Friday, May 29, 2015

Ephesians 6:14 The Breastplate of Righteousness

"Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place."

Of course, this belt of truth is the Word of God. Anyone interested in going to war and winning decisively should know and believe firmly what the Word of God says about himself, the circumstances he's facing and the devil. 1 John 4:4--Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world. Romans 8:37--In all these things we are more than conquerors. Luke 10:19 tells us that God has given US power over all of the devil's power and not the other way around. In John 16:33 Jesus says something very profound. NIV "I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

There are many more scriptures we could put up on this blog but these are short and to the point. Honestly, the power of the Name of Jesus, the immutability of God's Word and the power of Jesus' blood and resurrection are enough to destroy anything.

But, all of these power scriptures WILL NOT do any good without the breastplate of righteousness. Jeremiah 23:5-6 declares God to be Jehovah Tsidkenu, the Lord our Righteousness. What, then is righteousness? The dictionary defines righteousness in double talk by saying that is the quality of being morally right. We still don't know, do we?

Even though the children of Israel doubted God after He brought them out of Egypt, God was merciful to them because He had promised Abraham that his children would inherit the land. The children of Israel didn't deserve His love and help, but God did the right thing and basically treated them as if they had done nothing wrong. God told His people in Isaiah 43:25 that He would blot out their sins and never remember them.

Jesus told Peter to forgive someone 490 times in one day if they asked him to. Talking about Peter, Jesus washed his feet knowing that Peter would lie about Him and cuss about not knowing Him in just a few hours. Let's go one other step. Jesus washed Judas' feet knowing that he would betray Him for just 30 pieces of silver.

Isaiah 64:6 tells us that our righteousness is pretty filthy. In 2 Corinthians 5:21, Paul tells us that Christ took our sin, forgave us and we became the righteousness of God. In other words, God treats us as if we are as pure as Jesus. That's a lot to take a hold of, but it's God's Word.

A breastplate protects our vital organs in a battle. One hit in any of them and we have lost the battle. We can get nicked in other parts of our body. But, even a small nick in our vital organs is fatal.

Righteousness is how we relate to God and others. If we fail to walk in righteousness before God and in our relationship with others, it is like going into battle without a breastplate. The enemy sees our vulnerability and realizes that our defeat is inevitable.

How do we treat God? Are we honest with Him or do we try to put on a front? Do we serve him real good on Sundays and put Him on the back burner the other six days? Do we quote His Word but pay very little attention to what it means? Do we really spend time talking with the Lover of our souls or just give Him a few comments when it makes us look good? You know what? Satan sees your actions and knows exactly how to attack you.

How about your spouse? Do you love and honor your spouse as you should? Or have you let time and problems force a wedge between you? Do you hold things against them? Has your love for your children gone from hot to cold at different times. Children, have you gotten angry with your parents for no reason? The same could be asked of your pastor, your church family and your friends.

Paul said for us to PUT ON the breastplate of righteousness. That means that it is not something we normally wear. Yes, it is hard to walk in righteousness to everybody all the time. And on top of that, they're not walking righteously with you either.

But, before we get tangled up in that wad of worms, let's remember Ephesians 6:12. We're not supposed to be fighting each other. There's a bigger enemy that we all have that needs to be struck down. When our mutual enemy, the devil, can get us to walk in unforgiveness with with each other, he knows he has us whipped.

Having the belt of God's Truth buckled tightly around us won't do us much good if we don't have on the breastplate of righteousness. Listen to me real closely and read this sentence over and over and over until it makes sense. When we choose to walk in love, (the breastplate of righteousness), we take the devil's prime target away from him. Agape love gives us the courage and fortitude that it takes to endure the battle. 1 Corinthians 13:8 reminds us that agape love NEVER fails.

Take some time to think about how powerful we would be if we put on the breastplate of righteousness. How much trouble could be avoided if we decided to walk in God's Love on a continuing basis. Think about it. God shows up when His love shines in us.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Ephesians 6:11, 13, 14 Put on the Whole Armor of God

Paul's letter to the Ephesians gave some great instructions on how to be strong in the Lord. When we become strong in the Lord, the Lord begins to do mighty things within and around us. Our lives change from hum-drum to anointed. We walk with more joy. We walk in a greater understanding of Who He is and what He wants for our lives.

