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Monday, June 14, 2021

Do Not Miss Your Turn By Missing Your Turn. We Do Not Need Faith For What Has Happened Already, We Need Faith For What Is About To Happen. Prepare For What God Is Going To Do, Not What He Has Already Done! You Have Stayed Here Long Enough. TURN!!

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Do Not Miss Your Turn By Missing Your Turn. We Do Not Need Faith For What Has Happened Already; We Need Faith For What Is About To Happen. We Must Prepare For What God Is Going To Do, Not What He Has Already Done! "You Have Stayed Here Long Enough. TURN…" (Deuteronomy 2:3 TLB)

God Wants Today to Be the First Day of The Rest of Your Life, Not Just Another Day of What Your Life Has Already Been Up to Until now. This Can Be Page One of a Whole New Volume or Just Another Page of The Same Old Story.  Either Way, Your Choice!

Isaiah 43:18-19, "Do not remember the things that have happened before. Do not think about the things of the past. See, I will do a new thing. It will begin happening now. Will you not know about it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." (NLV)

I have been to my fair share of amusement parks both as a child and as an adult. And honestly, I have enjoyed quite a few of the rides. However, I am not a fan of the roller coaster! Oh, I will watch you on it and will scream when you scream and will laugh myself silly, but I will do every bit of that on the ground! You see, my rides on roller coasters are very few and far between! But there is this amusement park that I visited many years ago, and they had two roller coasters side by side and two lines to get to them. Over on one line was a sign that said, "Forward." Over on the other line, a sign said – yeah, you guessed it – "Backward." Either way, it was your choice. You could ride looking forward or looking backward. But you had to pick one!

The older I get, the more I realize there are two lines in life and two cars you can ride in. One says, "Forward," and the other says, "Backward." Either one you pick; it will be your choice. Frankly, I do not want to ride looking back at where I have already been. No, I would rather ride looking ahead to where I am going. I hope you do, too.

And that is what God wants for you. Do you not believe it? Just listen to the Bible: Isaiah 43:18-19; here is what it says, "Do not remember the things that have happened before. Do not think about the things of the past. See, I will do a new thing. It will begin happening now. Do you do not know about it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." (NLV)

Maybe you have been riding too long looking backward. You keep rehearsing and reliving the hurt of your past, your failures, the painful losses you have experienced, and the regrets over what you have done or what you should have done or what was done to you. But that is the past, and none of it can be changed. But if you do not move beyond the pain, the anger, the bitterness, the self-pity, the grief, and the self-condemnation – if you keep dwelling on that, you will miss the part of your life that can be changed – the future.

Think about it: If you choose the roller coaster ride where you are facing backward, all you will ever see is where you have already been. And haven't you been facing that way long enough? Every time you tell a story, it is always past tense because instead of your past being a reference, you have allowed it to become a residence; my dear, that is not the purpose of your history. You are not to live in the prison of your past confined to all the people, places, and things that did not go right. Living like that is wrong! You are at the amusement park, enjoying the ride, but with no new attractions to see because you continue to choose to face the wrong way deliberately. All you see is "been there, done that, got the t-shirt." All you see is what they said and what they did, and what you did not accomplish. But that was then; this is now! And what does God say about Now? "…See, I will do a new thing. It will begin happening NOW…" (NLV)

Just imagine what you are missing because you are facing the wrong way?! You see, when you ride the roller coaster ride, and you are facing forward, there is always something new to see! Whether you go up or down, and in life, you will experience both, still you will see it in a new view. Imagine going low, but the anticipation and expectation of what you will know when you come up again! You will always be in constant excitement about what is next! Not, "oh, I saw that already, or I knew that was coming."

One of God's great representatives, Paul, said, "Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:13-14).

No more back-peddling, no more staring in the rear-view mirror as if we can go back and undo what we have done or what has been done to us. No, today is the day that we stop hesitating, stop procrastinating, stop remaining stuck and stagnant. Today is the day we move Forward, Toward and Upward! Today is the day we change direction and face the right way!

We Do Not Need Faith For What Has Happened Already; We Need Faith For What Is About To Happen. We Must Prepare For What God Is Going To Do, Not What He Has Already Done!

This Means You Must Do Quite A Bit Of Self-Examination. You need to test the people, places, and things in your life and see what needs to be restored and what needs to be replaced! It is time for new, not just the same old, that you keep slapping patches on in hopes it will 'this time' hold itself together.

Jesus is the Lord of new beginnings, of fresh starts, of clean slates. You need to come to Him and let Him release you from being tied to the people who have hurt you by getting His grace to forgive them. You need to ask His help to begin to define your life, not by what has happened, but by what is going to happen; what can happen because of Jesus in your life. Yes, it is Jesus alone that still makes the difference!

Think about it: The lame walked because of Him; the deaf heard because of Him; the blind were able to see because of Him; the adulterous were forgiven because of Him; a 12-year-old girl was brought back to life because of Him; the woman with the issue of blood was healed because of Him; the four friends were able to get their friend delivered off that mat because of Him! The testimonies are endless regarding the change that Jesus makes in the lives of people! And if you dare to allow Him to help you get past your past, He can do some wondrous things in your life too! But you cannot stay stuck in the same place! You cannot keep turning backward. It would be best if you moved forward. It would help if you changed direction. It would help if you did something different.

