Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, God’s will for us is for us to overcome our emotions. It is God’s desire that we learn to overcome our feelings, because we are held accountable for how we deal with our emotions. Some of us say, “You just don’t understand, I cannot help how I am feeling.” This is nothing more than deception from the enemy. We can determine how we feel and we are able to be master over our emotions.
What does the Word of God say, let us take a look into the Book of Third John chapter one, verse two:
“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”
Highlight the word, “Prosper.” This word means that we should be able to succeed in material terms; be financially successful and flourish physically and grow strong in body and health. God wants us to be whole, being whole means that we are to be complete. To become complete and whole means that we have nothing missing and nothing broken. It is God’s will that we become completely whole and successful in every area of our lives. We are not doing these things and we are letting the Satan overcome us with our emotions, we must resist him at all costs. We must know God’s will for our lives, so that we do not go around tolerating the things that come against us. The Scripture says, ‘That we may prosper in all things and we will be in health, just as our soul prospers.” Another way of saying this is for us to say “As our lives prosper.”
Let us be real here, we are all spirit beings, we possess a soul and yes we live in a body. We aren’t just a soul and we aren’t just a physical body. This is not the case at all, our soul is one part of our make-up in life and our body is another part. These two parts can never be interchanged. Yes, we are spirit beings. We have our souls and we have our physical bodies. When we die, or should I say when our physical bodies die, the body dies, it stops its function and we are either cremated into ash or buried into the ground, but our souls and spirits leave the body to go to either heaven with God or to hell with Satan.
We talk about spiritual things and we should talk about these things. We even talk about physical things and we pray for our healing to take place and yes, we should also be talking about these things, but you know what, we hardly ever talk about our souls. We seem to bypass this all together. Why is this so? This is the area that most of us need more than anything, our souls are made up of our minds, our wills and yes even our emotions.
What is emotion? It is a natural instinctive state of mind deriving from our own circumstances, our moods, and our relationships with others. Emotions are our “Feelings,” they are our feelings that are inside of us that triggers our pain or our pleasure and either one will move us in some sort of direction.
We have all been given a specific purpose to do something for God. This is God’s perfect will for our lives. The enemy knows this, and he tries to cause his deceptive strategy to stop us from fulfilling God’s plan. He does this by attacking our emotions. If the enemy can trigger our negative emotions, this will easily make us stray from God’s path that He has laid out for us. If we remain focused upon Jesus, maintaining ourselves in the Word of God, keeping in our relationship through prayer and maintaining our praise and worship, then the devil cannot trigger those negative emotions. If we keep to all of this, this will keep us on the path that God has designed for us and we can continue moving on with God’s plan.
I want you to hear what I am saying, emotions (feelings) are what moves us in a direction. We can allow God to give us positive emotions, or we can allow Satan and self to move us into negative emotions. When we encounter a circumstance, it will either trigger our godly emotions or our negative emotions. If we choose to keep our godly emotions, we will remain on God’s path, but if we choose to use our negative emotions, we will fall off of God’s path.
How do we deal with the negative circumstance that comes at us? We must first understand where they are coming from. Satan, he has only one objective, he wants to keep us away from God’s plan for our lives. If he can continually bombard us with negative circumstances, then he can keep triggering our negative emotions. Our negative emotions will take us away from God’s plan and it will send us off into another path, a path that can lead to destruction. How do you think people end up in jail? Their emotions put them there! How do you think people get addicted to drugs and alcohol? Their emotions put them there! How do you think men and woman get messed up with pornography? Their emotions put them there! How do people get fired from their jobs? Their emotions cause it all. Their emotions cause them to lose everything. How do we lose the loves of our lives? Our emotions make us lose the ones we love. Our emotions take us in a direction. Negative emotions takes us away from God’s plan and place us onto the road to destruction.
A strong person is not a person who cusses people. A strong person isn’t a bully. A strong person is a person who is able to control their emotions. It is not God’s will for us to be “Mastered by Life,” it is God’s will for us to be “Master Over Life.” God wants you and me to be stable in our emotions. God wants us to be able to deal with negative circumstances by taking charge over our emotions, so that they do not take charge over us. Does this mean that we are to become “Emotionless?” No, it means that we are to take authority over our negative emotions. Each one of us have been given power and authority over these emotions, therefore, we need to begin using our authority and bind them up and cast them from us. Our feelings do not have the right to govern our lives. As Christian men and women, we need to be governing our feelings, if we don’t, then we will show that we are still immature. Our spiritual maturity is designed to handle all our emotions and if we are not able to control our emotions, then this is evidence that we are spiritually immature. When negative circumstances arise, we cannot be asking God, “Why me?’ Jesus told us that we will have trials and tribulations and when they come, we are to use the power of the Word against them, not cry, “Why me?” When we show that we can use God’s Word against the circumstance, it shows our maturity.
Let us look at Romans 8:6:, “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” What is a “Carnal Mind?” It is a mind that is dominated by our senses. You are thinking, what does this mean? If we see something that is negative, than it will dominate our emotions. We keep thinking about it all day long. We then become carnally minded. If we hear something that is negative, then again it will dominate our feelings. We are not supposed to let our lives be governed by our senses. Carnality leads only to death.
We are supposed to be “Spiritually Minded.” What is meant by being spiritually minded? To find the answer we must turn in our Bibles to John 6:63, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” Spiritual mindedness can never be obtained without the Word of God. We must be reading and meditating upon the Scriptures in the Bible. We can never be inspired to do the things that God wants done except through His Word. Without the Word we will always fail to achieve “Spiritual Mindedness.” Without the Word inside of our hearts, we have nothing. If we don’t have the Word inside of us, then our emotions will dominate us and we will fall victim to them. We must have the Word residing within us.
We can go to bed at night in right believing and wake up in the morning not to sure we are even saved, this is living under our emotions. Living under emotions is not living under the Word. When we have the Word inside of us, then we know that God loves us and we are redeemed. There are several Scriptures that say this. This my friends is being spiritually minded. The more Word that we allow into our hearts, then the more Word that will be available to overcome our emotions. Not only does the Word help govern our emotions, but it also brings us peace and life. I have to repeat this, there is nothing that will allow us to be spiritually minded except for the Word of God.
How are we to deal with the emotion of “Depression?” This emotion alone has caused the downfall of many men and women. What is depression? It is an evil spirit that needs to be unmasked. Mental health workers show us how to manage our depression, but it is Jesus who shows us how to get rid of it for good. Depression is the result of external issues and pressures getting inside of our hearts and weighing us down. It is usually found outside of us, some kind of circumstance or problem that goes from outside of us and enters inside our hearts where it causes us to be weighed down in heaviness. It stresses us with internal pressures. It starts outside of us, through external pressures, these could be problems that we encounter, then it enters our hearts and puts pressure upon our hearts over and over again. This depression is a feeling that we experience through our thoughts. You see, if we can understand that depression comes from our feelings, then we can attack it spiritually. You are probably asking why? It is based upon whatever we are exposed to, because this is the way that we think. Whatever we think about, determines how we are going to feel.
What we think about, determines how we feel. How we feel is determined by what we think upon. What we expose ourselves to, determines how we think. Does this make sense to you?
Why do we have to deal with our depression? If we can deal with our depression as a spirit, Jesus will deliver it from us. Like I said before, what we expose ourselves to, will determine what we think about and what we think about, determines how we feel. Not only that, but how we feel, determines our decisions. We do not want to make decisions based upon our negative emotions. There is still more, what decision we make, determines what actions that we will take and our actions determine our habits. It is our habits that determine our character and our character takes us in the direction that we are going.
Think about this now, we have all been here at one time or another. If we expose ourselves to a negative environment, this causes us to think negative thoughts. These negative thoughts produce negative feelings. Our negative feelings produce a negative decision and the negative decision causes us to take negative action. I worked in North Carolina as a probation officer, so I saw this unfold almost everyday in people’s lives. If people expose themselves to people who are using drugs, they start thinking about drugs. The thought of using drugs develops in their thinking, this produces the negative feelings. A decision is made to use drugs, the action usually comes quickly after this and they are now addicted to the drug. Not only is the negative thoughts controlling their feelings but so are the drugs. Our actions cause our habits. Our habits create our character and our character determines our destination. This is not for only people who use drugs, it is for all people who choose to expose themselves to negative environments.
Where does it all start? It all starts where we choose to hang out and what we expose ourselves to. What we see and hear determines who we will become. We must make a determination from the beginning who we are going to hang out with and where we going to hang out in. We need to know who is there to help us and who wants to hurt us. If it costs us our peace and our joy, we know that this is a negative environment and we need to move on to where we can reestablish our peace and joy. Sometimes this may require our casting out these negative influences and people. We can’t expend our peace and joy on other people’s drama. What we exposé ourselves to, determines how we think. Don’t you know that the devil knows this? This is why he tries to expose us to more negative things. He causes us to be exposed through our senses. He knows that the more we are exposed to negative things, that our minds will want to think on these things and this takes the Word away from us. Remember that he is very sly! Satan knows that if he can wear us down with negativity, the more depressed we will become. When we allow what we see and hear to determine our state of mind, in this case depression, then his plan is to bombard us with the feelings of rejection, guilt, and shame. We need to understand that these are all of the things that Jesus died for, but we aren’t seeing all that Jesus has already done, instead we are seeing the depression. This way of thinking has taken root inside of us and it is weighing us down. We are not seeing Jesus and all of His finished works, so we believe that He has rejected us as well. We have to change our way of thinking in order for us to become overcomers and the only way to do this, is by renewing our minds.
How do we become overcomers? First we must change the way we think. If we are going to change our lives, we must change the way that we think. This of course doesn’t mean that we are to turn to self help books. Don’t get me wrong, these books are helpful in managing depression, but they will never be able to do away with it, only Jesus can do that. The problem with most of us is that we are always trying to replace God with man made things. We have to be careful about replacing God, because it can take us toward “Idolatry.” When we rely on everything around us but God, we place Him in second place and we idolize everything else. We must realize that there are certain things that God does best, that nothing else can compare. Our man made things will only give us a temporary fix, but when we turn to Jesus, He removes the problem by the root. Jesus wants us to always be in peace and joy. He wants us always to live life in abundance. Stop putting everything before Him!
Take a look at First Peter Chapter five, verse seven, “Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” Everyone of us has cares, Jesus is telling us to cast them upon Him. This means that we are to cast all our cares upon Him, not just some of them. When was the last time you said, “Jesus, I cast all my cares upon You, because I know that You care for me?” My friends, isn’t this what He said for us to do? He is saying to us, “I want your cares, I can handle it, give them to me.” Why then do we hold back? Nothing is keeping us from doing this, except for ourselves. Jesus gives us a way out, but for some unknown reason we won’t take it. We must come to a point in our lives to trust in Him. When we can do this, then every time the devil brings a negative situation our way, we can say, “Devil it isn’t my care anymore, Jesus has this, so therefore you need to speak to Him.” Jesus says, “I got this.” How many times do we cast the care on the Lord? Cast it right now, Jesus will take care of it. Cast all your cares upon Him, He will deal with it. Today, right now we need to stop carrying this baggage any longer. It is so simple, but are willing to do it?
Say this: “Jesus I cast all my cares upon You, because I know that You care for me. Thank You Jesus.”
Do you think that this is going to make you feel great? No, it is not, not at this moment anyway, but that is where the Word of God comes in and that is why it is important for us to become grounded in God’s Word. Turn to Hebrews 13:5, “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’” The writer of Hebrews is saying, our conduct must be without covetousness. What does covetousness mean? It is only for the desire for wealth, power and possessions of others, no matter the cost. It is putting everything in front of God and idolizing self. God wants us to be content with the things that we have. Now take a look at what it says in First Timothy 6:6, “Now godliness with contentment is great gain.” We are not able to enjoy life when we are always looking at what others have. Our focus should change from looking at others and looking to God. Timothy says, “Godliness comes from being content in what we have.” As we continue to focus our attention upon God and His Word, we will actually receive so much more. We cannot keep trying to be like others. We must be ok with who we are. God wants us to have things, but He doesn’t want us to replace things with Him. God promises us that he will never leave us or forsake us. This should always be comforting to us. This will always give us the peace that we need and fill us with unspeakable joy. Believe me when I say this, when we know for certain that God is on our side, it will send the devil running.
Let us take the time to look at Hebrews 13:5 in the Amplified Bible, “ Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]” Why do you think that God mentions greed, avarice [extreme greed for wealth or material gain], lust and cravings for earthly possessions? He wanted us to know that these are the things that will weigh heavily upon our hearts. These are the things that without the Word in our hearts, will subject us to the spirit of depression. The ultimate way for us to overcome depression is to change our thoughts. If we don’t change the way that we think, we will never be able to overcome how we feel.
Overcoming depression starts by us changing the way that we think. How do we do this? We must renew our minds. How do we stop the thoughts that weigh heavy upon us? Again we must renew our minds, so that we can continue with God’s good, acceptable and perfect will for our lives. Jesus is the only One who can renew our thoughts. Let us turn to Romans 12: 1-3, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.” To overcome the spirit of depression, God is saying that we need to change ourselves. He is saying that we need to stay away from the world’s ways and we need to be transformed by the renewing of our minds with His Word. By doing this, renewing ourselves with His Word, the Word will prove what the good, acceptable and perfect will of God is.
Depression is not the will of God. We cannot prove what the good, acceptable and perfect will of God is, if our thinking doesn’t line up with God’s Word. Take a look at these verses in the Amplified Bible, “I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]. For by the grace (unmerited favor of God) given to me I warn everyone among you not to estimate and think of himself more highly than he ought [not to have an exaggerated opinion of his own importance], but to rate his ability with sober judgment, each according to the degree of faith apportioned by God to him.” To be transformed means that we have to be changed. A lot of people go to therapists and doctors, and they are given anti-depressants because they want to change the way that they feel. Remember what God said in the beginning of these verses, He forewarns us that we are not to conform to the ways of the world. He tells us to not fashion ourselves to trusting just what man has to say and He tells us to not adapt to the external and superficial customs of the world. Why do you think He said this? It was said because the external things can weigh us down and they will determine how we feel. Please bear with me a little longer, God is saying that we need to be transformed, we need to be changed. How do we do this? We change by the renewing of our minds. The verse tells us exactly how we are to do this, we are to change our minds by taking on new ideas and establishing new attitudes. We do this in order to prove for ourselves what is the good, acceptable and perfect will of God. If we want to change the way we feel, we must change our thinking. What else should be changed? What we expose ourselves to. If we don’t change what we expose ourselves to, then we are going to still receive the thoughts that still weigh us down. Eventually, we are going to have to make a search of ourselves and find out what we have been exposing ourselves to or who we are exposing ourselves to. We will want to know why we are like we are.
Turn to Philippians 4:8 and let us see what God wants us to be exposed to, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” These are the things that we should be thinking about. Read the next verse, “The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.” How long are we going to ignore God’s instructions? How long are we going to let the world influence how we think and what we are thinking about? Didn’t God say what we are to think about? God created us in His image and He even gave us the manual of instruction to follow when we aren’t thinking correctly.
God told us to renew our minds with the instruction manual that He gave to us. What is renewal of the mind anyway? It is when we exchange how we think to the way that God thinks. Renewing our minds is not a one time event, it takes determination and it goes on for our entire lifetime. When we feel heaviness upon our hearts, we need to be renewing our minds with the instruction manual, better known as the Bible. You see, the Word is what changes us, because without the Word in our hearts, our lives would remain in chaos. When we expose ourselves to the Word, it changes us and renews our minds to the way that God thinks. It changes the way that we think, which in-turn changes the way we make decisions. The Word changes our character and we ae given such peace and joy. If you want this lasting peace and joy, say Amen?
In my years of service as a Christian police officer and probation officer, I had to attend many mental health classes. At first I was reluctant, but our company policy said that it was mandatory. In my mind I thought that it was going to be useless and that it had no benefit for me as an officer, but I was wrong. In 2002, I was dispatched to home where a young man was threatening his family with a weapon. When I arrived on scene, the mother rushed me into the house where this young man was very depressed and he wanted to die. After a lengthy conversation with the young man, I was able to get the weapon from him, calm him down and take him where he could get some help. I know that if I had not received the training in dealing with an “Emotionally Disturbed Person,” this man would have either forced me to kill him or he would have taken his own life. Either way it would have been a tragedy.
The first symptom of depression is, “Being Reclusive.” Reclusiveness is a wanting to prefer seclusion or isolation. They want to be alone. They want solitary seclusion from everyone. ( The Free Dictionary) This is not the will of God. It violates God’s desire for His children to fellowship one with another. You see, relationships help us to live with one another and people who have the spirit of depression, will always withdraw from fellowship. Genesis 2:18 says, “And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” Please take note of what God is saying, “It is not good that man [mankind] be alone….” What does aloneness do to people? It makes us think the wrong feelings. The Lord told us that He would never leave us or forsake us, but even with this knowledge, we still have an internal desire to have fellowship with others. God instilled this inside of each one of us, that is why He said, “I will make him (mankind) a helper comparable to him.” Fellowship is important, but remember the type of fellowship that we need is godly. We certainly don’t need more negativity. We must have good and wholesome fellowship, not drama. That is why we are to surround ourselves with people who are spiritually uplifting.
Reclusive behavior is dangerous, because it only wants to take us into the dark side of life. We will become withdrawn from society and we will even be withdrawn from reality. Some people have been known to seclude themselves from people and enjoy their pets over all people. We must remember what Genesis 2:20 says, “So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.” Don’t think wrong of me and I do believe that our pets are a good source of therapy, but they are not “Comparable to us.” We are always in need of fellowship with one another.
The second symptom of depression is, “A Passive Mind.” People who have the spirit of depression, have no desire to have the issues of life, they are completely unimportant to them. They have what I like to call, “The I Don’t Care Attitude.” People who are in this state of mind let their life fall into a shambles. They just don’t care if the house is clean, the laundry is done, the family has food in the refrigerator and they will search through the social media, indulging in all kinds of ungodly activities. People with a passive mind don’t like activity. This is dangerous, because the Word of God clearly teaches us that we must be alert, cautious and active — we are to fan the flame and stir up the gifts within us. Satan knows that our inactivity, our failure to exercise the will of God, will cause us to fall from His grace. As long as we are moving toward the enemy by using God’s Word, he can never win. If we enter into a state of passivity, we are in serious trouble and the enemy will come at us with everything that he can bring. A passive mind doesn’t resist the wrong thoughts. People who have this mind-set don’t realize that the evil spirit has injected these thoughts into an empty space that doesn’t have the Word to fill it. People who are passive think that they are doing nothing wrong, because they are doing nothing at all. When they are confronted, they say, “I wasn’t do anything wrong.” His analysis is correct , but his behavior tells a different story.
The problem arises, because the person does nothing. We can change from having this mind-set, by changing the way that we think. In order for this to happen, we have to direct our minds to what we need to think about. When people are depressed, they need to begin speaking the Word to themselves. They need to commit themselves to praise and worship. The more stronger they will become as more of the Word enters their hearts. We must renew our minds with God’s Word, because if we don’t, our minds will go wild and unleash some nasty thoughts.
The third symptom of depression is, “Amplifying and Magnifying Difficulties.” It is when we turn our conditions that we suffer from, into the problem. People who are depressed will take something that is small and make it the most difficult problem that they are facing. They enlarge it so much that they begin to fear it and it takes them over. In essence they take a molehill and make it a mountain. Small thoughts become rivers that they cannot cross.
Let me give you an example, You don’t receive a good-bye kiss from you husband or wife one day as they are going to work. A person who is depressed, this could be the trigger that makes them believe that their spouse is having an affair. In their mind, they start thinking that they aren’t loved anymore. This is how subtle the devil can be, he uses the spirit of depression as a weapon against us. He suggests to us that the spouse is in love with someone else and that is the way Satan is, he suggests something to us and we begin to harbor the thoughts until it consumes us. Even when the spouse returns home, the devil has already did the damage and the spirit of depression has driven a wedge between the spouse and you. Now exposure has been completed and now comes the thinking about our spouses having an affair, soon we can’t think about anything else and the hurt develops. Now we make a decision and right behind it we take action. This is how the devil gets into the details, he makes the suggestion and we end up with an action. This is what I like to call mayhem. Regardless of the suggestion that Satan makes, we usually follow it up with an emotional response.
When we unmask the suggestion and find it is Satan, hit him with the Word, it will keep us from mayhem and we will not think the negative thoughts and with no negative thoughts there will not be a negative emotional response. Of course if we don’t expose the enemy, we will listen to his suggestions, we will think about it without going to God’s Word and we will let the negative thoughts flood our minds and then we will have an emotional response. This is the way he works. While I was in the military, I always knew that I had to understand the enemies tactics, so that I can bring the battle to their doorstep and not let them bring it to mine. Know this, that the battle is not just between the devil and God, we too are in this fight. God gave us free spirit, the ability to choose and to make decisions. Our decisions determine our destiny.
The fourth symptom of depression is, “Lack of Concentration.” Depressed people feel as though they cannot concentrate on anything. They cannot focus. They are like a bird hopping from one branch to another. When we have a hard time sitting down with our loved ones and talk, the spirit of depression is taking control of our lives. We should be capable of thinking on anything, as long as we want to think about. Jesus gave us authority over the enemy, this includes what we think about. We must stop saying that “we have a short- memory.” We must stop saying that “we can’t focus.” Stop believing that you have what is called “Attention Deficit Disorder.” Remember that Jesus’ body was broken for us, so that we can be whole. He allowed the “Crown of Thorns,” to be placed on His head. I believe that the “Crown of Thorns,” had to be placed on Jesus’ head so that He could conquer “Mental Illness.” What kind of mind does God want us to have? The answer is found in Second Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” This is what God has given us, a “Sound Mind.” When the devil tells us that we cannot concentrate, tell him to go away, because it is written God has given us power, love and a sound mind. God says that we have been given a sound mind, therefore, we are able to think about anything we want to, for however long we want to, because Jesus made sure that we have been given a sound mind. If a psychologist or a psychiatrist diagnose you with a disorder, don’t accept what he or she says, because God’s Word says that we have a sound mind. If our minds do not appear sound, resist the devil, hit him with God’s Word and let God do the rest. God doesn’t give us the spirit of fear. If we are fearful of anything, know this it is never from God. God gives us power, love and a sound mind. We must learn to resist agreeing with the devil and we must start hearing what God says.
Say this: “I have been given a sound mind. I have been given power over the devil and I have been given love. Yes I have a sound mind and no mental illness can affect me. Thank You Jesus for what You have already done.”
