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Monday, July 30, 2018

What Satan Can and Cannot Do. Where Did he Come From? Why Does Satan Hate You? Answer: You Are Forgiven, He Is Not. The Devil Has A Word He Doesn't Want To Hear Used;It Will Destroy All Of his Plans.

  Satan was never, and never will be, like God, but you will: 1 John 3:2

Although Satan, the ruler of this world, was unable to overpower Jesus (Matthew 4) he still had the arrogance to try. Satan's Power Exists Only Because God Allows Him To Act. John 14:30-31. But Because Jesus Is Sinless, Satan Has No Power Over Him. If we obey Jesus and align ourselves closely with God's purposes, Satan can have no power over us.

Why does Satan hate you? Answer: You are forgiven, he is not. You will one day forget your fallen state; he is doomed to his fallen state forever. Psalms 85:2 

“The Enemy Uses These Three Things, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, to entice us to sin. Scripture shows this process at work in both the Garden of Eden and on the Mount of Temptation. The five senses; taste, touch, smell, hearing, and seeing, all report to the carnal mind – which is the enemy of God. These senses are what Satan uses to tempt us! The lust of the flesh includes tasting, touching, smelling, and hearing. The lust of the eyes is seeing. The pride of life is thinking you are special because of who you are, what you have, what you know, or what you look like."
How can Satan harm you? Satan can devour people. The Fellowship Between Satan And Humans Is Never Based On Love, Constructive Activity, Or On Redemptive Actions. It is all about hate, lust, and murder. He is the great devourer: Satan operates through humans in the flesh and through the flesh.

So, why does Satan hate you? Answer: You know more than he does regarding the deeper things of the Lord and his work.  John 14:26.  But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.  Satan will never again be "with" the Lord, but you will. Satan hates it that mortal beings like you can be forgiven (he cannot) and be like God in some way that we do not fully now understand.

Satan assumes that men are like him--which they strive for success and shun suffering. Satan’s words reveal his belief that men only serve God when it serves their own fleshly interests and that they will turn from God when suffering comes into their lives. Satan cannot imagine anyone worshiping God for who He is, rather than for what He gives. He thinks men must be bribed to worship and to serve God. His view is: “Take away the success, replace it with suffering, and saints will turn from God.”

Satan is allowed to do only that which God has planned for His glory and our good. He does nothing apart from divine permission. He does nothing contrary to God’s plan. Through Satan’s opposition, God’s purposes are fulfilled, and Satan’s purposes are frustrated. In spite of his failures, Satan never learns. Instead, he hastens on in his rebellion.

WHAT SATAN CAN AND CANNOT DO:
Satan cannot define himself. There is no scripture to indicate that Satan contemplates his own condition. He seems to be totally convinced that he is God, in spite of the fact that his fallen state is a result of trying to be God when he was in his perfect condition.

Satan must be defined by God. If you allow ANYONE to give you defining information about Satan which cannot be found in the Word of God, you have been deceived by Satan and the person teaching the heresy about him.

There are no scripture references for this point. The fact is, nowhere in the Word of God does Satan describe himself. Perhaps he would just as soon not think about what he is, for that would remind him of what he was before he fell from heaven.
 
WHERE DID SATAN COME FROM?
Satan was created. This sets to rest several in-church urban legends. Satan is not omniscient, knowing all things, like God himself. Created beings do not have the ability to know things that are not revealed to them by some outside source. God is a self-contained source, so He knows all. This means that Satan does not know what you are thinking. God has reserved that for Himself:


  1. God created Satan! Nothing exists that was not made by God. God made the world out of nothing, and so all creatures in heaven, on earth, and under the earth owe their existence to God (Colossians 1 v 16). Satan is no exception.
  2. God created Satan good! Everything that God created was very good (Genesis 1 v 31) and there is no sin, deception, or evil in God (1 John 1 v 5; James 1 v 13). Therefore, we can conclude that when God created Satan, he created him morally pure.
  3. Satan has authority in the realm of demons. At several points in the Bible, Satan is spoken of as the leader of the demonic forces (John 12 v 31 and Ephesians 2 v 2). We also see Satan taking leadership in the work of attacking and tempting God’s people (Job 1 v 6; 1 Chronicles 21 v 1; Zechariah 3 v 1).
  4. Satan’s evil came from within himself. He was not tempted and led astray (for there was no one to tempt him) but he produced sin and deceit from within himself (John 8 v 44).
So Satan is the leader of the pack of angels who rebelled against God, and he was cast out of God’s presence.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Satan will never know you as God knows you:

1 Corinthians 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Satan was never, and never will be, like God, but you will:

1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

So, why does Satan hate you? Answer: You know more than he does regarding the deeper things of the Lord and his work.

John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

1 John 2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

Satan will never again be "with" the Lord, but you will. Satan hates it that mortal beings like you can be forgiven (he cannot) and be like God in some way that we do not fully now understand.

Hell is a place to remember. The rich man in Jesus' parable was invited to remember:

Luke 16:25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime received thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us.

Like the rich man, Satan made his choices in his first estate, and he fell. He is now bound to the earth, and after one last verdict from God, he will be bound in the Lake of Fire. He is reminded in the Ezekiel text above of all that he has lost, just as the rich man was invited to remember all that he lost.

2 Corinthians 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

Why Does Satan Hate You? Answer: You Are Forgiven, He Is Not. You Will One Day Forget Your Fallen State, He Is Doomed To His Fallen State Forever.

