To my children I often feel compelled to ask, ‘have you been in the word today, or even lately?’ That is a good question to ask yourself. You may say sure, I listened to the greatest radio preacher on the way to work today, or I am reading the latest, greatest Christian book, or I was in church just yesterday and the pastor was talking about the word. Anything remotely similar to those responses, really misses the point of the question. I mean, no doubt the radio preacher, the Christian author, or the pastor all base their life and message on the word. But, are you spending time in the word of God for yourself, or are you for the most part a ‘word-less Christian’? You’ve made a commitment, but have done little to build upon it. Have you become, according to the book of James, ‘a forgetful hearer, but not a doer of the word.’ Commit yourself to spending time daily in the word of God. Look for the word to move you, to speak to you, to change your thinking by hearing and doing what God says. Let the word of Christ bring forth His mind as it opens your heart and unblocks your thinking to view things as God sees them. The Bible says God’s word is ‘living and active’. It states that this word is further able to cut right to the heart to produce a testimony of Jesus. It was for this reason the Apostle Paul could say, ‘for me to live is Christ….’ The heavenly Father desires for His children to be His living witnesses. You simply cannot do that without this ‘living Word’. Or said another way, you cannot be His disciple without living in, and living out this word by your faith. Faith depends, trusts and relies on the word, and without it you will not be able to stand in these days. So activate your Christian life today by looking with expectation for the move of God through His living word. Finally, pray over this word asking God for the spirit of soberness and truth and you will receive a deeper revelation giving you eyes to see and a faith come to life!
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!’
The anointing God gives is powerfully useful to advance His kingdom. It becomes however, a matter of vision and focus to properly use what God gives. I think of men like Samson who with the strength God gave, delivered a nation, until he became focused on his own pleasure and his strength failed. When men choose to look away from God, their faith becomes paralyzed by fear. In the book of Samuel, David stands as a picture of faith and focus. He becomes God’s tool to set the record straight for us there in a valley between two mountains of influence. David stands against that Goliath in your life that has continued to degrade your faith and usefulness to God’s kingdom. Have you misused your freedom in Christ because you were looking the other way? Your wayward look has brought you under a yoke of fear and bondage keeping you from advancing where God would have you go. No war was ever won with decisive victory by talking the enemy to death. No sir, victory will requires decisive action. It’s the obedience factor to the word which we hear. God wants to use us, but not until fear is gone and the enemy is silenced. In some real sense our Christianity has become too much a product of our culture. Our reality based TV shows have influenced ‘real life‘ for too many believers. It’s like everyone is in the same pot of water and it is beginning to boil watching the same images that promote real-life moral decay in a society that says they are ok with everything while standing for nothing. Everyone is drinking out of the same bottle and it has made them drunk with the wine of immorality; time is past for passivity and not speaking up. It is time for God’s people to act and to move with Him. Where the enemy taunts, God calls to action. The questions are these: Will you be caught looking with the masses the other way, or will you recognize the anointing God has bestowed on you? Will you move with God to behold the situation that lies before you with the eyes of faith and focus? Will you expose the enemy’s lies to you–about you–sent to defeat God‘s purpose in you–so that you fail to possess that inheritance He’s given you? I believe God wants to bring you to a valley; it is a valley of decision, it’s a valley of deliverance. The valley is to address your passivity and blindness. In 1 Samuel 17, David represents here a type of Christ, sent to deliver a nation because he was not afraid to enter the fray. Unafraid to move forward there in the valley of decision–in the valley where forces collide. There is a valley in your life of two opposing forces, one of God and the other contrary to His will and His way. In that valley there is a very real enemy who taunts and scoffs at the things of God and at those who find themselves on His side, however timid they might be. He calls out to you; He taunts in this very hour. The word says, ‘Goliath, the champion came out to Israel and taunted God’s army’. Goliath, the word says was over nine feet tall. He was big, just not as big as the lie he and everyone else had believed, but David would not be part of that culture of fear. He had come from outside that culture–from the sheepfolds and a place where he had witnessed God’s ability to deliver from death. You see the enemy is a champion of fear; he champions fear by telling lies that he will prevail and not you. He looks to cast aspersions on your character and ability by telling you, ‘you’re not mature enough, not big or strong enough’. All of those things being what they are, still he underestimates the greatness of your God when you stand in the window of opportunity and say what God says. The word says, David ‘ran quickly to the battle line’ and took decisive action because the time for talking had past, and the need for swift action had come. Deliberate action in faith gets God’s attention and His favor, so that you do not act alone. His awesome power will move with you, bringing you to see victory and the prevailing word of God that will bring all those around you under the influence of His word and power. When you move in faith through your Goliath, you create a testimony God then uses to publish His fame in a way like you could never imagine. Your single act of obedience creates a single spark…but driven by a great wind that spreads the power of His name like wildfire. David in his youthful zeal would serve at God’s pleasure to tell a story of timeless influence proving, if but one thing, that God needs little more that your readiness to be His instrument. You see, man has a fame that awards himself, but God rewards and uses those who lay self aside–there on the battle line of His reputation to call forth glory in the face of the foolish. Are you listening to the Enemy’s degrading taunt? How’s it working out for you? Run to the battle line of obedience and sling the truth of God’s word letting it fly with boldness to declare the Greatness of YOUR God who slays the champion of fear.
Someone recently confessed they were presently walking through a fog, but in spite of deep hurts they were choosing to trust God. They went on to say, “When life doesn’t seem fair, the Word can give answers man cannot give and when you commune with God moment by moment you learn to hear His voice alone, even amongst the noise.” I have a question for you. Are you hearing God “amongst the noise”? Isaiah declares those who come to minister to the Lord find the house God chooses to live in. Jesus said in Luke 19:46; “My house shall be called a house of prayer”. Did you stop to think that God lives in a place of prayer. In a place where men would call on His name for refuge and strength. David says in Psalm 61:1-2, “Hear my cry, O God; Give heed to my prayer from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint.” Are you about to faint on some things? Prayer is the address to God’s house. David’s prayer is not just any prayer; no, it is a cry–a prayer of desperation. He is saying, ‘Lord I am at the end of it all about to faint and I desperately need you to lead me to a higher plane of thinking–there on the solid place where you dwell. In Genesis 35, God tells Jacob to go to the house of God and live there, but doing that would require removing some things that were unwelcome in God’s presence. In Isaiah 57, God rebukes those disobedient children who had been so influenced by an idolatrous culture they had failed to understand God’s silence and their own subtile rebellion. His word came then as it does now to shake men from their numbness to understand only those who find a refuge in Him will have an inheritance. God says, ‘My house is a house of prayer and I dwell in a place of refuge and deliverance.’ In Psalm 32 David declares, ‘God You are my hiding place’. Colossians 3:1-3; reminds every believer to stand because our life is hidden with Christ. Simply put, life is found in a hidden place there in the presence of Christ when we stand and find His refuge. As I recall, the storm didn’t stop for the disciples, just because Peter chose to get out of the boat and come to Jesus. But there was clearly a place with Peter where the storm couldn’t touch him. This storm may have fogged you in, but you have God’s address, and He is refuge from the storm. There is a sanctuary in the inner place of God’s house and a song being sung by a heavenly choir. Can you hear it? God says I want you to hear it…Psalm 32:7, “You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble; You surround me with songs of deliverance.” If you understand the song it is more like a shout because living in the refuge of Christ produces victory–because He has already overcome and there in God’s House He lives and prays for you…