GOSPEL SIMPLICITY…


John 14:6 – “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  NKJV

I know believers who are constantly seeking a “New Revelation.  I believe I understand what they are truly seeking. I sometimes feel like the new pastor who went into a church and preached a masterpiece.  The next Sunday he preached the same sermon and did so the next and the next weeks.  Finally, after many complaints from the congregation, the Deacons approached him and said, “Pastor, the message you have been preaching was a masterpiece the first time and okay the second, but you need to get a new sermon.”  He looked at them and calmly said, “Do something with that one first.”  If we have a Bible filled with the written revelation of God, His Kingdom, and purposes should we not be about doing something with what we have before we try to find something no one else has found?

Jesus spoke the Gospel in extreme simplicity here and elsewhere in Scripture.  He gives four extremely simple but profound truths in this short verse which would be well to examine.  I will hit the high points for time and space will not permit (if I could) giving an exhaustive exegesis of this passage.  Consider the declaration of the LORD:

  • I Am the Way.

Route or path.  Remember our LORD declared in Matthew 7:14, “…straight is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads to life…”  In today’s politically correct world that strives for “tolerance” and “acceptance” of everyone and everything this is anathema, but Jesus repeatedly declared, “I AM THE WAY…”  He did not say, “I am A way but THE way.”

  • I Am the Truth.

When He stood before Pilate, the earthly potentate asked, “What is truth, but did not wait around for the real answer.”  I have heard some nationally known and recognized preachers declare that a person can be a participant of various religions and still make heaven following their beliefs.  That is contradictory to the Bible and I will stand with the Bible.  God does say, “Whosoever will let Him come…”  However, that coming must be to Christ and must include repentance of sin.  It is by Grace that we are saved, through faith and it is not earned.  Jesus is THE TRUTH.  He is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.  He is the sacrifice for the sin of the world. 

  • I Am the Life.

He is not speaking of natural life although that could be included for should God remove His finger from our lives we would cease as the notes on an organ once the finger is removed from the keys.  He is Eternal Life! 

  • No one comes to the Father except through Me.

He is the Door to the sheepfold.  He is the gateway to the throne room of the Father.  He is our High Priest who makes intercession for us.  If NO ONE can access the Father except through Jesus what would make anyone declare that believing in Allah or Buda or any of the myriad of gods, man has concocted gain access?  The Gospel according to our LORD and His word is incredibly simple.  Jesus is our Hope!  Jesus is our Way, Truth, and Life.  Jesus is our only door to the Father and the only gate through which we can enter into eternal life.

May the LORD richly bless you as you go through this day!

TALK IS CHEAP…


1 John 3:18 – “My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” NKJV

If you have ever dealt with someone who demonstrated an obvious dislike for you, did things to hurt or hinder you, and spread rumors or half-truths about you but would publicly say, “I love you” you will understand.  That is one scenario in which words do not match actions or attitudes and it is often painfully obvious.

Through the years of ministry, I have encountered marital situations where the marriage was hanging by a thread and both parties would tell the other, “I love you”.  I believe they believed what they were saying was the truth to the degree they understood truth.  If a husband/wife verbally declares, “I love you” but belittles the other, is unfaithful, fails to provide for the family as is needed their words are hollow.  I’ve observed parents telling their children, “We love you” and then proceed to berate, belittle, badger, and torment them publicly and privately.  Their actions speak so loudly the words are muted.

I have worked in ministerial alliances where some within the group would continually seek to drive wedges between various people attempting to build a coalition that elevated them.  They sought prominence seeking to advance their personal objectives.  Honey would almost drip from their lips as they declared in group settings their love for those they were tearing down and those who had heard the words from both sides of their mouths knew the hypocrisy with which they spoke. 

LOVE is not simply verbal it is an action. If I love you, I will seek to do you harm.  I will not allow envy to shadow my view or relationship with you.  I will not self-promote or behave rudely.  I will not be self-serving or self-seeking.  I will not rejoice openly or in my heart when you experience setbacks or problems.  I will be patient, kind, gentle, trusting, and willing to help. I will do that which I can to help you succeed even if it costs me.  I can declare how much I love the poor but if my effort is limited to words is that love?  LOVE is never passive and never without corresponding actions.  I would rather someone know my love by my actions rather than just hearing my words. 

