Archive for the ‘Motivations’ Category

Who is Your Influence?

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Today I was reminded of a word I once read by Marsha Burns.  It was profound and really captured my attention.  It said; Keep yourself from defilement.  This may require pulling back from activities and relationships that are not beneficial to you.  Stop and consider what and who influences you the most and make sure the input is positive and not negative.  Your relationship with Me, says the Lord, requires time and spiritual effort as you allow Me to be the greatest influence in your life.  Psalms 62:7 In God is my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.

 

The word influence means the following:

 

IN’FLUENCE, noun [Latin influens, influo, to flow in; in and fluo, to flow.] Literally, a flowing in, into or on, and referring to substances spiritual or too subtle to be visible, like inspiration.  In a general sense, influence denotes power whose operation is invisible and known only by its effects, or a power whose cause and operation are unseen.  Moral power; power of truth operating on the mind, rational faculties or will, in persuading or dissuading, as the influence of motives, of arguments, or of prayer.  To move by moral power; to act on and affect, as the mind or will, in persuading or dissuading; to induce.  (Webster’s 1828 dictionary)

 

Think about that!  Influence literally flows into a person and is very subtle. Although it is very subtle, it denotes power over a person that becomes visible and known by its actions.

 

Influence literally moves a person to act.

 

As I was studying this word, I came across the following scripture in the New Living Translation.

 

This is how the LORD responds: “If you return to me, I will restore you so you can continue to serve me. If you speak good words rather than worthless ones, you will be my spokesman. You must influence them; do not let them influence you.’   Jeremiah 15:19

 

Daily, in our life we come across many influences.  People influence us.  Situations influence us.  When someone is drunk on liquor, we say they are under the influence, and that is truth.  Their actions are the end result of the liquor and its influence.  It is something that has flowed inside of them and causing actions on the outside of them.

 

My question today is this; what is influencing you today?  What are the visible actions of the influence you are under?  What is flowing in you that is causing an action on the outside of you?

 

If we find ourselves yelling and angry, we have been influenced by someone or some situation.  If someone is upset and crying, they have been influenced by something.  If someone is walking in total peace in the midst of chaos, they too have been influenced by something.

 

What is your influence?  What is your action and what is moving you to that action?

 

Just a few days ago I was making my bed and the Lord said to me; “it is what is on the inside that defiles a man.”  I knew it was scriptural.  I didn’t understand where God was going with this.

 

Matthew 15:17-20 says; “Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.”

 

Heart issues.  These are the things that defile.  Issues in our heart that needs to be healed or resolved.  I wonder if we realize that when someone commits an evil act it first began in their heart.  It may have begun with the influences that they had in their life, they are simply acting on those influences.

 

I can promise you if you hang around people who sin or even people who lie and gossip, before long you will find yourself doing the same things.  I have found in my own life, if I hang around negative people for too long, negative thoughts will attempt to grab my attention.  On the other hand, if I hang around positive people, and especially people who are strong in the Lord, I stay upbeat and positive.

 

Also, I have found, if I am having a bad day, if I will call a friend who I know is strong in the Lord, she will often lift me up.  But what I won’t do at those times, is call a friend who is negative when I am already struggling to stay positive.

 

Our daily influences are very important.  We must allow and even invite God and His word to be the ruling influence in our lives.  If we do that, we will live in victory.  Today, let’s not only remember what Marsha Burns said but let this become our daily prayer: Keep yourself from defilement.  This may require pulling back from activities and relationships that are not beneficial to you.  Stop and consider what and who influences you the most and make sure the input is positive and not negative.  Your relationship with Me, says the Lord, requires time and spiritual effort as you allow Me to be the greatest influence in your life.

 

Allow God and His word to be your greatest influence in your life.

 

Meditate on this:

 

Never stingy and always generous to those in need, their lives of influence and honor will never be forgotten, for they were full of good deeds.  Psalm 112:9 (The Passion Translation)

When Two Agree

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Amos 3:3 says, “Can two walk together unless they agree?”

 

This scripture came to mind during a conversation with a friend.

 

We were talking about a biblical situation when she gave me her frank opinion on the subject. I didn’t really respond. She asked my opinion and I gave it. I didn’t elaborate. I simply became quiet with my thoughts.

