Saturday, August 29, 2015

Coming Home

If I asked you where you came from, what response would you give?


There are a lot of people on this planet searching for truth, searching for purpose, and trying to figure out who they are. Yet the truth that is key to discovering who you are and what you are created for is found in a portion of scripture that many may not have discovered.


The Gospels tell the life story of Jesus Christ. In His life, our life is found. Jesus did say that he was the way the truth and the life. In Him we find the truth that allows us to catch a glimpse of who we are, who we belong to, and who we are to return to when our days on earth come to an end. This is an important key revelation to anyone that is seeking to discover their true identity. How can you possibly understand who you are if you don’t know where you came from?


If you understand where you came from and to whom you belong, the result is a dawning of awareness that you are loved, valued, accepted, and born with a divine purpose in mind. Jesus was the forerunner of us all and His life is a model for us. Jesus had parents that brought him up with an understanding that He had been born into the earth to carry out a divine plan and purpose. He was born with the understanding that He came from God and one day would return to God, His Father. Mary and Joseph were simply his earthly parents who had been chosen by God to care for Jesus and bring Him up in the ways of the Lord. In John 13:3, as Jesus’ earthly assignment was coming to a close, scripture tells us that Jesus knew He had come from God and was preparing to go back to God. This truth sets the stage for a profound revelation for each one of us, too.


Scripture says that God put eternity into our hearts. Our spirit longs to connect with God. Human beings are hard-wired to worship God, but unless we are born again we will worship things of the world instead of giving our time, attention and adoration to Him.


“How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He's the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth's foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son. Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we're a free people - free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free!


He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth. It's in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone. It's in Christ that you, once you heard the truth and believed it (this Message of your salvation), found yourselves home free - signed, sealed, and delivered by the Holy Spirit. This signet from God is the first installment on what's coming, a reminder that we'll get everything God has planned for us, a praising and glorious life.” Ephesians 1:3-14 MSG Bible


God dreamed about each and every individual long before they were born into the earth as a human baby. Do you know why we are so special to Him? Because we were formed in His image. We were made to be like God, and do the things He does. We have a Father who loves us, and He longs for each of us to connect with Him as sons and daughters. When we do, we have a greater understanding that THIS is where we came from...We are made in His image for a reason and a purpose, to do the works of God just like Jesus. Now THAT is empowering. Jesus Christ, God's only Son, gave His life in exchange for our sin. He took all the punishment so that we would not have to bear it. All we must do is to receive that truth, and live in relationship with the Father who loves us. Abide in the truth of God’s word, and live in intimacy with God’s Holy Spirit.


Take a look at what God spoke to His servant Jeremiah. "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." Knowing someone refers to an intimate, personal relationship. God told Jeremiah that He knew him even before he formed Jeremiah in his mother’s womb. If that truth applies to Jeremiah, it applies to each one of us, too, for Jeremiah was an ordinary man just like any other. God chose Jeremiah to know Him, and Jeremiah responded positively. It was Jeremiah’s response that revealed his purpose on earth. If Jeremiah had not accepted God’s invitation to know Him, he never could have understood what God had ordained for his life’s purpose. Here we see that discovering our true identity must first be established by knowing where we came from, and to whom we belong.


Of course, God has left the decision up to every person as to what path they will choose. They can choose to reject the offer of eternal life, and their spirit will never be reborn into the kingdom of God, and they will never obtain entrance into the kingdom of heaven. That choice comes with severe consequences. But, the beauty of knowing that we are loved by God and always have been loved by Him is a wonder beyond comprehension. The Creator of the Universe knows us personally. Everything about us. Every tear that we shed. Every pain and disappointment we hide inside. He knows every experience we’ve ever had, every word before it comes out of our mouth. He knows us at our worst, and loves us anyway. Accepts us anyway. He gave His only beloved Son to die in our place just so that we could have the opportunity to return home one day and not have to experience eternal suffering for all our wrong choices. Our Father, the Lord Jesus, and all of heaven’s angels are pulling for us to choose life. Choose Jesus and say yes to His offer of salvation.

