PURIM: Standing Against the Modern Day Spirit of Haman

In closing this three day Purim series I want to continue off of yesterday’s post on standing with Israel and the Jewish people. We looked at how walking in THE BLESSING is connected with standing with the Jews and how we can walk in higher levels of revelation when we embrace our Jewish roots. That is the first half of being aligned with the Jewish people and the nation of Israel. The second half is being willing to stand up to Anti-Semitism.

From members of Congress using Anti-Semitic tropes and not being willing to affirm Israel’s right to exist, to the growing BDS (Boycott, Divest, and Sanction) movement, to hate crimes and terrorist attacks against Israel, Anti-Semitism is on the rise around the world.

We all know to be silent in the face of evil is evil itself. We have all heard the quote, “the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” We can become overwhelmed with what I or you can do with such a big problem. The truth is, if each one of us does what we can do, we can bring change.

There will always be Anti-Semitism. The devil hates God’s chosen people. Pharaoh killed all babies two and under but Moses still came. Herod killed babies two and under but an Angel warned Joseph and he escaped with Mary and Jesus. Is it any wonder that the majority of democrats are now openly supporting abortion up to the moment of birth. The devil has always been after children, that’s why he presented Molech to the people. Of course now we’re sophisticated, we don’t offer our babies to idols, we just believe in women’s right to choose. New name, same demon.

When a government leader says Anti-Semitic things, call them out on it. If you see a Jew being verbally harassed, step in. Send condolence cards to local Synagogues after a terrorist attack. All this goes for any people group or religion. We don’t have to agree with one another to be decent people.

The bottom line is, God isn’t going to ask us about others, He will ask me what I did. He will ask if I prayed for the peace of Jerusalem like Scripture instructs. He will ask if I followed through with the understanding He revealed to me about Jewish roots. What He asks me and what He asks you will be different in some ways, but He will ask each of us what we did.

In whatever way you can, stand up to Anti-Semitism and pray against things like replacement theology and the BDS movement. In these last days Gentiles who are open to the voice of the Lord will be drawn to a Jew (Zechariah 8:23). Christians will begin to hunger for the Jewish roots of their faith. Don’t ignore that, don’t push it aside and don’t buy the lie that we have replaced the Jews or the Old Testament is not relevant to Christians. Don’t expect God to shout it at you, although He may at first. Listen for His still small voice, pay attention to the little nudges, and the books that you always seem to find in the bookstore.

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PURIM: Why Christians Should Stand With Jews

Five years ago this Passover the Lord started me on a journey of understanding the Jewish roots of Christianity. Space doesn’t permit me to retell the story here but I will say that understanding the Jewish roots and learning to understand the Bible from a Hebrew perspective has absolutely deepened my relationship with Jesus.

The story of Purim is a story of turnaround, deliverance and favor for the Jewish people. Yet this story is not just about the Jews but us as well.

Esther 2:26-27 NASB “Therefore they called these days Purim after the name of Pur. And because of the instructions in this letter, both what they had seen in this regard and what had happened to them, the Jews established and made a custom for themselves and for their descendants and for all those who allied themselves with them, so that they would not fail to celebrate these two days according to their regulation and according to their appointed time annually.”

And for all those who allied themselves with them. Replacement theology is not the truth. The Church has not replaced Israel, we have been grafted in to Israel.

Romans 11:16-18 NASB “If the first piece of dough is holy, the lump is also; and if the root is holy, the branches are too. But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you.”

Galatians 3:6-14 NASB “Even so Abraham BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, ” ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU. ” So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer. For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, ” CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT ABIDE BY ALL THINGS WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, TO PERFORM THEM.” Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, ” THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, ” HE WHO PRACTICES THEM SHALL LIVE BY THEM.” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us-for it is written, ” CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE “- in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”

As Christians are root is Jewish and our way of thinking is not of this world (Greek thinking) but to think as God does, Hebraically. In Esther it says all those who allied themselves with the Jews celebrated. To be allied with the Jews doesn’t just mean to support their right to exist and to stand for Israel as their homeland and a undivided Jerusalem, all though those things are important. From a Christian perspective it is deeper than that. We recognize Jesus and His disciples were Jewish and that Paul never offended the law (Acts 25:8).

To be allied with the Jews is to understand that we are one new man. The feasts of the Old Testament are God’s feasts and they are appointed times with Him to be celebrated by Jews and Christians. If you think I am stepping into legalism here, let me say, you are free not to celebrate, but you are missing out on a BLESSING.

Zechariah 8:23 NASB “Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘In those days ten men from all the nations will grasp the garment of a Jew (the corners of the prayer shawl), saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”‘”

When we stand for the nation of Israel, we are standing for the Word of God. When we embrace our Jewish roots we are walking in the fullness of the Word’s truth.

THE BLESSING is THE BLESSING of Abraham. Part of that BLESSING is I will BLESS those that BLESS you and I will curse those who curse you. Some may say, in Jesus we are not cursed and that is true. Yet, when the Church separated from its Jewish root that is when the doctrine of poverty and lack came in. When we separated from our root the idea that God gives sickness to teach us came in. When we read Deuteronomy twenty eight, we see a clear picture of what THE BLESSING is and what the curse is. Sin, sickness, poverty, strained relationships, disease, debt and everything bad is a curse. Many may be saved but they aren’t living in the reality of THE BLESSING. Much of that took root when the Church divorced itself from the root of Judaism.

I’m not saying Christians have to become Jewish, we are one new man in Jesus. What I am saying is there is BLESSING when we BLESS Israel and there is thirty, sixty, one hundred fold harvest when we give during the appointed feast times.

THE BLESSING is not a legalistic thing, it’s all about relationship. The Amplified Bible in 2 Corinthians 9:7 says, “Let each one [give] as he has made up his own mind and purposed in his heart, not reluctantly or sorrowfully or under compulsion, for God loves (He takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon or to do without) a cheerful (joyous, “prompt to do it”) giver [whose heart is in his giving]. [Prov. 22:9.]”

Connecting with our Jewish roots is all about our relationship with Jesus. Tithing and giving is all about love and relationship. Purim and Chanukah allow us to stand with our Jewish brothers and sisters and celebrate with them. Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles allow us and are appointed for us to go from faith to faith and glory to glory.

As you read the book of Esther, as you pray through it, ask Holy Spirit to give you a revelation of the Jewish roots and a love for Israel. Take some time and read other teaching on the blog about Jewish roots and check out the recommended reading page to learn more.

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PURIM: Supernatural Turnaround, Deliverance & Favor

In celebration of the Feast of Purim, we are going to take three days and look at different aspects of the Book of Esther and what it held for the time it happened and what it means for Christians today. We will not be able to look at every verse and chapter, so I encourage you to take time and read and pray through the book of Esther this week.

THE BEGINNING AND THE SHIFTING:

King Ahasuerus was hosting a banquet and everyone was having a good time. As usual, much wine was being consumed. Esther 1:10-12, 19-20 NASB “On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar and Carkas, the seven eunuchs who served in the presence of King Ahasuerus, to bring Queen Vashti before the king with her royal crown in order to display her beauty to the people and the princes, for she was beautiful. But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s command delivered by the eunuchs. Then the king became very angry and his wrath burned within him. (19-20) If it pleases the king, let a royal edict be issued by him and let it be written in the laws of Persia and Media so that it cannot be repealed, that Vashti may no longer come into the presence of King Ahasuerus, and let the king give her royal position to another who is more worthy than she. When the king’s edict which he will make is heard throughout all his kingdom, great as it is, then all women will give honor to their husbands, great and small.””

With Queen Vashti’s refusal we see the hidden hand of God at work. Esther is the only book in the TANAKH (The Hebrew Bible) that does not mention God’s name, yet, throughout the story we see His hand moving things behind the scenes to protect and favor His people.

Because she refused the king’s request a search was made for a new queen. A Jew named Mordecai told Hadassah (Esther) his uncle’s daughter to go the process of preparation and not tell anyone who she was. Esther found favor with the king and was made queen.

THE HAND OF GOD FOR FUTURE FAVOR:

Esther 2:21-23 NASB “In those days, while Mordecai was sitting at the king’s gate, Bigthan and Teresh, two of the king’s officials from those who guarded the door, became angry and sought to lay hands on King Ahasuerus. But the plot became known to Mordecai and he told Queen Esther, and Esther informed the king in Mordecai’s name. Now when the plot was investigated and found to be so, they were both hanged on a gallows; and it was written in the Book of the Chronicles in the king’s presence.”

This interruption to the story is another setup by the hidden hand of God to protect and favor His people. This plot against the king is interrupted by a Jew and because of this the enemies plot against the Jews later doesn’t quite turn out like he wanted.

THE PLOT, THE PLAN, AND THE PLEA:

After that event the king decides to promote a man named Haman. Haman becomes enraged at the fact Mordecai won’t bow to him so he has the king write a decree to kill all the Jews. The decree is sent out and the Jews are in distress. When Esther finds out about the decree she instructs Mordecai to have all the Jews fast for three days.

In the midst of facing death, before Esther springs into action she calls for a fast. Stop and think about that. How many of us when we are going through a much less stressful situation just operate in our own strength and understanding? Fasting puts our flesh in line. That place in line is second to our spirit man. Fasting enables us to get the mind of God on a matter. When you’re facing a big decision or an unexpected situation, don’t let your emotions take over, put them under the control of your spirit man.

THE BANQUET AND THE FLIPPED SCRIPT

Esther put her life on the line by going to see the king without an invitation but she obtained favor and the king extended the golden scepter. The king asked her what she requested and she asked that the king and Haman attend a banquet she would host. When Haman heard of the invitation his pride went through the roof and he bragged to his friends. Scripture says pride goes before the fall and Haman is about to find that out.

The night before the banquet the king can’t sleep so he asks the records be read to him, because that will definitely put you to sleep. It just so happened that the story of Mordecai was read. The king asked if anything had ever been done to honor him and nothing had been done.

