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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Sometimes You Need To Speak To The Very Person, Place Or Thing That Is Attempting To Attack Your Life, That It Won’t Go Down Like That, Not Today, And Not For Me!

It’s easy to think of struggles as nuisances that get in the way of our paths, but what if they are the path. God has invested too much in you to let His plans for your life be destroyed.  I’m so glad how I feel about God at any given moment doesn’t change God a bit. Prayer is not getting God in heaven to do your will here on earth; prayer is getting you ready on earth to do the will of God in heaven. Prayer is not seeking to get your way, but submitting your will to God’s way. In spite of what you face as a struggle, it’s important that you learn how to put your praise in place so your problem doesn’t knock you out of position.

But before we get to Daniel, let's face it; we all have some days when we feel like we're stuck in the basement, right? The view isn't very inspiring and neither is the situation we're in. We’re low in funds, low in joy, low in peace, low in confidence, low in health, low in marriage, low in single-hood, and low in dealing with the battles of raising children, low in dealing with coworkers and even low while sitting in the pew next to our brothers and sisters in Christ! There are simply some moments in life when we’ve crashed in the basement, instead of breaking through the ceiling! Can we be real about it?

Well, the good news is that there is no basement so deep or so gloomy that you have to stay there, because there’s an elevator just waiting to take you up!

In essence, it's the spiritual elevator many of God's leaders in the Bible knew about - like Daniel, for example. He's a top advisor to the most powerful man in the world, King Nebuchadnezzar. All of the king's pagan advisors have been unable to meet his demand, and they tell him they don't know what his disturbing dream meant. Of course, he'd also asked them to tell him what the dream was. But nobody could do that either. So he sentences them to death - a sentence that applies even to Daniel! So Daniel is literally staring at being executed for no reason at all! Talk about a dark basement!

However, he doesn’t become weary, he doesn’t panic, he doesn’t freak-out, and he doesn’t start crying. So what does he do? Well, as any wise man would, he recruits his spiritual brothers! 

Daniel 2:16-17, “So Daniel went in to see the king. “Give me a little time,” he said, “and I will tell you the dream and what it means.” Then he went home and told Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions” (TLB).

First things first, he lets the king know; oh it won’t end like this, at least not for me! Sometimes you need to speak to the very person, place or thing that is attempting to snuff out or attack your life, that it won’t go down like that, not today, and not for me! I know what I’m facing is tough, but I refuse to just lie down and die! Just give me a little time, I’m about to put a strategy in place that can’t fail! This is designed to take me down, but I’m coming up and out!

Listen: Don’t you dare just accept situations or attacks for their face value. Hit it head on! Don’t cower, don’t run, don’t give up, don’t get depressed…strategize! That’s what Daniel did!

This means we really need to be careful when going into spiritual battle (even battles we face in the natural) in making sure that we call for the right troops. We need to make sure that when we call in reinforcements, we call the right people! Know that everybody who says they’re praying for you, are not! Not everyone asking about your situation cares that you get out of it, some just want to make sure you’re still in it! That’s why discernment and wisdom are necessities, not options!

Listen: You only need to take those IN, who can help bring you OUT!
But how do you know you’ve selected the right people? Let’s continue reading:
“They asked the God of heaven to show them His mercy by telling them the secret, so they would not die with the others. And that night in a vision God told Daniel what the king had dreamed.” (Vss. 18-19)

Daniel didn’t just call any group of men; he called the ones he knew would immediately intercede! Are those the first people you call? If it’s not, you need to change your strategy if you plan to win! Notice, they don’t hold a long conversation with Daniel, they don’t offer him options or their opinions. They don’t find some other brothers to talk about the mess involving Daniel and the king. No, they go straight into intercession, talking to no one but God! They don’t ask Daniel how he feels about it; they don’t question him at all. He called for them; they came to him, and then went to God! If you don’t have reinforcements like this, find them, today!

Something else to note, the 3 men asked God to show “THEM” His mercy by telling “THEM” the secret. But the answer to what they asked goes like this: “…And that night in a vision GOD TOLD DANIEL what the king had dreamed…” They asked for God to show “THEM” but God told “DANIEL”. Note: You need intercessors that can intercede without jealousy or competition! After all, they could have responded, “God WE came to you in intercession so you would reveal it to US”… but they were just fine with Daniel receiving the answer…ALONE.