Keep in mind that we are to put on this armor and then tackle the devil and his imps. Nobody wears physical armor to go to church or to shop at Wal-Mart. This armor has more to do with you than it does the church. But, using this armor the way that God intended you to will challenge and change people and circumstances around you.

Paul tells us to PUT ON this armor. We are not normally equipped with these items Paul describes in these verses. We have to consciously PUT THESE THINGS IN PLACE in our lives.

The first thing Paul tells us to do is (NIV) to have the belt of truth buckled around your waist. Belts kept their outer robes from flopping all over the place. Plus is was a secure place to hold their money, their knife and their sword. Anyone in a fight would get tangled up in their own clothing and be easy prey for the enemy.

In just the same way, we must buckle on the belt of the truth of God's Word about ourselves. Remember the temptation in the wilderness. The first thing the devil challenged Jesus with was "IF YOU ARE THE SON OF GOD." To which Jesus simply answered, "Hey, I'm going to live by EVERY Word that comes out of God's mouth." God said Jesus was His Son and that's all Jesus believed about Himself. God said the Jesus could heal, so He did. God said that Jesus would bring the Good News to the world. And He did. Again, Jesus believed with all of His heart every thing that God had said about Him in the Old Testament. Therefore, God's power stood behind Jesus' every move and every Word that came out of Jesus' mouth.

Paul urged us to take the crowns of our accomplishments and throw them down at Jesus' feet. Then we need to pick up that Holy Ghost belt of God's Word and lay hold to every promise that we can find in His Word. I am a child of the Almighty God, the Creator of all that there is because the blood of Jesus Christ cleansed me from all my sin. I have been adopted into the family. I am a joint-heir with Jesus Christ. Whatever He can do, I, by His grace and not my merit, can do.

In John 14:12, Jesus tells us that we could even do greater things than what He did. In Luke 10:19, He gave us power over all the power of the enemy. In Matthew 28:19, He told us to go and make disciples. If He was not going to back any of these things up, He would have never said them. One more. God said in Isaiah 55:11 that His Word would not return void but it would accomplish every thing He said it would do.

These and hundreds of other promises in God's Word are what we should buckle around us. I know that's not the way we were born to do, but listen to another secret recipe that Paul hands down to us. In Romans 12:2, Paul said that we would be transformed into what God said we should be if we would change the way that we think about ourselves.

We have already put the truth of this in motion by what we have done in the flesh. Believe it or not, we were not born married to whoever we are married to right now. For the first several years of our lives, we probably didn't even know our spouses. Yet, one day you met and started thinking about each other. The more you thought, the more attracted you were to each other. You quit doing some things and began doing different things------FROM YOUR HEART because you changed your thinking.

I don't need to go much further. Your thoughts changed and your actions changed. Divorce comes the same way. It comes through a change in the thought pattern that leads to a behavior change. Let's don't go there either.

You buckle up your belt by thinking God's Word of Truth about yourself. The more you make your brain repeat those promises, the stronger the feeling comes, Your prayer life changes. You start digging into the Word. Scriptures start popping into your mind. You can't read but a few verses in the Bible until God begins to show you something you haven't seen before.

And the journey is just beginning. As I referred to in the previous paragraph, your prayer life changes. You begin to pray stronger than ever. Suddenly, you'll be asking yourself why haven't you been praying like that all along. God's Word will begin changing you from the inside out.

Now get this. As the Word takes root inside of you, you'll begin to forget the word 'impossible'. It will become apparent that the devil can't stop you like you USED to think. Your life will take on more power and more power and more power.

Get ready for a deeper plunge into the armor of God.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Paul Obviously Knew Something We Don't

In the past several blogs we have been talking about Ephesians 6:10. Paul tells us to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. For us to be strong in the Lord, we first have to be able to identify the areas that Jesus is strong in.

First of all, Jesus was strong in His love relationship with His Father. If you want to reach people like Jesus did, this is what you need to be doing every day. Unfortunately, many leaders in the body of Christ try to build the kingdom of God by building relationships with people. The fault is, that we are tempted to build relationships with people that are easy for us to approach or who have similar hobbies. Because Jesus built a strong love relationship with His Father first, the power of the Holy Spirit helped Him build relationships with hard to reach people. And He captured their hearts on the first try.