The King wanted to ask how to honor someone and it just so happened that Haman was in the courtyard. The story picks up in Esther 6:6-12 NASB “So Haman came in and the king said to him, “What is to be done for the man whom the king desires to honor?” And Haman said to himself, “Whom would the king desire to honor more than me?” Then Haman said to the king, “For the man whom the king desires to honor, let them bring a royal robe which the king has worn, and the horse on which the king has ridden, and on whose head a royal crown has been placed; and let the robe and the horse be handed over to one of the king’s most noble princes and let them array the man whom the king desires to honor and lead him on horseback through the city square, and proclaim before him, ‘Thus it shall be done to the man whom the king desires to honor.'” Then the king said to Haman, “Take quickly the robes and the horse as you have said, and do so for Mordecai the Jew, who is sitting at the king’s gate; do not fall short in anything of all that you have said.” So Haman took the robe and the horse, and arrayed Mordecai, and led him on horseback through the city square, and proclaimed before him, “Thus it shall be done to the man whom the king desires to honor.” Then Mordecai returned to the king’s gate. But Haman hurried home, mourning, with his head covered.”

That is one of my favorite parts of this whole story. Mordecai didn’t seek an honor for what he did but it was bestowed on him anyway. Not only was he honored but Haman was taken down a few pegs as well.

Even with this setback Haman still had the banquet to look forward to.

THE FALLOUT AND THE FAVOR

At the banquet Esther finally asked the king of her request, the life of her people. Haman is hanged on the gallows he had prepared for Mordecai. Things have definitely turned around. The Jews have been delivered from the plot of the enemy but God doesn’t stop there. Esther 8:1-2 NASB “On that day King Ahasuerus gave the house of Haman, the enemy of the Jews, to Queen Esther; and Mordecai came before the king, for Esther had disclosed what he was to her. The king took off his signet ring which he had taken away from Haman, and gave it to Mordecai. And Esther set Mordecai over the house of Haman.”

TURNAROUND! PLUNDER! FAVOR! Just a few days ago their lives are being threatened and now, not only is the guy who threatened them hanging from his own gallows, on top of that Mordecai is given his house, his possessions and his position!

And God doesn’t stop there. The king issued a second decree that the Jews could defend themselves against anyone who would try to kill them.

FINAL THOUGHTS

We may not always sense or see how God is moving in our lives but the story of Esther is a reminder of the hidden hand of God in our lives. Romans 8:28 tells us that all things work together for the good of them that love God and are called according to His purpose.

As I said in the beginning of this post, read and pray through Esther. Be encouraged by the goodness of God in this story. Pull away in prayer and fasting over your situation and expect to receive the mind of God on it.

Purim is a time to remember and celebrate the miraculous protection of God’s people, the deliverance from the plot of the enemy and the favor of God in any situation. Not just any type of favor but favor you couldn’t dream of without His influence.

Get in the Word concerning deliverance, protection and favor this week. Expect God to move on your behalf this week. Expect freedom and favor! Expect abundant harvest!

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Part 4: Faith Stops At The Question Mark

Hebrews 11:6 MEV “And without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that He exists and that He is a rewarder of those that seek Him.”

Matthew 6:33 AMPC “But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.”

John 10:10 AMPC “The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).”

Read those Scriptures again. Go ahead and get your Bible and turn to them and highlight or underline them. Let those Scriptures mark your thinking, not only for this study but from this day forward.

The title of this post is faith stops at the question mark. That is why I started with those three Scriptures, we have to understand that God’s will is good. From the very beginning God made a distinction between THE BLESSING and the curse. THE BLESSING is good and the curse is bad.

From the start the enemy has brought about confusion concerning this. Have you ever heard the phrase, “blessing in disguise”, or something like God used this tragedy to teach me. Those statements are beliefs in the curse and a rejection of THE BLESSING. No parent would wish ill on their child, yet many Christians have bought the lie of the enemy that bad things are “blessings in disguise”.

The will of God and the purpose of Jesus’s death and resurrection is made clear in Psalm 103:1-5 NKJV “Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

That is the will of God for our lives and this is where are faith is based from. When we let questions contrary to the Word of God run through our minds our faith stops. When questions like; will God heal me or thoughts of; I don’t need a raise, I’m able to meet my obligations or everyone in my family has lived pay check to pay check, why should I be any different? When we allow those thoughts and questions to be the prominent voice in our minds are faith stops. Worse yet, when the enemy says someone is so far gone that we quit standing for their salvation.

Faith stops at the question mark. How do we get rid of the questions? How do we stop ourselves from doubting?

2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

Philippians 4:8 NKJV “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”

Meditate on the Word of God and put out everything that is not in line with it. Make a quality decision right now as you’re reading this post that you are not stopping at the question mark anymore. Get in the Word and get it deep down on the inside of you. Meditate on the Word till it becomes louder than every other voice and thought and then DON’T QUIT! Don’t become lax in your faith. Get your eyes on the Word and declare it out of your mouth.

Faith stops at the question mark but it flourishes when our eyes are on the Word and the Word is on our lips. Believe the goodness of God, believe the love of God and walk in all the promises of God.

Keys to overcoming the question mark:

Make the Word of God your top priority. Go to the Word first.

Listen to teaching in the car and keep it playing at night. Your spirit is being fed.

Train yourself to talk the promise and not the problem. Retraining ourselves to talk the Word is a process but it can be done. We just have to stay on it, we can’t afford to lay it aside for one second.

Get books on the areas your believing for and look up Scriptures. Get your mind settled on the Word of God.

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Part 3: Where Faith Begins

Hebrews 11:6 MEV “And without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that He exists and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him”.

Believing that God exists is more than believing there is a God. God revealed Himself to Moses as the “I AM” which in Hebrew means; I am who I am, I will be what I will be, and I create whatever I will create. In Exodus 33:18-19 MEV “Then Moses said, “I pray, show me Your glory.” Then He (God) said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy”.

Believing God is the first step of faith. But what exactly are we to believe? Believe in His goodness, believe He is a rewarder, and believe that He is creator.

We can take this further by looking at the “I AM” statements of Jesus found in John.
I AM the bread of life (John 6:35).
I AM the light of the world (John 8:12).
I AM the door (John 10:9).
I AM the true vine (John 15:1).
I AM the good shepherd (John 10:11).
I AM the resurrection and the life (John 11:25).
I AM the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6).
This post doesn’t allow for the time to dive deep into those seven sayings but it does give us an overview of the absolute goodness of who God is, the goodness that past before Moses.

Faith begins where the will of God is known. I first heard that statement from Kenneth Copeland and later read it in F. F. Bosworth’s classic book, Christ the healer. I also heard Brother Copeland make this statement, “The will of God is found in the Word of God because the Word of God is the will of God.

The most basic part of faith is knowing what God’s Word says on a subject. Romans 10:17 MEV “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God”.

The Word of God is our standard. Jesus told the Pharisees they nullified the power of the Word through traditions. The Church has developed various traditions that don’t stand when out to the Word. Things like God gives or allows sickness to teach us, poverty is a sign of humility, your body and mind weaken with age, no makeup, no movies, etc. Some things started from a desire of holiness and went off into the ditch. Other things were utter lies from the enemy to steal God’s blessing from His people and slow down Kingdom advancement.

We must come to a place where the Word of God is our final authority. Let’s look at a few Scriptures.

Isaiah 53:1, 4-5 MEV “Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? Surely he has borne our grief and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed”.

2 Corinthians 4:18 MEV “while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal (subject to change), but the things which are not seen are eternal”.

2 Chronicles 20:20b NKJV “Believe in the LORD your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.

Isaiah 55:11 MEV “so shall My word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it”.

Take some time and read Proverbs chapter three and four. Begin flooding your mind and heart with the Word of God. Read it and study it continually. Get some good books to help settle your mind on God’s Word. The Word of God is the will of God for your life. Listen to good teaching that shows you who you are in Christ and teaches you how to claim God’s promises. Spend time reading through the book of Ephesians, read it again and again, meditate on it and get it down on the inside, so it can spring up and bring life.

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Part 2: Four Soils for Faith

As we continue in our faith series, we are going to look at the four soils for faith found in Mark chapter four. In Matthew’s account of the story in the Amplified Classic it says the same kind of seed. This teaching has nothing to do with the seed but the soil it is planned in. The Word of God has the ability to work the same for everybody, it’s what we do (or don’t do) with the Word that affects the outcome.

Let’s read Mark 4:3-12, then we will dig into the explanation. Mark 4:3-12 MEV ““Listen! And take note: A sower went out to sow. As he sowed, some seed fell beside the path, and the birds of the air came and devoured it. Some seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and soon it sprang up because it did not have deep soil. But when the sun rose, it was scorched. And because it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. And other seed fell on good ground, and it yielded grain that sprang up and increased by thirty, sixty, or a hundred times as much.” Then He said to them, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” When He was alone, those who were around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable. He said to them, “To you is given the secret of the kingdom of God, but to those who are outside, everything is said in parables, so that ‘seeing they may see, and not perceive, and hearing they may hear and not understand; lest they should turn, and their sins be forgiven them.’ ””

Now before we move into the explanation, I want us to take not of a few things. The seed sown on rocky ground did not have much soil and it sprang up quickly because it did not have deep soil, it had no roots. I mentioned in part one that a big key in faith is to continually hear and feed on the Word. Jesus said we needed to abide in the Word. That is key to being good soil.

Mark 4:13-20 MEV “Then He said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? The sower sows the word. These are those beside the path, where the word is sown. But when they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word which is sown in their hearts. Others, likewise, are seed sown on rocky ground, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness, but have no root in themselves, and so endure for a time. Afterward, when affliction or persecution rises for the word’s sake, immediately they fall away. And others are seed sown among thorns, the ones who hear the word. But the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. Still others are seed sown on good ground, those who hear the word, and receive it, and bear fruit: thirty, sixty, or a hundred times as much.”