Psalms 85:2 Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah.

Satan cannot have his office in heaven back and he cannot stop Jesus from doing his work:

Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Further, Satan rules the kingdoms of the world for now:

Matthew 4:8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.

Does he really own those kingdoms, or was he again lying?
Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Revelation 13:3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.

Satan today is in control of the world's kingdoms by aiding and comforting their sin and corruptness. The way he tempts good leaders of the nations to make war and do evil to other nations is by the same temptation he offered Jesus. If a world ruler will sell his soul to Satan, he will find his power increase and his borders expanded, with geographically, or, as in the present USA regime, in economic power.

The devil has a word he doesn't want to hear used, and it’s "JESUS", because The Power of That Name Will Destroy All his Plans! So, for over two thousand years, the devil has tried to make the name of Jesus the issue; the dividing point. It was over two thousand years ago when the Sanhedrin said, "You can talk about God, you can talk about religion, you can do anything, just don't mention that Name!”

And sadly enough, that’s still the issue today, isn't it? Truth is, people don't mind if you talk about religion, or even God, or the Bible, or morality, or family values, or your church, but don't mention the Name Jesus.

You need to remember two important truths about Satan. First, he is real, and he is powerful. Don’t make the mistake of thinking he is a cute little cartoon figure with a red suit and a pitchfork – for he isn’t. He is completely evil, and his goal is to block God’s work in our lives. The Bible says he is “like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

But the second thing you need to remember is that the devil is a defeated foe! By His death and resurrection Jesus Christ conquered sin and death and Hell – and someday Christ will come again to pronounce judgment on Satan and his followers.

All too often we fall right into the devil's trap to censor the name of Jesus in our conversation. We don't want to be offensive; we don't want to turn anyone off. And there's this little voice that says, "Well, just talk about God. You know, most everybody would accept that." So we talk about God in our lives, but we avoid the name of Jesus.

Christian musicians will write songs that talk vaguely about Him with a capitol H, but too often they avoid the Name Jesus, so their music can cross over to the secular world. We no longer sing Gospel music about salvation, the blood, the cross, the resurrection, and the Name of Jesus. No, today the church has become quite “inspirational.” If you listen to the music, the prayers or even the lessons and sermons, it’s hard to know exactly who the church is talking, teaching, preaching about, or praying to!

Even Christian leaders try to avoid conflict by watering down the Name: “In His name we pray.”

But Acts 4:11-12 says, "This JESUS is the stone which was despised and rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among people by which we must be saved [for God has provided the world no alternative for salvation].” (AMP). The power is in the Name of JESUS! The devil knows the power in that Name that’s why he works so hard to muzzle your mouth!  Don’t let him do it!

The Scripture tells us, “…FOR GOD HAS PROVIDED THE WORLD NO ALTERNATIVE FOR SALVATION…” 

That word “alternative” is defined as “of one or more things available as another possibility; expressing a choice; offering of options; something that can be chosen instead of something else.” But, when it concerns salvation, there is nothing else available, no other possibility, no other choice or option, and absolutely nothing and no one else you can use instead of, ONLY THE NAME OF JESUS!

Romans 1:16, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation [from His wrath and punishment] to everyone who believes [in CHRIST AS SAVIOR], to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (AMP)

I’ve even been with people while witnessing during outreach and listening to them talk about Jesus, without mentioning His Name! How is that even possible? You have to say the Name, because there is no other Name whereby they can be saved, except the Name JESUS!

How can you as a believer possibility be ashamed to say the Name JESUS?!
After all, it is by the Name JESUS where you received salvation, healing, wholeness, peace, joy, unconditional love, restoration, renewal, revival, forgiveness…HOW CAN YOU NOT SAY THE NAME JESUS?!

It is the Name JESUS that kept your marriage together; that brought your children back to their senses; that saved your household; that healed your mother; that delivered your father; that got you that job; that carried you through school…HOW CAN YOU NOT SAY THE NAME JESUS?!

But you see that's the 2,000-year-old editor from hell saying, "Edit out Jesus. How dare you mention that Name." But how did Peter and John feel about that? Let’s see:

Acts 4:18-20, “They called them back and warned them that they were on no account ever again to speak or teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John spoke right back, “Whether it’s right in God’s eyes to listen to you rather than to God, you decide. AS FOR US, THERE’S NO QUESTION—WE CAN’T KEEP QUIET ABOUT WHAT WE’VE SEEN AND HEARD.” (MSG)

And truthfully, neither can you! I mean as you look back over the course of your life, and see what JESUS has brought you through can you honestly be quiet about the Name of Jesus?! Think about it: The addictions; the habits; the bad friendships, relationships, marriages; choices; consequences; health challenges; family troubles; financial disasters; loss of employment; repetitive failures…can you look at all of that and be quiet about the Name of Jesus?

After all, you’ve seen what JESUS did for you and your loved ones, after all the praise reports you’ve heard about what He’s done for others, can you really remain quiet about the Name of JESUS?!

Now Peter and John were facing some serious life or death decisions in mentioning or not mentioning the Name of JESUS. After all, listen to the Bible: 
“…The religious leaders renewed their threats…” So, their attackers weren’t about to let up on this. They came back at them and renewed their threats. They were going to do whatever it took to silence these boys, however, let’s read some more…“…but then they released them. They couldn’t come up with a charge that would stick, that would keep them in jail. The people wouldn’t have stood for it—they were all praising God over what had happened. The man who had been miraculously healed was over forty years old.”