He is the door we must all come through in order to re-connect with our heavenly Father. When a person invites Jesus to be their Lord and Savior, His Holy Spirit comes into that person’s heart and flips on the light switch, so to speak. We begin to see things that once were just shadows lurking in the corner of the room. We throw open the closet door and (gasp!) discover things in there that really need to be taken out to the curb. None of it bothers the Lord. He already knew what was in there anyway, and He always lends a hand in helping us clean out the trash. Isn’t it amazing to discover that no matter what you’ve gone through, no matter how rough the world has been on you, you’re loved and accepted by your Father in heaven. He has so many secrets waiting to tell you! Yet, all the secrets stay forever hidden until we turn to Him and say, “Father, I’m sorry...I just didn’t realize...I’ve strayed. I am beginning to believe that You do know all about me. You do care. My eyes and my understanding have been blinded by a lot of things, but I want to come home. I want to know you again like I did before we got separated. Will you forgive me for believing a lot of lies? Will you please let the blood of Jesus cover my sins? I want to know my name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Thank you for eternal life and forgiveness. Thank You Jesus for dying in my place. You are the Son of God and I believe in You. In your name I pray, amen.”

Friday, August 28, 2015

Working with God in Self Deliverance

Every day I have people write to me, asking for help in personal deliverance issues. As much as I want to give everyone personal attention, I'm beginning to understand the need to address some of these things publicly rather than spending copious amounts of time writing each person a lengthy email or series of emails trying to assist them with their issues. With that said, please know that my heart is to help as much as possible, as time permits.

One issue that I seem to be addressing more and more frequently is the issue of incubus/succubus and demons of a sexual nature. (See attached prayer). I have had over 200 hits on this topic in just the last week alone, and multiple emails. I find that I tend to be repeating myself as I attempt to help individuals on this issue. What I'm hearing from others is that they can't find anyone to help them on this particular issue. I also realize that people often feel deeply embarrassed and fearful of approaching their pastors or other ministers on this subject, and I think they tend to prefer the anonymity of email or internet ministry. It's really hard for people to gain the courage to say, "Umm, excuse me, but can you help me get free from this sexual demon that won't go away?" 

Those things plagued me for a long time, too.I seemed to have been born into it. I struggled with lust and familiar spirits even as a child. I was far too young to realize what was happening to me, it was just always a part of my life. Once I got older and understood more about generational curses I realized that there were things I had to deal with through my ancestors. Lust, idolatry, familiar spirits and generational rebellion (which is a spirit of witchcraft) were very strong in my family line. I didn't understand any of that for a very long time. It's not like we had practicing witches casting spells over a black cauldron or anything; but the spirits were there none-the-less. FYI: A spirit of rebellion will grow stronger with each generation if it is never renounced and repented for, allowing the blood of Jesus to cover that sin. Thus, it becomes idolatry in the sense that God is not God in the person's life; they become their own god and allow other spirits to have dominion over them. Idolatry always has witchcraft connected to it in some form.

So how do you get them to go away? 

The first thing people need to understand is that whether it concerns incubus/succubus demons, addictions or any other demonic spirit that is attached to their life, the process of getting free is going to require work on the part of the individual. While a Christian can exercise their authority in Christ and command a demon to leave another person, we have to consider that may not always be the best solution. It can be irresponsible to cast out a demon if the person is not willing to take personal responsibility for their sin, because those demons will just come back even stronger. A demon will come back into a house that hasn't been swept clean and filled with the Holy Spirit. (See Matthew 12:43,33 & Luke 11:24,25). It is very important to fill that void with good and godly things that fill up the space so that there isn't room for demons to come back. Prayer, worship, the infilling of the Holy Spirit, reading the word of God, speaking in tongues and good godly relationships are vital to spiritual health and personal growth. It's like hanging the "NO VACANCY" sign and letting them know there's no more room for them here! Many people just want to be free from the demonic spirits that are tormenting them, but freedom never comes without personal responsibility. We must own our sin. We must own the sin of our ancestors, whether we participated in it or not. If it's in our generational line, it's ours by inheritance. We must deal with the things that our ancestors opened a door to or the enemy has a legal right to access our life - and those of our family. Kids will end up dealing with the junk that their parents and grandparents never brought under the atoning blood of Jesus. It doesn't matter if we agree with it or not. We can argue our own ideas,philosophies and theology until the cows come home but it really doesn't make a bit of difference whether or not we believe it, agree with it, or like it. I agree it's a bum deal but it's just the way the spiritual realm works. We each have the responsibility of cleaning up our own backyard, so to speak. For more information on how generational curses arrive in a person's life, go to the page link on the upper right side of the home page, "Understanding Generational Curses." 

