Friday, November 9, 2012

Power in the Blood of Jesus


We all have many things that trouble us, from concern for health issues, heart and soul issues, relational issues, financial or job issues, and so much more. It can be easy to let our thoughts be taken over by worry, but worry never produces faith. We must turn our thoughts back to faith and regain that anchor in our soul. What anchors your faith? Have you stopped to think about it lately? The BLOOD OF JESUS is our anchor because it represents the fulfillment of every promise that has been made available to us. No matter what our need, the blood of Jesus secured it for us.

Every night for a week or more I have been unable to sleep. I find myself awake and going into the living room to pray. Last night, as I sat down, I began to worship and sing "Oh, the Blood of Jesus...it washes white as snow."  I hadn't thought about that song for a long time, but it led me to research a few things regarding the blood of Jesus. Take a look at all the scriptures concerning the blood of Jesus in your Bible. If we truly understood the POWER that resides in the blood of Christ we wouldn't take it for granted. It is because of Jesus shedding His blood for us that we are accepted in the Beloved, (Eph. 1:6). It is because of His blood that our hope is secure and will not be cut off,.( Prov. 23:18). It is the blood that still speaks on our behalf. God has made a covenant with us that He has not broken. Jesus said in Mark 11:24 that His blood is of the New Covenant, which He shed for many. He reminded us to have communion with Him often and do it in remembrance of the sacrifice He gave on our behalf. He tells us to remember the blood that was shed for us because it has power. In the act of taking communion with the Lord, the two disciples on the road to Emmaus who were so discouraged, broke bread with the Lord and had their eyes opened to the fact that HIS BLOOD CONTAINED RESURRECTION POWER. They didn't serve a dead god! The living God was right in front of them! Do you have confidence in God to uphold His end of the covenant? He is holy and cannot lie!


But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the Blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin. 1 John 1:7

IF we walk in the light - that is, the truth, - not resistant to God's ways. This allows for fellowship and purity to be released in greater measure into our lives. If we choose to hide from the conviction of our sin, we choose compromise and spiritual darkness creates blind spots and deception in our life. We begin to live a lie, denying the very identity we have in Christ. If we listen to Satan then we become subject to his leadership, tyranny and deception until he becomes our master. The reason why so many Christians fail to enter into the fullness of what God has made available for them is simply compromise. The enemy whispers his lies in our ears and we listen to fear rather than faith. We believe the father of lies rather than our heavenly Father who loves us and wants the best for us. And so, when we fail to trust God with our entire heart, surrendering our entire life, we adopt areas of compromise depending on what we believe about Him. And an open door of compromise is all the enemy needs to come in and flood our life with troubles, mischief, unbelief and much more. It is sad that we fail to trust the Lord to know what's best for us. We fail to surrender our hearts and lives to Him. We hold back, and want to retain the ability to make our own choices, rather than choosing to live a life led by the power of the Holy Spirit. Perhaps you say, "But I do pray over matters. I ask for God's guidance." This is good. But what about the matter of your pleasures, your attitudes, your conversations or your heart? Is He Lord and Master over these as well? Or does the lust for certain appetites present a compromise in your life? Does fear cause you to doubt whether God really will have a better plan than what you can figure out on your own? Are the enemy's lies accusing God of being unfair, or that it's ok to justify certain things that you know God would want you to surrender in order to live a more pure life? We all struggle, and we often don't appreciate the conviction when these questions are presented. We resist Him being the Full and Final Authority. Yet these are the areas we must surrender for the power of God to flow unhindered. Let the blood of Jesus come in and cleanse these areas of your life today. Ask the Holy Spirit to let the power of Jesus' blood purify your desires, your motives, your prayers and enable you to surrender every last bit of selfishness. In this we will all do well. Let me assure you, God will move mountains and do incredible things for those that surrender their right to play God of their own life. "For the eyes of the Lord go throughout the whole earth to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him." 2 Chron. 16:9

There is POWER to FORGIVE SINS:

Jesus Christ conquered Satan on his own ground, and after Satan had taken his best effort to destroy the Son of God, after Jesus was crucified, He went into Satan's domain to strip him of all authority and power. He took the keys of Death and Hades away from him, forever putting the enemy of our souls to an open shame - in front of all his co-partners in the works of evil and destruction.



