Thursday, June 23, 2016

WE LIVE BY FAITH


“Now the just shall live by faith…”
Hebrews 10:38 (NKJV)

“You can never please God without faith, without depending on him. Anyone who wants to come to God must believe that there is a God and that he rewards those who sincerely look for him.”
Hebrews 11:6 (TLB)

“I mean that [or For; Because] you have been saved by grace through believing [faith]. You did not save yourselves; it was a gift from God.”
Ephesians 2:8 (EXB)

“And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”
Matthew 21:22 (NKJV)
 
The Christian life is a life of faith. We have relationship with God by faith. Salvation is a gift from God (grace), but we receive it by faith. In fact, everything that we receive from God is by faith. But faith isn’t something complicated and it isn’t something that you need to try and get a hold of. As a Christian you have all the faith you need in you; you just need to start exercising it or releasing it.

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth 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.”
Galatians 2:20 (KJV) – emphasis mine
 
Would you rather have wealth in a bank, or the wealth of a bank? Wealth of a bank is far greater than wealth in a bank. When you received Jesus and became a Christian, you received the faith of Christ. This means that you have all the faith that you need! The faith that you possess is equal to Christ’s quantity and quality of faith. This is why we can do the same works that Jesus did, and even greater works (John 14:12). A natural by-product (fruit) of having the Spirit in you is faith (Galatians 5:22). The only difference (with regard to faith) between us and Jesus is that many of us are not exercising the faith that we have; we’re not living by faith, we’re merely visiting there from time to time.

Sadly, many of us approach faith with a works or performance mentality, when New Testament faith is a rest, not a work. You cannot strive your way into faith – there is no place for striving in the Christian life (Hebrews 4 speaks about “the rest of faith”). Faith is actually a natural response to knowing God, His love and grace. Faith works by love (Galatians 5:6) and so as we focus on God’s amazing love for us, faith will begin to operate in our lives because we are confident in His love and therefore trust in Him and His Word.

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…”
Hebrews 12:1-2 (NKJV)
 
Jesus is the author and finisher of your faith. Another translation says that He is the “perfector” of our faith. What this means is that when we focus on Jesus and His grace (His finished work on our behalf), then faith will naturally rise up in our lives to receive what He has for us.
Thought for the day:
If you want to be strong in faith, then keep focused on Jesus and what He has done for you. Be strong in His grace and stay focused on His love for you. Don’t focus on faith, or trying to get more faith – you have all the faith you need. Stay focused on Jesus and His love for you.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

GOD’S EXTRAVAGANT LOVE




“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!...”
1 John 3:1 (NKJV)


“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!...”
1 John 3:1 (NIV)

Your heavenly Father loves you! You may feel unloved and lonely, but if you realized how much God loves you, your love-tank would be full and overflowing. God’s love for you isn’t just some kind of intellectual or theoretical love. It’s tangible and can be seen. That’s why the writer in this verse said “behold…” or “see…” the love Father God has for us. God’s love for us can be seen; it can be experienced. Often believers will feel like God tolerates them or loves them because He has to, but that’s not true. Your heavenly Father is crazy about you! The word “lavished” means to “bestow something in generous or extravagant quantities”. God doesn’t just tolerate you or love you a little bit; He has generously and extravagantly poured His love on you! It’s more love that you could ever imagine.

“And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.”
Ephesians 3:18 (NLT)

There are innumerable different dimensions to God’s love, and there is always more of God’s love for us to discover and experience. Like the old song says: “It’s so high, you can’t get over it; it’s so low (deep) you can’t get under it; it’s so wide, you can’t get around it; oh, wonderful love”.
“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”
Romans 5:8 (NLT)

This is the extravagance of God’s love for us! When we were sinners (unholy, with no goodness in us at all); when we were at our lowest of lows with nothing to offer God; that’s when He poured out His love on us in a generous and extravagant quantity. And He did it by sending Jesus to die for us (John 3:16) – to die in our place.

“9 By this the love of God is revealed in us: that God has sent his one and only Son into the world so that we may live through him. 10 In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
1 John 4:9-10 New English Translation (NET Bible)

The extravagance of the Father’s love for us is that He dealt with our sin problem - because we could not. Not only has God has shown us mercy in not giving us what we deserve (punishment for sin), but He has extended His grace towards us in giving us His blessing and favour, which we don’t deserve.

Thought to focus on for the day:
God loves you. Ask Him to help you to understand this love today!

“He paid a debt He did not owe; I owed a debt I could not pay; I needed someone to wash my sins away. And, now, I sing a brand new song, “Amazing Grace.” Christ Jesus paid a debt that I could never pay.” – Lyrics by Ellis J. Crum

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

You are not a victim


“The sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to be king over all…”
Romans 5:17a Living Bible (TLB)

“For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one…”
Romans 5:17a New King James Version (NKJV)

The moment you were born into this world, you were subject to sin and death, thanks to your great-great-great… (and add a couple extra “greats”) grandfather, Adam. In other words, you were born a victim. We all inherited this from Adam. You were born a victim.
“The sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to be king over all, but all who will take God’s gift of forgiveness and acquittal are kings of life because of this one man, Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:17 Living Bible (TLB) – emphasis mine
 

“For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.”
Romans 5:17 New King James Version (NKJV) – emphasis mine

When you “take God’s gift of forgiveness and acquittal” and become a Christian, you reject your inheritance (from Adam) and you are no longer a victim. You no longer have death and sin ruling over you; you now have the abundant life of God inside of you (Romans 8:11; 1 John 5:12). By accepting Jesus, you have a new rich inheritance (Ephesians 1:18). This inheritance causes you to be a king in life – no longer a victim, but a victor!


We have all felt the effects of the inheritance in Adam (sin, sickness, lack, depression, anxiety…) - but now that we are children of God, we have a new inheritance. We should be more familiar with our inheritance in Christ than the one we had in Adam.