Can you imagine if the woman at the well stayed there; can you imagine if Lazarus would've ignored Jesus call; can you imagine if Mary said, 'sorry God, but this is just too outrageous for me to be a part of'; can you imagine if Ruth said, 'Nope, I'm going back to what's familiar'; can you imagine if Abraham said, 'leave my family and go somewhere without a destination in mind, I don't think so?'; can you imagine if Esther said, 'oh well, at least I made it to the palace, hope the rest of y'all survive somehow'; can you imagine if Deborah said, 'Barack I don't have to go with you, so I'm not'; Can you imagine if Gideon didn't listen to God but kept all the useless people he had with him? These people had to do something unfamiliar, uncommon, and uncomfortable to see something new and different. And my friend, you will have to be put in the very same position!

Yes, that means you may have to work on an auxiliary you never have before; yes, that means you'll have to go back to school and finish your education finally; yes, that means you may have to accept that, that particular friendship and relationship has run their course; yes, that means you may have to take a job in a field you know nothing about; yes, that means you may have to take this next journey alone; yes, that means you may have to break out the box by reshaping your inner-circle; In other words, you can't expect to see something new if you keep staring at something old. You cannot expect to experience something new when you keep hanging around something old.

It would be best if you forced yourself to face the challenge of doing new things, so you do not die with the same ole, same ole.

"Do not remember the things that have happened before. Do not think about the things of the past. See, I will do a new thing. It will begin happening NOW. Will not know about it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." (NLV)

Your new thing is trying to happen NOW, but do you see it? No! Do you know it? No! Because the old has your undivided attention! And the most expensive thing in the world is paying attention to people who do not value you! Enough is enough!

God is trying to do such remarkable things that you have never seen or heard before, and you are missing out on all of it because your eyes have a distorted vision of the past only and no insight of the future that cannot wait to be revealed!

2 Corinthians 4:17-18, "So we're not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside, it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times; the lavish celebration prepared us. There is far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever." (MSG)

As hard as your past may have been, it is but small potatoes compared to the coming good times! There is so much greater ahead of you if only you would stop focusing behind you!

No! today is your day to change position and direction! We are not going over that old history any longer!

No more settling for what you SAW; it is time to SEE!

Get out of your past into your Present and preparing for your future! You have been focusing behind you long enough; today, decide to Face Forward and enjoy a Better Ride with a Better View of the Better Things Coming Just for You!

"If you think your best days are behind you, they are. If you think your best days are ahead of you, they are." (Jon Gordon)

"Don't fall in love with what God did for you yesterday." (Bishop T.D. Jakes)

 "You'll never see all the awesome things ahead of you if you keep looking at all the bad things behind you. Sometimes you must turn around and give a little smile, throw the match, and burn that bridge! Live, learn, and don't look back!"

As hard as your past may have been, it is but small potatoes compared to the coming good times! There is so much greater ahead of you if only you would stop focusing behind you!

"The greatest fear in the world is of the opinions of others. And the moment you are unafraid of the crowd, you are no longer a sheep; you become a lion. A great roar arises in your heart, the roar of freedom." (Osho)

In focusing on our text, there came the point where to enter the Promised Land, God said to Israel, "You have traveled around this mountain long enough. Now TURN…" (NLV). Please understand that you must say yes to God when you reach this point and be willing to step out in faith! Whether God is directing you or redirecting you, listen, heed, and immediately obey!

Think about it, and let us be honest, we can all admit that we have stayed in places longer than we should have. And to be even more brutally honest, many of us have stayed in stuff we should have never been in, in the first place! But how much longer do you intend to miss God? God said to them, "You have traveled around this mountain long enough…" I do not know about you, but I have never seen a "small mountain." In other words, mountains are Big! It is defined as "a mass of land rising abruptly and to a large height from the surrounding level." That does not sound too tiny to me! Can you imagine traveling around "a mass of land rising abruptly and to a large height from the surrounding level"? A mountain is massive! And the word "massive" means "large and heavy; solid; exceptionally large, intense, or severe." So, people of God, I say to you, as God said to them, "You have traveled around this mountain long enough…" Or better yet, you have traveled around this massive, significant, heavy, intense, and severe situation long enough…WHEN DO YOU PLAN TO HEED GOD'S DIRECTION AND TURN?! It has been a burden; it is weighed you down, it has caused you to lose sleep, weight, hair, and peace. How much longer are you going to endure self-inflicted suffering? God, Himself is permitting you to go in another direction, so what are you waiting for? Why are you still facing a dead-end? Why are you still standing by the cliff? Why are you stuck in the park? MOVE! Better Yet TURN!

I love the definitions of the word "Turn": "to move into a different position; to go in the opposite direction of where you are currently; to change in nature, state or form." However, my favorite is: "a place where a road meets or branches off into another; a turning point." Another favorite: "a time when one period of time ends, and another begins." And that phrase "turning-point" is another favorite of mine: It is defined as "a time at which a decisive change in a situation occurs, especially one with beneficial results." Now, please tell me, with all of that said, why have you yet to TURN?! People of God, it is time for you to stop blaming, pointing fingers, complaining, having good intentions with no plans, a long list of "one day I'm going to…" and "I promise…" and finally, you make a deliberate decision to do something! Based on the above definitions, it is time for you to move into a different position, go in the opposite direction of where you have been traveling, make a change! In a nutshell: TURN!

The word "reposition" is a good one; it means "a strategic move to alter and adjust to a different position." In other words, no, I am by no means saying this will be easy, but I am saying it will be worth it for you to deliberately make a strategic move and alter and adjust to different people, places, and things! After all, the people, places, and something you have become accustomed to having not worked for you, so why not quit, and get work elsewhere?! You have been doing this long enough, putting up with this long enough, tolerating this long enough, suffering because of this long enough! So now is the time to Reposition and Turn! Remember: "turn" is also "a place where a road meets or branches off into another; a turning point." And a "turning-point" is "a time at which a decisive change in a situation occurs, especially one with beneficial results."