A man or a woman that tells their spouse, “I love you” then is unfaithful has rendered those words meaningless.  A person that says, “I love you” but spreads gossip, rumors, and half-truths about another has transformed those words into meaninglessness.  Jesus said, there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for their friends.  When I read in John 3:16 that “God loves the world” I do not have to read far to see His corresponding actions that demonstrate that love.  When I read Job’s words that he made a “covenant with his eyes not to look on a woman with lust…” I understand that when he says to his wife, “I love you” he is committed to demonstrating that love.

I have had people tell me, “I love you” and knew that it was incredibly superficial and they deemed it the proper thing to say under the circumstances.  I have always resisted saying, “I love you” unless I truly meant it.  Understand that my desire is to LOVE EVERYONE and manifest the nature of my LORD in all that I do.  Do I succeed?  I wish the answer was 100% of the time.  Sadly, I realize that I am still pressing toward the mark and still find myself repenting.  I never want to allow my words to become superficial meaningless chatter but have them backed by the character of my heart.

God bless you as you go through this day!

WHOLE LOT OF SHAKIN’ GOIN’ ON…


Hebrews 12:25-29 “See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, 26 whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.”   27 Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29 For our God is a consuming fire.”  NKJV

I am not talking about the song of yesteryear by Jerry Lee Lewis, “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” I am talking about the shaking God is about to and in some cases is doing.   The writer of Hebrews quoted a prophecy from Haggai 2 – “For thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; 7 and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the LORD of hosts. 8 ‘The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the LORD of hosts. 9 ‘The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the LORD of hosts. ‘And in this place, I will give peace,’ says the LORD of hosts.”  NKJV

The warning is clear as is the solution.  He refers to previous judgments of God and plainly stated that those who rejected God did not escape nor shall we.  The people of Noah’s day did not escape.  Those building Babel did not escape.  Sodom and Gomorrah did not escape.  They all had a common thread, they rejected God unlike the city of Nineveh which repented upon hearing Jonah’s preaching.  The warning is clear, if we reject God we will not escape, and I am totally convinced we are about to see a “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On” here in this present world including the United States of America.

This shaking will remove that which is not rooted and grounded in God’s Eternal Truth.  If we modify the Bible to fit our politically correct world interpretation that will be shaken.  If we dilute the message of the Cross to make it anything other than a foundational element in the redemption of man that will be shaken.  If we reject the truth that Jesus is the way, truth, life, and the only door to God that will be shaken.  If we make our churches and ministries more of a social experiment than a spiritual hospital and university that will be shaken.  If we promote self that will be shaken. 

I have talked with many who are expressing being ‘fed up’ politically and political correctness and I usually say, “Do you think God is getting fed up with us?”  Have we become complacent and compromised our convictions for the sake of acceptance?  God is incredibly longsuffering as has been demonstrated over the generations, but the Bible warns of a time when He will say ENOUGH and then look out for “A Whole Lotta Shakin’ Is Going to Happen.”   

Can you be shaken?  Will you be shaken?  Will you find that what you have set your hand to is something that cannot be shaken?  All are questions we cannot fully answer until the shaking, but things we should be considering as we move through life.  Shaking is coming and if we have run with the footmen what will we do when horses come?  I plead for each of us to make it our ambition to only do what we see Him doing and only say what we hear Him saying.  Let us SEEK FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness.  May God be our Lord and our Savior!

God bless you richly as you go through this beautiful day!

WHAT CAN ONE MAN (Person) DO???


Romans 5:12-19 – “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned —  13(For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. 15 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. 16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. 17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and  of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.) 18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.”  NKJV

We have all heard stories and seen statistics of how one person or one vote changed the entire course of nations and history.  I call to mind the quote attributed to Benjamin Franklin, “For the want of a nail the shoe was lost, for the want of a shoe the horse was lost, for the want of a horse the rider was lost, for the want of a rider the battle was lost, for the want of a battle the kingdom was lost, and all for the want of a horseshoe nail.”   That is a powerful reminder of how important one person, one event, one vote or one action can be and often is.

