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 But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place.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?
Most Christian relationships today are about what they can get from God. Christians are confusing the essence of the relationship with God, with the benefits of the relationship. They are not longing for the fellowship with God, but they are seeking Him for what He can give to them. Christianity is based completely upon a relationship with God, it is not based upon the benefits that we can obtain from God. A relationship is something that should be cherished. When we fall in love with that special man or woman of our dreams, we want to be with that person for a lifetime. If we are truly in love with them, then our hearts skip a beat whenever we see them. We are excited just to be with them, no matter what they may doing. Our breath stops, when they are near us and even though there are benefits in being with them, the relationship should outweigh the benefits. We want to touch them and hear their heartbeat and share ours with them emotionally, physically and intimately. We want to always have them near us. We don’t want them just for the benefits that they can give to us, we want to be with them for the essence of the relationship. Even when years takes a toll on us and we are unable to perform physically, the relationship will always outweigh the benefits. Why you ask? It is because we are in love with them. Our motivation is in the essence of the relationship and not in what we can get from them.
What is your motivation for knowing God? Is it for Him to bless you the abundance of things? It is for Him to give you a job? Is it for you to get a car, a home, health, money or a husband or a wife? What is your motivation for becoming a Christian? I want you to think on this for a moment.
You know what, it should not be for anything at all, except to be in a personal relationship with Jesus. It should be a relationship of knowing Jesus and knowing that He has made you righteous. It is knowing that you have right standing with God, because of what Jesus has done. It is knowing that He has saved you and delivered you our of your debt of sin. It is knowing that because of what Jesus has done, you are able to go into the presence of God. It is because of Jesus, you can know true love. No more do you have to be alone, now you will always have someone with you, that loves and cherishes you and wants to be with you.
Sad as it may be, most Christian people are completely benefit driven, not relationship driven. You can take a look around and see it for yourself. Most people who join the church, are there for what the church can do for them. How can this church help them achieve their goals in life. Business people look at the church to help them expand their businesses, instead of being their for the fellowship. Many people, look at Christianity as a religion based upon benefits, not on it being a relationship based upon love. Many people have the wrong motivation. let’s look at what the Bible says about this, turn to Matthew 20: 20, “Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Him with her sons, kneeling down and asking something from Him.” Even in the time of the early church, people are benefit driven. The mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus to for something. She didn’t come to Jesus with adoration and praise, she needed Jesus to give her something. Her motivation wasn’t for just being in fellowship with Jesus, she came to Jesus for the benefits that He could give to her. The motivation wasn’t for the essence of the relationship, it was for what benefits were from the relationship. Let’s read on verse twenty-one, “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.” What was this woman’s motivation? She wanted Jesus to give her a promise that when He came into His kingdom, that He would place one of her sons on the right and left side of Him. This woman didn’t come to Jesus to be in a relationship with Him, she came to assure a promise that her sons would be great and highly favored. This in itself is a selfish act. The motivation was what can she get out of the relationship. Let’s read on with verse twenty-two, “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, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” Jesus well understood what this woman was doing, by asking for her sons to have a place of honor such as this. He asks her and the sons are you willing to love Me to the end of all time? Can you love Me with all of your heart? Can you suffer for Me, even unto death? Are you willing to give up everything for Me? Of course the sons said that they would. Lets read on, verse twenty-three, “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.” Jesus of course rejects the mother’s request, but He does it lovingly, so that she could understand. You see when we go to God with the wrong motivation, rejection may be given, but God in his unlimited love lets us down easily so that we can understand. Ask yourself this question, “Do you give because you want to be blessed, or do you give because you know you are already blessed? What is your motivation?”
What is your motivation for having a relationship with Jesus? What is your motivation for praying? What is your motivation to read and study the Bible? What is your motivation for having a relationship? I personally pray that your relationship is not based upon the benefits, but that it is based upon knowing God. I hope and I pray that your relationship is motivated by you having a personal experience with Jesus. I pray that it is not benefit driven. I pray that it is motivated by love, the love for Jesus. My friends, if your motivation is all about knowing God, then you don’t have to worry about receiving the benefits, because they will come. They come because of the relationship, you don’t have to fret about it, because God always blesses His children. God will only do this because He loves to give to those that He loves. Favor and blessing come because of the relationship. It is a done deal!
I want you to know that there is no relationship without giving. True worship is about giving. Let me show you what the Bible says in 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.” These kings were from the east, who had seen the star and they sought to find the Messiah. Now notice one important piece of information that is shown to us here. When they came into the house where Jesus was at, they fell down and worshipped Him. When did they worship Him? They worshipped Him, when they had come into the house, when they were in His presence, then they opened their gifts to Him. Their motivation wasn’t what they could receive from Jesus, it was what they could give to Him. They came to Jesus to give what was treasures to them. They took gold, frankincense and myrrh and they gave these treasures to Jesus. They gave these gifts as they worshipped Him. True worship is in giving, if the kings of the east knew this, isn’t it time for us to understand this? Isn’t it time to give from our treasures to Jesus? I want you to know this, treasures don’t always mean money, it can be other things, such as; food, shelter, or whatever is a treasure to you, this is true worship.
