Sunday, March 27, 2016

"Put Up Your Dukes!!"

      There is such a dynamic power in the hope of Jesus Christ that enables us to freely run the race God has set before us....  Without the glory of hope we feel stifled, and have stopped seeing the true beacon of light in our lives.  I believe we can get so self-absorbed in our own sins that our lives seem very dark.  We are not confessing our sins to God ~1 John 1:9. 

     The resurrected Son of God is that shimmering ray of hope that forgives as far as the east is from the west. He renews and cleanses us from all sin giving us complete victory.

     I am sensing in my spirit how the enemy attempts to hide in the night. In those times he and his minions can thrive and run havoc in our lives. We have to be strong in the spirit to "knock out" those dividing walls with the power of might, letting the Son light up the night.

     In other words we need to prepare to fight, defending to show the world the true light of our life. Jesus defeated the cross, death and the grave. Praise God for He has been resurrected to the right hand of the Father in heaven!!  We need to share this lost hope to a dying world that needs to not only hear it but see Jesus in our everyday lives.  

     Without that surety even in dire times, we as Christians can feel stuck to what we see in the dark realm around us.  Sin infects us and infests in the night.  When we see no possible solution to our dilemma, we so often give up. we become hopeless and depressed and despondent. It is time to get our "fight back," that is going to take hitting with our best shot with that hope of Jesus and having the guts to fight that fight of faith. Satan hits us with the night, we have to hit him back with the light. The odds are in our favor because Jesus Christ saved us from our sins of the night, in the end satan ultimately loses the fight.

     Where do we get that hope then?  We learn by encouraging ourselves in the Lord, clinging to His mighty Spirit and truth. 

     It is not easy for those who feel attacked from every corner. Do what you can to run into the light. God will lead and guide you out of the night.

     Never let go of the hope that God placed within you. At times the way may be pitch black, yet just around the bend is all the things that bring hope and glory back into your life.


     

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Trusting God...

     


      Trusting God seems so easy, yet it is at times, the most hardest thing we are ever called to do.   It is not just trusting God in the simple things, but it is the putting your all on the line in the most difficult of all extremes. I believe that is where the rubber meets the road.  

     I also believe it is really hard work to trust with all your might. Only by the Spirit of God can we really and truly be moved within our hearts to lay down the complete struggle of our souls, falling down before His feet, and being attentive to His call to trust the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. 

     True peace comes from laying down all cares and worries at the feet of Jesus.  Even in the simple ways, they can become mundane and cold, what is important is the lives that God would touch alone the way as we learn to trust and obey.

     Just like the old hymn says we are obeying God when we trust Him with our whole lives.

     Tonight I was on Facebook, and someone had wrote about trusting God with the lives of their children. It really touched me and brought me to tears, because God has called me to trust and lay it all down with my own kids. 

     Yes, I have not said much about my two sons on my blog. They were precious gifts from God that we were able to adopt from birth.  But I divorced their mom after being married for 12 years, when they were fairly young in age.  I feel like I really screwed up their lives and it will take a lifetime for them to forgive me. That was another time in my life where satan had a hand in destroying my first marriage.  I had a mental breakdown and would not take my medicine and was undiagnosed for many years before that.  

     I was a young child of divorce myself and I know how deep the wounds go. But I also know that in time God does help you to heal and forgive your parents.  It is not so easy that they are two states away. I can only trust in the God that I know will work things according to His will and timing.

     So I know that, God is looking to see if we are trusting in the hard things. Its one thing to say that we are trusting God, but it is quite the other to put our words into action by laying it all down, and not pick those things back up to attempt to fix things that only God can.

     I believe the opposite of trusting God is attempting to fix things in our own power. That means you do not trust that God will work it all out in His time frame.  How many of us have trust issues because we are not patient enough to wait on God's plan and purpose?

    Maybe you are having a difficult time trusting God for some things to work out in  your life.  It never was supposed to be easy, that is a lie from the devil himself. I believe there is a peace that floods your heart, when you learn to be obedient in knowing that God's ways are much higher than our ways. Learning to hear His voice in the worse of situations and to be obedient when He calls to us to lay it all down before Him. Amen.



Thursday, March 10, 2016

Reviving the Pew Sitting Revolution!!



But at midnight, Paul and Silas were singing hymns and praying to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.  Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken, and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's chains were loosed.  Acts 16:25-26

This event alone is a divine appointment of what can actually transpire today when we really worship God. I believe that so many of us fall short of a radical transforming move of God in how we worship Him. What happened to Paul and Silas can happen with you and me today in the church body.