“…who has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of His beloved Son.”
Colossians 1:13 Berean Literal Bible

You have been delivered (set free) from the dominion (or controlling influence) of darkness (including your inheritance in Adam) and have been transferred into God’s kingdom. His kingdom is a kingdom of love and freedom and victory! You are no longer a slave, no longer in bondage to sin and its effects. You are a child of God with a rich inheritance in Christ!


Most of us live far below our privileges as children of God. Many Christians seem to have more faith in the inheritance of death and bondage from Adam than in the abundantly rich inheritance of grace, love and freedom that we have in Christ. When we start putting more confidence in Christ and His finished work which reversed the curse of Adam (Galatians 3:13), then we will start to experience more of the inheritance we have in Christ.

“But in all these things we are completely victorious through ·God [or Christ; L the One] who showed his love for us.”
Romans 8:37 Expanded Bible (EXB)
 

“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
Romans 8:37 New King James Version (NKJV)
                                            

How do we become more than conquerors and live “completely victorious”? As a child of God you are already more than a conqueror and completely victorious. You may be struggling with some bondage or experiencing some attack in your life, but the truth is you are already more than a conqueror. The enemy will try and trick you into thinking that you need to conquer him, and if you buy that lie he will keep you busy fighting a battle that you’ve already won. You are not fighting for victory; you’re fighting from a place of victory! A conqueror is someone who conquers something, but “more than a conqueror” is more than that. As a child of God you’re more than a conqueror! You aren’t fighting for victory, but enjoying the freedom and spoils of victory that Christ purchased for you through His sacrifice. You’re protecting and defending your victory by resisting the attacks of the devil (James 4:7). You have already got the victory. You are not a victim, you’re victorious!

Thought to focus on for the day:
Stop seeing yourself as a victim. With Christ you are no longer a victim; you are victorious! See yourself as a victor, as someone who is more than a conqueror because of Jesus and His finished work for you.

Monday, June 20, 2016

AFFIRMED BY GOD


“When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Matthew 3:16-17 (NKJV)
                               
             
Jesus hadn’t started His ministry yet and it was only after His baptism that any miracles, teachings and ministry are recorded. At the age of 30, Jesus goes to be baptised by John. As soon as He was out of the water, Scripture shows us that the Spirit of God descended like a dove and lighted upon Him (He got empowered by the Holy Spirit baptism – Acts 10:38) and Father God spoke from Heaven expressing His pleasure in His Son.
 
Our souls (mind, will, intellect, emotions) are wired to thrive on encouragement and affirmation. People who receive genuine encouragement are far more productive than those who don’t. On the flip-side, criticism (not constructive criticism, but rather pointing out faults and focusing on the negative) mostly brings discouragement and can lead to apathy and passivity. Sometimes criticism can fuel an individual to prove the criticism and critics wrong; but that’s not a good motivation. We’ve all experienced positive affirmation as well as negative criticism in some form, and know the fruit of both.
 
I saw it in my three year-old son recently when we were at the park the other day. There was a slide with ropes that you can use climb up with, and then once you’ve climbed it, you can go up to a bigger slide to come down. He tried climbing the up-slide with ropes, but kept saying, “I can’t do it”. I went to him and encouraged him: “Yes, you can, my boy! You can do anything because Jesus is helping you!”. Then I helped him a little and encouraged him to keep going, saying “You can do it!”. When he got to the top, he exclaimed: “I can do it, Dadda, I can do it!”. Then he went down the big slide, and went up again, and down, and up and down, saying: “Look dada, I can do it!”. Positive affirmation does wonders for our hearts and spurs us on (with the correct motivation) to do great things.
 
Often, as believers, we try (even our best) to do great things for God because we desire His affirmation. We really want to please Him and hear that we are good enough for Him, and so we serve, and give, and do… all because we want to hear Him say: “This is my beloved child, in whom I am well pleased!”
 
At the time of His baptism and God’s public declaration, Jesus hadn’t started His ministry yet. There is no record of any miracles or healings or teachings up until the time of His baptism. And yet Father God declares over Jesus: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”. I believe that there is an important lesson for us to learn here. God is pleased with you long before you do anything for Him. He is pleased with you and delights in you because you are His child. I remember the first time I held my boys after they were born. My heart was overflowing with love for and pleasure in them. It was not because they did anything special – they couldn’t talk, didn’t know how to make a cup of coffee, and couldn’t tell me what a great dad I was. But I had abundant pleasure in them because they are my sons.
 
Many times we try and do great things for God because we’re seeking His approval and delight. The truth is that He already accepts us, loves us and delights in us. Jesus received this affirmation from His Dad and then went on to start His ministry and literally changed the world. Often we go out and attempt to do great things for God; and while we may achieve some success, it isn’t near what it could be because we’re coming from a place where our motivation is seeking His affirmation, not having received His affirmation. Before we do anything great for God, we need to be confident in His love and acceptance of us – then anything we do should flow from there. We don’t serve, give and seek to do great things for God to be accepted by God, loved by God or to please God. We serve, give and seek to do great things with God because we are accepted by Him, loved by Him and pleasing to Him as His children.

“The Lord your God is ·with you [in your midst]; the mighty One will save you. He will ·rejoice over you [take delight in you]. You will rest [or He will quiet you; or He won’t rebuke you] in his love; He will sing and be joyful about you.”
Zephaniah 3:17 Expanded Bible (EXB)
 
Thought to focus on for the day:
You have a heavenly Father who loves you unconditionally and delights in you. He accepts you and is pleased with you simply because you are His child!

Scriptures for meditation:
Psalm 136:3; Psalm 149:4; Jeremiah 31:3; John 3:16; Ephesians 3:17-19; Romans 5:8; Romans 8:35

Saturday, June 18, 2016

DON’T GIVE UP!


