Sunday, 29 October 2017

Giving it Away...Ganeida

In Acts 3 we have the story of the lame beggar who sat outside the Beautiful Gate of the temple to beg from those going into worship.  It was a good place to choose because almsgiving is commanded in the Torah & guilting people into doing what they should is as old as time. I expect he did pretty well out of it.

On this particular day Peter & John were heading towards the temple for the 3 o’clock prayers when this lame man called out to them, asking for money ~ you know the story.  We sang it in Sunday school as children because Peter answers him:
Silver & gold have I none
But such as I have give I thee
In the name of Jesus Christ,
Of Nazareth, Rise up & walk…

And he went walking…

Great story! But I want you to stop & think for a moment about two things in this story.  The 1st is something that Peter didn’t do.  The 2nd is what he gave away. 

Peter did not *pray for the sick*.  He did not *pray for healing*. Rather he gave something away. Hold that thought for a moment because we have been talking in bible study about how we outreach; how we share the gospel; what that looks like, but all of that begins with understanding what we have been sent to do.

Well, you say, Matthew 28 ~ the Great Commission: make disciples, baptise people... or Matthew 10: heal the sick, raise the dead, cure leprosy, caste out demons. Or Luke 4:18 "The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has
sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free… And that is true.  Mostly we ignore all of it.  Either we don’t believe what Jesus commanded us or we don’t understand the how.

I am going to assume it is the later & address that because the how is what Peter & John understood & why they were able to heal the sick, caste out demons, raise the dead & cure leprosy. Both the good & the bad news is we are commanded to do the same.

You see the Great Commission comes @ the end of a number of commands Jesus gave His disciples about what they were to do once they were on their own. We are not meant to start @ the end because we cannot give away what we do not ourselves possess.  Nor can we give away that which we do not know we have.

Acts 10:38 informs us that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit. John describes the moment that happened: I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven & resting upon Him…[John 1:32] John then goes on to tell us [v33]
that Jesus is the one who will baptise with the Holy Spirit. What Jesus received from the Father He gave away.  There is an impartation.  Without that impartation we are going to founder, trying to do, in our flesh & by our own strength, that which can only be accomplished through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.

You will find this impartation in John 20:21 … As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you." Then he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit

The commissioning came first, but they were not sent out until they had received the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.

Now we have a problem, don’t we, because when we turn to Acts Jesus instructs His disciples not to leave Jerusalem until the gift of the Holy Spirit has been sent to them. They are to wait until He comes ~ but by then Jesus has already returned to the Father.

What we need to understand is that the Holy Spirit is not one dimensional.  He has a number of different characteristics   & a number of different jobs. One of His first jobs is to seal us unto the day of redemption… [Ephesians 4:30]

They don’t do it anymore, but when I was a little girl, if you went to the movies, or the theatre or the ballet, you would give an usher your jacket, umbrella, bags etc & they would give you a ticket so that when you came out you could redeem your belongings.
The Holy Spirit in us is Jesus way of saying: This belongs to me! All the spirit world can see that mark & they know to whom we belong but belonging is not the same as power & authority. 

See all authority has been given to Jesus ~ Matthew 28:18 & we can access that power & authority because we have His Holy Spirit residing in us. He has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, & of love & of a sound mind. [2Timothy 1:7]

Power comes before love; Power, dynamis, as in dynamite, because, much as I love the Holy Spirit, He is not given for my enjoyment & *feelies*.  He is given so that I can do that which the Lord has called me to do: heal the sick, raise the dead, preach the word, cast out demons.

You don’t ever need to ask what does God want you to do, because on this matter He is very clear: heal the sick, raise the dead, preach the word, caste out demons…
So why is the church, most spectacularly, NOT doing this?

I suggest to you there are 2 main reasons. The first is fairly straightforward.  Johnathon Cahn puts it this way: if you want an Acts 2 church, expect Acts 2 persecution! The early church was strong because it was a persecuted church.  You weren’t a Christian because it gave you wealth & status.  You were a Christian because you
had repented of your sins & the Holy Spirit indwelt in you.  The lukewarm, the fence~sitters, the uncommitted did not last very long because the cost was too high ~ just like it is today in Pakistan or India or Iraq or Saudi Arabia. These are places where the church does not understand divisions amongst believers. They can’t afford the wishy~washy.

