Saturday, February 28, 2009

Feasting on Your Affliction

How do you view problems and negative circumstances? What is your response to the threatening calls of creditors? Do you cower under the thought that you might not make the rent or mortgage payment? Does fear overtake you because of accident or illness? What about broken relationships or loss of a job? I want to help you get a mind change about afflictions. First of all they are normal and a necessary part or your faith adventure.
1Peter 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you

You need to realize that your faith is like owning gold. It is precious but it needs to be tested to see if it is real or not. Your faith also has to be tried in order to remove impurities that hinder it.
1Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
Many unscrupulous merchants in the gold industry are marking their products at higher karats than they are in actuality. While there are several methods to determine the actual weight and thus worth of a gold product, the most accurate is "assaying" or testing gold by fire. Through a certain process of adding silver to the gold and extracting metals and impurities, it is melted in a laboratory oven at a temperature of 1100 degrees C. Then a certain mathematical formula is used to weigh the tested gold and it is determined if the gold is pure or not.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were tested to see if they would hold to their faith. These bold young men refused to bow down and worship the golden image of Nebuchadnezzar. They were threatened to be tossed into a fiery furnace of fire. They trusted God and were tossed into the furnace only it was turned up 7 times hotter than normal so that it consumed the soldiers that had bound them up. Lo and behold, Jesus was in the fire and they came out unscathed Not a hair singed nor smoke or the smell of it on their garments. The results of allowing their faith to be tested was that they had a face to face encounter with Jesus. What can beat that!
Dan 3:25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.
They made the evening news and became famous as all the government officials witnessed the hand of God on them. The king also promoted them as nobles in the province of Babylon and best of all, Nebuchadnezzar decreed biblical laws to govern all the nations and declared God as the God of gods.
Dan 3:27 And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king's counsellors, being gathered together, saw these men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their head singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them.

Dan 3:28 Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.

Dan 3:29 Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.

Dan 3:30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the province of Babylon.

Look what happens when a person welcomes afflication. Have a positive attitude about trials, tribulations and problems. Trust that God will deliver you and that you must go through the process in order to get to your blessings which are right around the corner. You can't have a testimony without the "test". And there can't be no "mony" unless you pass your "test." There is no shortcut and it is the only road to your fulfilled destiny. Remember things get worse right before they get better. Hang in there and don't give up!
Psa 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.
So instead of being negative and allowing your circumstance to dictate your life. Turn it around and kick your shoes off and instead of fleeing from your affliction, start feasting on your affliction.
Psa 23:5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Sin of Unbelief

There is an exciting story in Mark 9:17 of a boy that was bound by a deaf and dumb spirit. This kid would be thrown to the ground, foam at the mouth, and grind his teeth. It sounds like an acute case of an extreme temper tantrum. It goes on to say that often times he would fall into the fire or into the water in a self destructive way. You ever feel like the hot fiery trials of life are more than you can handle? Or like you are drowning in the overwhelming waters of your problems? Jesus called this spirit a foul one. That which is foul stinks and is disgusting. Mark in chapter 17:15 called it a lunatic spirit. In other words the kid was acting crazy. Actually he was crazy.

The real issue at hand, however, was that the the boy's father lacked the parenting power necessary to confront the problem and bring positive change nor could the disciples offer any real ministry. That is probably why so many churches turn into social clubs or places of entertainment. They end up referring families in crisis to the pharmacists, psychiatrists and psychologists who have produced no results. Ministers today have become powerless over the challenges of life's problems.

Jesus then took authority over the crisis as every believer ought to do and said,
"If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth." Mark 9:23
He laid down a truth before he acted on it. You must tear down the stronghold in your heart that says that your situation is hopeless and impossible and replace it with the strong tower that says, ALL things are possible to him that believes;
Phi 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Mat 19:26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
Immediately, the boy's father said something that you must listen to carefully for it is the key to activating powerful and effective faith.
Mar 9:24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.
Wow! there it is the secret to your success. Admit and confess your sin. It is unbelief. This man got a rhema. He got a revelation. It was an "aha" moment. He cried out and with tears and repented!

You will never activate true faith until you have had a heart change with remorse and desperation. You must admit that you are the problem. You must take responsibility for your own problems. Quit blaming the economy or your boss. It's not because of any other reason than your doubt and sin of unbelief.