We were never designed to retain depression. Depression will affect every part of our human bodies. It will age us much quicker. It will bring sickness and disease. It will affect our minds. It will cause us to be insomniacs. Lack of sleep causes high blood pressure and even heart conditions. Our bodies have to rest in order to regenerate. We can keep the spirit of depression out of our lives, by defeating it with God’s Word. We must know Jesus and we must know what He has already done. Think on the Word day and night. Don’t go to bed worrying, replace the worry with the Word. Make it a habit of picking some Scriptures to got to sleep with. Go to bed with the Word upon your mind and wake up with it upon your mind. Joshua 1:8 says it all, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
Depression steals our ambition. It stops us from participating in family events. It takes us away from our friends. It steals our peace and joy and it steals our strength. Depression is our enemy. It is the enemy of our happiness. It is also the enemy of our success. When it comes at us we need to unmask it.
What is success? Success is our fulfilling God’s plan for our lives. It is not wealth, riches, or power. Yes depression is our enemy. We cannot let the spirit of depression win. The Bible says this in Isaiah 54:17, “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment
You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, And their righteousness is from Me,”
Says the Lord.” The enemy to our success is not only the devil but also how we deal with our emotions.
Did you know that Jesus had to deal with depression? Yes, He did when He was in the garden praying before He was going to be crucified. Turn with me to Mark 14:33, “And He took Peter, James, and John with Him, and He began to be troubled and deeply distressed.” Jesus was tempted just like us. A person who is deeply destressed is someone suffering from anxiety, sorrow, and mental pain. This mental pain is what I call a deep emotional pain. Even with all of this affecting Jesus, notice how He says that He is feeling, look at the next verse, “Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch.” Even with all that He was experiencing, He knew prayer was the answer. Now let us read verse thirty-five, “He went a little farther, and fell on the ground, and prayed that if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him.” Do you think that Jesus was displaying the symptoms of depression?
Emotions play an important part in our lives. We are in charge of all of our emotions. We are accountable for how our emotions respond to situations. We have never seen this taught inside the church, they have never told us that we are responsible for how we feel. We have been told that we have to accept what is happening to us and we have to deal with it. This is Satan’s deception and this is the way that he wants us to think. He wants us to be deceived into thinking that when we have negative emotions, there is nothing that can be done about it. We define emotions as feelings that are inside of us for pain or pleasure that will move us into a direction. God never intended for us to become emotionless. He gave us these emotions, but He never said that the emotions could be our masters.
There are godly emotions that direct us into God’s plan and they are not negative. These godly emotions will direct us towards God’s plan. We must understand that self-control is a gift given to us by God. Meekness is self-control. Self control is the gift from God that helps us reach the plan of God for our lives. When we are out of control and our emotions rule us, then that is where the Word needs to step in, so that God can show us how to be an overcomer. I am not saying that we will never experience a negative emotion, but I am saying that God will teach us how to capture those negative emotion when they do come. The Word will show us how to take authority over those negative emotions. I am not saying that we will not have negative emotions. These emotions will show up, this is just a part of life. What I am saying is this, that we will know what to do when they do show up.
The problem that has affected most of us is this, that when the negative emotions show up, they start controlling us, instead of us controlling them. For some reason, we allow these negative emotions or feelings to move us toward the direction of destruction. Jesus never allowed negative emotions to move Him away from God’s plan. We must learn to do the same thing. God wants us to know that we are in control of our emotions. As we soak in His presence, meditating upon His Word, we will find out about what we have authority over.
What are the effects of depression? First we become “Physically ill,” as sickness overtakes us because we are depressed. Negative thought weigh so heavily upon us, that they begin to fill our hearts and this causes negative feelings that bring in the illnesses. Believe it or not, these feelings can affect the organs in our bodies. Why? They steal our peace and joy and give us stress. Stress can hurt us physically. If stress attacks our minds, then our bodies also become stressed and we in-turn become sick. In order for us to combat stress, we have to battle the stress in our minds. Jesus dealt with stress and in Mark 14:35, Jesus shows us what to do, “He went further, fell to the ground and prayed.” He saturated Himself in the presence of God. This is how He dealt with stress and I believe that this is the way we must battle stress as well.
Worry causes sickness! When we are sad all the time, we cause sickness. When we cannot forgive, we cause sickness. Joan Hunter, an Evangelist from Texas told me, “The root of why people are sick and in pain is because they harbor unforgiveness.” She said, “Many people receive healing when the root of bitterness and unforgiveness is pulled out of them.”
Know this, the devil may throw all kinds of things at you, but God’s Word defeats all of them. Instead of worrying, we should read about what peace God has given us. Instead of sadness, we should fill our minds with the joy of the Lord. Instead of depression, think on good wholesome thoughts. Instead of unforgiveness, forgive those who trespass against us. You see, everything that the devil wants to throw at us, Jesus has already defeated.
Know this also, every trial and tribulation has an expiration date attached to it. When we come through the trial, we must take what God has taught us, because wisdom is gained through trials. As we grow stronger through God’s Word, we will know our identity and we will understand our authority over the enemy. When the devil comes to dance with us, don’t fear him but show him the door. We must become aggressive with our enemy. Take his mask off and expose him. The devil doesn’t get permission from God to hurt us, we give it to him. I know that is hard to swallow, but it is true. The devil uses his power of suggestion and trickery to have us invite him in for the attack. We open up our mouths and speak his suggestions into the air and we start agreeing with what he says. Our emotions fire up and we don’t expose ourselves to the Word, we now are allowing ourselves to be destroyed. This is nothing but ignorance on our part. We must learn to our authority to benefit ourselves instead of using it to hurt us. Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.”
The second effect of depression is “Guilt.” Guilt is defined as the fact of having committed a specified or implied offense or crime. (Dictionary.com) When the enemy attacks us with guilt, the first thing we should do is take the mask off and expose him. Guilt is a product of fear. It is very powerful and it fills us with negative emotions. These emotions can sometimes overwhelm us, that we will forsake the people that we know and love. These emotions or feelings will keep us from following the plan of God, because the guilt brings with it unforgiveness. Know this, that God has forgiven you, matter-a-fact, He has forgiven the whole world, but people who have the spirit of depression become filled with guilt and they feel that God doesn’t forgive them. They keep carrying the weight and they have a hard time of letting go of it. The weight that they carry will eventually have an effect on the way they walk. They can continue carrying the guilt around with them and have a miserable life or they can learn to forgive and walk in victory. It is terrible that people hold grudges against others and that they don’t let the weight of guilt come off of them. The problem that I see with guilt is that God cannot use us, because grace cannot flow freely. Guilt is a form of “Pride,’ and God needs for us to be free of pride. We must let the guilt go, so that wee can focus on God’s will for our lives. Please do not take my word for it, look at what God says about it, turn to Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Understand this, many people that read admire in the Bible have committed atrocities, but God forgave them. Moses killed someone, but God forgave him, then God used him to free Israel. David committed adultery with another man’s wife, then he had the man killed so that he could have the wife all for himself, but God forgave him and kept him as king of Israel. Saul a Pharisee persecuted the followers of Jesus, he imprisoned and tortured them, some even unto death, but Jesus forgave him and set him on the path to bring the gospel message to the Gentiles. You may know him now as the apostle Paul. We may have guilt, but we must learn to let go of it, so that we can stay on the path that God has laid out for us. God have given us the free gift of “No Condemnation.” He did this so that we can walk in the Spirit. It has already been done for us. Jesus has already made this available to us. It is one of His finished works. Who did He give it to? He gave it to those who are “In Christ Jesus! We do not have to work to receive it, because it is already ours.
The third effect of depression is, “Jealousy and Hostility.” A person who is depressed will always bring hostility into the place they live. Jealousy comes from the depressed person towards others, because those around them don’t exhibit signs of despair and sadness. The depressed person doesn’t want to see people happy so they lash out at them, because they are happy. Depressed people also blame others for their sadness. The people closest to them are the ones that receive the blunt of their negative emotions. Know this, it is the depressed person who is the problem. This brings chaos within the home. The depressed individual becomes so self-absorbed that they cannot rationalize anything as real. Flashes of anger jump out of them, because nothing is making sense to them. Criticism becomes an everyday occurrence. Control of family members becomes a daily thing. They accuse their loved ones of ruining their lives and ignoring their needs. In their minds, nothing is done right. Depression has an enormous impact on a person’s ability to function at work, in relationships, and in other areas of life. Depression affects not only the ability to function and their quality of life, but also their physical health, driving them toward suicide. Christian men and women must have an intimate relationship with Jesus. That relationship with Jesus will help them cope with the stress of life. The Word of God gives us the information to overcome any and all situations that we may face.
The first cause of depression is, “Sorrow.” Psalms 40:1-3 says, “I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth—Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, And will trust in the Lord.” Jesus gives us what we need. As Psalms forty says, God promises to lift us out of despair and He promises that He will set our feet on solid ground. He promises to give us a “New Song,” in our hearts. What is He saying? He is saying to us, instead of being filled with sorrow, surround yourselves with His Word.
The second cause of depression is, “Disappointment.” Disappointment is sadness or displeasure caused by the non-fulfillment of hopes or expectations. Know this, we are to always to expect from God, because when we have nothing, He has everything.
The third cause of depression is, “Rejection.” Rejection is the feeling of not being accepted. This is an issue of our self-worth, it is the feeling of being insignificant. This is why it is so important that we know that we are loved by the Father. Mankind may reject us, but God loves us with an unending love. If we try to please mankind and make the world see us as something special, then rejection will come into us. As “Born Again” children of God, we are not of this world anymore. We walk in it, but we are not it’s citizens, because we are the citizen’s of heaven. We are ambassadors to this world, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. We must understand that we are not here to be approved by the world, we are already accepted by Jesus and He loves us. Psalms 3:3 says, “But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head.” The Lord is saying to us that He is our shield for us, He is the shield that surrounds us. He lifts our heads up because He tells us that He loves us.
The fourth cause of depression is, “Dead Religion.” If we return from church and we are always filled with depression, something is not right with the church. A church that is under the law is a “Dead Church.” A church that doesn’t allow the Holy Spirit to have free reign, is a dead church. God’s desire is for us to be free to worship Him in Spirit and truth. A body of believers who are constantly saying that we have to do something to get God to do something is a church that is bound by the law. Jesus freed us from this bondage when He tore the veil between the holy place and the Holy of holies. He bridged the gap between us and the Father. We do not have to do something to get God to do something, all that we have to do is believe. We must believe in the One that God sent and also believe in His finished works.
I have seen this first hand, where people are depressed, because they are not seeing the finished works of Jesus in the church that they attend. They are told constantly that they are not good enough for God. People who are bound by the traditional way of thinking. God desires His Church to move through the power of the Holy Spirit. Psalms 42:11 says, “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.” If you are reading this and you are disquieted within your soul, put your hope in Jesus and He will change what is wrong to what is right or He will move you to where it is right. That is where we find that God’s grace paves the way that we need to follow. Fire flows from His grace and power flows from His grace.
The fifth cause of depression is, “Illness and Sickness.” When people are sick, it cause depression. People become sad and disquieted within their souls, when sickness hits them. Many of us need to be delivered from the spirit of depression, before we are healed of our sicknesses. Depression will destroy our lives, by hindering our faith.
When I was stationed in Afghanistan, I developed a DVT [Deep Vein Thrombosis] or a blood clot in my right calf under the knee. I was immediately taken to a mobile army hospital and I was given treatment. While I was in this mobile hospital, that was ran by NATO Forces, depression began to set in on me, because I was uncertain of my sickness. I became depressed, because the feeling of uncertainty had set in. I felt that I was abandoned by God, my country, and my friends. It wasn’t until I was returned to the United States that God intervened and He delivered me from the spirit of depression and made His Word come alive for me. Soon I was healed from the DVT. Depression came upon me during my sickness, because I allowed the devil’s suggestion of uncertainty to overwhelm me. I began saying out of my mouth about the uncertainty. I started saying that I would not be healed, I won’t have a job and I was abandoned. I was uncertain where I would go, what I would do and most of all what God was going to do. I was sad and disquieted within my soul, because I felt there was no hope for me. My faith was on trial. God in His mercy changed everything for me, but I had to change the way I was thinking. I had to overcome the situation with His Word. The devil, he was out to destroy me, but God used this situation to open my eyes to the truth of the Gospel of Grace. Sicknesses can fill us with negative emotions and if we don’t give them to God, through the Word, those negative emotions will destroy us.
In these days that are to come, know this, that God will never abandon you. He will give you His light, when everything around you is dark. He will provide your needs when others are suffering. He will heal you and deliver you from all of the devil’s oppression. God has given you the Word with the specific instructions to meditate upon it day and night. God doesn’t abandon His own. Where is our help? He comes like a flood, He is the Lord, strong and mighty.
What is depression? We know that it is the thoughts and feelings that weigh us down. Depression is from the way that we think. It is an emotion. What have you been thinking about lately? what are the thoughts that have been weighing you down? What hurtful, painful and convicting thoughts are you hanging onto? Depression is an external stress that comes from outside of us and enters inside of us. What are your outside stresses? What circumstances do you run through your mind daily? Do they cause you pain and weigh you down?
Depression is thoughts that weigh us down, therefore in order to overcome depression we must change the way that we think. Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he….” Most people today say that this is not important. If we are going to deal with how we feel, we have to deal with how we think. How we think, is going to determine how we feel. “As we think, so are we.” We are the sum total of who we are, because of the way that we think. What are the thoughts that you are holding onto the most? What keeps you weighed down? What external pressures are you thinking about?
Those thoughts that we harbored have not only entered our minds, but now they have taken root in our hearts. We say, “I tried to get rid of these thoughts, but they keep coming back, why?” We cannot just “try’ to change the way that we thinking, because the way that we think comes from what we expose ourselves to. We must examine what we are continually exposing ourselves to. How much time do you expose yourself to God’s Word? How much exposure time do you give to the Holy Spirit?
Why is it that we want to replace God with something else? God gives us everything that we need to live life, yet we do not trust Him or His Word. We say, “I trust God to deliver me from depression,” but our words are followed by the action to seek out anti-depressants. We have the cure for depression right before our eyes, yet will still will not believe in Jesus and His finished works. Jesus is our deliverer, but we will not trust Him. Do you believe that Jesus is greater than the spirit of depression? Do you believe that Jesus will deliver you? Do you believe that Jesus will heal you?
We have always believed in the right thing. Our belief has gotten into our thinking. Our thinking is the result of what we expose ourselves to. Saying all of this, we must believe in Jesus and His finished works. We must believe that Jesus can change our way of thinking and we must expose ourselves to the Word. I pray that you truly get something out of this? if we believe in the wrong things, we think the wrong thoughts and we expose ourselves to the wrong things. When will you let Jesus be enough? When will you trust Him for what He has already done?
How do we change the way that we think? How are we able to do this? We must expose ourselves to God and His Word and this will change our way of thinking and our godly thinking will change to godly emotions. What we sow is what we will reap. Godly emotions will produce godly decisions. Godly decisions produce godly actions. Godly actions produce godly habits and godly habits produces godly character. Godly character brings about godly direction and godly direction puts us on God’s path to God’s divine plan.
Proverbs 12:25 says, “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad.” God wants you to receive the “Good Word,” are you ready to receive it?
Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness or unease, it is typically produced by an imminent event or an unlikely outcome. Worry or anxiety when it enters our hearts, causes depression. God has given us the cure, if we will just believe Him. He tells us the cure is found in First Peter 5:7, “Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” Do you believe God has the cure? Most people today do not, they believe that they must hold onto their cares and grin and bear them. The problem is, if we continue holding onto our cares, they will weigh us down.
How do we become overcomers? It is done with precision as the Word of God gives us direction. We know that Jesus has healed us of all of our diseases and all of our sicknesses. His body was broken and beaten for us, so that we could become whole. We know that depression is a sickness. Like all the sicknesses, Jesus has said, “I have already healed you from it.” The Bible teaches us how to be free from depression. Depression may be knocking on your door, but now you know that it is an oppression from the devil, Jesus has already delivered you from it. You can say to this mountain, move and it will.
What are the steps that God wants us to take to overcome depression? Let’s start by looking at Third John 1:2, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” God’s will for us is that we will be successful in every way, He wants us successful in our physical bodies. Look at this verse in Third John from that Amplified Bible, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in every way and [that your body] may keep well, even as [I know] your soul keeps well and prospers.” It says it right here underline or highlight in your Bibles the words “that your body may keep well.” What is this saying to us? That God desires for us to have divine health. Notice the last part of this verse and underline or highlight the words, “even as I know your souls keeps well and prospers.” Is there something being said here? Our souls consist of our mind, will and emotions. From reading this, I can only produce one truth, in order for our bodies to made well, our minds have to made well. The condition of the soul is going to be based upon the success in our lives and in our bodies. The conditions of our bodies are based upon the conditions of the success in life and the wellness of our souls.
Know this, that the spirit and the soul are not the same thing. We are spirit beings, we possess a soul and we live in a physical body. Our souls are filled with emotions and this determines how we feel. Jump over to Proverbs 4:20-24, “My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth, And put perverse lips far from you.” Do you see what God wants you to see? He is giving you the way through life.
The first step to be an overcomer, is that we must “Pay Attention to God’s Word.” We must tune out the world and it’s influence and keep on God’s frequency. We are not to let it slip from our sight and we are to keep it in our minds and hearts. God is saying that it is His Word that is life to us and it is His Word that gives health to our flesh. The last thing that God is saying is to cast out our perverse lips, in other words, do not speak death but speak life. As my wife reminds me from time to time, “Believe and Receive.” Look at verse twenty again, it starts with “My son.” Who is that? It is everyone of us. It is all mankind. God is personally addressing each one of us. Let us read further, “Give attention to My Word.” God is saying, if we want to be overcomers, if we want to make it through life, then pay attention to His Word. Isn’t it a shame that we don’t see the writing on the wall, we fill our minds with everything in the world, but we aren’t willing to fill it with God’s Word. What God is saying is that if we will fill ourselves with His Word we will walk around in complete wholeness. It is really shameful of us to try everything that the world offers and place God only there for emergencies. When all else fails, where do we turn? We turn to God! Don’t we realize that if we turned to Him first, then everything would be solved. The cure would happen right away. We would be free from the mess that we are in. I want you to take a look at verses twenty and twenty-two in the Message Bible, “Dear friend, listen well to my words; tune your ears to my voice. Keep my message in plain view at all times. Concentrate! Learn it by heart! Those who discover these words live, really live; body and soul, they’re bursting with health.” Are you seeing what God is saying? He says that I have given you the instruction manual, Hear the words that I speak, tune yourselves into My Word, concentrate on it, learn from it, and those that discover it will live. We will live and not die in our bodies and our souls. God has given the instructions to having an abundant life.
Some people say, that the Bible is just a book. I used to think that as well, until I asked God to make His Word come alive within me. Notice what I said, “within me,” not just to me. This is very important, because I believe that the Word has to become part of us. To those who do not know Jesus, that is all the Bible is, just another book, but to those who are “Born Again,” the Bible is God’s Spoken Word. This Word is alive. The Bible is alive and it teaches us how to live life in abundance.
“Fill your head and your heart with the Scriptures…as you do this, you are sowing in your heart seeds which the Spirit can germinate…you must be soaked with the Word of God, you must be so filled with it.” (Smith Wigglesworth)
What we choose to believe, will be allowed to enter into our hearts. What we allow into our hearts, becomes our life. Depression can’t stay within us, if we are holding onto to God’s Word, every time depression rises up, read and speak the Word against it and it will have to go.
The second step is, “Speak To The Problem.” We must speak to the situation or problem, before it speaks to us. We must stop speaking about our problems, and speak to them. When we speak about our problems, nothing happens except for the spirit of depression taking root inside of us, but when we speak to our problems, we take authority over them. Don’t take my word for it, but look at what God says, turn to Mark 11:23, “ For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.” The Bible says, that we are to speak to the mountain of depression, move it away from us in the name of Jesus. We are to command it to leave and cast it out. The key is what is said next, “Do Not Doubt But Believe.” When we do this we will have whatever we say. Do you believe in what the Word says?
Right now, today, this is the time to bring the battle against depression. Speak directly to it, don’t speak about it. Speak to the problem. Speak to sickness in the name of Jesus. Speak to demons in the name of Jesus. Speak to your body in the name of Jesus. Do you believe? If you do believe speak to the problem!
“Let the redeemed of the Lord say so.” (Psalms 107:2) Do you know what the devil is afraid of? He is afraid of a “Born Again, Spirit Filled, Devil Stomping, Tongue Talking Believer.” He is afraid of them because they aren’t afraid of opening their mouths and speak with authority. He has “No Defense” against a man or woman of God who knows who they are in Christ and that they know what their authority is.
The third step is, “Ask God If There Is Anything Missing In Your Life.” If there is something that is missing in your life, ask God for it. If you don’t doubt you will have whatever you say.
If we are depressed, because something that is missing in our lives, ask the Father to give it to you. Some people get depressed because they don’t appear to have the gifts like other people have. The question that needs to be asked is, “Did you ask God for it?” Look at John 16:24, “Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” God gives us another key to being free from depression, He says, “Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” Have you asked God for what is missing in your life?
We receive what ask for and joy is promised to us. Depression cannot hold onto us when we are filled with joy. Remember, do not ask amiss, another words don’t ask for something that is self centered. Ask for something that only grace can supply. “Faith Takes” and “Grace Makes.” If it is outside of the purview of what Jesus has already done, then grace cannot manifest it and faith will not take it. Remember also, to always ask for things that are not for your advantage, but for others advantage.
Let me be real with you, we must be real in our thinking. The spirit of depression is going to attack us. It is going to come against us, but we now know how to be an “Overcomer.” Overcome the spirit of depression with the Word of God. This spirit will not stop with just one strike of the Word, it will come again and maybe even more times, but we must continue striking it with the Word and believe me the more you slash it with the Sword of the Spirit (Word of God), the weaker it will become, until one day it will give up its hold on you. Then with the authority given to you by Jesus, you can cast it out completely. Speaking to the mountain will move the problems, it isn’t magic, it is Jesus! Speaking to it once will not move it, but in faith and no doubt you can cast the problem into the abyss and you will be an “Overcomer.”
Are you an “Overcomer?” Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior? If not, then let me introduce you to Him:
Pray this prayer: “Father God, I believe that You love me so much that You sent your one and only Son (Jesus) to pay the penalty for my sin. I admit that I have sinned. I repent of those sins and I believe that Jesus paid for all my sins. I believe that Jesus loved me so much He died for me. I believe that after He died, He rose from the dead and is seated in heaven with the Father. I ask You Jesus to come into my heart and be my Lord and Savior. Thank You Jesus…Amen.”
If you prayed that prayer, you are an “Overcomer.” Find a Bible believing church and ask Jesus to make His Word come alive within you.
What is the greatest blessing that we can have in life? It is “Devine Health!” Divine health is not a term found in the Bible, it is actually a man made term, that has been handed down from generation to generation. Many people have used this term, but only a few people actually understand what they are saying.
How do we define “Divine Health?” Divine health is people who are completely free from diseases and sickness through divine intervention from God, at least that is what the world defines as “Divine Health.”