However the 2nd thing is even more important because it reveals something in us that I am going to call sin: a lack of discipline ~ & no! I am not talking about the 613 mitzvot [commands] in Torah. I am talking about what Brother Lawrence called *Practising the Presence of God* ~ by which he meant, being as much aware as possible of the presence & guidance of the Holy Spirit.  And yes, it is a discipline.

Remember John 1:32.  John says the spirit descended upon Jesus like a dove. See there is the Spirit within & there is the Spirit upon. The Spirit within is the New Creation, what turns this fleshly house into a temple of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit upon is the anointing.  The Spirit within gives us courage but it is the anointing that empowers us. When the Spirit came as a wind in Acts 2 He empowered the disciples.

The thing though is, the anointing is like a dove.  Doves are timid birds without natural defences against predators & easily put to flight. If we aren’t paying attention, if we are letting our flesh rule over our spirit we are never going to walk in the fullness of our power & authority.

John 3:34 informs us that Jesus had the spirit without measure ~ & we marvel at that but it is not so surprising.  Jesus only did what He saw the Father do.  He only said what He heard the Father say.[John 5:19~20]
We cannot say the same. We are not that disciplined.  We are not that focused.  We let other things get in the way & because of it we do not constantly walk in the anointing the way that Jesus did ~ because if we did we would be seeing more of the miraculous than we do.

This is what we see with Peter & John. They gave away what they had.  They didn’t have anything in the way of silver or gold ~ but they did have Jesus.  They had His Spirit.  They had His power & they had His authority & they used it to do exactly the same things that Jesus did: to heal the sick, to raise the dead, to preach the word, to cast out demons.

This is the ongoing challenge to the church.  Jesus tells us to pick up our cross & follow Him.  Where does the cross take us? To the place of crucifixion. And What happens @ the place of crucifixion?  We die to ourselves.  Jesus has done all the rest for us but we have to let go of self & die to our self~interests, our pleasures, our loves, our secret sin & let the Holy Spirit do that deep work in us so that we will have credibility in the eyes of the world & move in the anointing of the Holy Spirit to heal, to preach, to cast out & raise up!  Because, you see, everywhere we go, every person we see, should be impacted by Christ in us & that can only happen when Christ is, indeed, in us!

Sunday, 22 October 2017

The Mind, Our Control Tower. ~ Rabqa

Have you ever been to an international airport? The crowds
jostle, suitcase are piled high, long queues snake away from the check-in counters. Maybe you have stood on a viewing deck & watched the activity outside on the tarmac; planes being fueled, food being loaded, bib trailers ferrying luggage to & off & landing, one after the other another all day & most of the night.

It has been estimated that at any given moment up to 13,000 planes are in the air around the world! & all of them have to land & take off safely & not only that but on time.

This all works so efficiently by the control centre which I may add is the most important part of an international airport. It is where the air traffic controllers work. They track hundreds of plane flights, giving them take off & landing instructions, & they also coordinate their movements on the ground. The control center synchronizes planes coming in going out. If it didn’t do its job, there would be chaos.

Your mind is the air traffic control centre of your life, & you are the air traffic controller. You have to control what comes in to your life & what goes out. Whatever you allow into your mind gets down into your heart & shapes your life.

God wants you to take control of what comes in & what goes out of your life. Nobody else can do it for you. Only you can decide what you are going to think on (what goes in) & what you are going to speak & do (what goes out).

Pro 23:7 NKJ) For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, But his heart is not with you

This verse teaches us that we become what we think, & I certainly learned this truth over the years. “Where the mind goes the man follows”. One of the first principals believers must learn if we intend to walk in real victory is that our mind must be renewed according to the Word of God. We must learn to think like God.