Why do some people receive blessings from God when they give, and others do not? It is all because of their motivation that is behind the giving. If it was all about giving something to get something, then there wouldn’t be any problems, but our giving has to be based entirely upon our faith. How many of you give and give, but you don’t see anything for your giving? Our giving has to be based upon our motivation. Why did we give in the first place? Was it only to receive something in return, or was it to give worship to God with our treasures? Our motivation is more valuable to God then the gift that we are giving. Look at this now, turn to Genesis 22:1. This is what happened to Abraham. Let’s read, “Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” God wanted to give Abraham a test. He did this because He wanted to see where Abraham’s heart was at. God gives us a lot of things, all day long, some we see and some we don’t, but He is always giving to us. Let me show you what I mean, turn to Deuteronomy 6:11-12, “Houses full of all good things, which you did not fill, hewn-out wells which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant—when you have eaten and are full— then beware, lest you forget the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.” The only thing that God requires from us is that we don’t forget Him. Go back to Genesis 22:2, “Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” I want you to see this, God gave Isaac to Abraham. It is God’s gift to Abraham that he had been waiting for patiently for many years. His wife Sarah gave birth to this, his son, Issac while she was past a woman’s birthing years. The gift from Abraham to God is the treasure of his heart, the son he has waited patiently for, from the woman he deeply loves. God made all this possible. Now, God wants Abraham to give his only son, the treasure of his life, from the woman who he loves dearly to God as a sacrifice, just to show God that Abraham loves Him more than anything. God wants to see if Abraham’s love outweighs the benefits. Let me ask you a question, “How can you give back to God what He gave to you in the first place?” Let’s read on with verses three through five, “So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the [a]lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.” What was Abraham going to do? He was going to worship God with the giving of his treasure, his only begotten son, Isaac. He was going to this place to sacrifice his own son to God. Abraham called this worship, giving what had been given to him by God, he was only more than willing to give his only son to God. He was willing to give his treasure as worship. We call worship many things, we dance onto the Lord and call it worship, we sing songs and we raise our hands and we call this worship, we play musical instruments and we call this worship, but we have to remember that true worship is giving. Abraham had faith that if he gave God his treasure as worship, God would bless him. He had faith in what God had already done. How do we know this? We know, because of what Abraham said to the other young men that were with him, “And we will come again to you.” Abraham’s motivation was to worship God, not just to get something from God. He knew if his motivation was right in the relationship, then the benefits would come.
Some of us have the wrong motivation, we are so afraid to give God something, because we feel that God is going to take it away from us. My friends, we can be assured of one thing, that is that God gave it to us and all He desires is that we worship Him with it. Won’t you take the time and give God your treasures? Get this in your head, “God doesn’t need your stuff!” Psalms 50:10-12 says, “For every beast of the forest is Mine, And the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the mountains, And the wild beasts of the field are Mine. “If I were hungry, I would not tell you; For the world is Mine, and all its fullness.” God doesn’t need anything at all from us, we need Him! We need God for everything, we need Him! Look at this, turn to Acts 17:24-25, “God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things.” God doesn’t need anything from us, He just wants us to love Him. Turn to Romans 11:35-36, “Or who has first given to Him And it shall be repaid to him?” For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.” Everything that we are is all because of God’s love for us. It isn’t the gift that we give, it is all because of the motivation behind the essence of the relationship that we have with God. Let’s read these verses out of the Message Bible, “Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God, this deep, deep wisdom? It’s way over our heads. We’ll never figure it out. Is there anyone around who can explain God? Anyone smart enough to tell him what to do? Anyone who has done him such a huge favor that God has to ask his advice? Everything comes from him; Everything happens through him; Everything ends up in him. Always glory! Always praise! Yes. Yes. Yes.”
Let’s go back to the story of Abraham and him being tested by God, turn to Genesis 22:6-8, “So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together. But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together.” What was Abraham’s motivation? Abraham was going to give to God his gift, his treasure, his son in order to worship Him. Let’s read on , verse 9-13, “Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the Angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” So he said, “Here I am.” And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. And Abraham called the name of the place, The-Lord-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the Lord it shall be provided.” Worship is giving! God required Abraham to take his only son, and sacrifice him to God. God was in a covenant with Abraham. The covenant provided that when God asked for Abraham’s son, God would also have to give of His son. This was how the covenant worked. When God required Isaac to be sacrificed, so did God have to do the same for Abraham one day. This is another reason that Jesus had to be sacrificed for us. True worship is giving with the right motivation.
What is worship? To some of us, we relate worship to a song and to the lifting of our hands. We call this “Worship.” Worship may be this, but it is not complete without giving. We need to give of ourselves to God. We must come into God’s presence and surrender ourselves to Him, laying down everything at His feet and having only one desire…to be in an intimate relationship with Him.
Let’s open this study of God’s Word with prayer: “Father, thank You for allowing me to minister Your Word with people reading this, Your message. I ask that Your revelation knowledge will flow freely, uninterrupted by any of Satan’s forces. Father please speak through me and think through me, so that Your message will cause people to see so much clearer Your Word and that through Your Word people’s lives will be changed. I ask You to meet everyone’s needs with more than enough. I pray this in the mighty name of Jesus…Amen!”