Here Paul reminds us of the power of one in two different situations.  Sin entered the race through the disobedience of Adam, one man. Salvation came to mankind through the obedience of Jesus, one man.  I wonder how often we read this and although we rightly focus on the work of Christ, we fail to grasp the importance and power of one.  It only takes one rotten apple to spoil the entire barrel and sometimes only takes one act of kindness to totally reverse years of animosity, hatred, bitterness, and conflict.  One word spoken at the right moment can completely change the course of events.  One word spoken at the wrong time can escalate things to full-blown warfare. 

I have heard people lament, “I am only one person” offering that a justification for not launching into the daunting task before them.  As the old saying, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” we should never allow ourselves to stop believing in the Power of One.  I do not recall when I first saw it, but I remember a Mercedes Benz television commercial in which the automobile collided with a concrete wall in a safety test.  Someone asked the company spokesman why Mercedes Benz did not enforce their patent on the energy-absorbing car design which was eventually copied by most manufacturers.  He stated simply, “Because some things in life are too important not to share.”   That is powerful!

You are one and I am one and we are one with Christ and are being formed into One (The Body of Christ) and although still one we are many and powerful.  In all matters of life, we must never lose sight of the importance of ONE!  You are having an impact on your world whether you realize it or not.  If you omit one act of kindness or Christian charity it impacts others and if you commit one act of kindness or Christian charity it impacts others.  Therefore, never diminish the importance of one word, one deed, one prayer, one testimony, one vote, or one life. 

God bless you as you make the devil know you are ONE whose life is hidden with God in Christ and as ONE in Jesus you are a majority and powerful.   God bless you as you enjoy this day impacting your world as One Man or One Woman united with Christ Jesus!

HE DID NOT SAY MAYBE…


1 John 1:9 – “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  NKJV

Let me assert at the very outset of this devotional that I believe that repentance is required for salvation.  I also understand the word repent to mean to go in the opposite direction doing a 180-degree turn in our lives.  Unlike what I heard a preacher say once in talking about repentance, “You have to do a 360-degree turn.”  I had had three observations as I heard that statement.  First, I was totally convinced he simply misspoke.  Second, if you do a 360-degree turn you come back to where you were and there is no change. Third, the number of people that shouted Amen amazed me.

I occasionally hear preaching that seems to suggest that salvation is Jesus and…  On occasions in discussing salvation with believers, they seem to add something to the work of Christ on the Cross and present a pathway to salvation that requires more than grace through repentance and faith.  When Jesus was on the Cross He declared, “IT IS FINISHED or COMPLETE!”  I must ask how complete is complete?  It is not Jesus AND anything it is Grace.  By grace, we are saved through faith.  It is a free gift of God in response to our repentance and belief.  John’s word in John 3:16 proclaims loudly that WHOSOEVER can be and is saved through faith.

Repentance is not simply acknowledging that we have been exposed or confession alone.  It is a change of heart and a response to sin through the recognition that we have missed God’s mark.  If one is more concerned with the punishment than the sin, an attitude of repentance is unlikely.  Man’s depraved nature is usually susceptible to the wiles of the devil and if we confessed due to fear of punishment or as a result of exposure, we are open to the lie that maybe next time we won’t get caught.  Our hearts were not broken by sin and our view of sin was not God’s view but man’s view.  In that scenario, it is questionable if repentance was anything more than an admission of failure but not a change of mind toward the behavior or condition.

Without straining at gnats and swallowing camels I stand firm on the belief that if we confess (repent) of our sins God forgives.  I am totally secure in my confidence that if we believe in our hearts and confess with our mouths that God raised Him from the dead we will be saved.  I am anchored in my hope that if we repent, we will turn from our sin and they will be blotted out.  I believe that if we draw near to God, He will draw near to us.  I believe that when God’s conviction of sin smites our heart and we come face to face with the realization sin is an affront to God and separates us from His fellowship we can, should, and hopefully will repent and receive.