Our Breakthrough Prayer is very thorough and it lists a lot of things, but consider it a starting point. (Go to the link on the right, about half way down the page). It's important to be specific and name as much as you can that you know about. Tell the Lord you want nothing to do with any of the things tied into generational rebellion, idolatry, the occult and other things. Sincerely ask your heavenly Father to apply the blood of Jesus to any doors that were opened knowingly or unknowingly by yourself or your ancestors. Speak it out of your mouth that you divorce all unclean and ungodly spirits and that you choose to join yourself to the Lord Jesus Christ as the only God you will serve. Every time God has delivered me from something, it wasn't just because I said a particular prayer. The prayer helped open the door to my understanding but often I needed to go a bit deeper. It can be different for everyone. I"m just trying to tell you how God has worked in me. I know we all want the quick fix and just get it over with, but that isn't always the way God works. He wants us to understand what got us in bondage to begin with so that we have the knowledge to stay free and then help others. One thing we have to understand is that the Lord will wait until He knows that we not only desire our freedom, but we recognize that there is something He calls sin that has allowed those demons to attach themselves to us. Working with Holy Spirit is imperative so that He can reveal your blind spots. Ask Him to help you understand what has given those demons access. 

One thing that is needed is to examine your heart to see if you have any open doors through unforgiveness or unhealed offense with someone. If we carry unforgiveness it brings torment and affliction with it. (See my previous article, Healing the Breach).Those are common to many people and give demons a legal right to remain until the issues of the heart are resolved. You must forgive and yes, it must be sincere. Not just from your mouth, but from your heart. Demonic spirits feel welcome when they've been a part of your life for a long time and they don't want to leave easily, but the key is to figure out where you have an agreement in the spiritual realm. Demons know when you're sincere AND submitted to God. If they see some open door from your ancestors that never got dealt with properly, they know they have a legal right to stay. Also check your home for any cultural art such as tribal masks, or obelisks for instance. Things such as unholy music or videos, statues or anything connected to other religions can possibly be used in occult practices. Those things can also allow demons access without people recognizing them. Again, Holy Spirit is your helper. You need Him to reveal what things the enemy is tied to in your life. If you prepare your heart to hear, God will answer. He never denies His children the answers they need to get free!

I mentioned the topic of sexual demons above, so let me just address this a bit. Lust is not just sexual. It's also tied into a desire for promotion, a drivenness to achieve personal success or even a need for recognition (selfish ambition). It can manifest in your business or personal life in various ways. Often when a person has wrestled with shame, rejection, insecurity or feelings of unworthiness - lust, selfish ambition and idolatry comes in as a by-product of other emotional wounds. It took me many, many years to realize that I still had open doors to the enemy that I didn't recognize as open doors. Rejection was very strong in my life and the enemy had done a great deal to insure that I incurred wounds that wouldn't heal quickly. If you had asked me, I would have told you that I was not in sin or doing anything wrong, but I also had blind spots that the enemy didn't want me to understand. Often the key to deliverance from one issue is directly connected to healing of a heart issue. The key to freedom is tied into your perspective of what it means to walk in true humility and submission to God's Holy Spirit. We all need to work with Him to heal the belief system that affects our identity. When the identity and wound issues are healed it often helps a person regain control over other things too.

My suggestion is to pick a time when you can be alone with the Lord and put on some worship music that allows you to really connect with Him in a deeper way. If you don't know what to pick, Kari Jobe has some videos on You Tube and usually her songs are very intimate with a healing theme. Just worship God for a while and tell him how grateful you are for Him. Praise Him for being your healer and deliverer. Then begin to pray from the heart, asking Holy Spirit to reveal specific things that will deliver you from everything unclean and ungodly in His sight. Tell Him that you truly want your deliverance and you want no benefit from anything the enemy has brought into your life. Let Him know you are ready and willing to face whatever He needs to show you. In your worship and prayer time, ask Holy Spirit to reveal the lies that have affected your belief system, then be prepared to renounce and forsake them. More than likely, you have come into agreement with something that the enemy has used to forge an agreement in the spiritual realm, which is why the demons haven't left yet. Somewhere a lie has registered in your belief system that you cannot be free unless or until..........(fill in the blank). I used to feel that way when I was addicted to alcohol. I was convinced I couldn't quit, but that was a lie the enemy used to infiltrate my belief system so that I WOULD AGREE WITH HIM. Once I realized every temptation had a lie connected to it, it became easier to resist the enemy and recover my will to overpower his. As with any sin, you have to realize the lie, renounce it, and then exercise your will to resist that temptation. You have more power than you realize! Are you using the authority that Christ gave you? You need to get in the enemy's face and tell him in no uncertain terms that he is not welcome. Let Satan know that He is not your god! Devils are not welcome.  There is a no vacancy sign out front. They must go in Jesus name! 

You can get set free simply by working directly with the Holy Spirit. My husband and I did, and he can do it for you, too. I pray that this article has been helpful. Go through it again, taking time to click on the links and read the other articles and speak out the prayers. Don't give up! If you are persistent with Holy Spirit, I promise He will not fail you! 