Listen, what you do and what you don’t do, affects more than just you. The people were standing around, they also saw and heard what Peter and John had seen, heard and done. And likewise, people are watching you, listening to you and imitating you. Do you really want to set the example of being a coward for Christ?

John 14:13-14, “And I will do whatever you ask IN MY NAME [as My representative], this I will do, so that the Father may be glorified and celebrated in the Son. If you ask Me anything IN MY NAME [as My representative], I will do it.” (AMP) With a promise like that, how can you possibly be silent about the Name of JESUS?!

Isn’t it amazing what God does through His servants that aren’t afraid to publicly serve Him? Not only did Peter and John continue to preach in the Name of Jesus, but they were all endowed with power from the Holy Ghost, the other believers joined them in prayer, praise and worship and the furtherance of the Message of Jesus Christ! Even the church grew and there wasn’t a selfish bone in the Body of Christ, for they all met the needs of the entire church!

Two men decided to stand by the Name of Jesus, and to mention it out loud!  The results were they were blessed, and all the people, and all the church.

Peter and John are passed away. However, you are still here! Will you dare to continue their discipleship work and say and share the Name of JESUS? Or, will you let the devil have the final say as he muzzles your mouth?

So, how can we possibly be silent about the Only Name that brings Salvation, the Name OF JESUS! In the end, the choice is yours! Will you stay on the course God set you on, or will you bow to Lucifer and receive the rewards the easy way?

Blessings
J.P. Olson

Monday, July 23, 2018

You Will Never Renew Until You Rest! There Will Always Be More To Do! Jesus Understood That If You Don’t Take A Break – You’ll Break! Learn to Walk Away! Jesus Did! Rest is NOT a Sin, It’s a Necessity

 Mark 6:30-32, “The apostles then rendezvoused with Jesus and reported on all that they had done and taught. Jesus said, “Come off by yourselves; LET’S TAKE A BREAK AND GET A LITTLE REST.” For there was constant coming and going. They didn’t even have time to eat. So they got in the boat and went off to a remote place by themselves…” (MSG)

Given the Admonition that we are to work six days and rest one (Exodus 34:21, “Do your Work in Six Days and REST On the Seventh Day…” CEV), we might conclude that the Bible is about all work and no fun. However, that is far from the truth!  

Jesus Expected His Disciples to “Come Aside” periodically for REST, and Scripture has repeated references to the Benefits of “Making Merry”:
Proverbs 15:13, 15, “A Merry Heart Maketh a Cheerful Countenance…but he that is of a Merry Heart Hath a Continual Feast”;

The Bible speaks of More than Seventy Days a Year in which “No Customary Work” is to be done!

A time of Rest from work is Advocated for those who are experiencing grief: Matthew 14:10-13, “So he sent and had John beheaded in prison. And his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother. Then his disciples came and took away the body and buried it, and went and told Jesus. When Jesus heard it, He Departed From There By Boat To a Deserted Place By Himself…” (NKJV). 

It is Advocated for those who are seeking Spiritual Empowerment to do God’s Will: Matthew 4:1, 11, “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him” (NKJV).  

It is Advocated for those who are entering into an intense period of Prayer: Matthew 14:23, “And when He had sent the multitudes away, He Went Up On the Mountain By Himself to Pray. Now When Evening Came, He Was Alone There” (NKJV).  

And it is Advocated for those who are Newly Married: Deuteronomy 24:5, “When a man has taken a New Wife, he shall Not go out to War or be Charged with Any Business; he shall be Free at Home One Year, and bring Happiness to his Wife whom he has taken” (NKJV). [That last one might’ve saved a lot of ministry marriages if we had simply applied it!]  

Understand this: You Will Never Renew Until You Rest! And what does the Bible say about Rest? “And He said to them, [As for you] come away by yourselves to a deserted place, and REST A WHILE – for many were [continually] coming and going, and they had not even leisure enough to eat” (Mark 6:31 AMP).

One of the hardest things to do for many of us, especially in leadership, is to “take a break” without feeling guilty and selfish; or worse, feeling like a failure because everything on your “to do” list didn’t get done. Here’s a news flash: There Will Always Be More To Do! There will always be more deadlines, meetings, appointments, assignments, etc. Which is why one of your biggest challenges will be learning the difference between setting high standards for yourself – and setting unrealistic, impossible ones! Think about it: It’s hard enough trying to make time to get done what you NEED to get done, but that doesn’t compare to the sheer exhaustion of attempting to do something you were never assigned to do in the first place! Therefore, in order to get a handle on your schedule, erase anything non-essential that you’ve penciled in yourself! Truth is, many of us are running around all over the place, completely exhausted and spent, ignoring our loved ones, burned out, miserable, and all because we’re doing more than God ever assigned to our hands! Therefore, here’s some homework for you. Sit down with a pen, pad and your schedule, and make sure you’re supposed to be doing all the stuff you’ve been doing! Remove your unnecessary agenda entries and rearrange your hectic schedule! And I’ll even take it further. Sit yourself down from the committees, auxiliaries, ministries, and leadership positions that God never told you to accept! Have enough maturity to go to your leaders and be honest that you added more to your plate than you can digest in a healthy manner. 