 

Why did I become quiet?

 

I realized at that moment that we could never partner together in that area. My beliefs were on one end of the spectrum. Hers were on another. I knew I wasn’t moving because it was an area God had taught me about. It was an area He had spoken to me about in great detail. I knew He was showing me I couldn’t partner with this person where this thing was concerned. It made me sad.

 

Ecclesiastes 4:9 says, “Two are better than one for they have a good reward for their labor.”

 

I love this scripture. It is truth. However, two cannot walk together, not truly, unless they are in agreement.

 

“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” 2 Corinthians 6:14

 

I know many people use this scripture when it comes to marriage. However, I do not believe it is for marriage only. I believe it applies to many areas of life.

 

For instance, you can’t be yoked together in business if you don’t agree on how that business should operate.

 

You can’t peacefully be yoked together in ministry, if one of you believes one thing the other person believes something else. It’s simply not possible.

 

You cannot be yoked together on a vacation if one wants to go south and the other wants to go north.

 

So, why am I saying all this? I am saying this to say, be careful who you are yoked with. Use wisdom in whom you partner with.

 

Yoked doesn’t only mean joined together. The meaning of yoked is; to be confined in a yoke.

 

There is a confining when you are tied together with someone. Make sure that someone is on the same page you are.

 

Especially make sure they believe the same things you believe, biblically speaking. If not, it will cause you a world of problems.

 

I know this truth from experience. I once went into business with a person from my church. Because they were from my church, I assumed we held the same beliefs. We did not. They believed you could tithe whatever amount you deemed possible. I knew the tithe was ten percent of everything that came into the business. We were not equally yoked, and it was the beginning of the end.

 

It was a very expensive lesson for me. One I will never forget. One I will never repeat.

 

Two are better than one, for they have a good reward for their labor. This too is a true statement. Two are better. Find someone whom you can be totally in agreement with and then move forward. Make sure you agree on all the important things. No one will agree on everything, but you should agree on the important issues. You must agree on foundational issues. Especially biblical beliefs.

 

Once you find that person you can agree with, biblically, great power is released on your behalf. Matthew 18:19 says; “Again, I tell you truly that if two of you on the earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by My Father in heaven.”

 

It is true that you can’t partner with just anyone. Find someone you can partner with. When agreement is in place, true agreement, you can move mountains! You can and you will.

Meditate on this:

 

“Again, I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them” Matthew 18:19-20.

We are Coming Strong!

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This morning I was praying for our partners.  As I did, I prayed that God would “bring them out” of any times of lack, sickness or challenging times.

 

My mind drifted back to another time God brought His people out.  I began to think about exactly how He brought them out…

 

Psalm 105:37 tells us; He also brought them out with silver and gold, and there was none feeble among His tribes.

 

This story, of course, is talking about when God freed His people from the bondage of Pharaoh.  The Bible says He brought them out with a mighty hand.  A mighty hand, indeed.

 

In Exodus 5 we read what happened when Moses first ask Pharaoh to let God’s people go.  Not only did he refuse but he put even more labor and bondage on the people.  It became much harder on them, day after day.

 

Have you ever been there?  In a time or season when you knew God told you He was delivering you, bringing you out, but things only seemed to get harder?  I know I have.

 

Still, as Psalms tells us, God did bring them out, just like He said He would.

 

But He didn’t just bring them out, He brought them out with prosperity and wholeness in their body.

 

Stop and think about this a moment.  These people were slaves, yet God brought them out prosperous.  They had nothing of their own.  They had nothing to take with them but God changed all that.  He took them out with silver and gold!  The wealth that belonged to the very ones who kept them in bondage, they left with all their silver and gold.  ONLY GOD!

 

And these folks were weary from bondage, they had been worked to the point of extreme fatigue.  They were probably beaten day after day.  They were bruised from the labor.  They worked in the worst heat, and terrible cold, it must have taken a toll on their bodies year after year.  Their bodies must have been exhausted and very weak…yet the Bible says…when God brought them out, there was not one feeble among them…not ONE FEEBLE among them.  How could that be?

