Our God Shall Deliver!

Our God Shall Deliver!

And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORDAnd everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the LORD has said, even among the survivors whom the LORD calls. Joel 2:28-32 NIV

The fate of the nation, as always,  depends upon the Lord’s deliverance and that deliverance shall come when we learn to depend upon Him.

There are many things from which we need deliverance.

Some of us need deliverance from online shopping. Every time we see something we think we like, we order and then wonder why we can’t save money. And we need to save every dime we can for that rainy day fund–for soon–there will be a deluge of rain and if we have nothing stored against the havoc, we will suffer loss.

Some of us need deliverance from promoting lies. We tend to accept all the latest gossip from various fake news articles as being credible and then without thinking twice, we share on social media accounts or in break rooms, with friends and neighbors and anyone who will listen to us. We become the target of unsavory markets–deliberately snagging personal data when we download information through social media accounts–and they in turn send more lies and many believe them.

Some of us need deliverance from all sorts of addictions–drugs, alcohol, overeating, stealing, lying, and even unsolicited counseling/advice. If we have an addictive spirit–we can become addicted to almost anything because the “thing” becomes our comfort and joy. No addiction can be overcome without changing what we do. I quit smoking by giving up coffee and talking on the phone over 30 years ago. These were habits that led to me lighting a cigarette. The first thing I did (after praying) was to stop buying cigarettes. I couldn’t smoke what I didn’t have.

In order to break addictive cycles, we must be willing to acknowledge there is a problem, and then “do” something about it. We can stay away from all those things that keep us controlled, but lying and giving unsolicited counseling–we need to change our mindset, think before opening our mouths and realize that the lies we tell–corrupt our reputation and soon no one believes anything we say. The unsolicited counseling/advice is ignored and people tend to avoid us because they know–we tend to think we know what is best for everyone when it actuality, we barely know what’s best for ourselves.

Jesus Christ–our redeemer–has given us the ultimate means of deliverance from sin and all other things that we allow to control us–He has delivered us from us–when we allow Holy Spirit to direct our steps in all things. He does not force us or make us do anything, but when we allow Him to direct us and we listen to Him, we can overcome anything that attempts to assail us and keep us from receiving God’s best.

God shall deliver us from all things that keep us from receiving His best in our lives–if we call upon Him and believe He will.

I believe that God–who knows all and sees all–will deliver us from any catastrophic events and that includes exposing truth about the election results. I have and will continue to call upon Him and have faith in what He is able to do. I also have faith in all those who love Him, to hear Him when He speaks and obey. I am declaring deliverance–now!

 

Watch For The Stumbling Blocks!

Watch For The Stumbling Blocks!

“If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!” (Matthew 18:6-7 NIV)

Jesus spoke these words to those who were listening to Him, while He walked the earth. He is yet speaking to those who are listening and obeying, warning us to watch out for those who would be stumbling blocks in our path, deliberately setting us up for a fall.

There are many things in this life that may cause people to stumble in their walk with Christ–temptations set before us to strengthen us and reveal our true characters. Are we people of integrity and honor? Do we value the wrong things in life? Are we so high-minded that we are only concerned with self? Are we wafflers–taking the side of anyone we listen to for more than five minutes? When the temptations come–and they will–are we able to withstand the urge to give into the temptation?

Sometimes, we get the wrong ideas about what can tempt us by thinking only about the obvious sin–living in opposition to God’s Word–when we are warned that it is the “little foxes that spoil the vine.” It is the little things that we allow to creep into our spirits when we think–they are little–that become stumbling blocks.

Let’s see how much these little things become stumbling blocks in our lives. We see the last piece of _________ left over from dinner and we decide–no big deal, I’ll eat it rather than see it go to waste. And before long, we’re eating that last of everything, justifying doing so within ourselves. But then the time comes when we have to see the doctor because our bodies are not functioning the way they should, and we discover we’re a hundred pounds overweight, our heart is failing, and we’re always out of breath. It was a little thing that snowballed into a big thing.

Some parents allow their children’s girlfriends and boyfriends to spend the night when they could easily go home. It’s not a big thing–they simply stayed up too late watching a movie or doing homework. When the parents went to bed, the kids were knocked out, but soon someone is knocked up and everyone is blown up with anger and resentment. But it was a little thing that blew up to a big thing.

When Christians say–same sex couples have a right to love and marry who they want–it’s a little thing to them because they claim it is an affair of the heart, when really it’s all about lust of the flesh. It was a little thing that has now exploded in a big thing as lawmakers attempt to determine when rights are violated and whose rights have priority over another. It is fight over whether the rights of those who believe and adhere to God’s Word transcend the rights of those who deliberately oppose God’s Word. It is now a matter of good versus evil in every sense of the word, but it was a little thing–ignored and underestimated that has now become a stumbling block for many.

Drugs, alcohol, theft, lying, profanity–might have been little things in the lives of many, but become bigger than life when ignored. Children lying and using profanity is not cute; it’s negligence on the part of the parent and so is stealing and allowing kids to experiment with drugs and alcohol. Addictions of any kind may have started as a little thing, but became bigger when ignored. They became stumbling blocks in the lives of people who did not recognize how to steer clear and find another path.

