Sunday, November 22, 2015

Joy Is A Channel That God Can Work Through

Romans 14:17--NIV--For the kingdom of God is.....righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Righteousness, in essence, is doing what is acceptable to God. Our example was Abraham. The Bible says four times that Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness. Therefore, simply believing what God has spoken about any given situation is what God desires from His people.

Peace will continue to grow within us as we re-train our minds to think in line with the Word of God. Doubts, fears and angers that normally crowd our thoughts will be put to flight by the peace that will prevail within our hearts.

Therefore, it is only natural that joy will be the overriding emotion of our heart. We will still face battles but they will be small in comparison to God's provision. We will still have to deal with ungodly situations but we will remember that these things are part of God's plan of good for us.

Take a look at the things that Paul said on the subject:

Philippians 4:4--KJV--Rejoice in the Lord alway and again I say rejoice.
1Thessalonians 5:16--KJV--Rejoice evermore.
Philippians 3:1--KJV--Rejoice in the Lord

Paul had more problems in his lifetime than any ten of us put together. Yet, he also saw more miracles than any ten of us. He also reached the lost and started more churches than any ten of us. Obviously Paul knew that one of the keys to victory was to rejoice in the Lord even in the face of danger or temptation.

Pick a few of your favorite scripture promises. Run them through your mind throughout the day. Allow them to become a reality in your spirit. Then begin to rejoice and give God praise for your answers in advance.

Every time the enemy tries to wedge a doubt, a fear, any anger or guilt into your heart, meet it with a joyful Word. Practice and persistence in doing that will help you to walk in great joy. The devil cannot handle your joy. He can handle your hate, your doubt and your fear. But he is repulsed by a continually happy Christian. Actually your joy keeps him at bay. He can only operate in the realm of the negative.

My plans are to be joyful and watch the blessings of God unfold.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

From Righteousness to Peace Workshop

Romans 14:17--NIV--For the kingdom of God is.....righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

In previous blogs we have found out that righteousness is declaring that what God says and does is the right thing. God says we are righteous when we agree with Him and His actions. It is in believing that God's Word is true in spite of what is going on in our lives at the moment that brings us peace.

If I was to look at the things that surround me right now at the moment, I would be tempted to doubt that God's Word was true at all. I can't see His promise being manifested and in some cases it doesn't look like there is any way in the world that it could ever happen. 

This is where most Christians are. We judge God and His Word on the basis of what the past has brought us and what it looks like right now. And neither one of those things have any bearing on whether or not God will answer our prayer or be faithful to His promise.

Think with me for a little bit and challenge your mind. In Genesis the third chapter, God cursed the serpent (the devil) by declaring that the seed of the woman would bruise his head. Certainly, Eve hadn't had any children yet. And it didn't happen with Cain and it didn't happen with Abel and it didn't happen with Seth. Yet, it DID happen 4,000 years later. It DID happen. God DID bring His Word to pass.

He promised Abraham that he would be the father of many nations. And in all of this great faith that we have attributed to Abraham he only saw one son grow up before the Lord. He was around for several of Esau's and Jacob's early years but that was the extent of it. Yet, today, Abraham IS the father of many nations. God is not bound by time or space.

In John 11, Jesus told the disciples that He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead. He didn't actually do it until a couple of days later. He told Saul of Tarsus that he was going to carry the gospel of Jesus Christ before kings. That didn't happen for quite some time. God foretold about King Josiah and King Cyrus hundreds of years before they were born. I could go on an on.

When I lay claim to the salvation of my children according to Deuteronomy 28:4 I don't have to see it manifested before I give Him praise for it. God has NEVER forsaken His Word and he never will. Just because one of my children isn't immediately healed doesn't mean that they are not going to be. I don't have to see the manifestation of it to believe that God will do it. That's called TRUST. 

I have had to re-train my thought process down through the years. It has taken me time to get my brain to quit thinking in the realm of "it doesn't look like it" or "I've never seen God do that before". The hindrance to answered prayer has nothing to do with God. He is always faithful. He has always proven Himself to be faithful in the past. So I have every confidence in the world that He will be faithful to His Word in the future. AND, I have every right to expect that answer. AND, I have every right to think about receiving that answer. AND, I have every right to be at peace before the answer gets here.