Let’s start by establishing a foundation. Everything that we have in life needs to have a solid foundation and so does God’s Word. Look at Galatians 3:13, I am reading from the New King James Version of the Bible. I am letting you know this, so you are with me in this study, I will read from this version unless I have something to show you in another version. This is only to keep everyone on the same page. Let’s read, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”),” as we can see, it is important for us to understand what Paul is saying. “Christ has redeemed us….” In order for a person to be redeemed, it meant that a “Ransom,” had to be paid. You see we were in bondage, or to put it another way, we were held captive to the law. The law had certain conditions that had to be followed. We had to keep “All the law” in order for God to bless us, but if we didn’t keep “All the law” then we were subject to the curse. The law that I am talking about is “The Mosaic Law.” This law wasn’t only the “Ten Commandments,” that we are familiar with, but it is a law consisting of (613) laws, all of which had to be kept. That in itself sounds impossible doesn’t it? Never-the-less, it was the conditions set up for all of mankind, according to the Old Testament. This is what Christ redeemed us from, He redeemed us from the curse of the law. You see, Jesus became the “Ransom” for us!
Now you probably asking yourselves, “How did Jesus take care of the curse?” He became the curse for us, by hanging on the cross. If we can take a look further into this verse, we can then see the whole picture. “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.'” Jesus who is the Christ, put Himself upon the cross, so that all the curses of the law were put upon Him. He took our place! He paid the ransom!
Why did Jesus do this? To get this answer, we have to look at verse fourteen, “That the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” Jesus did this, so that we could receive the blessing of Abraham and that we could also receive the promise from God. I want you to notice what the scripture says, “That the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles….” As you are aware, a Gentile was a “Non-Jewish” person. Before Jesus’ crucifixion, only Jews were allowed to receive the blessing, but after Jesus became the ransom, Jews and Gentiles could receive the blessing.
How did we receive the blessing? It was through Jesus Christ! You need to see this, under the Old Testament, the only way that mankind (Jewish) people could receive the blessing of Abraham was by them doing something to get something. Let me show you, turn to Deuteronomy 28:1-2, “Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God:” This is no longer the case in the New Testament. Jesus became the curse for us, because He was fulfilling the Old Testament law and the now the New Testament was established, because the Old Testament was fulfilled, all mankind can now have the blessing by just believing in Jesus and His finished works. Mankind (Jews and Non-Jews) alike don’t have to do something to get something, all that they have to do is believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
We all have the blessing of Abraham, because we believe in Jesus and we believe in His finished works. In all of this, because Jesus went to the cross in our place, we also have the promise of the Spirit through our faith. What does this mean? It means that we have the promise of the Spirit, and we also have the blessing of Abraham, all because we believe in Jesus Christ. With our faith, we receive the blessing and we also receive the promise of the Holy Spirit. What else does God give us? Let’s look at Galatians 3: 29, “And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” If we believe in Jesus Christ, then we are His property (much like a person who enlists in the military becomes the property of his country), we are in Christ. It is because we are Christ’s, we are also Abraham’s seed. According to the Bible, if we are Abraham’s seed, then we are heirs according to the promise. What is this promise? To find out what the promise is, we need to jump over to Romans 4:13, “For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.” The promise that God made to Abraham and his seed was that God would give him the whole world. This means that because we are in Christ, we are the seed of Abraham and we have the promise to be heirs of the world. This tells us that we have everything in the world, which means that we have all the riches of the world, all the properties of the world, all the animals in the world and we have everything that is on , around and within the earth. This also tells us that we are to be successful in the world. Notice that the Bible says, “For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law…” therefore, if we continue to try to do something in order to deserve the promise, then it will never work for us. The only way for us to receive the promise is through faith. Faith activates the promise! Faith manifests the blessing! Faith is what causes us to have every finished work of Christ. It is so simple, yet there are many people who have the mind-set that they have to do something to get something. This s why many people are not receiving the blessing or the promise. The blessing and the promise are gifts and the only way to get them is by receiving them, not by trying to earn them. Now this brings us to the next verse, verse fourteen, “For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect,” If people continue in the mind-set of being under the law, (doing something to deserve something) the Bible is clear, “That faith is made void and the promise made no effect.” We must renew our minds with faith and we must believe in Jesus and His finished works.
Why then is faith voided when we try to do something to get something? That answer is found in verse fifteen, “because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.” The law bring us wrath, where there is no law, the Bible says that there is no sin or transgression. Now look at verse sixteen, “Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all.” God gave us the gift of the blessing. This is available to those who are the seed of Abraham. We are in Christ, therefore, we are Abraham’s seed. If we are Abraham’s seed, then we are given the blessing. Since we are Abraham’s seed, then we are also given the promise of being heirs of the world, is this not correct? If so why then aren’t there many Christian men and women experiencing the blessing and the promise? Let me tell you that it is because they are still stuck with the mind-set that they have to something to get something from God. Sad as it is, God has already given it all to us, but we aren’t receiving it because we won’t receive it with faith. Remember, that a gift can never be earned. If we earn it is no longer a gift, it is a wage.
I can remember that when I was a young man that I was taught that in order for me to get something in life I had to give something. My pastor of the church I attended taught this, and I became very rebellious about giving money to the church. I began to equate money with always giving. My rebellion wasn’t based upon money in the offering plate, it was based upon how I perceived my thought in giving in general. I felt that I had to give something in order to get blessed. If I didn’t give, then I felt I would be cursed. This became imbedded inside my brain, so my rebellious nature grew from it.
Let me ask you something, “What is the purpose of giving? Why do we pass the collection plate in church?” God certainly doesn’t need our money. He already has more than enough, so why then do we give? Are we giving to get something? If that is the case, then that would mean that the law is right. We have to give in order for God to bless us, but that can’t be true because the Bible said the blessing is a gift. We don’t have to give when we already have the gift. Why, then should we give? What is God’s purpose for giving? Is God saying that seedtime and harvest are wrong? No, I don’t believe that for a moment. What is wrong is that our mind-set is not right. Our giving has always been motivated by our desires to get something and we think that we are to give to get blessed, but we shouldn’t be thinking this way, instead, we should desire to give because God has already blessed us.
