Having the Greater Power

We’ve all seen or known a bully in school. Some of us have been that bully. Others have been the one bullied. Bullies tend to be physically stronger than their victims. They use their power to prey on and dominate those who are weak. Bullies tend to stand down when their victims stand up to them. There is a challenge! There is a confrontation! There is a fight! But this show of power is what stops the bully!

It is an absolute truth that power must be met with power. Power that is unchallenged always rules. Power can only be stopped by a greater power.

Your bible says that Satan has power. He has power over many people, even Christians. He’s a spiritual bully. He dominates many because they are weak and have no power to confront him. The only way to stop Satan’s power is to confront it with a greater power. There has to be a challenge! There has to be a confrontation! There has to be a fight!

God has given us His power to challenge, confront, fight, and stop Satan! God has given us power over Satan!

Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. – Luke 10:19

And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. – Luke 24:49

When we walk in this power, all of Satan’s power is broken off of us. When we are too weak, Satan rules in our lives. Therefore, a Christian without power will be overcome by the power of Satan. They will be a defeated Christian. A church without power will be a defeated church. There is no victory over Satan without power!

Therefore we must seek to always operate in power. We must determine to be Christians with power! We must keep ourselves in the power of God so that Satan can not touch us. It is the power of God that helps us stand against, confront, overcome, and gain victory over Satan!

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. – Ephesians 6:10

God is a Name Changer

A person’s name is one of the most important traits that often identifies a person’s character. If a person’s name is spoken, our mind quickly refers to his personal traits whether good or bad. Thanks be to God that it His desire that our name echoes the character of Christ only! And this is possible through our complete surrender to the Master.

There is a call that goes forth from the Lord. It is a clear call of complete surrender. The call echoes to many, but only those that are willing to forsake all will be able to respond to the words spoken by Jesus, “Follow me” (Matthew 4:19). To walk with Jesus is not just experiencing the Person of Jesus, but rather, it is yielding all of who we are for Him.

When God sends forth the call He says come. And through our obedience to His call what we obtain is a changed identity—a new nature, a new name. The Bible records that upon Jacob’s obedience to the command of God to return to Bethel (house of God), Jacob destroyed all hand-made idols within his household, made an altar unto the Lord, and God appeared unto Him. And God spoke to him and said, “Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel” (Genesis 35:10). Because a name has the power to reveal our character, known, manifested, or revealed, our heavenly Father will bestow upon us a new name to be identified by. Jacob which means supplanter and trickster became known as Israel, Prince with God. His old nature died because of his obedience.

Examples throughout the Word of God are given to show the power of a changed name. Abram became Abraham, “the father of a multitude.” Sarai became Sarah, “the mother of nations.” Simon became Peter, “a rock.” Saul became Paul, “the humble.” And through the changing of their names by God Almighty, brought forth a new nature within them that was driven to accomplish the plans of God.

So now the question must be asked: Have you received a changed name? Our identity and name are only changed as we declare to the Lord, whatever your will, Lord, I will obey. Decide today to pay the price—surrender all—to receive a new name from the Master, for He is a name changer.

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The Loss of Spiritual Strength

Allow the Holy Spirit to use these words of this writing to penetrate your heart.

Throughout the Scriptures—Old and New—the Lord has commanded ALL believers to be strong. He does not make a request or suggests for us to be strong, but rather He commands us to be. This fortified strength enables us to walk out a godly life that is pleasing and acceptable unto Him. This strength is only attainable, maintained, and developed as we decide to be obedient to the Word of God. However, as believers, our strength can be depleted if we choose to succumb to the evils of this world and live a life of compromise.

The first word that God gives all believers upon their decision to follow Him is to get out of this world. Why? Because staying in this world leads to a weakened, feeble Christian life. The Bible states emphatically, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world…For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh [sensual appetites], and the lust of the eyes [desires that arise from what we see], and the pride of life [unholy ambition] …” (1 John 2:15-16). Enjoying the pleasures of this world cripples our ability to walk holy, pray fervently, and live victoriously. Choosing to live a compromising Christian life is choosing to live a life of weakness. This Christian walk requires strength of will and determination.

Also, my brothers and sisters, we must take a realistic look at our personal environment and analyze our associates. Does your environment or associates strengthen your walk with the Lord or deplete your spiritual strength? God spoke very clearly to Abraham the following words: “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew you” (Acts 7:3). Abraham was instructed to change his environment and he obeyed quickly. And thus, the Bible records that Abraham was “not weak in faith…but strong in faith, giving glory to God” (Romans 4:19-20). Why? Because he obeyed the voice of God, changed his environment, and ultimately his associations. Do not be deceived: “Bad company [will always] corrupt good character” (1 Corinthians 15:33, ESV).

Today, choose to live a strong Christian life and not one of compromise.  Choose to fully walk in obedience to the Word of God. 