For example, he walked by Matthew's place of business, said a few words and was invited to a big party. Matthew became a disciple. They threw an adulteress in front of Him and Jesus saved her life as well as her soul in a matter of minutes. Hard to deal with demon-possessed individuals were calmed in a moment of time. It didn't take Him weeks of appointments. Jesus already had what it took to get the job done. He had the power of the Holy Spirit resident inside of Him.

You have to have a strong love relationship with the Father to go on any further. Verses 11 and 13 of Ephesians the 6th chapter say this, (NIV) "Put on the full armor of God." Here is the greatest soul winner and church planter giving advice to the church in Ephesus. He gives them a glimpse into His life as well as into the life of Jesus Christ. He gives a command and not a suggestion. He leaves no wiggle room in what he says.

We have to come to grips with the fact that we might be walking around unprepared for something. But what? Look at the rest of verse 11. It reads, "so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes."  Ask yourself the question. Have you stood up to the devil's schemes or are you falling into them?  Verse 13 reads, "so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground." When rough stuff comes along, do we stand firm or do we start stumbling backwards?

Being strong in the Lord, means that when the devil comes at you, you know exactly what to do, what to say and what to expect. Paul gets to the heart of the matter in verse 12. "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."

Our problems in this world are not with the presidents, kings or dictators. Our problems are not with the blacks or the whites. Our problems are not with the Republicans or Democrats. They are not with illegal immigrants or ISIS. Paul says that our fight is not with the flesh but with the demonic forces that drive them to do their dirty deeds.

Therefore, the answer to the demon-driven problems lies in putting on the armor of God and not fighting with each other. Case in point. You've tried to change your spouse, your children, your parents or your friends for years and have gotten nowhere. You've written letters to the editor about local or federal government stupidity and nothing has changed.

Paul says that you are fighting the wrong battle with the wrong equipment. And he should know. People stood against him and he carried on. People tried to kill him and he just became more successful as time went on. He obviously knew something we don't know. Or should I say, we have been reluctant to do.

The question is. Are you going to be strong enough and tough enough to change enough to turn things around in your life? Or, are you going to let things keep tearing your life up as well as the life of your children while you bury your head in the sand?

In the next several blogs, we're going to get into Paul's simple suggestions that can be a game changer in the life of you and your family. Are you willing to put forth the effort?

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Jesus Was Strong During His Temptation in the Wilderness

Why am I talking about Jesus' temptation in the wilderness when I said I was going to teach on 'Putting on the Armor of God'? Because Paul's statement about the armor of God begins with Eph. 6:10--Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. If we are to be strong in the Lord, we need to find out how strong Jesus was while He was here on this earth. Then we have a focus point that tells us how we should be reacting during the things we face in this life.

One of the first things that we found out was that Jesus was more focused on doing His Father's will than He was paying attention to people's feelings or thoughts. Isaiah 55:9 tells us that God's ways and thoughts are higher than ours. Therefore, we need to pay more attention to His ways more than we do our own ways.

This was proven at Jesus' baptism. God Himself introduced Jesus to the people as His only begotten Son. Then He told Jesus to go into the wilderness to meet the devil before He started ministering. Jesus had some 4,000 year old business to take care of. He needed to set the devil straight and let him know that He was not here on earth to play.

Jesus spent forty days fasting in the wilderness. When Jesus was hungry, the devil came to him. Understand that the devil is not going to come to you when it's convenient for you. He's going to come when it's convenient for him and you're at your lowest.

When he finally showed himself to Jesus, satan suggested that Jesus turn some of the stones into bread. After being without food for forty days, Jesus wasn't worried about waiting another hour to get into town to get something to eat. In Matt. 4:4--NIV-- Jesus answered, "It is written: Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God."

Here's what Jesus was saying. "Devil, I'm going to be running my life by EVERY Word that comes out of the mouth of God because whatever God says comes to pass." Jesus firmly believed that everything God said about His death, burial and resurrection was going to come to pass just like God said it would. And, I believe that Jesus told the devil in a firm tone of voice that told that deceiver that Jesus firmly believed what the Word of God said about him. And none of that was good. And the end result was a fiery death at the end of the world. I believe that Jesus took a lot of satisfaction in letting the devil know that from that day forward, the devil would no longer have free reign on the earth.