Jesus is the Way, Truth, and Life and has opened the door to eternal life.  The simple prescription is repent which involves confession and belief.  He has extended His Grace to whosoever will, and it is not maybe He will forgive but HE WILL FORGIVE!  If the strings of your heart are being tugged by the Holy Spirit about anything, please do not resist His nudging.  All have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory and Jesus promised that if we come to Him, He will not cast us away.

God bless you as you go through this beautiful day!

DEFINITELY, NOT MAYBE…


2 Corinthians 11:14-15 – “…For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.”  NKJV

Over the years I have had many conversations, heard much preaching, and listened to discussions and speculations about the Man of Sin or the Antichrist.  Most of those describe him as a reprehensible and disgusting individual and he is for he is or will be evil to the core.  However, I fear that many miss an important reality regarding the devil and his Antichrist. 

The Man of Sin will not come across as evil but good. Otherwise he would not be embraced by as much of the world as he will be.  He will come across as caring about people, problems, the environment, the world and truly desiring peace, and presenting ideas that will awe much of the world.  He will possibly be nice looking and appealing physically, intellectually, politically, socially, economically, and even religiously.  He will be disguised as an angel of light as is the devil.  He will be the epitome of a wolf in sheep’s clothing and deception will be his prime weapon.

Paul addressed the problem of false apostles.  He informed his audience to not be surprised that there are those who are not truly followers of Christ even if they are deceived and believe they are draw crowds and have a following.  Why?  Because the devil transforms or disguises himself as an angel of light.  It does not say he can he it says he does!  Therefore, when anyone deceived or diabolical strays from the biblical truth they participate in the disguise and/or deception. 

Paul says, that in the end their works will be judged by God and their exposure will be sure, even if it is not in this life.  Leading others astray carries a heavy judgment.  I have always trembled when I preach or lead congregations. I desire to guard against presenting a false doctrine.  I have always pleaded with people to never take what I say as absolute truth but study, examine the scripture and determine if what I say is biblical and if it is then follow it and if not help me understand and reject it. 

I am not surprised that we are seeing prominent ministers and ministries promoting a gospel I believe foreign to the Word of God.  They are calling things God calls abominations acceptable. Thousands if not millions of their followers are being swayed to follow a false doctrine in the name of compassion, political correctness, and tolerance.  They do not come across as evil and I do not believe that in most of those individuals their motive is evil but is a result of deception.  Sadly, as the Bible describes conditions of the Last Days some if not many will fall into deception and believe the lies of hell. 

I have been castigated by well-meaning people who name the name of Christ over my stance on abortion, same-sex marriage, false religions such as Islam, and other things.  They tell me that if I were truly a follower of Christ, I would embrace differences and realize that God made the homosexual that way (which I do not believe).  They insist that my Christian view that Jesus is the only way to God is not consistent with the Bible’s teaching on love thy neighbor. 

I believe they are deceived and the lie of the disguised one, as with Eve in the Garden she saw the good in the tree and in seeking the good disobeyed the commandment of God.  Disguised as an angel of light the devil has for centuries been able to deceive in the name of humaneness, love, and tolerance many.  They then become blind leaders of the blind and the ultimate end is both will fall in the ditch. 

I love people and want to do good for all mankind, whenever possible.  But I never want to offer a salvation that is contrary to the path described in the Bible, Jesus Christ!   I want to live in peace with all whenever possible.  But I do not want to cast aside my conviction that the true path from darkness to light is through the Work of Christ on the Cross.  The devil is not always easily detectible and often very convincing and presents partial truths in such an eloquent and powerful manner many are deceived.  Do I have all truth?  No, but I have the One that has and is all truth living in my heart!

May God be with you as you go through this day!

