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Monday, May 19, 2014

God Himself can also be the source of our problems.

It is very tempting to blame everything that goes wrong on the devil. God Himself can also be the source of our problems. Therefore, not all problems are bad problems. God can design problems that will make you come closer to Him and also make you more prayerful. Naaman was a proud person who didn’t get his healing until he dumped his pride and moved closer to God. The scripture does not say put God in remembrance of our problems but in remembrance of His promise. (Isaiah 62:6) Sometimes we use prayer to complain. We do not have to tell God our problems, as He already knows what we are going through. He knows every need, every concern. Do not turn a prayer into a pity party.

Praying for change:  If you want to see things change, if you want God to turn things around, find a promise you can stand on. Instead of complaining say, “God you said when the enemy comes in my way you will defeat them. You said you would supply all of my needs according to your riches. You said you are Jehovah and the Lord my provider. You said you would fight my battles, you said what is meant for my harm you will use and turn it for my advantage.” Put God in His remembrance of His promise to bring it to pass. 

When you pray the promises instead of the problems not only will it change your attitude from a victim to a victor, but also God’s Word coming out of your mouth is powerful. When God hears His Word coming out of you He dispatches angels with the answers, He sets miracles into motion and He will begin to change things.
It may not happen overnight but stay in faith and keep reminding God what He promised you day in and day out. Instead of complaining say, “God you said”. Instead of begging say, “God you said”. Instead of describing the circumstances say, “God you said”. If you get in a habit of praying God’s promises back to Him, you will see God at work in your life. His Word and all of His promises are yes.

                                            Getting to the Root of the Problem
The devil's primary strategy is to disguise his activities so that it appears that someone or something else is to blame. He wants us to get our attention on his surrogates, his instruments, his hindrances and "wrestle" with them, so that our battle will be directed against the "symptoms" instead of the "real source."

We all know that a decongestant will help relieve a stuffy nose, but it will not cure a cold. Likewise, you can fight with the symptoms of the Devil, but you will not end the problems until you deal with the source and bind the "strong man."

Remember when Peter resisted Jesus' decision to return to Jerusalem, knowing that He would be crucified there? Jesus did not rebuke Peter, but turned to Peter and rebuked Satan. "Get behind me Satan" (Matt. 16:23). Peter wasn't demon possessed, and probably didn't intend to be an offense. However, the Devil inspired Peter's statement, and Jesus went after the real source.

When things go wrong, people complain bitterly and say that it is the devil that pushed them to do it. The question is why did such people supply their backs for Satan to ride on? God does not at any point in time expect you you supply your back to the devil. He does not expect you to turn your back to the enemy and run. He expects you to wage war against him. 
We are well aware of the evil characteristics of Satan, that he "kills, steals, and destroys" (John 10:10). But beyond his routine harassment's, temptations or hit-and-run attacks, the Devil's forces seek territory to establish long-term strongholds in which they may dominate and hold captive. Satanic forces search for people, cities, and nations in which they are not resisted and where they may flourish.
Paul said that our battle is not with "flesh and blood" but with spiritual adversaries (Eph. 6:12). How important it is that we understand what the real root of the problem is -- "who" our real enemy is. It is Satan, not flesh and blood, not our brethren, not our family, not our children, not husbands and wives, not employers, nor our government! The Devil is the enemy!

                                               Binding the Strong Man
One time, after Jesus had cast out a devil and healed a deaf and mute boy, Jesus explained that in order to overturn the works and activity of the Devil, we must bind him first. "Or else how can one enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house" (Matt. 12:29). In order to neutralize the Devil's works, we must go and deal directly with the source and bind up the devil so that his hands are tied. Then we'll be able to take back what he's stolen and bring a halt to his actions.

                                        All Believers have Authority over the Devil 
All Christians must be aware that God has equipped them to overcome Satan's power. The Apostle Paul said that "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (of a fleshly or earthly nature), but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds" (2 Cor. 10:4).
You may recall the time when the seventy disciples returned to the Lord rejoicing about the results of their ministry. They remarked, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name" (Luke 10:17). But then Jesus pointed out that the great marvel of this was that the devils were subject to them because their names were "written in heaven." In other words, because they were saved -- because of their relationship with Christ, they had authority over the Devil in the name of Jesus. Jesus has given all His followers -- all those who know Jesus personally as their Lord and Savior -- the authority to use His name to expel the forces of evil. To all believers, Jesus said, "In My name they will cast out demons..." (Mark 16:17).

How to Break Strongholds and keep them Broken!
  1. AUTHORITY -- Every believer has the right to use the authority of Jesus' name to bind and take authority over Satan's activities. "No one can enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man, and then he will plunder his house" (Mark 3:27). Issue a spoken command to the devil that he is bound and he must leave the stronghold! Exercising authority in the name of Jesus will expel the Devil's influence. "And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues..." (Mark 16:17).

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Where and How Does Sin Show Up In Our Lives?

A sin is any thought or action that falls short of God's will. God is perfect, and anything we do that falls short of His perfection is sin.  Anywhere we allow our desires to interfere in our relationship with The Lord.  Can we see it in our choices, our relationships, our communities?  Does sin have any lingering effects on us, our families or our world?  Sin has traumatic affects on the world.  Our choices and actions, as small or trivial as WE might think they are can have dynamic repercussions or adversely wonderful almost miraculous influences on others and the world.