Learn to tell people ‘no’ without excuse or explanation! Stop over-committing yourself! Stop allowing people to guilt you into stuff! Take your hands off all the stuff God never entrusted you to hold! And know that sometimes success means knowing when to get somewhere and sit down!

Because to make matters worse, we often claw our way to our idea of success only to discover that we don’t like the pressures that go with it. So what should we do? Learn to Walk Away! Jesus Did! “The apostles then rendezvoused with Jesus and reported on all that they had done and taught. Jesus said, “Come off by yourselves; LET’S TAKE A BREAK AND GET A LITTLE REST.” For there was constant coming and going. They didn’t even have time to eat. So they got in the boat and went off to a remote place by themselves…” (Mark 6:30-32 MSG).

Jesus understood that if you don’t take a break – You’ll Break! And isn’t that the truth for many of us? We have such busy schedules and long to-do lists that we rarely get a chance to even eat. And even when we do eat, it’s late and definitely not what we should be eating! Which leads us to a whole new list of problems with bad dieting, over-weight, sickness, ailments and disease. Which only adds on to those problems by adding painful bodies, multiple medications and expensive doctor visits! And the vicious cycle goes on and on.
And what is Jesus Advice: “…LET’S TAKE A BREAK AND GET A LITTLE REST.” 

And what does the word “Rest” mean? “To cease work or movement in order to relax or recover strength; allowed to be inactive in order to regain or save strength or energy.” Do you notice the blessings in rest from this description? For one, you Recover and Regain Strength! You see, Exhaustion Wears You Out! It Drains You of Strength and Weakens You, Inside and Out! In fact, the word “Exhaust” means “to tire out completely.” Its Latin Origin “Exhaurire” literally means “Drain Out”. Now please explain to me how can you be of any good use to your family, friends, job, business, ministry or even to yourself if you’re Completely Tired and Drained Out?! You Can’t! Which is why it’s so important for you to know when to Take a Break! Remember, you can't Give what you don’t Got! (Bad grammar, but good point!) No one can Drink from you if you’re always Drained! The word ‘drain’ is defined as, ‘to cause to run out; to become dry; to deprive of strength and resources; to empty of content; to be used up.’ I reiterate, No One Can Drink From You If You’re Always Drained, Dry, Deprived, Weak, Empty and Used Up!

People of God Rest is NOT a Sin, It’s a Necessity!
Another added blessing from the definition of ‘Rest’ is that you become Inactive! Many would consider that a negative, but actually it’s not all that bad. One of the definitions of “Inactive” is simply “Not currently being used.” And this can be for your own good! Truth is, sometimes you don’t know how much you do until you stop doing it! And that’s a truth for those around you too who are accustomed to you doing everything! Sometimes you need to stop, so someone else can start! You’ll never know what those around you are capable of if you don’t give them the opportunity to show you. You my friend, as gifted, anointed, blessed, and talented as you are, you are still NOT God. 

You are here to Represent Him, NOT Be Him! You can’t be everybody’s everything, and then wonder why you have nothing left for yourself! My pastor loves to say, “Stop Giving Away What You Need to Keep for Yourself!” And maybe it’s time you heed that advice also. Maybe it’s time you spend an inactive season, where you’re not being used, and it’s okay!

The last blessing from the definition of ‘Rest’ is that you become Relaxed! And “Relax” means “to make or become less tense, anxious, or rigid; rest from work or engage in a recreational activity.”  In other words, if you want to get a hold on things…Relax and Loosen Up! I know you’re gifted, talented, anointed, awesome, powerful and everyone loves you and wants you apart of everything they do, however if you don’t take a break…you will break! And in order for you NOT to break down, you have to break up your schedule! Balance it out! Have your meetings, but go out for a meal with the family too.
Which is why you should:

1...Make a list of the things that only YOU can do, then delegate the rest or let them go. Not every piece of mail that comes to the house has your name on it! So stop taking other people’s mail and stop acting like your middle name is “occupant”! You can’t do it all no matter how awesome you are or think you are. And if you are in the company of those you can’t trust to delegate work to, you’re about to go out of business anyhow;

2...Learn to make small steps and celebrate small accomplishments for that’s what life is made of. If you only get 2 things done on your list of 20, eat a piece of chocolate and be happy! You at least accomplished something, there are many who didn’t even take the time to write a to-do list out, let alone do anything on it;

3...Don’t allow the stuff that’s still undone, to undo you. By God’s grace and mercy we see another tomorrow. And as long as He has work for you to do, you will continue to see another tomorrow. And when you don’t, you can still rejoice because your work here is done and you're off to receive your reward. Remember Jeremiah 29:11, God’s plan is not for you to have a plan, a back-up plan or a plan B! Simply do what needs to be done, and what’s left undone, leave for tomorrow. God knows what needs to be accomplished in each day. And He certainly knows your future, so stop letting today stress you, you have a promising future ahead, it will get done, trust God day by day, He has a great, unstoppable plan for your life. No More Worrying! Matthew 6:30-34.