Sadly, we believe many things that simply are not true. For example, some people believe they have no worth & value because people have said they do not or have treated them in a way that made them feel worthless & devalued.

However the Bible makes it clear that we are so valuable to God that He sent His only Son Jesus Christ to die & suffer in our place in order that we may redeemed from our sins & have an intimate relationship with God.

As we learn to think as God thinks, we exchange depression & hopelessness for joyful expectation. We believe God has a wonderful future planed for us, no matter what our past has been like. We believe God wants to bless us.

When we have negative thoughts, we end up with negative results. But positive thoughts open the door for God to work in our lives. If we think we are unable to do certain things, we will be rendered unable even though God’s Word says that we can do anything God asks us to do because of His
ability in us (Phil 4:13)

Our thoughts are that powerful.

We must all change our way of thinking before our lives will change Rom 12:2 says we are not to conform to the world & its ways, but we are to completely renew our minds by the Word of God, so we can prove for ourselves the good & perfect will of God.

In other words God has good plans for us, but we will not experience them if we cling to our old way of thinking.

We must cast down wrong thinking & replace it with thinking that God approves of. The mind is a battlefield on which our war with satan is won or lost. Satan is a liar & a deceiver. His lies become our reality only when we believe them. Stop allowing your mind to be a garbage dump for satan’s trash & instead, make it available for God’s ideas. Then you will enjoy a life worth living & have the testimony of being good fruit for God’s glory.

The mind is the gateway to the heart. What goes into your heart gets into your mind & what is in your heart determines the kind of person you are.

God looks at the heart & we see this in 1Samuel 16:7 NL But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Know that God looks at the heart. Not the outward appearance. Do not judge based upon what you see. Wisdom is in large measure understanding the principals by which God governs the moral universe. To gain wisdom means to learn to God’s thoughts after Him, esteeming the things He esteems & despising the things He despises. Learning wisdom is gaining the perspective that results from adopting God’s values & rejecting the values of the world.

We learn from Jesus that our hearts are like trees & our outward behaviour is like fruit. The quality of the tree determines the quality of the fruit. Matt 7:17-18 NLT) A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit

If the tree in your heart is good, then the fruit in your life will be good. On the other hand if the tree of your heart is evil, the fruit of your life will be rotten. What determines the condition of your is what you put into your mind~what you allow to land at your airport. The things you take in & speak about & meditate on are what shape your heart.

It can be said that your heart is like a T.V screen. What shows on the screen depends on the signal coming in. What are you turning on in your life? What are you giving attention to? What are you think about? What are you speaking about?

If it is what God says to tune into~what is good & pure & true & life-giving then that’s what will show on your screen. But if you are tuning in to negative signals like fear, resentment, anxiety & sin, then that’s what will show on your screen.

Pro 4:23 NLT) Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.

Guard your heart means to value & protect your mind, emotions & will with all vigilance,. Practically, that means that we need to examine our attitudes & our thoughts on a regular basis & make adjustments as needed.

Many people are deceived into believing that they cannot help what they think, but we can choose our thoughts. We need to think about what we have been thinking about. When we do that, It doesn’t take very long to discover the root cause of a bad attitude.

Satan will always try & fill our minds with wrong thinking, but we do not have to receive anything he tries to give us. Let me put it this way: I would not take a spoonful of poison just because someone gave it to me, & neither would you. If we are smart enough not to swallow poison, we should also be smart enough not to allow satan to poison our minds, attitudes & ultimately our lives.

Guard your heart aggressively. Let your thoughts be good thoughts. Think about things that are honourable & true (Phil 4:8) & watch your heart & attitude change.

The more you speak about something the more you will embrace it. & the more you embrace it the more it will affect your emotions & reactions. The state of your mind will affect the condition of your body. What you allow into your heart through your mind, good or bad, will overtake your life.

Many things want to gain entry to our minds. Some come from outside us~what influence us such as what we listen to, what we watch on T.V & what we access on the internet. While others come from ourselves come from the choices we make & the words we speak, which profoundly shape what we think & believe.