“…Be strong in the Lord…” (Ephesians 6:10)

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The Glory of Heaven

The Scriptures declare emphatically through the prophet Isaiah, “For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him” (Isaiah 64:4). And through the pen of the Apostle Paul he says, “But as it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” (I Corinthians 2:9). The Old and New Testament both declare that our heavenly Father has prepared much for those that wait upon Him and love Him. Through both writers, we can conclude that our finite minds, eyes, and ears cannot comprehend what awaits us in glory. Yet, He has given us glimpses of what we shall behold throughout His word. The Apostle John beheld the splendor of the city where we shall call home. He wrote:

[The city] had a wall great and high, and had twelves gates…And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones…And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl; and the street of the city was pure gold…And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof (Revelation 21: 12, 19, 21, 23).

And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for healing of the nations (Revelation 22: 1-2).

In addition, God has visited many through visions, dreams, and visitations to see and record what is to come.

Therefore, my friends, let us not lose sight that this place, called Earth, is not our home. We are simply pilgrims passing through (Hebrews 11: 8-10). And as pilgrims we must set ourselves to abstain from anything, which will war against our souls (1 Peter 2: 11). Let us be as Abraham, Samuel, Deborah, James, Paul—believers that were strong in the faith. Men and women that chose to obey the voice of the Lord and His voice only. Let us not be double minded, unstable, weak, hypocritical. Let us choose the majesty of Heaven over the pleasures of this world. Let us depart from this world and seek to discover the glory that is to come for those that will wait upon Him and love Him.

I want you now to take a moment and examine where you stand with the Lord at this very second. Have you asked Jesus to be the Lord of your life? Have you taken your eyes off Jesus? Have you allowed this world to choke out your devotion toward Christ? I would invite you to secure your eternal home in Heaven by repenting of your sins and asking Jesus to wash you anew. Remember, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

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Victorious Living through Heaven’s Great Hope

I want to take the moment to encourage you that as the people of God that ALL IS WELL. Believe it and be assured in Christ and the precious gift of hope He has freely given to His children. As we look upon the earth at this present time and the disasters that are unfolding before our eyes, keep your hope in Jesus and His precious kingdom.

Be mindful that to obtain and hold on to hope does not occur by looking around at the earth. We get it by looking up to the wonderful promises that are ours awaiting us in Heaven. We get it by keeping our focus in the heavens and thinking upon the riches God has in store for us when we see Him face-to-face.

Meditate upon the Lord’s Word and hide them in your heart. Purpose to think on heavenly things. Focus on God and His promises. They will bring forth hope in our hearts and minds, causing God’s peace to surround us. We won’t be troubled any longer by the pains of the earth because we know they are temporary. We are fixed on what is eternal. No matter what happens, we will remain steadfast and sure because we have surrendered our lives completely; we are fill God’s presence and joy.

Beyond believing in faith for the present, we’re resting in hope for the future. Faith brought us to God and salvation through Jesus Christ by His love and grace. Hope is what anchors us until the end. Hope now stabilizes us so we can walk with sure footing on the path that He has set before us, leading right into His loving, everlasting glorious Kingdom.

Make sure that you write your thoughts and comment below.  Also, share this post with someone that is in need of encouragement.

“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost” (Romans 15:3).

Remember Lot’s Wife

As a kid do you remember afternoon recess? Once released into this “fifteen minutes of freedom” there seemed like countless fun to have. Some played on the monkey bars, others played catch, and the few chose to chat amongst themselves. But the real competition was lining up to see who was the fastest in class. Many of the boys (and a few of the fastest girls in class) would position themselves to run to the fence and back as fast as he or she could. At the end of each race strong panting, pats on the back, smiles, frowns, and high fives were spread out regardless of who ran.

But always in each race, there was the one that chose to look back far too often to see who was on his tail. Most times that same individual that chose to look back without fail lost.

Instantly, what biblical story comes to mind? The story of Lot’s wife. Let us take a moment to look closely at what the Scripture states concerning the loss of Lot’s wife.
The Bible records the following in Genesis 19: “And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city. And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the Lord being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city. And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed” (v. 15-17).

Lot and his family were given clear and exact directions from the messengers of the Most High God (for the angel took the hand of Lot, his wife, and his children, and spoke to them). The messengers were sent to deliver a message of escape. They were to escape and not look back; for, if they chose to disobey the Lord, they would be consumed.

The story continues and reads: “Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven; And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt” (v. 24-26). The disobedience of Lot’s wife brought about her death. The lord had promised that all his family would live, but this was predicated upon their obedience to the Lord’s command and clear directions that He gave. Lot’s wife chose to disobey and ultimately decided her unfortunate fate.