EXPOSING THE DEVIL – (Part III)


2 Corinthians 2:11 – “…lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.”  NKJV

Joshua 9:3-4a – “But when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, 4 they worked craftily, and went and pretended to be ambassadors.”  NKJV

We have considered the reality that our victories invite a counterattack, by the forces of hell but we must not stop there.  Next, I would like us to note that before the full-frontal assault of the enemy, the inhabitants of the land in Joshua 9 attempted to deceive Israel into making a pact with them.  Cohabitation with and a Non-Aggression pact with the devil is impossible.  He is not a covenant keeper and wants your destruction.

The Canaanites knew the picture was dark and therefore decided that rather than risk an attack that would likely end in defeat they would try deception.  The Gibeonites arrived on the scene from Gilgal and pretended to be from a very distant land, a land that meant nothing to Joshua and Israel.  They came with all the visible signs of having been on a long journey. They were skillfully crafty, mentioning nothing of Jericho or Ai but talked about the Wilderness.  They also claimed to honor and respect the God of Israel.

If you can receive it, this exposes the devil’s tactics.  He knows, too well, that a believer who is totally committed to Christ will not be tempted or dissuaded by a frontal attack.  He knows that the child of God who is determined to press on and press into God’s Promise will not be stopped by an all-out assault so what does he do?

  • He suggests possible alliances that seem small and insignificant.
  • He talks to us about a certain area of our lives over which Jesus has given no specific command, a part so small and seemingly insignificant that it really won’t matter.
  • He challenges the need for total consecration in everything after all we are all human.
  • He warns us that overdoing it religiously and spiritually will result in being too heavenly minded to be any earthly good and will cause burnout.
  • He cautions us about becoming too narrow suggesting that we need to be more open to differing beliefs.
  • He suggests that there is no reason we should not indulge and even become a bit lazy occasionally for after all even Jesus drew aside to rest and relax.

He wants to steal our affection and move us from our first love.  He wants to get us to lower our Christian standards and compromise our convictions even if it is occasional.  He comes and suggests that what the church really needs is a common-sense approach and that we are in danger of being too radical in our faith and thereby turning people off.  He is often difficult to detect, and he offers help, but his objective is to shipwreck your life.  No wonder John warned us in 1 John 4:1 to “…try the spirits, whether they are of God…”

In this account we find Israel, for the first time, seeking to co-mingle with the enemy on Holy Ground.  They were doing what God told them not to do.  They were violating the principle of “coming out from among them and being separate spiritually”.  The Gibeonites crept in!  They found the door of gullibility and walked through.  Sheep, in nature, are among the dumbest creatures in existence.  In verse 14 we read, “…they did not ask counsel at the mouth of the Lord…”  Big mistake!  Every alliance must be seasoned in prayer.  That is why I refuse to make decisions without first taking them to prayer.  If a deal is so good that I have to decide immediately and not given time to pray I pass.  The Bible tells us, “…there is a way that seems right to a man, but the ends are the ways of death.”  Gullibility will result in deception and place us in disobedience.

The Bible declares that the devil comes as an “angel of light” and is not always easily detected.  Remember the foolish virgins resembled the wise, the tares resembled the wheat, the voice of the hireling sounds much like the shepherd and the wayward meadow is laid out beside the king’s highway and only a soft shoulder separates them.  Does a small concession and pact matter?  The record gives a clear answer YES!

What do we do attempt to match the devil in his subtle ways?  NO!  Do not trust your judgment, intellect, or perceived spirituality.  Take the matter, every matter to God in prayer and if after prayer you are still in doubt – DON’T!  Be strong enough and brave enough to stand still and wait for the Lord for none that wait on Him are ashamed and that is the only way to outmatch and outmaneuver the devil.

If you have failed it is not over!   All is not lost!  The devil would have you believe so but that is a Lie from the Pit.  Joshua and Israel once realizing their error placed the Gibeonites in a position of menial laborers and subjects.  God took the scheme of the devil and turned it against the deceivers.  Let your mistakes drive you to the altar and allow the Spirit of God to administer forgiveness, healing, deliverance, and restoration.  God wants to warn you, wash you, and welcome you!

May God be with you as you go through this day!