People of God, surround yourself with people who will not be so busy competing with you that they can’t help you win. It didn’t matter if it was revealed to Daniel alone, as long as the revelation came! And when it did, listen to Daniel’s response:
“…Then Daniel praised the God of heaven…”

See, the problem with us is that we let fear supersede our faith! But even in the midst of having his life at risk, Daniel stops to praise God first! He has a problem, God provides the solution, but before Daniel applies the solution, he praises God first! If that’s not how you’ve handled it in the past, handle it like that in the present and future!

Truth is, we have to reach a place of trust, reliance, dependence, and faith in God where our circumstances don’t alter our praise! We need our situations, trials and struggles to see that we walk by faith, even when that walk takes us through the valleys of the shadows of death!

We Need To Allow Our Praise To Be The Evidence That We Trust God’s Outcome, Before We Even Come Out. Daniel Is Our Example Of Celebrating God For Victory Before The Battle Is Even Over! Daniel 2:19, “…and then Daniel praised the God of heaven…” (TLB)

Daniel steps into the spiritual elevator that takes him from the basement of his circumstances to the penthouse of his awesome God! That elevator is called "Praise!" Now, you would think that finally receiving a solution to his problem would make him run to the king, but he had to praise his King first! And so do you!


J.P. Olson

Friday, July 21, 2017

God Plays No Favorites! It Makes No Difference Who You Are or Where You’re From – If You Want God And Are Ready To Do As He Says, The Door Is Open. He’s Doing It Everywhere, Among Everyone.

Your God is the same yesterday, today and forevermore! He’s not changing! What he did then he can still do now! The issue is do you believe it?!

“When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch” (Luke 5:4 NKJV) Please understand, those fishermen were no better or no worse than YOU! So keep in mind: “…God Plays No Favorites! It Makes No Difference Who You Are or Where You’re From – If You Want God And Are Ready To Do As He Says, The Door Is Open…He’s Doing It Everywhere, Among Everyone.” (Acts 10:34-36 MSG) God Can and Will Do It For YOU! Unlike man, He doesn’t play favorites! The door is open for the janitor, the bus driver, the waiter, the preacher and the singer alike!

Jesus said, “…According to your FAITH be it unto you” (Matthew 9:29). Not according to your bank account, where or how you were raised, if you have a degree, if you’re the right color, if your resume is impressive enough, if you wear the latest fashion, or if you’re in the right circle of people of influence to open closed doors on your behalf. Not according to any of that, But “…According to your FAITH be it unto you”.

The Message Bible says it like this: “He touched their eyes and said, “Become what you believe.” It happened. They saw…” (MSG). Don’t miss the vital key: “…Become what you believe.” It happened. They saw…”  They believed in what they could become, and as a result, they became it!  Listen, if it was possible for these fishermen, please know that it is certainly possible for YOU! How do I know? Because the Bible says, “…Jesus doesn’t change – yesterday, today, tomorrow, He’s always totally Himself” (Hebrews 13:8 MSG)

“A man cannot please God unless he has FAITH. Anyone who comes to God must BELIEVE that He is.
J.P. Olson

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Satan Is The Author Of Confusion But People Are The Distributor Of It. Stop Walking With People Going In The Opposite Direction.

Satan Is The Author Of Confusion But People Are The Distributor Of It. When You Distribute Hate That’s What You Are Going To Get. Who Are You Associating Yourself With? Stop Walking With People Going In The Opposite Direction. The World Doesn't Need A New Definition Of Christianity; It Needs A New Demonstration Of It. Every Season Need Faith To Get Us Through It. God's Dawn Of Deliverance Often Comes When The Hour Of Trial Is Darkest.

No one can be wrong with a man and right with God. The big question: Where can we put our hatred while we say our prayers? Unfortunately we put our hatred on the back burner where it simmers. Our prayers said, the back burner turns red again. Sin's contamination requires the Savior's cleansing. Worship gets you through the hardest times in your life because it shifts your focus from the problem to the problem solver. Why should we pray so often? I pray because I can't help myself. I pray b/c I am helpless. I pray b/c the need flows out of me at all times.  If a problem brings you to prayer then it has served its purpose. When we think we don't need prayer daily then we have gone to sleep on God. We aren't called to walk in our strength; we are called to walk in HIS. We aren't called to sit back and let God; we are called to step up. May we seek to build each other up through our actions today. 