 

With man this may seem impossible, but with God all things are possible!

 

I want to propose to you today that not only is God bringing you out, He is bringing you out prosperous and whole.  Praise the Lord God Almighty!

 

This is how He does things.  He does not half do anything.  In Him is shalom…wholeness, complete and lacking nothing.  When He brings you out, it will be lacking nothing.

 

The Lord is our Shepherd, we shall not lack.

 

You know, sometimes we are happy to just get a little relief…for things to become tolerable.  However, I believe we have settled for that long enough.  Time to come out of that survival mentality and enter into the SHALOM way of thinking.  It’s time to receive the complete package Jesus died to give us, don’t you think?  That includes prosperity and physical wholeness in our bodies.

 

Today I declare over you… “God is bringing you out.  He is, just as He did before, bringing you out with silver and gold…with the wealth of the wicked, with more than enough, with all your needs met and an abundance in every area of your life.  And He is bringing you out whole in body…with no feebleness in any part of your body…totally healed and whole in Jesus name.”

 

This is how our God does things, and we refuse to settle for less.  Amen and so be it.

Meditate on this:

 

You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.  Psalm 32:7

The Center of His Will….Humility

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The center of His will. I have heard this statement all my Christian walk. Today, I understood the depth of its meaning.

 

I once received a gift and a letter from a pastor friend. Within the letter he wrote, “Stay under the shadow of humility, not near the edge, but deep in the center, because God is going to lift you up and it is your humility that will keep you grounded in Jesus.”

 

Don’t stay near the edge of humility, but deep in the center.

 

This phrase went over and over in my mind. All night long I meditated on his statement, asking God to reveal the depth of it to me. When I awoke the next morning, God answered that prayer.

 

I awoke early the next morning and sat up in bed. My first thought was stay deep in the center of humility.

 

As quickly as that thought came, God began to speak to me. He said, “it is just like the property you are searching for.” In those few short words, I saw the revelation of this truth.

 

I have been searching for property for a few years. Yes, years! What I am looking for is not easy to find. I am searching for a house with land. I want to develop a place of refuge for weary believers.

 

I am looking for a piece of property. Every single property I have come across has the house setting on the edge of the property. I am looking for a property that has the house in the center of the property. You see I am looking for a home with land all around the house, so I would have to travel to get outside of my property. This would assure me of security, seclusion and peace.

 

Most people want a house on the edge of the property, so they can easily leave the property.

 

So, it is with the center of humility. God showed me this morning, to be in the center of humility, and not on the edge, would provide me security and peace. Why? Because I would have to travel a distance to move outside of humility.

 

If I live on the edge of humility, I am also living on the edge of pride. Every property line borders something. Humility borders pride. To be safe in the realm of humility, I must be in the center of it, not on the edge.

 

If I am on the edge of God’s will, I am also on the edge of disobedience. However, if I stay in the center of God’s will, I would have to travel a long distance to remove myself out of His will.

 

If I am on the edge of love, I am also on the edge of hate. But, if I stay in the center of love, I would have to travel to walk out of it.

 

With humility. If I press in until I am in the center of humility, pride is far from me. I love that.

 

Remember, if you live on the edge of anything, it will always border something else.

 

My friends, it is not enough to be on the edge of God’s word. In the center of His will is the only place to be. I have never been a person who wants to live on the edge. I want to live in the center of all God’s word says. In the center of humility. In the center of love. In the center of peace. In the center of His will.

 

Meditate on this:

 

Be completely humble and gentle.  Ephesians 4:2

Our Expectation and Hope

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While watching an old western one day, I heard a statement that impacted my thoughts.

In the movie, they were reading the last will and testament of a man who had just died.  He made a profound statement in his will.  He said, “my end was not what I hoped, but it was what I expected.”

I think that is so sad.  I am thankful that my hope and my expectation is in God.

As I thought of this today, I began to think about our expectations in God.

I think many people become born again with unrealistic expectations.  We give our hearts to God and think things will suddenly become easier.  We may think it is going to be sunshine and roses from here on out.

If your goal is to sit on the pew each Sunday without giving the enemy any trouble, perhaps it will be like that.  If your only reason for being saved is to make it to heaven, things may go easier for you.