  • “For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (Matthew 26:28)
     
  • “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” (Ephesians 1:7)
     
  • “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been made near by the blood of Christ.” (Ephesians 2:13)
     
  • “For the life of the flesh is in the blood … for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.” (Leviticus 17:11) 


  • There is POWER for DELIVERANCE:

    He obtained eternal redemption because of the shed blood, because He offered Himself without spot to God - and is able to cleanse our conscience from dead works. He does this so that we can serve the living God. Jesus Christ is the Mediator of the New Covenant, by which we are saved by His grace and our faith in the Son of God. (read Heb. 9:12-14)


  • … that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” (Hebrews 2:14)
     
  • “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13)
     
  • “Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.” (Colossians 2:15)
     
  • “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3:8)
     
  • “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” (Revelation 12:11)


  • There is POWER and AUTHORITY:

    • Jesus' blood makes it possible for us to enjoy communion with the Father and bring the needs of others to Him through our prayers and intercession. It gives us the ability to release blessing into the lives of others.


    • “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” (Luke 10:19)


    • “Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” (Luke 9:1)


    There is POWER for PROTECTION. It was the shed blood of Jesus that won the victory on cross and defeated all the power of the enemy. What was true then is still true today. I suggest to you that you pray for the blood of Jesus to cover, guard, protect, save, redeem and restore every aspect of your life, family, home, vehicle, job or business, finances, health, etc. Only God knows what is in the future. Only He can save, deliver and protect you from harm. Cut the enemy's plans off before they can be carried out. Declare the power of Jesus' blood over every aspect of your life and watch it change!


    • Declare the power of Jesus' blood to heal broken relationships, for the ministry of reconciliation is the ministry of Jesus Christ.
    • Declare the power of Jesus' blood over offense, unforgiveness and bitterness of past events.
    • Declare the power of Jesus' blood to cleanse your heart and mind from toxic thoughts and emotions.
    • Declare the power of Jesus' blood over strongholds and areas of unbelief. Declare every stronghold to collapse and surrender to truth.
    • Declare the power of Jesus' blood to remove unclean or impure desires. Ask God to let the power of the blood remove the wrong desires that tempt you (or those you are praying for) into sin.
    • Declare the blood of Jesus cleanses your conscience from dead works and gives you power to live a life that honors God.
    • Declare the blood of Jesus over the lusts of the flesh and the soulish ambitions.
    • Declare the blood of Jesus over pride, rebellion, and resistance to submission to God.
    • Declare the blood of Jesus over areas of struggle, such as unloving spirits, rejection, emotional brokenness or wounding, accusation, judgment or harsh attitudes.
    • Declare the blood of Jesus over wrong covenants to sever; declare the blood of Jesus over godly covenants to guard and protect.
    • Declare the blood of Jesus over your home and family members.
    • Declare the blood of Jesus over your income, job and finances, that the devourer would be rebuked.
    • Declare the blood of Jesus destroys the yoke of oppression, depression, hopelessness and grief.
    • Declare the blood of Jesus heals all your sickness and disease.
    • Declare the blood of Jesus seals shut the doors of your past, for forgiveness of generational sins of parents and grandparents.
    • Declare the blood of Jesus over the doors to your future, guarding and protecting your place of destiny. Declare that nothing will keep you out of them at the appointed time.
    • Declare the blood of Jesus over your body, mind, soul and spirit. Declare it over your loved ones.
    • Declare the blood of Jesus over that property that won't sell or to keep your property from going into foreclosure. Declare poverty to surrender and bow to the power of Jesus' blood over your finances.
    • Declare the blood of Jesus has intervened in your situation and the power of God has brought your victory. Faith pleases God and moves His hand.
     God has made provision for every need you have and I guarantee you there is a specific promise for you in His word. You just need to ask Him what it is and begin to declare the blood of Jesus has made it possible.