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Even when we aren't aware of it, we commit sin by the things we do (or fail to do), or by the way we think. This is why we need Christ, for only He can forgive us all our sins, and only He can help us live the way we should. We can't forgive ourselves, nor can we change our hearts and make ourselves better in God's eyes. But when we know Christ, He takes away our sins and comes to live within us by His Spirit. Does He live today in your heart? Sin contaminated the world...everything in the world is tainted by the fall of mankind but the good news is that Jesus overcame the world!  His blood and grace are far greater than sin. Sin shows up everywhere in our world...

abortions = murder (that's sin) [Exodus 20:13]
premarital sex = fornication (that's sin) [Colossians 3:5]
immodesty = guys lusting after women (immodesty is a sin; lust is a sin) [1 Timothy 2:9]
idolatry = worshiping earthly treasures more than God (that's a sin) [Exodus 20:5]

These sins can have very serious consequences and lingering effects on us and on our relationships with family, friends, enemies, etc.

Why Do We Pray? Is It To have Our Needs Met?

Sometimes when we pray we concentrate on the gifts in God's hand and ignore the hand of God himself. We pray fervently for the new job, or for the return of health. When we gain the prize, we are delighted. And then we have little more to do with God. God's hand only serve as a way to pay the rent, heal the sickness, or get through the crisis.  After the need has been met, the hand itself means little to us.  Those who are merely satisfied with the trinkets in the Father's hand miss the best reward of prayer- the reward of communicating and communing with the God of the universe. God has made Himself known through His Son Jesus Christ. He desires communion with us. His purpose in prayer is not to make us sit up and beg.  Is this why we pray? He wants us to know Him.  Prayer is His method to accomplish that. Communication with God is as essential to your spiritual well-being as breathing is to your physical life.  Communion with God is the one need of the soul beyond all other need.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

There Are Dangerously Strong Winds Blowing These Days

Peace doesn't come from finding a lake with no storms. It comes from having Jesus in the boat. If you are steering through life un-anchored in the midst of a storm you will surely drift away. There are dangerously strong winds blowing these days! Winds that threaten our economic stability; Winds predicting epidemic diseases, Winds of rising unemployment, extreme debt, and runaway federal spending. But we don’t ever have to be swept off course by any contrary wind as long as we maintain a fixed setting, anchored in God’s Word.  If we go through life unanchored, those powerful winds will push us far off course until shipwreck looks unavoidable.  Only when the Word is anchored in their hearts will God’s people develop the capacity to receive His blessings. Along this line, Proverbs 4:20-24 tells each of us what we must do. The Apostle Paul tells us that the Word should steer each of us as we navigate our course through life: 2 Timothy 3:16

Monday, May 5, 2014

Who Are You Associating Yourself With?

Who Are You Associating Yourself With?  Stop walking with people going in another direction. Are you around people that's weighing you down, going in the opposite direction. You say one thing, they say something else opposing what you say. Well there is a  cliche or quote that goes like this: "Everyone who is in your life is meant to be a part of that journey, but not all of them are meant to stay. Sometime God have to separate you from people.

A biblical example is Abraham & Lot. God had said he was to leave his family.Taking Lot with him seems to have been an act of disobedience. It was a mistake and caused Abraham great difficulty, nevertheless, in time, God separated Abraham from Lot. Have there been people in your life and journey where you really didn't want to part with them, they were possibly close friends or family, because you felt an obligation or they felt they were entitled to stay in your life.

You see Abraham and Lot were very different people. Abraham followed God and did things
God’s way. Lot followed his own way and lived for himself. Lot had a selfish, independent spirit, his herdsmen simply reflected the attitude of their master. Lot chose to be around people who did wrong and it caused him and his family to accept the sin. They probably did more wrongs because they were around people who sinned. Abraham, on the other hand, followed God and obeyed God. He did right things and lived to please God. Does this mean that we should form Christian communes and not associate with people in the world? Certainly not, how can we fulfill the Great Commission if we segregate ourselves? It does mean however that we should not be so closely associated with people going in opposite directions that they cause us to stumble. We can still witness without compromising our faith.

If today you have people walking with you on this journey but they are looking in a different direction from where you are going, you need to kindly release them or ask God to remove them and part ways, because eventually you will question your own beliefs, wane away from trusting completely in God. Wavering in your faith. Weighed down by negativity and feeling totally drained. Do you know people like this? Do you have friends and relatives like this? All of us would probably say yes. The key to this is to let them go and part ways.  Lot traveling with his uncle Abraham was excess weight and burdens that could have been eliminated if Abraham would have trusted God completely and left his nephew behind, but what happen is that we look at things from a human perspective and God see things as supernatural, because He does the impossible. God separated Abraham from Lot. Do God need to separate you from people in your life who are walking in different directions, causing you distraction, taking up your time with things that are on their agenda and not your agenda. Ask for God's help, He can and will do the impossible. Don't allow someone to be an albatross around your neck. It doesn't mean you don't love or care for the person anymore, there is such a thing as loving someone from a distance. Abraham parted ways with his nephew, he still loved him, but it was from a distance. God guidance never fails.