Words are particularly important. The Bible says (Pro 18:21.(NLT) The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.

A person’s life largely reflects the fruit of the tongue. To speak life is to speak God’s perspective on any issue of life; to speak death is to declare life’s negatives, to declare defeat or complain constantly.

We cannot overestimate the importance of our words, because they truly can make a difference between life & death. Determine today to use the power of your words to speak life everywhere you go!

This verse I have known for years & am very familiar with it, But I am blessed every time I read it. I do not think we can read to often, know it too well or apply it to much. As you can tell by reading this verse, it teaches us that death & life are in the power of tongue, & those who indulge in it eat its fruit, either life or death.

Basically, the writer is saying every time you open your mouth, you a ministering life or death, & whatever you dish out is what you are going to eat.

We have all heard the phrase” you are going to eat your words” & proverbs 18:21 confirms this truth. The words we speak are going to influence our lives. In fact right now you may be eating your words & that may why you are not happy with your life. Your mouth maybe getting you into trouble with yourself.

This verse teaches us that words are containers for power; they either carry a life-giving force or a destructive force.

If you are desperately looking for an answer to what is happening in your life. Do you believe that it is even remotely possible that your answer could be found in changing the way you talk? Go ahead & try it I know the truth of Proverbs 18:21 & have experienced it many times in my own life. I believe if you will begin to speak positive, encouraging words of life & blessing, you will see blessing in your life!

The Bible tells us in Romans 21:2 NLT)

Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Let God's Word & His Holy Spirit radically transform your way of thinking. Renew your mind to know & do the will of God. giving your body a living sacrifice. This verse informs us that God has a plan for us. His will towards us is good, acceptable & perfect, before we will ever experience the good things that God has planned, we need to renew our minds & get new attitudes& ideas by studying God's Word. Because His Word is truth (John 17:17).

Ezekiel 36:26 tells us that our soul, which is our mind, will & emotions, is not yet new. God has to start a new process to bring it into line with our new spirits. It is a process & we must cooperate with His Spirit who will work to reshape us but we have to do our part. Eph 6:12 NLT) For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

This verse gives us insight into the spiritual war that all believers are in. Our enemies are not natural, but spiritual. We can never win our battles if we fight against the wrong source in a wrong way. We tend to think that people or circumstances are our problem, but the source of many of our troubles is satan & his demons. We cannot fight him with carnal (natural) weapons, but only with supernatural ones that God gives us for the destruction of satan's strongholds. We are in a spiritual war. God is Spirit (John 4:24), there are other spirits as well both
good & evil. Angels are good spirits who are God's servants. BUT there are also "rulers of the darkness of this age... spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places" that are intent on waging war on the human race. Spiritual forces are at work behind every war in the world today. All human beings have a common enemy & it is not each other.

If you look at any nation where war is raging, on the surface you will see people fighting. But behind every conflict there are dark spirits that is what Paul calls "principalities & powers. The real war in the world is not natural warfare (terrible as that is) it is spiritual warfare. These dark forces work through men & women, including those in high places of authority. when people in high places make unrighteous decisions, nations start to slide. We see not only conflicts but collapsing moral standards & rise of social evils such as abortion & pornography.

This spiritual warfare isn't only raging in nations & societies, however, it rages around every human being, especially those who follow Jesus. Christians often discover they are in war when they first come into God's kingdom. It is like all hell breaks loose against them. This happened to me, I often found myself without money for food (I was on a pension because I did not want my children to come home with no one there). But those initial troubles are just the start. Over time we learn that there is an on going battle inside us, a tug of war between good & evil. Most people would rather not say about the spiritual side of their struggles, it's not fashionable, it seems a bit fanatical. In fact many Christians do not even acknowledge we have an enemy. But if we think about it, there's no spiritual war, we've already lost.

The fact is we do have an enemy. He has & his cohorts want nothing more then to ruin our lives in any way they can. He is intent on rendering us defeat & ineffective in our relationship with God. 1Peter 5:8 NLT) Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.