Please check out my new book called Seduced into Shame. It has all the information in one place...the root issues behind lust and sexual addictions, how to help diagnose your own situation, and working with God towards your own healing and deliverance. You don't have to live with sexual demons, addictions, or the shame associated with secret sins. Order a copy for yourself or gift it to someone you know that is struggling with porn or other lust related issues. Available on Amazon.com


Monday, August 24, 2015

Healing the Breach

One of the most difficult things people struggle with are the stinging barbs left by the critical words of others. It’s not usually the harsh words of a stranger that tends to leave a wound. It’s the unexpected or unwarranted criticism of those we love and care about.

Criticism, if not carefully spoken in love or with a redemptive purpose in mind, can come across as an insult. Insults offend. They also create a tear in the relationship that then requires diligent care to restore so that the enemy cannot further exploit that area of distress. Insensitive words cause others to feel dejected, humiliated,  judged, or leave them with a sense of not measuring up.  The person receiving hard or critical comments can feel knocked off balance. These emotions then tell them that the person that spoke those words are unsafe and unable to be trusted, and fear of receiving more of the same treatment causes emotional distance. A breach of relationship occurs. Over time, and with repeated similar actions, those broken areas of trust create anger, offense, unforgiveness and eventually, bitter root judgments against themselves and others.

“A sensitive answer turns back wrath, but an offensive word stirs up anger.Prov. 15:1 CEB

Harsh and insensitive words come from our own untended hurts, wounds and irritations. Those things cause us to be impatient with the growth process in others. Impatience can cause a person to feel very irritated and unable to adequately love others while they are working through their own issues. Perhaps we all need to take a step back and ask whether or not that thing we really want to say to someone else is so necessary to blurt out, or is it just our pride that tends to elevate judgment above kindness? While it may feel good momentarily to get some irritation off of our chest, the reality is, when we do, we often neglect to think about how our comments may bruise or damage someone else. My friend Reda Sue has a great little saying. Sometimes our soul just wants to be ornery. Isn't that the truth? Pride doesn’t consider how anyone else feels. It’s only concerned with making ourselves feel better. Once those critical, judgmental or harsh words leave our mouth, the affect they have on others can be complex. It can be far worse than what we realize, because the enemy is right there to take advantage of any opportunity to blow things out of proportion. When the accuser grabs hold of those words, he magnifies offense and creates a deeper wound, further dividing the relationship. Before you know it, both sides are at a stand-off.  

The key to healing our own words is to first recognize that we all fall short of the glory of God. We are all sinners in need of a merciful God. People will sometimes disappoint us. We have all had times when we have failed to make good decisions. We've neglected to stand up when we should have stood up. We've said the wrong things when we should have kept our mouth shut. It could be any number of things, but the point is, we are all human. Should we not have compassion on those that are just as human as we are and prone to stumbling from time to time? Regardless of how we may tend to justify our words or actions, if we hurt others or cause deliberate pain just so that we can make ourselves feel better, then we are in need of forgiveness. Pride is offensive to God. The only way to freedom is through humility, to recognize that we have offended not just another individual, but the Lord Himself, and are in need of His mercy.

I am reminded of a parable Jesus told in Matthew 18 about the unforgiving servant. A king set about to settle outstanding debts with those that were indebted to him. One man begged for more time to settle his debt and the king was gracious to him. Yet, later on, that same man refused to extend the same sort of grace and forgiveness to someone that was indebted to him. Instead, he viciously grabbed him by the throat, demanded that his fellow servant pay him what was owed, and threw him in jail. He refused to release this man from what he felt he was owed. Other servants found out about this man’s unwillingness to forgive a debt and told the king what he had done. The king was so outraged that this is what he told him:

 “Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.”

“Jesus said, ‘So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.” (Matthew 18:32-35).

Did you catch the fact that the first man and the second man were both servants to the king? Neither one was any better than the other, yet one lorded over the other and refused to forgive his debt. What the first man was really saying through his actions is that he did not want the other man to be free or healed. That is an offense that warrants serious correction from the Lord. Can I tell you something? We are all indebted to Jesus Christ for paying a debt we could not pay. He paid with His life in exchange for ours. He ransomed us from eternal punishment as our sins deserved. When we refuse to be gracious towards anyone - regardless of what they may or may not have done - that is an offense to the cross of Christ. 