EXPOSING THE DEVIL – (Part II)


2 Corinthians 2:11 – “…lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.”  NKJV

Joshua 9:3-4a – “But when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, 4 they worked craftily, and went and pretended to be ambassadors.”  NKJV

Paul declared in Corinthians that we are not ignorant of the devices of the devil so let’s study to show ourselves approved unto God workmen capable of exposing his tactics and possessing our promise.

First, I would like for us to take note that the victories of Israel brought about a combined, concentrated, and concerted attack of enemy forces.  In verse 1 of Joshua 9, we find the idea that the tribal warfare existing among the Canaanites had been laid aside as they joined forces against Israel.  Their petty squabbles and secondary issues were placed on the back burner as they joined forces against a common foe, and they amassed an all-out effort to turn back Israel’s advance. 

It is important to remember that with every victory as a Christian in your personal life you just sent out an engraved invitation for a full-scale assault by the forces of hell.  Every time you experience blessing you are one step away from another attack from hell.  I do not say that to discourage but to enlighten you. The devil may be a defeated foe, but he has not quit the fight.  Blessing and battle go hand in hand and instead of allowing fear to grip your heart rejoice!  It should be a joy to know that if we are pressed on every side we are in the heart of the battle and moving in the right direction spiritually.  If you are finding temptation almost more than you can bear, then rejoice.  Remember the words of James, “Count it all joy when…”

I said that in a church once and had a person come to me afterward seeking to set me straight and said, “I don’t know what you are talking about, I haven’t been tempted in years!”  If that is, you then I suggest that you run to the altar and ask Him to let you see yourself as the devil sees you and as He sees you.  The devil does not mess with what is not a threat to him.  Maybe you have matured to the place that you immediately resist temptation and it is almost as though it does not exist for you but if you are moving forward as a threat to the devil he tempts and sees to destroy.

The need for every believer and every church is to lay aside the secondary issues and launch a full-scale attack on the enemy repossessing and possessing that which he has stolen.  Unfortunately, the church world is frequently engaged in tribal warfare, too busy settling petty squabbles and splitting doctrinal hairs to engage the real enemy.  There must be jubilation in hell when the church becomes sectarianism protecting the place while the world plunges into darkness.  May God help us to never forget that nothing short of a full-scale united assault by all the people of God (Church) is needed.  It is time to pull down strongholds and set at liberty those who are bruised.  It is time to possess the promise and move into and onto our Canaan.

We are going to pause again and take this up next time as we look at the devil’s deception tactics.  

May the Lord bless you richly as you go through this day!

EXPOSING THE DEVIL…


2 Corinthians 2:11 – “…lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.”  NKJV

Joshua 9:3-4a – “But when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done to Jericho and Ai, 4 they worked craftily, and went and pretended to be ambassadors.”  NKJV

I believe, without a doubt, that God’s greatest desire for us that we be saved!   He has no desire for mankind greater than full salvation and complete deliverance.   He wants us to become what He has already declared us – Overcomers!   Most have realized or will that this Christian walk is not a bed of roses and there are battles to be fought.  Most have realized that a battle won is not a war won nor a battle lost is a war lost. 

As long as sin lasts, and Satan is loosed from the pit there will be conflict.  As long as we live in these fleshly bodies there will be temptation.  However, it is important to remember no one sin can be regarded paramount nor can any sin be lightly regarded.  Any attempt or temptation to compromise with the devil is to invite certain disaster and court sure destruction.

If we can hold it in our hearts and minds that there will be battles lost and times of retreat, we can more readily maintain our hope.   However, I firmly believe that if or when we lose a battle and are forced into a temporary retreat it is imperative that we find out the true cause of the setback.  How?  Through prayer!  If we come before God in repentance and prayer, He will open the curtain and allow us to look beyond the veil and see.   Prayer will give us understanding but it takes more than prayer to regain or reclaim the lost ground.  We do not render the devil totally defeated in a moment of victory for the process of deliverance is gradual and often slow.