A hungry lion is one of the most fearsome sights in nature. It prowls around, angry & agitated, with only one thing on it's mind~finding food. The Bible compares satan to a hungry lion. Maintaining a balance in all things is so important we do not want to open the door to satan, who roams a round like a roaring lion. Ferocious & desperate, he continually stalking after prey with the goal of seizing it & devouring it.

The Amplified Bible translates 1Peter 5:8 graphically: Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour.

I want to share some thoughts with you that will help you stay balanced in one particular area of your life~your self esteem. Of course, there are many other aspects of life that need to be kept in balance as well, but I want to focus first on self image because it is such a foundational issue.

Satan is "roaring in fierce hunger", & his chosen prey is us. The devil wants your mind, your body & your very life. When Jesus described Himself as the good shepherd who was safe & a welcoming door for the sheep, He also spoke about the thief who breaks into the sheepfold: The thief does not come expect to steal & to kill & to destroy (John 10:10 a). That is a good description of satan. He only comes to steal, to kill & to destroy. Satan's goal is to create havoc in our life as children of God, he cannot touch our identity in Christ because nothing can separate us from God's love (Rom 8:38-39). But he can stop us walking in that identity. He fights to blind us from our inheritance in Jesus. He fights so that we won't live in victory over sin. He fights so that we won't prosper or walk in health. He fights to make us useless as ambassadors of God. Basically, he wants to take us out.

 In contrast, Jesus says He has come that they may have life, & that they may have more abundantly (John 10:10b). God wants us to have a rich & satisfying life~a joyous life. A faith-filled life. The word abundant means above the ordinary~a life of excellence. The enemy sets himself against all this. He comes to steal your divine possession, your joy & your faith. He will try to steal your assurance, your peace, your emotional well-being, your health, your marriage, your family, your business, & your finances.

In order to develop a balanced, healthy God~centred self image, incorporate these thoughts into the way you think about yourself.
1 I know God created me & He loves me.
2 I have faults & weaknesses, & I want to change. I believe God is working in me, in my life. He is changing me bit by bit, day by day. while He is working on me I can still enjoy my life & my self.
3 Everyone one has faults, so I am not a failure just because I am not perfect.
4 I am going to work with God to overcome my weaknesses, but I realise that I will always have something to deal with; therefore, I will not become discouraged when God convicts me of areas of my life that need improvement,.
5 I want to make people happy & have them like me, but my sense of worth is not dependent upon what others think of me. Jesus has already affirmed my value by His willingness to die for me.
6 I will not be controlled by what other people think, say or do, Even if they totally reject me. I will survive. God has promised never to reject or condemn me as long as I keep believing (John 6:29).
7 No matter how often I fail, I will not give up because God is with me to strengthen & sustain me. He has promised never to leave or forsake me Heb 13:5).
 8 I like myself. I do not like everything I do, & I want to change~but I refuse to reject
9 I am right with God through Jesus Christ.
10 God has a good plan for my life. I am going to fulfill my destiny & be all I can be for His glory. I have God given gifts & talents, & I intend to use them to help others.
11 I am nothing, & yet I am everything! in myself I am nothing, & yet in Jesus I am everything I need to be.
12 I can do all things God calls me to do, through his Son Jesus Christ Phil 4:13).

As I mentioned there are other areas where we should strive for balance. We should maintain balance of work & rest, eat a balanced diet, never spend more then we earn & enjoy people but also have solitude. Although we want to please people & have approval we must put God & His will first in our lives at all times. If we do not maintain balance in our lives, satan will take advantage of the door we have opened. Check your life & if you areas out of balance, ask God to help you make whatever adjustments are necessary.

Acknowledgements Dr. Margaret Court.

Friday, 20 October 2017

The God of Choices. ~ Ganeida

Mark 8:36~37And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?

We have been looking @  2 things recently.  We have been looking @ how we are to bring every thought captive to Christ & we have been looking @ how we are to fight our spiritual battles.  We have discovered we need to align our thoughts & our actions with the Word of God that when we think, we think as God thinks, when we speak, we speak as God speaks & our actions are Christ within us, the hope of glory.

