreams and goals. He is for and not against you starting that business, getting married, writing that book, or having that baby.   He is right there with you to see that you prosper in all these things or whatever you desire to do.   He is your heavenly cheerleader.  Hallelujah!  No one wants you to prosper more than God.  So much so that He Himself came to live in us to assure us of prosperity.   Now ask yourself, has God ever failed? Of course not.  Therefore, you cannot fail.  Paul goes on to say in Romans 8:32, “He who spared not His Son but delivered Him up for us all how shall He not with Him freely give us all things”.  My friend, “all things” includes prosperity.

Listen, regardless of what you have to face as you work towards your dream or desire, know that you are prospering and the devil is in a constant state of defeat.  Think about that, if you are prospering anyone or anything that opposes you is defeated.   Romans 8:37, “Nay in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.”  The key here is knowing that you are not alone.  That God is with you to prosper you.  You must persuade yourself of this very fact as Paul did.  Paul said “I am persuaded …”  Romans 8:38. It might take you some time to become fully persuaded but don’t stop, keep confessing what you want to see until you can say “I am fully persuaded that the God of Heaven prospers me.”

Separated From Evil

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This world is full of evil. Jesus said in praying to the Father in John 17:15, “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of this world, but that thou shouldest keep them from evil.” How will the Father keep us from evil? Jesus tells us how in verse 17. “Sanctify them through thy Truth, Thy Word is Truth.” Jesus Christ is the living Word of God and the Word of God is the Truth that will sanctify or separate us from all the evil that’s in the world.

Evil is of the devil. It is right there in his name. Jesus called him a murderer, a liar, and the father of lies. Therefore, we can say that all evil is based on lies. Evil entered the world because Eve believed the lie the devil told her in the Garden of Eden. If you are doing anything evil whether morally, ethically, or physically it is because you have believed a lie. Somewhere at sometime you believed the lies the devil has told you. And know this, you will continue to be imprisoned by the evil that you are doing until you know the Truth. Jesus said, “And ye shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make you free.” John 8:32.

The devil will tell you lies about who you are, what you have and what you can do. He’ll tell you that you are not loved. That your mother doesn’t love you, your father doesn’t love you and most of all that God doesn’t love you. When you believe these lies not only will you practice evil, but evil in the form of sickness, disease, depression and other mental illnesses will come upon you. All of these are evils in world from the devil. Now here is the good news! John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but should have everlasting life.” That’s the Truth! Believe it and hold on to it because it is the Truth that set you free. It doesn’t matter what your background is, whether you’ve been abandon or abused. Knowing this Truth will set you free from the lies of the devil and all the evil that is in the world.

When God Is For You

I John

“If God is for us; who can be against us.”

Do you realize what it means to have God for you? Well, here’s what I think it means. It means that God has our back and He has our best interest at heart.  It means that He wants us to succeed and He will help us.  It means that He will go out on a limb for us and do whatever is necessary to give us what we need.  When God is for you it really doesn’t matter who rises up against you because God is with you!

Beautiful Thoughts

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Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you saith the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

God is a Father who never has a negative thought about His children.  His thoughts about us are always good.  And He loves to think about His children because it causes Him to rejoice.  Remember, how it was when you first fell in love?  How you thought of that person all the time and most of your thoughts where good?  Maybe you thought of a touch, an embrace or a kiss. Remember how the thoughts awaken and heighten your emotions so that they flowed through your body?  Well, just think if our thoughts can affect our emotions, how much more God’s thoughts affect His emotions?  After all we’re made in His imagine and likeness.  God feels what He thinks just as we do.  But unlike us His thoughts don’t come from the outside of Him, His thoughts come from Himself where there’s only love because He is Love.

So if you want to know what’s on the Father’s mind about you simply look at Jesus because He is the expression of all the thoughts and plans that God the Father had on His mind for His children.  Jesus Christ the Son of God, the Word of God are the beautiful thoughts of God for all mankind.

One day, God thought my children will need a place where I can come and visit with them so He expressed His thought by speaking His Word and creating the world.  Then He thought it’s not good that they be alone so I’ll make them male and female and together they will fill the earth.  Then again He thought because I know they won’t always obey my commandments they will need someone to deliver them from the penalty of sin.  So He thought I’ll give them my Son, my only begotten Son, to redeem them from death, and ransom their souls from the power of darkness. God’s thoughts towards us are always thoughts of peace and not evil to give us good in our final outcome because He loves us.

Just Ask

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“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” St. John 14: 13

When we ask our Father for anything we ask in Jesus name and we can expect to receive because the Father will not deny His Son.  He has given Him all things and we are in Him.  We are in His Son Christ Jesus.