God is no respecter of times or people. He is wanting us to experience radical revolution...A "Paul or Silas" is going to know what it will take place for a dynamite explosion like this today in the body of Christ, and will do what it takes for everyone in the church service to experience freedom. So many in the church body are sadly in a rutty stenchy prision and the chains of denomination are steeped in tradition.  We are experiencing a stale lifeless worship experience in the church.  We have allowed the devil to steal our joy in worshiping the Father in in the Spirit and in the truth. Maybe we need a revival in that we have created in our minds!!

A unbridled exuberant and extravagant worship is what is needed in the hour at hand in house of God today.  Do you sense it? I mean really sense the Presence of God in your worship? If you are saying yes, then why do you act like you are stuck in the pew Sunday after Sunday?  When you walk into the atmosphere of God on Sundays and it does not move you out of your seat then something is very wrong!!

When you enter your church building, do you hear the clanking noise? Is it as if the key locking us into that passive mind set is the key of religiousity?  Instead of entering in a place of freedom and grace, you are being locked behind prison doors.   As you go to sit at your pew do you feel the jailer locking the chains being locked on your hands and feet as you sit down comfortable on the pew. Its not all about being on the music team or playing a instrument or preaching a sermon...For we all are and should be; instruments of worship unto the Living and breathing God of angel armies!!

Having "church" is way more than singing four hymns, the preacher preaching then you heading home.  Going to church should not be a shackling experience, but an enriching revelation-ship empowering you to go back out into the world making a divine difference impacting and infesting the communities where we dwell.

I guess you might say that if you are going to be watchers or spectators, bench warmers, why do we even bother to go to church? Are you in actuality acting out a tradition that you have followed for years in a traditional setting. Havng a tradition is all fine and good in its time and place, but when you go to church you need to let go and let God impart a fresh outpouring into your heart and soul.

I have been there, I have been in the chains of despair of being the passive spectator mode of letting everyone else experiencing the freedom in the Holy Spirit. Do you get in the flesh and envy that person who is passionate pursuer of worshiping the Triune God?  There are times when I come home so defeated and lifeless, yes, after being at church. There is no spiritual power energy of the Holy Spirit being generated into my heart when I walk away from the fellowship of the very people of God... There are so many times, when I know I should have taken that step out of that pew, and did what God wanted me to do by lifting my hands, or going to the altar to worship, or even should I suggest dancing in the Spirit?... As well as feeling led in the service in praying for the needs of others.

It doesn't matter if you sing a hymn or a contemporary worship song, or however many times you sing it. But what is most important is the spiritual condition of our hearts when you come out of the place of God when you are assembled with other believers.

Do not be disobedient to the Holy Spirit, be a true spiritual leader right where you are in your pew... Like it or not, there are people watching you in the service, and out in the world as well... just like the prisoners were watching Paul and Silas at midnight of all times! Talk about unconventional worship!!

I believe this is a good word for the church today, Ezekiel 37:1-14. I am using a newer excellent version of the Bible called the "Names of God." I ask you to prayerfully read it aloud and experience the Power of God through the scriptures into your own heart and life.

Ezekiel 37:1-14




It is time for some of us to move out of our chains of religiosity and step into the freedom to worship God in our church services.  What if you were the one standing in the way of releasing the captives in bondage to the flesh when you are in a atmosphere of worship?! What if the ball was in your court holding back when you know you should be taking that step out in faith to worship and praise God. You might be the trigger that the service needs to go into the supernatural dimension of a fresh fire revival mode! That is what I am saying, I am ready to see revival in the church!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Trees and Stones, Serpents and Scorpions?




At some point in our walk in Christ, we have to get to the vantage point of the revelation that the Father's ultimate direction and guidance engages us to 'listen' when He speaks. Why do we always have to question what He plainly tells us that we should or shouldn't do?  

     He does tell us 'no' in His own way at certain times in our lives.  He is a loving parent, who knows what is best for the well being for His children.  He does not need us to question "Why?"  He just challenges us to trust His will for all our lives.  

     When God tells us no, we can't work it into a 'yes' situation to suit our needs and really and truly get away with it, reaping what we are sowing. We have to submit to His will, no matter how difficult those times will be.  We should always seek His approval and direction to move forward.   

     We cannot put ourselves in God's position and make things happen the way we want them to.  Sometimes that makes the situation worse when we touch what God commands us not to touch. This can apply to any situation that we face in our daily lives. When we obey His word, His blessings will flow. If we are disobedient, we will not be blessed by His hand.