What I want to look @ today is something that I hope will help you with both these things.  Far too often we know with our minds that God is good ~ & we even believe that God is good but what comes out of our mouths & our actions deny the Truth because we have believed a lie.
Everybody say: Satan is a liar.  Everybody say Jesus is the way, the Truth & the Life.  What did Jesus do on the cross?  He crushed satan’s head.  Who’s authority do we carry?  Jesus’! So we are also meant to crush satan’s head ~ but what happens? Satan gets us in a muddle & we fall for a lie!

Now I am going to give you a spiritual principle that is found in Deuteronomy 30:19

"Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!

If you read through the account in Genesis 1& 2 you will find this principle laid down in the very foundation. God creates this garden in the east of Eden & He makes Adam the custodian of the garden. Adam has the legal authority to rule & govern this territory.  That’s what the Hebrew says.  Shomer is a legal term for someone who cares for another’s possession & that’s what Adam was to do. However ~ & you will see this principle again & again in scripture~ God is a God of choices.
You will hear people who are confused about who God is say things like: If God is good, why does He allow bad things to happen to good people?  If God is good why didn’t He stop the pedophile? The murderer? The earthquake?

The answer is in Genesis.  God gave Adam a choice ~ just as He gives every single human being the same choices!  Choose today: Life~Death; Blessing~Curses.
We are not automatons.  We are not robots.  We are free to choose the sort of world we live in & the conditions under which we operate.  The choice is ours.

Oh, you say!  That’s just not truePeople do things to me all the time that I have no control over! Yep ~ & they will continue to do things over which you have no control because they too have free will & are free to make their own choices.  However…your response is in your control.
This is how it works: I tell you God is good.  The Bible tells you God is good. Something happens in your life.  If it’s a good thing you say: God is good.  But what if it’s a bad thing? Is God still good?
Numbers 23:19

God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?

God doesn’t change.  He is the same yesterday, today & forever [Hebrews 13:8]  If He is good, then He is always good.  It is His very nature to be good.  It is man who is fickle.  It is man who changes.  We may get up in the morning & go: Whoa!  Soo good to be alive.  It’s going to be a great day.  Let us rejoice in the Lord! Or we may get up going: Ugh…another dreary day doing stuff I hate… Has God changed? Nope!

You see every moment of every day you are faced with a choice.  It is always the same choice but it will either bless you or curse you depending on how you decide.  Every moment you choose whether you believe & declare God is good & be blessed ~ or you believe the lies of the devil & bring a curse upon yourself. Every time you open your mouth you either declare God is good or you call him a liar.

Let’s look @ a recent example because you need to understand how this works practically.  We needed a mainland car.  We put in motion everything we needed to do to achieve that goal & God blessed us beyond our wildest expectations.   Within 2 weeks we had bought a car under budget but in better condition than expected & paid cash for it. How easy it was to say:  God is good.  He is indeed our provider! However our island car also needs replacing. Badly! We put in motion everything we needed to do ~ & watched as all our savings promptly walked out the door again as one emergency after another struck. Is God still good?  Is He still our provider?  YES!!!   

It’s important we don’t allow satan to get in there & whisper poisoned little lies~ drip, drip, drip~ into our ears. Why didn’t God… Why couldn’t He…I wish He’d done…
Now God doesn’t need any of us to be running round saying:  God is good; God is good all the time ~ but we need to be doing it for ourselves. 

Firstly it affirms our belief & trust in a good God but secondly it calls satan out as the liar he is.  We don’t ever want to be aligning ourselves with satan & coming into agreement with him!

It can be easier when it’s things because things can’t make choices ~ but what about when it’s people?   People can be a real problem.  People can really hurt us.  They let us down.  They say terrible things to us ~ or about us.  They are hurtful & vindictive & unfair & sometimes they are just plain nasty. They choose to make those choices ~ & they have that right.  We get to choose how we respond ~ & that’s where it can get icky.  Do we respond as Jesus?