Listen up! Up to that point, the devil could do anything he wanted to. And he could do it to virtually anybody. When God's very presence entered Jesus, Jesus knew that He had the authority and power to stop the devil any time He wanted to. Throughout the New Testament, demons screamed when Jesus came around. Jesus constantly showed His power over demon forces by casting them out and setting mankind free. After His death and the day of Pentecost, Jesus passed on that duty to the blood-bought, Spirit filled believers who dare to be strong in Him.

In Matt. 4:5, the devil once again challenged Jesus by saying "if you are the Son of God." He will push you around by the same manner. Jesus knew He was the Son of God. He didn't need to turn stones into bread or jump off the temple to prove it. It was something He knew that he knew that he knew that he knew. We need to get our thinker running in the same vein. We need to KNOW that we are the blood-bought, Spirit-filled child of the Almighty God.

The devil dared Jesus to prove Himself by jumping off the highest point of the temple. Then he quoted the Word of God to Jesus, "For it is written, He will command His angels concerning you, and they will lift You up in their hands, so that You will not strike Your foot against a stone."

I love Jesus' answer to him out of the KJV--Matt. 4:7--Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Jesus got right back in the devil's face and told him in no uncertain terms, "I am the Lord thy God. You were created by the Word of God, You exist by virtue of the Word of God, and your defeat and ultimate destruction has foretold by the Word of God, and I am the Word of God made flesh." Jesus knew Who He was and He knew what God had already spoken about the coming battle between the two of them. And He was not about to let His foe hear anything come out of His mouth but what thus saith the Lord. Jesus was tough with the devil.

The devil had the gall to take Jesus to a high mountain and tell Him, "Bow down to me and I'll give You all of these kingdoms." Jesus stood His ground and told the devil to leave him. But not without giving him this parting shot, "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve." Jesus brought up the devil's evil past. The devil was created to worship God. But he rebelled and he was cursed.

How strong should we be? We should put God's Word and His Will first and foremost in our lives. Then, you may as well expect to be challenged by the devil. But, just like Jesus, know who you are and know what the Word of God says about you and your enemy. Then, stand against the enemy and wait on God to do what He said He would do.

Now, let's go on.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Eph. 6:10 Think and Act in Relationship with the Agape Word of God

If you would be honest with me, I dare say that you have NEVER heard any of this preached or taught before. If so, I would like to meet the person that God is dealing with like He does me. Today's lesson is no exception. You've got a lot to think about in the next several paragraphs. I trust that you will see God's Agape Love in a different light.

Everybody's heard or read the story about Adam, Eve and the devil in the garden of Eden.The devil outwitted God's two creations and stole their authority over the earth. With that authority firmly in his grasp, the devil began to wreak havoc every day since then.

Let's get this fact straight. Angels were created without a free will. Either they serve God without fail or be banished forever. That is what happened to Lucifer and his angels.

Adam and Eve were created with a free will. They could CHOOSE to do anything they wanted to. God wanted to fellowship with someone that CHOSE to fellowship with Him because of a love relationship. Along with the fellowship, God wanted someone He could take delight with. He wanted to spend time loving on His creation.

AFTER God created everything in the first week. And AFTER He made man in his image, He planted the garden of Eden. (Genesis, chapter 2) With the man watching on, God created a beautiful and bountiful place with every kind of tree that was upon the face of the earth. It was a special place for His special man.

How many of you have made or bought something special for your child because you love him. What if some kid in the neighborhood came around and tore that special  prize up. That actually happened to me one. Jacob and Aaron were skateboarding with one of their friends in front of our home one day. As it is when you're trying a new trick, Jacob missed the trick, got mad and started jumping up and down on his skateboard. This other kid says, "Let me show you how to do it." I thought he was going to give Jacob a lesson on how to land the trick. Nope. He proceeded to jump up and down on Jacob's skateboard until it broke. And right in front of me, too.

I was more than hot. I was devastated that someone would destroy something that I gave to my son. I sent the dude home with a pretty vivid command.

Remembering that one event out of many, I can see how God felt. It wasn't just that the devil lied. It was more of Adam and Eve had been rooked out of something that they owned. The earth was something that God had created out of love for the man being.

