Month: November 2015
Have you ever felt hopeless? Have you ever felt like God lied? You’ve been in the same situation for years and it feels like no one can help you – not even God. You’ve read in scripture that you have been given power, but you feel powerless. You make a step forward only to go backwards again and you wonder, Will I ever get out of this situation? Will I ever be free from this bondage?
Peter was in prison. Herod the king had just killed James, the brother of John, and Peter was next on the list. The bible tells us that Peter was between two soldiers, he was bound with two chains (not to be confused with the rapper, 2 Chainz) and two guards guarded the door, but none of these things could keep him bound because what was in Him was greater than what is in the world. They may have been able to bind his hands and his feet, but they couldn’t bind his mind. They couldn’t get him to doubt God. Peter wasn’t worrying. He was sleeping (Acts 12:6). You will never get the things God has for you if you don’t believe. All things are possible to him that believe.
The scripture is true. All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose, but the reason why His purpose hasn’t been fulfilled in my life yet is because I don’t allow what I’m in to work for me because I feel like it is working against me. The tests, trials, challenges – whatever you want to call them – are designed to help you grow. They help to mature you and to develop you for the job you’ve been praying for, the spouse you’ve been praying for, the ministry God is calling you into, but you can’t fully mature when you quit or give up prematurely. I’ll admit it. I’ve been impatient. I want it now. Will I inherit the promises of God? Yes, but it will be through faith and patience (Hebrews 6:12).
But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing (James 1:4 KJV).
So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way (James 1:4 MSG).
Joseph was the man God sent. He was the man God chose to save his family. He was 17 when God gave him a dream, but the dream wasn’t fulfilled until he was 30 years old. Joseph remained a slave until he passed the test. When he passed the test – when he did what God told him to do – Pharaoh set him free and put him in charge of everything he owned (Psalm 105:17-20). God has already promised to bring us out of a thing, but we (not the devil) determine how long we stay in it. God is watching to see if He can trust you. He is watching to see how faithful you are over the few things He has given you. Can God trust you with what He owns? If you think that obeying God is hard, Hebrews 13:6 says that The Lord is your Helper and Philippians 2:13 tells us that God is at work in you and He helps you to obey Him.
I remember a dream I had about 20 years ago where the hand of a demon grabbed my ankle. It was a dream, but then again it wasn’t a dream. I felt its hand. I felt the tip of its fingernail, but in the dream, I escaped. At birth, Esau’s heel was grabbed by his brother. The enemy grabs your heel to pull you backwards, to hinder your progress, to keep you repeating the same sin(s), and to keep you from moving into the future God planned for you. He wants you to miss your blessing, miss your promotion, miss your husband/wife, etc, but you will not miss God and you will not miss what God has for you. In fact, whatever is missing in your life will return to you in Jesus name.
You are not hopeless or helpless. The enemy is trying to convince you that you will never do what God has called you to do and that you will never be who God says you are. He is trying to convince you that you will only go but so far in life, but God wants you to know that the prison door is open. Some of us have been in chains for so long that we’ve become used to them. We have become so focused on the chains that we don’t even recognize the Door (John 10:9), but if you will begin to obey God and not give up in the middle, the chains will fall off. Because things didn’t happen when we wanted them to happen, we think that nothing will happen at all, but that’s not true. Just as God desired to deliver Peter from the hand of Herod, He desires to deliver you from the hand of the enemy. He opened the prison door for Peter, but to come out of what he was in, Peter had to obey and follow every instruction the angel gave him. The heading in my bible for this passage of scripture reads “Peter Is Miraculously Released from Prison” and instructions always precede miracles.
There may be fetters around your mind or chains on your hands or chains on your feet, but Jesus came to set the captives free. What’s been hard for you is not too hard for God. The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is in you and is able to raise you up from any dead situation. You were taken captive by the devil to do his will, but you will come to your senses and you will escape what should have destroyed you.
The prison door is open and we are coming out!
I have a history of quitting. Some people press. I would quit. I have quit a marriage, several jobs and whatever else seemed “hard”. Sad to say, but it wasn’t too long ago that I was considering walking away from everything – including God, but I heard these words: Will you leave Me also?
In John 6:67, Jesus asked this same question, but He didn’t ask the ones He called. He asked the ones He had chosen (twelve disciples). When Jesus told the people that He was the Bread of life and unless they ate His flesh and drink His blood, life was not in them, they said, “This is a hard saying. Who can hear it?” They began to complain about what they didn’t understand and many disciples went back and walked with Him no more, but this didn’t take Jesus by surprise. He already knew who wouldn’t believe. But there are some of you that believe not (John 6:64). They stopped walking because they stopped believing and the reason they didn’t believe Him was because they didn’t know Him. They knew him according to the flesh, but not according to the spirit. Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that he says, I came down from heaven? But the chosen said, “We believe and are sure that You are that Christ, the Son of the living God” (John 6:69). The disciples came to the Son because the Father drew them, but no one was going to make them stay. Just as they had a choice, we also have a choice and God wants us to choose to trust Him even we don’t understand Him.
This is not the time to go back.
In Acts 27, there was a shipwreck. Before the storm, God promised Paul that no man would lose his life. What God said was important, but what Paul believed was even more important. Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me (Acts 27:25). All Paul had was God’s word and the word of God should be enough. When the ship fell apart, some of the prisoners swam. The rest were on boards and on broken pieces of the ship, but all of them made it safely to land. God never told Paul how they were going to make it to land. He just promised that they would.
