And I Still Believe

Everything in our world and lives is shifting sand. We never really know what could happen around the next bend. Can you think of anything that remains the same? 

Relationships change, jobs change, people change, opinions, feelings, government, science, education, health, laws, ideas, processes, weather, even our own bodies….ALL CHANGE.

People that cheer you on one day will try to sabotage you the next. Those you love are here today and gone tomorrow. Joy turns to sorrow and sorrow turns to joy. 

We desperately crave security and stability yet the very ground we are standing on could be washed away. If I think too long on all the uncertainties of life, it takes my breath away. 

So what brings me peace, joy, and enthusiasm to press on? It’s knowing that my Jesus, He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).  I find hope in His Word.

Jesus said, Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God; and the peace of God will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6)

In this world we have many trials, but He says, Be of good cheer, because He has overcome the world. This world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come. (Hebrews 13:14)

When I set my mind on things above and remember His promises that overflow with love, grace, mercy, faithfulness, and truth; I find rest for my soul and courage to live, laugh, and love. I have a Rock, I have a safe refuge, I have a God who will never leave me or forsake me. His promises will endure because He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 

And I still believe.


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Stand & Be Counted

But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it.    Numbers 14:24 NKJVS

What an awesome thing to have said about you! God calls you out by name and declares you faithful among all the masses!
 
Numbers 13-14 gives us this whole story and is amazing! It’s about twelve men sent out to “spy” the land God promised to give His people.

Out of the twelve, Caleb was a guy that would stand up and declare the promises of God despite all odds. Caleb had a mindset of – if God said it then that settled it. Now the odds were stacked against Caleb. The promise of God had obstacles that simply seemed immovable. There were doubters out of the twelve that rallied others against God’s plan. As a result, Caleb had to solidify three things:

Do I go with everyone else’s opinion?
Do I trust what God said?
Will I stand up for what I believe in?
 

Caleb trusted what God said and he stood up for what he believed in. His stance built a common ground where others followed. For example, Joshua ended up standing for God with him.

I know there are Caleb’s and Caleb-“ets” (godly sisters) out there in this world and you may be one of them! 


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Serving @ Harvest America

Hey all! March 6, 2016 Harvest America will be held at the At&t Stadium! Gates will open at 3:30pm, the event will begin at 5:30pm and concludes at 7:30pm. 

If you would like to serve or learn more about it, just click the link and follow the prompts! http://harvestamerica.com/texas-2016/serve.html 

Please keep this event in your prayers!!!! 


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Winning the Spiritual Battle! Pt 2

But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God — and righteousness and sanctification and redemption — that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.” ~ 1 Corinthians 1:30-31

When the enemy attacks the believer must remember:

It was permitted by God.God, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you can bear 1 Cor 10:13.

It is to prove or reprove us. Many times, this permission (for the true follower of Jesus) is so we can see or know areas that need to be purged out of us, “…working out our own salvation in fear and trembling” Phil 2:12-13.

We are drawing closer to God in our surrender – Jesus becomes our sufficiency, as 1 Cor 1:30-31 declares (also see Winning the Spiritual Battle – Part 1).

As 1 Cor 1:30-31 tells us:

my wisdom…

my righteousness…

my sanctification…

my redemption…

…are all l resting fully on Jesus “who became for us” – He is my all in all! I bring nothing to the table. He is my everything. So that 1 Cor 1:31 is true in my life that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”

So all of my hope, my strength, even my entire eternity – all of it – is resting in that surrender….

Jesus is my everything!

Anything that hinders, that is being “worked out of us.” It is like God permits a mental “house cleaning” of our pride. So the end result becomes, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”

This happens to all of us, none of us are alone in this real need to die to our flesh… The enemy hits our faith, our belief with a key focus. To move it from hope in Christ to something we can attain or merit… The questions will pound our head: Do you believe?

– One Man’s death means you can be forgiven?

– You don’t really think God spoke the world into existence?

– Do you think God even cares for you? Look at all you have done.