God lost also. He lost a soul-to-soul relationship with His creation. God was deeply hurt by this loss. Can we grasp how He must have felt? He not only felt His tremendous loss, He felt His children's loss also. And that spurred Him to buy Adam and Eve's authority back by the blood of His Son, Jesus.

Now, in Matt. 4, it has been six thousand years since this loss. How much did that eat at God? How long had He yearned to give His present back to His children?

When the God/man, Jesus, heard in His spirit that He needed to go into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil, Jesus put off His ego and the possibility of helping a few hundred people. Instead, He went to personally serve notice to the devil that his evil reign over God's prize possession was soon to be over.

No matter what your position is in the body of Christ, you need to square your shoulders back and don't be afraid to boldly face the enemy. We need to be bold enough to enforce God's Love Word against him. We need to be like Jesus. We need to be strong enough with His ability that we will smile at satan's plans and tell our foe that he can no longer work against us.

Being strong in the Lord means that you're determined to take back the stuff the enemy stole from you and your family....our neighborhood....out city....and our nation. It means praying strong prayers. And it means expecting God to show up just like He said He would.

You know, I really did start this blog series to talk about the armor of God. However, God has put me on this fantastic rabbit trail. In the next, few blogs, we're going to look at how Jesus faced the devil in the temptation in the wilderness. You'll see how strong and tough Jesus really was.

Friday, May 22, 2015

If We are Supposed to be Strong in the Lord, Just How Strong is Jesus?

Study on Eph. 6:10

Let's take Jesus' first real encounter with the devil found in Matthew chapter 4. Just previous to this, Jesus was baptized by John. God's voice was heard declaring Jesus to be  His beloved Son.

Forget about how you've heard this preached and think about what just happened. John baptized Jesus. While everybody was watching, the heavens opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus like a dove. Then this voice came out of heaven and said, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

After that fantastic introduction, Jesus had the perfect opportunity to preach to the people. And why not? After what they saw and heard, everybody's attention was focused on Him. It was the right time for a short, fiery sermon and to heal several people. Jesus' ministry would have gotten off to a great start. But, it didn't.

Matt. 4:1 says that Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. What was God thinking? He had everybody's attention. He had everybody's curiosity. He had just introduced the Messiah.....the long awaited Messiah. Why didn't God tell His Son to do some Messiah stuff?

First of all, let's deal with Jesus' obedience. Even though he was standing right in the middle of a great opportunity to show the world what He was made of, Jesus never lost sight of Who made Him.
Did you catch the relationship between made and made? If not read it again until you do.

Let me make this point perfectly clear. Most preachers, me included, would have taken this opportunity to show everybody within hearing distance just what we were made of. We would have preached boisterously, sang like an angel or prayed as fervently as we could.

But Jesus paid more attention to the Father. He had been created by the Father's will. He was baptized because of the Father's will. (After all, Jesus had never sinned and didn't need to be baptized.) It was His Father's will to honor His Beloved Son in that spectacular manner. But then He told Jesus to go into the wilderness and wait to be tempted of the devil.

If you're a pastor, minister, teacher, worship leader or whatever, do you hold that position or does that position hold you? If God clearly told you to step down from that position would you have the guts to do it? And you know that it would take guts, don't you? If you are going to be strong in the Lord according to Eph. 6, you'd better believe that somewhere in your relationship with Jesus Christ, He's going to require you to step down. Will He force you to do it? No, because, just like salvation, it's your choice. However, later on down the road, you will meet some circumstance that would make you wish you had used more guts than your over inflated ego.

What made Jesus so eager to go into the wilderness instead of preach to them? When the Spirit told him to go into the wilderness to face the devil, Jesus probably jumped at the chance to come face-to-face with His long-time adversary. He knew it was God's will because He knew God's voice. He was happy to do it because being obedient to His Father brought Him great joy.

Let's get to this point. Jesus had waited for ages to finally be able to have a confrontation with the devil as a Holy Spirit filled child of God. The devil had stolen the authority over the earth from a blessed earthly man. It was time for a God man to set the stage for all of those who would follow in His footsteps. The best way to start His ministry was to have a one-on-one with the devil and set the record straight.

How about you? When satan rears his ugly head, do you run and scream in tears? Do you hate for the day of conflict to come? Do you look for some way around it? Do you cry and cry until it leaves?