Do you see yourself on the inside of Christ seated with Him in heavenly places?  Or do you see yourself looking up to Him from the outside?  When you see yourself on the outside of Christ you’re standing on your own works and on our own righteousness.  And therefore, you stand lacking because our righteousness can never measure up to the righteousness of God our righteousness is as filthy rages.  This is why God has made us to be righteous in Christ because He knows we could never be righteous on our own.  2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “For He hath made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”

Therefore, you must see yourself as being in Him.  2 Cor. Says, “… in Him we live and move and have our being.”  When God looks at us He only sees His beloved Son.  He only sees the blood that He poured out at Calvary. So why not see as God sees, why not see yourself in the Son.  In Christ is where you receive all the faith, boldness and confidence you need to ask and receive whatever you want from God.  But on the outside of Christ there’s fear, doubt and unbelief.

Our being in Christ takes us completely out of the equation.  We no longer have to worry about whether or not we’ve been good enough to receive our request because we’ve been taken completely out of the equation.  It’s between the Father and the Son.  And the Father will not deny His Son anything.  He has given Him all things and you are in Him.  You are a joint-heir with Christ of all things.  Therefore, whatever you ask the Father in Jesus name expect to receive because the Father will not deny His Son.

I am an heir of God a joint-heir with the Lord Jesus Christ therefore; all that belongs to Christ belongs to me.

Christ My Rock

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“He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved.” Psalms 62:6

Every day of our lives we are faced with pressure. Pressure to perform on our jobs, in our homes, in our relationships even the pressure that we put on ourselves to meet certain expectations. But regardless of how much pressure life presents, we don’t have to let the pressure cause us to be pressed.

When we are pressed we’re full of anxiety and when we’re full of anxiety we explode. We explode by making the wrong decisions. And decisions made out of anxiety are decisions made out of our heads instead of our hearts. When we make decisions based solely on head knowledge our decisions will be based on external factors and not faith. Faith is in our hearts not our heads because faith is Christ in us. God doesn’t want us to be pressed under the pressures of life instead He wants us to lean and press into Him the Rock of our salvation. When we do we see His glory.

Moses was human just like you and I and he to faced pressure. He had the responsibility of leading a rebellious and faithless people into that which God had promised them. However, Moses knew he couldn’t do it without God being with him. Exodus 33:15, “And he say unto Him, If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence.” Moses was leaning on God to carry him through. When Moses asked God to show him His glory God told Moses to stand upon a rock and that He would hide him in the cleft of the rock. “And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by” Exodus 33: 21-22. Moses would not only be standing on the rock but he would be completely surrounded by the rock and that’s when Moses would see the glory of God. And it was seeing the glory of God that enabled Moses to carry out what God had called him to do.

Are you feeling the pressures of life today? You don’t have to get pressed because God has placed you in the Rock Christ Jesus. You only need to stand upon the Rock. Take the word of God and lean hard and press upon the Rock of your salvation and like Moses you will see the glory of God.

It’s when you’re standing in and on the Rock Christ Jesus that you see the Glory of God.

Sweet Smelling Savor

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Genesis 8:21, “And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.” And the Lord smelled a sweet savor; and the Lord said in His heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more everything living, as I have done.”

There are fewer smells that can compete with a fresh pot of coffee brewing in the morning it stimulates my senses to the taste. I image myself with my fingers wrapped around my favorite mug as I bring the cup up to my lips. Aw! No other beverage can capture my attention like a hot cup of freshly brewed coffee. Imagine how Noah’s sacrifice stimulated God senses as it rose up to His nostrils. It moved Him to the point that He made a promise that he would never again curse the ground any more for man’s sake. It wasn’t so much the smell of the beast and the fowl as it was what they foreshadowed. When God smelled the aroma of Noah’s sacrifice He smelled the aroma of the life of His only begotten Son who would die for the sins of the world.

Oftentimes we think of giving our sacrifice to God but the truth is God wants us to give Him His sacrifice that He’s given to us. What do I mean? When you come before God don’t think about sacrificing yourself, think about the fact that Jesus became your sacrifice He laid on the altar or the cross and died our death once for all. There’s no need for us to do again what Christ has so perfectly done for us. All we have to do is offer Him up to God give God His sacrifice. When you do it becomes a sweet smelling aroma to God from the earth that releases blessings from heaven just as it did for Noah. It was after Noah offered up the sacrifice which typified Christ’s sacrifice that God blessed Noah and his sons. When we lift Jesus up we lay ourselves down. This is how we sacrifice ourselves by lifting Him up as our sacrifice. It is the only way that our sacrifice is holy, acceptable unto God because Christ is holy, acceptable unto God. Romans 12:1 says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”

The mercy of God is Christ because it is God not giving us what we deserve. It’s because of Christ that God doesn’t give us what we deserve. Therefore, it’s through Christ that we present our bodies as a living sacrifice. We lift Christ up as our sacrifice because He alone is holy, acceptable unto God. It is His life that causes our lives to smell like a field that the Lord has blessed (Gen. 27:27).