What does ‘Divine Health” look like for us today and are we living in that “Divine Health” today? God has a better definition for “Divine Health” and His definition is this: “People are free from diseases and sickness in the physical body, free from anxiety, free from fear and free from bitterness, having their minds filled with peace and rest, being successful with everything that they do and being sound physically, mentally and spiritually through divine intervention by God forever.”
Satan, has blinded most people to the truth, because he does not want people to know the what Jesus Christ has already given us, that is “Divine Health.” Our problem is simple, we keep trying to get something that has already been given to us. “Divine Health,” is one of the finished works of Jesus. To the world, money and being wealthy is the best blessing that anyone can have, but we know that this is not true, because when we are sick or have a terminal disease, money cannot cure us. Let me share with you a story in the Bible, that I like to call “The Woman With The Issue Of Blood.” This story is found Luke 8:43, ‘Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any.” From reading this one verse of Scripture we can gather some important facts. The woman had money and wealth, but she also had a terminal illness. Blood was flowing from her body continuously. So she did what any person who is this position would do, she hired doctors to care for her, but all the doctors that she had hired could not cure her. When she had used up all of her money, where the doctors could do nothing more for her, and no medicine they gave her was working, she was left to her own fate, because the doctors said that there is no cure and no hope. How many of us have heard that told to us? When people are sick, they only want to be cured. They only want to be healthy. From our Scripture verse, we know that this woman was one of these people.
Somehow, and the Bible doesn’t tell us, but this woman heard about Jesus of Nazareth, so she gained all the strength she could muster inside of herself to go and find this man Jesus. She did the unthinkable for any Jewish woman to do and that is to go into the crowd, knowing that she could be put out if people knew she was unclean. She reached through the crowd of people all around Jesus and with great faith, touched Him. She touched the hem of His garment. Now to you and me, this really didn’t make any sense, but to this Jewish woman, it was all that she needed to be healed. Why your probably asking? Jewish tradition from the High Priest. I know that this is a lot to take in, but what I am about to share with you will make perfect sense. When a high priest is chosen, oil is poured over the priest from his head and it would flow down the persons face and beard all the way to the feet. This was the anointing of the Holy Spirit. This woman not only saw Jesus as a prophet, but as the High Priest with the anointing oil that flows over Him. By faith she reached out, knowing in her heart, that if she would just touch the hem of Jesus’ garment she would be healed.
When we are sick, we can’t enjoy money, relationships, family or anything else. The world views a person who is wealthy, with money as someone who is powerful, this is a false assumption. Divine health is far more a blessing than any amount of money or wealth. I believe, that divine health is a true blessing, because it helps us enjoy all the blessing of God while we are still alive in these bodies. Even while Jesus was here on the earth, He always brought healing to the people that He ministered to. Acts 10:38 says, “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” As can be seen here in this verse of Scripture, Jesus healed people all the time. Does God do this today? Yes, but do not take my word for it, look at what the Bible says, turn to Psalms 105:37, “He also brought them out with silver and gold, And there was none feeble among His tribes.” This verse of Scripture is talking about the children of Israel, when they were being delivered from the slavery of Egypt, there was not one of them who was sick, diseased, blind, lame or feeble when they left Egypt. They were all in divine health. They were all whole! If it is God’s will for us to be in divine health, then why are so many of us sick, diseased, blind, lame, oppressed, depressed and we are dying prematurely? The Bible gives us the answer, turn to 1 Corinthians 11:29-30, “For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.” Paul was given the reason that people in Corinth were sick, diseased and died prematurely. They did not discern the Lord’s body.
What does discern mean? The Corinthians did not know why they were partaking of the bread [the body of Christ] at the Lord’s table. This is why they were not receiving “Divine Health” and the reason that they were sick, diseased and died prematurely. If we will discern the the body of Christ when we take the “Bread,” we will see health and wholeness. When we do not discern the body, then we allow sickness, disease to enter in. partaking of thee the “Bread” and knowing what the Lord Jesus has already done, will strengthen our bodies, souls, and spirits.
Most people believe that if they live a healthy lifestyle, this will keep them from receiving sicknesses and diseases, but this is just another false hope. I have personally known people who have lived very healthy lives, but they still ended up dying prematurely from a sickness or a disease. God wants us to turn to Him and pray to Him for the answers. You see, we do not fight a flesh and blood enemy, we fight an enemy of principalities, dark powers, and pure evil. God knows this and He has given us the means to combat the enemy, with the “Bread and the Wine.” Only God can give us “Divine Health,” but we have to surrender ourselves to Him. We have to yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit. God has ordained the taking of the bread and wine for our healing, deliverance and our complete wholeness. The apostles knew this, they knew that if they would keep taking communion even after Jesus left the earth that they would remain healthy and whole. Acts 2:42 says , “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” What was the “apostle’s doctrine?” Let us take a look at what the Amplified Bible says, “And they steadfastly persevered, devoting themselves constantly to the instruction and fellowship of the apostles, to the breaking of bread [including the Lord’s Supper] and prayers.” The disciples of Jesus, did as Jesus had instructed them to do and wherever they went, they took communion, remembering what Jesus had already done. Read Acts 2:43, “Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.” The disciples took and broke bread with others and with the taking of communion there were many signs and wonders happening.
There are still many people who do not have a grasp on the power that is in the “Bread and the Wine.” The devil has influenced the church doctrine of communion, it is not just to be done just in the church building, it is to be done at home, at work, or whenever we want. It is not a ritual to be performed because of religion. it is the truth to be shared by true believers of Christ Jesus. It is to be done at home with our spouses. It is to shared with our children, not only shared with them, but the true meaning needs to be explained to them. Children need to understand the significance of communion. we all need to know why Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of Me.” (Luke 22:19) God wants us to restore the true meaning of the “Bread and the Wine.”
Let us now take a deeper look into the meaning of the “Bread” [the body of Christ] and how by His body He gives us health, strength and long life. Why do you think that this is so? When we take the ‘Bread” we are remembering what Jesus has already done for us. Paul did not say, we are not discerning the blood or the wine, he said that we are not discerning the body or the “Bread.” He said that this is what is making us sick, diseased and die prematurely. Many of us believe that the body and the blood are for the forgiveness of sins, but again this is a false doctrine. The body or the “Bread” does one thing while the blood or the “Wine” does another, they cannot be the same. yes they are the elements of communion, the blood for the forgiveness of sins and the body for our healing.
Most of us are able to discern the power of the blood, we agree that the blood or the “Wine” if for forgiveness of sin. Look at what Colossians 1:13-14 says, “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” Also look at what Ephesians 1:7 says, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” From these Scriptures, we know that Jesus shed His blood for the forgiveness of our sins, so when we take and drink the “Wine” we remember what Jesus did for us by not just covering our sin with His blood, but we know that he washed the sin away. We remember what the blood of Christ did for us, by making us righteous in God’s eyes. We thank Him for the shedding of this blood and giving us right standing before God so that we can enter boldly into His presence. We thank Him for letting us have intimacy with the Father and we now know that we can walk with Him again in the cool of the day, just like Adam did in the Garden of Eden and we know that wen we pray, He hears us. Yes many of us can discern the “Blood or the Wine.”
This is not so much the case with the “Body or the Bread.” Please hear me…we must know what the “Bread” means. Jesus told us that the “Bread” represents His body which was broken for us, it is our healing. How do we know this? We have to look into the Bible and turn to Mark 7:25-27, “For a woman whose young daughter had an unclean spirit heard about Him, and she came and fell at His feet. The woman was a Greek, a Syro-Phoenician by birth, and she kept asking Him to cast the demon out of her daughter. But Jesus said to her, “Let the children be filled first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” First let us look at who this woman was, she was a Greek, Syro-Phoenician woman, which meant that she was a Gentile, not a Jew. We have to understand that Jews and Gentiles did not like each other and that the Jews called Gentiles ‘Dogs.” Now we have to ask the question, “What did Jesus mean when He said, “The Children’s Bread?'” He was talking about healing! When Jesus said that by throwing the “Bread” to the little dogs, he was saying to the woman, that He was not here for the Gentiles, but for God’s children; the Jewish people. The woman was not a Jew, she was a Gentile, so Jesus was saying that “Divine Healing” was for God’s covenant people only.
Why is the “Bread” for healing, since healing was not what the woman wanted for her daughter, after all her daughter was possessed by a demon, she was not in need of healing, but a deliverance. Jesus was saying to this woman that the devil oppresses and evil spirits possess people and place sickness and disease upon them. Let us take a look at what Acts 10:38 says, “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” Jesus went everywhere and healed people who were oppressed by the devil. Diseases and sicknesses are a form of oppression from Satan and all of us need God’s healing. Jesus saw healing as the “Children’s Bread.” Let us go back to Mark 7:28, “And she answered and said to Him, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs under the table eat from the children’s crumbs.” This woman, although she was a Gentile, had faith in Jesus to heal her daughter. She knew that just a small crumb of healing from Jesus was enough for her daughter to be whole again. Jesus then tells her this in Mark 7:29, “Then He said to her, “For this saying go your way; the demon has gone out of your daughter.” What did this woman do to receive the healing? She took the crumbs from under the table and her daughter was delivered and set free.
What does it mean to discern the “Body?” Let us again take a look into God’s Word for the answer, read Matthew 26:26, “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” First we must see that Jesus took the “Bread” and He blessed it, What does this mean? When He took the “Bread” He gave thanks for it to His Father. After He had given thanks for it, He breaks the bread and then He gives it to His disciples. Jesus wanted them to see for themselves that the “Bread” symbolized His body broken for them. His broken body would be given to each of them as the ‘Bread” for their healing. He was giving them His “Body” to them to take and eat and receive their healing. Even today as we break the “Bread” during communion, we are taking of the Lord’s “Body” so that we can be healed. Jesus gives us His “Body the Bread” that is full of life, health and wholeness. The disciples knew this, because they never saw Jesus sick. They knew this because just being near Jesus filled them overflowing with life. Now here at this moment in time Jesus was giving them what He already had, abundance of health and wellness. Jesus was so full of life and healing virtue, even His clothes were immersed in it. Do you remember the woman with the issue of blood, she only had to touch the hem of Jesus’ robe and she was healed. makes me wonder how many more people were filled with life, by just being in the presence of Jesus. I even wonder how the Roman soldiers who threw lots for Jesus’ clothing must have felt the healing inside of their bodies. can you just imagine the person who put on the sandals that Jesus wore, I bet his feet were never the same, or the man who got the robe that Jesus wore, his whole being must have changed. Even the person who took the crown of thorns off Jesus’ head, he must have experienced things that he could not explain. Life abundant life, flowed from Jesus and the disciples knew that when they would brake the ‘Bread” they were eating and digesting Jesus’s life force and healing would come to them.
Whenever we take and brake the “Bread” and give thanks, we must always discern what this “Bread” means. That this is the body of Jesus that is broken for us so that we can have life in abundance. When we take and eat this “Bread” we are to take in faith that the abundant life will be inside of us and that health, “Divine Health,” has already been placed into our bodies. We must claim this as one of the finished works of Jesus Christ. Our bodies are going to become stronger, our mentality is going to strengthen, and not only that but our spirits are going to strengthen as well. Isiah 533:4 says:
Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
Jesus bore our griefs [sicknesses], He carried our sorrows [pain], He was esteemed stricken [reckoned] and He smitten by God and afflicted. This means that his body took on all the sicknesses of the world, those back in his time and those we see at the present and those that will come in the future. Think about that for a moment. Jesus took every pain for us and every diseases known back then, known today and to be known in the future. This tells me that me that Jesus knew of the virus we are experiencing today and the good news is that He has already healed us from it. It is one of the finished works that He has already done. Isaiah goes on to say this in the next verse:
“But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.”
Jesus was wounded [pierced through] for our transgressions, He was pierced through His head with the crown of thorns, so that we could be healed from our mental illnesses. He was pierced through with the nails in his hands and feet to give us healing to all parts of our body from top to bottom. He was pierced through in His side and heart so that we are healed from every emotional pain. Jesus was bruised [crushed] for our iniquities so that we can be healed from the trauma we suffers from others. The let downs from our friends, or the hurt from being betrayed just to name a few. Jesus had the chastisement for peace laid upon Him, and by His stripes [the blows that cut into his flesh] we are healed. Take a look at Matthew 8:17, “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: ‘He Himself took our infirmities And bore our sicknesses.'” My friends, this confirms that Jesus did not only take our sins to the cross, but He also took our sicknesses, diseases, and all pain to the cross as well. Luke 22:15-20 says, “Then He said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.”
The Old Testament is the shadow of the New Testament, the “Passover” was the shadow of what Christ Jesus did on the cross. The blood on the lintel and the door posts were for our pain, diseases, and sicknesses. The first Passover was for a lamb to be slaughtered and the blood placed to be placed on the lintel and the door posts so that the destroyer would Passover. John the Baptist said, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world. Jesus was the perfect lamb for the slaughter, His blood is what keeps the destroyer from harming us. In the first Passover, they were told to roast the lamb and eat it, I believe that when they consumed the body of the lamb, their bodies were healed from all sicknesses and diseases. The Bible says in Psalms 105:37 “He brought them out with silver and gold, And there was none feeble among Hos tribes.”
We have healing through the ‘Bread or the Body” and we have our sin removed through the “Wine or the Blood” When we believe and discern the “Body,” we receive “Divine Healing.” I know this to be true, because my wife has a history of “gout.” The Lord told us to take “Communion” for a week. After one day of communion, there was no more gout. She went to the doctor and she gave a testimony to her doctor of the healing power of God to him. So today wherever you are at, take the time and take the “Bread and the Wine,” and receive your healing too. Remember to do this, “In remembrance of Jesus and what He has already done.”
We must all be willing to yield to the Holy Spirit. What does the word yield mean? It means that we are to give the right of way to another. It means that we do not go ahead, but we are to follow behind the Holy Spirit. It means that we must allow Him to be in front of us, not on the side of us and certainly not behind us. Proverbs 3:6 says, “We are to acknowledge Him and He will direct our paths.”
This takes us into another question, “What does it mean to acknowledge?” It means that we are to accept or admit the existence of the truth of the Holy Spirit. It means that we recognize the fact or the importance or the quality of the Holy Spirit. In essence, we should discuss every aspect of our lives with the person of the Holy Spirit and we should consult Him about all the issues that we are facing.
Let us take a hard look in the Bible and just see for ourselves what the Word has to say, Let us begin our search for truth in Acts 9:6, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” Please take a look at this, We have always asked God, “What do You want me to do?” This question is a legit one, and it is a question that we can ask the Holy Spirit, but sadly though, we are willing to ask the question, but we are not ready to wait for the answer. What happens is that we do something before we have been given an answer, or we rebel when we get an answer that we do not like. When Paul asked this question, God told him, “Arise and go into the city and you will be told what you must do.” Sometimes God will have us go somewhere and once we are obedient to Him, then He will gives us further instructions. I believe that He does this, so that He can see, how far we are willing to follow Him and are we willing to yield ourselves to him. God wants to teach us the most important thing that any born again believer can do and that is to live life under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
God wants to take us to a place of excellence! What is excellence? It is the quality of being outstanding or extremely good. God does not just want us to be average anymore, He wants us to be in excellence. Matter-a-fact, being average will actually becoming boring to us. When we make the decision to walk under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, our lives will change and we will put on excellence.
How do we do this? First and foremost, we must know the person of the Holy Spirit. We must have His identification upon us. We must walk daily with Him! Again let us go into the Bible and see what we need to know, turn to Acts 19:1-10, “And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?” So they said, “Into John’s baptism.” Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. Now the men were about twelve in all. And he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God. But when some were hardened and did not believe, but spoke evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them and withdrew the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus. And this continued for two years, so that all who dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.'” They all heard the word of the Lord Jesus and they all heard the gospel of Grace.
Look what it says again in verse five, “When Paul had laid his hands on them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.” Speaking in tongues is a gift, it is gift to anyone who wants to have it. Don’t get this gift confused with the gift of the Holy Spirit, where speaking in tongues and interpretation are given. This gift is given when we are baptized in the Holy Spirit. This gift of tongues is not for the benefit of the church, but it is a personal, love language to God. The gift for the church, is the gift of tongues and interpretation for the uplifting of the church. The tongues here, in this verse of Scripture is for us to communicate with the Father. There are some people who say that tongues ceased with the apostles. This is very far from the truth. They actually have misinterpreted First Corinthians 13:8-10, “Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.” Let me continue, the Scriptures says, ‘Whether there are prophecies, they will fall; whether there are tongues, they will cease…” This is where most people believe that in this time in history, there are no more tongues. Let me ask you, “How can this be? Why would God take away our direct line of communication with Him?” He wouldn’t, instead He would increase it. That is why He gave us the person of the Holy Spirit. He gave us the promise of the Holy Spirit with the edification of speaking in tongues. Paul was not saying that tongues would cease now, but that they would when the Lord Jesus comes to claim His Bride, we will not need tongues anymore because we will be with the Father. Some people believe that tongues ceased with the apostles. This is also far from the truth. We must read the Scriptures and understand it, for its content. “For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part will be done away.” Let us highlight the words, “When that which is perfect is come…” Look at this for clarity, verse eight says, “Love never fails.” Paul is saying that everything else will fail. Why is this? Because they are not perfect. Only God is perfect and Jesus has not returned, therefore we can conclude that tongues and prophecy are still here until He returns, because when He returns, they will no longer be needed.
Let me show you some more, “Whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.” In this time in history what Daniel prophesied is coming to pass, Turn to Daniel 12:4, “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.” Knowledge will increase in the last days. Paul didn’t say, knowledge would vanish away after the apostles left the earth, but when all of us are taken up to be with the Lord, then knowledge will vanish, because we will be filled with God, and He is love.
Let us look further just to confirm what I just said, turn to First Corinthians 13:9-10, “For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.” Please make note of what Paul has said, “But that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part will be done away.” Who is perfect? Jesus, He alone is perfect! When we see Him face to face, then that which is perfect has come. Perfect love has come! Prophecies will fail, tongues will cease and knowledge will vanish. We will have no more need of them, because we will be forever with the Lord. I hope that I have put this lie to rest that tongues are not for today?
Tongues are only beneficial for us while we are in these physical bodies. This gift is to benefit us while we are in this body. When we are changed, in the twinkling of an eye, we will be placed in our glorified bodies and the speaking of tongues will not be needed. God has given us this gift, when He baptized us in the Holy Spirit. This gift is for our benefit, therefore, we should be using this gift daily. When we pray in the spirit, then what is unknown to us becomes known, wisdom comes to us and prophecies are made powerful. God has not done away with tongues! When we pray in the Holy Ghost, we always end up in peace. Peace floods our very souls. The peace comes, because we know that Jesus has already done it all. The devil has no defense against us when we pray in tongues. It drives him insane, because of the power that it produces. Look at this now, go to Romans 8:26, “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” Know tis that these weaknesses are not sickness, but in fact they are weaknesses of the flesh. How can we pray about something in English if we don’t know what we are praying about? The Holy Spirit will be the intercessor for us, He will come out and step in and speak for us as we pray. He will speak through groanings which cannot be uttered. He already knows the situation that we are to be praying about and He uses us as the conduit to speak to the situation. We may not understand all that is said, but when we yield ourselves to Him, then He brings peace to our spirits.
We have been talking about ‘Yielding to the Holy Spirit.” We have been given this promise, that is from the Father, that He will never leave us, nor forsake us. When no other person is around us, the Holy Spirit will always be with us. Know this, that when we feel alone, that He is God with us. This is a guarantee and we can always rely on Him. We have been talking about the subject of “Speaking in Tongues,” and we have seen for ourselves that tongues comes from the Holy Spirit baptism. Everywhere in the Bible we have seen that when people are baptized in the Holy Ghost, they receive the evidence of that baptism, through the ability to pray in tongues. This is the language that is given to us by the person of the Holy Spirit, so that we may communicate directly with God the Father. This gift is full of power, but it is only for us while we are in these physical bodies and while we are here upon the earth. When we leave these bodies, we will no longer need tongues, because we will be with the Lord forever. Let me show you what I mean, turn to the Book of Romans, let us read Chapter eight, verse twenty-six, “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” What weaknesses is the apostle talking about? He is talking about weaknesses of the flesh. The Holy Spirit will have us pray in the Spirit about something that He grieves us with. This could be for someone, somewhere to something. You see, when we pray in English, we pray for things that we have knowledge about, but when we pray for things in the Spirit, we are able to pray for things that the Holy Spirit knows about. When we are praying in tongues, we don’t have the weaknesses of the flesh of not knowing what to pray, because the Holy Spirit knows. He knows it all. Let us look a little deeper into this Scripture, “…but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us….” What does “intercession” mean? It is the action of intervening on behalf of another and the action of saying a prayer on behalf of another person. When we pray in tongues, we are praying for things that the Holy Spirit knows about, this could be a person, place or a thing. We do not know, but He does know, again we can see that it all comes to the point of yielding to the Holy Spirit.
Think about this now, the Holy Spirit wants us to pray for things that He knows about. This could be someone in our own family that may be dealing with something that we do not even know about. It could be a friend or even a man or woman that we may pass by on the street. You know, that the Spirit wants us to pray for them, because He will grieve our spirits to pray in tongues. God wants us to use this gift, this grace gift. We need to remember that when we speak in tongues, we speak to God. Amazing as it is, yet some churches do not believe that tongues is for today, Let me show you this false news, turn in the Bible to First Corinthians 14:2, “For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries.” God wants us to have all of this even today. Turn to Luke 11:11-13, “If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” God wants to give us the promise, even more than we want it. We can be assured just by reading verse thirteen, that the Father will give us the Holy Spirit when we ask for it. There are some people say that in order for us to receive the Holy Spirit, we have to have “No Sin” in our lives, have you ever heard this? These people believe that the reason people do not receive the Holy Spirit, is because God will not fill a dirty vessel. Let’s be real, God doesn’t have any other vessels to fill. Turn to First John 1:8, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” If we were perfect without the Holy Spirit, why then would we need the Holy Spirit in our lives? The Holy Spirit comes into our dirty, messed up lives to help us. God gives Him to us, to guide us through this lifetime.
There are three purposes for us to speak in tongues. The first purpose for us to know why it is important for us to “Speak in Tongues,” is that it “Builds Our Faith.” The second purpose is that it “Draws Out The Power That Has Been Placed Within Us” when we were born again. You see, God placed His power inside of us, power that we have haven’t even tapped into yet. The Bible says in Proverbs 20:5, “Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water, But a man of understanding will draw it out.” The third purpose for us to speak in tongues, “It Draws Out Knowledge,” that is in our spirits. Each one of us have been given wisdom that is inside of our spirits. which our minds do not even know about. It is here, inside of our spirits, that when we yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit it gets drawn out. After this study, you will be able to know things like never before. God is going to make us “Smarter.” We may not be able to know everything, but we will be able to know how to get it. It all will come to us as we yield to the Holy Spirit. Know this that the world is in fear right now, but we shouldn’t be. Why? It is because the Holy Spirit will give us the knowledge and the wisdom to overcome any situation. All that is required is for us to yield ourselves to Him.