Before I can go any further with this lesson, you need to make up your mind. Are you going to be as strong as Jesus and be eager to face down the enemy of the universe? Or, are you going to continue to weasel your way around the throne of grace and hope Jesus answers your unspoken request?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Eph. 6:10--Jesus Knew Who He Was

Let me elaborate on this subject before we go on. It will do you good.

One of the first things you might say is, "Of course, Jesus knew who He was." My answer to you is that when I get through explaining my statement, I hope you will realize who you are not.

First of all, Jesus found out who He was when Mary was holding Him on her lap. From the time He could understand, she began to tell Him the truth and not whimsical children's tales. She told Him God came to her before she got married and wanted her to give birth to His Son. She told the story the same way every time she told it. Why? Because she told Him the truth every time. She held back nothing from Him about His birth. Most especially, she told Jesus everything His Heavenly Father told her about His life.

That's about an hour's sermon in just one paragraph. If moms AND dads would spend more time holding their young children and telling them about their Heavenly Father, crime would be non-existent. Aren't you glad this article isn't about moms and dads?

Eph. 6:10 starts off by admonishing us to be strong in the Lord. According the Psalm 139, the moment we were created in our mother's womb, God had a purpose in mind for us. He could tell by the chromosome match up just what kind of job we were best suited for and what would make us completely happy. All through our lives, He tries to get us to understand that. That's where trials come from. God is trying to turn us in the direction we are suited for.

Think about Jesus' life for a while. You don't see Him trying to be one of the priests in Jerusalem. You don't see him trying to start His own brand of synagogues all over the place. As a matter of fact, they ran Him out of the ones He tried to minister in. You don't see him trying to gather people together to overthrow the Roman government. That wasn't what He was created to do.

Jesus knew that His Father wanted Him to do two things. First of all, God wanted Jesus to show everybody what He was really like. Obviously, the rulers of the Jews had no clue. That's why people swarmed around Jesus. They sensed the love and presence of the Almighty Creator God in Him. The heart of every angry sinner is wandering here and there crying out to know their Creator.

Here's a tip: When your life portrays, from the heart, the compassion, grace and very presence of God, Jesus will draw all men to you. No matter what you're doing. No matter where you're at. No matter if you're ordained or not. No matter if you have ANY office in the church or you have EVERY office in the church. Sinners don't want a phony baloney church officer, they want their Creator.

You might be holding some position in the church and nothing seems to be clicking. You might WANT to hold some position in the church because nobody else wants to do it. That is the wrong thing to do. You want a position? Here's a position for you. Stand in the very presence of God for as long as you can stand it. After a while, you'll know what to do.

Second of all, Jesus knew that He was supposed to be scorned, mocked and spat upon. And He was fine with that. He knew that His own kinsmen wouldn't believe in Him at first. And He was fine with that. Since He was the oldest son in the family, He spent the first thirty years of His life working hard to make a living for His mother. There was no ministry involved. No crowds to preach to. No miracles going on. Just, Jesus, do this. Jesus do that. Jesus you're supposed to do this. And Jesus was fine with that.

He knew that His Father had a time for His ministry and He was patient for it down to the last minute before He performed His first miracle. He waited for His Father's instructions as to when He should show Himself to the nation. And when it was time to suffer and die according to His Father's command, He quietly obeyed.  Why? Just because His Daddy said so? No, because His Daddy said that His death was not the end. His death would be the beginning. You see God doesn't follow our pre-conceived rules. For that matter, He doesn't obey ANY of our rules at all.

What this lesson boils down to is this. Do you know who you are? Are you working in the church and it is so boring that you can hardly stand it? Is nothing happening right? Is it dry and uncomfortable? You're probably standing in somebody else's place. You're probably trying to do something you were not created to do.

God doesn't create failures. Man fails because he tries to do things on his own. I know that every job in the church is important. BUT, the most important things for us to do is to spend however much time we need to with our Heavenly Father to find out who we really are. You might not be a pastor. You might not be a youth leader. You might be an author. You might be a singer. You might be an evangelist.

Stop what you're doing now and wait on God until you know beyond a shadow of a doubt who you really are and what you really are called to do. You won't have to strain at it. You won't have to fuss with it. There will come an anointing with it that will flow through you like an overflowing well springing up from inside of you.