The first soil that is mentioned is “those beside the path”. Keep in mind what we saw last time, that faith is not just a salvation thing, but a everyday lifestyle. The just shall live by faith (Habakkuk 2:4). If you are beside the path, you aren’t fully committed to walking by faith in every area. Jesus said the enemy comes immediately to take away the Word. If we are not committed to the life of faith and committed to walking by the Word, everything we hear of it will be stolen from us.
The second soil is rocky ground. Verses sixteen and seventeen again. “Seed sown on rocky ground, who, when they hear the word, immediately, receive it with gladness, but have no root in themselves, and so endure for a time. Afterward, when affliction or persecution rises for the word’s sake, immediately they fall away”.

Thayer says that this group of people have “but a superficial experience of divine truth, has not permitted it to make its way into the uttermost recesses of his soul.” We could say you love the emotion of Church but don’t want the commitment of the lifestyle.

What happens? They received it with joy. The problem is, they have no root, no depth of the Word. Afterward, affliction and persecution comes because of the Word. We have to realize that we have an enemy and he is not going to let us receive and walk in the promises of God without a fight.

The word affliction is Strong’s #2346 meaning pressure and trouble. The enemy will put something in your path to see if you really believe. You heard a message on healing so the next morning you wake up with a headache, do you really believe? Are you going to confess the word or go get an aspirin? The enemy will hit us with little things just to see if and where we stand.

Persecution has a root of Strong’s #1169 meaning timidity or fear. This is where the rubber meets the road with faith. How many times have we heard that life and death are in the power of the tongue and the enemy comes and says, do you realize how stupid you sound confessing all that stuff, look at your life, you don’t have any of that. Vision board!? Ha, you can never have that, you can never accomplish that. Instead of responding WITH THE WORD and saying, I am not moved by sight and faith takes it we can become intimidated by his words and fearful of what others will think of what we say or what we are believing for.

Full faith, which will get to in a moment, doesn’t allow for fear and intimidation. Kenneth Copeland says, “fear tolerated is faith contaminated”. That really hits home. The more depth of Word we get in us the less we will be intimidated by the enemy. The verse goes on to say that because of (pressure, trouble, fear and intimidation), they fall away, they give up. As an example must of us will give more time for an aspirin to work, taking it every four hours, giving that more time than the Word. I’m not saying it’s wrong to take an aspirin, I’m just giving a comparison. We should be willing to endure with the Word much longer than the amount of time we give an aspirin to work.

The third soil is sown among thorns. Once again they hear the Word but all the things around them distract them from the Word. All those things take the attention away from the Word and choke it and it becomes unfruitful.

The word choke is Strong’s #4846 meaning to strangle completely, to drown and to crowd out.

What did Jesus say, you made the Word to have no affect because of your traditions. We have traditions of taking the news over the Word. We have so many different traditions that can negate the Word. The noises and influences around us can choke out the Word.

So many times we buy the lie that everything is up to God and whatever happens is in some way God’s will and if not His will, somehow a part of His plan. After all, all things work together for good. That’s true. Debt however, is not good, families splitting up is not good, sickness is not good. According to our faith we receive. Many of us, myself included can become uncomfortable thinking that my life depends on my ability to believe in what Jesus accomplished for me.

Even though Jesus accomplished everything, we have to be in union with it. We have to act on it by faith. That’s what good ground is all about, that is where thirty, sixty, one hundred fold comes from. To be good ground you must hear the Word, receive it and bear fruit.

Matthew 13:23 MEV “But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the Word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit. Some produce a hundred, sixty or thirty times that which was sown”.

The word understands is Strong’s #4920 meaning to put together and act upon. Remember James says that he will show you faith by his actions and that faith without works (corresponding action) is dead. It has a root of #4862 meaning to be in union with, to resemble and make application.

To be good soil of the Word means to put it into action. Look at Mark 4:28 “first the blade, then the head, then the full seed in the head.” That’s thirty, sixty, one hundred. Faith has to be a progression, it grows. We are all dealt the measure of faith, yes, it’s as small as a mustard seed but when you plant a mustard seed it grows into a huge tree. The problem for many people is they are walking around with a small seed and wonder why it isn’t working, you have to plant the seed! You plant the seed by getting the Word in you and you harvest with your words!

Yes, it will take time to build up your faith but don’t let that stop you. Start where you are. Plant your seed, water it. Meditate on the Word, declare it, right out confessions, listen to teachings to build your faith. Don’t allow pressure, trouble, timidity and fear to keep you a pile of rocks. Let your roots go deep in the Word, wash out traditions of man with the Word. The enemy may be trying to choke out the truth of the Word, he may be drowning you with worry and what ifs but you can take hold of the word and put him under water before he puts you under water, amen.

Meditate on the Word, find Scriptures for your situations, that will break up the ground and make your spirit good soil and your mind will be renewed and the Word will begin to produce. Don’t get discouraged; first the blade, then the head, then the full seed in the head. Review Romans four and be determined in your growth of faith.

*Quote from Thayer in the ‘WUEST Word Studies of the Greek New

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Part 1: What is Faith?

When we ask the question what is faith, many of us probably think of Hebrews 11:1. My mind always goes to the Amplified Classic, “NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].”

We will look at Hebrews 11:1 a little latter but faith is first mentioned twice in the Old Testament. Deuteronomy 32:20 NKJV “And He said, ‘I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end will be, for they are a perverse generation, Children in whom there is no faith’.

Well, that was Israel. Yes, and many times that is us also. The other place faith is used is Habakkuk 2:4 NKJV “Behold the proud, His soul is not upright within him; but the just shall live by his Faith.”

Faith is not just a salvation thing. Abraham believed God (had faith) concerning leaving his father’s house, having a son, inheriting land, and much more. Everyone mentioned in Hebrews eleven had faith for many different things and different journeys with God.

Faith is the Hebrew word, Emunah (Strong’s 529/530) means to believe and trust, it is where we get Amen. It also has a meaning of firmness, security and stability.

With this definition in mind look at James 1:2-8 NKJV “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”

We are all very quick to say we have faith, sometimes our understanding of faith doesn’t leave the area of salvation. Throughout His ministry, Jesus said things like; according to your faith be it done unto you and your faith has made you whole. Faith is something that is part of every area of our lives. Paul told us to examine ourselves to see if we are truly in faith (2 Corinthians 13:5).

Before we dive into what faith is, we have to acknowledge that knowing a definition is not the same as living in faith, being saved does not mean we have come to the ability to trust God concerning our family, finances, health and relationships. All these areas require faith and we may be on different levels of faith in all these areas.

Romans 10:17 says faith comes by hearing and hearing comes by the Word of God. We can only have faith if we are hearing the Word of God. If we are hearing negativity, sickness and lack we will have ‘faith’ for those things instead of what God’s Word says we can have.

This year I want us to build our faith to walk in and receive the promises of God in our lives. Yesterday I was watching a broadcast with Pastors George and Terri Pearsons and Pastor Terri said the following, “You have to believe against the Word for it to not automatically begin to produce in your life. When you’re seeking the Kingdom and putting the Word in your life, there are certain things it will do for you just because you are seeking God. But if you set yourself against it, to believe against it, if you don’t believe you are supposed to prosper, you have set yourself against the Word concerning prosperity. It will shut it down, it won’t work for you. It’s a reverse faith. You set yourself against the production of the Word.” She went on to say and I’m not quoting here because I didn’t get it all down word for word. You can understand God wants you blessed but you hear the Word like, God would like you to be blessed, He would like you to be debt free, He would like you to be healed. At that point our faith needs to come up. Turn your faith to the Word and on purpose agree with it. It will produce for you. It will release the activity and productivity for you.

Isaiah 55:11 NKJV “So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; It shall not return unto Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

Psalm 107:20 says, He sent His Word and healed them and delivered them from destruction. God’s Word is healing. Debt and lack destroy, the Word delivers from that. addiction destroys, the Word delivers from that.

As we go through this series we will look at no faith, weak faith, little faith and great faith. Determine right now that you are going to grow in faith this year. Determine right now that you will immerse yourself in the Word concerning what you are believing for. Determine right now you are not going to talk and think contrary to what the Word says about your situation. Say 2019 is my year to walk in the spirit of faith. My faith is going higher this year as I become immersed in the Word and build my faith. I am a believer, I am a receiver and 2019 is my year to live in the spirit of faith and receive my abundant harvest and see signs, marvels and manifestations of the greatness of my God. I am leaving the past season, I am leaving wrong thinking and I am moving forward in faith.

Now, let’s look at Hebrews 11:1 AMPC “NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].”

Faith is Strong’s #4102: persuasion, credence, conviction, assurance and belief. It has a root of #3982: to agree, have confidence, to obey and to make friend.

With that in mind, read the verse again and ask Holy Spirit to speak to your heart. Ask to have a deep conviction of the truth, reality and integrity of the Word of God. Ask that each time you read, you become more convinced of the Word than the world. God’s truth can override any fact of the world on any day of the week.
What is faith? The assurance, our confirmation and title deed that every promise in the Word of God belongs to us!

Romans 4:17-21 NKJV “(as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.”

What do we see about faith from this passage?

1. We call those things that are not as though they are. If you’re sick you declare your healing. If you’re family member is not saved you declare they are coming to the Lord. (V.17)

2. He believed what he heard God speak. (V.18)

3. His faith wasn’t weak because he didn’t look at the facts, he kept his mind on what God said. (V.19)

4. He did not waiver through unbelief but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God. (V.20)

5. He was fully convinced that God could and would do what He said. (V.21)

Faith is not something haphazard, we have to be consistent in our thinking and in our speaking and if we fall off our faith, we repent and get back to the Word.

Faith is not easy or automatic, most of us probably think negative before we go positive. We need to get in the Word and change that. We must renew our minds with the Word of God.

Hebrews 11:1 says that faith is the proof of things we do not see. This is key to our development in our faith walk. Like Abraham we must become more convinced by the Word of God than our circumstances.

Take time this week to read Romans four and Hebrews eleven. Read it over and over and begin to build your faith. One of the biggest pitfalls in our faith walk is that we can think because we have already heard something that we are good in that area. Faith comes by hearing, not having heard. We must continually feed on the Word to keep our faith levels high.

Make confessing the Word a daily priority. Find Scriptures on what you are believing for and mark them in your Bible. Read them and declare them daily. Study them out and get them down deep in your spirit so that you will not waiver.