In a nutshell: This Turn Is to Your Benefit, So What Are You Waiting for; Turn!

"A bend in the road is not the end of the road…unless you fail to make the TURN" (Helen Keller)

During a famine, God said to the prophet Elijah, "And the Word of the Lord came to him, saying, "Leave here and TURN east. Hide by the river Cherith, east of the Jordan.  You will drink from the river. And I have told the ravens to bring food to you THERE." So, he went and did what the Word told him of the Lord. He went and lived by the river Cherith, east of the Jordan.  The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and the evening. And he drank from the river." (1 Kings 17:2-6 NLV).

God's PLAN for your life is always connected to a PLACE!

"…Leave here and TURN EAST…"; (1 Kings 17:2-6 NLV).

"You have traveled around this mountain long enough. Now TURN NORTH"; (Deuteronomy 2:3 TLB).

"The Lord said, "Ezekiel, son of man, TURN TOWARD THE SOUTH…" (Ezekiel 20:45-46 CEV).

"Moses…led the flock to the WEST…The angel of God appeared to him in flames of fire…" (Exodus 3:1-2 MSG)

Are You Getting This? God's people are charged and challenged to make a TURN! EAST, NORTH, SOUTH, WEST! Likewise, it is vital for your life and calling that you are always in the Right Place at the Right Time! This week is an excellent time to look around at the people, places, and things in your life and see where you need to make a Beneficial TURN for yourself!

Think about it: Elijah would have missed his provision in the EAST if he did not TURN; Israel would have missed the Promised Land if they did not TURN to the NORTH; Ezekiel would have missed his ministry opportunity to deliver a prophetic word if he did not TURN to the SOUTH, and Moses would have cut the burning bush if he did not TURN to the WEST! What are you missing out on because you have yet to TURN in the direction God has commanded?!

Listen, Even Jesus "…HAD to go through Samaria…" (John 4:4 NIV). The Message Bible says it like this, "TO GET THERE; HE HAD TO PASS THROUGH SAMARIA…" (MSG). To get THERE, you must leave HERE! And why did Jesus have to go through Samaria? To meet a woman who was destined to reach that city with the Gospel. Can you imagine a whole town would have missed out on hearing the Good News of the Gospel if Jesus did not go through Samaria?! Believe it or not, but you are in the right place at the right time; it is not just about you! Some people will not receive what they need to until you get there! Some people will not take a turn for the better until you have finally decided to make a turn from the worse! Some will not get a turn until you make a turn! And do you want to be held responsible for a whole city missing God because you forgot your turn?!

And will all your turns feel good? Not! However, you cannot just go where you like; God honors you when you are where HE wants you to be! "Tell me," Samuel said. "Does the Lord want sacrifices and offerings? No! He does not want your sacrifices. He wants you to obey Him." (1 Samuel 15:22 CEV). So, whether you are being sent to the North, South, East, or West is irrelevant! What is important is that you obey the direction of the Lord when He tells you it is time to make a TURN!

God has promised to bless you, but sometimes He must reposition you for you to receive His blessing! Just ask Peter. He went from I will live and die with you, Jesus, to being warmed by a strange fire, with unfamiliar people, and lying about his identity to Jesus. However, it is never too late to make a TURN because he is later restored, repositioned, and preaching redemption to thousands! Paul went from killing Christians to speaking life and resurrecting them! It is incredible what just a slight TURN in the right direction can accomplish! In other words, it is not too late for you either! So, MAKE THE TURN…BEFORE YOU MISS YOUR TURN!

Think about this as well: It was when Ruth moved to Bethlehem that she met Boaz and married him; it was when Bartimaeus went to where Jesus was that he received his sight! In a nutshell: You Do Not Want to Miss Your Turn Because You Missed Your Turn! Make sure you are in the right place, at the right time, with the right people, doing the right thing! After all, to miss God is simply wrong!

In closing, can you imagine how Abraham's story would have read had he missed his TURN in Genesis 12:1? "Now the Lord had said to Abram: "Get out of your country, from your family and from your father's house to a land that I will show you." The Living Bible says it like this, "God told Abram, "Leave your own country behind you…" (TLB). And the Amplified Bible reads, "…Go for yourself [for your advantage] away from your country…" (AMP). Abram had to leave some people, places, and things BEHIND HIM and FOR HIS ADVANTAGE AND TURN IN A DIFFERENT DIRECTION ALTOGETHER! And what was the blessing for his obedient TURN? "If you do, I will cause you to become the father of a great nation; I will bless you and make your name famous, and you will be a blessing to many others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you, and the entire world will be blessed because of you." (Genesis 12:2-3 TLB).  And All Because He Refused to Miss His Turn by Missing His Turn! Verse 4 is the bonus, "SO ABRAM LEFT JUST AS GOD SAID…" (MSG). What Blessings Are You Missing Out on Because You are Still in the Same Place?! What Blessings Are You Missing Out on Because You Did Not Listen When God Spoke?!

And was this the only time Abram would have to make a TURN? Not! He would eventually have to TURN away from Lot, who was originally granted permission by Abram to go with him! However, Once Again, Do to Making Another Timely TURN, the Word of God Declares: "After Lot separated from him, God said to Abram, "Open your eyes, look around. Look NORTH, SOUTH, EAST, AND WEST. Everything you see, the whole land spread out before you, I will give to you and your children forever. I will make your descendants like dust—counting your descendants will be as impossible as counting the dust of the Earth. So—on your feet, GET MOVING! Walk through the country, its length, and breadth; I'm giving it all to you." (Genesis 13:14-17 MSG)

Abram Made a Timely TURN, and God Made Abram a Timeless Promise! So, if You Do Not Want to Miss Yours as Well, Today, Determine to MAKE A TURN!