Let us read further, turn to Acts 2:4, “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” We can see for ourselves, that whenever a person was filled with the Holy Spirit, the evidence shows that they spoke in tongues as the Holy Spirit gave them utterance. It is not our words, it is the Holy Spirit. It is the language that we do not understand, but the Holy Spirit understand it. He has the knowledge of the language. Let us look further, read First Corinthians 2:14, “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” Natural man is a man who depends on his or her five senses. It is a person who can see, hear, touch, taste and smell. The person who is like this, has what the Bible likes to call a “Carnal Mind.” If this person cannot use his or her five senses, then it can never be real. The Scripture says, “The natural or carnal minded man doesn’t receive the things of God.” Why is this so? The verse tells us, “For they are foolish to him.” They are foolish, because to him they can never be real. The Scripture further tells us, “Nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” The things of the Spirit can only be understood by people who have the Holy Spirit. A natural man is not able to understand, because he is trying to analyze everything with his carnal mind. Conflict arises, when the natural tries to discern the supernatural.
Turn to 1 Corinthians 14:1-5, “Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.” Paul is saying that we must “Pursue Love.” This is what it means to be a Christian. If we are not walking in love, we do not know who Jesus is. The hallmark of being a born again Christian is love. We are to “Desire Spiritual Gifts.” We should desire these gifts so that we can be a blessing to others. Paul said, that we may prophecy. We have to understand that the Old Testament prophets were different from the New Testament prophets. The Old Testament prophets would guide people as God directed them, but in the New Testament, people are guided by the Holy Spirit. This is another wonderful thing about our yielding to the Spirit. He will guide us into all truth. Prophecy today, is used to edify and for confirmation of the things of God. Paul say it this way, “He who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men, but to God.” Paul is saying to us that those who are baptized in the Holy Ghost, who have the gift of tongues, we should use this gift, because we are not speaking to men, but to God. We have a direct communication with the Father. The verse goes on to say, “No one understands him, however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries.” Let us look at this verse in another version, and I am reading from the Amplified Version, “For one who speaks in an [unknown] tongue speaks not to men but to God, for no one understands or his meaning, because in the [Holy] Spirit he utters secret truths and hidden things [not obvious to the understanding].” I would like you to take a look at this now, Paul said, that when we speak in tongues, we utter secret truths and hidden things [not obvious to the understanding]. These are things that are hidden from the comprehension of our minds. These are things that are hidden from our understanding. When we speak in this heavenly language, we are speaking those secret truths and those hidden things. We are speaking of things that aren’t obvious to our physical understanding.
Now look at the next verse, “But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.” If we prophecy, we will do it towards men’s understanding. If we prophesy in tongues, no one can understand and prophesy has to be exhortation and comfort to the church. In this verse Paul is explaining, that when we gather together and when we prophesy, this is given, so that men will understand. God will never prophesy to us that will produce fear. The Bible clearly shows us that God only gives us prophecy that produces edification. What is edification? It is the instruction or improvement of a person morally or intellectually. Look what else prophecy does for us. Prophesy gives us comfort. Nothing is intended to harm us.
Let us move on to see what Paul further has to say, let us read the next verse, “He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.” Here Paul is saying to us that when we speak in tongues, we are edifying ourselves. When we speak in tongues, we are building ourselves up spiritually, mentally, and physically. We are strengthening our lives.
Now let us turn to verse four, “But he that prophesies edifies the church.” This means that when a word of prophesy is given, it is given, so that the body of believers can understand what is being said.
Turn to verse five, “I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.” Paul is saying this, if someone prophesies in tongues, than there has to be some kind of order. If the tongues are spoken there must be an interpretation so that the church can understand what God is saying. This makes the church strengthened and all are of understanding.
Turn to 1 Corinthians 14:6-12, “But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you unless I speak to you either by revelation, by knowledge, by prophesying, or by teaching? Even things without life, whether flute or harp, when they make a sound, unless they make a distinction in the sounds, how will it be known what is piped or played? For if the trumpet makes a certain sound who will prepare for battle? So likewise you, unless you utter by the tongue words easy to understand, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air. There are, it may be, so many kinds of languages in the world, and none of them is without significance. Therefore, if I do not know the meaning of the language, I shall be a foreigner to him who speaks, and he who speaks will be foreigner to me. Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel.”
Let us now read 1 Corinthians 14:13-17, “Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding. Otherwise, if you bless with the spirit, how will he who occupies the place of the uninformed say “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not understand what you say? For you indeed give thanks well, but the other is not edified.” We have to listen to what Paul is saying, he is saying this, that we are spirit beings, we have a soul and we live in a body. When we pray in tongues, our spirits are praying. Our understanding is not there, because our minds cannot comprehend what our spirit is saying. So, when we pray in tongues, we are to ask the Holy Spirit for the interpretation. If He wants us to know, He will interpret it for us, if He doesn’t, He will not. Know this, that the Holy Spirit does things only for our good. Paul goes on to say, that we can sing in the spirit and that we can also ask for understanding.
When we were “Born Again,” our spirits were re-born. The Bible says that when we accepted Christ Jesus into our lives, our old spirits were born again into perfection. We were sealed by the Holy Spirit. When we pray in the Spirit, our prayers are perfected. Our spirit man is just like god. We are heaven ready! When we renew our minds with the Word of God, our souls line-up with our spirits and when our soul and spirit are in-line with the Word, then our physical bodies will also come into alinement. When this happens then the Word will renew our bodies. This means that we can pray a perfect prayer, by praying in the Spirit. We are not to risk praying in English, but we are to pray prayers of perfection in the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit has come into our lives to help us to walk in the plan of God. First, we have to dispel our thoughts about the Holy Spirit’s purpose. His purpose is not to jerk us, jiggle us, or have us speak in tongues. I know what your thinking, Paul said that we are to be baptized in the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues, but know this, that is not His purpose. The actual purpose of the Holy Spirit is huge. You see, He has come to do a job inside of us. We have to understand what His specific purpose is and not what men think it is. We already know that He has come to make His dwelling inside of us, to help us live our lives. He has come to give us all that we need to know in order for us to walk in God’s plan for us. He is there to assist us in discovering the plan that God has for our lives. He will assist us in finding God’s will for our lives and He will assist us in taking the right steps that God has set for us.
Let us look into God’s Word and see what He says. Turn to 1 Corinthians 2:9-10, “But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.” Paul says something very important, “It is written.” Who wrote it? God did! “It is written by God, eyes have not seen, nor has ears heard, nor have entered into the heart.” This is telling us, that God has not yet revealed it to us. He hasn’t yet reveled the things of God has prepared for us. God has prepared things for us, but right now He has not made them known to us.
Let us look at what He says in verse ten, “But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit.” Notice this, God revealed His plan for our lives with the Holy Spirit. He shared His very thoughts with the Holy Spirit. He shares this with Holy Spirit, so that He can give us the revelation when the time is right. This sharing from the Father is so that we can know His plan for our lives. “The Holy Spirit searches the deep things of God.” These things are what we do not know yet, but they will be revealed to us. It is what the Holy Ghost will do. The plan that God has for us will be revealed to us, we can take that to the bank. Our destiny will be revealed to us. We will have the assurance that God will make sure that the right instructions are given to us. The plan for our lives will be clear! On the day that we were born again, the Holy Spirit was poured into us and then He began putting the directions within our spirits. He begins whispering them into our ears, so that the seed would take root in our hearts and grow. (See Romans 5:5) let us take a look at the Scripture in the Amplified Bible, “But, on the contrary, as the Scripture says, What eye has not seen and ear has not heard and has not entered into the heart of man, [all that] God has prepared (made and keeps ready) for those who love Him [who hold Him in affectionate reverence, promptly obeying Him and gratefully recognizing the benefits He has bestowed]. Yet to us God has unveiled and revealed them by and through His Spirit, for the [Holy] Spirit searches diligently, exploring and examining everything, even sounding the profound and bottomless things of God [the divine counsels and things hidden and beyond man’s scrutiny]. God, the Father, has made all things for us and He is keeping them ready for us to be given by the Holy Spirit. He is holding these things for us, because we have a relationship with Him. The Holy Spirit who resides within us, knows everything that God knows about us. Think on that for a moment, we are walking around with the Holy spirit who knows all things. Doesn’t that want to make you shout, ‘Halleluiah?” It does me! Our friend, the person of the Holy Spirit, knows all things and still wants to be our friend, this is powerful.
Revelation knowledge is the objective of the Holy Spirit. He has come to reveal things to us. Look, at how He brought revelation knowledge, turn to Matthew 16:13-16, “When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” No one who knew Jesus was, except His early parents, mother Mary and father Joseph. But God’s Spirit gives this revelation knowledge to Simon Peter. It was unknown to Peter, but the Holy Spirit immediately gave the knowledge to Peter. This is what the Holy Spirit does, He reveals things to us. it is going to be spontaneous. Jesus now reply’s to Simon Peter with this read verse seventeen, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.” Jesus was saying to Peter and the apostles with him, that there would be no way for you to know these things. You are not able to sense it with your “five senses.” It wasn’t something that you heard from someone else. You heard this from the Holy Spirit, talking to your spirit from heaven.
Let us dive a little deeper into this by reading verse eighteen, “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” Jesus wasn’t calling Simon Peter by his name, because now he had given him a new name. Peter was now called “Petros,” which means a “piece of the rock.” Do you know who the Rock is? It is Jesus, He is the “Rock of Ages.” The church [the body of Christ] would be built and the disciples as well as us today will be “Petros, a Piece of the Rock.” What is being said by Jesus is that we will all be given a plan for our lives. This plan will lead us to the purpose of the Holy Spirit for today, to guide us into the plan of God. Know this that the gates of hell cannot stop it from growing. Nothing can, because the Word will continue forever. Jesus is saying to us that when we get a revelation of who Jesus is, we become more solid. Something happens to us when we get this revelation. When we can see Jesus and we have the revelation of who He is, then anything that the devil throws at us, will not work.
Let’s continue on with our reading with reading verse nineteen, “And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Jesus is saying this to us, that once we have the revelation of who He is, then He gives us the keys of the kingdom of heaven, they are ours and we now are given power to bind things on the earth and they will be bound in heaven and we have been given the power to loose things on the earth and they will be loosed in heaven. Why would He do this? He does this because we have been given the revelation of the Christ, the Son of the living God. Once we know who Jesus is, we also know who we are and once we know who we are, we know what authority that we have.
How does all this fit in with the question, ‘What is the purpose of the Holy Spirit? The person of the Holy Spirit has been sent to us to help us know the revelation of Christ Jesus, but there is a problem, many people are walking around with a veil of condemnation over their lives and this causes us not to receive the revelation of Christ Jesus. When we are full of shame, guilt and condemnation, it is hard for us to see Jesus. When we don’t see Jesus, then we are serving dead works. We want to do something to get something. Religion teaches us that we have to do something to get God’s love. We have to do something to receive God’s blessings. The Holy Spirit was sent to free us from these dead works and condemnation. Guilt blocks what Jesus has prepared for us. Shame dams up the flow of glory that Jesus gives to us. Condemnation causes us to not focus upon Jesus and who He is and what He has done. We cannot do what God wants us to do, because we are always dealing with our condemnation, guilt and shame. Hebrews 9:14 says, “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” The Holy Spirit is here to help us get rid of all this mess that we are in, so that we are free from the dead works, condemnation, guilt and shame.
What is shame? It is a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong and foolish behavior. The devil uses shame to keep us from the plan of God. What is guilt? It is the fact of having committed a specific offense or crime. The devil loves to use shame and guilt as his main tools to keep us from following the Lord. Isn’t it always so coincidental that when we start speaking God’s Word, that everything that we have ever done in our lifetime comes up into our minds. What happens when it does? We begin to condemn ourselves! We say to Jesus that I am not good enough to be used by God, because I am too old, too bad, and too sinful still. We walk away because we feel rejected. We cannot see Jesus for who He really is, because we are filled with a mind full of condemnation.
But the day that we get the revelation of Christ Jesus and His finished works, that will be the day that condemnation, guilt, shame and rejection will be purged from our lives. We will be able to stand up against the devil and say to him, “I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.”
What causes our guilt and our shame? Paul said this about himself, read Galatians 1:11-12, “But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.” These are words coming from a man who was a murderer, torturer, and a persecutor who persecuted anyone who followed Jesus of Nazareth. It came from a man who served the law, who was a person who upheld the Jewish laws no matter what. If the law was broken, He was the one who would find the people who broke it and chain them up and take them to prison. This man didn’t have a heart, but then something happened to this man while he was going to find people who disobeyed the law of Israel. On his way, He met the man he hated the most, He met Jesus and he was given revelation of who Jesus was. Paul is telling us that the gospel was given to him, but not from man, it came from from the revelation that the Holy Spirit gave him. It wasn’t the revelation from Jesus, it is the revelation of Jesus. The “Gospel of Grace” is the unveiling of who Jesus is. Grace is not a subject matter, grace is not a power, grace is the person of Jesus. The day that the Holy Spirit reveals this revelation to us, condemnation, fear, guilt, shame and rejection will cease to affect us. Why is this so? We will be able to see Christ Jesus for who He is.
The Holy Spirit has this specific purpose and that is to remove the veil that obstructs our view of Jesus. This gives our eyes the ability to see Him for who He is and our ears the ability to hear the voice of God telling us who He is. This in-turn will cause our hearts to comprehend that God has a plan prepared for us to walk in. When Jesus ascended, the Holy Spirit came to us and His number one priority is to “Remove the Veil.”
The veil is the condemnation that comes from the law. The law says, “If you don’t measure up to all the law, you are to be punished and to be cursed.” What in one word does that describe? “Condemnation!” The Holy Spirit has come to remove condemnation. He has come to let us know that we deserve all of what Jesus has done for us. We are no longer cursed because of what Jesus has already done. We are blessed and we have a purpose for our lives. We have God’s plan for our lives. The Holy Spirit’s purpose is to get us to see Jesus and not the veil. The Holy Spirit is working in all of us right at this moment and everything that we feel guilty or shameful about, Jesus has already paid for it through the shedding of His blood on the cross. The problem that we keep running into, is that we keep wanting to hold onto the things that Jesus had already taken care of. Whatever we have done, has already been forgiven. It has already been taken care of and the Holy Spirit is working within us at this time to remove the veil, so that we can see what Jesus has already done. The things that we have been doing in secret can be removed from us, if will yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit. His job is to get rid of the condemnation. We will not even desire to sin anymore, because we will have the revelation of Jesus.
How do we deal with shame? We have to believe in Jesus and He will make us free from shame. We can go to church, read the Bible, and pray, these are all helpful. Does it help us with shame? Yes, by doing these things the Holy Spirit can reveal Jesus to us. He shows us the revelation of Christ Jesus and just like Paul, we will see Jesus and we will receive the Word into our lives and yes our lives will change. It is not a man or a woman giving us the Gospel of Grace. It is the Holy Spirit giving us the Gospel of Grace. We are able to know who Jesus is and we are able to know that we are free. John 8:36 says, “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” How is it that we maintain freedom? By believing in Jesus and what He has already done for us! When shame creeps back in, look at shame and say this, “I am the righteousness of God through Christ Jesus.” Every single time that ugly shame tries to show up or rejection shows up or guilt condemnation and fear show up say this; ‘I am the righteousness of God because of the blood of Jesus Christ and you need to leave now!” if we keep saying this over and over these enemies of God will have to leave until all condemnation fades away. Once we believe in the revelation of Christ Jesus, then the Holy Spirit can instruct us further along God’s plan for our lives.
Grace is not a license to sin, it is an opportunity for freedom. We have looked at what the Holy Spirit’s purpose is, but what is our purpose? How do we work with the Holy Spirit? We must cooperate with the Holy Spirit and He will reveal mysteries to us that God wants us to know. John 6:29 says, “Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” We are busy trying to do things for God to work for us, but this is not what God says, He says that we must believe in Jesus the One that He sent. Why is this so hard for us to understand? The only work that God wants from us, is for us to believe in Jesus. We need to ask ourselves, “Do I really believe in Jesus? Do I really believe that Jesus has forgiven me of my sins? Do I believe that I have access to all the finished works of Jesus Christ?”
Real belief is going to be tested and are we ready for the testing? Rest authenticates real belief, therefore we need to quit struggling to make something happen, when Jesus has already done it all already. We need to rest in knowing that Jesus has already completed it. This is hard for us to do, but nevertheless, we must learn to rest in the finished works of Jesus. Remember, the only work that God wants from us, is for us to believe on the One He sent. this of course will take place when we learn to “Renew Our Minds.” Our minds have been so filled with the world and with religion, that our thoughts must be renewed so that we can see Jesus. We have to get away from thinking that we need to do something in order for God to do something for us. This my friend, is nothing more than dead works. The blood of Jesus has already done away with the dead works. The Holy Spirit has been sent to help us renew our minds.
Let us dig deeper, turn to Philippians 2:12-13, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” God told us earlier in this study that He wanted us to only one thing and that is to believe in Jesus, but look at this Paul is saying that we need to “Work out our salvation.” To see what he is actually saying, let us look at these Scriptures in the New Living Translation, “Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” God does the work in us and He gives us the desire for godly things and He gives us the power to do what pleases Him. All we have to do is believe on the One that He has sent to us. We do not have to please God by doing something to get something because He does everything for us, if we will believe. The Scripture says, “God is working in you.” This is the Holy Spirit! He is setting our desires to His. This is the Holy Spirit! He is giving us the power to do what pleases God. Yes, this is the Holy Spirit, He is doing God’s work within us. He is changing us by changing our desires. If He can change our desires, then the secret sins that we have been holding onto, they will slip away from us and His desires will be all that we will want. The Holy Spirit came into our lives for the purpose to work on our desires. God said, that He is going to do the work of changing us. He is going to us the desire to change and He is going to give us the power to do what pleases Him. Think about the word, “Power.” What does it mean to you? Power means ability. God is saying that He is giving us the ability to overcome our secret sins and He is giving us the ability to do what is pleasing to God.
What we used to cover up, our sin, we know that it doesn’t please God and it has to be purged from us. The desires for the old way are being put away. God is changing us and delivering us from the shame, the guilt, the rejection, and the condemnation so that we can see the revelation of Christ Jesus in our lives. He is changing us to become more like Jesus. Good is doing all the work in us everyday. Every day God is chiseling away at , removing more of the old self and filling us up with more of Jesus. As God works in us, something happens, we are no longer wanting to do anything that hinders us from being in His presence. We see Jesus and we hear Jesus. We know that we are changing and God knows how to keep making that change continue, by our receiving the revelation of the One He sent.
I want to close with this, God wants to have a relationship with us. What is it that He wants from us in this relationship is this, He wants us to do nothing more than believe in Jesus and His finished works. That’s it, that is all He wants, because He has said that He will do all the rest. Actually this is pretty simple, but we still have the belief that we have to do something for God. That is the Old Testament thinking when we were under the covenant of the law, but not so with the New Testament, this is the covenant of grace, all we have to do is believe in the One who God sent. I will end with this from John 3:16-17, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
What is the grace given power of change? Why don’t people let grace change them?
People use grace as their covering for sin. People who are in this category believe that they can live in sin because they are under grace. Grace does not cover sin, grace changes us, so that we do not want to sin. Turn to Titus 2:11-12, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,” Grace my friends is Jesus, and when we believe this, we do not have to feel bad anymore. We do not have to feel condemned anymore. Grace will deliver us, but if we are still the same and nothing has changed, then we have not grasped what grace really is. Grace always changes us! You see from the onset of our re-birth, grace begins to change us. Grace will not bring us to a place of perfection, so that we think that we do not need God anymore. Grace will bring us to a humble place instead, where we know that we cannot live without God. It is not about what we are able to do, it is all about what Jesus has already done. Change will not happen until we want to change. We can talk to ourselves about how much we want change, but nothing will happen until we believe that change will happen. Change is not change until we change! Grace is the power for our change and this power has always been inside of us, from the day of our being born again in Christ Jesus, it had been put inside of us, so that we will be able to change.
God placed inside each one of us the ability or the power to change. In order for this change to happen though, we must want the change to happen. Let us look together at what Jesus said to the man at the Pool of Bethesda, go to John 5:5-6, “Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” What did Jesus ask the man? He asked him if he wanted to change! Jesus asked him do want to be made whole! Think on this for a minute, Jesus was asking the man, did he want to change his life? It is not my responsibility as a preacher to change people and it is not the responsibility of the church to change people. Our responsibility is to love people, not to change them. On the other hand, it is God’s responsibility to change people, but in order for God to do this, the people have got to want to change.
Look further in this chapter and read verse seven, listen to the man’s reply to Jesus’ question, “The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” If we want to see ourselves change, we have got to stop making excuses. When we make excuses, we make ourselves believe that we cannot change, therefore we fail.
Jesus did not want to hear the excuses, He had already asked the man, “Do you want to change?” Look now what Jesus says, read verse eight, “Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” In order for us to see change, we have to do “Immediate action.” Jesus did not beg the man to get up, nor did He say it gently instad He spoke with authority. Jesus did not coax the man to get up, He spoke directly to him. He simply told the man to rise, take up his bed and walk. He told him to get up, put himself together and walk on out of there. If we truly want change, then we must do some kind of action to make it happen, we cannot keep putting it off. God has taught me that when I pray for someone for a healing, I am to first ask them, “Do they want to change?” If they say yes, then I am to tell them that Jesus has healed them already. I ask them, “Are they ready for change?” If they say yes, then I pray for their healing. After they feel no pain or something has happened, I tell them, “Do something that they could not do before.” I do this because in order for people to change they have got to do an immediate action. The reason they can do things that they could not do before is because they want to change. It was the same thing with this man, in order for him to change he had to do some immediate action to make the miracle happen. Grace to change has already been given to us. This is one of the things that Jesus has already done.
This now brings us to another part of the change. We must start seeing ourselves as changed. We must start speaking as though we are changed. Look at verse nine, “And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath.” We must move forward in our change. This man got up and walked, he was made whole. He took up his bed that had held him as a prisoner for years and he carried it away from the pool. For 38 years the bed that he was lying upon was chaining him to his infirmity, but now he was walking away from the pool area and he was now in control of his bed, not it being in control of him. He had regained his freedom. This man had to let go what of he was and become what he was meant to be.