I am believing for great things this year as we not only grow in faith but begin receiving the promises by faith. Be expectant everyday. Declare the prophetic words of 2019 everyday. Declare the Scriptures everyday. And everyday, thank God that what you are believing for is manifesting in your life.

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Preparations to Walk by Faith

Faith is a topic most of us would say we have a pretty good grasp on. Faith as it concerns our religious beliefs, believing God for something or trusting him though a situation. Last summer the Lord spoke a theme for 2019, “The Spirit of Faith”.

The central theme throughout 2019 will be learning how to become consistent in our faith. Many of us know certain verses on faith or verses to go to about certain things. Our problem lies in not consistently speaking the Word and remaining in faith. It’s easy to get discouraged or distracted and get off our faith.

Hebrews 6:11-12 NLT “Our greatest desire is that what you hope for will come true. (12) Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance.”

James 1:5-8 NKJV “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”

When we become dull and indifferent we cannot be in faith. Faith has to be consistent, tenacious, unrelenting in the face of every attack and unwilling to quit and give up.

Faith doesn’t give room to doubt. Faith doesn’t give room for what if it doesn’t work. It is through faith and endurance, many of us have faith for a few weeks but past that we haven’t built up our endurance. Well how do I build up my endurance? See, this is the part of our faith life that in 2019, we’re going to get serious about. This blog, all year is going to be about teaching us how to endure through trial to push through till we get our breakthrough.

Scripture is clear, a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. Many of us are double- minded in the way we talk. The Church of today by and large believe it is foolishness to put emphasis on our words. Preachers and believers alike make fun of “name it, claim it” and “grab it, blab it”. There have been plenty who have truly done that with no faith at all or in a spirit of rebellion and mockery. Don’t let that take away from the truth found all throughout your Bible, especially in the book of Proverbs.

Many of us become double-minded because people around us call into question the goodness of God. People will say things like, your son has been on drugs for years, he’s so far gone. God’s hand is not shortened that it cannot save. Maybe someone says, well my grandma had all the faith in the world and she died, what makes you think you’ll get healed. Listen, I’m sorry about their grandma, but I cannot afford to let what didn’t happen for her to dictate my faith in God’s Word.
Because we allow ourselves to become more focused on others and not the Word, we allow our faith to become stolen. The truth is our Faith is hindered by needing to understand everything with our mental reasonings. Scripture constantly talks about not being moved by what we see or what we hear. We are told to cast down arguments, and vain philosophies that exalt themselves above God’s knowledge. And what does God say? His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts.

As hard as it may be for us to acknowledge, all through the gospels Jesus said, your faith has made you whole, or, be it done for you according to your faith. Now it may be someone’s time to go and no prayer will keep the here. Some people probably catch a glimpse of heaven and decide they don’t want to exercise their faith anymore. We don’t know. That’s the bottom line, we don’t know and we need to quit allowing the devil to use circumstances we don’t understand to negate our faith.

Right now, as we are in the middle of January, make a quality decision to walk in faith, to grow in faith no matter what. When we make the decision to walk by faith, the enemy isn’t going to sit down, he’s going to come after us and we need to be ready for that. We ready ourselves by having the Word in us. Get a Bible, learn it, read it, spend more time in the Word this year than you ever have before. Write down in the Bible the revelation God gives you. Listen to teaching this year. I love worship but worship doesn’t destroy unbelief, teaching does. Read books that teach you faith. Determine right now that 2019 is the first year of the rest of your years and all of them will be years of faith. say out loud, I am becoming a Word person. I’m going to read the Word, study the Word, and listen to the Word preached and taught. I’m going to believe the Word, I’m going to do the Word and I am going to receive the promises in the Word.

This is the starting point to the year of The Spirit of Faith. We will be looking at many things this year. The next post will deal with what faith is but in order to be ready to receive that, our hearts must be ready. We must be committed to being serious about not backing down and not being double-minded.

Ask Holy Spirit to show you any area you have been double-minded in and repent. To repent means to change the way you think, we do that by being in the Word.

Take time today to read the parable of the sower in the gospels. Read it slowly, pray through it and ask for understanding. This parable will prepare each of us to walk by faith this year.

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Preparations for 2019

It’s a couple days after Christmas and our attention is beginning to turn to 2019. Some of you are thinking about what resolutions you are going to make, (we’ll talk about that in a second) and some of you are trying to talk yourself into taking down the Christmas decorations.

The few days between Christmas and New Years Eve are definitely a time of transition. Back in August I released the theme for 2019, Jesus and the Spirit of Faith. In that post I mentioned that nine is the Hebrew letter TET which is goodness and is the picture of a funnel. This is the Hebrew year 5779. The Hebrew decade of 70 is AYIN which means to see. In 5779/2019 expect to see the goodness of God funneled into your life.

I also mentioned in that post that 2019 would be a year to hunger after the Word in a fresh way. The Bible is not just a book, the Bible is a person and His name is Jesus.

How can we prepare for the funnel of God’s goodness in 2019? Last night Holy Spirit began sharing some things for me to do in 2019 to receive all God has in store.

  1. Forget the resolution

We all know how it goes, you make a resolution and within three to eight weeks it’s things as usual and no lasting change happens. The truth is resolutions are made from our own thinking and in our own ability. I want to get healthier this year so I am going to (fill in the blank). I want to lose weight so I am going to (fill in the blank). Instead of making a resolution, set aside specific time for extended prayer before January second and ask the Lord what changes He wants you to make in 2019; write them down, ask for divine strategies on how to accomplish them and ask Holy Spirit to empower you to see them accomplished.

  1. Connect to the prophetic word

Earlier this year I talked about connecting to a prophet or prophets. If you are not connected with a prophet ask Holy Spirit to give you a connection. That connection does not mean you will know them personally or even live in the same area. Prophetic connection is first and foremost spiritual. When you connect to the prophet find the word for 2019; print it, pray over it and declare it every day. Don’t be passive with the prophetic word; walk it out, be obedient to directives and sow into the ministry that is prophesying into your life.

A word of caution on the prophetic. Don’t Google prophetic words for 2019. Different prophets carry different words. The body of Christ is large and each of us have a specific alignment and assignment in the Kingdom. We can only receive from and walk in a word that fits our individual alignment and assignment. When we overload ourselves with everything that is being said we don’t have clarity with what the Lord is saying for us and we can get confused in the direction we should go.

  1. Immerse yourself in the Word

I love the Bible app, I use it when I can’t find a verse I’m looking for, it’s a great tool in so many ways but if our Bible reading is just the verse of the day we are missing our food for the day.

Job 23:12 NLT “I have not departed from His commands, but have treasured His words more than daily food.” My prayer for myself and everyone who reads this blog is that in 2019 we see The Word as more needed in our lives than food. That sounds crazy at first but take the time to read Psalm 119 and you’ll see what Job is saying.

Read through the entire Bible in 2019. I am going to read it chronologically. Don’t stop there though, immerse yourself in the Scripture. The word immerse or immersed in the Webster’s 1828 dictionary is defined as “to plunge, to cover deep, to overwhelm, to involve, and to be deeply engaged.”

everyone has busy schedules, there is no denying that. But an ugly truth emerges in the midst of our business, we neglect Bible reading. Before you go into 2019 take an inventory of your time. In the midst of business, when do you make the time to watch what you DVR’d or watch Netflix? when do you make time to relax? Examine those moments during the day and take from them to make more time for reading and study. if after looking at your schedule you say, I just don’t have extra time, pray and ask Holy Spirit how you need to plan your day.

Apart from reading through the Bible (which is typically four to six chapters a day, depending on the plan), read Scripture. Read it continuously. In 2019 I will be continually reading through the gospels, Acts and the books of Moses along with reading the Bible all the way through.

As much as you may enjoy your Bible app, I encourage you to get a printed Bible to read in 2019. Yes, Bibles can be expensive but what better investment of your money than the Word of God? Hold it, turn the pages, learn the order of the books, write notes in the margin, highlight and underline words and verses that speak to you. Get a Strong’s Concordance for deeper study of what Holy Spirit is saying to you, so you can understand the depth from the Hebrew and Greek languages.

Fall in love with The Word in 2019. Read and re-read Psalm 119 monthly, read a Proverb each day. Be consumed with the Word of God – the person of Jesus!

Pray on New Year’s Eve, Lord let me love, let become consumed and impassioned by the Word. Let me see Jesus on every page. Let 2019 be the year my mind is renewed and my life is transformed by your Word.

  1. Be expectant and prayerful

If we don’t expect anything, we won’t receive anything. Mark 11 says we must believe we receive when we pray. Be a person of continual prayer in 2019. I believe 2019 will be a great year. I am excited about all that we will learn about Jesus and the Spirit of faith. I am excited about how each of us will walk by faith and be victorious. Get ready for goodness of God to be funneled into your life in ways you never could imagine in 2019!

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REFLECTIONS: My Journey Into Jewish Roots

It’s Friday night, Jews around the world are resting in the peace and stillness of the Sabbath and I’m sitting in a recliner, writing this post after several days of reflecting on my first Chanukah (or Hanukkah) and my journey of discovering the Jewish roots of Christianity in general.

My celebration was minimal this year; lighting a Hanukiah (the nine branch menorah used for Chanukah), reading the history and listening to lectures and teachings to help deepen my understanding. This journey began four years ago, although the seeds were planted much earlier. I believe I was twelve when I first heard Pastor Larry Huch talk about the Feasts, Mezuzah, Tallit and the Jewishness of Jesus. I would say, being a child in a Christian home prevented me from understanding the truth at that point but seeds were definitely planted. Years later a friend invited me to a spiritual warfare conference at the Global Spheres Center, home of Glory of Zion. Three weeks later was Passover and they had another conference. I didn’t understand why I was going to a Passover conference but I went. Long story short; I was awakened to something that week when I saw a menorah, I got two books, The Messianic Church Arising by Robert Heidler and A Time to Advance by Chuck Pierce and Robert Heidler. That was the start of my journey to connect to the roots of my faith. I started Listening to Pastor’s Larry and Tiz Huch again and found Rabbi Greg Hershburg.

