Month: May 2015
Satan doesn’t care about you. He loves for you to go church and to hear a message that only makes you feel good for a moment, but doesn’t change you for a lifetime. He loves to see you week after week going to church bent over, impotent, paralyzed, spiritually blind, oppressed and depressed.
The Pharisees and Sadducees taught in the synagogue, but they weren’t teaching a message that was changing the lives of people. They were wells without waters. They spoke evil of the things that they didn’t understand. They used the law to bind people, not to set them free. Both John the Baptist and Jesus addressed them as vipers. Because Jesus is Light, He gave light to those who were in darkness (ignorance). He preached a message that exposed Satan and his works. He preached a message that set people free from the bondage of Satan. What He preached caused unclean spirits to manifest, cry out and then He cast them out. When people went to hear Jesus preached, what they heard healed them.
If the enemy is not attacking or threatening you because of the message you preach (and live), then you are not a threat to him or his kingdom. The viper that attached itself to Paul’s hand didn’t just show up that day. It had been hidden for awhile. In Acts 27, God told Paul that He had given to him all 276 souls that sailed with him. Because of the storm, the ship fell apart, but every soul escaped – some on boards and some on broken pieces of the ship – and made it safe to land. In Acts 28, the church is now cold and I’m sure they were tired. Some storms take a lot out of people. They had strength, but it was little.
Now there was a fire, but it was low and about to go out. Paul gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire. If he hadn’t done this, the church would have died. Fire is an example of light. As long as the church was cold and sitting in darkness, the viper never moved because no one disturbed him, but the moment Paul brought light to the church, it attacked Paul. A viper bites when it is disturbed. The job of a viper is to do evil. It hates light so it will not go to the light in fear that its deeds will be exposed. It feels that because it doesn’t go to the light that the light should not come to it so when light does come, it gets angry and bites. Anything exposed to light becomes visible and Satan hates this because this means that he can longer hide and he can’t continue to operate in your life like he wants to. The fire of God is able to drive out every viper in your life. The fire of God is able to burn from the root every poison, sickness and venom that the viper deposited in your mind, body and in your family. When the Pharisees and Sadducees preached, no viper manifest because a viper was in them and if a viper casts out another viper, it is fighting against itself.
Paul was anointed to preach the gospel to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind and to set at liberty them that were bruised. What Paul was anointed to do was able to destroy what Satan did. Satan’s job was to destroy Paul so that Paul wouldn’t destroy his works, but when you obey God, your enemies become HIS enemies. The Lord will always fight for you. A great door has been opened to do the work of the Lord and many adversaries will come, many will work against you and opposition will come, but don’t take it personal. They aren’t opposing you. They are opposing God. They are fighting against Him, but they will never win.
The whole creation groans and labors in pain to be delivered from the bondage of corruption. They are waiting on the manifestation of the sons of God, but the sons of God can’t manifest until they are prepared and ready to deliver those that are bondage. God is making you ready. Sometimes you don’t like the training and the grooming, but you can’t learn how to fight the good fight of faith without there being a war. God is teaching your hands to war and your fingers to fight. He is teaching you what to say. He is teaching you how to pray. Put on the whole armor of God so that you will be able to stand and not fall. Be faithful to what God has called you to do. When opposition comes, the enemy wants you to get caught up on what you see. Your sight will convince you that you’re losing, but faith declares you have already won.
Let there be light (Genesis 1:3).
God brought you out of darkness into His marvelous light. You are the light of a dark world. Don’t let the attacks of the enemy dim your light. Those who walk in darkness don’t know where they are going so be the light that the world needs so that they can see.
Matthew 5:16 – Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
A couple of years ago, my supervisor wanted to promote me on the job. She saw the leader in me, but the problem was I couldn’t see it in myself. Yes, I wanted a promotion, I wanted a raise, I wanted a new home, and I wanted a better life, but I was afraid. I was afraid that I couldn’t do the job, that I wasn’t smart enough and that the people who would work under my supervision wouldn’t respect me. The supervisor believed in me so much that she told me what to do in order to get the job. She shared things with me that she didn’t share with others.
When it was time for promotion, I didn’t get the job because I didn’t follow her instructions. I had enough time to do it, but I didn’t do what she told me to do. A lot of people were promoted that day and I remember smiling and pretending to be happy for them, but I wasn’t. I was angry with myself, but I took it out on them. I was angry because I didn’t like my job and I didn’t like my pay, but it wasn’t their fault. It was my fault. God had given me an opportunity, the door was open and I had a choice.
In 2 Kings 7, there were four lepers sitting at the entrance of the gate. The bible doesn’t let us know how long they were sitting at the gate, but we know they had two choices. Either they sit at the outside of the gate and die or they go inside the city and die. They were sure they would die on the outside, but they weren’t sure if they would die on the inside. There was a possibility that the Syrian army might spare them, but they would never know what might happen until they went to the other side.
Faith is not waiting on God. Faith is walking in what you heard God said. God had already moved on their behalf, but the men would have never seen HIS move until they moved. The thing we are afraid of is not real. It was what these men thought that created their fears and it has been your thinking that has been keeping you in that situation for so long. You think you are going to fail. You think that you are not good enough. You think that nothing good will ever happen to you. You think that no one will ever want you or love you for you. You think you are not smart enough. These are all lies. It’s not the devil, your supervisor, the white man or the black man that has been your problem. It’s your thinking. You MUST read, study and meditate on the word of God and allow it to renew your mind. You are still doing things the old way. You still dwell on old thoughts (hurts, disappointments, the past, etc). It is those old things that keep you from enjoying new things. Some of us have gone through things that have torn down our minds and it is going to take the word of God – what HE says (not what they said) – to repair, renew and rebuild your mind.