The devil can lead you to sin but he cannot make you sin, you can choose to take action or walk away. God does not make you remember your sins, the devil does! Paul is saying in Galatians 5:17; that you and I have an inclination to do evil. So many times, we want to say the devil made us sin. I remember a song back in the day "The Devil Made Me Do It" and there was a popular comedian who also used this as a tag line; but the devil can’t make us sin. If the devil could make us sin, we would have a perfect alibi. Sin is an inside job; it comes from our flesh. The devil helps you to sin; tempts you to sin; encourages you to sin. Satan is a deceiver, he influenced Adam and Eve but they were the ones that performed the act of sin. ... he may place things before you, perhaps your weakness, but he cannot make you sin. The choice is actually ours. Christ died to set you free, remember that! Battlefield of the mind is a sensitive place. It is where Satan does his best work; Yet The God who created our mind is the God We Cry Out To:  When we can’t help ourselves and call for help, when we’re pushed beyond our limits, when we’re pulled out of our comfort zone, when we don’t like where we are and want out, when we don’t like who we are and want a change.

God’s help is only a prayer away. (Phil. 4:6) Don’t let the devil set you up to upset you. The devil will cause you to be unforgiving and judgmental toward others for no reason at all, thinking that you are just as better than anyone else in Christ. Prayer begins in trouble and it continues because we’re always in trouble at some level; Finances, Family, Health & on & on.  Don't give the devil a foothold to stand on. When he can't get to you, he will start with family, then friends and last but not least he will start with church folks and the list goes on. Satan is the source of gossip and confusion; do not allow Satan to whisper in your ear and set you up to upset you.

The power of Satan is no match for the power of God's Word. Safety is not found in the absence of danger, but in the presence of God.  When we face impossibilities it gives us the opportunity to trust God.  When we keep our eyes on Christ, everything will come into focus.  It should not be surprising that when trouble interrupts our lives, the father of lies whispers in our ears and suddenly we are questioning God's goodness.  When Jesus tells us things like this, "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth" Matt. 6:19.  Satan tells us that the good life is about piling up things here, causing us to doubt God's good intentions. Our problem is that we, like Adam and Eve, believe Satan's lies.  And when we do, our loyalty to God is compromised.  Then our enemy slithers off to his next assignment, leaving us alone to face our regrets and the realization that his lies have seduced us away from our truest and dearest Friend. 

Read the Bible to be wise, believe it to be safe, practice it to be holy. I cannot say this enough, Satan will not volunteer to leave you alone and he will not stay where he is uncomfortable, if you do not know the Word of God, you will easily believe the lies of the devil. Satan chances are hopeless as long as you stay in the Word & Will of God.

J.P. Olson

Monday, July 10, 2017

Worship Is Based In Who God Is, While Praise Is Based In What He Does. Praise Is About God, Worship Is To God. Praise Is Opening Up, Worship Is Entering In.

It is not on the worshiper but on the One who is worshiped. Worship is an exercise of the human spirit that is directed primarily to God; Just as praise is intertwined with thanksgiving, worship is intertwined with surrender. 

I realized that even though they’re frequently used to mean the same thing, praise and worship are actually two very different ideas. The most basic difference is that Worship is based in who God is, While praise is based in what He does. Praise is about God, Worship is to God. Praise is opening up, Worship is entering in. Praise is boldly declaring, Worship is humbly bowing in the presence of a Holy God. Praise applauds what God has done, Worship is honoring God for who He is.

When we worship something, we declare that it is worthy (Psalm 145:3). We worship something when we act as if it has value. By nature, human beings are worshipers. Sometimes our worship is focused on that which is actually worthy of reverence (like God). Other times it is misdirected (for instance, we worship our work or our bank accounts or a celebrity or fashion or a political icon or a sports team).

Worship is a life response to the worthiness of its object. When we worship God, we do so in response to who He is (Psalm 52:9). Our attitudes and actions reflect that we believe the character and conduct of God to be worthy of praise and adoration. At times our worship is expressed through corporate singing, teaching, and tithing. It is also expressed in our daily lives through prayer, Scripture reading, acts of kindness, gratitude, pure thoughts, and the like.

God’s holiness is the one thing that separates us from Him. God is loving, but even a lost person can be a little bit loving sometimes. God is merciful, but even a lost person can sometimes be merciful. However, God is also holy, and nobody in the world can ever claim to be even a little bit holy. God is, by His very nature, something that we could never be no matter how hard we tried; that’s how much more impressive than us He is, and that’s why He deserves our worship.

