Today, I found encouragement in Psalm 49:5;7;15; that says, “Why should I fear when trouble comes, when enemies surround me?”….“But as for me, God will redeem my life.“ I find it encouraging when I am overwhelmed with more questions than answers and more weakness than strength, that God alone has the power to redeem me when all my resources have been frustrated. It’s like the Lord is saying to me; “stop thinking about what you need to do and start thinking about who you need to trust.” There is a promise here to those who trust God. It is a promise that reminds us, we do not have enough resources to ransom ourselves, but He is our Redeemer. Renew yourselves with this thought, that you can do nothing of yourselves, but you can, by Faith, do all things through His redemption power..
Phil 4:13; “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”
I believe the Lord is saying, ‘You know some things, BUT you must pray!’ Prayer is awareness! The spirit of prayer will be the corrective lenses thru which God’s view of the word is opened up to you. Prayer changes our posture from haughty to humble, from sinner to saint! Prayer unlocks the Mystery of Christ to you, within you and through you! Prayer will be the defining mark of what you have come to know and what you truly believe. Recently, I heard the question asked this way, ‘How is it that you believe in a supernatural God, but don’t believe in the supernatural?’ Prayer is the key to the mystery that changes your thinking to recognize Jesus is at the spiritual place of God’s right hand of power pleading for you! Don’t tell Him He’s changed and no longer moving in supernatural power. He is there interceding for you to grasp the concept of an open heaven so you might boldly come asking to receive His grace and power (Heb 4:16). I tell you truth, it is easier to listen to other preachers, read enlightening books, listen to spiritual music, and even read the Bible, but harder still to pray. Don’t misinterpret what I am saying, those things are good and necessary, but without the spirit of prayer, your life will be rather one dimensional missing the dynamic that can transform what you know in your head to what gets ahold of your heart! Psalm 40 is a psalm of powerful awareness in which David’s ears are opened in corrective fashion to realize the resources afforded him by the King of heaven. What do you have need of today? You must in faith believe “God IS, AND HE IS A REWARDER OF THOSE WHO SEEK HIM”. What is it that you seek? You will accomplish it in the place of prayer.
In Luke 5:1-10; they were listening to Jesus ‘bring the word of God’…e.g.g., saying what God says.—(Note: Where His Presence is, there is always ‘Divine Commentary’). And as with Peter, so with us, He desires to take us deeper than we believed possible moving us far beyond the boundaries of our intellect… literally ‘sinking our boat’ showing us He has a capacity we know nothing about, but we are better for having trusted in Him who is able to recover blind men! Praise Him! because He intentionally moves on our behalf to equip us with this same purpose!
Jesus plainly tells us in Matthew 11:28 to come to His rest! In John 10:7 He says, ‘I’m the door you must enter through.’ All too often we fail to see the open door Jesus has made for our entry into His House of Rest! This past spring a red bird appeared in the window at our house of worship. At first, everyone was pleasantly distracted by his coming to the window. However, over the course of the next few weeks he would make it his mission to attack every window on our building repeatedly becoming a nuisance to everyone. I found myself thinking, ‘that stupid little bird…’, then God said to me, “you’ve been like that little bird”. The truth is, we have all been just like that little red bird. He might have found the door of entry, but he was too busy fighting his enemies, or so it would seem! In reality, he wasn’t even looking for the door. What are you seeking? Is it the open door of Jesus that brings you into a place of rest, or are you like the little bird? Just what does he see in the glass that keeps him coming back to the place of futility? He sees himself, but he is most deceived thinking it’s his enemy. In his zeal to fight, he is bound by a deception that allows the real enemy to steal what God says is rightfully his. There is a ‘little red bird’ syndrome bound in the nature of all our flesh. The little bird is fighting against his own image though he doesn’t see it. Your image will always make you angry, frustrated, and captivated by Your-SELF and the image IT produces. There is a blindness only Jesus can remove. He says to you, ‘I’ve an anointing that can heal blind eyes so you can see the door of rest.’ It is a place of recovery, it is a place of release and abundance. Any attempt to use something other than the door will leave you beaten and bruised. There is hope and healing at the Open Door of Jesus! His lessons are the cure of our ‘Red Bird’ syndrome! He is saying to you, ‘Son/Daughter, use the door! It represents the only legitimate way to my service and pleasure and by it you will produce My glory and not your own! Use the door, and you will be able to move freely in my presence where there is fulness and joy. It will be a fulness that will keep you from robbing Me and being robbed of what I alone have given you to possess!’