Any unhealed offense or unforgiveness will result in some sort of affliction and captivity if it is not dealt with immediately. Affliction can mean a lot of things and none of them are good. Friend, your spirit can’t breathe if your understanding of the gospel is distorted. When a person rationalizes their own faults with compassion and grace but cannot extend that same compassion and mercy towards others because they have a critical spirit, then they have established a false standard. God hates false weights and measures because it results in injustice. The gospel is not biased like that or full of prejudice. That is the beauty of the good news. The gospel that you apply to yourself must be equally applied to others as well. God’s grace and mercy is available to all.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me. Lead me in the way everlasting.” Ps. 139:23,24

David was a man with many faults but considered a friend of the King. It was because he wasn’t afraid to examine his own heart and ask the Lord to do the same. Psalm 51 is another example of the integrity of David’s heart. He knew he was prone to sin but asked God to create a clean heart in him. The thing that David feared most was the thought of God’s Holy Spirit departing from his life. He was compelled to worship God in Spirit and in truth. God honored his request and showed him his faults so that David could repent and have his heart in right standing with the Lord. This is the right way to relate to God. Friend, I pray that you would earnestly seek the Lord to inquire of Him. Ask Him if there is anything you have tried to sweep under the rug. Sometimes when we don’t really know how to deal with a situation, we tend to try to avoid it altogether. That doesn’t mean it’s really resolved. God is dealing with His body, His bride, and He is leaving no stone unturned. You can’t hide from Him, and I pray you won’t try. If there is someone in your life you tend to want to avoid, then consider that the Lord may be asking you to deal with underlying issues. You will never truly move forward until you’ve released everyone from your past. God let you off the hook. Don’t you think it’s time you do the same for others?  Ask the Lord to give you a double measure of grace and compassion to allow your forgiveness be more than just words out of your mouth, but genuine.

I will tell you how to make it effective and real. I am reminded of when I used to have to pull weeds out of our garden when I was young. Oh, how I hated that job! Have you ever tried to pull up a tightly rooted plant up out of dry ground? It’s impossible. Part of the root will break off and on the surface it might look better for a while, but the plant will always grow back. But, if the ground is well saturated you can pull up the weeds, and they come up very easily. Even the long rooted, stubborn plants will come out as long as the saturation goes down deep enough to reach the tip of the roots. I remember pulling on those big dandelion plants trying to get them out of the ground. It’s almost like surgery. You have to do it so gingerly and carefully so as not to break off a part of the root. You have to get the whole thing. If you ever got assigned to weed pulling as a child, you know what I mean! When you finally felt it give way and begin to come up out of the earth, it was so rewarding to get that bugger finally pulled up, wasn’t it? Spiritually rooted issues are a lot like that too.

If you’re heart is not well saturated in worship and prayer, those stubbornly rooted issues are not going to come up. You may get part of it, but to do the real surgery, you have to be in the presence of God where your heart is humbled and compliant to whatever He requests. You have to be properly motivated, and sometimes that is where God allows the devil to bring affliction for a season. God is not into tormenting His people, BUT, the devil is more than willing if we open a door to him. Unforgiveness grants him legal access. Go back to Matthew 18:32-35. Whether it be poverty, infirmity, a thorn in your flesh of some sort, or even mental torment of your thoughts so that you have no peace; God will allow the enemy to bring affliction if a person is guilty of breaking a spiritual law. He wants us to figure out that the affliction is connected to a heart issue that has gone on too long.

It’s time to clear the airwaves of judgments and harsh, critical words. They don’t just hang over the heads of those that you spoke them about; they hang over your head as well. Those words laced with judgment will block your path. It’s time to ask the Lord to cut those strings and let those words fall to the ground. Tell the Lord you release those that have offended, hurt or disappointed you. Ask the Lord to let no more bad fruit come from word laced with the spirit of death. Speak blessing over those individuals, and ask the Lord to bless and heal all wounds so that the enemy can no longer take advantage of either of you. You’d be surprised at what has been held back, waiting for you to take these steps of faith. The answers to prayer that you’ve been waiting for may just be connected to this very thing. When one thing is released, other things often follow suit.




Friday, August 7, 2015

Missing Pieces

One of the most delightful aspects of God is the way He communicates with mankind. When God communicates, how can we not get excited? To know the thoughts of our Creator...to be included in His conversations, is unfathomable. Yet, this great and powerful, all knowing God calls us friend.


Our all knowing, ever present, incredibly gracious God is not just some distant, out-of-touch Supreme Being. Far from it. The Lord God is accessible and approachable, gracious and kind. He invites us to step into his presence when ever we like, sit down and have a nice, friendly chat. I think that’s the concept Jesus wanted His disciples to grasp when He told them the Kingdom of God was ‘at hand.’ It was nearer than they imagined; they just needed to understand how attainable and available it was to tap into the Kingdom. Everything they needed was within reach, if they could only wrap their mind around this foreign way of thinking.