Praise, on the other hand, is based in how God’s attributes (“who God is”) impact me in my life. For example, I worship God because He is loving. I praise Him because that love has manifested itself in the form of salvation and in constant companionship and encouragement no matter how badly I mess up. I worship God because He is holy; I praise Him because He has reconciled me to Himself through the death of His sinless Son. I worship Him because of His mercy; I praise Him because His mercy shows itself in the form of forgiveness of all my sins, past, present, and future.

You’ll see increased answers to your prayers. Praising God with a sincere heart, gives you favor with Him and increases your confidence in His willingness to bless you. The Word of God say that we are to worship Him in spirit and truth. We do not worship in spirit in one setting and in truth in another. We are in both at once.

Our spirit is the core of who we are. It is the center of our volition and our emotions. We also know that God is a spiritual being. To worship in spirit, then, is to do something that is beyond the physical. We do not worship by simply bowing our knees; we worship through a heart posture (Psalm 51:17). And our worship is in line with the worship going on in heaven (Psalm 148:1-2; Ephesians 6:12; Revelation 4:8).

Worshiping in truth means that we worship based on truth (see Romans 10:2). This includes the truth about who God is and what He does, hence why He is worthy of worship. It also includes the truth about our circumstances. We worship God even when we are experiencing heartache. When we worship Him, we do not forget about our hurt, but we worship even in the truth of our hurt. We also worship in joyful circumstances. Truth itself can be a means of worship; we worship God when we declare His truth.

To worship God in spirit and in truth, then, is to declare that God is worthy of our reverence. We do this both through our emotional core and in light of reality. We worship God based on the truth of who He is, the truth of who we are, the truth of what God does, and the truth of what is going on in our world. We do it with a heart inclined toward God and in submission to Him. We worship God when our attitudes, actions, and words declare that He is worthy of our praise.

J.P. Olson

Thursday, July 6, 2017

God Doesn’t Move Out Of Our Anxiety, He Works On Faith. One Of The Most Frustrating Things Is To Experience Hard Times When You Feel That You Are Living Right

God doesn’t move out of our Anxiety, He works on Faith. One Of The Most Frustrating Things Is To Experience Hard Times When You Feel That You Are Living Right.

God doesn’t move out of our anxiety, He works on faith. Many people simply tend to give up when times get hard, but you must know that God is always in control.
Let’s look at Job's life.  Job was a righteous, Man of God. The devil could not touch him because God protected him. God told the devil he will remove the hedge so he can do whatever he want just don’t touch him. God ALLOWED the devil to kill what Job loved: his children, his servants and even his cattle. Understand what just happened. The things that Job loved were taken away because he lived a holy life and God wanted to use him. Many of us would have left church if we were doing everything right and still circumstances grew worse. However, Job didn’t curse God and after his period of testing, God gave him double for his trouble (Job 42:10).

Jesus waited until Lazarus was dead and his body was rotting before He came to deliver Lazarus. He didn’t rush because of Mary or Martha; He had a plan that human minds didn’t understand.  Jesus waited until everyone gave up hope before He worked the miracle. God doesn’t make you struggle to make a fool of you; everything He does brings glory to His name and souls to Christ. Many Jews turned to Christ after they saw Him raise Lazarus.

Everything you have been through has a purpose. No one can say you “deserved” to be raped, abused, mistreated, etc., but someone else will go through it and your testimony will be their deliverance. Don’t breakdown; God wants you to breakthrough. No one can obtain the promises of God without going through the process. God uses affliction to build our character and our spirit, don’t think it’s meant to destroy you. If you endure, there is a blessing waiting on you.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivered him out of them all. (Psalms 34:19) 

J.P. Olson

Saturday, July 1, 2017

I’m Fully Persuaded God Allows A Lot Of The Stuff We Endure To Come Our Way, Because It Sends Us Running Right Back To The Prayer Room.

Can we be honest? Truth is, many of us, myself included, have a bad habit of waiting until we “need God” to pray. As long as everything is going well, there’s no doctors reports to make us cry out, no bills that are making us nervous about what we’re going to do next etc…we’re good. We can talk to God but not so often and even then quite briefly. Which is why I’m fully persuaded God allows a lot of the stuff we endure to come our way, because it sends us running right back to the prayer phone to dial up heaven again! At least in trouble He gets to hear our voice! But should this really be the only time He hears from us? When we're in trouble? And He's the last lifeline left?