One of the most important things we must do to change, is never go back to our old ways or our old lives. God wants us moving forward in our new lives. Look at what Jesus said to the man at the pool after He finds him again in the temple, ““See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.” Jesus never dealt with the man’s sin while He was healing him. Jesus healed him even knowing about his sin, but now Jesus confronts the man about his sin. Jesus coud read a person’s heart and He knew that once this man had received his healing, he would go back into his sin. This man would return to his old lifestyle and Jesus didn’t want this man to be imprisoned again by his sin. You see, once we are born again, we can never go back to our old habits. We can never go back to our old ways. We can never go back to our old lives, because the old man is dead and the new man is alive. Because of Jesus, we are made new and we are the righteousness of God. We are holy because He is holy. We must bury our old habits, ways and lives forever and move on with our life in Christ Jesus. Now we re going to learn something important and that is we can change even if others around us don’t change. We have to stop waiting for others to change before we do. We need to stop waiting for others to help us change. This is particular true in people who are married. It is an excuse that we like to use against our spouse. “I will change if she changes.” or “I will change if he changes.” If we truly want to change then we will. We cannot wait for others to change first. God is our source and if we trust Him, we will change. Do you remember the man at the Pool of Bethesda, he made excuses to Jesus of why he couldn’t be healed. This is the same thing with us, when we want to attempt change, just like the man, we have to want to change. The first step is up to us.
We have a tendency to do a lot of contradicting ourselves, we say that we believe, but we act like we do not. We must know that what we say goes into our hearts. Change is all about us wanting to change. we have to want to change, in order for change to take pace in our lives. We can’t wait on others to change us, because we will never change. Change is waiting on us! Turn to 2 Corinthians 4:13, “And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak,” Paul is saying that we all have the same spirit of faith, he said that we have to believe before we speak. As I said before, what we say is always based upon what we believe. If we say something that we don’t believe it shows when we speak. In order to change this outcome, we must evaluate within ourselves what do we believe. We should ask ourselves, “Do I believe in the power of Jesus Christ? Do I believe in the power of Christ’s shed blood? Do I believe in the power of grace? Do I believe that Jesus can change me?” If we don’t believe, then we speak it will be evident that we have unbelief. We must pay attention to what comes out of our mouths. As a police officer, I received training in how to interrogate people. I was taught to observe someone when they talk, looking for clues of deception. I observed their replies to open ended questions and I also observed their body language. People who were deceptive, usually hung themselves. When we believe something, we will usually be excited about it. When we are in doubt about something, we will usually hang ourselves by our speech and actions. Let me say one thing here, this teaching was in no way designed to put anyone under condemnation. It is taught to bring us closer to Jesus. It is designed to show us that we can trust Him everyday. My friends, we need to believe first, then our speech will be based upon our belief and our actions. Our conditioning of our hearts will be the good ground where our mouths plant the seed. All of our confessions are to bring us whatever is in our hearts. If our hearts are filled with unbelief, then there will be no harvest.
Grace has given us the ability to change. Read this from Matthew 12:34b, “…For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Jesus is saying that a person who has evil in his heart can only speak what his or her heart contains. What comes out of our hearts? Whatever we plant there! Out of the heart is found who we are. It is what we believe. It is our faith or our fear. Our mouths tell people who we are. If we believe in the power of the blood of Jesus, then our mouths are going to speak it. If we believe that grace can change us, then our mouths will speak it. Who we are comes from our mouths, we will confess it. When pressure is applied to our lives, then what we believe will come out of what we say. Our hearts will only speak what is inside of our hearts.
Look at what Jesus says in verse thirty-five, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.” Our mouths will speak what inside of our hearts. Change has to come from the inside of us first before it is manifested outwardly. This change has to come from our one to one relationship with Jesus. I must come from the Word, prayer, praise and worship. This is how change happens and that is through grace. When we have that intimate relationship with Jesus, then our hearts will never have to be validated in its belief and our mouths will speak out of the abundance of our hearts. I pray that you get something from this.
Every issue in ur lives comes out of our hearts. If we willjust speak the right things this will also get into our hearts. If we speak the Word of God, where will it go? It goes into our hearts. If we are constantly speaking about Jesus, where does it go? That is right, it goes into our hearts. Whatever we speak goes into our hearts. With this being said, when we speak about what we are afraid of, where does this go? It too goes directly into our hearts. This is why Paul told us this in Ephesians 4:29-30, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” You see we grieve the Holy Spirit when we corrupt our words. We grieve Him when we do not edify one another. Only good wholesome communication needs to come out of our mouths. As ambassador’s of heaven, we are to watch what we say and we are to be aware of what we do. I pray that this candle is lit within you, so that you receive this revelation knowledge. We are being watched every second of the day, especially if we profess to be a Christian, everything that we say and do is being observed. If we act as the world does, then what benefit do we give to others. God calls us a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation and a peculiar people (See 1 Peter 2:9). What we do and say reveals who we are.
Every person wants to have change and they want to be changed. The question is, what makes them want to change? They all want a better life and that is what God gives to us. A life free from sin and a relationship with Jesus. People see Jesus inside of us, they see the freedom that we have. They see that we are different and they want what we have. They want Jesus, but if they don’t see Jesus and they only see us as another person of the world, what good is that? It is good for nothing, because it doesn’t offer them anything. Our whole existence is based upon being the ambassador of Christ Jesus, showing ourselves as representatives of heaven, to offer to anyone a chance to change.
If we continually speak God’s Word, it will flood our hearts. As we speak His Word, the Word will come from our hearts for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The more that we confess the Word, the more the Word fills up our hearts. Speaking the Scriptures is a form of meditation. The more that we speak it, the more our hearts retain it. When the heart is filled up, then whenever we speak, we will only speak whatever is inside of hearts. Only the Word of God can be spoken since our hearts are chuck full of it.
Let me close with these Scriptures: starting with Proverbs 4:20-21, “My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; ” Where is God’s Word supposed to be? It is supposed to be in out hearts. It is not supposed to be in our minds. It is supposed to be kept in our hearts. The more we speak it, the more it gets into our hearts. Read verse twenty-two, “For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh.” What does this Word do once it is in our hearts? It gives us life! The more we speak it, the more life flows from our hearts. Not only does the Word gives us life, but it also heals all of our flesh. As our hearts pump out life into our bodies, the saturated Word of God heals our bodies. Read verse twenty-three, “Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.” We are to keep our hearts with all diligence [careful and persistent work or effort], out of hearts comes the very issues of life. It is only fitting, that we flood our hearts with the Word, this brings us life more abundantly, that heals our bodies and it gives us the answers to all the issues of life. God placed the human heart in the center of our chests for a reason, so that it can be the focal point of our lives. If the heart dies, everything else also dies. If the heart is full of life, then the whole body is full of life. Read verse twenty-four, “Put away from you a deceitful mouth, And put perverse lips far from you.” Isn’t it amazing that the Scriptures talk first about the Word, then the heart, and now it talks about what we speak out of the mouth? We must stop speaking with a perverse tongue, after all we represent God. We need to stay away from corrupt speech, because we represent heaven. Remember, that what we say goes into our hearts, until it becomes all we say. If we continue to speak perverse worldly conversation, then this will fill our hearts. Take a look at people who are always speaking negatively, their speech never changes, but it always negative. Their lives are filled with despair, life is sucked out of them and even their bodies begin to fall apart. They are pale and they seem to be sick most of the time. The issues of their lives reflect their talk. Their lives are full of addictions, with no sign of relief. On the other hand, let us take a look at people who have Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. These people speak the Word, life flows from them, they appear happy and joyful and their bodies appear to be full of energy and life. The issues of life do not affect them and they are always giving praise to God. Seeing both type of people who would you like to follow? Let’s continue reading verse twenty-five, “Let your eyes look straight ahead, And your eyelids look right before you.” We know that God knows us, after all He created us. If we look at this verse what does it say to us? Our eyes and our mind they work together. If we view something before we close our eyes, our minds remember the picture of what we saw. As we close our eyes the image is still before us. With this being said, God wants to see only the good things before we close our eyes. If we are constantly seeing death and destruction or the evening news, our minds take this image and keep it there before us as we go to sleep. This may be the reason that many people don’t sleep to soundly and they have restless nights. I believe that God wants us to guard what goes into our eye gates and ear gates. William Shakespeare said this, “The eyes are the windows of our soul.” How true he was, because the soul is made up of our mind, will and emotions. Now let’s read these last verses that I have for you, verses twenty-six and twenty-seven, “Ponder the path of your feet, And let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or the left; Remove your foot from evil.” In the end change will come to us, but we have to be willing for that change to happen. We are going to establish our own destiny, whatever that may be. The Lord only wants to keep us on the straight path of life and He only wants us to stay focused upon Him and His Word, this will keep us from the path of evil. With the Word, we have life, health, deliverance, prosperity and love, without the Word we have death, fear, division, sickness, poverty, no hope, despair and hate. What do you want? Do you want change? The decision is all yours.
We must never want to return to our old life. It is important for us to not want to return to our former way of living, after we have been “Born Again.” John 5:1-14 says, “After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath. The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed.” He answered them, “He who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your bed and walk.’ ” Then they asked him, “Who is the Man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place. Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.” Notice what Jesus says in verse fourteen, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.” Jesus found the man who had just been made well of his infirmities of thirty-eight years and He says to the man, “Don’t go back to your sinful life anymore.” We all know that our sins have consequences, we must break free from our old habits and we have to stay away from things that will cause us to sin again. We must never want to return to our old life. The old ways will call us to come back, but we need to cast down those thoughts and put them under the blood of Jesus Christ. The devil will try to tempt us into going back. He will try to give the alcoholic just one drink, or the drug addict, one more taste of marijuana. He will try to get you to go into your old stomping grounds one more time. He does this in order for us to shut down our faith in Jesus. He wants to make us think that we are not “Born Again.” He wants us to think that we cannot change. When we return to our “Old Ways,” the Bible compares us to a dog returning to it’s own vomit (See Proverbs 26:11). We have all done this, none of us can say we have not, we have asked God to deliver us from something and without thinking about it, we go right back into it, because it has called to us. I was like that for years, I cried out to God many a night saying, “Please deliver me from my addiction to cigarettes, God, please deliverer me?” I would pray for it, I would ask people to pray for me, I would get delivered or I thought I was, then the stress and the withdraws would come and I would pick it up again. Not only did I fall back into the trap, but I was smoking more than before and I was trying to hide it from the church people I associated with, which made it even worse. I knew that God would deliver me, because the Bible told me that He would, but first I had to be willing to give it to Him. I struggled with this addiction for years, trying to hide it from loved ones, and people I knew, but I knew that I was not hiding it. Years passed, and I smoked from age fourteen through forty-four. All the time, trying to give it to Jesus, but taking back each time. I finally gave up my cigarettes while I was working patrol in Goldsboro, North Carolina. I had just finished an orange soda when I heard a loud ringing in my head, I realized I was in trouble, I got very sick and fell out of my cruiser throwing up. I tried to talk on the microphone to summon help from my fellow officers, but could not speak. I prayed because that is all that I knew to do. My sergeant, Ken Edwards found me and got help to me. I was taken to the hospital, and the doctors said I will never be able to be a police officer again, because of having a stroke. I prayed even more, my paralyzed state was restored to health in just days and I have never smoked cigarettes after that experience. I have been cigarette free for over twenty-two years. Praise God! It doesn’t bother me when people smoke around me, I have no desire for them anymore. I call this a miracle, because He delivered me completely and He healed me of the stroke.
We must never return to our old lives! We must instead go forward and not backwards. What does the Bible say? Turn to Philippians 3:13-14, “Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” If we do not let go of our old lives, it will challenge us in our new lives.
Don’t allow the devil to remind you of all the times that you have failed. He will remind you and you know this to be true, because he is good at accusing you. He will bring back to your memory of every failure that you ever made. Isn’t it so like him? He reminds of our shortcomings, but have you ever noticed he never tells you of the good you have done? Why? He can’t tell you of the good things, because that is not in his nature. He only knows the wrong you have have done. He will try time and again to tell you that you are not saved, you are not born again, you are not redeemed. He will tell you that you are not forgiven. As long as you allow the devil to remind you of your downfalls, then it will be harder for you to resist the old ways. What can you do? You must walk forward with your head held up high because you are the righteousness of God and let Jesus go ahead of you, shove the devil to the side and as you walk past him, his voice will become harder to hear and you will hear Jesus so much clearer.
Look at this in the book of Luke Chapter nine verse sixty-two, “But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Yes the devil is going to attack you in your mind, this is where the battle goes on. He will bring the thoughts of what the old life was like. We all have a past life, but we have to remember what Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinks in his heart so is he….” If we think that we are the way we were, then we will live that way. If we believe we have a new life redeemed from sin, changed by the Lord Jesus Christ, then that is the way we will be. The most powerful thing that we can do is to renew our minds and take on the mind of Christ. We must flood our minds with the Word of God. Renewing the mind, makes us think good thoughts about ourselves as God sees us. We must think on things that build us up in faith, not tear us down. Sure it is easier to go back to the old ways, beecause it is something that we are accustomed to. It is harder to go forward because it is a challenge to us. The easy way may seem better to us, but in the long run it will be our destruction. Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” Turn to Matthew 7:13, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.” Our life as Christians was never intended to be easy. In our old life, we had it easy and it may have been filled with being fast paced living, but remember the verse that we just read, the road to hell is through a wide gate and a broad way. Jesus tells us to enter through the narrow gate. Read verse fourteen, “Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Lte us look at this verse through the Message Bible, “Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention.” Satan does not want us to reach our place of destiny. This is the place of our “Anointing.” This is the place of our “Healing.” It is the place that our desires are let loose. We could not see it before, because we were blind to it, but when we reached it, everything seems just right. Paul said, that he had to press in for the mark, he had to keep pressing in to establish his destiny. He had to press into receiving the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:12-14). Look at these verses in the Message Bible, “I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.”
“I am off running and I am not turning back.” Those are words that we need to live by. The devil wants you to believe that where you are at, is where you will stay for all your life. He says, that you are stuck in this life forever. He tells you that you can never change. But God says different! God says that you can change and all you have to do is “Press Forward.”
Did you know that Jesus had to do this as well? After He had the last supper with His disciples, He went to the garden of Gethsemane to pray because He was in great anguish. He prayed three times, for His Father to take this cup of wrath from Him. At the end of the third prayer time look what He does, turn to Matthew 26:46, “Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.” Jesus got up and He tells His disciples to get up. Jesus pressed into His Father and then He went forward. This is how we should be, “Pressing In” so that we can keep moving forward.
Paul said, that he was “Pressing in for the high calling.” We all have this “High Calling” in our lives. We all have a purpose in life. The very reason He has put us on the earth is for His glory. Sometimes we cannot be satisfied with where we are at in the moment, because we know that this “High Calling” is bigger than we are. it is uncomfortable to us to remain where we are spiritually, because we know deep inside of our being that God has so much more for us. We must “Press In,” now more than ever, because God wants to make available to us the prize that He has for us. He wans us to come to Him and receive the blessing that He has made specifically for us. We must “Press In,” no matter what the cost. This is the only way to break through the barriers that are keeping us away from our destiny. Press into the Father! Press into the Father’s glory! Press through the veil that is between you and God and come into the Holy of Holies where His presence is.
Turn to John 5:14 again, “Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.” Why am I bringing this up to you? Jesus is telling us that we need to change from our old lifestyle so that we can maintain our healing. If we go back towards the old life, then what benefit would our healing have? if we are delivered from alcoholism and we go back to our old habits of drinking again, then our deliverance has no meaning. Why? It is because the damage it will do will be so much more than the first time. I have worked with drug addicts and alcoholics in my job as a probation officer. Each time I counseled with them, I would hear the same answer to why they returned to their drugs or alcohol, “I thought I could handle just one more drink with the guys or I didn’t think that one hit of the blunt would effect me.” These people would share with me that they were spiraling back out of control because they took that one drink or that one hit off the blunt. They would say, that it was different this time, this time it hurt so much more. Why? It was because this time they were in recovery and this time they knew who Jesus was. I believe, that this is why Jesus said to the man at the Pool of Bethesda, “You have been made well, sin no more, so that you won’t have worse come upon you.”
You know, we take a lot for granted. We receive our healing, which we say id do to our faith, but the first thing that we do is that we think of our old life. The thing that we do not know is that our faith is what keeps our healing. The people I have ministered to and the people I have prayed with for their healing and their deliverance needed to know one important thing, that their healing and deliverance came by and through their faith in Jesus Christ and in order to maintain it, we must continue to believe. They have to turn from their old ways and walk forward in their new lives.
Notice one thing about the man that Jesus healed at the Pool of Bethesda, he must have led a very sinful life. When Jesus met him, He only asked him if he wanted to be made well. Jesus never once confronted him about his sin, until after he saw him healed and in the temple. Why then do we always go to God after we try to clean ourselves up? Why do we shy away from from Jesus when we are sinful? We do it because we have been taught that in order to get anything from God, we have to change our lifestyle first. No other religion in the world can present a god that takes us just as we are. Jesus never turned a sinner away! Amazing at this is, Jesus came to the Pool of Bethesda to find this man. Just like He comes looking for us. Why didn’t He heal all the people at the pool? That is something that I will have to ask Him when I see Him. Jesus healed the man first, then He later confronts him about his sin. There are consequences for our sin, but it will not stop a miracle. Jesus told the man, ‘Sin no more.” He tells us the same thing, and He says, “Don’t remember the past!” It can be dangerous for us to remember our past life. Praise God that Jesus has brought us through to this point in life, where we can keep going forward and see the grace of God unfold before our very eyes. Jesus never brought up the subject of sin with this man, until after He had healed him. He healed the man then He confronts the sin. This was done to show us that we do not have to be holy to receive grace. We cannot earn our healing through our own works.
There are many people in the world today who think that they need to become right before God first then He will heal them. This is so far from the truth. The man at the Pool of Bethesda did not get his healing because he made himself righteous first, he received his healing because he believed in Jesus. We are healed because we believe in Jesus. We are delivered because we believe in Jesus. We prosper because we believe in Jesus. sadly though, there are still some people who don’t receive anything, because they believe that they have to make things right first. They believe that they must become holy first. They believe that is the only way God will hear their prayer. They want to dress things up first, then if it is God’s will they will get what they ask for. In reality, all that they have to do is believe in Jesus and they will have what they ask for.
Does our righteous acts make us acceptable for healing? Does our being good give us our healing? No, only believing in Jesus gives us our healing. Being sinless is not pre-requisite for our healing. This was proved in the Scriptures that we just read. I am in no way codoning sin in anyway. I just want you to understand, that sin doesn’t prevent us from receiving a healing. People, good church going people will tell you that the reason someone is not receiving their healing is because they have sin in their lives. But from these Scriptures we know that this is not true. It isn’t that these good people are intending to hurt others, it is the way they have been taught, Religion teaches this, but from what we have just read we know that this in is not true. A person who needs healing does not have to be without sin, all that they have to do is believe in Jesus and His finished works.
Why did Jesus confront the man about his sin after he healed him? He did it so that the man would allow his life to change. If we continue sinning after we have received our healing, then our healing may stop. In order for us to maintain our healing, we have to change our lifestyle and not look back where we came from, but “Press Into Jesus.”
How are we changed? There are four things that we must do. First, we must stop doing the things we did before. Stay away from where we used to hang out, and stay away from those who cause us to sin. This leads us into the second thing that we must do, change our relationships. Find people who are there to lift us up not bring us down. The third area we must concentrate on is find a strong Bible believing church, where the Word of God is taught so that we can grow and mature in Christ. The last things that we must do is to change the way that we think, because it will change how we live. What we expose ourselves to develops how we think. If we renew our minds with God’s Word, we will change what we do. We will change our relationships. We will change how we think and we will walk closer to God.
Today, there is a contrast between the law of Moses and the grace of Jesus Christ. The law is all about us being “Performance Based Christians,” and it is all about if we want God to be good to us, therefore we have to be good. With the law, if we want to be righteous, then we have to work to get our righteousness. This is not the way it is under grace, we can never perform to get what Jesus has already done. Under grace, Jesus has already done it all and all that we have to do is just believe in what He has already done. Under grace, our trying to be good by our self-effort doesn’t give us anything. Under grace, our trying to receive righteousness cannot be achieved. Under grace, our trying to perform, to be redeemed, get wisdom, receive blessings can never come to us through our own works, because under grace, Jesus has already given us all these things and more and all that we have to do is believe in Jesus and what He has already done. Many people, religious and worldly alike believe in the concept that in order to have anything today, we have to work to get it. Religions all over the world have a set of rules that one must follow in order to get something, whether that would be to see heaven or the equivalent or to see their god. This is not the case with Christianity. Christianity is not religion, it is a relationship with God. When we are under a performance based Christianity, we are under the law of the Old Covenant and not under the grace of the New Covenant. You see, it is all about discovering for ourselves what Jesus Christ has already given us, believing what He has already done for us, and allowing the Holy Spirit to enlighten us to the authority that we have because of what Jesus has already done.
Now here is the contrast, if we believe in what Jesus Christ has already done, do we do nothing at all?
When it comes to what Jesus has done, we have the belief in what He has done and then we stand in faith and we activate our “Spiritual Authority.” Since we are under the Covenant of Grace, we have been given the right to “Command.” We have been given the right to use God’s power. We do not deserve this right, and we did not earn this right. Spiritual authority didn’t come to us because we did something to earn it. Spiritual authority is a result of God’s unmerited favor. He gave us the right to use His authority as representatives of Him. We are Christ’s ambassadors here on the earth. The power is all God’s, but He has graced it to us to use His power to bring the kingdom of heaven to the earth. There are certain things upon the earth that if we do not use God’s power, we will not see results. An example would be that we don’t have to perform to be righteous, because Jesus Christ has already made us righteous, so we are righteous because we believe what He has already done. When it comes to the devil, the Bible says, “To resist the devil and he will flee from you.” If we do not resist the devil, he will stay right here with us. If the Bible says, “Say to the mountain to move,” and as long as we don’t say anything to it, then the mountain will not move. There is authority that has been given to each one of us, it is grace given, if we do not use what we have been given and learn how to do it with results, then we will not see the supernatural in action.
Let’s begin to learn how to use this authority. When we accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we became “Born Again.” With our born again experience, we were given supernatural powers so that we could have and maintain an abundant life. The devil is real and so are his demons. Their assignment is to steal, kill, and destroy and they want to rip our lives apart. We are clothed with an enormous amount of power, but if we are ignorant to what we actually have, we will always be beaten up and never taste lasting victory. It does not have to be this way, because God has already given us His power and now it is time for us to use it. What is power? It is the grace given “Right To Command” upon the earth. This power was given to us by God, because we are His ambassadors upon the earth. We represent Him! Look at this in John 1:17, “For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” What then are the powers that have been given to us to execute upon the earth? We have to look at what Jesus said in Matthew 10:1, “And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.” Jesus gave us the power to “Cast Out Unclean Spirits.” This shows us that there are unclean spirits roaming around the earth. He gave us the authority to cast these spirits out of the earth. Wherever these spirts are and whatever they are behind, we have been given the power to cast them out. Do you think that the Coronavirus is some kind of disease that was manufactured in China, or do you believe that there is an unclean spirit that is behind it? If we recognize the spirit behind it, then we can cast it out. God gave us the power and it is up to us to use it. After all we are His representatives upon the earth. Think about this for a moment, if Jesus was standing and facing what we face today, would He allow such a thing? Today, we are to use the power and cast it out.