God has heard your prayers, but has He seen your faith? Some of us are waiting on God, but God is waiting on us. Like these men, we are at the gate. We are on the brink. We are on the edge. On the other side of fear is the very thing you have been hoping for and praying for. One version of the bible states that as the men walked, the Lord caused the Syrian army to hear what sounded like chariots, horses and a great army. The Syrians were so afraid for their life that they didn’t pack anything. When they heard the noise, they fled and left their tents, horses, gold, silver, clothes, and food. All these good things were on the other side. God took care of the lepers and He will take care of you. He will accomplish what concerns you. God has turned the hearts of people on your behalf. The ones that want to tell you no are going to tell you yes. You will no longer be denied. This is how you have to think: Promotion does not come from the supervisor. It comes from the Lord. Whatever you believe is what you think is true – good or bad – so be careful what you think on. No one is saying that you will never be afraid of something, but at some point you have to get tired of your situation that you do something.
God has placed before you an open door that no man can shut. It’s not closed. It’s open. A door is created to walk through, but you are still sitting at an open door because you refuse to do what God told you to do. Some of the things God has asked us to do are simple, but we make it difficult because we really don’t want to forgive that person or we don’t want to sow that dollar amount God told us to give. You may have excuses why you can’t move, Moses, or you may have moved, but you moved in the opposite direction, Jonah, but in the end, you are going to do what God told you to do. No matter how far you run, His word runs very swiftly and you can’t outrun His word. When you obey God, you are not obeying Him just to get a spouse, a job or nice things. God is blessing you so that you can be a blessing to someone else. God may be giving you that new house to be used for bible study. God may be giving you a family (wife and children) to teach you how to lead. If you can’t lead at home, how can you lead at church (1 Timothy 3:5)? God may be giving you that raise so you can give more to support your pastors and to support the work of the church. We don’t always understand how God works, but know that He is using all things to work for good.
Romans 8:28 – And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to HIS purpose.
God has opened the prison doors. He delivered us from the power of darkness (Colossians 1:13). He stripped prison guards, rulers, forces and powers of their weapons. He defeated those who made you feel defeated. He brought to open shame those who tried to shame you (Colossians 2:15). You were sentenced to life in prison, but Jesus came and set every captive free. What bound you is now bound in prison. Jesus released you from sin, shame, guilt, depression and sickness. He destroyed every fetter and chain around your mind, neck, hands and feet. You are free.
But if this is true, why are we bound in certain areas of our lives? It is because we refuse to allow Jesus to complete in us what He completed on the cross. The good work has begun and God wants to complete it, but we refuse to be changed. Getting free was never the problem. That was the solution. Staying free has been the problem. There are a lot of people who want to be free or delivered from something, but they don’t want to let go of what keeps them from staying free.
We are not pigs. We are priests (Revelation 1:6; 1 Peter 2:9). Jesus didn’t clean us to return to mud again. He cleaned us so that we can stay clean. To get delivered, you had to put off something. Don’t put back on what you once put off. Don’t go back to what God brought you out of. If you want to go back to apologize to someone, then that’s fine, but don’t go back to stay. Move forward.
In Luke 6:13, Jesus called unto Himself disciples and out of those disciples He chose twelve who He named apostles. Jesus gave all of them (including Judas) the opportunity to change and to become what HE named them. Jesus left heaven to do the will of the Father (John 6:38). The disciples left their nets, houses, businesses, and families among other things. The reason why some of us haven’t left what God told us to leave is because we don’t trust His will. Another reason is because we think that we are losing something or missing out on something, but Jesus told Peter that if anyone left these things for His name and for the gospel that they would receive a hundred times more than what they left now on the earth and they will receive eternal life in the world to come (Mark 10:30).
To put on what God gave them, they had to put off something. It required change. Judas wanted to walk with Jesus and the other disciples and have a form of godliness, but he wasn’t ready to be godly. He refused to go further than what he could see. He loved himself more than he loved Christ. He loved pleasures more than he loved God. He wasn’t ready to leave his ways, his thoughts and his plans, but everything that Judas refused to kill eventually killed him. Peter had shortcomings, too. He messed up, but he didn’t wallow like a pig in guilt, shame and unworthiness. He left pride and admitted he was wrong. He left unforgiveness and forgave himself. He stopped focusing on what he did, turned and looked at what Christ did for him. When Peter changed, He was able to change lives (book of Acts).
In 2 Timothy 3, we are told what some men and women will be like in the last days. I don’t believe the writer was talking about the world. He was talking about the church. One of the characteristics he mentioned was that they would have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof (verse 5). Acts 1:8 tells us that we will receive power after the Holy Ghost is come upon us. When you receive power, you receive change, but instead of being willing to change, we have been pretending to have what we don’t have. We have been pretending to be what we’re not, but God wants us to become what we are pretending to be. We see people in our churches, homes, and neighborhoods that need change, but we can’t give them what we don’t have. To bring change, we must be changed. Jesus prayed to the Father and asked Him to give us another Helper (John 14:16). Let the Holy Spirit change your life so that other people’s lives can be changed.
Don’t resist change.