Revelation is a beautiful thing. It allows us to transcend our natural realm and travel through this invisible doorway between our world and the supernatural realm. Within this portal is the gateway between God and man, containing answers to prayer and the solutions to our needs.


The world is full of people that do not have answers to the questions of their hearts. There are kings of this earth that lack answers to the needs at hand because God has not allowed them to receive the answers they need. Indeed, like the king in Daniel’s day or the Pharaoh in the time of Joseph, God has set the stage for them to receive the answers to the questions of their heart but only in His way, and from the very people that HE has chosen to release those answers.


In Genesis 41:15-16, Joseph was remembered in the time of Pharaoh’s need. Pharaoh had a troubling dream that he was unable to understand. This was Joseph’s response:


Pharaoh said to Joseph, "I have had a dream, but no one can interpret it; and I have heard it said about you, that when you hear a dream you can interpret it."Joseph then answered Pharaoh, saying, "It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favorable answer."


We see another similar situation in Daniel chapter 2, where King Nebuchadnezzar had a very frightening dream that he was unable to remember, much less understand. The king called for all his wise men, magicians and prognosticators. None could tell him what he needed to know, until Daniel. In verse 16, Daniel went in to see the king. “Give me a little time,” he said, “and I will tell you the dream and what it means.”


17 Then he went home and told Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions. 18 They asked the God of heaven to show them his mercy by telling them the secret, so they would not die with the others. 19 And that night in a vision God told Daniel what the king had dreamed.
Then Daniel praised the God of heaven, 20 saying, “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for he alone has all wisdom and all power. 21 World events are under his control. He removes kings and sets others on their thrones. He gives wise men their wisdom and scholars their intelligence. 22 He reveals profound mysteries beyond man’s understanding. He knows all hidden things, for he is light, and darkness is no obstacle to him. 23 I thank and praise you, O God of my fathers, for you have given me wisdom and glowing health, and now even this vision of the king’s dream and the understanding of what it means.”
24 Then Daniel went in to see Arioch, who had been ordered to execute the wise men of Babylon, and said, “Don’t kill them. Take me to the king, and I will tell him what he wants to know.”
25 Then Arioch hurried Daniel in to the king and said, “I’ve found one of the Jewish captives who will tell you your dream!”
26 The king said to Daniel, “Is this true? Can you tell me what my dream was and what it means?”
27 Daniel replied, “No wise man, astrologer, magician, or wizard can tell the king such things, 28 but there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and he has told you in your dream what will happen in the future.”
God reveals His secrets to His prophets. He gives a certain skill to dream interpreters. He fills His vessels with wisdom that is uncommon to man. He puts the life of His Spirit in people that bear His name. God has people assigned to you, to help you, no matter what the problem is. Now that is a comforting thought! 

Have you ever put a puzzle together and found yourself missing a piece or two? Without those missing pieces, the picture is incomplete. You can look in the box, look on the table, go back to the box and look again even when you know it isn't going to be there, only to discover that the piece(s) you needed to complete the picture were actually in an entirely different place than where you were looking. Sometimes finding the answers to life issues are like that too. We need to stop looking where we think we're going to find the answer, and look in a completely different place. If doing the same old thing hasn't produced the missing puzzle pieces, stop going back to your box! You probably need to go about your problem solving in an entirely different way. 

From financial matters, to family matters, to the inner issues of the heart, healing, direction or something else, God has the missing pieces we need. Sometimes the pieces He uses aren't even on the table. Perhaps what you're looking for isn't in the place you'd expect to find it. Yet, He knows where to find anything and everything! He knows how to direct your steps and he knows how to direct others to find you! (You are the answer to someone else's need, you know!) Our heavenly Father has never stopped wanting to give us answers for the questions of our heart. The problem is, we get so accustomed to trying to work things out on our own, or using what our analytical skills convince us is the right course of action, that we can just keep hitting a wall without results. I think it’s hard for people to admit they don’t know what WILL get results, so they just keep trying anything and everything, wearing themselves out, when they should just stop and pray. Do you think God doesn’t know how to solve your dilemma? Can He lead you to someone that might be able to help you? Of course. Even now, if you lack a needed answer for a certain situation that you face, rest assured that God has the answer. Sometimes He gives it to us directly, and at other times, for reasons only He understands, He has decided that the answer will come through a specific person at a specific time. So much of what God does is connected to the timing of events beyond our comprehension. I believe He does this to prove to man that we really do truly need Him, and we need each other. We need the gifts of His Spirit. It humbles man's pride to have to admit that they cannot figure everything out without Him. This world needs to come back to admitting that truth: We don't have the answers, Lord. Forgive us for trying to lead ourselves and be our own god. We can wear ourselves out with all our good efforts and still come up empty handed without the answers we need simply because we fail to ask the right questions. If that is you today, perhaps today is the day to pray a bit different and think outside of your expected course of action. Maybe you just need to stop attempting to resolve the problems you face by your own strength and look to the Lord. He has put His answers in human vessels to show His glory on the earth.