“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”
Revelation 12:11 (KJV) – emphasis mine
 
The victory that God desires for us isn’t automatic – it’s not going to just happen because you’re a Christian. Victory is yours, but you have to put you faith (confidence and trust) in God and His Word to start seeing it flow. This scripture shows us that they overcame the enemy, but that they overcame throughJesus (“the blood of the Lamb”): through what He did for them. You will have challenges in this life, and the enemy will attack you. But God has set you up to overcome every attack and live in victory! You will have challenges and attacks in life (John 16:33). But because of Jesus, you can overcome. There is a part for you to play: you need to take hold of your inheritance in Christ by submitting to God and resisting the devil and his attacks. Only then will the devil leave you alone. (James 4:7)
 
God is glorified when we bear much fruit (John 15:8). His heart for us is that we experience success and reign in life! He didn’t create anyone to be defeated or to be overcome by the enemy and the challenges of this life. God never created anyone to be unsuccessful and suffer – that’s a result of the fall of man (Romans 5:17). We are Christ’s ambassadors, or representatives (2 Corinthians 5:20). Therefore, we represent Him well when we are overcoming, reigning in life and experiencing fruitfulness in our lives.

“On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.””
Mark 4:35 (NKJV)


“Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. 24 And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. 25 Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!” 26 But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.”
Matthew 8:23-26 (NKJV)
 
The disciples had a word from Jesus (God) to “go over to the other side.” Jesus didn’t lie or trick them. He never told them to “go halfway and drown…”. Yet when they came up against this mighty storm which seemed like it was going to sink their ship, they panicked and were filled with fear. They could feel the mighty wind and see the ferocious waves. They saw that their boat was filling up with water, and sinking, and as a result they were filled with fear. When we focus on the natural (the effects of the storms in our lives) we too will be filled with fear and panic. But the reality is that they were not going to drown. Jesus knew that, and that’s possibly why He was sleeping (resting) through the storm. The problem was that the disciples had forgotten Jesus’ word to them, and had allowed the circumstances to consume them. We easily forget the promises of God when our hearts are consumed with the attacks we are facing. If the disciples had put faith in Jesus’ word to “go over to the other side” they would have possibly rebuked the storm themselves, or simply pushed through and persevered. Either way, they would have gotten to the other side.
 
God hasn’t called you to trust Him so that you could be the first person to ever see Him fail. Fear paralyzes us and prevents us from “getting to the other side”, and the only reason we would be filled with fear is because we are not putting faith in the promises of God. Just because you have a word from God doesn’t mean there won’t be opposition to that word. That word won’t automatically come to pass. You need to trust God, resist the attacks of the devil and any opposition that comes your way, and persevere.
 
Thought to focus on for the day:
Don’t give up! Don’t give up! Don’t give up! Keep focused on Jesus and keep persevering. Resist the attacks of the devil and any opposition you face. Hold onto the promises of God and keep speaking them out boldly. You were created to overcome, to live a fruitful life, to reign in life and live in victory!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

YOUR TONGUE CAN GET YOU OUT OF THIS


“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?” 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”
Mark 4:39-41 (NKJV)


The disciples were filled with fear. They were in the middle of a big storm and their ship was sinking. While all of this is going on, Jesus is taking a nap in the boat! The fear-filled disciples, crying out for help, eventually woke Jesus up. Jesus responded to His disciples by dealing with the storm and then He asked them: “Why are you so fearful? How is it you have no faith?”. Jesus had been training them for some time now, and so they should have responded differently to this challenge. They should have thought of exercising their authority and calming the storm. But when we focus on the storms of life, we give place to fear and we paralyze our faith. We simply do not have space in our hearts for faith to operate when our hearts are full of fear! We need to keep our eyes on Jesus, stay focused on His Word, and continue going in the direction He has called us to – which is victory!

When Jesus woke up He didn’t panic. He didn’t talk about how bad the storm was or call someone for an expert opinion. Scripture says that He simply “arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.” Jesus was demonstrating how we should deal with storms (or attacks) in life: we don’t study them and try figure out how bad they are. We simply rise up and rebuke them. This won’t make sense to the unspiritual man, but we speak to the problem directly and tell it what to do. We should use our words to command peace into situations and the result will be “great calm.”

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love to talk will have to eat their own words.”
Proverbs 18:21 GOD'S WORD® Translation

Our words are powerful. We should be speaking faith-filled words of life because they will lead to a great destiny. But sadly, many believers speak words of death, unbelief and doubt more than they speak God’s Word and promises over their lives. Many times when a storm comes against us, we speak out the opposite of peace, and that’s why we don’t see a supernatural turnaround. That’s why things often get worse – because we’re using our authority to make things worse. When the doctor says you’ve got an incurable disease, don’t respond with fear and panic, saying “This is going to kill me!”. Respond with faith by speaking out the Word: “Thank you Jesus that You’re bigger than this sickness and You live in me. By Your stripes I am healed!”. When the economy is heading south and things starts going against you, don’t panic and say “This is going to ruin me!”. Respond in faith and declare God’s Word: “Thank you, Lord, that I am blessed and that You are my provider. I am not subject to the world’s economic system, but to your kingdom’s system which says that I am blessed, and everything I put my hand to is blessed!”. When things look bleak, don’t declare what you see - declare what God’s Word says. Then the situation will turn around.

“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.”
Mark 11:23 (NKJV) – emphasis mine


Most of us don’t realize the authority that we carry. As a result, we don’t put much thought into the words we speak, and we aren’t putting faith into action by speaking faith-filled words. We shouldn’t be merely saying what we see when storms and problems come against us - we should be speaking what God’s Word says and what we know to be true.

Thought to focus on for the day:
You have authority to speak peace to your storm. If you focus on the storm and how bad it is, it will overwhelm you. But as you focus on Jesus and His Word, faith will fill your heart and enable you to rise up and overcome! Speak words of life! Your tongue is the rudder of your life. You can it use to steer your life in the right direction (see James 3:1-12).