Now, here's where the guts comes in. Not only do I have the right to expect God to answer....BUT....I also have to right to shove God's Word into the devil's face and taunt him with it. Why would I want to do that? Because, he has been bull-dogged determined to wreck my life by fear, doubt, anger and jealousy. 

Soooooooo, not only will I shove it in his face like he has done me down through the years, I'm going to give God praise in advance.  Now, listen.....even though it doesn't look like it will ever come to pass.....even though I can't see any way out....even though I don't feel like it's going to happen. 

None of these things control the outcome of my prayers. The fact that God made a blood-sworn oath to His promises is enough for me to shout the victory. The only thing that will stop them is if I quit praying.

We can live in peace and when we live in peace it makes the devil worry because we have just started to take God's victory over him.

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Second Thing That Gives The Devil Fits

A couple of blogs ago, I quoted from Romans 14:17 which says that the kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. I spent a couple of blogs on the subject of righteousness. In essence, righteousness is believing that what God says is true and that He is God enough to bring it to pass.

When we re-train our minds to believe that the Word of God is our future that will overturn our right now, faith will rise in our hearts. (Romans 12:2)  When faith rises to claim that the promises of God are OURS, then our hearts will begin to be at peace with whatever situation we are facing. Why? Because we steadfastly believe that God will override our present situation and bring His Word to pass.

Let's look at Abraham and Sarah. They had to wait 25 years before God brought them Isaac. Yes, He waited a long time but He did what He said He would do, Every year that went by nothing changed except their bodies. They watched as their bodies got older and older and older. The older they grew, the more they realized that only God could bring His promise to life. In other words, they were prime candidates for a miracle. And that is what they got.

How many of you can declare that you are a prime candidate for a miracle? I know that I am. I've waited for and longed for and cried for God to answer several of my prayers. But, to my flesh, it doesn't look like my answers have a snow ball's the Sahara desert of ever coming to pass. That doesn't mean that they never will. It just means that they haven't yet.

God doesn't get upset about performing miracles. As a matter of fact, He delights in doing the impossible for His children. Why did God care if the two of them got older? He was the creator. He made their bodies in the first place. It was absolutely nothing for God to reverse the aging process for a moment of time. It was absolutely nothing for God to give Sarah strength.

But, wait a minute! Here's where you have to understand the loving nature of God. Why did He wait so long? Why did He wait until it looked like it was impossible?

Look at it from God's standpoint. If He gave them a child when they were in their 60's and 70's they could almost say that they did it on their own. However, when He waited until it LOOKED impossible to them and everybody else, He knew that the only thing that COULD be said was, "It must have been God."

For God to bless a 30 or 40 year-old couple with a child is not much of a miracle. But, it would take a complete idiot to suggest that a 100-year-old couple just happened to get pregnant. God displayed His great love to the world by holding back childbirth from this couple until He was ready.

Genesis 14 tells us that Abraham  318 trained servants that fought to rescue his nephew Lot. These 318 men, their wives and their children saw a miracle when Isaac was born. Now think about this! When Isaac got old enough to understand the birth process, HE even had to come to the conclusion that he was a miracle baby and was born in a miracle fashion.


Would you like to give the devil some t-total, obnoxious, and well deserved hissy fits? Would you like to see him whine and cry BECAUSE OF YOUR actions instead of you crying about his? Did you know that God put absolutely no limit on how much torment you give the devil? Then take Luke 10:19 and Psalm 8:2 as your marching orders from the MOST HIGH GOD and praise God for being faithful to keep His Word.

The more you praise Him for the answer, the more you think about His answer, the more you see yourself enjoying His answer has a direct relationship to the peace that comes from believing God's Word. It's called righteousness. Abraham believed God and God said that believing Him was the right thing to do. Meditation on His Word will bring you peace and peace will bring down the devil's stronghold around your life.

Your answer might not come today but you won't care. You'll walk in peace. Today it might seem impossible but you won't care. You'll walk in peace. And as you walk in peace and refuse to doubt and refuse to will rip the devil a new one.



Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Righteousness Part 2

In my last blog I shared with you that righteousness, or believing the Word of God to be true, would give the devil fits. Remember that Abraham believed God and God counted that for righteousness. In other words God says that it is the right thing to do to believe what He says. After all, everything that God speaks is a creative Word and has to come to pass.

According to Daniel the 10th chapter, an angel from Heaven was dispatched to bring Daniel an answer to his prayer the same day he prayed it. However, the ruling demon over the kingdom of Persia prevented the answer from coming for 21 days. Of course, the arch angel Michael had to come to help deliver Daniel's answer.

Here's what we need to glean from this particular scripture. First of all, God heard the prayer and sent the answer immediately. In Ephesians 2:2, Paul reveals satan to be the prince of the power of the air. And, as in the case of Daniel, he does a pretty good job of intercepting God's answers and hinder them from coming to us.

O-o-o-o-h, Bro. Henry that's bad. No, no, no, that's good. I plan on keeping that obstinate little bugger busy by praying more now than I ever have before. I pray for people's impossible medical conditions, like blindness, MS, cancer and the like. I pray for my children to get saved every day. I pray for them to marry Godly spouses and follow hard after God. I pray for the president, his cabinet and all of congress. I pray for the city officials of Savannah, Georgia. I pray for our servicemen, our policemen, our firefighters and the like.

Remember I wrote a blog entitled Send out the Angels in the Name of Jesus. Go back and read it again. Angels are our ministering spirits. I keep them busy, too. I send them out to protect my children and my loved ones. I send them out to bring me my financial blessings. I send them out to ride with the policemen in our city. I send them out to protect and guide our troops.

Let me start another paragraph because I don't want you to miss this. Please, please, please do as I do. I send out angels to walk through the streets of Savannah and interrupt the ungodliness that tries to go on. I pray that they would make a sound, make an appearance momentarily, clear their throat (yes, I really pray that) when someone is about to murder, rob, rape, kidnap or other act. I ask Jesus to personally show up in the gang meetings where they plot to commit mayhem. That is just a few of the things I have been praying for.

Why? Because the devil and his imps are instigating all types of ungodliness. I think that we as Bible believing Christians need to pray however we need to pray to stop what the enemy is doing. Jesus said in Mark 9:23 that all things are possible to the believer. When He said ALL THINGS I think I'll take Him up on that.

Now, according to Mark 11:24, I actually see in my mind's eye angels brushing past the criminals, clearing their throats, and making sounds as people are about to commit crimes. I picture angels walking the streets of Savannah as the guard innocent people. I picture people with blindness seeing. I picture people with MS being completely healed.

As long as I believe it, God will work however He needs to in order to bring me my answer. He has never failed and He never will. As long as we keep our faith up our answer will come. God will never fail to answer our prayers. He might tarry. He might have to work some situations that will glorify His name. BUT, He will always answer if we continue to pray and hold on to our faith.

And that gives the devil fits. He CANNOT STOP God from working. He can hinder. He can aggravate. BUT he cannot stop God from answering our prayers as long as we continue to praise God for His Word. Praise God in the very middle of an aggravating situation. Praise Him when it doesn't look like it will ever come. Praise Him anyway when it looks like it just got worse. Remember that Psalm 8 says that prayer will stop the enemy in his tracks.

Pray and Praise because believing God to be right gives the devil fits.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Three Things That Gives the Devil Fits

Romans 14:17--NIV--For the kingdom of Got is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

#1--If you will meditate on your righteousness in Christ and God's righteousness toward you, it won't be long before you become a spiritual giant. Nothing will be impossible to you.

2 Corinthians 5:21--NIV--God made Him Who had not sin to be sin for us, that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.

The Greek word for 'righteousness' means--that which is acceptable to God. Jesus became our sin so that we could be righteous and acceptable to God. The only thing that we need to do to become righteous and acceptable to God is to confess our sins and accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. That's all. Jesus did all the hard work when He took our beating, bore our cross, went to hell in our place and rose again to sit at the Father's right hand. The sin question is more than answered. It is under the blood of Jesus and removed forever from our lives. God said that He would never remember our sins again.

