What many people experience and call a "dry time" or a desert place when they are seeking God, is actually a really good place to be, when God seems silent.
The first thing that has to be realized is Jesus said He would never leave us or forsake us. So, just because you do not sense His presence or hear His voice (or both), does not mean he has left you on your own. This is the time when God is checking a few things out.
One, when situations arise where you would normally hear His voice or sense His presence and it seems He is not there, He is really checking to see if you have paid attention to the training He has been putting you through. Have you learned the lessons? Will you respond the way He has taught you when you did hear His voice or sense His presence?
Second, and this is the most important, wiil you stop praying or seeking Him just because you do not hear Him? Will you doubt that He is actually listening and that your faith will be honored? Kim Walker Smith, worship leader for Jesus Culture said it this way at the 2011 Awakening in Chicago and I will never forget it. "I know that when I worship God or pray or read the Word, and I do not sense His presence or see Him, I know that I will live in the fruit of that moment some day. It is never a waste of time." Sid Roth said he prayed in the Spirit for years without results but later realized that all that time he spent praying laid the foundation for His current ministry.
in Luke chapter 4, Jesus has a 40 day wilderness experience. He had the Holy Spirit, but He was led into the wilderness to be tempted. He had to handle the Word of God correctly to defeat the devil, but remember, the devil only left Him for a season or a short period of time. The key i, he was lead into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit to be tempted. Think about that for a moment.
Another way to look at it is like this, Jesus was sleeping in the back of the boat when a storm arose on the Sea of Galilee. The disciples freaked on Him and cried "Master, don't you care that we perish?" Jesus gets up and addresses their lack of faith, rebukes the storm and they are instantly on the other side. He was in the boat, silent and they were going through a storm and they cried out to Him and He responded to their plea for help. He was right there. It is the same with us. Sometimes in the storms of life, Jesus seems asleep in the back of our boat and we feel like we will drown in the problem. He is there! He has never left, so trust Him. Simple, huh!
You might say, "Yeah, well you don't know what I'm going through". Maybe I don't, but Jesus does, because he is right there in the situation with you. This gets back to the flesh (feelings, emotions) trying to lead when God wants to lead.
I say love God with wreck less abandon. Love Him, worship Him, praise Him and devour His Word like He is sitting right next to you in the natural. Oh yea, the flesh hates this because it is ruled by the natural senses, but don't be fooled by them for it is a faith walk we have entered into and that is where the real power is.
God is not a feeling, but a person. Just like my wife may go shopping and I am home, I don't doubt she loves or cares for me in her absence, but I prepare for her return because I know she is coming back. 1 Cor 13:13
13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love NKJV
The realization that Jesus will never leave us or forsake us propels us forward in our quest to develop our relationship with God. Just like your dad in the natural, you want to please Him. I am not saying that you are not righteous, Jesus paid the price for that, but what I am saying is, or better yet asking, "Who wouldn't want to have a relationship with the God of the universe who has nothing but love and wants to give us everything Jesus died for?" We cannot presume that it will just fall on us, but at the same time it must be understood that hearing and responding to His voice and promptings is vital to living a life worthy of the gift and calling He has placed in all of our hearts. Prayer is the key.
The two greatest commandments, love. If you love God, you will not want to displease Him and if you love your neighbor, you won't want to displease him/her either.
Never give up, never surrender, doubt your doubts and never go without.
Just a thought!
Get Over Yourself
Think about this for a minute. We are all in the body of Christ so if someone is doing something outside of our understanding or parameters we flow in, we ought to consider how Jesus responded to His disciples when they wanted to stop someone from casting out devils in the “Name of Jesus” because they did not follow the group that was following Jesus.
Mark 9:38 John said to Him, Teacher, we saw a man who does not follow along with us driving out demons in Your name, and we forbade him to do it, because he is not one of our band [of Your disciples]. 39 But Jesus said, Do not restrain or hinder or forbid him; for no one who does a mighty work in My name will soon afterward be able to speak evil of Me. 40 For he who is not against us is for us. [Num 11:27-29.] AMP
We may not all agree on everything, but as Kenneth E. Hagin was fond of saying, “You need to be smarter than an old cow, eat the hay and spit out the sticks.” Use the Word and prayer but most of all walk in love. At best, agree to disagree or just don’t say anything. Apparently God can handle Himself and those He has adopted, so we need to not engage in “sibling” rivalry. We are all in the same family.