DON’T GO WITH THE FLOW OF FEAR AND UNBELIEF


“On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” 36 Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 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?”
Mark 4:35-38 (NKJV)
 
The disciples were freaked out! They hadn’t forgotten that Jesus was in the same boat as they were, but it seems that they forgot who Jesus was. Or maybe they just forgot what He had been teaching them. It’s easy to allow fear to grab a hold of you when you focus on the storm. In moments like that, the fear causes us to forget what we’ve learnt and we go into panic and survival mode. You are not called to survive but to thrive! As God’s children, it is not our inheritance to simply make it through. God’s will for us is this: we are the head and not the tail. That means that we’re leading and showing people the way to go; we’re not simply following where the crowd is going. God’s will for us is that we be above only, and not beneath. We should not live in subjection to the circumstances around us. We shouldn’t allow ourselves to be pushed around by circumstances - we have God-given authority in Christ! We shouldn’t just go with the flow of the circumstances, but rather we should rise up and lead the way forward according to the will of God. (Deuteronomy 28:13; Ephesians 2:6)
 
Jesus wasn’t influenced by His disciples and their fear. Often, if we’re the only one in the group who believes what we believe, we easily give into popular belief and go with the flow of fear and unbelief. But we need to keep our eyes on Jesus, stay focused on His Word, and continue going in the direction He has called us to, no matter how difficult the opposition may be. No one and nothing should be able to make you believe anything other than what God has said. We should have the attitude of “God said it, I believe it and that settles it.”
 
Thought for the day:
Keep your eyes on Jesus, stay focused on His Word, and continue going in the direction He has called you to, no matter how difficult the opposition may be. Have the attitude of: God said it, I believe it and that settles it.”

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

GO TO THE OTHER SIDE


“On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” 36 Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 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?” 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”
Mark 4:35-41 (NKJV)
No matter how bad the storm may be, Jesus is with you! If you stay focused on the storm, your heart will fill up with fear and you’ll struggle to overcome what you’re facing. But as you focus on Jesus and His Word, faith will rise up in your heart (Isaiah 26:3-4) and you will experience supernatural peace which will enable you to effortlessly overcome because you’re resting in the Lord (Psalm 116:7). Your greatest enemy is not the storm. Your greatest enemy is fear.

“On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.”
Mark 4:35 (NKJV)
Scripture records this account of getting into the boat and going into a storm as on the same day as Jesus teaching His disciples about the Kingdom of God, and how God’s Word is a seed which we need to receive and cultivate in our hearts. The storm was their first opportunity to put into practice what they were learning. Jesus’ word to them was: “Let us cross over to the other side.”

Do you have a Word from God? You know you are where you should be, or you know that you’re doing what you should be doing, and yet everything seems to be going against what should be? It may be natural elements that you’re experiencing (storms happen – maybe you’re experiencing the effects of a bad economy?), it may be persecution (which is resistance from other people because of your convictions – 2 Timothy 3:12) or it may simply be the enemy (who doesn’t want you to fulfil your destiny and prosper – 1 Peter 5:8). Whatever the reason for the storm you are facing, the truth is that if you have a word from God and you are where He has called you to be, then you need to hold onto that Word.

Jesus’ word to them was “Let us cross over to the other side.” He didn’t say “let’s go halfway and drown!”. Life isn’t always a walk in the park. Jesus told us that we’d have troubles in this life (John 16:33) - but because He has overcome, we can overcome, and experience supernatural peace all the way! The disciples were focused on the storm – the natural elements and circumstances – and they allowed their hearts to be troubled, and full of fear, because of the storm. It is easy to panic if you focus on the problems and they can overwhelm you, but you need to choose to focus on Jesus and His Word. The disciples may have never woken Jesus if they had thought about the truth that Jesus is God (the Creator of the universe) and that He had given them a word: go to the other side. If they had remembered this, they would have put faith in His word (and not in the storm) and then they would have gotten through the storm to the other side. All while Jesus was still enjoying his nap.

“Keep in mind that the LORD your God is [the only] God. He is a faithful God, who keeps his promise and is merciful to thousands of generations of those who love him and obey his commands.”
Deuteronomy 7:9 (GOD’S WORD)

“So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
Isaiah 55:11 (ESV)
The disciples had a promise from Jesus. Fulfilling that promises was Jesus’ responsibility, but the disciples’ responsibility was to hold onto that promise and keep trusting Him. You may feel like you’re going through “the valley of the shadow of death” (and that can be very scary if you’re not focused on the Lord), but remember that you’re going through the valley of the shadow of death (Psalm 23:4). You’re not camping there; you’re simply passing through.

Thought to focus on for the day:
Don’t focus on the storms you’re facing – focus on Jesus and His promises to you. He didn’t call you to trust Him so that you could be the first person to ever see Him fail. His is faithful and His promises are true. Don’t be moved by circumstances; be moved by God’s Word.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

JESUS IS IN YOUR BOAT


“On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” 36 Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 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?” 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”
Mark 4:35-41 (NKJV)
 
Jesus and His disciples faced a life-threatening challenge: there was a bad storm and their boat was filling up with water, which means it was sinking. The disciples, some of whom were experienced sailors, were panicking but Jesus was actually fast asleep, in the midst of the storm. Eventually the fear-filled disciples woke Jesus up asking Him if He even cared! But Jesus obviously did care; He was just resting and wasn’t going to lose any peace over the situation. Peace isn’t the absence of problems; it’s being secure in the midst of turmoil.
 
Are you in a really bad storm? Does it feel like your boat is filling up with water and you’re going down? God wants you to experience supernatural peace like Jesus did, no matter what storm you’re going through!
 
We all face storms in life, some of which can be life-threatening, but we don’t have to lose sleep or peace over it. Our hearts should be at such a deep place of rest in God (trust in Him) that we experience peace and joy no matter what. From this passage of Scripture we can learn a few things regarding how to deal with the storms that come up against us.