When my wife was sick, we prayed and God healed her of cancer. The healing was the result of her already being blessed. When I had no job, no income, God still provided me the money to pay the bills so that I had more than enough. This miracle was the fact that I was already blessed. I give God praise. I give God my worship. My money that I put in the offering plate is given as a form of worship. I don’t put it in the plate because I want to receive something, but I place it in the plate to show God how much I love Him and to thank Him for all He has already done.
Why do we give? We give of ourselves as a worship to the God who loves us. We surrender everything that is us, to the One, that we love. Giving is an act of worship. It is not done in order for us to receive something, it is an act of worship. Don’t take my word for it, let’s see what God Word says, turn Psalms 96:6-9, “Honor and majesty are before Him; Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary. Give to the Lord, O families of the peoples,
Give to the Lord glory and strength. Give to the Lord the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come into His courts. Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness! Tremble before Him, all the earth.” Many of us say this, “Why does God need our money?” First and foremost, God doesn’t need our money, but He does desire our worship. He has already given us everything that pertains to life and godliness. He has given us the money to buy and sell with. It was given to us by the Lord, so are we willing to give it back to Him as a token of our worship? We are supposed to give our worship to the Lord. We have been taught the opposite and we have been taught that we are to give in order to receive. We are to give in order to be blessed, but this can’t be true, because the Bible says, “Bring an offering, and come into His courts. Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness….” This says to us that we are to bring an offering and come into His courts and do what? We are to worship God!
Let’s take this time and dive a little bit deeper into the Scriptures, turn to 2 Corinthians 9:7, “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” How is it that we are supposed to give? We are to give as we purpose in our hearts. We are to give from our hearts as we worship God. We are not to give grudgingly (reluctantly or regrettably). We are not supposed to give out of necessity (the fact of being required or indispensable), so how does God want us to give? He wants us to give “cheerfully.” He wants us to give joyfully! He wants us to give lovingly and we are to give in a state of worship.
Giving is a form of our worship, it is not for us to do something to get something. We are to give from our hearts to God, whom we love. We have already been given the blessing, Jesus gave it to us. Our giving is to give thanks to God for what He has already done. Sad as it may be, many Christian men and women still believe that in order for God to bless them they are required to give of something to earn it. They still have the mind-set that in order to receive anything from God, they have to give their money. This is a lie, because we can’t buy God. Our desire should be to surrender all to Jesus. We are to surrender our houses, cars, wealth, money, body, souls and spirits. We need to tell God, “Take all that I have, because I worship You.”
Turn to Proverbs 3:9-10, “Honor the Lord with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase; So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine.” The Bible doesn’t say that this is spiritual in nature, but what it is saying, is that it is physical in nature. We are to honor the Lord, which means that we are to give Him high respect; great esteem for what He has already done. How can we do this? The verse tells us that we are to honor Him with our possessions and the first fruits of our labor.
What then is worship? It is the feeling or expression of our reverence and adoration to the Father, our Creator, from His creation. It is the giving of ourselves to the Father and not expecting anything in return. It is our gift to God.
Are we Christians because we seek the benefits or are we Christians because we seek intimacy with God? The sad truth is that most Christian people seek more of how God can bless them, instead of seeking to be with Him. They start out with times of praise and worship to God, but when the blessings start to flow, they quickly reduce their time with Him. They find themselves “Too Busy” to have time with God. Their adoration for Him diminishes. They start by attending church less and less, the Wednesday night Bible studies that they used to attend frequently, becomes less important to them. They read the Bible less and less, until their reading of God’s Word diminishes all together. Their prayer life goes away all together, unless it is a 9-11 situation. In essence they begin to let their relationship with God, slip away. The danger of this lack of relationship is that if we do not seek God and all His righteousness, we start to lose the blessing, they will not come to us as they did when we had the relationship.
We must understand that everything that we are, we owe it all to God. Everything that we have, we owe it all to God. We must seek Him at all times. We must desire to continually be in His presence. We must seek Him daily, so that we can have intimacy with Him, this is the first thing that we must do, and the second will always follow the first, which is, receiving “favor.” Favor will always follow intimacy. Sadly though, we seek God for all the wrong reasons. We seek Him for our healing, deliverance, and prosperity, but we aren’t seeking His face. In order for us to have all these things, we need to seek to be in the Father’s presence. We have to stop putting God second place. The Creator should be first in everything. Christianity was never supposed to be a religion, it was set-up for the purpose of being in a relationship with Jesus Christ. it was not set in place for us to do something to get something. Christianity was not intended to be a religion, it was established so that we as the creation could have an intimate relationship with our Creator.
What are we doing if we aren’t loving the One who gave us life? If we aren’t loving God with our heart, soul and mind, how can we come to know Him? If we don’t have an intimate relationship with God, how can we say that we know Him? How can we keep prancing around in our shirts that say, “I am a Christian,” but we don’t know who God is? What will happen when we go up to heaven and we walk right by Jesus, because we never knew Him? Sad as it may be, that is what people are doing. They don’t know God! They pretend to know Him, by going to church on Sundays, singing songs and calling it worship but that isn’t all there is to worship, there is so much more. Isn’t God worth our worship? Think about this for a moment. Isn’t God worthy to be praised and worshipped? Isn’t He above all that we have and all that we are? isn’t God worthy to be praised?