We all understand God's part in righteousness, but what do we have to do to be righteous with God?
The answer is found several times in the Word of God. Genesis 15:16, Romans 4:3, Galatians 3:6 and Romans 4:22. Abraham believed God and it was credited him as righteousness. That's all Abraham did. He believed that whatever God said was going to come to pass just like He said. Jesus even commended Abraham in John 8:56 when He said that Abraham rejoiced to see Jesus' day.

How did Abraham see Jesus' day? The creation story had been handed down from generation to generation. And in that creation story they repeated the curse that God had put on the devil (the serpent). God said that the seed of the woman would bruise the head of the serpent, Abraham interpreted that to mean that one of his kids was going to destroy the power of the devil and free mankind. Abraham believed the Word of God so strongly that he day-dreamed about one of his kids whippin' up on the devil. Just because that was what God said.

Can you believe that Jesus would tell the truth? Would He tell the truth about prayer? Would He say something about prayer that He didn't mean? Of course He told the truth, especially when it came to prayer. In Luke 11, He taught that men ought always to pray. He wouldn't lie about something He told us to do constantly. And He never said anything that He didn't mean.

Look at Mark 11:24--NIV--Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. This is exactly what Abraham did. He believed that what God had said was going to come to pass. So he day-dreamed about one of his boys whipping the devil. And Jesus commended Him on it.

Now, would Jesus commend Abraham for something and beat us down about doing the same thing? Of course not. We need to get it into our head that God loves us and wants to answer every prayer that we pray. He might not answer it exactly as we thought that He should but He wants to answer every one of them anyway.

So it wouldn't be wrong to meditate on your children being saved, healed and married to Godly spouses. It's not wrong to think about every need of yours being met in an overcoming manner. It's not wrong of you to think about your child being healed, and so on and so forth.

When you start meditating on receiving the answer to your prayers instead of thinking about how awful the situation is right now you will begin to free your mind from doubt and fear. The gear of faith will begin to kick in and you will begin anticipating good things happening instead of dreading the bad things. It will take some time to overcome all the negativity but it is well worth the effort.

And the best part is that the devil hates it when you continue to imagine yourself living in answered prayer instead of wallowing around in doubt and fear. You'll get enough courage to start talking trash to the big dummy because you'll realize that you're more than a conqueror and he's more than a loser.

Pull yourself together. Meditate on Mark 11:24 for a while until it becomes second nature. And that will bring us to the second 'devil buster'------peace.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Learn to Rejoice and Spoil the Devil's Fun

Psalm 118:24--KJV--This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

According to Jer. 29:11, God has every intention of doing us good. When we submit our prayer request to Him in faith, He formulates a plan to get us to that destination. The problem is, when we see with our physical eyes that it doesn't look like anything will work out for us, we give up. We get this gloomy look on our face and begin to complain. Kinda like the children of Israel did when they came out of Egyptian bondage.

To them it didn't look like God was going to keep His Word. 2 Corinthians 5:7 says that we walk by faith and not by sight. Paul was used to 'it doesn't look like'. He learned to praise God for what he didn't see. He learned to give Him thanks when it looked bad.

Paul admonished us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to give God thanks in everything. He didn't say to give God thanks FOR everything but to give Him thanks IN everything. He explained why in the next part of the sentence, "for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." In other words, God meant for it to work this way for you. Why? Because He's taking you somewhere and He's getting you in shape for His blessing.

According to Psalm 8, praise stills the enemy and the avenger. In essence, it paralyzes the devil in his attempts to destroy you. He is virtually powerless against your faith and your joy.

I might not have what I'm believing God for right here in my hands. I might not even know where the answer is coming from except for the fact that God is working on it right now. I might not know WHEN the answer is coming but I know that God's timing is impeccable.

Now get this. When the devil throws every obstacle in your path and you still smile and you still rejoice he backs off. He has to because he doesn't know how to attack you.

Rejoicing in advance also cements your faith in God's Word. You become stable in your relationship with Him because you are now agreeing with Him. Rejoicing helps you grow up into what God intended you to be.