However, if you are determined to lay hold of all God has for you, it will not be an easy walk.

Matthew 7:14 in the New Living Translation says; But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.

If you want to enjoy the life Jesus died to give you, just as this scripture says, it will be difficult.  It may even be a narrow squeeze.  If you want to hang with the big boys of faith, you are going to take some hits.

Think about the rookie who just entered the NFL.  I can’t imagine he starts his career believing it is going to be easy.  I can’t imagine he thinks he will never take a hit.  Can you imagine a running back, running down the field, thinking he has a clear path with nothing to hinder him from reaching his goal?  Suddenly out of nowhere, he gets hit.  The lights go out.  He wonders what happened?  No, that is not the way it is.

He has trained for this time.  He knows there will be hits.  He knows at some point, a 275-pound man is coming after him with all he has, and his purpose will be to stop him from reaching his destination.  So, what does he do?  He learns to position himself.  He learns where to run and when to move.  He knows when a linebacker is coming.  He can sense it.  He positions himself for victory.  He takes the hit and keeps moving.  Unhurt and unhindered.

Isaiah 43 says; But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. For I am the LORD your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;

We have a promise!  Not that life will be easy.  But that we will have the victory.  We are not promised there will be no hits.  But we are promised that no weapon formed against us will prosper. (Isaiah 54:17)

Do you want to play in the NFL of the Kingdom of God?  Do you want to be a man or woman of God who makes an impact?  Do you want to draw so close to God that His presence permeates your life?  If so, you are going to take some hits.

Fasten your chinstrap.  Position yourself for the hits.  They will surely come.  But keep in mind.  You already have the victory.  Jesus purchased it for you at the cross.

I love what Jesus said in John 16:33. “In the world you have tribulation and distress and suffering, but be courageous, be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy; I have overcome the world. My conquest is accomplished, My victory abiding.” (Amplified)

Friends, this is what we can expect.  Yes, we can expect hits, they will come.  But, that is not the end of the story.  If we remain courageous, confident and undaunted, we will experience abiding victory.  We can even be filled with joy during the hits.  How?  Through Christ, because our Savior has already overcome for us, which makes us more than conquerors.  The victory is here and it is dwelling in us!

Our hope and our expectation is in God alone.

Our expected end in God is having lived a life of enduring abundance, divine health and peace, just as Jesus promised.  Our expected end is filled with joy!

Jeremiah 29:11 says; For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

May each of our lives be everything we hope for and expect in God…and more.  May we see our hope and our expectation manifest before our eyes…as we remain hidden in Him.

 

Meditate on this:

 

Surely there is a future, and your hope will not be cut off.  Proverbs 23:18

Just Do It!

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Start Where You Are.  Do what you can.  With what you have.

This week I have heard this statement or something similar in different ways from different voices.  God has my attention.  And I am obeying His voice.

You see, God has put a few things in my heart to do that seem impossible.  Yet I know, they only seem that way.  Nothing is impossible with God.  Therefore, He encourages me to take the first step.  To start where I am, to do what I can, with what I have.

The day of small beginnings.  That’s how God refers to it.  No one really likes the days of small beginnings.  They are hard work.  It is often without help.  At times it is with no encouragement and little budget.  Nevertheless, we must take that first step.

Zechariah 4:10 says; Do not despise the day of small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin.

Do you remember when your child took their first step?  How exciting was that!  You cheered them on, that is what God does for us when we take that first step, when we do not despise the day of small beginnings.

First steps are often frightening but they are always without fail, necessary.

A glorious journey begins with one step.

I think back to the time when I was first born again and was learning God’s ways.  I learned about giving.  But…I didn’t have much to give.  My mind kept telling me to wait until I had an amount to give that wouldn’t be embarrassing to give…but my heart knew better.  I began with change, a dime and some nickels.  I refused to be embarrassed, it was all I had, and I gave it with great thankfulness.

That first step started me on a journey of learning about the provision of the Lord.  I am so thankful I took that first step.

You simply must start where you are, with what you have.  It is God who gives the increase.  He is the one who multiplies – but He can’t bless what we don’t give Him.