PRAY:


“Father God, I cannot solve the problems at hand without You. I admit, I continue to come up short. I lack answers. I lack wisdom. Forgive me, please, for not turning to You sooner. I humble myself before You. None of my efforts have unlocked the answers or the solutions that I need.”

“Father, if you do not intend to give the answer I need directly to me, then who have you chosen to release the answer? Who would you direct me to that can answer the questions of my heart? Certainly you have chosen someone that can provide the wisdom and answers that I seek. Please lead me to the right person. And, if I am waiting on someone else to find me, then bless me with the wisdom, understanding and answers for the questions of their heart. Let me be Your vessel that You pour through to help solve other people’s needs. Show me what You would have me to do. Please bring together the missing pieces. In Jesus name, amen.”

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Carpe Diem - Seize the Day!



Many people see the words 'Carpe Diem' and interpret it to live as they please. Do what you will. Pursue pleasure. Experiment so that you can say you have no regrets, nothing you haven't tried. You only live once, so try everything you desire. Give no thought to tomorrow. Those in the world live influenced by the spirit of lawlessness in the world, but for those in the body of Christ, I believe it has another meaning altogether. 

Seize the moment you live in right now. None of us are promised tomorrow. Therefore, today becomes the day of our salvation. Today becomes the day of change and evaluating our choices. Today is not the day for living lazy or unproductive lives. and it's not the day we can afford to spend carelessly. 


  Living with no regrets 

A life without regret includes living in such a way that insures that we don't feel sad knowing that there were things we wanted to accomplish but failed to achieve. We can either align our relationships, words, actions and lifestyle with those things that produce death, or we can align ourselves with things that produce life. Our relationships should produce life. Even our habits should be sanctified enough that they don't end up subtracting spiritual strength. If we align ourselves with things that subtract from our joy, peace, vitality and spiritual life in Christ then we have aligned ourselves with things that produce death.Sometimes it really takes discernment to know the difference, because not everything that feels good to our flesh are things that produce life. Sin feels good to our flesh, but sometimes the effect it has on our life isn't immediately recognized. That is why we cannot evaluate the things in our life simply by our own judgment or emotional attachments. We must evaluate those things by the word of God, for His word of truth is the only accurate way to measure the fruit that is produced. It takes wisdom to know the difference, and strength of character to part ways with things, people, relationships or habits that have death attached to them. 

There is a fine line between not walking under a spirit of condemnation and legalism, and grace. That "line" may be in a different place for each person at any given time. It's not that God has different standards for everyone, but His grace and level of discipline is sufficient for the level of understanding for every individual, depending on where they are in their own level of personal growth. We are held accountable to the truth that we know. 

There is a lie that the enemy circulates that sounds so believable. Indeed, our flesh wants to believe it, and thus avoid accountability to what we already know. The lie is that we can do what we wish, when we want, and stand upon the scriptures that cite grace vs. law. The lie is we are under grace and can therefore adopt a lazy, non-compliant attitude towards the truth of God's word, fooling ourselves into thinking that there are no consequences because "we are under grace." THAT is a dangerous line of rationale and if one is not careful, a person can be lulled to sleep under a false sense of grace. 

I do not wish in any way to diminish the gracious goodness of God. Truly, He extends grace far beyond what any of us deserve. God does not condemn us, but He will convict us of a need for change. That is the job of the Holy Spirit, and it's done with love. If necessary, His love can take the form of a stronger rebuke, but again, it's done out of love. Please don't take this as legalism. I do, however, wish to issue a word of caution to BEWARE of the adulterous spirit that attempts to lead people astray. It is a seductive, enticing spirit that has a hypnotic effect. It can cause a person to feel quite desensitized to things that the enemy uses to lull a person to sleep. Satan has supernatural ability to produce this demonic magic that acts drug-like on a person's senses. It dulls spiritual intuitiveness and discernment, resulting in spiritual blindness and slumber. Proverbs 23:26-28 says it like this: "My son, give me your heart and let your eyes observe My ways. For a harlot is a deep pit, and a seductress is a narrow well. She also lies in wait as for a victim, and increases the unfaithful among men."