Turn Away From All That Distracts

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“Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bring it to maturity and perfection].  He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

If you’re going to accomplish anything in 2018 you’re going to have to turn away from all distractions.

Satan uses all manner of things to distract us from doing the will of God.  He uses our families, our finances, our bodies, our phones, our computers, our communities, our government, and so much more.  Here’s why, he knows that when we’re distracted by the problems in our environment we’re not focused on doing what God has called us to do.  You can’t do both.  You can’t focus on what God has called you to do and focus on the problem.  Paul compares it to a man called to war.  He says in II Timothy 2:4 “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier”.   We’ve been chosen to be soldiers in the army of God and we’re fighting the good fight of faith.  Jesus is the Leader and the Source of our faith and the only way for us to finish strong is for us to keep our eyes on Him.

Keeping our eyes on Jesus is easy when we realize that He is the answer to all of life’s problems. There is no problem that we can encounter that Jesus hasn’t already solved for us at Calvary.  He is our answer and our solution.  He is bigger than any problem we could ever face.  We need only to see Him as He is, bigger than any problem we could ever face.  You’re not going to be distracted by the problems in your environment when you’re looking at the solution.

Not only that, He alone can fill the thirst of our souls.  We don’t have to be distracted by our phones or social media because none of these things can satisfy like Jesus can. Take the women at the well in St John chapter 4.  She was longing for love and attention that’s why she had had five husbands. Even the man she was living with couldn’t satisfy her longing for love.  It was only when she met Jesus that her thirst was satisfied. You’re not going to be distracted by your thirst when you’re drinking what satisfies.

Whatever the enemy is using to cause you to look away from Jesus turn away from all that distracts and fix your eyes on Jesus the Author and Finisher, the Leader and Source of your faith.  He has set the example for us.  He didn’t get distracted by anything the enemy was using in His environment He finished His course because He kept his eyes on the prize, the joy of completing the will of His Father.  Let’s start the year strong and finish the year strong by turning away from all that would distract and keeping our eyes on Jesus.

When You Don’t Do What You Should Do

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What do you do when you’re in the midst of trials and temptations and you don’t do what you know to do? You’ve heard all the sermons, you read the books and you brought the CDs and you may have preached the sermons. But now here you are in the middle of it all and the pressure is pressing in on you but instead of doing what you’ve been taught to do you freak out. Yes, you freak out!

Each of us at some point in our walk as believers can relate to what I’m saying. We don’t always do what we know to do. We don’t always apply the truths we’ve learned to the situations we’re facing. Sometimes we just lose it. Like Peter, sometimes we look at our storms instead of keeping our eyes on Jesus. Or like Moses we allow our emotions to get the best of us and we don’t follow instructions. Yes, sometimes we take our eyes off of Jesus and we don’t obey His instructions. But here’s the good news, its okay.   God knows we’re human and He knew that we would face these times in our life so He made provision for us through Christ. Even when we’re not faithful to God He is still faithful.   There is great joy and relief in knowing that God’s faithfulness is not contingent upon our faithfulness to him. He continues to be God in our lives even when we are too weak to fight the good fight of faith. He is Christ in us and He will never fail us. I know because I’ve been there many times. His grace is sufficient His strength is perfected in us when we’re weak (I Cor. 12:9).

The devil wants you to look at your inabilities and failures. And if he can’t get you to do that he’ll try to get you to look at your natural abilities and strengths. His goal is to get you to look at yourself instead of looking at Jesus.   Scripture says he is the accuser of the brethren and that he stands before us night and day replaying in our ear our inabilities and failures. Or he stands before us to try and get us to rely on our own strengths and abilities.  We should never look at what we do but at what Christ has done. I Corinthians 10:12 says, “Wherefore, let him that thinkest he standeth take heed lest he fall.” It’s not we do but what He’s done.

When we rely on Jesus during those times of temptation He makes a way to escape. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape; that ye may be able to bear it. Wherefore, my dearly beloved flee from idolatry” (I Cor. 10:13-14). Anything you place before God is idolatry and that includes yourself. It’s not about how well we do or how strong we are, it’s about Jesus. It’s about us allowing Him to live out His life through us.

I Corinthians 12:9 says, “…My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” When I fall or when I don’t do what I know to do I don’t have to throw in the towel and quit because it’s in those times that I know my strength is weak and that I’m not standing in my own strength but I stand by the power of God.

God loves it when we cry out to Him for help. He wants us to throw up our hands in surrender to His will and to His power. James 4:6 says, “…God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.”

Remember, God’s faithfulness is not contingent upon your faithfulness to Him He is faithful that’s who He is. So even though you might not do what you know to do Jesus is perfect and He does all things well. He is with you leading and guiding you lifting you back up. He will never allow the devil to triumph over you. Micah 7:8 says, “Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy; when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me.” Even when we don’t do what we know to do we are still victorious in Christ.