Friends, we cannot err as Lot’s wife. We are to do as the messengers declared to Lot—Escape from the sin and corruption of this world and to never look back to what we have left to be a follower of Christ! If we as the people of God believe the Word of God, we must choose to obey each word that the Lord has spoken. We must understand that this very earth that we live upon will be destroyed just as Sodom and Gomorrah. 2 Peter 3: 10 declares, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” Let us not be caught off guard and ignore the command, “look not behind thee.” Set your gaze upon the mountain of heaven, “looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God” (2 Peter 3:12). Again, set your gaze upon Jesus and strive to make Heaven your eternal home. As Jesus said, “Remember Lot’s wife” (Luke 17:32).

 

 

The Effect of the Abiding Word

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  The same was in the beginning with God.  All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.  In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

John 1:1-4

Allow me a moment to give you truthful facts concerning the Christian and daily devotion to the study of the Word of God.

Lifeway Research (2017) determined most churchgoing Christians don’t read the Bible every day.  They found that 90% of churchgoers agree with the statement, “I desire to please and honor Jesus in all I do and I desire to know Him more intimately.”  Now let’s break down the numbers of this “90%”.  Only 19% read the Bible every day. About 25% read the Bible a few times a week. Fourteen percent say they read the Bible “once a week,” 22% say “once a month” or “a few times a month,” and 18% rarely or never read their Bible.  (And that 2%, the Bible is completely irrelevant.)

If this be true, how can the desire to please and honor Jesus be a sincere plea from the heart?

My brothers and sisters, our hearts toward Jesus is demonstrated through the time we spend abiding in the Word and not just simply the words that we declare that are ultimately empty.  Our fellowship with the Master requires setting a priority on His word; the sincere study of His word.  Please understand, we cannot have Jesus apart from the continual, daily action of fixing ourselves to give adequate time to the study of the Bible.  If we neglect to give personal time to the word all we have is religion—not an intimate relationship with the Master.

What then can we conclude?  If we abide (dwell, remain) in His word, the following are guarantees: we will draw closer to Jesus in intimate fellowship, learn of His ways, and keep His commandments.  The less we spend devoting time to study, the farther we will be away from Jesus and consequently we will succumb to the sinful seductions of this world and of our flesh.

Let us hold to the truth that Jesus is the living Word. Our lives will be renewed in His goodness and the power of His word will cause darkness to flee as studying and keeping His word becomes priority.   This is a promise, but it is predicated upon our desire to live in the word and to keep it.  My friend, decide today to be full of the word.  Decide today to let the word of God take root within you that you can declare: Lord, You are the vine and I am the branch.  I shall abide in You (John 15:4).

But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. ~ 1 John 2:5

 

 

 

The Name of Jesus

To ask in Jesus Name is not simply to insert His Name at the end of the prayer. It is to ask in accordance with His mind and will. It is to ask for those things which will glorify God, bless mankind, and be for our own spiritual good (MacDonald, 1995). Let us glean truth from the writings of Andrew Murray’s (1982) Teach Me to Pray to understand the power of praying in the name of Jesus:

What is a person’s name? It is that word or expression by which the person is called or known to us. When I mention or hear a name, it calls up before me the whole man—what I know of him and the impression he has made on me. The name of a king includes his honor, his power, and his kingdom. His name is the symbol of his power. And thus, each name of God embodies and represents the glory of the Lord. The name of Jesus Christ is the expression of all He has done and all He is and lives to do as our Mediator.

What does it mean to do something in someone’s name? It is to come with the power and authority of that one, as his representative and substitute. And what does it mean when Jesus gives us power in His name, the free use of it, with the assurance that whatever we ask in it will be given to us? To solemnly give to all His disciples a general and unlimited power of the free use of His name at all times. The name represents the person. To ask in the name is to ask in full union of interest and life and love with Him, as one who lives in and for Him.

The Master says, pray in my name; whatever you ask will be given you. Heaven is opened to you; the treasures and powers of the spiritual realm of Heaven are placed at your disposal. Therefore, let us learn to pray in the name of Jesus. Let us as Christians wake up and hear the message: Your prayer can obtain what otherwise would be withheld, and it can accomplish what otherwise would remain undone. Use the name of Jesus to open the treasures of heaven for this perishing world. Learn as the servants of the King to use His name.

Allow the Holy Spirit to draw you close to the Lord in order to open the flood gates of revelation to reveal the power of His name. Nonetheless, in order to ask in Christ’s Name, we must live in close fellowship with Him. Allow the Spirit to dwell and fill in you for Jesus to be the strength of your life and prayer. Truly the name of Jesus is power. As prayers that are aligned to the will of God are presented and granted, it causes great glory to be brought to God. Let the name of Jesus have undivided supremacy in [your] heart and life and [your] faith will grow in assurance that what I ask in that name cannot be refused. The name and power to ask go together. When the name of Jesus has become the power that rules my life, then its power in prayer will be evident.

