It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter. Proverbs 25:2

Archive for October, 2015

Do Not Be Anxious! Part 1

Philippians   4:6-7      Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

We are witnessing more and more people under pressure and stress. It is not only heads of corporations, or people in high-level positions. Young people, teenagers, college students, and single mothers are experiencing more and more pressure. I believe the very young are seeing more stress than ever before. We are seeing younger people committing suicide and having a number of stressed related disorders because they do not know how to let go and have peace.

Stress can be a good thing in short spurts; it is something that can motivate and help us in tight situations.  However, when stress continues over a long period of time the body then becomes anxious. This means the body becomes full of mental distress or uneasiness because of fear of danger or misfortune. Anxiety is not a good place to stay; this is why God tells us not to be anxious; our bodies were not designed to stay in a state of anxiety. We are to bring everything that is a concern to us to God and allow Him to handle what we cannot.

God tells us to cast all our anxieties and cares on Him. Then it says for us to be on the alert, to be clear-headed; to understand this, your enemy the devil is lurking around like a roaring lion looking for whom he may devour. Some may remember the old game “Mother May I” it was played by children and the key in this game is to ask for permission to do something and before they could move they had to ask, mother may I.

They enemy does the same thing looking for someone who will give him permission to come into their lives to devour them. We give him permission by the choices we make in disobedience to God. One of the ways a lion captures its prey is with his roar. The roar is so loud and intimidating that it paralyzes the prey and they become an easy target. The word of God is clear and tells us we do not have to give the enemy permission to come into our lives. The choices we make will allow us to stand on God’s word in the battle or to give in to the lies of this world but it is these choices that will determine the outcome of the battle.

God tells us how to resist the devil, by submitting to the truth of His word. It is a one-step process when we submit to God we also are resisting the devil and he will flee. Most of us do not take the time to know God’s word, so we do not know how to submit to it. This is how the devil gets permission to come into our lives because of our lack of knowledge concerning God’s word. When the enemy roars like a lion we become afraid, panic and thereby paralyzed by fear instead of casting that fear, those concerns and anxieties on God in prayer.

1 Peter 5:7-9   Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. (KJV)

James 4: 7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (NIV)

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PRAYING EFFECTIVE PRAYERS

 

     We are to imitate our Heavenly Father. In the beginning God saw darkness cover the earth, He then said, “let there be light.” God spoke of what He wanted not what he saw.  God did not talk about the darkness, of how bad it was nor how dark it was, He only declared what He wanted, light to be. We must learn how to say what God say’s about us, our world and others. We must line our words up with God’s Word or we will start speaking what we see negatively and give power and energy to the negative things around us.

Man’s authority is in earth because in the beginning man was given dominion over the earth. This dominion was stolen at the fall but Christ returned dominion back to those who are in the kingdom of God. When we are in fellowship with our Heavenly Father we can change things on earth and in the spirit realm through prayer. We are told, “Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven. Whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” That is to say if we want to stop spiritual wickedness in high places or stop the enemy in the earth, we must declare it in the earth and use our God given authority.

This is a principle God gave us to use to bind and stop the enemy that are seeking dominion over our space and in the spirit realm even though we may not see it in the natural. We should pray as God has directed us, to take our authority to bind the attacks of the enemy and to loose bondages, whether it is in mind, in body or in spirit. Jesus has given us the authority and the ability to loose blessings. We are to decree and declare the blessing of God in the earth.

We must trust God to be faithful to His word this is the spiritual principle, believing and not doubting in our hearts God’s word is true. This is how we walk by faith and not by sight, we are not to let our experiences dictate our belief or what we see going on in the natural. Just because we may not see it manifested in that that moment we trust God to be faithful to His word.

Daniel prayed to God and God answered at the very time of Daniel’s prayer but the angel with the answer was hindered by the enemy 21 days. Sometimes there may be a battle and the enemy wants to see if he prolongs and hinders the answer to our prayers if we would give up and say God’s word does not work. Let God be true and every man and demon be a liar, because in the end you will see the blessing of the Lord if you faint not.

God is in control of heaven and in the beginning God gave man authority in the earth to make earth like heaven. When we pray we are to take the authority God has given us to have dominion over our situation and circumstances. When we operate in the power of the Living God, the Holy Spirit living in us we are drawing on His power and our authority to change our circumstances and we give Him thanks for the power and authority to change our situation. Through faith in Jesus we are given the Power of the Holy Spirit and He lives in us. Through prayer we are connected to our Source, we are strengthened when we are in communion with God and He reveals to us how we are to intervene in our lives, families, circumstances and situations.

Matthews 18:18 Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

 

This is a powerful spiritual principle that we who are in the kingdom of God have access to. Just as gravity is a powerful natural principle in the earth, the principle of binding and loosing is a spiritual law and it will not falter. God say’s whatever you bind and loose on earth will be bound and loosed in heaven though it may tarry or be prolonged it will come to pass if you just believe.