4...Strive for balance; don’t even become addicted to what you enjoy. For instance, some of us have a tendency to even turn good things into disasters. It’s great that you love your job, but you can’t have a wife and three kids at home and get home at midnight 7 days a week! Balance is always the order of the day. And the word “Balance” is defined as “an even distribution of weight ensuring stability”. To have a stable life, keep your scales between work and play even;

5...Don’t allow overachievers to put you into overdrive. You’re in it for the long haul. You win when you pace yourself. Competition kills! So stop peeking over at the agendas of others. You have no idea what they HAVE to do. To Have Great Insight, Simply Keep Your Eyes On Your Own Vision;

6...Take time for the people who matter most, otherwise you’ll lose them. Busyness is a destroyer of relationships/friendships. And truth is, all the success in the world won’t compensate for the joy and treasure of your family and loved ones! Always keep the main thing the main thing, and the main thing will always be your loved ones First!

People of God, It’s Vital That You Learn How to Walk Away, Take a Break and Rest! Believe it or not, but there’s a Blessing in REST! However, You Don’t Want Rest In Peace to Be the Only Blessing You Get! Remember, JESUS is an Advocate of REST! Therefore, Your Challenge is Simple: Take a Break and Get a Little REST!

Matthew 11:28-30, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to Me. Get away with Me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a REAL REST. Walk with Me and work with Me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with Me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (MSG)

Blessings
J.P. Olson

Monday, July 9, 2018

Today Is The Day You Stop Losing And Start Winning Your Spiritual Warfare! Know Your Weakest Points. Submit Yourselves Therefore To God.Resist The Devil, And He Will Flee From You.What Does That Mean?

Submit Yourselves Therefore To God. Resist The Devil, And He Will Flee From You. James 4:7 The most crucial word here is Submit. This is where we get in trouble because we are not willing to submit. When we submit to Him, we can resist gossip, addictions, offense, lust and many other of temptations.

What I want to do this morning is serve notice to Satan and to all his angels and to any of his servants)2 Corinthians 11:15 we will not be intimidated. "We have not been given a spirit of timidity but of power and love and self-control!" (2 Timothy 1:7). On the contrary, we are renewing, here and now, our dedication to the command and the promise of the Lord Jesus when He said: "Resist the devil and he will flee from you!" 

We rededicate ourselves to fight back, and not only to defend the spiritual ground we have gained but to go on the offensive and to take new territory for Christ from the strongholds of the devil. We don't say this with a cocky or presumptuous spirit, as though we in ourselves were stronger than Satan. We say it in the name of Jesus Christ—the one who has sent us into the world under this banner: "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me; go therefore. . . and I will be with you to the end of the age" Matthew 28:12-20)

We dedicate this week of prayer to strengthening our hands for war. And the point of this morning's reading is that focused, war-time prayer is an essential part of our assault on the strongholds of Satan.

Listen to this: In 1917 Aqaba seemed impregnable. And the word “impregnable” literally means “unable to overcome.” You see, any army approaching its port would have to face huge naval guns. Behind it in every direction lay barren, waterless, inhospitable desert. To the east lay the deadly “anvil of the sun”, the hot sands along what is now the border between Saudi Arabia and Jordan. The Turks believed Aqaba to be immune to attack, But They Were Wrong! Lawrence of Arabia led a force of irregular Arab cavalry across the “anvil of the sun.” Together they rallied support among the local people. On July 6, 1917, they swept into Aqaba from the North, From the Blind Side! A climactic moment of the film “Lawrence of Arabia” is the long, panning shot of the Arabs, their camels, and horses, with Lawrence at their head, galloping past the gigantic naval guns That Were Completely Powerless to Stop Them! Why? BECAUSE THE GUNS WERE FACING THE WRONG WAY! Aqaba fell and the Turkish hold on Palestine was broken, to be replaced by British mandate and eventually by the nation of Israel. The Turks failed to defend Aqaba because they made Three Mistakes:
1.     THEY DID NOT KNOW THEIR ENEMY;
2.      THEY DID NOT KNOW THEIR WEAKEST POINTS; and
3.      THEY DID NOT HAVE THE RIGHT WEAPONS!
The lesson we need to learn from this is that like the Turks there are three reasons we keep losing the battle and the reasons are the same as theirs:

1. WE DO NOT KNOW OUR ENEMY! Sad as it may be, but the truth is, we spend more time fighting one another than we do fighting our Real Enemy! And Jesus Himself makes it crystal clear who our Real Enemy is! “Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that ENEMY OF YOURS, THE DEVIL, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour.” (1 Peter 5:8 AMP). Believe it or not but the brother who lied on you or the sister who talked about you, IS NOT YOUR REAL ENEMY! The Word of God is Clear, YOUR REAL ENEMY IS THE DEVIL! And with his description in 1 Peter 5:8 as being like a roaring lion in fierce hunger ready to seize upon you and devour you, do you really think you have the time to waste in fighting People over what they said?! The Devil is out to Devour You, not take your position in the church, not to replace you, not to break up your clique, not to make people, not like you…

THE DEVIL IS OUT TO DEVOUR YOU! That word “Devour” is defined as “to eat greedily and to consume destructively.” Its Latin Origin “Devorare”, from “Vorare” literally means “to swallow”! Your enemy is not trying to ruin your reputation, attack your character, or steal your anointing! People of God, your Real Enemy, THE DEVIL, is out to greedily eat and destructively consume you in one swallow! The enemy is not here to play games, he’s here on a mission to Seek, Capture, Consume and Destroy! He’s out to steal and snuff out your LIFE! “The THIEF comes ONLY in order to STEAL AND KILL AND DESTROY…” (John 10:10 AMP) 

In other words, the THIEF’S ONLY ORDER OF THE DAY IS TO DEVOUR YOUR LIFE! So why are you wasting so much valuable time, efforts and energy fighting the wrong enemy?! Regain your focus and clarify your vision so you can see clearly who your enemy really is so you can fight and win instead of becoming distracted and losing! There is, of course, a time when you are to simply resist the devil and he will flee from you according to James 4:7, “…Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” But there are also times when you need to gear up and fight! Why? Because you are in a war! The battle is real, so why aren’t you ready to fight?! “Behold! I have given you authority and power to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and [physical and mental strength and ability] over all the power that THE ENEMY [possesses]; and nothing shall in any way harm you.” (Luke 10:19 AMP) You have Weapons, Power and Authority, so why are you fighting people instead of your Real Enemy…THE DEVIL?!