    When the enemy tries to flood your life with trouble, there is a promise for you in Isaiah 59:19. The Spirit of the Lord will raise up a standard against him. What is that standard? The power of the blood of Jesus! There is nothing more powerful than what Jesus did by shedding His innocent blood on our behalf. Satan cannot penetrate the blood. Jesus died to redeem us from the power of every curse that we might receive the promise of His Spirit through faith. (Read Gal. 3:13,14) The only thing Satan can do is to lie, deceive and entice us to live in compromise because it provides the open door he needs to gain access to your life. Friends, what is your need? It has already been provided for through the shed power of Jesus' blood. THERE IS POWER IN THE BLOOD! Revelation 12:11 declares our victory lies in the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. The power of Jesus' blood is because He was completely innocent of all sin and wrongdoing. His sacrifice was Holy. It was completely selfless and pure, and because of this, the POWER OF GOD lives on in the fact that Jesus gave His life so that we could enter into His rest and enter into His promises. Everything in the kingdom of God is entered into THROUGH FAITH in what Jesus did for us. It is the same FAITH that BELIEVES there is power in His blood to provide everything we need. We overcome by HIS BLOOD, and by the WORDS which we speak. Declare His promise and you can stand on the fact that the power of Jesus' blood has made this promise real and available to you -TODAY! This is real faith. It is the substance (something you can STAND ON, it bears up under weight) of what really exists in the realm of the unseen. (meditate on Heb. 11:1)

    There is a process to make prayers more effective and powerful. 1) A prayer to commit your life to Jesus as Lord, Master and Savior, asking for forgiveness of sins. 2) Renounce any areas of compromise and resistance to His will, to live in purity and righteousness. Renounce any spirits that may be operating in your life, such as: unforgiveness, jealousy, anger, slander, lust, rebellion, lack of submission, resistance to authority or dishonoring parents or authority figures, fear, lying spirits, etc. For a more comprehensive list, you can go to the articles under the month of March and look up the Breakthrough Prayer to Break Generational Curses. 3) a prayer and declaration covering every aspect of your life under the blood of Jesus, see above suggestions.

    Saturday, November 3, 2012

    Your Hope Will Not Be Cut Off!

    Friend, your hope will not be cut off! This is actually a “part two” to my previous article, “The God of Hope Will Restore You!” I began by introducing a scripture out of Genesis chapter 4. Adam and Eve had suffered the loss of their son, Abel, who was killed out of jealousy by his brother. It was a devastating blow to their family and the future generational line of the coming Messiah. God had to do something to insure their hope would not be cut off! Whenever death, loss and devastation try to claim a person’s hope, God has another plan. Whenever grief and disappointment want to overwhelm a person’s emotions, God has another plan. Whenever jealousy and anger rise up to kill off a person’s hope for the future, we can rest assured that God has another plan. In verse 25, the scripture reads, And Adam knew his wife again and she bore a son and named him Seth, (saying) “For God has appointed another seed for me instead of Abel, whom Cain killed.”


    We delved into this subject briefly in the previous article. The subject of this article is more focused on the scandalous side of God, and how He will seemingly break all the rules just to restore a person’s hope and future. He did it in the case of Tamar. She was an unlikely candidate for a breakthrough. What is amazing about this next story is that God was willing to disregard something considered taboo in order to give this tenacious woman hope for her future. The story of Tamar is found in Genesis 38. Something that is taboo is considered absolutely prohibited or forbidden by social or customary beliefs, tradition or law. It is something considered absolutely improper or unacceptable, and breaking a taboo will definitely cause strong personal reactions. This is what Tamar did, and God honored her for it, so let's take a look at why.