All of these ‘fiery darts” Eph 6:10-18 are an attempt to move our focus off of Jesus, “my everything,” and move it on us. 

When we are hit with ‘Do you really believe?’ This question, that pounds our ‘faith,’ is really – “DO you really think that simply placing your faith in Jesus is enough? Even if that were true your faith is not strong enough to hold on is it! And you know it!”

You see how the attack really transfers ownership of salvation or even ‘faith’ from “I rest in Jesus” to “how strong is my faith?”  It is true – “the just shall live by his faith” (Hab 2:4), but it is never about how great I am or how much faith I have….Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent” (John 6:29,  NKJV).

And let us be reminded of how much faith is needed – Jesus said “faith like a child” in Matt 19:14 and let us never forget “a mustard seed faith” Matt 17:20.  It is NOT us – it is all HIM!  We must realize the day we trusted in the LORD, we died & Grace covered us – Gal 2:20. We placed our faith in God’s plan of redemption.

Jesus Christ in my place….

It is no longer me anything, but me dying, making room for Christ to work through me – Phil 2:12-13. So it is not about what you think, it is about what Jesus did…. You placed your faith in Christ and the enemy will do all he can to make you think “you” didn’t do that or you need more that faith…. It’s all lie, but the great aspect of this attack is it reveals to the believer parts of our flesh that we still cling to.

To say this in another way –  It is not in what we do, it is what He has done. The attack is permitted so we can see areas of “self sufficiency” that need to removed.  

This is It is an Absolute Surrender in “Christ is my sufficiency” – He is my all in all. 


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Jesus is my Homeboy

And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, “ Are You for us or for our adversaries?”  So He said, “ No, but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, “What does my Lord say to His servant?” Then the Commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, “Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy.” Joshua did as the Lord commanded.
 
While it is true that Jesus is our friend, we are His friends because we are no longer an enemy.  Joshua was about to go to war with Jericho, and the “Commander of the army of the Lord” (Jesus) pays a visit! Joshua’s question and the Lord’s reply paint a very clear picture as to the relationship we have with God. Joshua asks, “Who’s side are you on; ours or theirs?” The Lord replies, “No. No, I am not on your side or their side. I am with God.”
 
It is not a question of if Jesus is on our side. The question is, are we on His side?
 
When we say, “I am a friend of God’s” or “God is my friend,” I think it is really important to understand we are ‘friends’ because we are not ‘foes’ (enemies). We are for Him as friends, or we are against Him as His enemies.
Jesus said, “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.” Matthew 12:30
 
As a combat veteran, this idea is very clear to me. We are either “friend” or “foe.”
 
I pray these few words clear up this idea. Jesus is not our Homeboy. He is the Commander of the Lord’s army. We are at war, spiritually speaking, and we are either on His side or we an enemy to the cross.
 
Jesus says our “friendship” is predicated upon obedience. As the saying goes, ‘to love Him is to serve Him.’(John 15:14) You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. Beloved, as we see with Abraham, may we live out our days as the friend of God! 
 

And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “ Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” He was called the friend of God. ~ James 2:23 

Unto the LORD our GOD who keeps His covenant and mercy, may HE and He alone be magnified!


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Revival

The cry for revival is becoming more and more popular upon true followers of Jesus.

This excites me! Historically speaking, revival was birthed when believers changed their minds and their hearts. This mind change included a deep desire to get back to the scripture. It was coupled with the revelation that the status quo of religion was not OK. In short, the people believed that their current state of “Church” was not OK & they needed God. They needed to get back to following the Bible. This change of heart was birthed from a passion to see God move as He saw fit. The believer’s hearts were broken for God, but it was not just an emotional movement. Their passion led to obedience. They obeyed, sought the will of GOD, and changed their own lives.

The fruit of revival impacted culture, but it started with the heart and mind of each individual person. So it begs us to question ourselves. Do we want to really see revival? Are we willing to pay the personal price for it? Are we willing for God to revive us even if no one else does? See I don’t think the question is, “Will there be another great revival?” I think the question is, “Will I let God revive me?”