For those who deliberately put stumbling blocks in the path of those who are trying to live righteous lives, the penalty is severe. I cannot imagine the weight of a millstone (2 feet round and half a foot thick) hanging around my neck, holding me under the water until I succumbed to it. Nor do I want to be responsible for encouraging anyone to live in opposition to God’s Word.

Therefore, to make sure I am not a stumbling block–interfering with God’s plans in a person’s life, I simply promote the Gospel, focusing on Him, trying to steer clear of the drama that some see as a little thing, but if ignored, blows up into theatrical performance, worthy of awards for stupidity and a lack of integrity. There is no honor in creating stumbling blocks for others. When we know Him, we should be represent all that He is in everything we do–peacemakers in all things–and not peacebreakers. Watch out for the stumbling blocks that keep success out of reach!

Who’s Governing Your Mind–Flesh or Holy Spirit?

“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 85-8 NIV)

Who lives according to the dictates of their flesh? Everyone who does not live in accordance to the direction of Holy Spirit. The result is easy to see and when we have evidence to support our conclusions, it is not an opinion nor a rash judgment.

Overeating is evidence of the mind being governed by the flesh. The flesh says it wants more to eat than it needs and when it governs the mind, people eat–far more than is good for them and as a result, become overwhelmed by the flesh–evident in their appearance and in health issues that are result from overeating.

Being rude and disrespectful is evidence of the mind being governed by the flesh. Flesh tells people they are superior to others and must have the last word, no matter what and the mind caves to the dictates of the flesh because it feels good and sounds good. The results as we can see on a daily basis are those who are discourteous drivers, loud-mouthed and obnoxious people waiting in lines who think they shouldn’t have to wait–for anything or anyone. We see them cussing at those in authority when they can’t have their way and in front of their children–demonstrating to their children that it’s okay to be rude and disrespectful and we see this in classrooms across the country.

Sexual immorality is evident in what people do–promiscuously–having sex with random people and sometimes people they just met and the evidence is all we see on television, in the movies, and hear in the music. The mind is governed by the flesh, because if it feels good, then do it. The results are increased rates of sexually transmitted diseases, AIDs, and increase in low-esteem, depression, and suicide. Why? Because the devil loves it when people submit to him and then he leaves them high and dry, when they cannot find real love or a reason to keep living once they understand how they have used and abused their bodies.

Addictions of all types are the evidence of the mind being governed by the flesh–drugs, nicotine, alcohol, shopping, shoplifting, pornography–all are a conclusion of the matter–the feel-good-syndrome-for a moment and when the moment passes, it must be repeated, and repeated, and repeated until it fulfills its vicious cycle–in death–naturally or spiritually.

A person who has deprived themselves of the leadership and guidance of Holy Spirit is prone to making the same mistakes, over and over again, expecting a different result–which by definition is–insanity. When chaos and confusion exists, God is not in it and certainly there is no evidence of Holy Spirit guiding anyone.

What happens when our minds are governed by Holy Spirit? There is peace within and then there can peace without–in our environment and everywhere we go. When Holy Spirit leads–He reminds us of those things we have been taught, strengthens us to live by faith and ignore the temptations of the enemy, and keeps us focused on pleasing God, not flesh.

Where’s the evidence? The evidence is seen in those who do not have to resort to cussing out people, involving themselves in road-rage, or even randomly acting out. The evidence is in the person’s ability to remain calm, exercise wisdom in all situations, and to discipline themselves to hear God and act accordingly. They know when to stop eating, stop smoking, stop giving into the desires that make them feel good only for a moment, and start doing those things that bring the heart joy and they know they are pleasing God.

So, what’s it going to be for you today? Will you allow flesh to dictate or Holy Spirit? Do you want temporary pleasure or lasting joy? It’s up to us–we decide and I choose to allow Holy Spirit to reign in my life!

He’s Doing Amazing Things!

“Yes, the LORD has done amazing things for us! What joy!” (Psalm 126:3 NLT)

Singing a song of praise for all The Lord has done is as natural to some people as breathing is--when we acknowledge Him.

Throughout the Psalms, we see prayers, songs of contrition, repentance, and praise for all the amazing things He has done for the people He loves.

What I’m reminded of in reading this entire Psalm is that the captivity or bondage of people is a result of willful disobedience on the part of those who are held captive. When we continually ignore God when He speaks through those He has chosen to be a vessel of communication, we reap the consequences of our actions. God has never planned for His people to be held captive, but He allows it when we refuse to turn away from ungodliness and turn back to Him.

And when we turn back to Him, we can reflect upon the time of captivity and understand that even in the state of bondage, He never leaves us, but patiently waits for us to get our act together.

Those who were held in exile rejoiced in returning to their homeland. We, who have been held captive to our fleshly dictates–whatever they are and they are different for different people–can rejoice and sing praises to Him who does all things well for our benefit.

Many are those who were held captive to all sorts of addictions–who lost homes, jobs, family trust–and yet were brought back to a state of total redemption and trust in The Lord for what He allowed them to go through, yet brought them out to His glory.