Just a thought. J
WORK IT OUT FOLKS
12 Therefore, my dear ones, as you have always obeyed [my suggestions], so now, not only [with the enthusiasm you would show] in my presence but much more because I am absent, work out (cultivate, carry out to the goal, and fully complete) your own salvation with reverence and awe and trembling (self-distrust, with serious caution, tenderness of conscience, watchfulness against temptation, timidly shrinking from whatever might offend God and discredit the name of Christ). 13[Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight. 14 Do all things without grumbling and faultfinding and complaining [against God] and questioning and doubting [among yourselves], 15 That you may show yourselves to be blameless and guileless, innocent and uncontaminated, children of God without blemish (faultless, unrebukable) in the midst of a crooked and wicked generation [spiritually perverted and perverse], among whom you are seen as bright lights (stars or beacons shining out clearly) in the [dark] world, 16 Holding out [to it] and offering [to all men] the Word of Life, so that in the day of Christ I may have something of which exultantly to rejoice and glory in that I did not run my race in vain or spend my labor to no purpose.
I dare think that in the light of our current state of the church that Paul exhorts us to consider how we walk before the world, not as the world but beyond the world in the Grace that God has given us. Not as a form of self righteousness, but rather empowered by His Spirit to walk as Jesus walked in his grace and knowledge not spoiled by the things of this present age but rather giving careful consideration being wise as serpents but gentle as doves in how we conduct ourselves among those that are without. Let us yield our lives to the promptings of His Holy Spirit not to gain anything in this life but rather to gain the presence and knowledge of the resurrection power that Jesus paid for to be made manifest in our lives. We need to arise shine for our light has come and resides in us to the Glory of God.
Just a thought. J
NOTHING HAS CHANGED
Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever.
No matter what happens in our lives or the lives of those around us or how this nation is affected whether by natural disaster, political posturing and even unfair laws passed by Federal and State governments, we can stand on one sure solid foundation and that is the Word of God. Since the time of Moses and Job until the unfolding events in the Revelation of Jesus Christ the Word of God has stood as a standard that has not changed. You can count on the scriptures to be a firm foundation for life in all circumstances and events.
Keep looking down folks, we are seated in heaven in Christ at the right hand of the throne of God Himself. Let us rise above the mountain top experience and walk in the reality of who we are in the eyes of our Father in the supernatural. Many people who have gone to heaven or had “near death experiences” say that the spirit realm is “more real than the earthly realm”. Let’s get real folks and walk in the reality of our true nature as the son’s/daughters of God.
I challenge you to see your position in Jesus and your calling to represent Him in the earth. We can walk as Jesus walked by looking to Him and doing only what He is doing because that is how He served humanity.
I said all of that to say this, nothing has changed, nothing.
Heb 13:15 Through Him, therefore, let us constantly and at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of lips that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His name. AMP
Just a thought!
Shutup About Jesus...NOT
In light of the current state of America, we are going to have to rise up and speak or the enemy of our souls will not be hindered in his advance to shut the church of the Living God up. We are the ones to tell the devils and their minions to be quiet about their plots and plans.
Luke 4:39 And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them. 40 Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them. 41 And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak : for they knew that he was Christ. 42 And when it was day, he departed and went into a desert place: and the people sought him, and came unto him, and stayed him, that he should not depart from them. 43 And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent. 44 And he preached in the synagogues of Galilee.KJV
OK, so that was Jesus, but, guess who resides on the inside of God's children. If we truly believe that God is on our side and we are really more than conquerors, then who can stop us. The law of the land? Religious folks? Our neighbor, friends or enemies? Possibly the greatest opposition to the power of God and the Gospel will come from within the framework of the modern church. The "religious" leaders of the day were the biggest problem for the early church and not much is new under the sun.
Acts 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. 14 And beholding the man which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it. 15 But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, 16 Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it. 17 But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. 18 And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. 20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. 21 So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done.KJV
And again, the leaders of the day tried to shut Steven up. Oh they did, but not till the message of the cross had been fully delivered.
Acts 6:12 And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council, 13 And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law: 14 For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us. 15 And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel.KJV
So then what is happening in the church today? Pretty much the law of the land is directing how we conduct church rather than the Word of God. The modern church has devolved to denominational mindset that forbids the ministry of Holy Spirit. Who is directing the church today? Good question and probably reason to step back and look at the trend in the church.
1 Cor 14:35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church. 36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? 37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. 38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant. 39 Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. 40 Let all things be done decently and in order.KJV
So then what is it we should do? Receive this encouragement from Paul to the Thessalonians.