This morning we heard a word about an enemy who has a plan to engage us in a battle. It’s a battle of entanglement to dishearten us from our weapons and the authority that is ours. However, we heard a word about God as our maintainer and our provider. He does not deal in confusion, but in the position of truth. His provision comes as the living word of truth which he watches over to perform wonders. We heard a word that says God is all sufficient and he works at the place of our surrender. We heard a word that says our God in Christ left us a pattern that we should follow, so that at the pattern of the cross we posture ourselves for success not failure. It is a posture of humility by which he will perform wonders before our very eyes. Today he would say, do not be afraid, and do not listen to the voice of the adversary who would discourage your Faith in Christ alone! When you speak those words “In Christ Alone” you make a bold declaration of surrender about who you’re going to trust. By assuming this posture, you will be speaking forth a prayer of great release. Today, let him release you from the fear, let him release you from the things that keep you from realizing what only He is able to produce! I was impressed this week with something someone had given me to read. It revealed a long forgotten story of a man in New York City, who in 1857 called a meeting to gather people with him to pray. In that prayer meeting only six people showed up. Rather than be discouraged by what may have seemed to some as a failed attempt, they would continue to meet weekly for the purpose of prayer. It would be that within the next year, the Spirit of God would move on upwards of 10,000 people to meet daily in churches all over the city to pray. As a result of a little prayer meeting, it is estimated that 1 million people came to faith in Christ during the course of the next year. There are greater things to be had when we pray in agreement with the Spirit of God. Today, find the authority that belongs to you in Christ and never underestimate the power when His saints pray in faith.
What is the Kingdom of God like? How would you describe It? These questions Jesus asks and then answers by saying, ‘It is like a tiny mustard seed’, planted in a garden. Planted within earthen vessels, the Kingdom is within you. God has given to each a measured task in this Kingdom. And He has not called me to compare my work to the work of others, He simply seeks for me to follow my unique talents in bringing an increase to this living structure. Right now, in the crucible of your circumstances, God is developing faithfulness to make sons of His kingdom in order that in these days ahead, we might be that city set on a hill–a bright light and living demonstration of relationship marked by His love. Recently, it was impressed upon me and now I say to you, God is not finished with your mistakes and is working to prepare you for the work of His kingdom by turning your failure to His testimony. The days ahead will require light. Jesus said in Matthew 5:13-15, you are the light of the world to make a point of your usefulness to His kingdom in this very hour. Are you going to work with Him, or let the enemy rob you of your place and purpose? There is a call for a decision on your part, trusting completely in the work He has finished and is seeking to complete in you for His glory to shine. Allow Him to heal the hurts of the past by forgiving first the ones who hurt you. When you forgive, everything thing will open up, and those clinched fists which you are tightly holding things in will release. It will be the release that God brings and into that open palm He will bring a fulness of joy and release things only the Spirit of God can produce. Psalm 40:1-3
“Are you saved?” I can remember as child a Baptist preacher saying every week without fail the words; ‘Are You saved?’ I believe those 3 words are possibly Baptist’s greatest contribution to the faith. You may know a lot about Him, but do you know Him? If there is no grieving or sorrow over your sinful condition…no witness of the Spirit, then you don’t know Him. For Jesus to truly save you, you must believe you are drowning and in need of saving—otherwise the broken cry for a savior is not heard and He cannot save. It is a matter of need…do you need Him? Do you see your very real need of His love and forgiveness? Or, do you see yourself ‘pretty good’– never considering that one sin…it’s rebellion like witchcraft that has you under a spell of deception never considering yourself that bad; it is your only weak link, but it is powerful enough to destroy your whole life with that one unredeemed failure. I see God is not mocked and sin must be atoned for. What are you doing and where are you taking your sin for atonement? Because what He takes, He covers–what He covers, He redeems, what He redeems He changes, and what He changes He keeps for Himself with a movement of the Spirit that directs my steps to increase as His disciple and witness. So, I ask you again, “Are You Saved…Are You Really Saved?”