According to Matthew, Jesus rebuked the disciples. He called them faithless and perverse and basically expressed that he was sick and tired of putting up with their stubborn and continuously negative attitudes. It appears to me that he rebuked them publicly. It was the law of attraction in play. These negative disciples drew out a negative response from Jesus. Frustration sown, frustration reaped.
Mat 17:17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
What do you think most people would do if we held them responsible for the negative outcomes in their marriages, children, jobs, health and problems? What if we told them that the problem is that they are perverting the gospel by their actions or lack of it and that they were really not people of faith but faithless? How would you feel or respond if it were you? I know people who left the call of God or the faith because they exasperated others and got rebuked for their anemic faith and fruitlessness.
Mat 13:58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
You may be a believer or an elder in your church. Maybe you are a young leader or a deacon. Whoever you are, I want to challenge you to take responsibility for the lack of growth, abundance and miracles in your church, home and work. Are lives being changed? Are sinners running to your church? Are believers getting committed? Are people being healed and delivered? Can your community rely on you for answers? If not then you are pitiful and disgusting.

You should get together with other believers and fall on your face with tears and cry out, "Lord forgive me for my sin of unbelief." Tell him that your life, actions and words have been a perversion. Others look at you and think that is what the gospel is supposed to look like: Powerless and ineffective. You are perverting the truth with how you live your life and the things you complain about.

After Jesus laid down the key principle of believing, the father of the demon possessed boy repented and the disciples got rebuked, he spoke to the problem with authority and confidence and the boy was delivered. Then it seems like the deaf and dumb spirit jumped onto the disciples because they still could not figure out why they were so impotent. And of course he told them it was because of their sin of unbelief.
Mat 17:18-20 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
I challenge you to go before the Lord in prayer with a repentant heart and memorize scriptures of promise. Change your attitude and outlook on life. See God as a big God who can do all things. This will cause you to have a heart change. Do it every day for as long as it takes until you have changed. Then you too will rise up with faith and authority and you will convince demons and mountains to get out of the way of your dreams coming to pass.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Convinced or Conformed?

Prayer and speaking positive is not enough in and of itself. Your words have to match what is in your heart. Do you believe what you say and are CONVINCED or do you believe what you see in the natural and are CONFORMED?
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind
You must guard your heart for there is where your values and beliefs reside. Whatever you believe will govern your words, actions and decisions which in turn determines your outcome.
Pro 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
Speaking contrary to what you believe is lying to yourself. The problem with speaking things that you don't truly believe is that you will deceive yourself. Then you will wonder why you don't get the results that you desire.
Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Your words will not only become powerless but others won't believe you either. Your words will lack conviction and passion. They will sound like something you read out of a book or something you heard someone else say. You will not convince others, yourself or God.
Mat 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
Purpose in your heart right now to align your heart's beliefs and attitudes with your words. Then when the words that you speak from your heart are tested by more circumstances, stick to your guns and stand on what you said and what you believe not being moved by what you see. In the end you will see your faith become a reality.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Your Attitude Will Determine Your Outcome

Matthew 8:23-26 records an incident in which Jesus and his disciples got into a boat and a violent storm with strong winds and waves began to dangerously rock the boat. Jesus was obviously in a deep sleep when they woke him up saying, "save us WE ARE GOING TO DIE." Jesus rebuked them by calling them fearful cowards and faithless doubters. Then he rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.
Pro 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue
Don't let the storms of this life cause your attitude to change so that you end up losing your faith and your trust in God. You'll end up speaking death over your destiny. Your words and actions are dictated by the attitude of your heart. That is why it is important that you are in tune with what you believe.
Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
Rather you should take control of your circumstances with a positive attitude that everything is going to be alright and that every thing happens for a reason and that God is in control and he has a purpose for allowing things to happen. Then with a positive attitude already knowing the outcome, command your problems, mountains and storms to be still, uprooted, removed and cast into the sea. Then call forth your blessings and promises. Watch what happens when you change your attitude. At the end of the trial, you will gain understanding and in the future you will not be deceived by what appears to be negative circumstances. Instead you will see them as a stepping stone to your destiny and an opportunity for your faith to be used for the Lord.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Taking Control of Your Destiny

You cannot control the circumstances and events that happen in life. To try only creates anxiety and frustration only to end in failure. Trying to control unexpected and undesired life's circumstances is a form of trying to "play God." You will make mistakes, hurt relationships and lose your mental health in the process.

What you can control, however, is your attitude and your perspective on every situation. You must trust God that his thoughts and plans for you are good and that he guarantees you an expected end of abundant life.
Rom 8:28 "And we know that ALL things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose"
By doing so, you can can control your destiny. Your only concern should be to get to your promised land not what road and what circumstances it takes to get there. Leave that up to God and you will end up not only fulfilling your dreams but exceeding them beyond your own imagination.

Living the Christian life is one of adventure. If for one minute you think that it is supposed to be a cake walk then you are not only mistaken but you signed up for the wrong religion.