We must get to a place of worship, where we have only one desire, and that is to be in His presence and get to know God intimately. Look at this for moment, Galatians 3:13-14, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), That the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” “Jesus has redeemed us from the curse of the law….” The law that Paul is talking about, is the Law of Moses. You see, there was 613 laws that Moses set up. If we could keep all 613 laws, then we would be blessed. This was all because it was set in place by God for us to be obedient to the laws set up by Moses, it was a condition. The other part of this condition was this, that if we couldn’t keep the law, then we would be cursed. Let me show you what Jesus did for us, He became the curse for us. He became the payment for all of our sins. He became the peace offering, the ransom for us. He was able to keep all of the law, because He was without sin. He was entitled to the full blessing, but He instead chose to take all the curse, by going to the cross to be crucified. Isn’t He worthy of our praise?
If we make Jesus Christ Lord of our lives, then we are no longer under the curse. We can no longer be cursed for not obeying the 613 Laws of Moses. Why? It is because Jesus absorbed all of the curse upon Himself. Why did He do this? Look at verse fourteen, “That the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” Jesus died, becoming the curse for us, and He became the payment for sin, the ransom for sin, and the peace offering so that the blessing of Abraham would be put upon us.
Look at this now, according to the law, we had to do something in order to get blessed. That was the condition of the Old Covenant. Under the Old Covenant, performance was used. If we performed well, we got blessed, but under the New Covenant, (which is called the “Covenant of Grace), we are blessed because Jesus died, became the curse, and He gave us the blessing of Abraham. Jesus did all this for us! Isn’t He worthy of our praise?
We aren’t blessed because of what we did. We aren’t blessed because we are good. We aren’t blessed because we fill a quota. We are blessed because of what Jesus has done. The Bible says that we are given the blessing of Abraham. We receive this blessing when we became born again. We were given this blessing, when we asked Jesus into our hearts. We have the blessing of Abraham, not because of our own works, but because we believe that Jesus took the curse for us, by being our Savior and hanging on the cross for us. He paid the price, so that we could receive this blessing.
Say this: “I have the blessing of Abraham in my life, because of what Jesus has already done for me, by being the price for my sin, taking the curse for me so that I might receive the blessing and the promise of the Holy Spirit.” Start saying this every morning, when you get up, giving God praise. Watch now as your world changes.
God says, “That there is a massive wave of change coming for you, because as you see the blessing come upon your life, your desire will be to have more of God.”
Jesus is the blessing! Our healing, deliverance, and our prosperity are not the blessing, because they are the results of the blessing. To illustrate what I mean, look at what happens when leaves are blowing in the wind. Their rustling in the trees is the result of the wind, they are not the wind. We must know what the blessing is by nature, not its results. If we start saying that the blessing is money, then every time we think of the blessing, we will associate it with money. This is the problem for most of us today, we try to define the blessing as a miracle, but this isn’t true, because it is only the result of the blessing. We must know what the blessing is by nature and not know it solely by its manifestations. Once we understand this, then we can have a relationship with the blessing. Then we can see the benefits that will come out of the relationship. Look at this, turn to Galatians 3:16, “Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ.” What Paul is saying is that Jesus is the seed of Abraham, and because we are in Christ, we are also the seed. Jump down to verse 29, “And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Notice what is said in this verse, “If you are Christ’s then you are Abraham’s seed.” How do we become Christ’s? We become Christ’s when we are born again. If we are Christ’s, then we are Abraham’s seed. If we are Abraham’s seed, the Bible says, “that we are heirs according to the promise.” If we heirs of the promise, this means that we are given the promise. In other words, we are in Christ, so we are Abraham’s seed, and being his seed we inherit the promise made to him by God.
Say this: “I am in Christ! I am Abraham’s seed! I am heir to the promise!”
We are in Christ Jesus! We have the blessing of Abraham upon our lives. We are the seed of Abraham! We have the promise that God made to Abraham. We need to remind the devil of who we are. We need to remind ourselves of what we have. Go to Romans 4:13, “For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.” We are in Christ! We have the blessing of Abraham. We are the seed of Abraham. We have the promise. What is the promise? That we will be “Heirs of the world.” This means that we are the heirs of the whole world. If we are heirs of the world, that means that we inherit everything in the world and around the world and under the world. We inherit all the goods of the world. We inherit all the riches of the world. We inherit everything in the world.
God is about to turn things around for His children. Another wealth transfer is coming. He did this in Egypt and now He is about to do it in the near future, in our time. The last are going to be first. The poor are going to be rich. Waves of blessing are coming to those who are in Christ.
Ask yourselves this question, “Why aren’t Christian people living in the promise today? God doesn’t give people the promise when they are living under the law. What does this mean? It means that we are working to get it. The promise is a gift from God to Abraham and his seed. If we are working to get it, we will not receive it. A worker expects payment. A gift is no longer a gift when we work for it.
Why aren’t more Christians experiencing the full blessing of Abraham? Think about this now! We either have the blessing or we don’t. If it is in the Bible, and we know that the Bible is truth, then why aren’t Christian men and women experiencing the blessing? The blessing of Abraham is made void when we try to gain it on our own effort. We must stop trying to obtain the blessing through our own works and allow our faith to activate the blessing. We must remind ourselves, that we are in Christ. We are made righteous through Christ. We are the seed of Abraham. We have the blessing of Abraham through faith. One of the reason that people in Christ don’t experience the blessing is because they try to do something to earn it. This promise was given to us because we are in a right relationship with Jesus Christ, we have the blessing only through faith.