    This is an aspect of God’s character people may not stop to think about and many probably don't like. They would say it doesn't fit with their ideal that God has to "play fair." But God's standard of "fair and just" is not based on human standards or opinions. It is based on His ability to see every aspect of the situation, taking everyone's heart, motive and actions into consideration.  He takes into consideration everything the enemy has done. God is not concerned about offending people. Jesus offended people all the time. We all need to be prepared for the chance that God will do something to deliberately offend us at some point in time. As I said, God can be pretty scandalous at times. Why He approves some situations and not others is up to His judgment alone, but He is committed to restoring hope! When offense occurs, a person will probably not be prepared for it, but how you handle any offense is key to your own right standing in your relationship with God and others. Jesus equated slander and evil speaking to a spirit of murder, (Matthew 5:21). This is a spirit of Cain. God is quite aware of those that speak with the purpose to slander someone else's reputation or intentionally try to destroy their hope and future. He knows what motivates people. Murder begins in the heart, and we must each guard our heart and our mouth so that we don't speak the wrong things. Friends, let me tell you something. If you give your heart and mouth over to this sort of behavior you will not come into your promises. You can never expect God to open the door to what He has for you if it comes at the expense of destroying someone else's character. You cannot expect to come into your promise land by the act of violence. (Read Ps. 44:3,4). God brings a person in by His grace and His favor. If a person tries to take it by force, it shall be their undoing. God will take from one person's inheritance and give it to someone else more worthy. He took the talents of one and gave them to someone else that would use them wisely. Esau was another one that despised what he had been given and didn't really want it until he lost it. What did he do then? He went on a rampage trying to hunt down his brother so he could kill him. Esau was offended, but not enough to repent and really mean it. As a result, he lost his inheritance forever and was bitter about it. That bitterness caused him to pursue his brother with a vengeance.  When a person acts in a premeditated way to give themselves over to deliberately conspiring to hurt someone else, they will have to deal with God on that issue. But consider the fact that even though Jacob tried to take Esau's inheritance perhaps in a wrong manner, God allowed it. The Bible says that GOD CHOSE JACOB and hated Esau. The word 'hate' simply means 'not to choose.' Esau didn't choose to value his inheritance, so God gave it to someone that would. Scandalous, huh? :-)


    Offense can cause people to mistakenly ascribe a situation to the working of the enemy, rather than recognizing that God is at work on a different level. Don't get all wrapped up in something because you think what is transpiring can't possibly be God’s plan. God will mess with your theology and value system! You don't always have to agree with God but you do have to keep yourself from touching what He's doing. Often how God works goes against what a person thinks they understand about God or His word.  That is the time when you really need to guard your heart against being offended, because offense will always turn into rebellion if not surrendered to God. Offense is often pride that feels self knows better than God. Jesus challenged not only his disciples way of thinking, but the religious and those with hard, judgmental attitudes as well. They could not understand this God-man that was unsafe, uncontrollable and unpredictable, but it was also the reason why  they missed the time of their visitation! I will say it again, “God will break a taboo in order to personally see to it that the person HE HAS CHOSEN to carry out a particular task is able to fulfill it. He will disregard protocol, opinions and preferences of others so that those HE HAS CHOSEN to bear His name are able to do what they were commissioned to do. God will do just about anything to restore a person’s hope for the future. God will always see to it that a seed of hope is there to carry on the promise.” And when the enemy tries to kill that seed of hope, God can be even more inclined to seemingly break the rules that man thinks God should follow. Expect Him to turn things upside down. Expect Him to work outside of your understanding! He creates situations that will show His glory, both in the vessels He has created for honor, and those He has created for dishonor. His favor will shine on one while another receives His rebuke. It often offends those that don't understand why He is doing things a certain way. He won't fit in the box of anyone's expectations.


    Let us get back to the story of Tamar. Tamar married the son of Judah, whose name was Er. #1 son was wicked and the Bible says God killed him. The custom of the day was that the next son in line would marry the widow of his brother in order to make sure that a genealogical line always had an heir of inheritance. Judah’s second son, Onan, was to fulfill his brother’s duty of marrying Tamar and providing children as the inheritance for his deceased brother. But son #2 was wicked also and refused to honor what was expected of him, so therefore God killed him as well. The third son, Shelah, was much too young to marry but Judah deceptively convinced his daughter-in-law to be patient, and when he got of age, he promised that the youngest son would marry Tamar and give her children for her inheritance. Tamar put all her hope in this promise, yet Judah had no intention of fulfilling his part of the deal. Perhaps he became too afraid of losing another son. Both his previous sons had died, and no doubt he blamed Tamar rather than the wickedness of his own sons. But, eventually, Tamar came to realize the lack of integrity to fulfill the vow and became desperate. By this time, she had grown significantly older and her chances of marrying and having children were slipping by. Tamar was spurred on by the injustice of her situation and decided to do something about it. This where it gets really interesting.


