Friday, January 19, 2018

"Not A Passive Kingdom"

"And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force."  Matthew 11:12
When David and his men reached their home base in Ziklag, they found that the Amalekites had invaded it, burned it with fire and taken their wives, sons and daughters captives.  David and his men were so greatly distressed that they wept until they couldn't weep any more.  At that point David did something.  He encouraged himself in the Lord, sought the Lord concerning what he should do and then followed the Lord's command to pursue the enemy and recover what had been taken.
David was hurting.  He was grieved.  He was in pain.  But he did not sit passively by and do nothing.  He didn't sit down, give up and wait for a miracle.  There is a time to "be still" and see the salvation of the Lord.  But mostly there is a call to action.  The kingdom is taken by force.  It is full of action.  We aren't to be sitting down, sitting still, or retreating from the enemy, but we are to go out to the battle.  We are to run to it not from it.  Sure, we need to hold on to the ground we have, but it doesn't stop there.  We are to go and gain and claim new ground and territory. 
Are you facing an enemy?  Are you sitting back doing nothing about it?  Are you in passive mode?  Then get up.  Go forth strong in the Lord and the power of His might.  Take through prayer, intercession and praise what the Lord has already promised you.  Don't be bulled by the enemy.  Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.  Go pursue what is yours through Christ.  Don't sit there "hoping" it will happen or change.  Make it change.  Declare and decree the Lord's will over your situation.  Take hold of the promises.  Don't let the enemy take control.  You take control through the Spirit in the Name of Jesus.
Have a great day.  God's kingdom is not passive.  Get up, pursue, go forth, take control. 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

"It Ain't Big Enough For Both"

"And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the."  Joshua 24:15

I am sure you have heard the phrase:  This town ain't big enough for the both of us.  You hear it a lot on the westerns on television.  I heard it the other day while I was praying.  I was praying about the flu epidemic that had hit our city and heard it in my spirit.  What I heard was -- this town ain't big enough for Jesus and the flu. 

Let me take it a step further this morning and put it on a personal level.  Whatever is going on in your life and you have Jesus living in your life, your life isn't big enough for Jesus and it.  Your life isn't big enough for Jesus and self to both occupy the throne of your heart.  Your heart isn't big enough for Jesus and any besetting sin.  It isn't big enough for Jesus and jealousy, bitterness, unforgiveness, addiction, adultery, disappointment, discouragement, sickness, lying, fear, condemnation, etc.  It isn't big enough for them both to occupy it.

Since it isn't big enough for both, one has to go.  Which one?  The choice is up to you.  If you are smart, if you truly want the Lord's will in your life, if you want to be surrendered to Jesus, if you want His plan fulfilled in your life, then the choice is easy.  Jesus doesn't have to go and won't unless you chose to hang on to the other.  He is the greater One.  He is the One that should be feared and revered.  He is the One who is powerful enough to send the other on its way. 

Your life isn't big enough for both, so which one will it be?  Are you going to let Jesus send these others packing and on their way back to the pit?  Or are you going to let them have the rule?  Will you let them stay and "crowd out" Jesus and push Him to the back?

Have a great day.  Your life isn't big enough for Jesus and the things that work against Him and try to destroy you. 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

"Get Well - part 2"

"That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word."  Ephesians 5:26

When I had the flu last week, the two main things that I was told to do to get better was rest and drink lots of liquids.  They tell you to drink lots of liquids so that your body will stay hydrated.  When you are well hydrated, your body performs at its highest level.  Your organs can do their job properly.  Your muscles don't stiffen up on you and so on. 

Yesterday we compared staying spiritually healthy to what I had to do to be physically healthy.  We talked about staying spiritually healthy by resting in the Lord.  This morning let's talk about another component of staying spiritually healthy which is staying hydrated--- drinking plenty of water.

The Bible speaks of the Word of God as water.  If we are to be spiritually healthy, we cannot neglect to "drink water".  We can't neglect to take God's Word into our hearts, minds and life.  His Word is like marrow and fatness to our bones.  He sent His Word and healed us.  His Word refreshes us and renews our minds.