Look at this, turn in your Bibles to Romans 4:13 and let’s read it from the New Living Translation, “Clearly, God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God’s law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by faith. The blessing comes to us by having a right relationship with God and that only comes by faith. Out of the relationship, the benefits are born. The blessing comes to us, because we believe that Jesus died for our sins and that we have Jesus in our hearts. It is our belief that we are born again and that we are in Christ. It is our belief that we are the righteousness of God. It is our belief in the relationship that we have with Jesus. The relationship is not about what we do, it is all about what Jesus has already done. The blessing comes to us only by faith, and it is only by faith that we get all of it. Our relationship with God gives us all things that pertain to life and godliness. It is our relationship with God that directs our lives. We do not have this relationship by obeying the law, we get it through faith. We may not be perfectly obeying the law, but the relationship fixes that for us. The relationship keeps us from sinning. The relationship with God keeps us away from our addictions. The relationship keeps us in-tune with God and His Word. The deeper our relationship with God, the more benefits we receive. The more time that we spend in His presence, the more He reveals His heart to us. It is up to us how deep this relationship goes.
We must be in it for the relationship! We must be in the relationship with God in order to expose His promise. We have to be in the relationship! You see, we aren’t saved because of the benefits, we were saved for the relationship. When we are benefit driven, we seek God for what He can give to us, instead of seeking Him in order to know Him. We seek the benefits over the relationship. When we seek the benefits, we are not comfortable with them when we receive them, because we have forsaken the relationship. We have the benefits for awhile, but they quickly fade away, because there is no substance to them without the relationship. When we seek a relationship with God, we get to know Him intimately. Take a look at Abraham, he had a relationship with God. Out of his relationship with God, he got to know God personally. God gave Abraham the promise because He considered Abraham his friend. Abraham didn’t have his relationship with God because of the benefits, no he sought God for the friendship. Abraham sought God for the relationship only, the benefits came as a result of the relationship.
Are we Christians because we seek God for His benefits, or are we Christians because we seek God for a relationship? Anytime that we go after the benefits only, it won’t work.
Let me ask you some questions: “Where is your relationship with God? When you go to pray, are you seeking a relationship or are you seeking the benefits? When you go to church, are you there for the fellowship with God, or are you there for the benefits? When you sing and give praise to God, are you there for the relationship, or are you there for the benefits? When will it just be about God?”
Paul the apostle, asked God for only one thing and that was to know Him. He said, that he wanted to know the fellowship of God’s suffering, he wanted to know how to do his part, so that he could know God intimately. When will we as Christian men and women become satisfied in just knowing God? It is a sad thing though, we all want to know God, but for us this isn’t enough, because we want more out of the relationship. We want to know Him so that we can get something from Him. If the only reason we are in the relationship is for us to see what benefits we can get, then the relationship with God will not last long. We will eventually walk away from Him. We will only be in the relationship for a season. We will pray but nothing will come from it. Will read the Bible, but it will become boring to us. We will worship, but no power will be given. We will become discouraged and we will walk away for God. Why you ask? It is because our hearts are not in the relationship and God knows our hearts. The relationship that we desire isn’t what we can do for God, but what He can do for us. We must come to the point in our lives where it is all about loving God first and then the benefits won’t matter anymore. When we come into this type of relationship with God, then yes, the benefits will come to us, but they will be so much more beneficial because our heart’s desire is to know God personally. These benefits will come because our heart’s desire is to be intimate with God, but they are received with a thankful heart. There is a big difference to be seen here. A benefit driven relationship won’t be satisfying, whereas, a relationship based upon getting to know God will provide overwhelming joy, because this relationship is to be with with the One we love.
The Bible talks about planting seeds and harvesting what we sow. If we give financially and we do it with a desire to receive a benefit, we are not going to see a healthy harvest. If we sow into God’s ministries with a heart’s desire just to please God and to bless Him, we will reap a healthy harvest. The reason for the healthy harvest is because our sowing wasn’t based upon the benefits, it was based upon the relationship. If we seek God first, then all things will be added unto us. God knows our hearts. If we are in it for the benefits only and not the relationship, we will never want the relationship. We must come to that fork in the road in our lives where we can say from our hearts, “I want You God. I want You. You can have everything I have, all I want is You.” This my friends is the relationship that we should desire.
Say this with me: “I am not going back to a benefit driven life. I only want to be in a relationship with Jesus. Nothing else matters. I only want You Jesus.”
Are you in it for the relationship? The relationship with is the ultimate goal, even though the benefits are given to us, the ultimate goal is being in the presence of the Father. Where are we? Are we in the relationship? If we could stop setting our minds on the benefits of knowing God and set our heart’s to know Him intimately, then things will change. Everything changes! Not just some of the things change, but everything changes. Look with me at Peter 3:18, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,” Notice what is said here, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, THAT HE MIGHT BRING US TO GOD….” It didn’t say that Christ suffered our sins to bring us to the benefits. As I have said before, Christianity is not a religion, it is a relationship with the Father. All other religions in the world require us to do something to get something. Not so with Christianity! With Christianity, the only things that is required is that we believe in the One that God sent. Believe that we can have an intimate relationship with the Father. You see, Christianity is all about the relationship. It isn’t about what we can get from God by scratching His back, it is all about receiving from God because He loves us. A relationship with the Father who wants to be with us, and a relationship that we only want Him. Nothing else matters! The benefits don’t matter. The only thing that matters is being with God.