Four years into this incredible journey I still have barely scratched the surface. I’ve gone from Christian books on Jewish roots to reading books written by Jews and Rabbis. Some are automatically thinking that I am becoming legalistic so let me clear up something, the Jewish roots bring joy to my life. The feasts are just that, feasts, happy and joyus times. Jesus said the Sabbath was made for man not man for the Sabbath.

I know many look at Jesus’ interaction with religious leaders and say He was against them. He was against the legalism. Jesus Himself said, do what they teach and that no part of the law would be done away with till all is fulfilled. the new testament says sin is lawlessness.

In writing tonight, I want to share how much deeper and more fulfilling my Christian life has become since I have begun reading the Bible with a Hebrew mindset and celebrating the feasts.

During the eight nights of Chanukah I lit the candles each night. I paused and thought about the Jews who gave their lives for G-d and His Word. Can you imagine the love for G-d, to give up your life because you refuse to give up the Bible, the feasts and you refuse to eat unclean animals? I was so inspired each night. I am so thankful that men and women of G-d stood for His Word. Without them we wouldn’t have a Bible. Without their stand, there would have been no Jesus. Basically, no Chanukah, no Christmas.

Like I said in the beginning, I have barely scratched the surface of the Jewish roots, the original meaning in so much of the new testament. I mean we read it with American eyes, not thinking about the eastern culture and the fact that Jesus, all His disciples and all followers and leaders in the Church were Jews up until Acts ten.

There is so much on my heart and in my mind it is hard to put into a post that is all put together. All I know is that, for me, the very thing that was missing in my life were my Jewish roots. Take some time and read Romans nine through eleven. Do a study on how the Church cut itself off from its roots. Messianic Church Arising and Our Hands Are Stained With Blood are great books to start with.

Am I saying you have to celebrate the feasts? No, I’m not. you are free to not celebrate. Jesus did though. Paul even wrote to Gentile believers at Corinth, because Christ our Passover Lamb is sacrificed, we celebrate the feast.

If you’ve ever felt like something is missing from your Christian life. if you’ve wondered why we’re not seeing miracles, signs and wonders, all I’m saying is maybe we lost something we were never supposed to get rid of.

*In respect to Jewish people and their high honor of the name of G-d, I have followed their example in this post by not including the vowel in His name.       

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Don’t Forget Your Neighborhood

Go into all the world and preach the gospel and make disciples of all nations, these are probably some of the most familiar words to the Christian’s ears. We know these words under the banner of the great commission found in Matthew twenty eight. We know these words, we hear these words preached but what about the words of Acts 1:8?

Acts 1:8 NASB “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

I’ve been thinking about the Church lately and how we are able to reach the world in so many incredible ways. I’m not even talking about the big churches and ministries either, we all have an ability to have a wide reach through social media. Relatively unknown churches can have huge on line viewing numbers. As great as all this is, have we been so focused on all the world that many of us have forgotten our own neighborhoods? Have churches become so missions minded that we have forgotten our own cities and states?

I believe we should do everything we can to reach the entire world with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Each of us should support missions and ministries. That being said, each of us live in a neighborhood, attend church in a certain city and have several personal interactions on a daily basis at Starbucks, the grocery store, on your Target run or any other number of places. This is where we can be personally effective. When we build relationships it enables us to lead people to Jesus and most importantly disciple them.

The Church has been really good at making converts and church attendees but we haven’t majored in discipleship. We need to get to know people, invite them to church and cultivate a friendship with them. We need to grow together spiritually as local bodies of Christ.

I am so thankful for the emphasis on going into all the world. We need to keep doing that. Along with that though, maybe it’s time for a renewed focus on reaching the neighborhood we live in and the cities our churches are based in.  

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Staying in Faith for Your Healing

I have been believing for physical healing for twenty one years. Actually that’s probably not accurate, I have had seasons of wavering and even giving up on healing in these twenty one years and that’s what this post is about. How do we keep our faith built up when answers seem slow in coming? While I’ll be specifically talking about physical healing, these principles can be applied to anything.

To summarize my story and where this post is going; I was born with a heart condition and have cerebral palsy, I walk with a limp and stutter on occasion. I grew up listening to Pastor Rod Parsley and Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, so I have a good foundation on faith and healing but as the years went on I heard things like God will use this to reach others, you’re strong enough to handle this affliction for God’s glory, etc. etc. I’m not writing to debate God’s sovereignty or why someone who had faith died. Not to sound harsh but I’ve been there and done that and those arguments do nothing to build confidence in God. To those who have lost someone, I am sorry and I know what that is like. But this is one of the main areas that can kill our faith, letting someone else’s experience or our own past loses dictate our faith in God’s Word.

Isaiah 53:4-5 AMPC ” Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy].5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.”

Psalm 103:3-5 AMPC “Who forgives [every one of] all your iniquities, Who heals [each one of] all your diseases,Who redeems your life from the pit and corruption, Who beautifies, dignifies, and crowns you with loving-kindness and tender mercy;Who satisfies your mouth [your necessity and desire at your personal age and situation] with good so that your youth, renewed, is like the eagle’s [strong, overcoming, soaring]!”

These are foundational covenant verses of what Jesus accomplished on the cross. This is what we need to look at and what we need to believe. The Word must trump all of our experiences or anyone’s “testimony” of why God won’t do something. God’s Word is His will and when the blind man said if you are willing, Jesus said He was and now “the will of God” is a settled issue.

Faith is not about God’s will, it’s about our will. Our will to stand and continue to stand like Ephesians six says. When we look at the parable of the sower, we see that the enemy comes with negativity and care to take away the Word. But the Word says, cast all of your care on God. the Word asks, whose report will you believe?

Another area that hinders our faith is our words. proverbs 18:21 AMPC ” Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life].” Have you ever wondered why death is first? I believe it’s because it’s easier to speak death than life. “How are you doing”? “man I’m hurting, this medication doesn’t seem to be working.” “I’ve been quoting Scripture for three days and nothing has happened.” It’s hard for us to hear it, but the truth is, if we’re speaking against healing in our bodies we aren’t walking by faith. Now I’m not saying deny the fact that pain is there or if someone asks what the doctor said that you lie about what he said. What I’m saying is, speak what you want, not what you have. Speak words of life and watch your situation improve.

Proverbs 4:20-22 AMPC “My son, attend to my words; consent and submit to my sayings.21 Let them not depart from your sight; keep them in the center of your heart.22 For they are life to those who find them, healing and health to all their flesh.”

So what about when you have been believing for years and don’t see any results? Or what about a diagnosis that has no medical remedy like Chron’s or Fibromyalgia? One of the hardest things I’ve had to admit to myself is, I never really was in faith for healing after the age of ten. I had become mad at God and through the years bought into the lie that maybe I didn’t need to be healed among other things. The first thing I want you to do when you finish reading this post is to ask yourself if you are mad at God. If the answer is yes, forgive Him. That’s right I said forgive God and then start reading Scriptures to build your faith in His goodness and His will to heal you. If you’ve bought into various lies of the enemy about why you won’t be healed you have to renew your mind to the Word. This is not an easy thing and it’s not a short thing either. It’s so easy to think and talk negative and fixing these two areas is key to building your faith for healing.

To help get your faith going in the right direction again take Isaiah 53:4-5 and Psalm 103:3-5 and begin reading them out loud every day. Let those verses be the first and last words out of your mouth every day. Meditate on them and study them. Read the healing stories in the gospels and listen to healing teachings when you go to and from work.

If you don’t have a solid foundation about God wanting to heal you and being able to do it then get the books on healing listed on the recommended reading page. Even if you have a solid foundation, invest in your healing and in your future health by getting those books. Read them and reread them. Proverbs says the Word is medicine, take it daily.  

In Mark chapter five Jesus healed a woman with an issue of blood, she had seen every doctor and they couldn’t do anything for her and she kept getting worse. But she heard the Word, she kept saying she would be healed, and she touched Jesus. In order to stay in faith we must hear and speak the Word continually. This is something else we must correct, we must continually hear the Word. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking because we have heard something before that it is still strong in us. Faith comes by hearing, not from having heard. We must feed on healing Scriptures. If we eat natural food three times a day, we need to be just as serious about eating our spiritual food.

The truth is, if we’re going to be strong in faith and be able to outlast the devil’s attacks on our thinking and that’s what all this comes down to, our faith must be able to stand up to and outlast all the enemies attacks. We can only stand up to Him with our words and we can only outlast him by meditating on the Word.

There are no quick fixes or magic formulas when it comes to faith, there is only the Bible formula. Read the Word, speak the Word, receive the Word. We can’t put a time table on God, that is another thing that destroys faith. We must develop faith in God’s goodness and be willing to hold on for as long as it takes. It’s in that moment, when we determine, no matter what, I’m not getting off my faith, I’m not going to say anything about this except God’s Word. That’s when WE begin to change and when WE begin to change our circumstances, our health, our everything has to line up with HIS WORD coming out of OUR MOUTHS.

Be encouraged today, don’t give up hope. it is God’s will and His desire for you to be healed and whole in every area of your life. Let’s commit together to be in the Word more, to build our faith and speak words of healing, health and life.

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Saved, healed and delivered

So many times when we think of the Christian life or the purpose of the Church, we think in terms of getting saved and leading people to Jesus. That’s good and that is the entry point of Christianity but the purpose of being a Christian is not to just get our ticket punched for heaven.

Jesus quoted Isaiah 61 when He stood up to read in Luke 4:18-19 NASB “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are oppressed,19 To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”

When Jesus gave the model prayer He instructed to pray your Kingdom come and Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. There is so much more to salvation than just Heaven. In fact the Greek word for salvation is SOZO which means saved, healed, delivered, made whole and preserved.

FAITH FOR HEALING

We have no doubt about God’s will concerning salvation but when it comes to healing, in the Church world we’ve come up with some reasons why God won’t heal. One of the main reasons we have come up with is sovereignty, we just can’t know the sovereign will of God about healing. Sometimes He does and other times He doesn’t. God may also be trying to teach us something or draw us closer to him through sickness. The problem with these beliefs is that we can’t find them in Scripture. Jesus healed all who came to Him and he repeatedly said, according to your faith, be it unto you.