1 Thess 1:8 For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. 9 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; 10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.KJV
Prayer is not an obligation or a duty out of works, but rather a priveledge bought and paid for by the precious Blood of Jesus. When you are lead to engage God the Father by the Holy Spirit, the completed covenant is activated and you can access the very Throne of God. What an awesome honor to be able to engage the living God one on one. To call prayer and fasting "works" is nothing less than a slap in the face of God and the awful cruel death and punishment that Jesus endured that accomplished the finished work at Calvary.
When you are prompted to fast by Holy Spirit, it is not works but rather a means of empowerment to accomplish a task that cannot possibly be carried out by the will of the mind or in the strength of the flesh. These things are to serve a greater purpose and not to be a means of self abasement and asceticism. There are far greater purposes to these "tools" that have been given to Christians to bring us in line with the truth of God's glorious plan for our individual lives. Selah
Isa 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. KJV
Just a thought! :)
Church as Usual
I am going to
begin discussing the First Century Church and what it means for us today. This
series is going to take several weeks as there is a lot of material to cover.
God spoke to me and gave me some very specific direction in His word and
through several individuals regarding this. It is time the power and authority
given to believers is restored to believers. We all have the same Holy Spirit
and Jesus many times addressed His delegation of power and authority to
“whosoever” not a hierarchical system based on tradition. Oh yes, you have been
empowered and don’t allow anyone to diminish or cause you to believe anything
less than what the shedding of Jesus blood and the Glorious resurrection bought
and paid for in your life.
You are a human dynamo filled with unlimited power because
of the finished work of Jesus, not just at Calvary but in the tomb on that
beautiful morning when Jesus walked out and gave divine power unto all who
I am not in any way diminishing the leadership of those God
has given specific gifts to, but rather encouraging the body that everyone has
authority over the enemy of our souls, sin, sickness and disease. For example,
Acts Chapter 6 describes not only the apostles positions, but what power and
anointing the “table waiters” walked in. It is a disservice to the BOC to leave
the believers in Yeshua languishing in the seats while the leaders “burn out”
trying to do it all. The devil has been placed under the feet of every true
Christian and we have got to understand that it is the Body of Christ that
wields the authority of Jesus. The job of the “5 Fold” ministry is laid out in
no uncertain terms and it is time to begin to delegate the power of God and
empower the Body of Christ.
4[There is] one body and one Spirit — just as there is also
one hope [that belongs] to the calling you received —
5[There is] one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
One God and Father of [us] all, Who is above all [Sovereign over all],
pervading all and [living] in [us] all.
grace (God's unmerited favor) was given to each of us individually [not
indiscriminately, but in different ways] in proportion to the measure of
Christ's [rich and bounteous] gift.
8 Therefore it is said, When He ascended on high, He led
captivity captive [He led a train of vanquished foes] and He bestowed gifts on men.
9[But He ascended?] Now what can this, He ascended, mean but
that He had previously descended from [the heights of] heaven into [the
depths], the lower parts of the earth?
10 He Who descended is the [very] same as He Who also has
ascended high above all the heavens, that He [His presence] might fill all
things (the whole universe, from the lowest to the highest).
11 And His gifts were [varied; He Himself appointed and gave
men to us] some to be
apostles (special messengers), some prophets (inspired preachers and expounders),some evangelists
(preachers of the Gospel, traveling missionaries), some pastors (shepherds of His flock) and teachers.
intention was the perfecting and the full equipping of the saints (His
consecrated people), [that they should do] the work of ministering toward
building up Christ's body (the church),
13[That it might develop] until we all attain oneness in the faith and in
the comprehension of the [full and accurate] knowledge of the Son of God,
that [we might arrive] at really mature manhood (the completeness of
personality which is nothing less than the standard height of Christ's own
perfection), the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ and the
completeness found in Him.
14 So then, we may no longer be children, tossed [like
ships] to and fro between chance gusts of teaching and wavering with every
changing wind of doctrine, [the prey of] the cunning and cleverness of
unscrupulous men, [gamblers engaged] in every shifting form of trickery in
inventing errors to mislead.
15 Rather, let our lives lovingly express truth [in all
things, speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly]. Enfolded in love, let us
grow up in every way and in all things into Him Who is the Head, [even] Christ
(the Messiah, the Anointed One).
16 For because of Him the whole body (the church, in all its
various parts), closely joined and firmly knit together by the joints and
ligaments with which it is supplied, when each part [with power adapted to its
need] is working properly [in all its functions], grows to full maturity,
building itself up in love.