The Law or Plan of God given to believers that brings peace, joy, happiness, life, and health is not given for the purpose of admiration but obedience.  We are in a spiritual war and that war pits God’s forces against the devil’s legions.  The secret to winning any war lies in strategy.  If you fail to plan you plan to fail.  Joshua had planned the war against the inhabitants of Canaan carefully.  He had taken his forces and driven a wedge westward from Jericho into the heart of the land dividing the forces of the enemy.  He then quickly turned south and destroyed the forces there before coming back North to finish the job. He had a plan, God’s plan!

We face a problem in today’s world. That problem is our failure to apply God’s Divine Strategy to our daily lives.  I have witnessed believers and churches develop a hold the fort mentality and in so doing offer little or no offensives.  So, it is legitimate to ask, how often do we apply God’s Divine Strategy to our daily activities or planned war against our souls?  Some live hit or miss and miss more than they hit resulting in being outmaneuvered by the enemy.  Satan is not only a roaring lion he is a subtle serpent and the roar of the lion is far less dangerous than the hiss of the snake spiritually.

Joshua 9 is a classic example of the subtility, trickery, and deception of the devil and exposes the gullibility of man, especially when he becomes overconfident through a few victories.  Thank God our God is Sovereign, Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent.  He overrules our mistakes and failures for His glory.  In this passage and account, we find a revelation of the wiliness of the devil and a lesson worthy of learning in today’s world.  In this account, we can learn things that will help us expose the devil and move into victory possessing the place of promise in God our Canaan.

In the interest of brevity, we will pause here and pick up next time and hopefully provide some valuable information and tools to use in our daily lives in defeating the devil daily.   

God bless you as you go through this wonderful day!

TROUBLE OR TROUBLED???


Psalm 46:1-3 – “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; 3 though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling.”  NKJV

Each of us has an option or options when we are faced with trouble.  We can, as many, become troubled and allow trouble to flood over us sapping us of our hope and rendering us impotent in its wake.  The other option is to follow the prescription David offers here and experience a revelation that will release the supernatural in our lives and situation.  There is always a choice!

Most of us have experienced times of deep trouble where we were not sure how we would or if we would come through it.  When we find ourselves in the face of imminent danger or threat we can allow the waves of fear to overcome us, or we can look outside our fears looking through the situation to the solution.  It is a choice but one that is rooted in relationship and anchored to experiential confidence.  I can have all the information about a matter that is available and know logically and rationally what could or should happen but my confidence in the outcome will be stronger after experience.

David declared, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”  The words present help seem to leap off the page at me when I read this.  Most will affirm that they believe God has promised to be our refuge and that He is our strength but too frequently we miss the PRESENTNESS of God!  Amid the difficulty, HE IS THERE!  He is in the immediate not the projected.  He is in the immediate not the theoretical.  He “IS” and because He “IS” David says, “we will not fear…”  The confidence of God’s promise of a provision of safety and His Omnipotence in the IMMEDIATE banishes fear.  Fear and God’s presence are not compatible except for our reverential fear of Him.  Fear that has torment is incompatible with the presence of God.

David described a condition where there are earthquakes either natural, emotional, social, economic, political, or spiritual and declares that because of GOD’s Presence fear was banished.  When he says we will not he declared that this is a cooperation between the heart of man and the power of God.  God provides the power and demonstrates His presence and man must make the choice to embrace God or fear. 

The question is always, “Do we trust?”  I suggest that knowing the promise is one thing.   Believing that God is Omnipotent is one thing.  Believing that God is Now Present in our situation is another.  Just knowing it with our heads does not always equivalent to receiving it in our hearts.  Knowing something theoretically without the experiential may leave one with doubt whereas having both knowledge and experience opens the door and makes it easier to enter into the Present Reality of God’s Presence, Purpose, Promise, and Provision.  Therefore, developing a relationship with Him is vital to our forward progress in life spiritually.

Rather than being troubled, I pray that God will help each one to see the trouble simply a condition unworthy of fear because of the PRESENTNESS of God.  Look beyond and through the troubles and trials to the solution and in Him rejoice and relax.  He is God and always will be God.

God bless you as you go through your day!