"No matter how far you go in the wrong direction, there's always a chance to TURN your life around." 

J.P. Olson

www.thewordwithjpolson.org


Monday, June 7, 2021

Pray So That You Will Not Be A Prey. We Are Never Out Of The Devils Reach. All Temptation Stems From 3 Things. Nobody is Temptation Proof; I Do Not Care How Anointed They Are. Jesus Is The Only Person That Has Ever Resisted Temptation & Did Not Sin.

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Pray, So That You Will Not Become A Prey. We Are Never Out Of The Devils Reach.   All Temptation Stems From 3 Things. Nobody is Temptation Proof; I Do Not Care How Anointed They Are. Jesus Is The Only Person That Has Ever Resisted Temptation & Did Not Sin.

God knows how to deliver His people out of temptation. He will provide you with a way of escape. 2 Peter 2: 9," if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment. 10 This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh[c] and despise authority."

We also pray to protect ourselves from the enemy's attack.  We pray so that we do not become prey to other people. Let us consider some aspects of the life of our Lord Jesus Christ.  After the last Supper, Jesus said to Simon, Luke 22 vs. 31, "And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat.".  By the revelation of the Holy Spirit, our Lord knew the plan of the devil for Simon, one of his trusted disciples.

Verse 32 Jesus said, "But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fails not; and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren." Had Jesus not prayed, Simon and all other disciples might have become preys of Satan. That special prayer of Jesus saved Peter.

The desires of the flesh can also make us become prey to our enemy.  To avoid this, the Lord Jesus taught us to pray.  Luke 22 vs. 40.  See what Jesus told his disciples "And when he was at the place, he said unto them, pray that ye enter not into temptation." With this, we know that prayer is an invisible shield of the Lord for us.

Hebrews 4:15, NLT: "This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testing's we do, yet he did not sin."

All Temptations Stem From 3 Things—The Lust Of The Flesh, The Desire Of The Eye, And The Pride Of Life.

1 John 2:16; For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life are not of the Father but the world.

Romans 8:8, NLT: "That's why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God."

Romans 8:12, NLT: "Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do."

Proverbs 1:10. "My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not." King James Version (KJV)

James 1: 12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. 13 When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when dragged away by their evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

In Genesis: 3:6, you see these same three things. We need only to go back to the first sin to see these three underlying facets of sin at work. Genesis 3:6 says, "When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she also gave to her husband with her, and he ate." God told Eve that she could not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This would keep her from being aware of sin, which would destroy her innocence and ruin her joy. Yet the serpent told her that she would be like God if she ate of the tree, appealing to the pride of life. She saw that the tree was "desirable to make one wise," and she ate. This is the pride of life, a motive wrought in arrogance, boastfulness, and self-centeredness.

Rather than bowing down, trusting, and worshipping God, the pride of life motivates us, as it did Eve, to want to see God in ourselves. Eve also noticed that the tree was "good for food," meaning that it looked like it would taste good and be satisfying and enjoyable to eat. But the pleasures of sin are temporary, and Eve fell for the lust of the flesh, trusting in her sensory modalities rather than in the Word of God spoken to her. The desire of the flesh trusts man's judgment, feelings, and temporary conveniences instead of God's unalterable Word.

Eve also saw that the tree was a "delight to the eyes," for it was a beautiful creation of God. Sin does not necessarily appear ugly, dirty, and destructive, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). The fruit that God told Eve not to eat was extraordinarily enticing and attractive. The lust of the eyes propelled Eve down the road of deception until she disobeyed God and incurred the penalties of sin. Both Adam and Eve learned the hard way that the knowledge of evil corrupted their natures resulting in distrust, fear, alienation, pain, and many other hideous things for the rest of their lives. The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life all work in sinister collaboration to lead us astray, to keep us from trusting God's Word, and to fall for the schemes of the devil.

The Bible uses the term "flesh" frequently to describe what is left within us that opposes the Spirit of God within our hearts. A battle takes place daily, even Moment by Moment, between the Spirit and the flesh. As Galatians 5:17 says, "For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please." Any time we give in to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, or the pride of life, we walk by the flesh rather than by the Spirit. As Galatians 5:16 says, "But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh." However, the flesh can also refer to the body (e.g., Matthew 16:17).

In 1 John 2:16, the Holy Spirit chooses to partition our generic fleshly lusts into three distinct categories: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. The lust of the flesh is the lust of the body. Our bodies have food needs, drink, touch, intimacy, healing, etc. The problem is not that the body has wants and needs but that it can fall prey to lusting for these wants and needs. Lust is differentiated by love in that it is a craving for what is forbidden rather than for what is allowed. Love is a wholesome desire, whereas lust is a perverted one. Lust seeks sex outside of marriage, food in excess, healing through new age practices, etc. Trying to meet the body's desires through the wrong channels is lust, and this is what the devil must trick us into doing.