2. WE DO NOT KNOW OUR WEAKEST POINTS! You need to know your blind spots, temptations, enticements, and triggers if you’re going to win the war! And contrary to popular belief, Your Enemy, the Devil, will not show up dressed in a red jumpsuit with horns and a pitchfork! In fact, your “Devil” will show up tall, dark and handsome or slim, light and gorgeous. In other words, your “Devil” is going to show up ready to Entrap you with what Entices you! “Let no man say when he is TEMPTED, I am TEMPTED of God: for God cannot be TEMPTED with evil, neither TEMPETH he any man: But EVERY MAN is TEMPTED, when he is DRAWN AWAY OF HIS OWN LUST, AND ENTICED. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” (James 1:13-15). The Message Bible says it like this: “Don’t let anyone under pressure to give in to evil say, “God is trying to trip me up.” God is impervious to evil and puts evil in no one’s way.


Self Control is one of the Fruits of the Spirit, yet it is one that we rarely acknowledge and is one of our weakest areas of life.

The TEMPTATION TO GIVE IN TO EVIL COMES FROM US AND ONLY US. WE HAVE NO ONE TO BLAME BUT THE LEERING, SEDUCING FLARE-UP OF OUR OWN LUST.  The Turks lost the battle because they didn’t see their blind spot, are you losing the battle for the same reason? Think about it, the one area they didn’t think needed coverage was the very area that gave the enemy entry! Which is why Scripture admonishes us: “LEAVE NO [SUCH] ROOM OR FOOTHOLD FOR THE DEVIL [GIVE NO OPPORTUNITY TO HIM].” (Ephesians 4:27 AMP). That word “foothold” is defined as “a place where a person’s foot can be lodged to support them securely.” However, the second definition is the one I want to highlight, it means “a secure position from which further progress may be made.” 

Do you not understand that the enemy doesn’t need to come in and invade your entire life? All he needs is an entryway. Just a small space big enough to put his foot, so he can step in your life and instead of you trampling him underfoot, he now has the opportunity, invite and advantage to trample you! You cannot afford to ignore your weaknesses! David, Solomon, and Samson all were distracted by their weakness for women. And dare we talk about Gomer (Hosea’s wife), surely she wasn’t invited to any of the Minister’s Wives meetings. There’s the woman caught in adultery and the woman at the well with 5 husbands (none of which were her own). 

HOWEVER, let me insert something here before you get overly excited about the sexual sin you didn’t commit! We need to be certain that Weaknesses aren’t always Sexual Sin! “But when you follow your own wrong inclinations, your lives will produce these evil results: impure thoughts, eagerness for lustful pleasure, idolatry, spiritism (that is, encouraging the activity of demons), hatred and fighting, jealously and anger, constant effort to get the best for yourself, complaints and criticisms, the feeling that everyone else is wrong except those in your own little group- and there will be wrong doctrine, envy, murder, drunkenness, wild parties, and all that sort of thing. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21 TLB). 

So before you focus all your sight on the Weakness of Sexual Sin, please be mindful that the Word of God indeed lists a lot more sins than that! It doesn’t minimize it, but it certainly broadens our scope to see the many sources for our blind spot distractions! Therefore, WHATEVER your blind spot is, today, discover it, and get rid of it, because it WILL cost you the war! Remember this: Saul lost his entire kingship simply because he didn’t utterly destroy his enemy!  Then God spoke to Samuel: “I’m sorry I ever made Saul king. He’s turned his back on me. He refused to do what I tell him.” (1 Samuel 15:7-10 MSG) Then after multiple bad (and deliberate) choices, finally God has had enough! “You rejected God’s command. Now God has rejected you as king over Israel.” (1 Samuel 15:26 MSG). And it all stemmed from the same source when God says to DESTROY the Enemy, He means DESTROY the Enemy! Leave nothing alive, and make no exceptions! If not, just a little foothold into your weakness will grant the enemy the room he needs to come in and DEVOUR YOU! Don’t put yourself in the position where God has to take Everything from you because you wouldn’t give up Anything for Him!

3. WE DO NOT KNOW OUR WEAPONS! Which is sad because they are clearly listed in the Bible! “Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand safe against all strategies and tricks of Satan. For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against persons without bodies – the evil rulers of the unseen world, those mighty satanic beings and great evil princes of darkness who rule this world; and against huge numbers of wicked spirits in the spirit world. So use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy whenever he attacks, and when it is all over, you will still be standing up. But to do this, you will need the strong belt of truth and the breastplate of God’s approval. 