“On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” 36 Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. 37 And a great windstorm arose…”
Mark 4:35-37 (NKJV)
 
One of the most important things to note is that Jesus was in the boat with them. If you’re a Christian, Jesus is in your boat with you. You may feel like He’s not there, but the truth is that He is. He will never leave you (Hebrews 13:5), He lives in you (1 Corinthians 3:16) and He is greater than anything that could come against you (Romans 8:31; 1 John 4:4). Therefore, there is always hope. And He isn’t sleeping in your boat – He’s on watch and on call 24/7 (Psalm 121:4) ready and willing to help you (Psalm 23:4).

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. 4 Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.”
Isaiah 26:3-4 (ESV)
 
No matter how terrifying the storm may be, don’t focus on it. Focusing on the storm will only fill you with fear. As long as you’re focused on your problems you don’t have the capacity to focus on Jesus. When you’re focused on Jesus, your heart doesn’t have the capacity to be filled with fear. Don’t focus on the problems; focus on the Saviour who is with you.  You will not experience peace until you take your attention off of the storm and focus on the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). Not only will Jesus lead you into victory (2 Corinthians 2:14) but He will also comfort you, strengthen you and help you (Isaiah 41:10; Isaiah 66:13; 2 Corinthians 1:4).
 
Thought to focus on for the day:
Jesus is with you! Choose to focus on Him and His Word and not on the problems and challenges that you have. When you focus on Jesus and His promises your heart will be filled with faith.
 
SCRIPTURES FOR MEDITATION:
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.”
Psalm 46:1-3 (ESV)

“I am at rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. 2 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I will never be shaken… 5 Rest in God alone, my soul, for my hope comes from Him. 6 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I will not be shaken. 7 My salvation and glory depend on God, my strong rock. My refuge is in God. 8 Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before Him. God is our refuge.”
Psalm 62:1-2, 5-8 (HCSB)

Monday, June 13, 2016

VICTORY IS YOURS


“…for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.”
1 Samuel 17:47 (NKJV)

 
David was a 15-year-old shepherd boy while Goliath was a 9-foot-9 giant - a grown man who had been a soldier from his youth. Not only was Goliath a huge man, but he also had a sword and armour. In the natural, it seemed that all that David (the pretty little 15-year-old boy) had was a slingshot and five stones. He had no armour and no experience in war – in the natural, the odds were stacked against David. But David had confidence (faith) in his covenant (relationship) with God, knowing that the battle was the Lord’s. He was bold and spoke out his faith with confidence because He knew that when you trust in God you will never be put to shame (Psalm 25:3). As a result of his faith in God, David did not fear at all, and he defeated Goliath and secured victory for the Israelites.

“So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. But there was no sword in the hand of David. 51 Therefore David ran and stood over the Philistine, took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it…”
1 Samuel 17:50-51 (NKJV)

 
David was relying completely on God for the victory. He knew that in the natural he didn’t stand a chance - he needed God. But David didn’t just sit down on the battlefield and wait for God to kill Goliath. David wasn’t passive and we shouldn’t be either. Scripture says that “David hurried and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine”(1 Samuel 17:48). He hurried and ran towards Goliath – neither of those descriptions of what David did have a hint of passivity. Then, “David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead” (:49). David did something and because of his actions “David prevailed over the Philistine” (:50) and “David ran and stood over the Philistine, took Goliath’s sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it” (:51). David did something – he used what was in his hands and dealt with the giant in front of him. He didn’t sit back and say, “Well, if God wants me to have victory over the giant, then I will have it because He will do it.” David knew that God wanted him to have the victory; he was confident that God would give him the victory; but he went out and did something.
 
David was not in works or legalism: he wasn’t trusting in his own skill or his own holiness. He was trusting completely in God to give him the victory, and his faith was in God’s promises and commitment to him, given by covenant. Likewise, we should not passively wait for victory to fall on us – we must go and get a hold of what God has given us. He wants you to live in victory! God doesn’t want you to be overcome with sickness, financial problems and other attacks from the devil – God’s desire for you is that you reign in life and live in victory and freedom. And through Jesus, God has made a way for you to experience this. God has given you authority and power to overcome and defeat the giants that come against you (see Mark 11:22-24). Passivity will cause you to wait for something to happen; but when you realize that God has already given you the victory, you will rise up and use your God-given authority and ability to defeat your giants.

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
James 4:7 (KJV)
 
The word “resist” means to actively fight against. There is nothing passive about actively fighting. If you are not actively fighting against the enemy and his attacks, then you’re submitting to them. Don’t allow the devil to run circles around you – rise up and use your God-given authority (Luke 10:19).

“…Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.”
Mark 11:23-24 (ESV)
 
Don’t wait for God to move your mountains. He has placed His mountain-moving ability inside of you! You need to rise up and speak to your mountains (problems) and tell them to go. Don’t submit to the problems – resist them!
 
Thought to focus on for the day:
When we are preparing to face our giants, we start from a place of rest and confidence and trust in God (not ourselves) and the reality that He has already given us the victory. This does not make us sit still – passivity won’t help us kill our giants! Faith makes us run towards them without fear, and we can do what needs to be done in the authority of Jesus, who has overcome everything.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

TRUST IN GOD AND YOU WON’T BE DISAPPOINTED


“Then David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth. 50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. But there was no sword in the hand of David. 51 Therefore David ran and stood over the Philistine, took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it. And when the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled.”
1 Samuel 17:49-51 (NKJV)

 
I am sure that David was pretty good with his slingshot, but he had never used it on a giant before. No matter how good he was with the slingshot, he was committing to do something that he had never done before. Goliath was wearing a helmet which increased David’s odds against him. But David wasn’t trusting in his slingshot or in his ability. Even when he told King Saul about having killed a bear and a lion while defending his sheep, he didn’t say how he killed them; he credited God for his success, saying that the Lord had delivered him “from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear” (1 Samuel 17:37). David wasn’t arrogant or self-confident, he was God-confident. Likewise we need to trust in and rely on God and His ability, not ours. Our strength and ability is limited; God’s ability and strength is limitless.
 