     Sometimes we do not know what we truly need. Can we handle responsibilities that comes with the gifts He gives us? "Freely you have received, freely you give."  He is faithful to give us what we need in the right season of our life.  It might be something that we didn't even expect to happen. He will equip us to walk in the things He does give to us, by living in His Holy Spirit. In our flesh, we will fail and fall. IN God's Spirit we will conquer and have the victory.

     "Where does it say in the good book that life is supposed to be easy?" His answers sometimes can be quite difficult to swallow and painful enough to challenge us to the core of our very being.  In those times of suffering we have the peace that passes all our understanding, but just around the corner here comes another character builder. He may not tempt us but He will test how solid we are putting our trust in His ways, to not obey our flesh.  

     The flesh is prone to 'want' things, our spirit knows deep down what we need and sometimes we don't have the words to really ask God what we need. But He knows...the exact opposite of what we want is what we truly 'need.'  God does not give us hard answers to try to figure out what He is saying to us...He gives it to us straight according to His Word!!   God knows we are weak, but He desires to be the strength of our life every hour of every day.

     Even in my own life, the road to happiness has been paved with what God desired for me, whether I handled it in the Spirit of His grace or not. More times than i would like to admit I didn't handle things in my life well.  But you know I learned in all things to listen to God by putting Him first and allowing His Spirit lead, guide and direct my heart.  It is so easy to be the rebel, but will we ever really learn to trust God no matter what? In our spiritual and physical lives something has to line up somewhere. We must learn to submit to God's plan for us. Our lives were meant to be shared to help and give inspiration and hope to others. It is not all about us.

     In the Bible, the Holy Spirit is referred to having fruit like that on a fruit tree. The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self control, against which there is no law... A tree is known by its fruit...Is the Holy Spirit grounded in your life or are you still rebelling at the sound of His voice.  One way to nurture your calling is to be sensitive to His Holy Spirit, and to grow up into all aspects until Christ is fashioned and formed into our lives. Let the tree of life (Spirit of the Lord Jesus) be firmly rooted and planted in the furtile ground of hope in your soul. You will know the tree by its fruit...

   Another scripture that comes to mind is, "For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.  If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone, Or if he asks for a fish, will be give him a serpent instead of a fish?  Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?  Luke 11:10-11 In the earlier chapter it talks about trampling over serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy. God is wanting us to receive His Holy Spirit to flow out of our lives the sweet victory in every challenge we might face.

    Obedience is better than sacrifice. Obey God through His Spirit and not try to fix things on our own, let God fix the broken pieces in our lives. What we touch we need to make sure God leads us to be obedient in that situation or circumstance. We want God's touch to worship and minister to others in fixing those things in our lives  

     Deliverance is an ongoing process of obedience of revealing and repenting, not disobeying and rebelling against Him.

   God will use what we need, and he has put certain dreams and desires in our hearts to sculpture and fashion us into the image of His dear beloved son... Don't give up on those things, but keep moving forward in deliverance and hope for your life while living here on this earth...Amen?

Amen!!


Maranatha,
Richard

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Understanding Mental illness and Spiritual Warfare...

     



I was raised in a very good baptist church, and was taught the biblical fundamentals of that denomination. All the good and right and decent scriptures were taught to me through the years. I was 18 in 1982 when I experienced a truly awesome spiritual conversion.  I was saved from harassing and tormenting thoughts that plagued me in my teenage years. When I finally broke down crying out for Jesus to save me, He gave me a clean heart and clear mind.  I was not ready for the mental battle that was on down the road.. I remember feeling a great peace in my mind from torment. I did not know how to keep that and maintain that peace in my heart and soul. For many years I struggled with falling flat on my face only to get up and get sucker punched once again to the floor.

Then I got into another denomination that told me I needed to get delivered from demons. I went from one extreme to another. That was all fine and good at the time, but I was not aware of the intensity of the spiritual attack that I was about to experience in the next several years. During this time of learning about deliverance I had some people that  prayed over me and I gained some ground, but there was always something missing that I just was not comprehending, I was told it was my authority as a believer in Christ.  Unless you really are in sync with the Holy Spirit, you are not going to accomplish one bit of casting out the devil or demons. If satan and his cohorts are not leaving you alone... then something is very wrong.   

When I was 22 in 1985, I had my first mental breakdown.  I went to several pastors that attempted to rebuke and bind the demons that were tormenting me.  It was if the demons would not leave.  I didn't even think back in that time to go to the mental health clinic to get help. As a last resort, the people that I lived with at the time, found out about a deliverance ministry. There was one pastor there, that stayed with me all weekend that was able to help me to regain that peace...