Begin praising Him in advance for His answer and see what happens to you. Your attitude will change. You'll face each day with an assurance you never had before. This IS the day that the Lord has made and He has made it especially for you.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Is There A Reason To Fear?

If you look at the recent happenings in Paris, I would say 'yes'.
If you look at what Jesus did for us on the cross I would say 'no'.
If you look at the power of the promises of God to those who pray I would say 'no'.
If you look at the amount of importance God's people place on prayer I would say 'yes'.

Although most people will agree that there is great power in prayer, the problem is that not enough of us and doing enough of it. We have been remiss in our duties as Christians. And, now we see the reward for our slothfulness.

In John 14:1, Jesus told us not to allow our hearts to be troubled. In Mark 4, Jesus calmed a raging storm that the disciples were absolutely sure they were going to die in. The He jumped their case for being afraid and having no faith. In Isaiah 41:10, God told us not to be afraid because He was with us. In Psalm 23, David said that even though God lead him through the valley of the shadow of death, he wouldn't fear the evil because God was with him.

Then just how is a Christian supposed to react to what happened in Paris? The first question I would ask you is how much have you been praying for people to turn their lives over to God? Saved people don't go around killing people. While we're on the subject, saved people don't go around robbing, raping, kidnapping and just plain beating up on people. Praying for the lost would certainly bring the crime rate down in your neck of the woods now wouldn't it?

In all of your thinking, have you ever thought of that? No, because you have spent your time getting angry and upset over the things you demand yourself to look at. It's the habit of most people. Take Paul's advice in Romans 12:2. Don't be conformed to the world's standard of behavior. Transform your thought life and your prayer life by meditation on the word of God instead of what you see and hear.

Then, again, you might take the advice Jesus gave in His prayer in Matthew 6:10. "Father, let your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven." The cross just didn't seem to be the appropriate way for Jesus to die. He should have lived for years until all of Jerusalem had been healed and saved and delivered.

But God had bigger plans than that. He intended for the message of His love to be spread throughout all of the earth. Jesus couldn't do that by himself. He needed the help of thousands of volunteers. He never intended for these volunteers to go about the business of reaching the lost without empowering them to be able to do the job. That took a cross, a resurrection and the infilling of the Holy Spirit.

Let me give you something else to think about. The Lord allowed Nebuchadnezzar to overcome Jerusalem and take the people captive for 70 years. He kept telling them to get right and stay right but they refused. So, the Lord kept His word.

But, look at the overall picture. God troubled Nebuchadnezzar with a dream. Through Daniel, God showed Nebuchadnezzar and His people His long range plan. In the Babylonian empire, they were just puppets who fulfilled God's warning from the book of Deuteronomy and the prophets. God used the riches of the Medio-Persian empire to send the Jews back to their homeland and rebuild the temple. When the Greeks captured the land, they made everybody speak their language. When the Romans destroyed the Greeks they built roads and placed guards along it.

Therefore, when Jesus told the disciples (Matthew 28:19) to go into all the world and make disciples, a lot of the hard work was already done for them. Everybody spoke Greek and they were able to travel on safe roads. What looked like God turning His back on His faithful people was actually God working out His complete will.

Yes, the bombings in Paris were terrible. Yes, it was a shame that so many people were hurt and killed. And, yes, if Christians had been more attentive to the promise of God in 2 Chronicles 7:14, it might not have happened.

However, that is history now and we need to prepare for the future. Instead of shaking in fear, we need to double and re-double our prayer efforts. According to Paul (Romans 8:28) God is able to make this work together for our good. In John 16:33, Jesus told us that we would have tribulation. But, He also instructed us to be of good cheer because He had overcome the world.

Here's how we need to pray. We need to declare that God is going to work something good for us in all of this. We need to thank Him for His plan to do us good, (Jeremiah 29:11). Then we need to submit ourselves to God. Ask Him to show us what we should be doing in this matter. Then get busy about doing it. Keep in mind that as we submit ourselves to God, the devil will flee from us (James 4:7).

The bottom line---Pray for the lost to get saved and give God praise for answering prayer.