David boldly spoke out his faith and prophesied his victory over the enemy - tothe enemy. He was confident of victory because he knew his God and knew that those who trust in the Lord will never be put to shame.

“…I am the LORD. Those who trust in me will never be put to shame.”
Isaiah 49:23 (NLT)


“None of those who have faith in God will ever be disgraced for trusting him…”
Psalm 25:3 (TLB)

 
You may have natural skills, abilities and knowledge which could help you overcome your giants; but then all glory to you! Yes, God wants you to use what you have to fight the giants in your life (he gave you your skills, abilities and mind, after all). But if you are trusting in yourself, it’s faith with no root and it’s not supernatural. Even if you think you can handle your giant, you need to trust in God. Look to Him and trust His strength and ability to flow through you.

“So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. But there was no sword in the hand of David. 51 Therefore David ran and stood over the Philistine, took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it…”
1 Samuel 17:50-51 (NKJV)

 
It’s a miracle (supernatural) that David beat the giant with his slingshot and a stone. It’s important to note that David didn’t sit back and do nothing. He used what he had and trusted God to use it. That slingshot became a deadly weapon in the hands of faith. In the natural, David didn’t stand a chance, but God was with David, and therefore the big, scary giant didn’t have a hope! When we trust in God, it releases His power to move on our behalf. Remember that God didn’t call you to be the first person to trust Him and ever see Him fail. God is faithful (Psalm 36:5; Psalm 86:15; Psalm 119:90; 1 Corinthians 1:9) and His Word is true (Psalm 33:4; Proverbs 30:5; Isaiah 55:11).
 
Thought for the day
Choose not to rely on your abilities, skills and knowledge. However good it may be, it’s limited. When we trust in and rely on God, we unleash God’s supernatural power to move through us and help us defeat the giants we face. When we trust in God we will never be disappointed!

Friday, June 10, 2016

PREPARING AND PROTECTING YOUR HEART

“So it was, when the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, that David hurried and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.”
1 Samuel 17:48 (NKJV)

 
I don’t know many people who would run towards their giants. Most people wait until they have to deal with them. David ran towards Goliath; he wasn’t afraid, because he had faith in God. He saw the victory in his mind. He had boldly prophesied to the giant that he was going to lose because God was on his side. David didn’t have any insecurity and wasn’t experiencing any fear or doubts in the situation – he was full of faith and confident of his victory. If David had been thinking negatively or wondered if he was going to win, he probably would have been killed. If we are allowing ourselves to be unsure about whether we are going to win or not, then we’re double minded, and scripture shows us that when we’re double minded we are not in faith (James 1:7-8). Without faith, you won’t receive anything. In situations where we face giants, we need to know the promises of God concerning our situations and we need to choose to believe what God has said.

“My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed...”
Psalms 57:7 (RV)

 
David had prepared his heart; his mind was fixed on victory. He wasn’t speaking any fear, doubt or unbelief - because he had none. And even if he was tempted to be intimidated by the giant’s size or mean words, David didn’t allow it to influence his heart. He stayed focused on the Lord and kept speaking out his faith boldly. Likewise, whatever giant (no matter how big or scary) is trying to destroy you: don’t allow it to influence your heart. We will always have the opportunity to doubt and be fearful – it is our choice whether we accept those thoughts of doubt and fear, or whether we choose instead to take God at His word.

“…the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”
1 John 4:4b (ERV)
 
God in you is greater than any giant you could ever face! Keep focused on the wonderful truth that God is with you and keep speaking His promises out boldly. As soon as you consider the size of the giant, or what it’s saying, you’re allowing your heart to be influenced in the wrong direction. Stay focused on God and His Word!
 
Thought to focus on for the day:
I will keep, protect and guard my heart. I refuse to entertain thoughts of unbelief or fear, even if they come. I will focus the eyes of my heart on God’s goodness, faithfulness and love for me, and I will use my words to back me up!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

THE BATTLE IS THE LORD’S

“47 Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.”
1 Samuel 17:47 (NKJV)
 
David was already the anointed King of Israel, but most people (including King Saul and Goliath) were unaware of this. In essence, King Saul (who should have gone out and defeated Goliath) gave the job to his successor without realizing it. All Goliath saw in front of him was a pretty little boy; he didn’t recognize the anointing (God’s empowering) on David’s life. God’s anointing is on you to defeat whatever giant you are facing. The giant will try and get you to focus on what you don’t have (a sword or a spear), but remember that because God is with you, the odds are in your favour!
 
Your victory isn’t accomplished with carnal weapons. As David said, “the Lord does not save with sword and spear.” Carnal weapons can help – David didn’t just kneel and pray, he had a slingshot and he used it – but our faith and confidence should not be in them. God created whatever the doctors used to put the medicine together, and it can help you, but your faith needs to be in God. Medical science is limited; God isn’t. Whatever giant you’re facing, the world may have an answer for it - but remember that God’s ways are better than ours and His wisdom is far wiser (Isaiah 55:8-9; 1 Corinthians 1:25). To everyone else on the battlefield, David must have looked like a foolish, over-confident little boy. But his confidence was rooted in the faithfulness of God and the covenant he had with Him. This is the foundation which caused David to speak out his faith boldly!