Satan's methods are similar when it comes to the lust of the eyes. God gave us eyes to see the wonders of His creative genius and to take in information to help us spiritually discern and make decisions. Our ability to see is a good thing that can be used in love and to further the cause of good, but Satan can trip us up if we use our eyes to lust. The world knows how to use lust to market things to us, from ornate presentations in store windows to flashy lights at a casino. Sex sells for a reason. Satan is well-aware of the potent tool that he has in using our eyes against us. Finally, there is the boastful pride of life. Pride and arrogance are behind any sin, whether we are aware of them or not. The temptation to want "to be somebody" or to "do something our way" is all about pride and boasting.

Pride is an arrogant willingness to believe that we do not need God, that we can thwart God, that we can do better than what God has ordained for us, and that we can be a better god of our own lives. Pride may well be the underlying motivator for our choosing to lust, or it could be that our lust leads us to a position of pride. However, sin takes root in our hearts, and we can be sure that pride and lust are the fundamental building blocks.

Satan knows how to break us down, but now we have his playbook. May God make us quick to see the temptations of lust and pride so that we can choose life, freedom, and truth. Sin always brings pain and death (Romans 6:23), but God offers pleasures always (Psalm 16:11). The choice is simple if only we could remember that in the heat of the battle.

Jesus Christ is the magnet who holds us all in place. Vertical forgiveness is what we receive from our gracious God, and horizontal forgiveness is that which we extend to others in His name.

We are never out of the devil's reach; we must always have the whole armor of God to face every day we live. God has already equipped us with the armor. His Word is our shield, sword, helmet, but we must put it on. We must consume His Word daily. This world is a battlefield; therefore, we are walking onto a battlefield in our daily lives, we do not know where the devil is aiming to hit us, so when he targets us, we are ready to use that sword. Throw the Word of God at him, cut him with the Word, and he will flee. Stay busy thinking about the right things; the devil will not be able to fill your mind with wrong things.  Jesus Christ Is the Magnet Who Holds Us All in Place. The Vertical Forgiveness Is That Which We Receive from Our Gracious God, and The Horizontal Forgiveness Is That Which We Extend to Others In His Name. Follow Christ, and He will lead you through the hardships of life. Just Follow Him!

When Trouble Multiplies, Grace Magnifies. When we give God all we have in facing our troubles, we will learn where our strength ends and His begins.  We may have weaknesses, but God has power. We may have sinned, but God has grace. We may fail, but God remains faithful! We may have been unworthy, unfaithful, unmerciful, unteachable, unwilling, & unwise. If it seems like your troubles are multiplying, know that God's grace abounds. We often hear the cliché, "when it rains, it pours" it appears that everything around us is falling apart all at once. The Moment you are ready to quit is usually the Moment right before the Miracle happens. Do not give up. God's whisper of comfort quiets the noise of our trials.  When we know that God's hand is in everything, we can leave everything in God's hand. " My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9.

The Bottom Line to Every Prayer Should be, "Your Will Be Done. "Our prayers often revolve around asking God to hurry up and bless what we want to do.  We can pray with David "Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord.  Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly" (Ps. 5:3 NLT).  We can trust His response, even if it does not come in the time we expect.  David recognized why he had to wait on the Lord. First, his salvation came from Him (Ps.62:1).  He learned that no one else could deliver him.  His only hope was in God (v.5), for God alone hears our prayers (v.8). "Not my will Lord, but Your will be done."

There are times when we do not know why some things happened (good or bad). Trusting God in these kinds of times is what faith is all about. Jesus' walk was strenuous, but He kept on; you can keep on too! Your faith must not be an afterthought; it is your most prized possession. Nurture and exercise it with passion!  Father helps us to be Christians with a faith that is contagious and courageous. Through all our pain and joy, my God, you were there. You never left us alone. That is why we must dance in the Spirit!  Pause and thank God for the countless blessings He has bestowed upon you. Feel that peace?  That is God's hand on you.  He is the God of wholeness and restoration once you step into Him. 
 

When you have a personal encounter with Jesus Christ, you take on the Spirit as the "woman at the well," she was excited; she left her waterpot that was used to draw water and went running to the city to tell the men, probably the men in authority to "Come, see a man who told me all things that ever I did. Is not this the Christ?" John 4:28-30. When we have that personal encounter with Jesus, we do not want to walk; we want to run and tell everyone that they need to meet this man, the man that knows everything about us, the man that can restore us and change us. Jesus is the magnet that holds us all together.

1 Peter 5:8, NIV: "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." The great deceiver, often, works under the cover of darkness. As a skilled and experienced hunter, he patiently stalks his prey, invisible to them (invisible is about as camouflaged as one can get!). His night vision is acute, his senses much sharper than ours. He sees us when we do not even know he is there!

Even now, he is stalking us.

Lifted in their pride, he and his demons had the gall to hunt God's throne, but they were soundly routed (Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:16-17; Luke 10:18). Now, as our adversaries, they hunt God's people, trying to pick off the weak, the ailing, and those who have grown weary and dropped back from the herd. He is always looking for a way to maneuver us into a position by ourselves where he can leap out of nowhere to maul us. Once he attacks, he causes great pain—but he does not go immediately for the kill. He pins us down and wounds us first. Even while in his grasp, though, we can call out for help. "The LORD is near to all who call upon him, . . . He also hears their cry and saves them" (Psalm 145:18-19, RSV).

Whatever condition you have, circumstances past or present, Jesus can restore you to wholeness. God does not force Himself upon us; we must claim our salvation willingly.  Everything comes together when we learn how to spend time with God!  Sometimes I must lock the door and get to a place where nothing matters but Jesus and me. Occasionally, we must leave some stuff behind to get to the next level. There is no problem that God cannot solve. There is no place better to be than to be in the "Rest" of God.  With God, our load is light! When you stop praying, you cut off the resource to your lifeline with God. You want to stay connected. Satan is on a recruiting mission; his temptations are real but so is God’s escape routes. The devil is searching for his next predator and his next prey.