God didn’t lie because He cannot lie. He always gives us a sure word, but our problem is we get discouraged because we don’t see land (destination) yet. We walk by faith, not by sight. I know it feels like you are barely holding on. I know it feels like you’re not going to make it, but use what you have and hold on to it. Hold on to the promise that God gave you. You have a choice, but don’t choose to drown. Choose to believe God. Don’t give up on God because He didn’t give up on you. The storm could have destroyed you, but He didn’t allow you to die. He spared you for a reason.
But even now I urge you to keep up your courage and be in good spirits, because there will be no loss of life among you, but only loss of the ship (Acts 27:22). The ship fell apart, but God didn’t allow the people to fall apart with it. I don’t know how long it took them to get to shore. All I know is that the storm couldn’t stop them. I don’t know how far they were from the shore, but what I do know is that they were closer than when they first began on the ship.
Simon Peter answered Jesus, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life”. This disciple knew what he left and he had no desire to go back to it. He tasted and he saw that the Lord was good. He had a relationship and God wants us to be as committed to Him as Simon Peter was. Simon Peter made up in his mind that He was going to be faithful and endure to the end. And let me make this clear: Just because you faithfully attend church, doesn’t mean that you faithfully obey the Head of the church. Christ calls us His bride and He is faithful to His bride. He promised to never leave us. He is with us – for better, for worse – and He is not going to leave us until He has done what He promised (Genesis 28:15). So take your boards, your broken pieces and don’t use them to draw back, but use them to draw closer to God.
There was a queen by the name of Athaliah. According to scripture, she was the daughter of Ahab (2 Kings 8:18). Ahab’s wife was Jezebel. Jezebel was subtil, crafty and cunning as a serpent. She was like the hidden viper that fastened itself on Paul’s hand. If you thought Jezebel was bad, her daughter was worse. 2 Chronicles 24:7 calls her “that wicked woman”. Jezebel trained up her child in the way she should go. What spirit is training up your child(ren)?
When Athaliah’s husband and son were killed, she immediately sat on the throne, but she wasn’t supposed to be the queen. She operates out of the same spirit as Lucifer. I will set up (exalt) my throne above the stars of God (Isaiah 14:13). So how did she get this position? She murdered the male children including her own grandsons. Can you believe that? She went after innocent children. This is why it is so important to cover your children in prayer, cover them in the blood of Jesus, teach them what the Lord taught you and discipline them as the Lord disciplined you. Not only was she a murderer, but she was a destiny assassin. This spirit is very jealous of your future and your destiny. According to Jeremiah 29:11, God has given you hope and a future, but it is the devil’s job to try to rob you of that future because your future looks better than his. There will be no future for the wicked (Psalm 37:38).
In the meantime, a priest named Jehoiada started plotting Athaliah’s death. You see, Athaliah thought she won. She thought her plan worked. She thought she knew everything, but what she didn’t know was that she didn’t kill all of the descendants. She didn’t destroy the future generations. Jehoiada and his wife kept her grandson hidden for six years. God spared him and just as He hid Joash, God protected and hid you for His purpose. While Joash was in hiding, the priest trained him up and anointed him as king.
Athaliah reigned for six years, but in the seventh year, unexpected destruction came upon her. The people of God tolerated this spirit to control them for six years, but somebody finally got tired of it. Jehoiada had enough. He gathered the people of God together and they were on one accord to bring this spirit down. Every man had his own weapon (2 Chron 23:10). Unity is a weapon. If two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven (Matthew 18:19). They defeated Athaliah by keeping the watch of the Lord (2 Chron 23:6). Watch and pray so you can pass the test when it comes. Intercession is a weapon. When Jesus said, “If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, you shall ask what you will and it will be done for you” (John 15:7), He could boldly state this because He knew that anything you asked would be according to HIS words that are abiding in you.
Another weapon that defeated this spirit was praise. The people didn’t wait until she died to rejoice. Before Athaliah died, the people rejoiced. Athaliah heard the people running and praising the king. She heard the trumpets, the singers and the instruments. Just as they were given weapons, we were given weapons and our weapons are mighty and powerful enough to pull down every stronghold.
Once they were set free from this spirit, everything that was stolen from them was fully restored. But when he (the thief) is caught, he must pay seven times as much as he stole (Proverbs 6:31). The vessels that Athaliah stole out of the temple of God to use in the temple of Baal for sacrifice were restored back to the house of the Lord. The rightful heir was restored to the throne. Worship was restored. Joy was restored.
This spirit comes after prophets, leaders and mighty men and women of God. It comes after those who are chosen by God, but the good news is that the devil couldn’t stop God’s plan then and he can’t stop it now. It doesn’t matter what Athaliah did and it doesn’t matter what she said because the LORD SAID that Joash shall reign (2 Chronicles 23:3).
What happened in the past didn’t cancel what is about to happen in the future. You will live by every word that God said. God has not canceled the words He has spoken concerning you. The only way the devil can win is if you quit. You may have missed out on some things in the past, but you will not miss your future. You will not know failure. Embarrassment and shame will not come to your door. Those that wish you evil and seek after your soul to destroy it shall be ashamed, confounded, driven backward and put to shame (Psalm 40:14). Every plot and assignment of the enemy sent to cut off your future shall be cut off in the name of Jesus.
Don’t envy evil men, but continue to reverence the Lord all the time, for surely you have a wonderful future ahead of you. There is hope for you yet! ~ Proverbs 23:18 (TLB)