Many Christians, myself included, have heard so much doubt, unbelief and negativity that our faith isn’t strong enough to receive from God. We can’t expect to receive healing when we are constantly speaking words contrary to healing or if when we hear a testimony our first thought is, I don’t believe that, that didn’t really happen.

Proverbs 6:2 says we are snared by the words of our mouth. Proverbs 18:21 in the New Living Translation says, “the tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences”.

If we are constantly speaking things contrary to life, health, prosperity and good relationships we will reap a negative harvest. 2 Corinthians 4:13 NASB “But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed, therefore I spoke,” we also believe, therefore we also speak,”  Whether we realize it or not we are speaking what we are expecting. Proverbs says, out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. If we want to walk by faith, if we truly want to receive what God has for us we must speak words of positive faith.

BREAKING GENERATIONAL CURSES

Many of us have a hard time speaking words of faith because it has been taught against in the church and made fun of. The thing is, those people have what they say, they are dealing with negativity, lack and sickness because that is what they believe for. We will get into this more next year as I teach on faith but faith is not the absence of problems but the ability to get through them.

Many of us struggle with negativity and are in bondage to certain things though because it is a generational curse. When we get saved we are on our way to Heaven but unless we also break the curse it is still in operation in our lives. We confessed Jesus as Savior and Lord to be born again. Many of us though are still confessing negatively in every other area of our lives and that is why we need to break curses and receive deliverance.

When Jesus quoted Isaiah, He said, “to set free those who are oppressed”. Look at Acts 10:38 NASB “You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.”

RECEIVE MORE THAN A SAVIOR

We have looked at a couple of Scriptures today that show Jesus was about more than just our salvation. He’s about our healing and our freedom, we can add so many other things to that list as well. Today, I want to encourage you to receive more than just entry into heaven, pray the model prayer Jesus gave us. Ask for Kingdom here and God’s will in your life now. God’s Word is His will. Every promise in the Word is for us today. the moving of the Spirit is for today.

Matthew 6:33 AMPC “But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.” Jesus wants more for you than just Heaven for eternity, He wants you to experience God’s goodness now. We won’t need healing and deliverance in Heaven, that’s why Jesus’ death provided them, because we need them now.

search out the Scripture, discover the full meaning of Salvation. Find the promises of God for your need from Genesis to revelation. Don’t let the devil steal your promise from you. If God said it you can have it but it is up to us to use our faith and receive it.

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Tabernacles 2018: Stay connected and reap your harvest!

 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. These words in Hebrews chapter four have given all of us encouragement at one time or another. It is so wonderful knowing we can go to God at any time for anything.

As amazing as that is, there is something more incredible. Three times a year, we are not only invited to come away with God but He promises to come to us. These three times each year are known as the Feast of The Lord. (You can learn more about the three feasts by clicking on Feasts and Festivals or Hebrew Heritage Series in the sidebar). This week we are in the Feast of Tabernacles.

Leviticus 23:33-44 NKJV “Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 34 “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the Lord. 35 On the first day there shall be a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it. 36 For seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation, and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the Lord. It is a sacred assembly, and you shall do no customary work on it.

37 ‘These are the feasts of the Lord which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire to the Lord, a burnt offering and a grain offering, a sacrifice and drink offerings, everything on its day— 38 besides the Sabbaths of the Lord, besides your gifts, besides all your vows, and besides all your freewill offerings which you give to the Lord. 39 ‘Also on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep the feast of the Lord for seven days; on the first day there shall be a sabbath-rest, and on the eighth day a sabbath-rest. 40 And you shall take for yourselves on the first day the fruit of beautiful trees, branches of palm trees, the boughs of leafy trees, and willows of the brook; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days. 41 You shall keep it as a feast to the Lord for seven days in the year. It shall be a statute forever in your generations. You shall celebrate it in the seventh month. 42 You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths, 43 that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.’ ”44 So Moses declared to the children of Israel the feasts of the Lord.””

What does all that have to do with us? As Christians we have been grafted in to Israel. The root of the tree is Jewish, we are branches (Romans 11) and as believers we are blessed with Abraham, the father of the Jewish people (Galatians 3). These are not feast, celebrations for the Jews alone, they are the Feast of the Lord and as Christians we have an open invitation to join the celebration.

John 1:1-3, 14 TLV “In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were made through Him, and apart from Him nothing was made that has come into being. And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us. We looked upon His glory, the glory of the one and only from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Jesus said if we would abide in Him and His word abides in us we would be His disciples and we could ask anything in His name and the father would hear us.

Tabernacles is a time to draw closer to God. As the last feast on the calendar, everything has been building up to this moment that God has set aside for us to come tabernacle with Him. This is a week to hear His voice and receive revelation.

Tabernacles is also about harvesting. We can harvest finances, we can harvest people, even nations. This Tabernacles the word I have for you is get deep into the Word, make it your life source so that as we enter 2019, a year of faith, you are prepared to stand, believe, harvest and receive.

Make giving a priority, both financially and with your time and ability to help others. Set aside special time to be with God this week apart from your normal devotions. Take communion, read Scriptures and hear God’s heart.

Regain focus this week and build your faith through the Word of God. When Jesus told people they had little faith it meant they had underdeveloped faith. We can’t receive if our faith is underdeveloped. Get in the Word, hear God’s promises for you and reap your harvest in the areas you need. If things seem slow in coming, don’t give up, that is a sign of underdeveloped faith. Grow faith, become strong; read the Word, listen to good teaching and put it into practice.

Joshua 1:8 NLT “Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.”

Harvest is coming to those who are in the Word and walking in obedience to it. A harvest of souls, a harvest of health, a harvest of finances, a harvest of every promise you have been believing for. Don’t lose heart and don’t faint in your faith, continue to build it and know in your heart of hearts that harvest is not just on its way, it is beginning to manifest now in Jesus name.

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Step into a new place of maturity

Yesterday the Lord began speaking a word that I believe is for anyone in the body with ears to hear. There has been division in the body lately; denominations, theologies, emphasis, etc. but I heard the Lord say, “for those willing to enter a new level of maturity I will show how their stream connects with others. I will show individuals how they can receive and progress forward in revival in discipleship by reading books from other theological perspectives.”

It is important to know which stream God has us in, when the Lord gave me this word I also heard him encourage me and I believe will encourage others that as we step into this new place of maturity we will be able to receive from voices and teachings that used to trip us up.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NASB “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. 14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.”

I believe those who are willing to step into a new level of maturity and begin receiving from different streams will see a great wave of revival, healing and deliverance in their circles and in their churches. The days of secondary distinctives are coming to an end for those who want to be part of the next move of God.

If your heart is for revival and discipleship, ask the Lord to begin a maturing process in your spirit and to begin to lead you in receiving from different streams. Listen carefully for the Lord to begin to direct you to specific books or teachings. Part of this maturity is understanding God is not calling you to leave your stream or discard the anointing and call He has given you but allow that call to be furthered and the anointing strengthened by receiving from others in this next season.

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The Purpose and Power of a Prophetic Word

Today I want to look at the purpose and power of the prophetic word being spoken in our lives. I want to begin with three Scriptures.

Amos 3:7 NKJV “Surely the Lord God does nothing, Unless He reveals His secrets to His servants the prophets.

2 Chronicles 20:20b NKJV “Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.”

Proverbs 29:18 TPT “Where there is no clear prophetic vision, people quickly wander astray. But when you follow the revelation of the word, heaven’s bliss fills your soul.”

It is important to acknowledge the vast depth of prophetic that has come on the scene in the body of Christ and for that I am thankful. It is also important to recognize not every prophetic voice is one for you. There are even times when a prophetic voice that is assigned to your life may give a word that is not for you. each of us is still responsible for knowing the place and season God has us in. The prophetic word is designed to help give us direction in something we have already received, it is confirmation of where we are heading.

In my life the prophets that speak into my life are Kenneth Copeland, Chuck Pierce, Ryan LeStrange and Lana Vawser. There are other prophetic voices that associate with these people but God has not connected me to them, so I do not follow their ministries.

Before we continue, let me make a quick side trip. Unity in the body does not mean you listen to everyone or do ministry with everyone. Unity is my ability to stay in my lane and not criticize the person next to me for doing something differently. The river of God is made up of many streams. We are all in the river of God but we are not all in the same stream, we don’t all flow with the same current, that is the way God designed it.

Each year I get a word or theme from the year that is the umbrella for everything that happens that year. Kenneth Copeland gives a Word each year and I run with that Word, praying and declaring it, expecting it to be fulfilled in my life.

Ryan LeStrange operates in the prophetic by giving Monday Words for the week. There are times when I know a Word is for me and I run with it. Other weeks, it’s not in season for me.

It is important for each of us to have our own relationship with God and to know the season we are in. Every prophetic voice speaks to the larger body of Christ. Even those who flow in a specific stream are still speaking to a large number of people. I can’t say it enough, each of us must know the place and season we are in before we grab hold of a Word.

Chuck Pierce is a Apostle/Prophet who oversees Glory of Zion and Global Spheres. His prophetic words are released on national levels and corporate levels to certain parts of the body of Christ. Sometimes words fit with my season and other times that are for a different segment of the body of Christ.

Lana Vawser releases intimate directive words from the heart of God. They are very encouraging and help give direction and strength to keep going.

I mention the types of words these individuals give because the Lord uses them in different ways in my life. It’s important that you don’t just go “pick a prophet” but you allow Holy Spirit to lead you in connection to the prophetic voices you need to be connected to.

It’s also important to understand God may connect you to someone you may never personally meet or have any interaction with but that does not lessen the connection God has given you in the realm of the Spirit.

One key of spiritual warfare is using prophetic words. 1 Timothy 1:18 NKJV “This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare,”. Notice the phrase, “prophecies previously made”. Never let go of a prophetic word. God is a God of continuation. If there was a Word given in 2012 about financial increase and you haven’t seen the fullness of it yet, keep declaring it, don’t stop using the weapon of a prophetic word.