 

MacDonald, W. (1995). John. In A. Farstad (Ed.), Believer’s Bible Commentary: Vol. 1-2. John (pp. 1463-1574). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publisher’s, Inc.

Murray, A. (1982). Teach me to pray. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House.

 

Your Words Shape Your Reality

One toy innovation that has stood the test of time are Legos.  Legos are colorful, interlocking plastic bricks that if put together properly can build cities, cars, figurines, ships, and the list goes on.  One can spend minutes and even hours focused to produce a finished product.  Often when finished, the builder is always careful to make sure it doesn’t break or fall; for, they are sure that if it does, their masterpiece is damaged and must be restored.

To be very blunt, the same goes for our very own realities.

Consider something: How is one able to create a masterpiece from little bits of colored plastic pieces called Legos?  Simple, with his hands.  How is one able to shape his reality?  With his words.

Your words have the power to shape your reality.

You frame your world as you speak.

Let us examine an example in the Word of God that brings this truth to light:

And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,  Send thou men, that they may search the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel…So they went up, and searched…And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of great stature…And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried and the people wept that night.  And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron…And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return unto Egypt (Numbers 13:1, 2, 21, 32,    14:1, 4).

God’s people decided that Egypt—a land of captivity and slavery—was much better than the land that God had prepared for them—The Promised Land.  In their complaint, they also declared that God had sent them into the wilderness to die and to be killed by the sword.  This is completely contrary to what God had desired.  Nevertheless, at their very own words, their reality was shaped.  In Numbers 14:27-28 God responds to their words.  It states, “…[God] heard the murmurings of the children of Israel, which they murmur against me.  [Moses and Aaron] say unto them, As truly as I live, saith the Lord, AS YE HAVE SPOKEN IN MINE EARS, so will I do to you…”  For forty years, the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness and that generation died—due to the words that they had spoken.

However, the bible records that there were two men, Joshua and Caleb, that also returned to Moses and Aaron but with a different report.  They did not deny what they did see with their eyes, giants, but what they said was completely contrary to what the children of Israel had spoken.  These men spoke words of victory and conquest.  They declared with boldness and fortitude “If the Lord delight in us, then He will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey, for the Lord is with us” (Numbers 14:8).  And consequently, the word of God records that Joshua and Caleb lived and entered this land which the Lord promised.

Were there giants in the land of Canaan?  Yes.  Did they appear larger and stronger than the children of Israel?  Yes.  But, God had promised them this land that flowed with milk and honey.  Yet, Israel’s words of murmur and complaint brought to pass a terrible end.  Although God desires good for His people, you will always have what you say.  Your reality is shaped by the words that you speak.  Therefore, let us walk in wisdom and speak as Joshua and Caleb.  Your reality can be a wonderful masterpiece built upon the word of God.  You must choose what words proceed out of your mouth, for your words will shape your reality.

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips! ~ Psalm 141:3 (ESV)

If words shape your reality, what words, phrases, and statements must we eliminate from our daily conversation?  Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

The Power to Live Right

It is the will of God that we, as His disciples and witnesses in the earth, walk in the power of the Holy Spirit.  John the Baptist spoke emphatically that Jesus Christ “shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire” (Luke 3:16).  Jesus confirmed these very words before His death upon the cross and after His victorious resurrection by declaring that the promise of the Holy Spirit will be fulfilled and an impartation of power shall be given from on high (Luke 24:49).  This fulfillment is clearly seen in scripture during the great day of Pentecost.  The Bible records:

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the house where they were sitting.  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as fire, and it sat upon each of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.  (Acts 2:1-4)

The Holy Spirit fell upon all 120 disciples that gathered together in the upper room. They experienced the fire of His power.  They experienced exactly what Jesus spoke of.

But, how does this power affect me as a believer you may ask.  This power that ALL believers MUST receive gives us the enablement TO LIVE RIGHT and to resist the temptation to sin.  This power breaks the chains of darkness and demonic strongholds that causes us to succumb to the evils of sin.  By this power, we can live as victorious Christians, not bound Christians.

You must understand, we are ONLY kept by the power of the Holy Spirit!  No one has the ability to keep themselves.  The Lord has commanded that all His children “Be ye holy; for I am holy” (I Peter 1:16).  Did you catch that?  God said we are to be holy BECAUSE He is holy.  Paul affirms, “God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness” (I Thessalonians 4:7). The Holy Spirit makes us holy.  The Holy Spirit makes us pure.  The Holy Spirit makes us spiritual.

Therefore, let us cry aloud as the 120 on the day of Pentecost to be filled with Holy Spirit’s fire, to establish within us a strong constitution of rightness where we can declare: I am “dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:22).  Today, choose to live free!  Today, choose to receive the power to live right!

~And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them (Ezekiel 36:27).