“…for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.”
1 Samuel 17:47 (NKJV)
 
God has set you up to reign in life and overcome the giants that you face (Mark 11:22-24; Romans 5:17; 2 Corinthians 2:14; 1 John 5:4) but you can’t just sit back and ignore the giant hoping God will deal with it. If you do that, the giant might kill you. Like David, you need to use the anointing on you (Acts 10:38; Romans 8:11; 1 John 2:27) and go kill your giant. God is with you and His anointing is on you to do it. David didn’t wait for God to strike down Goliath – David himself threw the stone but trusted God for the victory. David ran up to Goliath and took Goliath’s sword and cut off his head. He didn’t wait for God to do it, but he completely trusted in and relied on God for the victory. David knew that without the covenant (relationship) with God he could do nothing. Likewise, without our relationship with Jesus we will never have true victory (John 15:4).
 
Passivity will destroy you. Don’t believe the lie that God will do it all. His anointing and empowering in you will do it through you. It’s 100% His ability. You just need to have confidence in His ability in you. You have God’s authority to deal with the giants (Luke 10:19; Mark 11:22-24) and so boldly speak out God’s Word and tell your giant (or mountain) where to go.

 
Thought to focus on for the day:
I can rest, knowing that God has given me the victory and He will lead me in triumph. He has set me up to reign in life and overcome every giant that I face by giving me the anointing and authority to deal with them.

Note: I have another article on this topic, where I look at Moses. Click here to read it!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

OPEN YOUR EYES AND SEE YOUR VICTORY


“41 So the Philistine came, and began drawing near to David, and the man who bore the shield went before him. 42 And when the Philistine looked about and saw David, he disdained him; for he was only a youth, ruddy and good-looking. 43 So the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 And the Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!”.”
1 Samuel 17:41-44 (NKJV)

Giants can be pretty intimidating! David was around 15 years old when he went up against Goliath, who was a grown man around 9-feet tall. David certainly wasn’t relying on his flesh (abilities, skills and weapons); his confidence was in the fact that he had a covenant (a relationship) with God. He was thoroughly convinced that he’d defeat Goliath simply because God was with him and Goliath was nothing more than “an uncircumcised Philistine” (someone with no relationship with God). It does not matter how intimidating your giant may be - because God is with you, you’re positioned to overcome and win!

Goliath was shouting out at David (a pretty little boy) that he was going to kill him and feed his body to the animals – that could have been pretty intimidating. But David didn’t allow what Goliath was saying to get to him. He didn’t allow fear or intimidation to enter his heart. Instead, he kept his focus and spoke back to the giant.

“45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.”
1 Samuel 17:45 (NKJV)

The giants in our lives are always speaking to us and trying to get us into fear and unbelief. Your financial giant will tell you, “You’re going under… you’re ruined… you’re a failure… you’ll never make it…”. Your health giant will tell you, “You’re never going to get better… it’s bad, really bad... you are probably going to die… who is going to be at your funeral?...”. Whatever giants you face, they’re all essentially saying the same thing: they are focusing on the negative, they are not acknowledging God or His promises, and they are all trying to get you to give into fear, to not believe God, and to lose hope.  Like David, we too need to speak to our giants and boldly declare that God is with us, and then declare His Word. Jesus told us to do this in Mark 11:23 when He said that we should speak to our mountains (our problems) and tell them to go! He didn’t tell us to speak to God about our problems, but to speak to our problems and tell them to go. We have the God-given authority to do this.

“46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. 47 Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.”
1 Samuel 17:46-47 (NKJV)

David spoke out in faith and told Goliath (who was much, much bigger than he was) exactly what was going to happen. He hadn’t defeated Goliath in the natural, but in the Spirit and in his heart it was done. He could see it. You need to see your victory. See yourself as healed and strong. See yourself as debt-free and prosperous. See yourself as fearless. See yourself as God sees you. Proverbs 28:19 shows us that we perish without vision. You need to see (imagine) what you’re believing for – see the victory! Then declare it! David told Goliath that he was going to cut his head from his body. This meant that the giant would not be a threat again. David was also prophesying that he would use Goliath’s own sword to cut his head off (remember, David only had a slingshot). David then told Goliath that he would feed the carcasses of the Philistines to the animals. In other words, David was declaring that he would defeat the entire Philistine army – he had a vision for complete and total victory! He wasn’t trusting in his skills as a soldier, or his weapons or strength; David was trusting in the Lord and knew that God would give him the victory.

Thought to focus on for the day:
No matter how intimidating my giant may be, because God is with me, I am positioned to overcome and win! I will not allow fear or intimidation to enter my heart – I choose not to focus on what the giant is saying. Instead I will keep focused on God’s promises and I will boldly declare them. God has already given me the victory (1 John 5:4). I choose to see myself as victorious.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

GET READY FOR VICTORY!

“Then he took his staff in his hand; and he chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag, in a pouch which he had, and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine.”
1 Samuel 17:40 (NKJV)
 
David fought his battle against Goliath the way he knew how to. King Saul had tried to get David to us his armour and sword, but David wasn’t familiar with it and stuck with what had worked for him in the past. He wasn’t trusting in armour, or a sword, or even his slingshot; David was trusting in his relationship with God for success.
 
He selected five stones, put them in his shepherd’s bag, and then approached Goliath. The Israeli soldiers were passively waiting in their camp; they were full of fear and no one had any inclination to fight. David was actively resisting his enemy; he didn’t wait for things to get worse. We don’t know for sure why David chose five stones to go into battle with. Goliath may have had four brothers which David was ready to defeat after he got rid of Goliath. This would reveal David’s confidence and vision of victory. He wasn’t hoping to win - he knew he was going to win because God was on his side! Maybe he chose five stones so that if he missed the first time he had another four chances? This would reveal a determination to fight the giant as long as it took. David had no guarantee that it would be a short battle, but he was prepared and determined to go for it. He had a vision of victory and was going to get it.

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
James 4:7 (KJV)

 
We will never experience victory and reign in life if we passively wait for it to happen. Victory never happens by accident, and it’s not something that happens automatically. You have a part to play in overcoming and experiencing victory; you need to resist the devil and his attacks. But don’t fall into the trap of focusing on the attack and on the enemy. Victory is yours - you’re fighting from victory not for victory! As you keep focused on Jesus, faith will rise in your heart to run (and fight) with patience and persevere.