Along with that, keep the prophetic words in your thinking, read and re-read them, declare them and make them part of your prayer life. Prophetic words are not to be shelved they are to be believed and received.

Some people have the mindset that prophetic words will fulfill themselves but many times they require action on our part. Prophetic words are like the if/then statements of the Bible; if I do this, then God will do that. Timothy was told to wage a good warfare with the prophetic word, that took action on his part.

Look once again at the latter part of 2 Chronicles 20:20 NKJV “Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established; believe His prophets and you will prosper.” We could say this is God’s prescription for us to have 20/20 vision. What did Proverbs 29:18 say? “Where there is no clear prophetic vision, people quickly wander astray.” If you find yourself off of the path God has for you, look at the prophetic words from the prophets God has placed in your life.

The prophetic words in your life are to be coupled with your reading, studying and meditating on The Word. they are to give confirmation to the direction you are going and the things you are pursuing. Believe God first and His prophets. If you’re spending all you time consuming different prophetic words and no time in the Bible, that’s not going to work for you. Chances are you’re confused because you’ve “cross prophesied” in your life and one word contradicts another. Remember, the body of Christ is big, not every prophet, not every teacher, and not every book or conference is for you.

To believe God, you have to know Him and you have to know His Word. Only then will believing the prophet bring prosperity.

The purpose of the prophetic word is vision and encouragement. The power of the prophetic word is it is part of producing your prosperity. Don’t take words lightly and don’t give yourself to every word. A quick comment about personal prophecy, test the spirits to see if they are from God. That is Scriptural. If someone says the Lord said you need to enter the mission field and the Lord has spoken to you about business and things are lining up in that, DON’T OBEY THAT WORD. That would be a false prophecy. At the end of the day you have to know something bares witness with your spirit.

On the other hand if a known prophet gives a word of direction or instruction and it doesn’t witness with you, that doesn’t make them a false prophet, it just means it wasn’t for you. One last thing on prophetic words. If a word of correction or judgement is given and it includes stipulations as to how the word will play out, pay attention to those things. many prophets have been labeled false because people haven’t paid attention to the entire word given.

Be encouraged today. If you aren’t connected with a prophetic voice ask Holy Spirit to connect you to the prophet or prophets that need to speak into your life. If you do have prophets that speak into your lives, don’t just hear the words, act on them. One other key to having access to receiving manifestation is to not just be a consumer of their gift or office but to sow into their ministry into your life. Pray for them on a daily basis. If they speak a word that brings about change in your life, send them an offering. Be active in every way of receiving a prophetic word. Don’t give up if a word takes time, keep warring with it and watch it come to pass.

*The prophets mentioned in this post have no affiliation with me, nor have they endorsed my blog or this specific post.

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2019: Jesus! And The Spirit of Faith!

I know you may be looking at the title and saying to yourself, ‘it’s only mid August and he is already posting the word for 2019?’ Yes, I’m posting it early and this post will explain why. If you follow the blog you know I haven’t posted regularly this year, I can already tell you that will be different in 2019. 2018 was a year, the Hebrew year 5778 was a year to revisit firsts and walk through new doors. For me it was also a year to focus on Jesus. Many of us have felt delayed this year but the year isn’t over yet. Prophets have been saying over the last couple of months that things are beginning to accelerate. This post is proof of that. Before we get into the word for 2019, I do want to say that 2018 isn’t over yet and if there are things you haven’t received stay on your faith, we still have four months to go and now is not the time to give up.

The Lord usually gives me a theme or word for the year in October but on July 25th (Christmas in July), the Father woke me up and said, I have a present for you. I am giving you the word for 2019 today. Needless today, I was shocked. So the day I normally focus on Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel became about hearing and writing down the word and beginning to process it. I still assumed I would post it in October but after hearing words from two prophets I knew I needed to post it earlier.

This is the word the Father gave me. “2019 will be a continuation of the word for this year. You will continue seeing and seeking Jesus in 2019. Double your time learning and being with Him. 2019 is a year to get back up on your faith. You faced a lot of distractions this year. You pretty much spent half of the year distracted. I am giving grace and extending your doors and adding that to 19. It’s another Jesus year, it’s the year of faith.”

Before we continue, you may have noticed I said the Lord usually gives me and when I wrote the word I said this is what the Father gave me. Normally, I get the word from Jesus but this year it came from the Father and a conversation followed the paragraph you read. We won’t get into this today but we can and should talk with all the members of the trinity not just the one. Anyway, I knew there was something specific about why I was hearing from the Father and not Jesus.

As 2019 gets closer we will dive more into this word but today will mostly be background and the word itself. I am a huge Christmas fanatic, it is my favorite holiday, I love everything about it. I enjoy Christmas so much I want to have a Christmas room in my house one day (crazy? Maybe. Awesome? Absolutely). It is my absolute love of the Christmas season I think the Father came to me on Christmas in July. I also knew that with what I was hearing from the two prophets I follow that this word to me was also a word for others.

After the initial paragraph Father told me to take my Hebrew book and look up the letter with the value of nine. The Hebrew letter TET has the value of nine and means goodness and the opening of the funnel. There are three dimensions of goodness in the Hebrew:

1. In the presence of God we bring our best gifts and rejoice.
2. God judges and gives us the next set of circumstances designed to best help us on our path.
3. We develop the understanding of our heart.

He then said search out what faith is and how to apply it.

I don’t necessarily think this word will click for everyone but if you’re reading this and it does, start today. I believe because of the words about acceleration this needed to be posted now and not late fall. I believe God is allowing such a flow from 2018 into 2019 that words are just coming together. In September we enter the last 70 decade, the decade of seeing, this is amazing. I believe we are in a time of seeing the Holy Spirit restore the Word and the moving of His Spirit to the Church.

This word, Jesus and The Spirit of Faith points to two things; Jesus, the Word and the Spirit of faith, seeing the Holy Spirit move and bring manifestation of what each of us has been believing for.

2 Corinthians 4:13 MEV “We have the same spirit of faith. As it is written, “I believed, and therefore I have spoken.” So we also believe and therefore speak,”

Jesus 2018 was and is the preparation for Jesus and the spirit of faith in 2019. I know I haven’t done any in depth teaching on Jesus, I think if you grabbed hold of the word for this year that Jesus had something specific for each of us in mind which is why none of the post were directed towards that. Looking to 2019 and even 5779 in a few weeks, whatever you saw about Jesus this year has prepared you to walk in a new level of faith next year!

Romans 10:17 says faith comes by hearing and hearing comes by the Word. I heard a minster say that faith comes by hearing not having heard. Jesus is The Word. As much as 2018 has been about becoming closer with Jesus it has been about becoming more aligned with the Word. This leads us back to the conversation I had with Father.

“Become a full fledged Word person in 2019! Jesus! And the spirit of faith! Ask for specific books to dive deep into. 2019 and even now is as about faith becoming second nature to you.”

That was the last sentence of the word. I want to close out this post by looking at faith and what it means for faith to become second nature.

The best definition of faith is Hebrews 11:1 AMPC “NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not yet revealed to the senses].

Faith, (assurance, proof and reality) must become second nature to us. For something to be second nature means a characteristic or habit in someone that appears to be instinctive because that person has behaved in a particular way so often. Abraham, in Romans four was not moved by anything, he stood strong in faith. Take some time and read Romans four. How do we develop that find of faith? By the Word, be meditating on the Word (Joshua 1:8).

I am looking forward to personally diving into faith in 2019 and being able to share with y’all and having conversations that build our faith and encourage one another. Faith is only faith if it carries us through delays and hard times. 2019 will be a year of developing strong faith.

Look at the word in full:

“2019 will be a continuation of seeing and seeking Jesus in 2019. Double your time learning and being with Him. 2019 is a year to get back up on your faith. You faced a lot of distractions this year. You pretty much spent half of the year distracted. I am giving grace and extending your doors and adding that to 19. It’s another Jesus year, it’s the year of faith.

The Hebrew letter TET has the value of nine and means goodness and the opening of the funnel. There are three dimensions of goodness in the Hebrew:

1. In the presence of God we bring our best gifts and rejoice.
2. God judges and gives us the next set of circumstances designed to best help us on our path.
3. We develop the understanding of our heart.

Search out what faith is and how to apply it.

Become a full fledged Word person in 2019! Jesus! And the spirit of faith! Ask for specific books to dive deep into. 2019 and even now is as about faith becoming second nature to you.”

2019 and even now, take what you have learned from Jesus this year and get started on your faith.

Here are some things I have started doing since July 25th to help get my faith in gear:

1. I am continuing to read the gospels so I am constantly thinking about how Jesus walked.
2. Look up Scriptures pertaining to things you want to see in 2019. If you want to see a loved one or friend saved, look up Scriptures on salvation. Wether you’re believing for family restoration, freedom, a better job, healing, increased finances, whatever it may be find the Word on it.
3. Pastor Keith Moore’s series, “True Faith” has been an absolute eye opener on what true faith is. How do you walk in faith, some of what we call faith is just pretend, how to stay in faith and more. This series is a must listen. I have already listened to it multiple times and will continue to help keep me on track.
4. Pastor George Pearsons and Gloria Copeland did a series called “Bulldog Faith” where Pastor George talks about a time in his life when he got off his faith and how the Lord instructed him on how to stay in fath. If you have been discouraged about something this is a series for you.

* The Inner Meaning of the Hebrew Letters: Robert M. Haralick

** Both series can be found on YouTube as well

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From Revival to Discipleship

The last few weeks the Lord has been talking to me about my desire and my prayer for this generation and the next. I have said the last several years that I am a person about revival, I want to pastor a people of revival. The Lord began to speak to me and say you are not a person of revival, you are a person of discipleship.

To be clear, I love revival, revival is necessary at times and revival is biblical. What the Lord showed me though was, revival without discipleship will not produce lasting fruit. Revival has the root of revive. Revive means to restore to life or consciousness, to give new strength or energy to, and to restore interest in or the popularity of.

revival is necessary, but if we are constantly needing to be brought back to life or to be given new strength every week, or need our interest restored in the things of God we are missing it somewhere. this is when we need to go from revival to discipleship.