It can be insulting to God if we want the benefits, but not the relationship. Let’s look at the verse that we just read 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.”
Why did Christ die for sinners? He died to bring us safely home to God. Did you know that the Father is hungry to have a relationship with us? The sad thing is that we don’t share this hunger, instead we are hungry for the benefits. We think it is satisfying, but it isn’t. What is Christianity? It is a relationship with the Father. What is Christianity without God? What does it mean to be a Christian? We are all going to die one day, when that happens, we don’t want to stand before God saying, we only wanted the benefits and not the relationship. We only wanted to know You for what You could give us and not having a relationship to know You.
Say this: “God I want You. I want only You. I don’t care about anything else, I want You.”
We all know that money can’t last forever. We all know that our lives are just a vapor. We all know that eventually our time will expire. All the riches of life will expire, but Your love for us will never cease. Our relationship with God will never fade away. I don’t know about people reading this, but I choose the relationship. I want more of the relationship. I want to know the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I want to know their hearts. I want to know what makes them happy and sad, I want to know what makes them joyful and what makes them cry. I want to know what they think about. I want them. I want to be in their presence. I want the relationship.
Say this: “Father I want You. I want to know who You are. I want to know Your heart and I want You to have my heart. I want our relationship to be special. I want You Father.”
Jesus gave us something that can never be taken away from us, He gave Himself willingly. This can never be taken away from us. God loves us. We must love Him. God speaks to us, we must speak to Him. God wants a relationship with us, we must have a relationship with Him. The blessing comes from the relationship, therefore we already have the blessing if we are indeed in the relationship. The blessing is a gift! It is the results of the finished works of Jesus Christ. Is healing the blessing? No, healing is the result of the blessing. It is the benefit that comes out of the right relationship with God. Look at what Paul says in Roamans 4:14, “For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect,” This is why so many believers aren’t receiving the promises, they keep trying to do something in order to get something. Let’s read on, look at verses fifteen and sixteen, “because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression. Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all.” Read this from the New Living Translation, “For the law always brings punishment on those who try to obey it. (The only way to avoid breaking the law is to have no law to break!) So the promise is received by faith. It is given as a free gift. And we are all certain to receive it, whether or not we live according to the law of Moses, if we have faith like Abraham’s. For Abraham is the father of all who believe.” The promise is given to us as a “Free Gift.” We keep trying to get it by doing something to deserve it. The promise of the blessing is a “Free Gift.” We ask God for the gift, but if the gift is free why should we give? All of our lives we have been taught that we have to give in order to receive. Religion has taught us that we have to give in order to receive the blessing. If we have to give in order to get the blessing, then the Scripture that we just read that says, “The Promise is a free gift,” Is not true. When we give something to get the promise of the blessing, then it is no longer a gift, it is earned. It is a wage that is paid to us that is deserved. It is no longer a gift that was given to us. When we come into an intimate relationship with God, then the truth will be revealed to us. Revelations knowledge of God’s Word will open up to us. God will open up the dark areas in our minds. No longer will our eyes not see or our ears not hear. We will know about God and His Word, but it only comes by the relationship. Turn to 2 Corinthians 9:7, “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of [a]necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” When we give to God, it should be according to the purpose of our hearts. We are not to give grudgingly, or out of necessity, we are not to give because we want the benefits. We are to give because we want to bless the Lord. We give because of the relationship. We don’t give to get blessed, we give because we are already blessed. Our giving is the result of what God has already done. Our giving is now a type of worship, a thanksgiving, a gratitude for what Jesus has already done. We take what He has given to us and we give it back as a worship to Him. We use what He has already done and we give it back to Him as a thank you. We give it back to Him and we give Him the glory. We use this to say, “God I worship You.”
We may not have everything that we want, but we know God has blessed us and we need to thank Him for what we do have. We should thank Him for His mercy and for His healing. Why does He heal us so that we can be healthy to keep worshipping Him. We should thank Him for our financial breakthroughs and give Him what He has given us. We say we worship and adore Him. We need to give to Him our everything. Our giving is not for us to receive something, it is worship.
What is worship? It is giving! It is giving of what we have to the One we love. It is an act of honor to the One we love. It is not giving to get something. My friends, that is why so many Christian men and women are not receiving the blessing, they give to get the benefits without having the relationship. Look at Proverbs 3:9, “Honor the Lord with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase;” How do we honor God? We honor Him with our possessions and our first fruits. Look at this verse in the New Living Translation, “Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce.” Are you seeing this? He is honored with our wealth and our best. Wait a minute, let’s look at this verse in the Amplified Bible, “Honor the Lord with your capital and sufficiency [from righteous labors] and with the firstfruits of all your income.” What does all this mean? I means that we are to worship Him with all He has given to us.
I asked the question, “What is worship?” It is the expression of love from us to the Father who created us. It is loving God and a desire to know Him. It is wanting to be where God is, just to be with Him. It is to be intimate with Him and it is a wanting for a relationship that can never be broken.
Where are you? Are you searching for God for the benefits or are you searching for Him for the relationship?