     Do you know what the greatest tool that that delivered me and gave me a peace in my mind was?  It was not getting delivered from every demon known to man. but getting on medicine and getting therapy.  I am able now to stand firm in my thoughts, and resist the devil when I need to.  Everything changed for me spiritually and I finally found that peace I had back in 1982., when I got on the right meds for me, I was able to control my thoughts and rebuke the devil when and if needed. 

You got to know that  when you are tormented by the devil with a thousand racing thoughts, you are going to need someone to help you to combat those seemingly unstoppable attacks.  You will need someone to stand in the gap for you, to see that you regain that territory in your mind that the enemy has held captive.

I don't know where that pastor was in 2001; if I was able to remember his name I would have got in contact with him. Instead, I chose to go the Mental Health Center, and I don't regret it. I have fought hard to get my life back with a few set backs since 2001,  Now I am doing amazing only by the grace of God, and being proactive about my maintaining my recovery.  What I do know is that the medicine makes the voices stop and the paranoia livable for me.

I am not saying there is no such things as a spiritual world or demons or angels from God, because from what I have been through there definitely is...

I have found out that there is a balance you have to find in the struggle to find in knowing what part is the illness and which part is the spiritual conflict. Only someone who has been there will understand. People who haven't struggled with a mental illness have no clue.

I don't have all the answers. This is just the way I can maintain the life that I live. If I am wrong, then God will be my judge...in that day all will be made clear. Without my medicine and seeing a doctor on a regular basis, I probably would not be sitting here pouring my time and energy posting on the computer writing in this blog.



Tuesday, March 1, 2016

6 Ways Jesus Fought Depression---John Piper

6 Ways Jesus Fought Depression
John Piper

And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. (Matthew 26:37)

There were several tactics in Jesus’ strategic battle against despondency.

He chose some close friends to be with him. “Taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee” (Matthew 26:37).

He opened his soul to them. He said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death” (v. 38).

He asked for their intercession and partnership in the battle. “Remain here, and watch with me” (v. 38).

He poured out his heart to his Father in prayer. “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me” (v. 39).

He rested his soul in the sovereign wisdom of God. “Nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will” (v. 39).

He fixed his eye on the glorious future grace that awaited him on the other side of the cross. “For the joy that was set before him [he] endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).

When something drops into your life that seems to threaten your future, remember this: The first shock waves of the bomb are not sin. The real danger is yielding to them. Giving in. Putting up no spiritual fight. And the root of that surrender is unbelief — a failure to fight for faith in future grace. A failure to cherish all that God promises to be for us in Jesus.

Jesus shows us another way. Not painless, and not passive. Follow him. Find your trusted spiritual friends. Open your soul to them. Ask them to watch with you and pray. Pour out your soul to the Father. Rest in the sovereign wisdom of God. And fix your eyes on the joy set before you in the precious and magnificent promises of God.

http://solidjoys.desiringgod.org/en/devotionals/6-ways-jesus-fought-depression


"Healing is a Choice"




Excerpted from "Healing is a Choice" by Stephen Arterburn

 CHOICE 1. The choice to connect your life. "So in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others." Romans 12:5 LIE > "All I need to heal is God and me."  

  

CHOICE 2. The choice to feel your life. "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:6,7 LIE > "Real Christians should have a real peace in all circumstances."  

  

CHOICE 3. The choice to investigate your life in search of truth. "Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord." Lamentations 3:40 LIE > "It does no good to look back or look inside."  

  

CHOICE 4. The choice to heal your future. "For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 LIE > "Time heals all wounds."  

  

CHOICE 5. The choice to help your life. "The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:4,5 LIE > "I can figure this out for myself."  

  

CHOICE 6. The choice to embrace your life. "Arise from the depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept you – rise to a new life! Shine, be radiant with the glory of the Lord, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you!" Isaiah 60:1 LIE > "If I act like there is no problem it will finally go away."  

  

CHOICE 7. The choice to experience forgiveness throughout your life. "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." Ephesians 4:32 LIE > "Forgiveness is only for those who deserve it or earn it."  

  

CHOICE 8. The choice to risk your life. "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9 LIE > "I must protect myself from any more pain."  

  

CHOICE 9. The choice to serve others in your life. "Each of us should please his neighbor for his good to build him up." Romans 15:2 LIE > "Until I am completely healed and strong there is no place for me to serve God."  

  

CHOICE 10. The choice to persevere throughout your life. "And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast." 1 Peter 5:10 LIE > "There is no hope for me."

Nothing can Separate Us...

 No matter what you have gone through on this earth since the day you have been born - can rip you apart from the Father's heart. He has...