Many are those who were held captive to their own ideologies when they thought they were based upon sound doctrine, but discovered their faith was in religious affiliation and when they discovered Truth, were turned around and turned to Truth in relationship with God–who loves us so much, He is not willing to see any of us lost or held captive by erroneous beliefs.

Some are held captive to beliefs that their bodies are their own–thinking they can treat them any way they want and still know victory in long life. In spite of illnesses that could have been terminal, God has shown them a different path and now they praise Him with a renewed, energetic outlook of preserving their bodies to His glory.

Yes, our God is truly Amazing–look at how He loves us when we did not love Him. Look at the mercy He bestows upon us when we did not deserve mercy. Look at the favor He has given us with all–even though we did not earn it. He is truly amazing and we praise Him for being our awesome God, doing amazing things for our benefit, when we turn our lives back to living for Him!

Eyes On Me!

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you” (Psalm 32:8,9 NIV).

There are so many eyes–looking upon everything we do–judging, evaluating, assessing, criticizing, not knowing who we really are or who is guiding us. Or do they?

If the Lord is giving us instruction, and teaching us how to get to the destination He has planned for us, and counseling us as we journey in life, we have no need to be concerned about what others see–for they will only see our willing obedience to God, doing what must be done to obtain the goal. However, whatever we do, whatever others see–will determine whether we need to be “controlled or forced” to do something.

In spite of what many think, our obedience to God is out of a desire to please Him, not because He forces us to do anything. If we have a heart for God and we are hearing Him, we know that He only wants the best for us and we only want to please Him.

For those who do not understand God’s love or His plans, His Word will seem harsh and brash and controlling. But God–never forces or controls us to do anything–He gives us freewill to choose and to accept the consequences of our actions. When we choose not to understand or hear Him, we are left with those entities that will control–demonic spirits that lead us down the opposite paths of those God wants us to travel.

On the path to hell (and it is real), everything glitters and has much more appeal to our senses–sight, smell, feel, taste, hearing–it all looks good, smells good, feels good, tastes good and sounds good, but is it–all good? NO! The enemy deliberately makes everything that opposes God look better than anything God wants us to have because he–the devil–wants us to be miserable and to hate God.

Not convinced of the devil’s controlling influence? Take a good look around at our society--at those who are influenced by greed, drugs, and all other lusts of the flesh. The gambling looked good–easy money–until it’s all gone and now people have to steal to support their habit. The same is true with drugs and alcohol–controlling substances. On a personal level–hygiene takes a backseat to fulfilling the desires and cravings of those things which control the mind and behavior. Feelings and cravings in the lower extremities of bodies control–making sexual appeal for anyone more desirable and pleasurable than doing things God’s way. Even food controls–for those who lack discipline and self-control, overeating–which leads to health problems and early deaths. Oh, yes–the enemy controls, but God instructs, teaches, and counsels and leaves it up to us to hear and obey.

Whose eyes are upon you, today–the loving eyes of the Lord or the gleaming eyes of the devil? They know and we should, too–just by looking at what we do!

Be an Overcomer

God tells us through John in his vision in Revelation, that “the overcomer shall inherit all things” (Rev. 21:7)

How do we overcome and what shall we overcome?

The answer depends upon what the challenges are in anyone’s life!  If we don’t cave under the pressure of the challenge, we can overcome it.

If obesity is a challenge and our health begins to take a dive, we can overcome our infatuation with food by changing how we think about food.  Food should fuel us, not fill us.  If we take this attitude, we can overcome the challenge of being overweight.  If we exercise our bodies and our minds, we will see change in our eating habits.  What will we inherit?  Healthier bodies and lifestyles that will allow us to have long life–without undue suffering.

If sexual sin is a challenge and we are constantly in fear of dying with disease-ridden bodies, or devalued self-worth, we can rise to the challenge by changing how we view our bodies, our spirits, and our needs.  It’s called–self-control–especially when we are not married.  If we change what we expose ourselves to that leads to an unhealthy attitude towards sex, we’ll change what we do.  Change the television channel (and the movies), change what we read, change how we think of the act of sex (it should not be about physical relief), and learn to love self.  Most people get involved with “unhealthy sexual escapades” because of a lack of self-love.  We have to learn to love self.  When we love self, we only want the best for ourselves and those we say, we love.  What do we inherit when we overcome this challenge?  A greater appreciation of an act that should be reserved and exercised for those who are in committed relationships (marriage)–not one-night or one-event stands.

If any type of addiction–food, drugs, sex, theft, lying, gambling, abusive behavior of all kinds–is a challenge that needs to be overcome, change your habits, the environment, the people in your close circles, the places you go, the amount of money you keep on you, the way you see yourself as a person of integrity and a better understanding of how others see you.  Prayer and explicit action changes things.  You can overcome them all.  What do we inherit when we overcome these challenges?  A rise in self-esteem and self-worth, new friendships that encourage a steady path of overcoming, and a new respect of self and from others.

We can do all things through Christ who loves us–if we want to do all things well.  Be an overcomer and inherit all good things as promised in God’s Word!  Hallelujah for receiving the inheritance–all good gifts!