Luke 16:10 says; If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. (NLT)

Has God put a dream in your heart that seems so big you don’t even know where to start?

That is the way it was with me.  Yet, as I prayed and sought the Lord, He gave me the first step.  That’s all.  One step.  As I am faithful to take that one step, He will be faithful to bless it and give me the next step.  One step at a time, I will reach my goal.  All things are possible to me, why?  Because I believe.  I believe in His faithfulness.

I realize it is not by might, nor by power, but by the Spirit of the Lord.  I also realize that I have a part to play.  I must resolve to take the steps He leads me to take.  And I must daily seek His face about what He would have me do that day, concerning my dream.  I cannot just sit and wait for it to happen…I have a part to play.  I am the one who must take the steps.  I must put in the work.  If God is to bless all the work of my hands, they must be doing something.  Therefore, every single day, I do something…regardless of how small…toward my dream becoming a reality.  Every single day.

How about you?  Has God put something big, beyond your ability big, in your heart?  If so, begin today – take that first step.  Start where you are.  Do what you can, with what you have.  He will bless all the work of your hands.  He who has called you is faithful, and He will complete what He has begun in you.  And…He is rejoicing to see the work begin.

Meditate on this:

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord.  Colossians 3:23

 

 

 

Relentless…

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Let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due time we will reap a harvest, if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to the family of faith.  Galatians 6:9-10

I love this verse!

I also love the way the Passion Bible says it; And don’t allow yourself to be weary or disheartened in planting good seeds, for the season of reaping the wonderful harvest you’ve planted is coming!  Take advantage of every opportunity to be a blessing to others, especially to our brothers and sisters in the family of faith!

Galatians 6 is talking about a relentless person.

Relentless is defined as; showing or promising no abatement of intensity, strength, or pace.

This scripture brings to mind a story about my granddaughter, Brailee, and dandelions.

One day, she jumped into the vehicle with a handful of dandelions.  The little seeds were flying everywhere.  Quickly, she began giving one to each of us.  She knew it was her Mom’s favorite thing.

As they were flying all around, Breanne remarked, “dandelions are relentless.”

It was just a comment, but it exploded in my spirit.  For days I thought about the relentlessness of a dandelion.

Dandelions are funny things.

You can trample on them.  You can cut them down.  A storm can blow through and wipe them out.  But nothing stops them.  They just pop right back up.  Not only that, but they scatter seeds as they go.

You can pick them up and blow on them, again, they simply scatter all their seeds as they go.

They are relentless, nothing can stop them.  Nothing can hinder them from spreading their seeds all around.  And nothing can stop them from multiplying.

This word relentless came to mind again today as I thought about a friend of mine from Ohio.

This friend called me one day last year and said she was sending a check to the ministry.  She was sowing a seed.  She told me the amount and said it would be mailed the following week.  Sure enough, the next week, she texted me and said, “the check is in the mail.”

A few days went by and no check.  Another week went by and no check.  I know this woman.  She is a woman of her word.  I knew she had done just what she said she would do.  I began to wonder if the check had fallen in the wrong hands.  I sent her a message.

A few more days went by.  She checked with her post office.  They couldn’t help.  Finally, she decided to go to the bank and stop payment.  She called me and let me know what she was doing.  She mailed another check and sent it a different way.  I said to her, “I am sorry for all the trouble.”  She replied, “Don’t be, the devil isn’t stopping me from sowing seed. I have been sowing too long to stop now.  I will get this done and to you.”

She was relentless.  Just like the dandelion.

This is the person Galatians 6 is speaking of.  A person who, no matter what tries to hinder them, continues to sow.  A person who, in the midst of a financial crisis, will continue to sow seed.  Will continue to tithe and obey God’s word.  A person who, when the storms of life hit, allows their seed to continue to scatter.

That, my friend, is a relentless person.

Don’t allow hindrances to stop you from obeying God.  Don’t allow storms of life to cause you to stop trusting God.  We have a promise from God.  What we sow, we will reap.  If we need increase, yet refuse to sow, we will not reap financial increase.

Galatians 6:8 says; A man’s harvest in life will depend entirely on what he sows.

It doesn’t get any clearer than that.  Today, decide what you want to reap, and sow accordingly.