Say this: “Unclean spirit behind the virus, in the name of Jesus Christ, I cast you out! All your powers of fear have been stripped from you, in the name of Jesus. I bind you in Jesus’ name and cast you back to hell where you came from. I loose healing, divine healing to all the people you have infected. I thank You Jesus.”
Jesus also gave us some other powers, what are they? He gave us the power to “Heal All Manner Of Sickness and Disease.” Not only can we cast out the unclean spirit, but we can heal anything that it has infected. Know this, that any disease that is brought to the earth can be healed.
Say this: “Thank You Father for hearing me when I call to You and thank You for allowing me to use Your power to heal the sick and the diseased. In the name of Jesus Christ, I speak healing over all the people who have been affected by the Coronavirus and the fear that it brings.”
We must begin using the authority that Jesus gave to us against our problems and our situations. If we do not start speaking to our problems, then our problems will begin speaking to us.
We have been given the authority to command, this means that we have the power to use our words against the problems that we encounter. We have got to stop letting our problems dictate what our lives are going to be like. We have to stop letting sickness and disease tell us what we can and cannot do. We have to stop listening to lack, famine and drought. We have been given the authority to command and as these problems surface to attack us, remind them of what Jesus has already done. Tell sickness and disease that they have no power over us, because of what Jesus did. We need to tell lack, that because of Jesus, we have the cattle on a thousand hills. We need to tell famine and drought that because of Jesus we have have more than enough. We must let everything that raises itself against us can never conquer us, because of what Jesus has already done.
“And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” (Matthew 10:7-8, NKJV) Let’s take a closer look at our authority. Jesus told us to “Go and announce [to make it public, publicize and declare this fact] that the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” The kingdom of our God is here. As representatives of this kingdom we are to go tell everyone that it is here for them. Jesus further gave us kingdom power to heal the sick. What does this mean? It means that we are to heal people of sickness and diseases because in the kingdom of heaven there is no sickness or disease, and this further means that because we are ambassadors of Christ, we are always walking in heaven even when we are on the earth. I call it “Diplomatic Immunity!” Jesus commands us to raise the dead. Why? Because in heaven everyone is alive and that means that we are to wake people up on the earth. It is all because of what Jesus has already done, taking away the power of the grave and death. Jesus says to us that we have been given power to cure the lepers’. Jesus never said that He was going to do all of this, He told us to do it. He told us to cast out devils. Why isn’t He doing it? He delegated His authority to us. We have been given the right to use His authority. As His ambassadors and accredited diplomats of the kingdom of Heaven it is our official responsibility to bring heaven to the earth. What powers does the ambassadors have? We are diplomats of the highest rank, formally representing our God with His full authority to represent the kingdom upon the earth. This means that we are given the power of God, with full authority. We are just like Jesus. We are given the power through Jesus’ name. In the name of Jesus we can heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with diseases and we have power over the enemy to cast them out.
Many of us have the power inside of us, but it is dormant. The Bible says that God has given us His power and authority, but in order for us to activate it, we have to believe. We must wake up the power and we need to stop letting it be dormant. We need to flip the switch to the on position and let God’s power flow. Stop living in the dark because of the law and let grace turn the lights on. Let the light shine! This reminds me what a good friend told me the other day, He was driving one day and the Holy Spirit spoke to him, asking him, “Did I not make the blind to see? Did I not heal the woman with the issue of blood? Did I not cleanse the lepers? Did I not raise Lazareth from the dead? Did I not raise Jesus from the grave? Do I not cast out unclean spirits? Do you think that this virus is greater than me? This virus means nothing to Me and it has no power over Me.” My friends, we have been given the power. We are ambassador’s of Christ. We speak to mountains and they move. We do everything in the name of Jesus.
The devil is doing everything that he can do to cause us to be filled with unbelief. It can fill us with all kinds of doubt, especially when we allow the power that God has placed inside of us remain dormant. The more he can fill our hearts with unbelief, the more we will be succumb to fear. The greater the amount of fear, the less we have in faith. If the devil can cause us to doubt God’s Word, then he can shutdown God’s power. We can try to flip the switch to on but nothing will happen until the faith is restored which activates the power. What good is an ambassador without authority and power?
One day some of us will be in a situation where the only thing we will need is the power and authority that God has given us. Isn’t it better for us to know that the authority is and stop letting it remain dormant, but God’s power needs to be alive and well? Isn’t it powerful for us to say, “In the name of Jesus be healed? Isn’t it powerful to believe in what Jesus has already done? Isn’t it wonderful to know that we are in Christ? We can say to mountains move and they do. We can say to the virus, begone and it will have to obey. We can say to racial injustice, stop and it does. We are the Ambassador’s of Heaven. We are endowed with resurrection power, so that we can see things manifest upon earth. We can bring heaven to the earth. The problem is that we want things to happen right now. If we do not see it manifest instantaneously, we come to the belief that it does not work for us. Doubt floods are minds and we stop believing. The power inside of us goes dormant again. Our faith must remain active and just because we do not see something happen, this does not mean that God is not doing anything. Look at Mark 11:22, “So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God.” God has already given us whatever we need, if we believe in Him, He will always do what His Word says.
When ambassador’s to the United States call for action to help them maintain the peace, help is automatically given. When we as Ambassador’s of Christ need to see action, to help keep the peace, we speak God’s Word and the biggest law enforcement force of angels move. Look at what God says, turn to Psalms 103:20, “Bless the Lord, you His angels, Who excel in strength, who do His word, Heeding the voice of His word.” When an ambassador from the United States calls for help from the president, he sends the military. When we as Ambassador’s from Heaven call for help, God sends His military.
My friends there are things that we have to do to activate our “Spiritual Authority.” Go to Luke 10:19, “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.” Jesus has given us authority to trample on serpents and scorpions. What does this mean for us to be able to trample on something? It means that we can tread on and crush serpents and scorpions! Biblically speaking, the serpent was the agent of temptation and the scorpion was symbolic of dark magic affecting the mind. Jesus says to us that He gives us the power to crush temptation and mental illness and any of the other abilities that the devil uses against us and nothing that the enemy has, shall do us any harm, this of course means that we have been given complete power to overcome anything.
Let me ask you this question, “Do you believe that all of the bad, terrible things in the world have demons behind them? Demons are behind people who put us down. Demons are behind sicknesses that affect us. Demons are behind people who want to hurt people. Demons are behind natural disasters. The Bible says in Ephesians 6:12, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” The people doing things to hurt us are not to blame, there are forces of darkness behind what they do. You see, we are dealing with principalities. You are asking, what is a principality? They are demons! Rulers of darkness, they are demons! Spiritual hosts of wickedness are demons as well. When someone comes against you, use the authority that Jesus had given you and command that demon to move aside and cast him out.
Some people will think that this is all utter nonsense. The devil wants us to believe this. One of the greatest feats that Satan has achieved, is making people that he does not exist. If we don’t know that we have spiritual powers, then we still be getting beat up by the devil and his demons. There will be no victory for us. We will keep taking that abuse day and night, with no end in sight. You see, the devil will not stop abusing us until we command him to stop. Even now, there are some of you who are reading this, who keep saying to themselves, “I just don’t believe in a devil or demons.” They are saying that unclean spirits do not exist. Then there are others who do believe in the devil and demons, but because they go to church he won’t bother them. How wrong can you be! Satan goes into our churches, because he is seeking who he can devour. Then there are those Born Again, Spirit filled Christians, who know the devil is real, but they also know what power Jesus has given them. They are the ones who know of Jesus and His finished works and they are the ones who walk in victory.
Let’s take a look at power. All of us live in houses that have electric power flowing to it. This power comes from our local electric company. If we want to turn the lights on in our home, we go to the switch on the wall and flip it on. When we do the power that the electric company supplies causes our homes to become lighted. We do not call up the electric company and have them send a person to our home to flip the switch for us. Now, if we do not pay our electric bill, the company will turn the flow of power to our homes off, we can go to the light switch all that we want to and no lights will come on, because there is no power being supplied to the house. It is the same with God, He is our power source, but He is not going to come into our lives and flip the switch for us. He makes the power available for us to use, but we have to flip the switch to the on position so that it can flow. How many of us know that we have the power, but we are just too lazy to flip the switch? It is God’s power, but we have to flip the switch to turn it on. If we are born again Christians, we already have been given the power. Yet there still are some that doubt they have any power. The reason is because they have never flip the switch to see it in action. Our first response to any situation that we encounter is going to be how things will turn out. We have authority to speak something into existence, bad as well good. It all has to do with are we willing to turn the switch on and let God’s power flow?
Let’s continue looking at the power that God has given to us, turn to Matthew 10:7-8, “And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” I want you to look deep into this verse of Scripture, Jesus is saying to us that we are to heal the sick. Why then do most of us keep running to Him in prayer to have Him heal the sick? He specifically said, “Heal the sick.” He wants us to do it. He gave us the authority to do it and God gave us the power to do it. All that we have to do is, “Flip the Switch.” Look further, Jesus said, “Cleanse the lepers.” What is a leper? It is a person who is avoided or rejected by others for moral and social reason, people who have a contagious disease. These are people who are labeled outcastes by society. What do we need to do? We need to flip the switch! Look at what Jesus says next, “Raise the Dead.” What do we need to do? You guessed it, “Flip the Switch On.” Remember one important thing, we are not doing anything except flipping the switch so that God’s power flows. We are not healing the people, He is. Jesus further tells us to cast out devils. All that we have to do is flip the switch and God does the rest.
Let me tell you this important thing, God will not answer a prayer for something that He has already done. God will not answer a prayer where He has told us what to do. We become so busy talking to God about our problems, instead of talking to our problems about what God already has done. When have you spoken to your problem about what God already said? We don’t, because that just doesn’t seem right! The power is available, but we will not turn the switch on. We are willing to allow our problems to overwhelm us, when in fact we need to be talking to our problems. We need to quit asking God to do something that He already said was taken care of. If we do not speak to our troubles, our troubles will begin speaking to us. Remember, we have the authority to speak to the problem. Don’t let sickness talk to you, you need to speak to the sickness. Don’t let disease talk to you, you need to command the disease. Don’t let the Coronavirus talk to you, you need to talk to the virus and move it away from you, bind and cast it back to hell. Why be afraid of something that can’t hurt you unless you let it.
Jesus said, “Freely you have received….” Jesus gave us the authority, God has given us His power, everything has been given to us for free, we just have to want to flip the switch on so that we can see God do what He does best, save you from the enemy.
We need to focus on seeing with clarity and not remain spiritually blind. It is difficult for us to be able to see clearly what God’s will is for us, if our eyes are closed to the Word. I am talking about seeing clearly, this means that we see with clarity everything that Jesus has already done. God is very concerned with us not being able to see clearly what His will is for our lives. We should know what we should be doing, but believe it or not this is the number one question people ask God everyday. People pray, “Lord, what is your will for my life?” They ask Him to reveal His will to them, and then the question is, “What was I born to do?” I know this to be true, because for years I too, have asked God those questions. It is something wonderful when we come to the place where we know what we were put on this earth to do. Yet it can be very frustrating to have to live from day to day not knowing why we were put here in the first place. We can struggle through life because we are not clear what our purpose is. We can go from being unsure of what direction to take, and end up taking the wrong road that only leads us to a dead-end, only to find out that we have to turn around and to take another road and we wasted time going in the wrong direction. We become frustrated, confused, and lost because we did not see things clearly as we should have. We may even end up doing well for ourselves, but in the back of minds, we ask ourselves, “Am I really doing God’s best?”
There are eight keys that enable us to see clearly what God’s will is for our lives. The First Key that we are going to talk about, is the key of “Walking with God.” If we want to know what God’s plan is for our lives, we must get to know Him. We have to learn to position ourselves to walk with Him. We must develop a personal relationship with Him. This relationship needs to be intimate and very personal. It cannot be just a casual relationship. This relationship must be so important to us that we cannot stand to be away from God’s presence. The closer that we get to God in our relationship will make us desire Him so much more. We will stand with bated breath just waiting for God to take us to His bosom, where we can share our deepest thoughts and ideas with Him and in turn He will share His thoughts and ideas with us. Christianity is all about our relationship with God, it isn’t a religion at all. This is why we should seek to know God personally and intimately. We will never know what He knows about us, unless we commit ourselves to know Him. We must cultivate our relationship with God, by spending time in His Word, by spending time in prayer, by developing an intimate relationship and by thanking Him through praise and worship. We cannot do this just a couple of times, we must commit ourselves to doing these things all the time. We must make our desire to be with Him a priority. If we want to know the purpose for our lives, then we have to go to the Creator, our Father, to find out. He is the One who knows all about us and He is the One that developed the plan for our lives. When we put forth effort to get to know Him, then He will reveal His plan to us. Proverbs 3:5-6 says this, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” We are to acknowledge God in everything and then He will direct our path. What does it mean to acknowledge something? It means that we accept or admit the existence or truth of what God has already done. Is this important? Yes, it is, because it causes us to look to God for everything. As we look to Him for everything, then we will also want to know more about Him. We will desire to be with Him. We will place our thoughts upon Him. We will want to have a relationship with Him. It is like when we find the man or woman of our dreams, we want to always be near them. We want to experience everything that they have to give to us and we only want to share with them everything that we have to give to them. We give them our hearts and they in-turn will give us theirs. Intimacy flows from us to them and from them to us. Every minute with them seems like the best time in life and we don’t want it to stop. This is how our relationship with God should be. When we acknowledge Him…He directs our path. My friends this is relationship and this is how it should be. Glory to God! When we begin walking in this type of relationship we begin trusting God with everything we have including our hearts.
The Second Key in knowing what God’s will is for our lives is to “Surrender Our Will to Him.” We are to surrender our will to God’s will. Many times we say that we are seeking God’s will, but in reality we want God to stamp His approval upon what we are doing or what we want to do. God will not put His anointing upon what we are doing when it is out of the plan that He designed for us. If it is part of His plan then the anointing will already be a part of it, but if it is not in His plan, there will be “no anointing.” Think about this for a moment, “What does surrender mean?” It is when we cease resistance to God and submit to His authority. These are powerful words, “To cease resisting.” You see when we walk around in this world as Christian people, we listen and end up doing worldly things, but we aren’t listening to God or doing godly things. We say, “Lord, I surrender,” but the minute we are well we forget about what God has done for us. We speak out loud that we want to be ministers for the Lord, but when it comes to tell someone about Jesus, we back down. Why? Because we are afraid of being rejected! Why? Because we are afraid of what others will say about us. Is this surrender? No, surrendering to God’s will is “Ceasing Resistance and Bowing Down to Him.” God told us to worship Him in with our body, soul, and spirit. Look at this, turn to Matthew 2:11, “And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” I want you to see what happened with the three wise men, when they came into the house where the Child Jesus was, they fell down and worshipped Him, and then they opened their treasures to present to Him. The Lord has shown me that is the way we are to be when we come into the Father’s presence, we are to give Him our body, soul, and spirit as worship to Him. Turn to Romans 12:1, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” Surrender, we are to surrender ourselves to the Father. We are to surrender our body, soul, and spirit to God as our worship to Him. If we want to know what God’s will is for our lives, then we have to know Him. When we get to know Him, then we will know what He wants from us. We must commit ourselves to His desire and we must commit ourselves to what He will have us do. Now, read verse two, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” If we don’t surrender our will to God, then we will end up being conformed to the ways of the world. If we will not surrender our will to God, then we will never know what His good, acceptable and perfect will is for us. The Lord says that the most important thing that we can do is, “Renew Our Minds.” What does it mean to renew the mind? It means that we change our way of thinking to that of God’s way of thinking. When we renew the mind, we exchange our thoughts for God’s thoughts. How can we do this, but by getting to know His thoughts? We get to know His thought by learning His Word. When we know God’s Word then we will know Him, because God is His Word. We renew the mind by surrender our will to His will. What are we doing? We are establishing a relationship with our Creator. We are saying, “Father, I want to go back to the things as You want them to be. I want to do things Your way. I desire to surrender myself to You.”
The Third Key is to do what we already know is God’s Will for us is and that is to “Obey God’s Word.” There are many things that we know are God’s will, but we don’t even try to do them. Why is this so? Mostly because we are stubborn people and we want to do things our own way. We know what God has taught us, but we fail to do it because we are arrogant and prideful. The Bible teaches us God’s will, but for some reason we don’t want to follow what it has to say. We say, yes, we believe in God and His Word, but when it comes to doing what the Word says, we put it off, because it contradicts what we are doing. Take a look at the world today, what is it that you see? You see people doing their own thing. You see riots, looting, and destruction. You see people angry at everyone. You see laws being turn up-side down. You see people who don’t want to love each other. Is this God’s Word? No, it is all because of the spirit of division. Who has been around since the dawn of time. What purpose does it serve? Nothing except to bring destruction to God’s Word. It isn’t there for racial injustice. It isn’t there for changing laws. It is there for the purpose of attacking God’s Word. The reason it is so strong in the world today, is because it allows us to do our own thing. Where is this taking us? It is taking us away from the Word. You know, we say that we trust God and His Word, but we only trust it for what it can give us. There are great things in the Bible, but to many of us only see what we want to see, not taking in all of the Word. If we want to know God, we have to know His Word. The Holy Spirit is the author of the Bible. Everything within it was inspired by Him. If we want to know God’s will we need to ask the Holy Spirit to teach us His Word. Who is better equipped to teach us the Word, then the Author who wrote it? If we truly want a relationship God, then we must know His Word. The Father had the Holy Spirit come to the earth to continue what Jesus had been doing, and to dwell within our hearts to give us the knowledge of the Word. In order for us to know all about God and who He is, we need to learn the Word from the writer Who inspired it, the Holy Spirit. In order to find out what God’s will is for us, we need to commit ourselves to a time of Bible Study daily. While we committed to reading the Word, the Holy Spirit will teach us what we are to know. Who better is qualified then Him to teach us? The more we commit ourselves to the Word of God, the deeper the relationship we will have with the Father. This will point us in the direction that God will have us go, what we are to do when we get there, and how we are to do it. Blessings and favor will come upon us as we spend more time with God and His Word. The closer our walk with Him, the more we will learn to surrender our wills to His. One thing God doesn’t want, is for us to engage in sin. There are many of us who want to know God, but yet we still are engaging in sinful conduct. First Thessalonians 4:3 says, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality;” Men and women today want to do their own thing and that is doing what pleases their flesh, but God’s Word says that if we desire to be holy to stay away from these practices. We keep asking God to show us His will for our lives, yet everyday He is showing us, but we seem to miss what He is saying, either because we are being ignorant or we just want what we want and nothing more. We want to pick and choose which parts of the Bible we want to obey. If we are so picky, what makes us think that when God does reveal His plan to us that we will be willingly follow it? You ask yourselves, “Why are we like we are?” It is because we still attach ourselves to the ways of the world! When we attach ourselves to the world, we do things the world’s way, instead of doing things God’s way. If everyone is doing it, then it can’t be wrong. If everyone jumps off a bridge, are we going to jump off with them? That is not God’s will for us. His will, doesn’t conform to that of the world, and His will should be our will.
Key Number Four, is to “Seek Godly Input.” We are always seeking people to help us with our problems, but most of the time the people we choose don’t have a relationship with God. We must begin seeking what I like to call “Godly Advisers.” We should try to have three or more godly mentors in our lives. These men or women are there to surround us and they are there to help council us into doing God’s will. You need to hear me on this! Know this, these mentors are not there to make decisions for us, they are there to help us along with our decisions by praying for us and giving us advice. They are there to keep us on the path of righteousness. They can be pastors, teachers, friends, or co-workers. Now when you are considering these people to help you seek the desires of your heart and godly affairs, they should be people who are filled with the Holy Spirit and knowledgeable in the Word of God. Men, know this, your wife should always be a help-mate for you. Who knows you better than God does and that is your wife. Women, your husband should be one of your advisers, he can be the strength that you need. Our relationships are bridges that will let us cross over to another level in life. What is a spiritual advisor? The Old Testament used counselors/advisors to serve with the king on such matters as national security, defense, logistics, and intelligence. At times, however, the advisor’s capacity was granted to others. David employed certain advisors as council in his courts, turn to 1 Chronicles 27:32, “Also Jehonathan, David’s uncle, was a counselor, a wise man, and a scribe; and Jehiel the son of Hachmoni was with the king’s sons.” These counselors occupied a strategic place in ancient government. These men and women of God that the Lord leads us to, are put there to give us council, advise, and to mentor us along the way as we walk through our Christian life and ministry. Proverbs 11:14 says, “Where there is no counsel, the people fall;
But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” What are the characteristics of a good spiritual advisor? They should have the following qualities: They must know God’s Word, they should be sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit, they must want to be a part of your life and be committed to giving you advise, and they should be further along in the Christian faith then you are. Now what is our part? We must be willing to take their advice and we must be willing to give them the words that God gives us in our dreams, visions, and journals so that they can pray with us to seek God for the answer. We must adhere to God as the final answer, turn to Romans 13:1, “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.” Know this, that it is imperative that we don’t forget this very important part of knowing God’s will, we must establish people who can help us discern what we are hearing. These advisors are there to help us move through different facets of our life. Again I will tell you that these advisors/mentors are not there to make the decisions for us, but they are there to guide us in a direction. 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21 says this, “Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good.”
Key Number Five is for us to pay attention to “Know How God Made Us.” What is it that I am saying,? It is for us to look at what specific things that God has blessed each one of us with. Look at the talents that He has developed within us. I believe that each person was made with something special that adds to the kingdom of God. Inside of us God has placed that special seed for it to grow and mature and to grow a special fruit that is unique in its development. This seed roots itself into good ground when we are in God’s will. It roots itself and then from the root it begins to grow with the plan of God. What is it? It will be something God will birth inside of us that will reveal itself when the time is right. It may be a special talent. It may be an anointing. It may be something physical. It may be something mental, but I can assure you that whatever it is, it will be revealed to us and it will be missing part of the puzzle, once it is in place, we will see the full picture of our lives. Turn to 1 Peter 4:10, “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” God has given each one of us a gift, it is something that fits with our character. We must take this gift and allow it to grow within us so that we can share our gift with others. God has given us a special gift that we are to use for a specific ministry, it is something that we can only do. I remember when I was employed as a lighting technician for a Christian Soap Opera called “Another Life.” I didn’t know what God wanted me to do, I was fresh out of the military and I was working at C.B.N. (Christian Broadcasting Network). I did like most of us, I prayed, “God what is your will for my life?” Everyday I would come to work and before we did any part of the job, it was the policy of CBN to hold prayer meetings before going to work. I prayed to God asking Him to show me what path I was to take. I met a man who was a prophet and he told me that “God has given you a gift that only you can do, don’t look at the gift but look at the giver.” For years that prophecy was stored in my brain. At this time I was only in my late twenties and now I am in my early sixties. To this date I don’t know what God has me to do, but I do know that whatever it is it will be done in His timing. The gift He gives us is unique to us but don’t seek the gift or it’s meaning but seek the giver, Jesus. Pay attention to who you are in Christ. Know that you are the righteousness of God and you are His beloved. Pay attention how God made you and your life will always revolve around what God says about you.