    God is a God of justice, and it was the injustice that was put upon innocent Tamar that caused Him to look on her situation aside from all the legalities of the law. Tamar did the unthinkable: she took off her robes of a grieving widow and posed as a prostitute.  In disguise, she invited her father-in-law, Judah, into bed with her. It was a deliberate act to take what she felt she was entitled to, and she took it from the one person that had stood in her way to block her from receiving her inheritance. Remember, it was not only customary but it was her right to expect the Levirate law to be fulfilled so that the family line would be maintained . Tamar was desperate and was driven by a sense of injustice. Judah had made a promise but was insincere towards fulfilling it.  As a result of her bold act of faith, Tamar conceived  twins. There was no way she was going to be able to hide what she had done. When it was reported to her father-in-law that she was pregnant through an immoral act, Judah commanded that she be brought out to be stoned for her sin. Judah seized the opportunity rid himself of Tamar. Tamar, however, presented the staff and the signet that identified Judah as the father of her unborn children. Judah, when confronted with his sin, was convicted in his heart and declared, “She has been more righteous than I, because I did not give her Shelah my son.” What had been a private injustice was now known publicly. Because God saw it all, He decided to bless her actions that were birthed out of pain and injustice. Never let it be said that God does not see or understand what happens behind closed doors. He knew what Judah had promised, not just once, but twice, and He knew Judah never intended to make good on his promise. God knew the injustice. He understood what motivated both Judah and Tamar. Although it doesn’t sit well with our concept of “righteousness” or even our understanding of God’s word, GOD CHOSE TAMAR and put a blessing on her life. I am sure that if we had lived in her day, many people would say she was not worthy of the blessing she received. Many, including Judah, were probably offended at the thought of Tamar and her actions. She lured her father-in-law into bed under the guise of being a prostitute just to get impregnated. Many might say that she should have received the death sentence for her impropriety and unabashed, shameless way that she conducted herself. It would have been customary to have her stoned. However, this is not what what going through God’s mind or heart as her story was being played out! God always, always looks at the motivation of people's actions. Man may judge by outward appearances but God looks at the heart. He sees what is done in secret and what is conspired in order to deceive. He knows why people do the things they do. God disregarded what was taboo in the minds of others and gave her not just one child, but two: a double portion. Twins were considered a special blessing from the Lord. As she was giving birth, a midwife tied a scarlet thread around the hand of the child that was about to be born first, because his hand had already come out of the birth canal. (Zerah) had the scarlet thread around his hand in order to mark him as the firstborn. Then the unthinkable - and if I might add, what should have been physically impossible - occurred. Take note: Some people are called to displace others in the right of inheritance, but only GOD knows why. It is HIS right to choose. The other twin (Perez) suddenly moved into place, displacing his brother, and was born first. If you know anything about the tight constriction of the birth process and having a child move into the birth canal ready to be born, it would seem as though nothing would move that particular child out of place. Yet, by the appointment of God, and the perfect time and placement of God, this child came forth first and became the one to inherit the promise. He became the child named Perez, or breakthrough.  Tamar was a Canaanite that became a heroine in the Bible and in the lineage of the Messiah, despite where she came from and the nature of her actions. She gave birth to a son named Perez, which means breakthrough, and Perez was in the lineage of David. GOD CHOSE TAMAR AND HE CHOSE PEREZ. What hope it gives to all of us! No matter where you've come from or what you've done, God can put a special blessing on your life, too. Did you know He has also chosen YOU?