Another spiritual law is the principle of unity when two or more come together on one accord. There is power in unity and when we pray in agreement with someone, Jesus said it shall be done by my Father in heaven. We all understand doubling or tripling a string or rope will make it much stronger than the one string. It is the same in the spirit, “one can chase a thousand and two can chase ten thousand” because God is with us.   God has given us family, friends, and the Holy Spirit so that we may have unity with someone who understands our situations and will earnestly pray in agreement with us for our petition.

Matthews 18: 1-20 Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.  For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

 

Deuteronomy 32:30 How could one man chase a thousand, or two put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, unless the Lord had given them up?

 

Romans 8:26-27 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.  And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

 

The prayer of faith is simple. Faith simply believes what God has said. Jesus said we can move mountains with this faith but we must believe and not doubt. It does not take much faith to move a mountain. Faith as small as a mustard seed, which is one of the smallest seeds, but it is the doubt that the enemy tries to have us focus on to void our faith.

The enemy would have us focus on, our doubt and our past experiences and our family history rather than believe God’s word and have faith in His truth. The whole fallen world is filled with doubt and unbelief because they have no relationship with God, no history with God’s performing His word and this can lead to people’s failing faith because of such negative doubt and unbelief.

God has provided a way for us to grow in our faith, through listening to His word and continuing to listen to what God says. Faith comes by hearing the word of God. Hearing is a present ongoing process not a past action. Our faith grows as we continue to stay and listen to His Word until it is so engrained in our spirit that it is rooted in our every day, every moment life style.

Our faith grows as we hear the word of God, because our mind is being renewed to God’s ways and our belief is strengthened. Our doubt withers and shrinks because it is not being feed by the naysayers of the world or the lies we believe from life experiences. It is then we say let God be true and every man, situation and experience be a liar.

 

Mark 11:22-24 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

 

Anointing with oil is a process God has given for us to use when praying for the sick.  We are to offer to pray in faith; this is the same process of believing God in your heart and not doubting. Jesus has purchased all we need and all authority was given to Him and He has given it to us who believe in Him and the power of the Holy Spirit.

We are to pray believing what God has said about the matter is true. God says if anyone is sick, let them call the elders, a mature person in the Body of Christ, and let that person anoint them with oil and pray the prayer of faith. Believing they received what they have prayed for in the spirit realm and waiting for it to manifest itself in the natural, because of God’s word.

The prayer of faith is the same process of prayer we prayed to be born again. God said if we believe in our hearts and confess with our mouth that Jesus is Lord, then we were saved. Praying the prayer of faith for healing the sick is the same principle, we must believe in our hearts God has healed and then we speak it with our mouths. This is an act of obedience to the word of God. When we were saved our faith was in the completed work of Jesus on the cross.

We knew we could not save ourselves so our faith rested in Jesus payment for our eternal salvation. The same is for any manifestation of God’s supernatural gifts we receive in the earth, be it healing, peace, joy or prosperity it is all received on the completed work of Jesus Christ and our faith in what He has purchased for us.

When we anoint with oil in the name of Jesus, signifying our belief in His completed work and pray the prayer of faith, not doubting in our hearts, believing this person is well, the Lord will raise him up. God is true to His word; God forgives and heals because of our belief in what Jesus has already done at the cross.

Faith is trusting God with the outcome and the result of our prayer. He may heal instantly, it may be a process of healing but God is faithful if we do not doubt. We may never know how God will answer our prayer but we can be confident that He will and He will work everything out for the good of His people and for His glory.

James 5:14-15 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord.  And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven.

 

Romans 10:9-10 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

 

Effectual prayer believes and says what God says concerning a matter.

 

2 Corinthians 4: 13    It is written: “I believed; therefore, I have spoken. Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak.

 

Authority of Prayer

We have authority, in both the physical and the spiritual realms because humanity was given this authority to rule the earth in the beginning and it was restored to us by the completed work of Jesus through the Power of the Holy Spirit. We pray in the authority Jesus gave us when we are in unity with God through His word. When we pray according to God’s word, we are submitting to the will of the Father. We are then in line with God’s original purpose for us in the earth and that is to reign.

Man was formed from the earth and has a natural body; he was given a spirit with the very breath of God and he has a soul that will live forever. Man is a tri-part being just as God is One in Three Persons man was made as body, soul and spirit.

Mankind has access in two realms, both the physical and the spiritual because we were created in both the natural earth with a spirit nature from God. God made mankind from the earth connecting him and causing him to be dependent on the earth. God also gave mankind a spirit connecting him to Himself. Mankind was given dominion over the earth. Everything that is happening in the earth is mankind’s responsibility even the giving away of authority and dominion to the enemy. God does not renege on His word or the contract He made with man even when mankind uses his authority for ill use. God’s word stands but God did not leave man without another option. God provided the man, Jesus to come and redeem mankind back and to give them another opportunity to have dominion over their lives, circumstances and rule in both natural and spiritual once again.