If we don't get enough water physically, our bodies will suffer for it.  If we don't get enough water/Word our spiritual well-being will suffer for it as well.  We will lack the wisdom that we need.  We won't have strength and power.  Our faith level will become low.  We won't have clear direction, understanding or insight.  Confusion will come, frustration will set in, condemnation can gain a hold, fear will rule you, the enemy will snare you and you will find yourself giving into sin.

Are you drinking water daily?  Your body needs it.  Are you drinking the water of God's Word daily?  Your spiritual man needs it.  You can't live without water-- physically or spiritually.

Have a great day.  Make sure you are drinking in the Word of God today if you want to stay spiritually healthy.    

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

"Get Well"

"Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you."  Psalm 116:7
When I was sick this past week, I wasn't given much medicine to take but I was told by the doctor and various other people to get lots of rest and drink plenty of liquids.  Rest and liquids are the two main things that are conducive to getting well.  While laying there the thought occurred to me that this is the same thing we need to do to be healthy spiritually.
The reason many of us are spiritually sickly is because we are not getting the rest that we need.  I am not just talking about physical rest, although there is way too much busyness in our lives that is unnecessary.  I am mostly talking about resting in the Lord. 
How many of us are busy trying to take matters into our own hands, solve our own problems, figure out a solution to our needs, come up with an answer to our prayers or make something happen, instead of resting in the Lord and His ability to do it?  We would be happier and healthier if we would let God take care of things for us and stop trying to do it ourselves.  When we aren't resting, we are striving.  When we are striving, we are opening the door to spiritual sickness and disease-- anxiety, confusion, frustration, depression, complaining, etc.  These "break the spirit and dry up the bones".  They make our faith weak.  They diminish our trust in the Lord.  They take our eyes off of our true Help.         
Is this you?  Are you trying to make something happen?  Are you in a constant state of frustration?  Do you feel tired and weary all the time?  Are you always busy trying to work something out?  Then you aren't resting.  Until you learn to rest and let the Lord handle it, you will continue to feel tired and exhausted.
Have a great day.  You need to stop trying to do it and rest by letting the Lord take care of it. 

Monday, January 15, 2018

"A Miracle Bed"

"Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the Lord, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the Lord." 2 Kings 20:5
Many of you know that I have been in the bed the past week with the flu.  I thank you for your prayers.  I am so thankful to be better and up and about today.  I wanted to share with you some things that I "learned" while on my "bed of affliction".  First, I want to say that the Lord doesn't put sickness on us.  Sickness is a result of living in a fallen, sin-cursed world.  He is our Healer in sickness.  But, when sickness or affliction of any sort come our way, the Lord can still take that thing and work good in our lives through it.  He did mine.  There were things that He showed me, revelations that I received, direction on some issues, wisdom, insight and instruction that He gave me while I was "flat of my back". If He wills I will share them with you in the future.
When we are going through hard times, afflictions, suffering, tribulations, etc., sometimes it feels like the world has ended.  We feel like it won't ever get any better.  We feel like the Lord has forgotten us.  King Hezekiah in the Old Testament felt like this.  But we see that the Lord had not forgotten him.  The Lord was well aware of his situation.  The Lord was still speaking to him.  The Lord sent his healing.  The Lord gave him a great revelation and mighty miracle.  (In case you have forgotten, this is the king whom the Lord turned time back for as a sign that He would heal him.)
A bed of affliction turned into a place of miracles for Hezekiah.  It was a place for a miracle in the life of Jarius' daughter.  It was a place of a miracle in Peter's mother in law's life.  It was a place of a miracle in the life of the man who was left at the Gate Beautiful, and the man at the pool, and the man who was lowered by friends through the roof to get to Jesus.
The point is:  God has not forgotten where we are when we are going through affliction, pain or suffering.  He is still aware of us.  He can still minister to us no matter the circumstance.  And He can still give a miracle anywhere, any time and in any way He chooses. 
Have a great day.  A miracle can happen even on a bed.