Pray & Crave God's Word Daily.  Do Not Become A Prey For The Enemy. Remember nobody is temptation proof, but God has a way to escape. With God, we can resist temptation. He knows how to deliver His people out of attraction.

 Blessings

J.P. Olson

www.thewordwithjpolson.org

Monday, May 31, 2021

Warning: People CONNECTED To You Are AFFECTED By You…For Good or Bad! What You Open The Door To, AFFECTS Everyone In The HOUSE, Good or Bad. We Get In The Worst Predicaments Because We Forget God Knows Best!

 

Only FOOLS Refuse God's WISDOM"

Joshua 9:14-15, "So the men [of Israel] took some of their provisions [and offered them in friendship], and [FOOLISHLY] did not ask for the counsel of the Lord. Joshua made peace with them and made a covenant (treaty) with them, to let them live; and the leaders of the congregation [of Israel] swore an oath to them." (AMP)

It was an amusing billboard, a cartoon drawing of a wide-eyed, bewildered-looking squirrel, holding a broken cable in his paws. The sign that came with it read, "Call before you dig, and gave a toll-free phone number. I have discovered that many utility workers have this problem and have it quite often. Squirrels start digging into the wires and cut right into the utility workers' power lines and cables. Lines which could very quickly be gas lines, phone lines, or cables. And in the process, the happy diggers make a big mess for the utility company and their customers. A confusion that could have easily been avoided had they asked about the dangers before they started digging. Now, squirrels may not know any better, but sadly neither do most people!

Therefore, it is a good idea to check with the people 'in the know' before you start plowing ahead! Our failure to check with the person who is really 'in the know' explains many of the costly mistakes that have caused some of the biggest messes in our lives and the lives of all those connected to us!

Warning: People CONNECTED to You are AFFECTED by You…For Good or Bad! What You Open the Door To, Affects Everyone in The House, Good or Bad.

Whatever you do, always consider the people who may be affected by your actions. Use the scenario "what if" what then." Always think about the consequences of your move. If what I am about to do will affect my family members, friends, church, business partners, as the list goes on. Think about who you are opening the door to. Am I opening the door to Christ in my home, or am I allowing the enemy to come in and cause chaos? Am I allowing drugs to come, extramarital affair, alcohol abuse, domestic violence, as the list continues?

Consider the example in Joshua 9:14-15. The Jews have been winning one victory after another over the Canaanites as they took possession of the Promised Land that God was giving them. Now, they are about to come upon Gibeon, one of the royal cities of Canaan. The Gibeonites have heard about the fall of the other cities the Jews have gone against. They know they are going down next unless they can trick God's people somehow into making a peace treaty with them, which seems unlikely because God's Orders are to remove every tribe from the land and not to coexist with them!

But the Gibeonites are shrewd. They sent a delegation to see Joshua, with donkeys loaded with cracked wineskins and worn-out sacks. They wore patched sandals and old clothes, and they carried dry and moldy bread with them. The whole scam was to make it LOOK LIKE they were from far away and that they had come on a long journey. Here's how Joshua and his men decided what to do with these Gibeonites. The Bible says, "The Israelites sampled their provisions (so they made sure the bread was dehydrated and moldy) BUT THEY DID NOT INQUIRE OF THE LORD. Then Joshua made a treaty of peace with them to let them live, and the leaders of the assembly ratified it by oath." (NIV)

Within days, the Jews learned that the Gibeonites were not from far away; in fact, they were from close by. But because they had been tricked into this treaty, they could not, by honor, remove them as God had initially commanded. As a result, the hands of the Jews were tied for years to come, and the treaty sparked a significant battle with other armies. How did this mess happen? Well, in a nutshell, they did not call before they dug, much like the squirrels! They decided based on what SEEMED right to them, but they made the fatal mistake so many of us have made so many times before –THEY DIDN'T CHECK WITH HEAVEN…THEY DIDN'T CHECK WITH GOD! And so, they blew it! And so do we!

Listen to the text in varying translation:

"The Israelites TRIED some of the food, BUT THEY DID NOT ASK THE LORD IF HE WANTED THEM TO MAKE A TREATY." (CEV).

"The men of Israel wanted to know if these men were telling the truth. So, they TASTED the bread – BUT THEY DID NOT ASK THE LORD WHAT THEY SHOULD DO." (ERV).

"The Israelites ACCEPTED some food from them BUT DID NOT CONSULT THE LORD ABOUT IT." (GNT).

"Joshua and the other leaders finally believed them. THEY DID NOT BOTHER TO ASK THE LORD BUT WENT AHEAD AND SIGNED A PEACE TREATY…" (TLB).

Now, this is where many of us mess up and get messy! Like the Israelites, we will try it; take some; taste it; sample it, exam it, believe it, and even eventually accept it but what we fail to do is ask God what to do about it and with it! The Israelites (like many of us) were cautious, and they checked out what was presented to them; however, the final decision was not theirs to make (and not ours either)!

"The Israelites took some of their supplies, BUT THEY DIDN'T ASK FOR ANY DECISION FROM THE LORD." (CEB)

And can we be honest? We Get in the Worst Predicaments Because We Forget God Knows Best!

The decision was the Lord's to make! They were to consult Him. And even with the findings, He allows us to be a part of, we can still consult the Lord! And it is not because they did not know any better, so they do not even have that as a justifiable excuse, and neither do we!