“8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith…”
1 Peter 5:8-9 (NKJV)

 
Thought to focus on for the day:
Victory is yours but don’t sit and wait for it – when your enemy attacks, resist him and stand firm in your faith (reliance on God). Have a vision of your victory – see it in your heart – and go get it! No matter how long the battle may be, persevere and don’t give up. God is on your side and you are assured victory. If you have not seen the victory yet, don’t give up. It simply means that the battle isn’t over yet.

Monday, June 6, 2016

VICTORY IS NEVER BY ACCIDENT

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
James 4:7 (KJV)


It’s easy to complain when you have a problem - but if the devil is attacking you, complaining won’t help you. If you want to see the devil back off and run in terror, then you need to submit to God and resist the devil.  Submitting and resisting need to be done together; you cannot truly submit yourself to God without resisting the devil, and you’ll never effectively resist the devil unless you’re submitted to God. The word “resist” means to actively fight against. We will not deal with the enemy’s attacks if we are passive. If we are only complaining in prayer about our situations and circumstances then we are being passive, and passivity is an invitation for the enemy to go for it.

If we’re actively fighting against the enemy, we’re filling ourselves with God’s Word, praying in the Spirit, resisting temptation and exercising our God-given authority by speaking out our faith over the situation. God cannot resist the devil for you: He has delegated that responsibility to you and He has given you authority over the devil to enforce your victory (Luke 10:19).

“Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
Luke 10:19 (NKJV)


God has set you up to reign over all the attacks of the devil. He hasn’t destined you to win some battles, and lose others – His will for you is victory (2 Corinthians 2:14). God didn’t create you to fail – fruit, not failure, brings glory to God (John 15:8). If you’re not actively defending the victory you were born-again into (1 John 5:4), you’re passively accepting defeat. Don’t passively wish the attacks away - rise up and tell the devil where to go!

We will never experience victory and reign in life if we passively wait for it to happen. Victory never happens by accident, and it’s not something that happens automatically. You have a part to play in overcoming and experiencing victory; you need to resist the devil and his attacks. But don’t fall into the trap of focusing on the attack and on the enemy. Victory is yours - you’re fighting from victory not for victory! As you keep focused on Jesus, faith will rise in your heart to run (and fight) with patience and persevere.

Thought for the day:
Actively and purposefully fill yourself with God’s Word, pray in the Spirit, resist temptation and exercise your God-given authority by speaking out your faith over your challenging situations.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

KEEP TRUSTING GOD


“For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.”
2 Corinthians 1:20 (NKJV)


God’s promises are a sure thing. Because you’re in Christ, you don’t have to earn or deserve any of the promises – they’re your by grace (undeserved, unmerited favour). All you need to do is believe and receive! Your circumstances are subject to change but God doesn’t change and neither does His Word. If you want to see the promises of God come to pass in your life then don’t give up. Keep speaking out boldly what God has promised. Don’t let the enemy, any circumstance, or anyone convince you of anything other than what God has said. Let His Word be true in your life and everything else a lie (Romans 3:4).

The pretty little shepherd boy, David, had just come to the battlefield to bring some food supplies to his big brothers and their fellow soldiers. When he arrived on the scene it seems like he was disgusted that the “armies of the living God” were hiding in their tents with fear, while the “uncircumcised Philistine”, who had no covenant with God, was intimidating and paralyzing them with fear. David walked around boldly declaring his confidence (or faith) in God, reminding everyone that they had a covenant with God and therefore this “uncircumcised Philistine” was really already defeated! News of David’s boldness got to the King, who summoned David and tried to get him to back down by speaking fear to him. But David would not be convinced otherwise.

“38 So Saul clothed David with his armour, and he put a bronze helmet on his head; he also clothed him with a coat of mail.”
1 Samuel 17:38 (NKJV)


Eventually, King Saul gave up trying to convince David. Maybe he was even given some hope through David’s boldness because he gave David the go-ahead to go and do battle against the giant on behalf of Israel. (If David lost this battle Israel would have become slaves to the Philistine! Saul was surely inspired by David’s confidence in God.)

After failing to instil fear in David and to get him to back down, Saul then tried to tell David how to fight the giant. David didn’t have any armour, and so Saul gave him his. It didn’t fit and had David tried to use it, he would have been trusting in the King’s armour and not in God. Often, if the enemy cannot persuade us to stop believing God, he will try and get us to obtain victory by relying on the flesh (the armour) and not on God.

King Saul’s armour wasn’t doing him any good – he wasn’t going out to fight the giant – and yet he tried to convince David to use it. David’s strength wasn’t in armour but in his faith in God. All the weapons and armour of the Israelites weren’t doing any good in the battle against the Philistines. But along comes a little boy with none of the armour that was essential for battle - only a sling shot and five stones but a whole lot of confidence in God - and he defeats the giant and secures victory for the whole country.

People will try and convince you not to believe God. If you want to reign in life and enjoy the promises of God, then you need to ignore the doubters, keep believing God and speak out His promises boldly. These same people who tried to speak fear and unbelief into your heart to get you to quit, will oftentimes eventually start telling you how to believe God and how to receive His promises, when they see that they cannot get you to back down. Just remember that a double-minded person is unstable in all their ways (James 1:8). If their wisdom isn’t working for them, don’t lean on them, because it won’t do you any good. Keep focused on God and keep your confidence in His Word.

Thought to focus on for the day:
“Have faith in God” (Mark 11:22). Confidence and trust (faith) in God and His Word is what will bring the promises of God to pass in your life. Don’t rely on the wisdom of others (especially if it isn’t working for them) – keep focused on God and His Word. He is faithful and His Word is trustworthy (Isaiah 55:11).