Genesis 1: 26-28 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”  So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

 

Spirit beings, such as angels, were not given authority in the natural world they move in the spirit realm. This is why Satan had to use the serpent’s body to navigate in the earthly or natural realm. Satan came into the world illegally and he usurped mankind’s authority from him. Mankind listened to Satan rather than God and they lost their authority and dominion over the natural realm. Mankind also lost his identity, his created purpose, and his ability to be the person God made him to be. Man died spiritually that day. He was no longer the created being God made him to be.

God made a provision so that man did not have to stay in his fallen state. He provided a way for us to regain fellowship with God in our lives, to rule and once again have dominion over our circumstances. He provided Jesus, who lived a perfect life according to God’s Word and paid the sin debt mankind owed to God through their rebellion.

Jesus came into the world legally as a man, submitting Himself to all the laws of this world. As a man Jesus had the legal right to engage in the natural world. He lived without the sin of mankind because His blood was from His heavenly Father. Jesus was able to do what we could not, live a sinless life and He paid the debt for our sin. He redeemed us and placed us back into a right relationship with God. We are now part of the family of God and we received Jesus Righteousness and are loved by our Father, our God.

God will not violate His word; He gave authority over everything in the earth to mankind. God could not circumvent man’s authority because He is bound by His word. Even though it was detrimental to man and God’s created purpose for mankind. What God says, He must do. This is why Jesus had to be born in the flesh as a human to have legal right to operate in the earth.

There was enmity between man and God. God said the wages of sin is death and Jesus came to pay these wages and die for all who will accept Him as their Lord and Savior. Man has a responsibility to receive this forgiveness through the act of their will, having faith in the completed work of Christ.

When we pray we are communicating with God and we are in fellowship with our Heavenly Father. God rules the heavens, and earth He gave to man. It is man’s fellowship with God, the authority of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit that gives us the ability and authority to intervene and become involved with the lives and matters of others. This is why we pray for others who cannot or will not pray for themselves and we ask God to help them.

When we seek God for others we are asking Him to operate on their behalf and in our lives. We have heard people say, “Why did God let that happen?” but God did not and do not do bad things to people. We live in a fallen world and the consequence of the fall is destruction. Jesus came and restored the power and authority of God back to the believers. Yet we do not use this authority because we are ignorant of God’s word, His ways and His spiritual principles operating in the earth.

2 Corinthians 5: 19-21 And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

 

Jesus is both man and God but He limited Himself to the authority as man while he was in the earth. He used the same authority as man that we have to pray and have communion with The Father and the power of The Holy Spirit. Many people think Jesus did miracles because He was God but He operated as a man with the power of the Holy Spirit. Just as we have the same access to God our Father and the power of the Holy Spirit to perform great and mighty works. This is done through prayer (fellowship with God) and the power of the Holy Spirit. Every believer receives the Holy Spirit; He is in them and with them when they accept Jesus as their Savior.

Jesus did not do miracles because He was God and He did not use His Deity to perform miracles. Jesus operated in His humanity through the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said we would do even greater things. Because Jesus paid our sin debt, sent the Holy Spirit to live in us, and He stands before the Father interceding for us. We now have the authority and ability to do greater works through faith and the power of the Holy Spirit. The greater works we are to do is to bring people to the saving knowledge of Jesus. We can now pray that God heal their bodies and we can tell people about the kingdom of God on earth.

John 14:12,16 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever.

 

Prayer is not just collaboration with God but it is a privilege of communion and fellowship with God as our Father. Prayer is about relationship and union with the Creator of all things. We have access to God and can talk to Him whenever we want. In The Old Testament the priest went into the Holy of Holies once a year with a blood offering.

We can go before God anytime to fellowship and talk with Him. We bring glory to God on the earth by allowing His will to be done in and through us. Prayer is not just an activity to go to God with our wish list. It is a loving fellowship, communication with God and a great privilege just to be in His presence and to hear from Him. We are part of His great plan in the earth when we do His will. When we seek God and His kingdom it brings pleasure to Him. Just as most earthly fathers are pleased when their children honor them.

The Lord’s Prayer Part II

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

Help us now O Mighty God to forgive those who have offended hurt, despitefully used and abused us. The Lord tells us to forgive as the Father has forgiven us. We are never more like Christ than when we say, “Father I forgive them.” Just as Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing.” Forgiveness is an expression of God’s kind of love. It was for the love God has for us that He sent His Son to die for us so we may receive the forgiveness from God.