James 1:5, "If any of you lacks wisdom [TO GUIDE HIM THROUGH A DECISION OR CIRCUMSTANCE], he is to ask of [our benevolent] God, who gives to everyone generously and without rebuke or blame, and it will be given to Him." (AMP)

When God Himself is telling you to use His Wisdom, only a Fool will refuse!

God is there to Help, Not to Hinder us! But He is not rudely forcing Himself on us either! But He is laid out for us the safest way to travel if only we would adhere to it! Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart AND DO NOT RELY ON YOUR INSIGHT OR UNDERSTANDING. IN ALL YOUR WAYS, know and acknowledge and recognize Him, and HE will make your paths straight and smooth [REMOVING OBSTACLES THAT BLOCK YOUR WAY]." (AMP) Do you realize just how smooth this journey of ours could be if only we would humble ourselves enough to follow His lead? We would not even have to worry about the bumps in the road along the way because He promises to "…remove obstacles that block our way." But no, we insist on doing things our way! And what is the result of that decision?

Proverbs 16:25, "There's a way that looks harmless enough; look again – it leads straight to hell." (MSG) Indeed that is the destination you were hoping to reach.

And if you have not found your life's Purpose yet, TALK TO GOD! "EVERYTHING…FINDS ITS PURPOSE IN HIM" (Colossians 1:16 MSG). EVERYTHING finds its Purpose in Him, and it is fulfilled through Him! Listen: Before you spoke your first word or took your first step, GOD HAD A PLAN AND PURPOSE FOR YOUR LIFE! You say, "But I've failed so badly." Maybe, BUT YOU'D BE AMAZED AT WHAT GOD CAN DO WITH A BROKEN LIFE—WHEN YOU GIVE HIM ALL THE PIECES! As poorly put together as you think you are, your Purpose is found in God, and He will not allow you to lose it! Your mistakes, missteps, errors, and even deliberate sins, transgressions, and iniquities still cannot stop God from producing what He has placed in you! Repent, Turn, Change, and Be Fully Restored so You Can Finally Become All God Destined You to Be! And let no one make you think it is more complicated than that!

Think of all the divorces that could have been avoided had the individuals sought the Lord FIRST! When our children messed up, imagine how quickly they could have cleaned up if we FIRST helped them God's way instead of ours! The many soul ties that would never have tangled up your peace of mind if only you had sought the Lord's decision in the matter, FIRST! How many broken hearts would not have needed years to mend if only we sought the Lord FIRST? Many of us would not have to start over (for the 97th time, just this week) if only we had sought the Lord FIRST! So much unnecessary pain, so many unnecessary complications, and difficulties and conflicts, and all because we failed to seek God's direction FIRST!  And in this day and time of reading your horoscope; find your inner self; reach for a higher power; let them read your palm; check out the tarot cards; let the soothsayers soothe you; (You Need to Know to Seek God FIRST!)

Isaiah 8:19-22, "When people tell you, "Try out the fortunetellers. Consult the spiritualists. Why not tap into the spirit-world, get in touch with the dead?" Tell them, "NO, WE'RE GOING TO STUDY THE SCRIPTURES." People who try the other ways get nowhere – a dead end! Frustrated and hungry, they try one thing after another. When nothing works out, they get angry, cursing first this god and then that one, looking this way and that, up, down, and sideways – and seeing nothing, a blank wall, an empty hole. They end up in the dark with nothing." (MSG)

And why would anyone want to waste time on such Foolishness when you have direct access to the Wisdom of God? That is Who you seek FIRST! When you are wondering which direction and what to do, seek God FIRST! Jeremiah 33:3, "This is God's Message, the God who made the earth, made it livable and lasting, known everywhere as God: "Call to Me and I will answer you. I'll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own." (MSG) With that as your best option, how could you choose anything different? You do not have to figure out life on your own (and thank God, because clearly, WE are not good at decision-making on our own)! And who cares, since we can call to our Father, and He will answer His children with marvelous things that we do not have to keep digging to find on our own!

Isaiah 65:24, "I will answer them before they even call to Me. While they are still talking to Me about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers!" (TLB) Why try to figure out something God has already figured out? All you must do is ask Him for the answer!

Do not you see, we are much like the Israelites, as soon as something (or someone) APPEARS to be alright; APPEARS to check out; APPEARS to be on the up-and-up, we jump headlong into a mess with eyes wide open! What am I saying? Ask God Before You Decide. This could save your very life!

However, the truth is, we neglect to check with God for many reasons. We are in too big of a hurry, we are feeling pressured by other people, we compromise for the sake of convenience, or we plainly know how we want it to be, and we stubbornly blaze ahead with our own will. Sometimes, we may even be doing God's thing, but it is not God's time, or it is not God's way, which is why it is so vital that we "lean not on our understanding," which can only see part of the picture. When you consult with the Lord, you get direction from the only One who can see the whole picture. That is why counsel before decisions is so important! Proverbs 15:22, "Refuse good advice and watch your plans fail; take good counsel and watch them succeed." (MSG)

Listen, in 2 Chronicles 18:4. King Jehoshaphat gave King Ahab this advice before he went running off into battle: "…FIRST, seek the counsel of the Lord." (NIV) Here are a few additional translations:

"…Please inquire FIRST for the Word of the Lord." (AMP).

"…FIRST, let's see what the Lord has to say." (CEB).

"But FIRST, let's ask the Lord what to do." (CEV).

"But FIRST, let's ask the Lord for advice." (ERV).

"…BUT BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING, ASK GOD FOR GUIDANCE." (MSG).