I was sitting here today and as I sat in my chair on my back deck, the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, “You must practice the love of Jesus.” I thought about what He was saying. We have to acknowledge Jesus. We need to admit that He is here with us. This makes acknowledging Him so much easier. We need to thank Him for what He has already done. We have to thank Him for what He is doing today, and we have to thank Him for what He is going to do in the future. What needs to happen, is that we must practice His presence. After all we are in a relationship with Him, so we need to fuel our relationship with Him, through our thanksgiving.
Let us start this time in God’s Word with what the blessing of Abraham is. Turn in your Bibles to Galatians 3:13-14, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” Let me ask you a question, “What is success?” Success is defined as the accomplishment of an aim or purpose. The true definition of success is a person. Success is a relationship with a person. In the world view, success is about people who have possessions, money and luxuries. God doesn’t measure success that way. Look at these verses again, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law.” What does this mean? Its meaning is found in what Jesus did for us. He took the curse for us and He went to the cross. You see, Jesus was the “peace offering” to God. He was the payment for our redemption from the curse of the law of Moses. This curse was placed upon mankind if they didn’t or couldn’t keep the law. Jesus fulfilled the law and therefore He could receive the blessing. He chose instead to receive the curse, so that we didn’t have to. He became the peace offering to God for us, so that the debt was paid in full. Not only did Jesus take all the sins of the world upon Himself, but He also to the curse of the law upon Himself. With Him doing this, and by Him willingly going to the cross, He saved us from the curse. Now we can say with confidence that we are no longer under the curse of the law.
Look at the next part of this Scripture, “That the blessings of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles.” This means that we who are not of Jewish descent are given the blessings of Abraham through Jesus Christ. Paul is saying, that we are blessed because of what Jesus has already done. We are blessed because of Jesus and now we also are given the promise of the Spirit through our faith. There are some important things found in this Scripture that needs to be clarified. First, we are redeemed from the curse through Jesus, and second, we are given the blessing of Abraham through Jesus, and finally, we are given the promise of the Holy Spirit. Listen to me! We redeemed, blessed, and given the promise all through Jesus Christ, then it is only fitting to honor Jesus for what He has already done. Is this available for everyone? Yes, but we have to accept Jesus into our hearts. It is not available for those who reject Him. If you reject Jesus, then you are rejecting the payment for your sins and you are rejecting the peace offering to God.
The Bible says, “And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God. Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field.” (Deuteronomy 28:1-3) Under the Old Covenant, people had to do something in order for them to be blessed. Under the New Covenant, we are blessed because of our faith in Jesus Christ. it is because of our faith in Jesus that we are able to receive the promise of the Spirit. Under the law, we had to do something to get blessed, but under grace, we received the blessing because of our faith in Jesus and His finished works.
God wants us to experience the blessings of Abraham. Let me clear up what I mean. God wants all those who are “Born Again” to experience the blessings of Abraham. What is this blessing? Who can receive it? Let’s go to the Bible for the answer. “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.” (Galatians 3:16) This is saying to us that the promise was made to Abraham and to the Christ. Let’s dive further into this, turn to Galatians 3:29, “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Now the promise was made to Abraham, Jesus, and everyone who is “In Jesus.” This means that the promise is for Abraham’s seed, which now includes us. This tells me, that we are now heirs to Abraham and we are included in the blessing because we are in Christ.
What does it mean to be an heir? It means that we have an inheritance. We have an inheritance that we haven’t yet tapped into.
What was the promise? God made a promise with Abraham, and now that we are heirs, we are therefore able to receive the promise. We know that there are many promises that God makes in His Word, but what was the exact promise God made with Abraham and his heirs? Again let’s look in the Bible, turn to Romans 4:13, “For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.” Did you see what it said, the promise was for Abraham and his heirs to inherit the world. read it in the New Living Translation, “Clearly, God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God’s law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by faith.” The promise was for us to inherit the world. God didn’t give this promise through the law, because if He had done this, there would have been conditions set. This promise was given to us, through the righteousness of faith. It is because we have faith in Jesus Christ and His finished works.
How do we define our inheritance? In Christ, we are an heir of the world, which means that we inherit all of the world. We inherit all the world’s endowments (funding). We inherit all the world’s riches. We inherit the world’s advantages. We inherit the world’s pleasures. This is the promise that God made to Abraham and his seed.
Sadly though, we keep believing the opposite of what God had promised. We fell like someone took our inheritance and left us with nothing. We need to standup for what we believe and receive our inheritance. We need to take the best part of the world, which is already ours anyway, and we say to the devil to back off because this is our inheritance and as owner you need to leave our property. There is no reason for us to live in lack. God never wanted that for us. He didn’t want us to have some of the things of the world, but all of it. He never wanted us to just get by, He wanted us to have more than enough. He wants us to have more than enought money, properties, and riches that the world has. he wants us to be overly successful in our businesses. He wants us to have the best.
Look at the blessings of Abraham. “The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.” (Genesis 12:1-3, NLT)
“So Abram left Egypt and traveled north into the Negev, along with his wife and Lot and all that they owned. (Abram was very rich in livestock, silver, and gold.) (Genesis 13:1-2)
“From the Negev, they continued traveling by stages toward Bethel, and they pitched their tents between Bethel and Ai, where they had camped before. This was the same place where Abram had built the altar, and there he worshiped the Lord again. Lot, who was traveling with Abram, had also become very wealthy with flocks of sheep and goats, herds of cattle, and many tents.” (Genesis 13:3-5)
As you can see God wants us to know what are worth is to Him. He asks for only one thing from us and that is Share the love of Christ, so that others can become heirs of the promise.