This truth is not only about money.  It’s about life.  If you want joy, sow joy.  If you want love, sow love.  If you need help, sow help.  If you need peace, sow peace.  If you need a house, help someone pay a house payment.  If you need debt freedom, help someone pay a debt.  A man’s harvest in life will depend entirely on what he sows.  Sow accordingly.

May we all become relentless, like the dandelion, in sowing good things!  As we journey through life, may our seeds of goodness, kindness and love scatter everywhere we walk.

Meditate on this:

He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.

 

2 Corinthians 9:6

Life in His Word

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There are two things I constantly receive prayer requests for.

One is finances, the other is healing.

I believe the answer to both of these issues is found in the word of God.  Today, I want to look at a scripture concerning healing.

It is found in Proverbs 4:20-22.

My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings.  Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh.

In the Amplified Bible, verse 22 says this; For they are life to those who find them, and healing and health to all their flesh.

The word life in this scripture is defined as; alive, strong, living thing, and maintenance.

The word health is defined as; curative, literally a medicine, a cure, deliverance, healing, remedy, and yielding.

Are you in need of healing today in your body?  Are you in need of strength?  If so, the answer is found in the word of God.

Sadly, many do not partake of this medicine.

If a doctor came to you and told you he had a pill that would cause you to be cured, would you take it?  What if he told you that you had to take it until it fully saturated your body?  Would you take it as prescribed?  Of course, you would!

God’s word says this very thing!  He says there is LIFE in His word.  He says it will bring life to your body.  All you need to do is get His word in your heart and keep it there.

Recently I have heard testimony after testimony of people who have been healed simply by meditating in the word of God.

Joshua 1:8 says; This book of the Law must not depart from your mouth; meditate in it day and night, so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in all you do.

You will succeed in everything if you only keep the word of God first place in your life.

Do you need success in healing?  Mediate on the word of God, day and night.  Do you need success in your finances?  Again, mediate on the word of God concerning finances.  God has made the way for you to succeed in whatever you lay your hands to…the way is the word of God.

Romans 8:11 says; But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

Do you get what this verse is saying to us?  The Spirit that caused LIFE to come into the body of Jesus…who had died…lives in you!  It quickens/ releases that same life-giving force in you and gives life to your mortal body.  That is powerful stuff my friend.

It’s time we remember the power in the word of God.  It’s time we apply the power of that word to our flesh, to our bodies.  For it is time for us to walk in and experience divine health.  This only comes from God and His word.  This comes from keeping His word before our eyes and in our heart.  It comes from being so full of the word of God that it comes out our mouth each time we speak.  When you get that full of the word of God, you will find healing.  How do I know?  His word says so.

His word, today, is alive and full of power – allow that power to work in you.

 

Meditate on this:

For the word of God is alive and active.  Hebrews 4:12

 

Our Shield of Faith!

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Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.  Ephesians 6:16

Several times this week, God has prompted me concerning the shield of faith.  He has compelled me to continually pray that the shield of faith is in place for all of our partners.

The shield of faith is vital.

The Roman shield of the time was called a scutum. It was the size of a door and covered the soldier entirely. It was not just defensive but could also be used to push back their opponents.

When fighting as a group, the soldiers could position their shields so as to form an enclosure around themselves, called a testudo, or a tortoise. This was especially helpful to protect against arrows launched at them.

These shields were often made of wood and then covered in hide.  They were then wet therefore, they would extinguish flaming arrows.

Clearly, this was an important part of their armor. It provided a blanket of protection.

When Paul was using this analogy, he said above all, the shield of faith should be in place.

To understand why the shield of faith is so important, we must first understand what faith is. The author of Hebrews describes it as the realization of something we can’t see:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.   (Hebrews 11:1-2)

The word faith from the Greek is defined as firm belief.  It is an unshakable belief in the word of God.

Faith’ means trust, confidence, assurance, and belief.  This is our shield.  Our faith in God.  Our confidence and assurance in God.  Our belief that God heard us the first time we prayed.  And not only that, but that our prayer was answered when we prayed, even if we cannot yet see the answer with our eyes.