"…But FIRST we should ask if this is the Lord's Will." (NCV).

Are you starting to see the clear picture now? There's a plan in place; however, Jehoshaphat (the wise leader) says, FIRST, let's inquire of the Lord; let's see what the Word of the Lord is for today; let's see what He has to say; let's ask Him what we should do; let's ask for His advice; let's find out what He has to say about this particular matter; let's consult Him; let's see if this is even His Will; BEFORE WE DO ANYTHING… LET'S ASK GOD TO GUIDE US! Yet, even with all that admonishment, in the end, King Ahab did not, and because he did not, he died in that battle!

Do I dare ask how much money you would not have lost if you sought God FIRST? How much of your integrity, dignity, and character would still be intact if you sought the Lord FIRST? How many mistakes and missteps could you have avoided if only you asked if this or they were in His Will for your life? Maybe you would not have lost the job, the house, the car, the career, the ministry, or church, if only you would have asked God for His guidance before deciding to Go Your Way Only to Have Crashed Over the Cliff Where He Already Had Warning Signs in Place!

And LEADERS, this is dangerous for us as well; listen to the text again in closing: "JOSHUA AND THE OTHER LEADERS finally believed them. They did not bother to ask the Lord but went ahead and signed a peace treaty" (TLB).

Leadership Means We are Responsible for Everyone on Board, Whether We Sail Safely, or Sink Fatally. Therefore we (above all people) ought to use the Wisdom God has made available to us to lead people according to His Word, Way, and Will and NOT That of Our Own! Because in the end, these LEADERS decided (WITHOUT GOD) that affected the WHOLE CONGREGATION. And if we dare make the wrong decision, the Body of Christ is damaged. Because you cannot hurt your pinky, and the rest of your hand does not know what happened. And in the Body of Christ, whatever we do in the body, affects the whole body. So, let us start today by asking the Lord to lead and guide us in the way we should go, not in the way we want to go. Let us ask the Lord for His decision, His Word, His Will, His Way, and His Timing.

Why? Because we can avoid many problems and a lot of pain if only, we will instinctively check with God FIRST. Let us stop being like squirrels on power lines, digging in and causing disruption to everyone and everything. Let us decide today to stop making messy decisions!

I share this because we have entered another Year; we are in the middle of another New Year. We have much indeed to be grateful for. However, this is also the time and season when everyone wants to be something new, try something new, go somewhere new. And nothing is wrong with New, when it is the Lord's doing: Isaiah 43:18-21, "This is what God says…Forget about what's happened; don't keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I'M ABOUT TO DO SOMETHING BRAND-NEW. It is bursting out! Don't you see it?" (MSG) If something is to be New, let Him do it instead of you attempting to experiment with it! Let God change it; alter it; move it; or send it not you trying to make things (you want but may not need) to happen!

This year, make one resolution only. SEEK GOD FIRST! Do not go grabbing shovels and seeking new land and start digging where God never intended you to. Wait! Seek His Counsel, whether it is for marriage; a relationship; a friendship; a job offers; a school choice; a career move; leaving or starting a church; or going to the store to make a purchase Wait on the Lords' Timing and Direction and You will Never Be Steered Off Course!

Think about it, haven't we already made the foolish mistake of making decisions without the Lord's consult and Wisdom? And as bad as those choices and consequences turned out to be, do you want a New Year, with the same Old You, making all the same old errors again? Of course not. So, this year, if it is the Last thing you do, SEEK THE LORD FIRST…Before You Start Digging and Deciding!

Matthew 6:30-33, "If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I am trying to do here is to get you to relax, not to be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving. People who do not know God and how he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Do not worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met." (MSG)

Psalm 37:23-24, "The steps of a [good] man is directed and established by the Lord when He delights in his way [and He busies Himself with his every step]. Though he falls, he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord grasps his hand in support and upholds him." (AMPC)

REMEMBER: ONLY FOOLS REFUSE GOD'S WISDOM!

Psalm 14:1, "The [spiritually ignorant] fool has said in his heart, "There is no God."

Romans 1:22, "Claiming to be wise, they became fools," (AMP)

Proverbs 18:2, "A [closed-minded] fool does not delight in understanding, but only in revealing his personal opinions [unwittingly displaying his self-indulgence and his stupidity]." (AMP)

Proverbs 9:8, "Do not correct a scoffer [who foolishly ridicules and takes no responsibility for his error] or he will hate you; Correct a wise man [who learns from his error], and he will love you." (AMP)

Proverbs 26:4, "Do not answer [nor pretend to agree with the frivolous comments of] a [closed-minded] fool according to his folly; otherwise, you, even you, will be like him." (AMP)

Proverbs 29:11, "A [shortsighted] fool always loses his temper and displays his anger, but a wise man [uses self-control and] holds it back." (AMP)

Proverbs 13:20, "He who walks [as a companion] with wise men will be wise,

But the companions of [conceited, dull-witted] fools [are fools themselves and] will experience harm." (AMP)

But the tongue of the wise brings healing." (AMP)

Ecclesiastes 7:9, "Do not be eager in your heart to be angry, For anger dwells in the heart of fools." (AMP)

Ephesians 5:15-16, "Therefore see that you walk carefully [living life with honor, purpose, and courage; shunning those who tolerate and enable evil], not as the unwise, but as wise [sensible, intelligent, discerning people], making the very most of your time [on earth, recognizing and taking advantage of each opportunity and using it with wisdom and diligence], because the days are [filled with] evil." (AMP)

 

 Blessings

J.P. Olson

www.thewordwithjpolson.org