Key Number Six, is for us to “Listen to the Holy Spirit.” We all have been given the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truths. Know this, that prayer is not our coming to God requesting things, prayer is when we enter into the relationship for us to have a conversation with God. In this conversation, it is a two-way conversation, where we speak to God and He in turn speaks to us. When we speak to God, He listens and when He speaks we should listen also. Prayer is a dialogue, not a monologue. Even I am learning this for myself, I used to be like most people and go to God with my requests and then end the prayer time, I didn’t even let God get a word in edgewise. This is not prayer! Prayer is supposed to be a time of sharing with one another. We share our thoughts with God and He in-turn shares His thoughts with us. This is the start of relationship, when we both take the time to communicate with one another. God has been teaching me important lessons and each time I go to Him, He teaches me further. One day as I was deep prayer with Him, He brought me into His living room. In the living room it was adorned with a couch, chairs, love-seat, carpet, a television, coffee table, end tables with nice lamps, and it was just beautiful to look at. It was a typical living room décor. He asked me a question; “How would i act if I were in someone’s home and invited into their living room?” I didn’t know what to say! I actually felt like He had put me on the spot. He then asked me, “Would you come into the living and ask for things or would come into the room and seat yourself and listen to the host share with you?” I said, “Lord I apologize for my behavior. He then told me, “This is what people do when they come into My presence. They give Me a list of their requests and then they leave, not giving Me time to talk with them. It is more for Me to give to them, instead of having a conversation with them.” After He shared with me these things, I felt ashamed, but I learned that day how God felt when I came to His house. Did this hurt me? Yes, because I didn’t know I was actually doing it. Now when I go to Him, I go there to have a two-way conversation. I go there to enjoy God’s company. I go there to listen to Him as He speaks to me. Jesus told us that we are His sheep, that we know His voice and that we follow Him. (See John 10:27) If we don’t learn to hear His voice then we won’t listen for it when He calls us and we won’t follow Him. It is important for us to converse with God. We must be like barefooted Indians, a barefooted Indian is sensitive to everything around them. This is how we should be with the Holy Spirit, we should be sensitive to His wooing us and to His gentle voice when He speaks to us. The other day I approached an intersection near my house, The light in my lane was green for me to go, the Holy Spirit softly spoke saying, “Wait before proceeding, about a second or two.” I stopped my movement when a dark colored SUV came barreling through the red light at a high rate of speed. Had I gone into the intersection, the SUV would have collided with me, striking the driver’s side door. This is what is meant by listening to His voice. You see, He only wants what is best for us, therefore we need to come to God in prayer, meditating on what He shares with us. Meditation is us expressing our thoughts on a subject. When we meditate, we can receive from the Holy Spirit and He will share with us God’s own thoughts. The Holy Spirit speaks directly to our hearts. If we write the word HEART down on a piece of paper and we take away the first and last letter, what do we have? We have EAR. If you take away the last letter from the word HEART, what do you have? That’s right, we have the word HEAR. Revelation 2:29 says, ““He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’ We are the church, not the building that we go to. We are the sheep who hears the “VOICE OF OUR SHEPHERD.’ This is the voice that we follow. This is the voice that we know. It is an awesome experience when we know the voice who is talking with us. When do we hear the Spirit speak? It is when we are quiet.
Key Number Seven is to “Listen to the Heart.” Psalms 37:4-5 says, “Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” We must take the time to listen to the Lord as He speaks to our hearts. Look deeply into the verse that we just read. When we delight ourselves in the Lord, the Bible says that God will give us the desires of our hearts. What does it mean to delight ourselves in the Lord? It actually means that we are to exalt Him so highly that we pursue Him over and above any other person, thing, thought, or action in our lives. It is giving Him first place in our lives. As we are delighting ourselves in the Lord, the Bible specifically says that He will give us the desires of our hearts. As the Holy Spirit speaks to us, He changes our heart’s desires. What does it mean to change the desires of the heart? The desires of the heart are things that we dream about. They are actually very spiritual in nature. Many people wonder if the desires of the heart are God’s will? If we are listening to the Spirit as He speaks, then we can be assured that our desires will be in-line with God’s plan. The more time that we spend in God’s presence, then the deeper our desires will be in-line with God’s plan. The more time we spend in the presence of God, the more of His heart we will have. When we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, our heart is synchronized with God’s will. Once we know that we are in sync with God’s will and with His Word, we can receive the desires of our hearts. You ask, “How do I receive the desires of my heart?”
The First way that we receive the desires of our hearts is that we must “Catch the Vision.” If we can see it, then we can have it. Look at this, turn to Genesis 13:15, “For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.” Take a look at this verse in the New Living Translation, “I am giving all this land, as far as you can see, to you and your descendants as a permanent possession.” This of course doesn’t mean that if we want something so badly we will receive it, it means that if we “Catch the Vision,” as the Holy Spirit gives it to us, believing in the voice of God, that we will receive what we ask for. Look at what Jesus said in Mark 11:24 (reading from the New Living Translation), “I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.”
The Second way that we receive the desires of our hearts, we must, “Disconnect Ourselves From The World.” The Bible says in James 4:4 (reading from the NLT), “You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.” We have to prepare our heart to receive the desires, ensuring that what is being planted is planted in the “Good Ground.” How do we do this? We do this by “Disconnecting” ourselves from the influences of the world, putting God first in everything. Jerry Savelle said it best, “You have to get to the place where you qualify to receive the good things God wants to give you. When you seek Him, trust Him and delight yourself in Him, then it becomes His responsibility to bring you the good things that will satisfy the desires of your heart. If you start to pursue the things you want in life, rather than pursuing God, you will disqualify yourself from the promises. So, seek God’s face – not His hand. When you pursue intimacy with God, you will qualify yourself to receive all that He has promised. And the best part is – you will not lack any good thing.”
The Third way that we receive the desires of our hearts is to “Get Rid of Unforgiveness.” Turn to Hebrews 12:1, “ Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” Ok, we can see that you have to catch the vision, disconnect from the influences of the world and we have get rid of unforgiveness. We all know that in order to run a race or for that matter climb a mountain, we have to get rid of things that weigh us down. Unforgiveness that we are carrying can become a great weight that will weigh us down, making it hard for us to pursue our goals in life. Forgiving someone isn’t easy and it isn’t making excuses for what someone has done to us. Forgiving someone does not mean that we are restoring the relationship, if there ever was one in the first place. Forgiving someone is not something between us and other people, it is about us and us alone. It is for our benefit and for us to receive healing within our hearts. Forgiveness sets us free. Take a look at what Paul said, turn to Ephesians 4:32, “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Jump over to Mark 11:25, “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.” Now jump over to Matthew 6:15, “But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
The Fourth way to receive the desire of your heart is to “Do Everything in Love.” There are three things that will last with us forever – Faith, Hope, and Love – the greatest being Love. The Word of God says this in I Corinthians 13:13. By now, you are probably seeing that the way to receive your desires comes in many parts, sort of like a well oiled machine. Each part has a specific function. Without the oil the machine cannot operate with efficiency. This is the same with our spiritual desires. Without “Love,” we cannot receive the desire’s of our hearts. Love is the life-force behind everything that we are. God created all of us in love. Love is what saved us from hell and damnation. It was because of love that Jesus, God’s only begotten Son died for our sins. It was because of love everything is, and is to come. When we cut-off love, we cut-off our life-force. Love isn’t just about being nice to our family and friends, it is being in love with everyone. Did you know that it is a commandment of God for us to love one another? Matthew 22:37-39 tells us this, “Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” The Apostle Paul also told us about love, turn to 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” 1 John 4:7-8 says this, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” The Holy Spirit will show us God’s love and how we can do everything in love.
The Fifth way we receive the desires of our hearts is to “Talk the Word.” Jesus said that we are to have faith in God, that is we can learn to say to our mountains of despair move and get out of the way and it will move. The key is to have faith in God and His Word and not have any doubt. (See Mark 11:22-24) Why is it so important for us to talk the Word? Turn to Deuteronomy 6:5-7, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” We are to continuously speak the Word, and the Bible says we will have what we believe. What does this mean? It means that we can speak and have what we desire. But in order to have the desires of our hearts and it be in the will of God, we have to change our thought patterns. If we are constantly thinking worldly thoughts, we will have the desires of the world. The Bible says in Romans 12:2 (reading from the NLT), “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” We cannot put worldly things first before God and expect Him to bless these desires. Keep your focus upon Jesus!
The Sixth way that we can receive the desires of our hearts is to “Not Let Anything Hinder Our Faith.” Let’s turn to Hebrews 6:12, “that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” We must not let anyone or anything steer us away from our faith. We must wait patiently upon the Lord. “Patience is virtue,” is something that we have heard in our growing up, but even today no one knows who quoted it, some believe it was the distichs of Cato (Cato the Elder) and some believe that it was said in a book written by Goeffrey Chaucer “The Canterbury Tales” but where it came from is not important because what is important is what it means. The meaning is this, it is a reflection upon our ability to wait for something that is important to us. By calling patience a virtue, or a state of moral excellence, it leads people to believe in an ability that is given to us by God to wait without agitation. This is just an admirable quality for a person to possess. This is what God’s will is for us and the desires of our hearts. We are to wait upon the Lord, He will speak to us and giving us the next move that we are to make. He has only our best interest at heart all the time, so never give up!
The seventh way to receive the desires of our hearts is “To Be Thankful For Everything.” We are to always thank God for what He has already done. The Bible says in Psalms 100:4, “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.” Being in gratitude to God for everything that He has done, brings us great power, because it brings us clarity. Seeing clearly opens up so many doors for us. Doors and windows open up in heaven and pour the blessings upon the earth. Favor walks with us. We experience God’s love pouring all over us. We see God also in a different way.
The Eighth Key is “Take A Look At Our Circumstances.” If we want to know what God’s will is for our lives, we must take a look at our circumstances that we have experienced. God puts us into circumstances to strengthen us for what we are to do in our lifetime. He also shows us what we are not supposed to do in ministry. God knows what doors He wants us to go through and which doors He has to keep closed. There are reasons for what He does. I believe that He places us in certain circumstances to show us what His will is for our lives, what happens to us gives us more insight into how He is molding us and shaping us for the next step in His plan. There are people that He places in our path not there to hurt us, but to help us grow and mature. Some are for a lifetime and some are not just for a season (short-time). Anything that touches our lives is a circumstance, it could be joyful, sorrow, hunger, pain, happiness, cold, hot, birth of something, or even the death of something or someone. They all are circumstances that we go through that affect us individually. God brings us into circumstances in order to exercise our faith. Now that we know the ways to receive the desires of our hearts, we must put them into practice. Know this that God will shape our desires, His plan will unfold before us and all we have to do is allow it to happen. I assure you that it will be exciting and oh so wonderful.
Are we spiritually blind? Are there certain things that we won’t be able to get from God, because we cannot see it? Are there certain things that we cannot understand because we are spiritually blind? If we don’t see something clearly then we will never be able to understand it. If we can’t see with precision, then we will not receive it. The biggest problem that we are experiencing in our churches today is spiritual blindness. It is specifically in the area of being blind to what Christ has done for us. When we are spiritually blind to what Jesus Christ has already done for us, then we will always be trying to get something that is already ours. We will always try to make something happen, that has already happened. I said this before, spiritual blindness is the biggest problem affecting the body of Christ (Church) because they refuse to acknowledge what Christ has already done.
Let’s begin this study with reading 1 John 1:7, “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” This Scripture begins with, “But if we walk in the light….” Think about this now, if we have a “performance based mind set,” or a “work-based mindset,” then when we read this Scripture we would assume it has to do with our behavior. “If we walk in the light, as He is in the light…the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us….” If we have this performance based mindset, then naturally when we read this, we would assume that it has to do with how our life measures up with that of God. This may be a shock to you, but this Scripture is not referring to or is it talking about how we walk, but it does refer to where we walk. To say it is our behavior, this of course would not make sense, because if we would behave ourselves just like Jesus behaved Himself then “the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all of our sins” wouldn’t be of value to us because we would be perfect just like Jesus. Seeing this then, God cannot be talking about behavior here. If it were to be true that our behavior matters, then our behavior would constitute our decision to be in light or darkness. If we behave right, then we would walk in the light, but if we behave wrong, then we would walk in the darkness and we would find ourselves jumping from one to the other, based upon our behavior. Therefore, this would mean that the only way for us to remain in the light, we would have to be without sin. I believe, that God is not talking about this here. This Scripture is talking about the realm that we are in as a believer, not the way we perform. We are in the light because we have been cleansed of all of our sins. If we are believers, we walk in the light (we walk where God is), we are in Christ Jesus and He is in us. We are in the kingdom of light, because we are in Christ.
What do we have to do to be in the light? We have to be in Christ! What do we have to do to be in Christ? We must be “Born Again!” If we are born again (making Jesus our Lord and Savior and asking Him to come into our hearts), we are in the light.
If we are in Christ, then we are in the kingdom of light, but if our eyes are blinded to the Gospel, then we would stumble around unsure of our location and because of the darkness we would be unable to find our way. We are in Christ, therefore, we need to think about this for a moment, what if we were physically blind, we could go into a room with lots of lights shining, but we would never know that the room was lighted. it is the same with us being Christians , we are born again and we become in Christ, therefore, we are in the light, but if we are spiritually blind, we don’t even know we are in the light. We are blind to our righteousness, we are blind to our redemption, we are blind to the blessings of God, and we are blind to the things that have been made available to us. Because we are in Christ and because we don’t know it (we can’t see properly), and because we are spiritually blind, we are struggling to get the things of God. We are trying to get things that we already have and we are still trying to get God to do something that He has already done, this is what it means to be spiritually blind.
We can be born again, we can be in Christ and we can be a Christian, but we can still be spiritually blind to the grace that Jesus has already made available to us. We will still go out and do a lot of religious activities to get things that are already ours, because we just can’t see what has already been done for us. Turn to Isaiah 61:1, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;” Now let’s take a look at Luke 4:18, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed;” These two Scriptures say basically the same thing, except in Isaiah, God talks about the opening of the prison and in Luke, Jesus talks about recovery of sight to blind. It is interesting to note that in Isaiah and in Luke, the phrases are the same except for the last parts, in Isaiah, it says, “opening of the prison to them that are bound” and in Luke’s gospel it says, “the recovering of the sight of the blind.” What is happening here? In Hebrew, “the opening of prison,” this means the opening of the eyes. Both verses are not to much different, because they are both talking of the opening of the eyes, so that we can see something the we could not see. Opening our eyes will keep us from captivity. Jesus came to release us from captivity of the law that declares us unrighteous, unacceptable to God and to free us from our “Performance Based Religion.”
In order for us to be free from this “Performance Based Religion,” we have to have our eyes open to what has already taken place. The “Recovery of Sight of the Blind,” was not for Jesus to heal people in the natural, it was for Him to open our eyes to the gospel of grace, so we can be delivered from the captivity of the law, so that we will stop going around to get God to do something that He has already done. Jesus said, that He has to get our eyes open to see what He has already done, if He don’t, then we won’t see it with clarity, and we will stay in bondage to the law.
Turn to 2 Kings 6:14-17, “Therefore he sent horses and chariots and a great army there, and they came by night and surrounded the city. And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” The servant only saw the army that was around them and he was fearful. He couldn’t see that he had nothing to worry about. The servant of Elisha could only see what was right in front of him, he was blind to what Elisha could see. Elisha prayed to God for the servant’s eyes to be opened and the Lord opened his eyes and he saw that the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire sent by God to protect Elisha. We have to be careful that we do not call things as we see them in the natural. We see our bills piling up, the bank account with a zero balance, we feel the pain in our bodies, and we witness the hurricanes, earthquakes, and forest fires, but we are only seeing these things with our natural sight, not even realizing what God has already done. Jesus has to open our eyes for us to see what He has already done for us. If we are spiritually blind, then we will see the temporal things that are around us, but when the blindness is lifted, we will see eternal things all around us. Temporary reality is what we see right now, but when we have clarity, we will see beyond our natural sight into the supernatural and know that there is nothing to worry about. Our temporary reality says, there is the Coronavirus that is threatening all humans and killing them, but the eternal reality says, that it won’t come near us and those that have contracted it are already healed. Our temporary reality says, there is much lack in the world, but eternal reality says, God supplies all of our needs according to His riches in glory. God wants to take us away from the temporary and keep us in the eternal. He is healing us of our blindness and He is making it possible for us to see beyond our situations that we are facing and this makes it possible for us to see with clarity what He has already done. This is so powerful for us to know, because we can now speak to the devil and tell him that we no longer are afraid of what he throws at us because we now can see with clarity his craftiness and that it is only temporary. God has opened our eyes and we can see into the eternal and we already know what Christ Jesus has done for us. There is exceedingly great power that has been given to us, and we can look around us and see the help that God has given us. Turn to Ephesians 1:16-21, “do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.” All of this happens when our eyes are “enlightened.” We will be able to recognize things that we could not see before. The devil needs to be careful about messing with us, because there are things that we can see now that we couldn’t see before, that is going to change the outcome of the battle that he wages against us. We are going to walk in a game changer for sure.
The best explanation from people today is that God is to blame for all the bad things that are happening. After all He allows it. The reason people want to blame God, is because they only can see with their natural sight what is there before them. This needs to change! What can we do to change it? How can we cooperate with God in all of this? The first thing that must be done to change things, is to get ourselves into the Word of God, and this will bring us clarity. A lot of us are running around with what Creflo Dollar likes to call, “Word Deficit.” We allow our emotions to control us more than we allow the Word to control us. You see, when we are in Word Deficit, we stay blinded to the truth. We can’t see because of the deficit. Listen to me! The first thing that must be done is to read the Word of God. We must rededicate ourselves to reading the Bible, meditating on the Bible’s words, and chewing upon them until we can get these words into our hearts. We need to make this a priority! Why am I stressing this? It must be done so that we can see things that we could not see before. We must be able to see with clarity, precision, understanding, and exactness. The primary way God speaks to us is through His Word. Turn to Psalms 119:130, “The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.” The entrance of God’s Word is guaranteed to bring us clarity, precision, and understanding. Take a look at what the New Living Translation says, “The teaching of your word gives light, so even the simple can understand.” My friends, it all starts with the Word, it has nothing to do with how we view things in the natural. It all starts with the Word, because the Word of God may contradict what we see. We must make a commitment to get into the Word, this means that we need to learn how to read it and understand it. We have to boldly go to the Father and ask Him to give us spiritual wisdom and insight so that we might grow in the knowledge of God. Turn to Ephesians 1:17-20, “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,“
Turn to Acts 26:18, “to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me” What is the first thing that we must have? We must have our eyes opened! If our eyes are opened, then we are turned from darkness or spiritual blindness, to seeing clearly and we go from the power of Satan to being under God. We are set apart through faith. There are some things that the enemy can do when our eyes are shut, we are blinded to the works of Christ because the only thing that we see is what the devil and the world shows us. The only sight we have is filtered through the views of the world. If we make a mistake of coming up with an educated world view and not comparing to the Word of God, we will still be blinded to the truth about everything. We must let God open our eyes so that we are delivered from darkness and the power of Satan and then when are eyes are opened, we can receive from God. We cannot receive from God when we are spiritually blind, in darkness, and we are under the power of Satan.
Did you know that the devil is on the loose? Satan’s main power is “Deception!” The devil will speak suggestions to our minds that contradict the Word of God, but because we are blinded and deaf we will see it as truth. We will accept it as part of the world’s view and our acceptance will be shared with others and before you know it we will become a group of people believing something that is not true. Let me give you an example that is happening today, the devil had suggested to someone that planned parenthood is ok. Now many woman are getting pregnant and having abortions. Is it right to kill babies that are created by God? No, therefore planned parenthood is a demonic stronghold that needs to be put down. There are groups out there in the world today that say it is ok. Did you know the devil only wants to kill children because God has instilled a powerful anointing in the children that are being born. The more he can wipe out, the less he has to deal with when his time grows short. God is going to change this. Our eyes need to be opened!
We are in the middle of the power of God, but many of us cannot see it. We are in the middle of the truth, but we are not able to receive it. Why? We are blind, living in darkness, and under the power of Satan. We can’t receive the works of Jesus Christ. When we are delivered from this, we will be forgiven of our sins, but when we are blind, we won’t be forgiven. We will go through life thinking that we have to do a dog and pony show for God asking Him to forgive us every time that we sin, and we will never know that Jesus already paid the ransom for our sins. When we are blind, we will continue doing religious activities to get forgiveness of our sins, every time we seem to mess up, not knowing that we are already cleansed by the blood of Jesus. When we are not blind, we can receive forgiveness of our sins and when we are seeing clearly, we can receive the inheritance that we are sanctified through Jesus. There are so many people in the world today that are still praying to get God to do what He has already done. There are so many people that are fasting and praying religiously, when God has already healed them. There are so many people that are trying to get Jesus to do things that He has already finished, because they are spiritually blind, but be of good cheer, clarity is coming to us.
What are we supposed to do? A lot of times we will watch someone else and then we will aspire to be what we see them do, this is because we are not hearing the Sprit of God as He tells us what we are to do. If we listen to the Holy Spirit then we will see with clarity and precision what He wants us to do. Everyone is hungry for the things of God, the Holy Spirit will direct us to that place. Turn to Psalms 37:23-25, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the Lord upholds him with His hand. I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread.” We are directed by God each day, and when we stumble, God will extend His hand to us and pick us up. He will always hold our hand, never once abandoning us and forever feeding us with His Word. We will get to the place where God wants us to be.
Our steps are ordered and with clarity we will be able to walk safely in them. Look at this, turn to Jeremiah 10:23, “O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.” It is not in mankind that directs our steps, it is not within us to direct our own steps, we cannot take credit, this is what God says. Everyone of us have an expected end. We all have a designated end of our life. We are not a mistake. We were put here for a reason. We may have had to go through some amount of tribulation, but we are where we are because God directed us to it. If God didn’t want us where we are, we would not have gotten to this point. We are where we are because of Him and there is still an expected end. Turn with me to Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Now look at this, turn to Proverbs 16:9, let’s read this from the New Living Translation, “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” We can make our plans for our lives in advance, but God always directs where we are going. We have to stop wasting time and let God’s plan blossom inside of us. We can plan things our way, but in the long run, we will end up doing God’s plan and doing it His way.