I am reminded of Matthew 17:20 which says; “For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” …

Remember, the shield of a soldier was as big as a door, completely covering the soldier.  Jesus said if we have faith the size of a mustard seed… that is a small seed.  Our faith, even when it appears small or perhaps when we think it is small, is enough, according to Jesus, to move a mountain.  It is enough that nothing is impossible for you.  I would say that is a faith large enough to cover you entirely, wouldn’t you?

Not only that, but our shield of faith is capable of pushing back the enemy.

The Bible tells us in 1 Peter 5:9 to resist steadfast in the faith.  James 4:7 says; Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

As we keep our shield of faith in place, resist the devil and remain steadfast in our faith, we are indeed, pushing back the enemy.  When we stand firm, he will flee, just as the word of God says he will.

On a final note, remember the soldiers wet their shield so that it would quench the fiery darts of their enemies.  How do we do that?  With the washing of the water of the word.

Meditate on the word of God until it is in your heart and coming out of your mouth.  The word of God will stop the enemy in His tracks.  Jesus defeated the devil after his days of fasting with one thing – the word of God.  Speak to word to the enemy and it will quench every fiery dart he attempts to send your way.  And no weapon formed against you will prosper.  You have God’s word on it.

Today, make sure your shield of faith is in place and the word of God is in your mouth.  As you do, you will find victory after victory.

 

Meditate on this:

 

The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.  Psalm 34:17

We Must Believe His Word

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We talked about this verse yesterday.

For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Mark 11:23

This verse tells us we can have what we say when we speak to the mountain. Today, your mountain may be sickness, unsaved loved ones, finances, or family problems. Whatever it is, God has made the way to change your situation. His word says we will have what we believe and speak out, we see a great example of this in the Old Testament.

It is found in the story of the twelve spies who were sent into Canaan to spy out the land God had promised His people.

In Number 13, we see that Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said unto them, ‘Go southward, and go up into the mountain: And see the land, what it is; and the people that dwell there, whether they are strong or weak, few or many;’

The Bible says they went and searched the land for forty days, and when they returned, they reported back to Moses and said; ‘We came into the land where you sent us, and surely it flows with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. ‘

They began to show Moses and the others the abundance on the land. It was impressive indeed!

The land was just as God said, but ten of the spies didn’t stop there, they went on to say; ‘Nevertheless, the people are strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover, we saw the children of Anak there. We are not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.’

Ten of the spies had a negative report, they did not believe they could possess the land God said was theirs by inheritance. However, as we know, Joshua and Caleb saw things differently.

They, Joshua and Caleb, said, ‘Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.’

Ten came back with what the bible calls an evil report and two came back with a report of faith.

The report of the ten spies is an example of faith in reverse. Even when you doubt, you are believing something. You are believing in defeat. You are believing the wrong thing. You will get what you believe.

Look at the good report of Joshua and Caleb. They trusted in the Lord and their hearts were filled with faith that God was able to bring them into the land that He had promised them. Two times they admonished the people not to fear.

What was the result of their report of faith, their good report? They were the only two men of their generation to enter the Promised Land.

You can have whatever you say and believe.

Was it the giants in the land that defeated God’s people that day? NO! They didn’t even face the giants in the land. It was the giants of fear and unbelief that defeated God’s people that day.

It is not the physical giants in life that defeat you. It is not the storms of life that defeat you. If you are defeated, it is doubt, unbelief and fear that has defeated you. It is wrong thinking, wrong believing and wrong speaking that defeats. Nothing else can stop the plan of God for your life. If you can only believe and trust in His word and His faithfulness.

Caleb and Joshua, on the other hand, said that they were able to overcome the giants, and they did. After forty years of wandering in the wilderness, all the people of that generation who had accepted the evil report of the ten spies died in the wilderness. They never entered the Promised Land.

However, Joshua became the people’s leader, and he and Caleb led those who remained into the land which God had given them. Each group had exactly what they said and believed to be true.

Today, what giants are standing in your way? What giants are defeating you? If God said it was yours for the taking, then it is yours for the taking, don’t allow any other thoughts or beliefs in your life. Believe God. Believe His word. He is faithful and He will do exactly what He said He would do, trust Him and go forward and possess your land.

Meditate on this:

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.