We can all hit dry times, miss some days of bible reading and things like that, but that is not fixed through revival it is fixed through discipleship.

To be a disciple or be discipled means that we are a follower of Jesus, one who follows His Word and lives how he lived. When we become a people of the Word, when we study the life of Jesus, when we study the Scriptures, both Old and New Testament we learn what we are to live as, we discover who we are in Christ and we discover the path to victory laid out in Scripture.

There are always needs and times of refreshing, but to try to live from a place of revival instead of the place of daily following Jesus, is to miss the beauty of the Christian life. Revival is wonderful but revival achieves its purpose when it leads to discipleship. A daily time of prayer, worship, reading and a deep study of the Word. Reading Scripture is great, we are changed when we study it and allow its truth to take deep root in our hearts and spirits.

Ephesians 4:21-24 NASB “if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.”

Romans 12:2 AMPC “Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].”

I love revival and moves of God. I love great worship services. Let passionate worship cause you to pursue the person of Jesus. From Genesis to Revelation the Word reveals Jesus because the Word is not a book it’s a person.

John 1:1-5 NLT “In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.”

If you have been a person of passionate worship, don’t lose your worship ask Holy Spirit to add to worship and unending hunger for the Word of God. If you are passionate in prayer, begin praying passages of Scripture. If you long for signs, wonders and miracles, remember the foundation of those things I’d the Word of God.

I am a very passionate person, I love the passion my generation walks in. I am someone who is quick to follow where I see God moving. I’ve also learned I have to be careful. The river of God is made up of many streams and just because God is moving in amazing ways in one stream does not mean I am supposed to be over there. Unity in the body of Christ does not mean we all do everything. True unity is me operating in my call and gifting so and celebrating the guy next to me who is doing something completely different.

The disciples came to Jesus one day and said that a group of people were baptizing but they didn’t walk with them. Jesus’s response was let them baptize, if they aren’t against us, they are with us.

Regardless of what stream you are in. Whatever your passion and call is, make the Word the foundation of your life and what you do. When revival happens, praise God and flow in it but move into discipleship at the right time.

There have been many discussions and books written about why particular revivals died, stopped, or gradually dissipated over time. I believe the answer in a nutshell is that those revivals became about the revival and not about discipleship. Many revivals have in turn lead schools of revival, when really we need to lead schools of discipleship.

The Apostles didn’t go spread the fire of Pentecost, they spread the gospel and made disciples. Love the move of the Spirit and remember the Spirit was given to us to help make disciples.

If we put Mathew 28 and Mark 16 together, we make disciples through teaching and that leads to new tongues, laying hands on the sick, and casting out devils.

Today’s ask for a new desire for the Word of God and to hear the Word taught, ask for a hunger. Spend time in places like Psalm 119 and Proverbs three and four. Develop hunger by reading the portions of Scripture that talk about its power and promise.

I do pray that you are revived today if you need it and I pray that the reviving will lead you to the Word so that you can be sustained and begin to grow. Become a healthy believer with a steady diet of the Word.

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Pentecost 2018: Build A Bridge

The celebration of Pentecost was a few weeks ago but I am just now getting around to posting. At Passover we talked about tearing down walls; tearing down walls between Jew and Gentile, tearing down walls of racism, and more. There have been several things on my mind for Pentecost since Passover all these things have an over arching theme of building a bridge from one thing to another.

Pentecost is not just a New Testament thing, Jews had been celebrating Pentecost for years. Let’s build a bridge.

 

From Old Testament to New Testament

Jesus is the bridge between Old Testament and New Testament. A bridge connects two things together. Jesus said in Matthew 5:17 that He did not come to destroy the law but to fulfill it, to show us how to live it. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 10:11 that the things that happened in the Old Testament are an example to us and were written down for our instruction.

James 5:10-11 MSG “Take the old prophets as your mentors. They put up with anything, went through everything, and never once quit, all the time honoring God. What a gift life is to those who stay the course! You’ve heard, of course, of Job’s staying power, and you know how God brought it all together for him at the end. That’s because God cares, cares right down to the last detail.”

There is so much for us in the Old Testament, Jesus is on every page! We can’ truly understand the New Testament without understanding the Jewish customs of the Old. We can’ tree the completeness of the Old without the person of Jesus! As we talked about tearing down the walls between Jew and Gentile at Passover, let Jesus be your bridge at Pentecost.

In the Old Testament Pentecost was a celebration of the giving of the Torah, the Word of God. In the New Testament a new dimension was added to the celebration, the coming of the Holy Spirit! Jesus said the Holy Spirit would lead and guide us into all truth and bring to remembrance the Things He said.

1 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

Let Jesus be your bridge. See the fullness of the Scriptures, learn from the stories in the Old and the parables in the New.

 

From the Founding to the Future

It’s easy for any of us to look at what God is doing right now and get so focused on that we forget where we have come from. In recent years we have heard of things like worship wars and the divide between the older and younger generations. What does a bridge do? It connects one generation to another. Yes, God is doing a new thing and it is springing forth. Yes, the message is the same and yes, the methods are totally different.

We need to be thankful for broader Christian history. Specifically each of us needs to be thankful and look to our denominations or movements history. We are only where we are at because of the people before us.

Today’s Church is dealing with the newly wrapped and presented heresies of the past we need to cross the bridge back into the past and grab the creeds, and theologies of our fathers and stand firm on the Word of truth. No matter how new something may look, universalism is still false teaching and saying we don’t need the Old Testament is a lighter version of the Marcion heresy that says the Church has replaced the Jews. When we don’t know history we are doomed to fall at the same places our fathers did and possibly even fall in places they did not.

Wether your Methodist, Pentecostal, Baptist, whatever stream God has placed you in, don’t forget your founding. Honor your fathers and mothers, hold to the truth, correct errors, and keep building.

 

From One Move to the Next

In that same line of thought, as the body of Christ, we need to continually move forward. We remember what God has done, we walk in what God is doing and look forward to what He will do next. The downfall of every great revival is that it wasn’t passed to the next generation. The loss of great ministries is when a leader doesn’t raise up a successor.

We become so worried about preserving a system or a style that we lose sight of why we were doing things in the first place. We do well to remember two things about Israel, they always followed the cloud when it moved and they never did well with blessing.

We need to be thankful for everything God has done, yet, the same disciples that were filled in Acts two were refilled in Acts four. When Israel was blessed they took their eyes off God and put on what He was doing or what He was giving them. How many times in the Church have we put our eyes on the miracles and the money and taken them off the Master?

Let’s remember the purpose of the bridge. To move from one place to the next and to be connected so if we forget something, we can go back and get it.

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Theowhat?

I’m sitting in a coffee shop with a mocha and a water, staring at this screen with my heart full about what I want to write today but I cannot come up with a good opening to capture your attention. I’ve been a Charismatic Christian all my life. I believe God still speaks today, in healing, prophecy, even unusual feelings such as goosebumps, falling down, etc.

With this wonderful introduction I am just going to state what’s been on my mind the last few days concerning my tribe in the body of Christ. I think many in the charismatic, prophetic, healing and such streams have become focused on experience to the point we have a lesser focus on Scripture and making sure our experiences are theologically sound.

I am all about experiences, I believe in experiencing God but I have watched some services lately that have had little Bible teaching in them. There has been round about talk from Scripture but no direct teaching. On the other side of this coin there is much Scriptural teaching on all that God will give you but little emphasis on magnifying God in our hearts, daily worship of Him, and the importance of delighting in God for God Himself.

Charismatics tend to dismiss theology, saying just focus on Jesus. But if your understanding of Jesus is simply based from experiences at events and not firmly based in Scripture, the “Jesus theology” you have may not be biblical.

The New Testament warns us about false teaching, false prophets, and other wrong interpretations of Scripture. While we like to focus on our experience and experience is good our first priority must be the Word of God, the Bible.

Theology is good! Let me say it again, theology is good. A right and thorough study of Scripture is important, it is the thing that will keep us from false experiences. The devil comes as an angel of light to be able to deceive. That deception will be easy if your relationship with the text of Scripture is shallow.

We know that Jesus is the Word made flesh, that should mean the written Bible is of utmost importance to us. If you see theology as dead and dry it isn’t. Men like Charles Spurgeon and Jonathan Edwards reached thousands in one service in the days before technology and social media. Those men walked in power that our generation hasn’t touched. Charles Finney who is known for theology and lectures would walk by people and they would cry out in repentance. When was the last time one of us had that happen?

Reading theology, old books, and even old sermons have the ability to draw us closer to God unlike the books of our day. With all due respect to our generations, books of old carry more of a weight and honor of God than the vast majority of our books. The books of old and book today written in that same manner go to the deep places of the Bible.

Encouragement is important but so is challenging ourselves and searching out the deep things of Scripture. It is just on my heart this week to encourage us all to go deeper in our relationship with God. Go deeper in knowing the person of Jesus. Get a book of sermons by Charles Spurgeon or Jonathan Edwards. Ask Holy Spirit to take you to deeper places in the Word. A experience of feelings is wonderful but nothing compares to the deep study of the Word of God. Scripture can touch the believer deeper than any feeling in a worship experience.

Understand, I’m not against experience, we just need to be based in the Word not experience. When we have a solid Biblical foundation, alarm bells will go off when we read a book that doesn’t line up with the Bible. Jesus is first experienced in the depth of His Word. Take time today to read Psalm 119. It’s the longest chapter in the Bible and it’s all about the Bible. The Word of God is eternal and will change our lives. A deep understanding and study of the Word (theology) will lead to a fuller, deeper and more stable experience.

Challenge yourself this year to read a deep book, don’t go fast with it, read it slowly, study it, read it with your Bible. Go deeper in God by going deeper in His Word.

Soon, I will be starting a series called Jesus Series 2018. In this series we will be looking at the theology in the life of Jesus. I believe it will give each of us a deeper love and understanding of our savior.

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