God wants to give us clarity. No more should we wonder what we are to do and where we are to go. God wants us to have a a clear understanding. If we think we are failures then God can’t use us, this is a lie from Satan. Take a look at what God used. Let’s look at Moses, he killed another man and God still used him to lead the Israelites out from under the Egyptian rule. Take a look at David, he had adultery with another man’s wife, had the woman’s husband killed, and God still used him. Look at Saul a Pharisee, he had Cristian followers tortured and imprisoned and God still used him to deliver the Gospel message to the Gentiles. God can use anyone that He wants to use. Everyone of us that is called is unprepared, but you know what, God prepares us for what He needs us to do. Are any of us ready to do God’s bidding? No, none of us are ready. Turn to Isaiah 30:21, and again lets read this from the New Living Translation, “Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left.” Our God is committed to providing guidance, if we will just believe and trust Him. There is a place for our lives. There is a path that we must follow. There is a ministry that we must complete, if we will just trust God’s guidance then we will not miss it.
We must trust in the Lord! When we do, we will find that there will be no one else that we can trust. To trust Him means that we have a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, and strength of our God to get us to where we are supposed to be. Look at what Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” How are we to trust? The Bible is clear on this, trust Him with all our hearts. What are we not to do? We are not to lean on our own understanding. What happens when we do as He says? He directs our path. We will be at the expected place, and we will fulfill what God wants us to do.
We need to stop saying that we don’t know how! We must declare that there is an expected end for us. We must declare that the Lord directs our steps. We need to say to Jesus, “Where You lead Lord, I will follow.” We must acknowledge God because when we do, He will direct our path. We must trust God because He has the better plan for us. But sadly, we are stubborn people, and we want to do things our own way. We want God to come along with us and we want to be in the driver’s seat instead of letting God drive us. We think up our plan, then we want God to anoint our plan, when in fact we should be getting all of our planning from Him, which He has already anointed.
We musst be able to see clearly and we known that we know that God is driving the vehicle and not us. He will show us the steps that we are to take. He will place us where He wants us to be at and He will tell us what we are to do when we get there. First though, we must always see with clarity and not go around without seeing what is before us. If we allow God to remove what blinds us, then we will be able to see all the wonderful things that He has already done for us. We will see things with such clearness that deception will not be able to be apart of us anymore. We will see the truth and the truth will set us free. We will know what doors are open to us and we will be able to walk right through them with ease. We will never miss opportunities that God has opened for us and we will know where we are going and what we must do when we get there. Yes, the game will change between us and the devil and he will be exposed for the cheat and thief that he is. We will know that we have the power to take him down and fear will be replaced with faith. Are you ready for this? Are ready to walk in the Spirit of Truth?
Let us begin this Bible study with a reading from John 5:5-9, “Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath.” Sometimes we turn our excuses into reasons. Excuses are used because we don’t want to do something, just like this man who was sitting by the healing waters, who said to Jesus, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool.” All that this man was doing was giving Jesus excuses, because he didn’t want to try to do it himself. He had become discouraged because others were faster than him, which was just another excuse, but look what Jesus says to him, “Rise, take up your bed, and walk.”
There is one thing that we can do to help eliminate our procrastination, and that is take immediate action. Boom! Many of us wait, when we hear the Lord speak to us, we want to analyze our situation first, instead of following what God says for us to do. I believe that Jesus spoke directly to this man in this way to get him to take action now. The excuses were what was paralyzing this man in the first place, they were keeping him confined to his bed, and he needed to stop listening to his excuses and get up and walk. I believe that when we do some kind of action in the natural, God will supply the supernatural to it and we will be healed, delivered and prosper. The action in the natural brings about God’s supernatural power. I also believe that when God is calling to us to move and we become complacent, sitting for a long time we will lose what He has for us and it will slip away. If God has something for us to do, He will give us everything that we need to do it. He is saying to us to stop giving excuses why we can’t do something and get up and do it. Jesus was ready for this man to receive his healing, but the man was not ready to receive it. It is the same with many of us, Jesus has already provided everything that we need, but we aren’t ready to take hold of it. You see, faith takes action. Gd has shown us something very important, “When faith touches grace, God’s goodness is released.” What does this mean? When we use our faith and we touch grace (Jesus), then the Father releases His goodness upon us.
Why then do we procrastinate? What stops us from moving forward? Can we really change? Can we really do this? God Himself will lead us in what we are to do. I want you to take a good look at what Jesus said to this man who was sitting by the pool. He said, “Rise, take up your bed, and walk.” Jesus gave the man specific instructions. He told him to first rise (stand up on his feet), then He told him to pick-up his bed and finally he said to him, walk. He told him to walk away from this area. I personally believe that the Holy Spirit does this with us today, He tells us what to do by giving us specific instructions on how to do it. The way we break away from our excuses is to listen to the instructions that the Holy Spirit gives to us, follow them and take action. The more we do this, we will become tuned into His voice and be able to to do the things that God wants us to do and we will know when to move.
A sure way to fail, is called “Procrastination.” If we have made up our minds that we are not going to change, then procrastination will keep us in this state. Procrastination is the action of delaying or postponing something. It is usually resulting from carelessness or even laziness. It is the thinking that we don’t have to do something today and we can put it off until another time. There are three reasons we procrastinate. The first is what is called “Indecisiveness.” This is when we have a hard time making up our minds on what we are to do. Indecision is something that we don’t want to carry. Our indecision can affect everything that we do. Our indecision can cause us to do nothing at all. This can affect our lives in such a big way, because it causes us not to choose things that we want in life. It affects our relationships with other people as well and it can affect our finances too. It even affects our relationship with God. The second reason we procrastinate is “Professionalism.” This is when we won’t do anything, unless, we can do everything perfectly. If we can’t do something professionally, then we don’t want to do it all. Turn to Ecclesiastes 11:4, and let’s read this from the Amplified Bible, “He who observes the wind [and waits for all conditions to be favorable] will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap.” Procrastination resulting from professionalism affects our harvest, why is this a problem? It is because we will not give until everything is favorable. When we wait for everything to be favorable and good we are operating in procrastination. The third and final reason is “laziness.” This is when we know that we must change our ways, but we just don’t want to do it. We have good intentions to change, but we keep putting it off, an example would be a person who is overweight, they know that they need to exercise to get back in shape, but they keep putting it off. We don’t like to call this laziness, but that is what it is. It all comes down to our wanting to do what needs to be done. We make excuses for not doing things, such as when our sugar is high. Our excuses keep us from doing the things that will make us better. We have a tendency to keep making excuses so that we will not do what we need to do. If we continue doing the same things, we will never see good results. Our good intentions don’t result in our working with the Holy Spirit. None of us are rewarded for our good intentions. Nothing will change for us until we want to change. There is no profit with just good intentions. Have you ever heard the saying, “Hell is paved with good intentions.” (John Ray) Our prisons are filled with people who have good intentions. We need to step away from our excuses and our procrastination, we need to start being decisive and stop trying to be perfect, we need to refuse to be lazy and we need to watch God as He takes us to new places in our lives. Everything falls into one simple action, if God sends the Holy Spirit to us, we need to follow Hs lead. Ask yourself this, If God calls me will I follow Him? Will I listen to what He is saying? Will I do the things He instructs me to do? When God says to move, will I move? Remember, that procrastination will cause us to fall into trouble, but obedience will keep us from trouble. Imagine what will happen if we would just listen to the Holy Spirit when He talks with us and then do what He says to do? I believe that the Holy Spirit was sent to us so that we can live a fruit filled life. He was sent to us when immediate action is required. When He speaks it should be priority, we mustn’t become complacent and put off what He says to another time, action needs to be taken right a way. What He says can keep us from harm, but immediate actions is required.
Turn in the Bible to James 4:13 in the New Living Translation, “Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” Who is receiving this message? He is talking to a person who puts things off until another day. He is saying, “Come now or go now (KJV and Amplified say it this way), don’t wait for tomorrow. Now look at verse fourteen, “How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.” We need to stop thinking we have tomorrow, because tomorrow may never come. Benjamin Franklin said this, “Don’t put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.” Whatever we plan on doing for Christ, do it today. The word tomorrow is a dangerous, reckless, presumptuous word, and it is lazy. God doesn’t want to hear us say, “I will do it tomorrow,” He wants us to say we will do it today. Let me show you this, turn in your Bible to Hebrews 3:13, “but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” What is God wanting us to do? He wants us to take action today! He wants us to forgive someone today. He wants us to say a kind word to someone today. He wants us to share Him with someone today. He wants us to love someone today. God wants to hear our voices say, “Yes Lord, I will do this today.” Turn to Hebrews 4:7, “again He designates a certain day, saying in David, “Today,” after such a long time, as it has been said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts.” God wants us to hear His voice today. Satan says to us, “Do it tomorrow, you have time.” So the devil says that we have time and we can delay things, but that isn’t what God says, turn to Psalms 119:60, “I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments.” As long as we are not delaying thins, we will keep God’s Word. If we continue putting things off to another time, we will get even lazier and soon the Word will be taken from us. I find myself doing things like this as I am sure many of you do to. My fellowship with the Father suffers because of it. I used to keep saying Lord, I worked all day and I am tired, I will pray tomorrow. Bad word tomorrow is. I would find myself putting off reading the Bible, again I would say to myself, I will do it tomorrow. We should be excited to be able to go into the Lord’s presence. We should want to read and meditate on His Word. We should be hungry for more and more each day. Yes, tomorrow is an ugly word, because it brings us into laziness. We have to remain filled every day with the Holy Spirit, no more should we think about tomorrow. We need to beleve for today and we need to believe that Jesus has already done it today. We need to believe that we are healed today. We have believe that we are prosperous today. We need to speak to the mountain today!
The Bible takes a strong stand against procrastination. Look at this Scripture and I will close with this, “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17). It is a sin to know what we ought to do and not do it. This is what we know is right in God’s eyes. Doesn’t this touch home with all of us. The Bible says it is a sin, we know to do good and we just don’t want to do it, this is procrastination. Today I challenge you do as the Holy Spirit leads you and – Bless Someone.
How do we live a life of worship? First thing that we must do is look into God’s Word for the answer. Turn to Matthew 20:20-23, “Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Him with her sons, kneeling down and asking something from Him. And He said to her, “What do you wish?” She said to Him, “Grant that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on the left, in Your kingdom.” But Jesus answered and said, “You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, [a]and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” They said to Him, “We are able.” So He said to them, “You will indeed drink My cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with; but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared by My Father.” God wants us to understand certain principles, that the essence of our giving is our relationship with Him, it is not for the benefits that come from Him. Let’s look at the word “essence,” it is the intrinsic nature or indispensable quality of something, especially something abstract, that determines its character. (Dictionary.Com) The meaning or the motivation for our giving is not for the benefits, our motivation or the meaning of our giving is for the relationship, or should I say the essence of the relationship with God. The reason God wants us to understand this is because for years we have been given a false teaching, that we have to give to get. Under the Old Covenant, this was the case. We would have to obey the law in order to get blessed. Under this covenant we were taught that we have to give to get. The Scripture in Luke chapter six, verses thirty-seven through thirty-eight shows this: “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” This Scripture was given based upon the law, not based upon grace. As we can see, if we give we should expect something in return. The giving is based upon the benefits and not based upon the relationship. Under the Old Covenant, we are to love in order to love, but under the New Covenant, He first loved us. Under the New Covenant of grace, we are not doing something to get God to do something, but under this covenant, He has already done everything that we will ever need. It has already been done. We are not giving to get blessed, we give because we are already blessed. We don’t love God because we want to love others, we love God because He first loved us and this enables us to love others.
The essence of our giving is the relationship we have with God. Our giving is the result of our wanting to know God. We aren’t giving to get something from God, we are giving as our worship to God. We are going to give Him thanks for what He has already done for us. We are going to Him, to give Him our worship. We are not going to Him to get something from Him, we are going there to give Him praise. We are there to give to Him, because He has already given us so much. We are giving, because He keeps giving to us. It is non-stop with Him, because He loves to give to us. His desire is to keep blessing us. We give because it is our worship, the gift that we have for our God, who we love. Ours is a gift, nothing more and we shouldn’t expect anything in return, but that is not the God that we serve, because He continues giving to us, even if we don’t give to Him. We don’t give to get blessed, we give because we are already blessed. When we give, it causes us to remember what God has already given to us.
Our giving is to thank God for all that He has already done. It is our gift to Him. Thanking Jesus for saving us, providing for us, healing us, delivering us, and most of all for loving us. True worship is giving a gift to the One we love. The Bible shows us this in Matthew 2:11, “And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.” They presented their gifts as they worshipped the young child. They worshipped Him for coming to save all mankind. They worshipped Him for coming to end the war between God and man’s sin. They fell down and they worshipped Him because of what He was about to do. They did not enter His presence to get blessed by Him, they came to adore and worship Him.
We have been taught wrong. We have been taught that we have to give in order to get something. We have been taught, if we give, we will be blessed. It has always been about receiving the benefits instead of having the relationship. Oh how we need to repent for our misunderstanding. We have not pursued our relationship with God, we have been pursuing the benefits that God can give. When we pursue the relationship with Him, then the blessing just naturally come to us. The relationship has to be sought first, not the benefits. God has to be first, then our motivation moves on from there, because nothing needs to be before the Lord. If God isn’t first, then we will never see the blessings.
What motivates you? What moves you? Why do you want to be labeled a “Christian?” Why do you want to go to church? What are your goals? What motivated you to allow Jesus to be your Lord and Savior? Were you motivated, so that you were saved from hell and damnation? Why did you want Jesus? Was it for the blessings or was it for the relationship? What was the driving force behind your decision?
Are we Christians because we want the relationship with God the Father, or are we Christians because we want what He can give us? What benefits do we desire, and what is it that we truly want from God? When will it become that we just want to Him personally? Philippians 3:10 says, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;” Paul said this in his letter to the Philippians, he said that above everything in this world, he wanted just one thing, and that was to know God intimately and personally. That should make us ask this question, “Where is my relationship with God?”
Say this: ” Father, I want to know You, I need to know You. Father I desire You above everything else.”
We shouldn’t be searching for what God can give to us, because He has given so much already. We must make it our priority to search for the intimacy that we can have with Him in a personal relationship. When are we going to just want Him? When are we going to stop coming to God with our wants, and go to Him with our gifts of worship? When we are in the relationship with Jesus Christ, we will not have to come to Him wanting, because we will already know that it is a part of the relationship. If we will just seek an intimate relationship with Him, then everything else will be added unto us, we need to be in it for the relationship.
Say this: ” Jesus I want a relationship because I want to know You, I want You only.”
We must tell God daily that we love Him and that we want Him. Tell Him that we desire know all about Him. Tell Him that we want Him to live His life through us. Tell Him that we are not in this relationship for the benefits, we are in the relationship to know Him intimately. If everything in the world was taken from us, I want you to know that God will always be there for us. He said that He will never leave us, nor forsake us. Why? He considers us the apple of His eye, His beloved, and His children. This means that we are always welcome in His presence. Wen we seek a relationship with God, only blessing come to us. Success is one of those blessings. We must seek to be in the presence. When we begin seeking the things over God, we are stepping into “Idolatry.” We are replacing God with the things that we want. We take God from first place in our lives, and place Him second place, making our wants take the first place. When we replace God with our desires, we put our desires up as “Idols.” We put God second and we don’t want to know Him, and we don’t get the blessings.
What motivates us? What is meant by the word “Motive?” It is a reason for doing something, especially one that is hidden or not obvious (Dictionary.com). Our motive tells our story, it tells everything about us to God. Let me show you what I mean, turn to Matthew 20:20, “Then came to him the mother of Zebedees children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him.” The mother of the sons of Zebedees came to Jesus to worship Him, but her motive was to go into Jesus’ presence and not to give Him worship by giving to Him, she went there to ask something from Him. Real worship is when we come into God’s presence giving of ourselves, not asking for favors. Genuine worship is the giving of a gift, asking for nothing in return, just desiring to be in God’s presence. Let’s read verse twenty-one, “And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.” The sons of Zebedees mother wanted her sons to have a place on the right and the left of Jesus when He came into His kingdom. As can be seen here, her motive was to see that her sons receive high honor in the kingdom of God. She did not come to Jesus for the relationship, she came to Him for the benefits. Worship is not when we hear Christian music played or even when we pray, worship is going into God’s presence with the gift of ourselves and surrendering everything that we are to Him. When this mother came into Jesus’ presence, to worship Him, this wasn’t true worship, she did not come with giving as her motivation. She came there with a desire, she didn’t come to give anything, she came to ask for something. Abraham he knew true worship, he went to God with all that was dear to him, his own son and he ready and willing to sacrifice his own son to God. Why would he do this? He did this because he was in love with God. The mother of the sons of Zebedee’s came to Jesus to receive something and not give anything. When we come into a relationship with Jesus expecting the benefits and none of the relationship, we leave His presence with nothing. Let’s read on, verse twenty-two and twenty-three, “But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able. And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.” As we worship it has to be all about the relationship, not about the benefits, as we want more of the relationship, giving all that we have and not asking for anything in return, we will receive both the relationship and the benefits.
What is your motive and why do you want to know Jesus? Is it for the relationship and not the benefits? You see, we confuse benefits with the essence. We pursue the relationship with the benefits of the relationship. If we would pursue the relationship with Jesus the right way, then both the relationship and the benfits will come together. If we pursue the relationship with the wrong motive, then we will even enjoy the gifts. You see, when we pursue the benefits first, they never seem to satisfy us. If we would just pursue the intimate relationship with God first, then the benefits will follow close behind, and we will enjoy them. If we pursue the benefits first, then we will lose both the benefits and the relationship. The more we pursue the benefits over the relationship, we are in danger of slipping into idolatry. Our relationship with God should always be our ultimate goal in life. God is always giving, that is what He loves to do, but even though He keeps giving, we should desire to know Him more and more.
Why do we want to know Him? Let’s look at what the Bible says, turn to 1 Peter 3:18, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:” Now let’s take a look at this verse in the New Living Translation, “Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit.” Jesus died for our sins once and for all, He died for the just and the unjust. Why did He do this? He did it so that we could have a relationship with the Father. Jesus did not die so that we could receive benefits, He suffered and died so that we could have an intimate, personal relationship with the Father. He suffered to make us righteous, so that we could enter into the Holy of holies, but in order for us to have all of this we have to seek God first, and all the benefits will be added onto us. We must stop seeking the benefits and we must continuously seek the presence.
What is worship? It is choosing the essence of the relationship of knowing God personally over the benefits, this is worship. Every time we choose to know God over the benefits, we will be drawn into a life od worship. We will be drawn into an intimate relationship of worship. Why? Because we will choose God first!
How do we give the gift of ourselves in worship? Let’s look at Romans 12:1-2 in the New Living Translation, “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Notice what this Scripture says, we are to give our bodies to God, because of all He has done for us. Our bodies are to be a “Living Sacrifice.” What is a sacrifice? It is a gift! We are to present ourselves to God as worship. The least that we can do for God is give of ourselves, because He has given so very much to us. We must give all of ourselves to God in worship. Our bodies should be the gift and we should worship Him with it. Let’s take a look at this Scripture in the Message Bible, “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” The Bible clearly states, how we are to worship, by giving our lives back to God, He gave us life, we should be willing to give it all back to Him. Our gift to Him should be our lives.
How do we make ourselves an offering? We do it by saying to the Father, that we are presenting our lives to Him as our gift to Him in thanksgiving for all He has done for us. Not that we want more from Him, but that we give this gift as worship to Him. We give ourselves to God the Father to adore Him, to praise Him, and to thank Him, for all that He has already done. We present our bodies to show Him that we are in love with Him. When we present our bodies as an offering, then any addictions that we have will fall away from us. God becomes first and we are giving completely of ourselves, we give Him all we are, all we have, and all we give all of us. It is our gift to Him as worship. Alcohol that has enslaved us will no longer be first, He is. The drugs that were binding us, they will go because God is first. The lust of the flesh will not not hold onto us, because God is first. The pain from the disease or sickness will depart from us, because God is first. This all possible when we surrender ourselves to the Father, body, souls and spirit.
“Embracing what God does for us is the best thing that we can do for Him.” Think about this for a moment! Think to yourselves what God has done for you? Remember what He has done and remember how He has provided for you when nothing was there for you. Remember how He healed your body. Remember how He got you a job. The Scripture says for us to embrace what God has done, this is the best thing that we can do. Not doing it for ourselves but doing it for God. Turn to Deuteronomy 6:10-11 and let’s read this out of the New Living Translation, “The Lord your God will soon bring you into the land he swore to give you when he made a vow to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It is a land with large, prosperous cities that you did not build. The houses will be richly stocked with goods you did not produce. You will draw water from cisterns you did not dig, and you will eat from vineyards and olive trees you did not plant. When you have eaten your fill in this land,” God promises us this and even more, but He wants us to do only one thing, turn to verse twelve, “be careful not to forget the Lord, who rescued you from slavery in the land of Egypt.” The one thing that God wants us to remember is to “Not Forget Him.” Look at what God told Joshua, “I gave you land you had not worked on, and I gave you towns you did not build—the towns where you are now living. I gave you vineyards and olive groves for food, though you did not plant them. So fear the Lord and serve him wholeheartedly. Put away forever the idols your ancestors worshiped when they lived beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord alone.” We must never forget God! The best thing that we can do is embrace what God has done for us, to God be the glory.
“Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it, without thinking. Fix your attention on God.” Where is your attention most of the time? Most of the time our attention is upon us! Our attention is upon who we want to be with, what we want to do, where we want to go, and when we want to do it. Isn’t this the truth? We don’t think about God. We don’t acknowledge Him. We must stop looking at ourselves and we must not forget God who made us. We must fix our attention totally upon God.
Say this: ” Father I repent of my selfishness and from now on I will put my attention upon You.”
“We must fix all our attention upon God.” Look at this now, this is what happens when we fix our attention upon God. We will be changed from the “inside out.” A change that only God can do. How do we get this change? We get it by fixing our attention on God. Not only does God change us, but He changes us from the inside out. What does this mean you ask? He changes us from our hurts, our pains, our sufferings, and our sorrows, and He makes us be at peace within ourselves.
“Readily recognize what He wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-informed maturity in you.” What does God do to change us? He takes a look into our hearts and He sees who we really are, then He pulls the best out of us. The world always is out to drag us down to their level, but God brings the best out of us and He matures us into the image of Christ Jesus. He takes the best and makes it better, so that He can use it for His glory.
All these verses that we have read points us to a life of worship. What we do with our lips, will be worship. What we do with our hands and feet, will be worship. What we think about, will be worship. Our entire bodies are a gift to the Father. it is our worship to God. So, are you ready to give yourself as a gift of worship?