We are given the ability to forgive when we receive the Holy Spirit of God living in us but as always it has to be appropriated as an act of our will. We are to pray, Father I forgive those who have abused and misused me because of the forgiveness You, Lord, has given me for the rebellion and sin I committed against my King and Saviour. Thank you Jesus for your love, you are the One who paid my debt and the debts of those who have offended me.

When people wrong us, humiliate and abuse us they do not understand or care that we are children of the Most High King. We know God’s kingdom principles to not fight back, because we know God is the Righteous Judge and will weigh all things. He will vindicate us. God sent Jesus His only begotten Son to die for them just as He did for us. We are required to forgive the hurt and injustice we may receive in this life and in this we are expressing the love God has for the lost. We are blessed when we do not revile or hate other people when they have wronged us. Only then, are we truly acting and looking like our Father in heaven. Jesus when He was reviled and detested, he did not respond to them with the same hatred He was shown.

 Luke 23: 33-34 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left.  Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

1 Peter 2:23    When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.  “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness

 

Matthew 6:14-15 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

 

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

Father, lead us from all things that are evil and would hurt us or be a snare to us, our families and those who are in our sphere of influence. Direct our paths that we will not fall and be destroyed. We are asking God to keep us from those situations and thoughts that would feed our minds in an evil way and to show us a way of escape from this snare. Lead us away from temptation to do evil and from schemes of the enemy.

Too often we have seen social and news media portray situations in such manner that it stirs up fear, hate and anger. The more we ponder and meditate on hate and anger in our minds the more entangled we become. We are feeding on those evil thoughts which can grow into hateful acts. Horrendous crimes are committed by people who become obsessed with wrongful and hurtful thoughts and in return they become bitter. Their minds begin thinking evil and hateful acts and when they are carried out, it only brings destruction in the end. This is the temptation to do evil Jesus told us to pray that we are delivered from such evil.

There is another process of testing or trying that we may go through and that is to test our commitment to the truth we have obtained. This is not a temptation to do evil but it is a testing to help identify weak areas that may need strengthening. It is a process to locate defects or cracks as when glass or metal is tempered.   When glass or metal is tempered or tested it is put under scrutiny to find flaws or weakened areas. Everyone goes through a time when their character and integrity will be tested. It reveals our true character and beliefs. This temptation or testing provides us an opportunity and an occasion to display and execute our beliefs, integrity and character.

People may want to say, “Satan made me do it,” but he only provides an opportunity, we make the choice. It was not mandated we take dishonest action it is ultimately a chance to display our choice. As an act of our will, we choose to stand on our convictions, beliefs and integrity or we choose not to and those areas of weaknesses are revealed. Even when we miss it we can use that as an opportunity to learn, to grow and to change. If we do not acknowledge and address these flaws in our character they may lead us to a destructive lifestyle and hinder our witness to others. The testing we go through reveals who we are under pressure which is our true self and will reveal if we are really committed to walking in integrity.

When we are tempted we do not have to stand alone in this temptation, we should ask God to reveal to us a way out of that situation. God has promised a way of escape. Regardless of what the temptation may be, the enemy only comes to steal, kill or destroy. This is done when we choose to act on those temptations whether in word or deed. If we choose to enter into a destructive relationship or to harbor hate we allow the enemy an avenue into our lives to come and steal or destroy us, our families or other.

We do not have to allow these thoughts or actions to continue. The word of God says for us to seek God, resist the devil and he will flee. It is one process that has dual action. When we seek God through His word we are resisting the devil and he must flee. Many of us want to resist the devil with our might, strength without seeking God’s word or truth on the issue. This will only lead to devastation and annihilation because we cannot stand in our own strength. We must seek God’s wisdom and His way.

Acts of hate, destructive lifestyle and when we fail to forgive can lead down a path that can destroy families and cause such obsession that it leads to ruin. We must guard our thoughts and what we allow to monopolize our mind. God has promised a way of escape but we must choose to take that way out. It may not be our preference but God has promised it is a way out of temptation.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

 

James 1:13-15 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

 

1Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

 

We need to understand prayer is really fellowship and communion with God. It is a private exchange between God and us. Jesus often went off by Himself when He prayed to speak to His Father. When Jesus did pray publicly for Lazarus He said “Father I thank you that you have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me. John 11:41b-42 This was showing Jesus had already prayed privately to God but for the benefit of these around He prayed aloud publicly. Sometimes there are matters on our heart that we can only speak to God and again there are times to pray in fellowship with our community so it may bless others who hear and see God answer prayer.

Matthew 14:23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone,

Matthew 26:36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”

 

We have public and corporate prayer in churches, homes and places of worship but this should not be our primary method of prayer. It should be our faithful practice to talk and communion privately with our Father in prayer. Jesus prayed publicly, but His practice most often was to go alone and have private conversation with His Father.

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