Wear shoes that are able to speed you on as you preach the Good News of peace with God. In every battle, you will need faith as your shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed at you by Satan. And you will need the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit – which is the Word of God. Pray all the time…” (Ephesians 6:11-18 TLB). He gives us weapons, tells us how to effectively use them, who to use them on, and how to win the warfare! So why are we still walking around ignorantly fighting the wrong enemy with faulty weapons? 


Today Is The Day You Stop Losing And Start Winning Your Spiritual Warfare! Know Your Real Enemy; Know Your Weakest Points That Need to Be Protected and Certainly You Must Know Your Weaponry!

Blessings
J.P. Olson

Monday, July 2, 2018

You See, What We've Managed To Cover Up From Everyone Else, God Sees. In Other Words, When You’re Hurt You Don’t Hide From The Healer. If It’s Hidden It Won’t Heal! There Is Nothing He Does Not See!

  Hebrews 4:12-13, “For the Word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective]. It is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating as far as the division of the soul and spirit [the completeness of a person], and of both joints and marrow [the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart. And not a creature exists that is concealed from His sight, but all things are open and exposed, and revealed to the eyes of Him with whom we have to give account” (AMP)

Well, if we are to be completely honest, there are those days when we simply don't have time to wash our hair or get it to look just right, so what do we do? We cover it up, and some of us with a hat! Now, for a bad hair day, that is acceptable and even understandable, but when it’s time to come to God, cover up is never a good idea.

I don’t believe in exposing others, so I’ll just expose me! There are times when I enter my prayer closet with God, and truth is, I wasn’t on my best of behavior throughout the day. So, talking to God in the evening becomes more eloquence of speech. I ask Him to bless all those who are in lack and in need. To be there for those in the hospitals, nursing homes, jails, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, rehab, etc. I ask Him to provide for those are without. And all that sounds wonderful. But truthfully, it’s just a mask because I really don’t want to discuss my bad habits, bad judgments, bad decisions and choices that were made all throughout the day, some accidental, but most deliberate. There are times when my prayers are more flattery of speech than true, heartfelt sincerity. Lord, thank You for the roof over my head, the clothes on my back, my job, and family. You’ve been such a wonderful provider, an awesome comforter, a timely counselor…And again, all of that sounds wonderful. But I’m still keeping myself “covered up.”

Which made me think of Hebrews 4:12. It says, "For the Word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.  Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. EVERYTHING IS UNCOVERED AND LAID BARE BEFORE THE EYES OF HIM TO WHOM WE MUST GIVE ACCOUNT” (NIV)." In other words, “HATS OFF!”
No matter how bad your hair day may be, eventually, at some point, if it is to get any better, you’ve got to remove what’s covering it and fix it! Likewise, no matter how bad your attitude, habits, addictions, decisions, choices have been, you can’t keep covering them, at some point, you have to uncover them, so they can be fixed!

If you think about it, how retarded are we to think that we can hide, mask, masquerade, shield, pretend or cover up before the One Whom the Bible says, “…EVERYTHING IS UNCOVERED AND LAID BARE BEFORE THE EYES OF HIM TO WHOM WE MUST GIVE ACCOUNT”

Believe it or not, but even with your baseball cap on to cover-up your bad hair day, you do realize that the One Who has numbered the hairs of your head, still sees it all right? Take a look at a few translations of Matthew 10:30:
“But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered [for the Father is sovereign and has complete knowledge].” (AMP);

What I love most about this Scripture translation is the word “Numbered”, it’s defined as “to assign a specific number to or mark with a number”. That literally means that every strand of hair on your head has its’ own specifically assigned number. Look at it like this, many of use a brush on a daily basis. And for most of us, our brushes are full of hair that has come out over time. Do you know that God can look at that brush and tell you the specially assigned numbers of each strand of hair?! How crazy is that?! He can tell you that hair numbers 4, 39, 1,102, 333, 972, are the numbers specifically in that brush! And what’s even crazier than that is most of us have shared our hair brushes, either with a spouse or children. And do you know that God can differentiate each person’s hairs and the numbers that were assigned to each!? I know, absolutely insane! So, where am I going with this? YOU CANNOT HIDE, MASK OR COVER UP WITH GOD NO MATTER HOW HARD YOU TRY! If He knows the specific numbers to each of your hair strands, surely He knows what you did last night, where, with who, why and how many times. Please understand, you can hide your bad hair from the world, but you can’t hide your bad habits from God!

“God means what He says. What He says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through EVERYTHING, whether doubt or defense, laying us OPEN to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what.” (Hebrews 4:12-13 MSG) I love that word “impervious”, it’s defined as “unable to be affected by”. So, you may as well come clean and come uncovered because it is absolutely impossible for you to be a believer, and yet go unaffected by the Word of God! 

There is nothing you can do to Shield yourself from an All-Seeing God, just ask Hagar! Genesis 16:13, “She answered God by name, praying to the God who spoke to her, “YOU’RE THE GOD WHO SEES ME!...” (MSG). Or ask David, “Is there any place I can go to avoid Your Spirit? to be out of Your sight? If I climb to the sky, You’re there! If I go underground, You’re there! If I flew on morning’s wings to the far western horizon, You’d find me in a minute—You’re already there waiting! Then I said to myself, “Oh, He even sees me in the dark! At night I’m immersed in the light!” It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to You; night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to You.” (Psalm 139:7-12 MSG)
HOW DO YOU ATTEMPT TO HIDE FROM A GOD WHERE NOTHING IS ABLE TO BE HIDDEN FROM HIM? 