    There are other instances of course, in which God intervened in the lives of ordinary people simply to demonstrate who was chosen and who was not. Take King David, for example. David was chosen while Saul was not. There was a grave case for injustice there, too. Saul may have been first to take the kingship, but he used his power and authority unwisely. He used all his influence and all his resources to pursue and attempt to kill a man that was more righteous than himself - all because of jealousy. Let it be said that Saul was willing to sacrifice those on his side for the sake of selfish gain. He cared not for their souls but used them in a personal war of vengeance. Saul was afraid of losing his kingdom and began to act out of fear and offense. Had he truly repented, perhaps his story would have turned out different, but Saul was too proud to repent. He could only pursue the person he saw as a competitor and try to have him killed. (This is the spirit of Cain, rising up again!). Because of the injustice, David prevailed and inherited everything that belonged to Saul. Haman, too, and Esther, prevailed against injustice and destruction aimed at the Jews and inherited the house of their enemy. This is God’s position against treachery and injustice. He moves the mountains of impossibilities to make room for hope to be birthed again. What we recover is always more than is what is lost.


    There are more examples. In the life of an adulterous woman caught in the act and publicly shamed, Jesus became the exonerator and liberator. When all the accusers were demanding justice and wanting this woman stoned for her crimes, Jesus stood as a mediator and as a shield. He saw the injustice and He intervened. Did it come against the norm of the day? Yes. Did Jesus care if He offended people? Not one bit. A person others saw as offensive and expendable received the blessing of protection and forgiveness whether others thought she deserved it or not.


    Perhaps the most memorable of stigmas is the one that God allowed Mary, the mother of Jesus, to carry. Out of the blue, an angel showed up to announce God’s intention and His promise to a quite unsuspecting young woman. May I add that this young woman was innocent of any and all apparent transgression and yet still a virgin. She was considered innocent not only in the eyes of God, but in the public eye as well - but, once favor was bestowed upon her it didn’t seem to count for much in the eyes of the public. Once it was spoken out loud, once the evidence of God’s choosing and favor was upon her, Mary’s life was never the same. She was chosen for a great privilege and had God’s favor, yes, but to the world that was watching her life, all they could do was judge her and find her guilty of immorality. They did not know she had a visitation with an angel or that God had CHOSEN Mary. They wouldn't and couldn't believe it anyway because it was too much for them to wrap their head around. Mary became an outcast, yet she was chosen by God to bear His promise. She, too, was almost stoned for a sin of adultery. Mary was promised to marry a young man named Joseph, but even Joseph was offended enough that he wanted to rid himself of her. He thought she had been unfaithful. He didn't want to bear the shame of identifying with Mary nor the offense he felt towards her. Joseph wanted to divorce her privately until God gave him a dream and reassured him that Mary was in fact innocent of transgression. God had to speak to Joseph to help him understand that everything that was happening was really the plan of God, then Joseph got on board with God's plan. Joseph had been hand picked to protect and preserve not just Mary, but the promised Messiah. What an honor! But it also brought great trouble. God had to resolve Joseph's offense and troubled mind. God didn’t lift the stigma of false judgment and accusation; He simply removed them from public view for a season while the promise came to birth.



    We ask for much, but sometimes I wonder if we truly realize what it will cost. What is the stigma we must bear for God's promise coming to pass in our life? The spirit of Cain and the spirit of death cooperate together to try to kill, steal and destroy our hope for the future. Hell will always be unleashed to destroy the prophetic promise before it can come to birth, but even in those cases we have a hope that will not be cut off. God has a plan to bring it all to completion."For I know the thoughts I think about you," says the Lord, "thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." (Jer. 29:11).

    This is the God we serve; a God that isn’t safe, predictable and not able to be controlled. This is the God that loves us so incomprehensibly and so dearly that He is willing to break what is considered taboo just to bless us and give us hope for our future. He doesn’t care who it offends as long as we continue to have hope, knowing that He will never leave us or forsake us. He sets things right. And when the enemy comes to kill the plan or promise of God, He has a seed waiting that will spring forth and bear fruit to birth HIS promise at the appointed time. It is already appointed and set in place. Dear one, your hope will not be cut off. God sees. He understands, and He has a plan with all of this in mind. This is the God that loves you.