The way of a seductress is to tell people what they want to hear. She whispers her lies ever-so-softly in her victim's ear, comforting them with thoughts that they are not doing anything wrong or finding ways to justify certain behaviors. The seductress will even agree with scripture in order to use it to her advantage. She will tell you that you are not under the law. She will remind you that you are under grace. There is no condemnation for those that are in Christ. Relax. Enjoy life. Don't take things so seriously. You deserve your pleasure. Indulge, for a few moments. God isn't going to be mad at you. 

This is true, to a degree, but it's not a universal law that one can adopt and apply it to every situation or individual at all times. There is a fine line between enjoying life the way God intended, and being tempted away by a seducing, lying spirit to live in false grace. False grace makes room for disobedience, and disobedience is rebellion. 

"Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the hearts." (Prov. 21:3).

Spiritual laziness casts one into a deep sleep. (See Proverbs 19:15). 

Many in the body of Christ have likened the church to a sleeping beauty or even a sleeping giant that needs to awaken. This is true. The church is awakening, but as God's people, we need to repent from allowing seducing, lying spirits to lull us to sleep and tempt us into straying from obedience. "Listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter days..." (Prov. 19:20).

In Matthew chapter 5, Jesus made a statement saying, "You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt loses it's flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men." (Vs 13). The church must regain it's flavor. The body of Christ must wipe the sleep from our eyes and shake off the lethargy produced by a false sense of security. We can't afford to make pets of things that feed our flesh while creating leanness of soul. A pet is something we feed and take care of. We nurture it and feel protective of that pet. For many people, a pet becomes something so dear that it is like family. You wouldn't think of getting rid of it! People tend to act that way in regards to things they've compromised with also. They protect their sin and want to hold on to it, coddle it, and allow it to hold a place in their heart. It becomes familiar, comforting and eventually, something that a person doesn't want to part with. What people fail to realize is that spiritual 'pets' often come loaded with parasites. They feed off a person's soul. They suck life out of them without them even being aware. The person becomes spiritually sick, infected and emaciated without realizing it. Some of the things people tend to justify actually act as spiritual parasites, eating away at a person's health, vitality and weakening them spiritually. Those 'parasites' are cloaked in deception and what seems like harmless thoughts, behaviors or activities on the surface slowly but deliberately blind a person to their need for repentance. The longer a person lives in compromise with those secret agreements with the enemy, the more difficult it becomes for them to actually repent and turn away from compromise. 


 Repentance restores life 

The reality is, our lives don't belong to us; we've been bought with a price. We don't get to live as we please. We have assignments to fulfill. People to reach with the gospel. When we choose to live in compromise, we can lose our saltiness, our flavor of godly influence. We can lose our ability to influence others because we no longer have the evidence of power, anointing or the presence of God. In Psalm 51, King David was lamenting his sin to the Lord and pleading with God to renew a right spirit in him. He had a healthy fear of the Lord and understood that he did not want to lose the presence of God in his life. He begged God not to take His Holy Spirit from him. Now, please understand that I am not trying to put anyone back under the law, neither do I wish to make anyone feel condemned. Each man must judge their own life by their conscience. However, I would say this. If a person has had an extended period of time where they have lived in prayerlessness, the enemy will exploit it by trying to counterfeit the voice of God and lead the person further away from God. The result of prayerlessness is to become power-less.If a person fails to read the word of God and apply it to their life, the enemy will exploit what ever he thinks he can get away with. If a person lives in selective obedience, they are already living in self-deception and the enemy will exploit that weakness. This is how the church loses it's salt, or it's flavor. The warning is that those that chose to live this way will become trampled underfoot and in danger of judgment by fire. Trials. It's not always the enemy that needs to be rebuked; sometimes we simply need to rebuke ourselves before the Lord steps in to do it. Some people reading this today need to understand that they are walking dangerously close to the edge of a cliff. Turn back now. God does not honor meaningless words that are not followed up with action. We must each bear fruit worthy of repentance. The sacrifices that are pleasing to the Lord are a broken and contrite heart that truly repents and does not continue in what the Lord has shown you is something He wants you to change.


 We cannot afford to lose the words of life.

There will always be those that decide not to go any further with the Lord than they are right now, but what we each need to understand is, that decision to place limits on our relationship with God WILL have consequences. We might not understand how great those consequences are until that final day when some people will hear "Well done my good and faithful servant, and others hear the frightening words, "Depart from Me; I never knew you." I pray that you never have to hear those words.

In John 6:67-69 Jesus questioned His disciples, after others chose not to go with Him. "So Jesus said to the twelve, "You do not want to go away also, do you?" Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. "We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God."… Beloved, this is the day that has been given to you. None of us know what tomorrow holds. If you need to repent, do so. God is waiting with open arms of love. Carpe diem. Seize the day.