Well, at the end of a passage on spiritual warfare and defeating our enemy, the Bible says in Ephesians 6:18 "…pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests." (NIV). It's prayer all day, every day, at any time of the day! Reminds me a lot of the admonishment of 1 Thessalonians 5:17 "Pray without ceasing." In a nutshell: It's staying in contact with the Lord at; “All occasions, with all kinds of prayers, and all kinds of requests."

Notice, we’re charged and challenged to pray all the time, for everyone, because prayer is essential! We’re to always pray, never stop praying and pray all the time! That sounds a lot like prayer being more than just “I’m in trouble Lord, HELP!” Or praying because we have a few moments to spare. The sad thing however, about us as believers is that we tend to have a prayer compartment in our life. We pray in the morning, or maybe in the evening, or over meals. We have prayer meetings. But I think God wants us to take prayer out of that compartment and learn prayer as a lifestyle, not just as an occasional appointment.

The Spirit may be trying to prompt you in that way many times. It's not a little child. It's the Holy Spirit that's saying, "Let's pray. Let's pray." He's trying to initiate it. Pray in the Spirit. But we're so busy! We're running on our list, our schedule, our program and our agenda. We can't hear His promptings. However, we need to be real careful about being so busy that we ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit to pray and even to intercede for others!

Think about this: Can you imagine how differently Peter’s story may have turned out, if people ignored the prompting to pray? Listen: James had just been executed and Herod was planning to kill Peter in the morning. Now, you’d think Peter would have been up all night praying, but he wasn’t. The Bible says he was SLEEPING! (Acts 12:6, “Then the time came for Herod to bring him out for the kill. That night, even though shackled to two soldiers, one on either side, PETER SLEPT LIKE A BABY” MSG). So where did Peter get such faith? The Bible says: “Peter therefore was kept in prison: BUT PRAYER WAS MADE WITHOUT CEASING OF THE CHURCH UNTO GOD FOR HIM” (Acts 12:5). But you have to see how these intercessors REALLY PRAYED for Peter: The Amplified Bible says, “…FERVENT PRAYER for him was PERSISTENTLY  made…”; The Message Bible says, “All the time …Peter was under heavy guard…the church prayed for him MOST STRENUOUSLY “While Peter was being kept in jail, the church NEVER STOPPED PRAYING to God for him.”

We must MAKE time to pray to God on our own behalf, but never forget your brothers and sisters, and even those who are unsaved! They all need your prayers of intercession at all times! Your Unceasing Prayers Are Vital to You and Others! So Never Stop Praying! Who knows who will be saved, delivered, healed, and made whole, just because of your prayers? Who knows who may be encouraged, inspired and empowered because of your prayers? Who knows who may finally get right because of your prayers? Your Prayers Are Powerful! Make Them Your Lifestyle, Not Just a Lifeline for When You’re in Trouble!

When God works on our behalf, He doesn't need us to do a thing. We can use faith three ways; by praying - by speaking - and by acting - in faith. The key is in the name of Jesus Christ. Some of us have to change our way of thinking in order for God to work a change in our lives. Do not get caught up in the how’s, when’s, and whys of God; get caught up in trusting Him. We cannot always choose our circumstances. But we can always choose God with our circumstances. Keep Trusting, Keep Believing and Keep Moving. Thank God for the blessings that He is going to give you - which you know nothing about.

May God release fresh faith and perspective into your soul today. May He strengthen your frame and establish your steps. May He give you fresh vision for your future and divine wisdom for stewarding your "now" moments.  May the song in your heart ring louder than the enemy's threat and accusations.  There is no one like our God and there's nothing like His love for you. Whenever you feel very distant from God, remember that God is never distant from you.  I’d rather spend a lifetime on my knees in prayer than another moment in darkness without God!  When my day starts with prayer and ends with prayer, everything in between seems to always work out! 

Somebody asked the question today, "How great is our God?" How do you answer that? Who can answer that?  At the beginning of each day, I am amazed at just how great our God is. The peace of God is a promise for us every day, claim it, speak it, and live in it. God's presence with us is one of His greatest presents to us.  Put it all in God’s hands, all your burdens, problems, your stress and frustrations. Everybody have trouble in their lives. Some try to handle the troubles on their own. Let God fight your battles. He can't lose!  Understand it was not you who got you out of that situation; it was God who heard you cry out!   Have confidence in Christ to work through your weaknesses. There is nothing that can come against you that God can't make come out for good in your life.

J.P. Olson