God desires the all would walk in His fullness. It is what the book of Ephesians is all about!

When asked about revival and how people could experience the power of God in their life, Gypsy Smith replied, “Go home. Lock yourself in your room. Kneel down in the middle of the floor, and with a piece of chalk draw a circle around yourself. There, on your knees, pray fervently and brokenly that God would start a revival within that chalk circle.“

I believe with all my heart we must be the change we want to see. We must stop looking to “what if” and ask the question “what about me?” Is my passion for God predicated upon what others do or think? Is my passion for God strong enough to make a stand even when no one else does?

If you or I will ever see days like those of Elijah, Jeremiah, Elisha, Daniel, or Enoch is irrelevant. We will see the day God created for us today “for such a time as this”. There is only one thing that hinders the power of GOD in the life of the believer. This is the believer themselves. My friend, I believe you and I can experience revival in the LORD – if we are willing to submit to God and die to the world.

We must be the change we want to see and not allow the actions of others to determine who we are in Christ Jesus! Greater is He who is in you…. in you, my friend, and in me! All to Jesus I surrender! Father, Your will be done!


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Tough Times = Victory

 

Tough times happen to us all. Some we overcome, but some overtake us.

Let’s take a moment to reflect on that….

Whatever the tough time is, the enemy’s goal is to:

1. Make you feel alone,

2. Make you feel defenseless, and

3. Make you feel hopeless.

In short, it is to get your eyes off of Jesus and on the situation. It is easy to say, when all is going well, you’re not alone, you’re powerful or there is so much hope… and while this is true, I don’t think any of us believe that all of the time. But we do believe in Jesus.

In Romans 8:37, Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us (NKJV), we see more than tough times, we see “conquerors.” But to focus on that will often leave us falling short. When we focus on how we are “conquers” we find the solution and ability to overcome any obstacle. We are more than conquerors through Him, meaning being positioned in Jesus. We need to understand a radical truth here; we do not fight for victory, we fight from victory! “Through Him” means we are in Him!

This does not mean tough times will never come. No, we will have tough times until we are in heaven.

But in Jesus:

1. We are never alone (John 14:18),

2. We are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37)

3. We have a blessed hope (Titus 2:13)


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Winning the Spiritual Battle

It’s no mystery that we all experience tough times in our lives. However, it sometimes seems like the more we want follow the LORD, the more we come under attack.

Attacks come in various forms, be it temptations, opportunities to sin that suddenly present themselves, or straight up laziness. The slippery serpent seems to slither his plans of seduction to hinder or render us useless in our efforts to follow God! We all can relate to Paul’s cry, “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Rom 7:24)

So when the spiritual attacks come, the Book of James 4:7-8a gives us a quick and clear method to victory, for the child of God:  “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”

So when the battle rages:

  1. Therefore submit to God – “SUBMIT” by turning your attention to GOD. You can do this through:
    • Rebuking the enemy by saying “The LORD rebuke you” (Jude 9; Zech 3:2) and
    • Worshiping God through prayer or singing or even quoting scripture. Your goal is turning your gaze back to Jesus and away from the attack.
  2. Resist the devil – “RESIST” everything and anything pulling you away from obedience to GOD
    • You’re doing this simultaneously as you submit to GOD. You’re turning your attention from the attack and getting it on the LORD. This will not be easy & you will have to resist boldly.
  3. And he will flee from you – “TRUST” in the Word of God. If you do your part you can rest in the faithfulness of GOD. Be aware the enemy does not leave easily. The Bible teaches us, “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed” ( Jam 1:14). The enemy knows how to hit us. Be it lust, pride, fear, unforgiveness, bitterness or whatever, he will use a lure carefully selected just for us.
  4. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

Here is the beautiful recap and close! God never left us. He was always there. Some cleverly crafted lure pulled our attention away. When we turn around we find God right there all the while. When we do our part, we can rest in the fact that God will do His!


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