You see, what we've managed to cover up from everyone else, God sees. The covering comes off when you pray...or it ought to. But we have a tendency to get all dressed up for God, and we come to Him with this flowery prayer language. We talk to Him about religious stuff. But real prayer begins when you come into God's presence with the real you; the one who isn't together like everybody else thinks you are, the one who's struggling and honest about it, the one who's hurting, the one who's doubting, or the one who's grieving, the one who's sinning. Maybe you're falling. Maybe you're giving out or maybe even giving up. If in fact any of that describes you, you need to go to God Uncovered in prayer, not Masked in Pretense!

 “The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and He knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this: Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who You are. Set the world right; Do what’s best—as above, so below. Keep us alive with three square meals. Keep us forgiven with You and forgiving others. Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil. You’re in charge! You can do anything You want! You’re ablaze in beauty! Yes. Yes. Yes.” (MSG)

Prayer is never to be a performance. The prayer closet is not a stage and you need no longer be a play-actor. Come to God as you are so He can change you into what you should be. You’ll never find yourself in a better place if you keep hiding yourself in your last bad place. Genesis 3:8, 10, “When they heard the sound of God strolling in the garden in the evening breeze, the Man and his Wife HID in the trees of the garden, HID from God…He said, “I heard You in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked. And I HID.” (MGS) Adam sounds like some of us in prayer. We know what we’ve done. We know how bad our motives and intentions were. We know we had no business being there, doing that, being with them etc…we knew the mistakes and deliberate bad decisions we made throughout the day. You can hide from other people, but you can never hide from yourself. So going into prayer, we knew exactly who and what we were taking into prayer. And even though we know God sees all things, for some reason, we don’t want to think that He saw “those” things. And so the performance in prayer. For some of us, we’re in the same position as Adam. You realize you messed up and so you immediately go into self-preservation mode (cover-up and hide)! But just as God knew where Adam was, He also knows where you are. And that’s something to take comfort in, not hide from. 

I always find it amazing that when we mess up the first person we want to hide from is God. “…the Man and his Wife HID in the trees of the garden, HID from God…” (MSG). That makes as much sense as having a toothache but hiding from the Dentist; having a stroke but hiding from the Doctor; having car trouble but hiding from the Mechanic; drowning but hiding from the Lifeguard. In other words, when you’re hurt you don’t hide from the Healer. So, whether it’s drugs, alcohol, fornication, adultery, lying, cheating, stealing, depression, suicidal, lonely, empty, confused, desperate, take it all to God…Uncovered…after all there is Nothing He Does Not See!

See, the first reason to come to God honestly is this: God already knows! That's what this says, "All things are uncovered and laid bare." There's no point in coming to impress God. You come, not as you ought to be, but as you are! Then in verse 15, we've got a second reason we can come honestly to God. "We do not have a high priest who's unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have One who has been tempted in every way just as we are yet without sin." So let’s walk right up to him and get what He is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.” (MSG).

Isn’t it wonderful to know that you’re going to someone with issues they can relate to? No, Jesus didn’t sin, but how comforting to know that he sympathizes with our weaknesses; He’s been tempted in every way; He understands; and He knows exactly what it feels like to simply be human. The Son of God Himself, as sinless as He is, can relate to us mere humans.

With that said, you should be encouraged today to go to God just as you are. Why? Because He doesn’t need your façade, your baseball cap, scarves, wraps, masks, Maybelline; 3 piece suit and the like. He already knows. He’s already seen. You don’t have to “fix-it-up” for Him. You don’t have to style it or spray perfume or cologne on it. You don’t have to dress it up. You don’t have to give it all the right words. You don’t have to perform. You don’t have to perfect. You don’t have to worry about your appearance. He wants you…as is! All you have to do is go to Him Uncovered just one time, and empty out. You’ll be amazed at how easy it becomes to continue to do so. He’s easy to talk to, because He understands.

God really understands…
You're talking to the God who's been here. He's been hurt, He's been lonely, exhausted, and criticized. Jesus was abandoned, slandered, tempted, betrayed, He was beaten, He was stabbed in the side like many of us have been stabbed in the back. What a Savior! We can come uncovered to this Lord because He's walked this road. Jesus gives us someone who laughs with us, who struggles with us, who cries with us.

But God doesn't impose himself. He only comes by invitation. You'll only know the empowerment of God's grace in an area that you have totally opened up to Him. Remember, bring the real you to God. Like the hymn says, "Just as I am without one plea, but that Thy blood was shed for me." The “you” that has been hidden from everyone else is the “you” God wants. He wants to carry and He wants to heal that person. He wants you to stop hiding, stop shielding, stop masking, stop covering.

A bad hair day is one thing; it's the bad heart days that Jesus is concerned about. And when you pray, uncover what's really there. He’s the master-stylist who can fix anything!

Today, expose your heart issues to God so He can heal you. Truth is, if the heart issues were in the natural, no one could beat you running to the cardiologist! So, treat your spiritual heart issues with the same urgency! Let no one beat you in running to God! Take uncovered you, messy hair, no make-up, run down, tired, frustrated you, straight to God. You’ve been in hiding long enough, it’s time to come out, come out wherever you are and receive the help, healing, and wholeness that He is so desperately desiring to give you!

Blessings
J.P. Olson