The first choice all of us make is who is in control of us.  Is the Holy Spirit leading & guiding us or are we operating out of our own flesh. Ephesians 6:12 reminds us: For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. It can be hard to remember because it is the people we see, & not what is controlling them, but it is never people we are @ war with.  If we believe God is good then we understand we get the choice to choose to respond out of the Holy Spirit within us or we can respond out of our flesh. Proverbs 3:5Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.

The problem with relying on our own understanding is we see other people as the problem & so people become our enemy.  This leads to us allowing what other people say or do affecting how we feel about them & how we respond.  Our perception is off.

Our perception is off because we are meant to rule & reign in this life.  I say stuff like this & some people immediately think it’s all about them: what they can get out of God; the people they can control or money, work, a nice house ~ whatever but that is not it @ all.  God is good.  He wants good stuff for us.  He wants to bless us but we have to choose .  The ruling & reigning starts with ourselves, For what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?   It starts with us. Matthew 6:33 instructs us: Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

God is absolutely consistent.  Him first.  His righteousness.  As we walk in obedience, following the lead of the Holy Spirit, lining up our words & actions with the scriptures, we fulfil the requirement for having everything we need provided.  As Bill Johnson says, according to our level of righteousness, so our ability to rule & reign.

What holds us back, more often than not, is ourselves.  We can’t ditch our past; our guilt; our shame; our fear ~ none of which I have time to preach on this morning!  However I want to give you one picture.  When you believed in your heart & confessed with your mouth something happened.  God chose to make His home in you.  The King of Kings & Lord of Lords dwells in you ~ & He did not choose some shabby, run down hovel to dwell in.  He chose the New Creation.  He sees you as glorious.  As His Temple.  As Spirit filled, the marvellous work of His hands, fully equipped to do those good works He prepared beforehand for us to do.

Moment by moment as we move through this life Christ is empowering us & enabling us to make choices of Life, not death, choices that will bless us, not curse us, Choices that will give us a future & a hope ~ Jeremiah 29:11 so choose well. 

Thursday, 5 October 2017

The Believers right & Privileges. ~ Rabqa

We are blessed in Australia, We have right to free speech, the right against unlawful search & seizure & the right to trial by jury. We have the right to vote & the right to worship.

Those rights were purchased by the blood of men who fought & died for them. Most Australians not only claim those rights, but demand them.

Yet so often the same people who claim their Australian rights haven't even bothered to find out what rights accompany the citizenship in the kingdom of God. If you are one of those people, let me tell you God will not be outdone by the Australian government.

Everything our earthly government offers us, God will provide more & more. The Bible says that the government is on Jesus' shoulders. As Christians, we should never be caught wallowing in our circumstances because our scriptural rights have been purchased by His blood.

You cannot benefit from rights that you don't even know you have. But once you search the Scriptures & discover your rights, you then have to claim them. I have never searched for gold but I have heard how it is done. Finding the gold isn't enough. Once you search it out, you then have to go to the right place & file a claim. If someone challenges the claim then you have to stand on your legal rights & fight.

Likewise, before you ever live a victorious Christian life, you must stake your claim to your rights & fight for them. A Jesuit priest once said the most amazing thing. He said that he didn't believe the Word of God was the literal truth, & yet this man gave his whole life to the priesthood! Can you imagine giving your whole life for a concept you don't believe is the literal truth?

It's sad, but that kind of thing happens all the time. That is why you see graveyards with more life then some churches,

The Bible says in Hosea 4:6 N L T (All Scriptures are from N l T unless otherwise stated).
My people are being destroyed because they don’t know me. Since you priests refuse to know me, I refuse to recognize you as my priests. Since you have forgotten the laws of your God,
I will forget to bless your children. Recognise that what you do not know can hurt you. Pursue & value true spiritual knowledge. do not neglect God's Word.

The pursuit of spiritual knowledge & understanding should be high on our list of priorities. Can you think of a specific situation in which not knowing was hurtful or detrimental to you. Ask God to continually give you knowledge & revelation so that lack of knowledge will not destroy you. Eons ago, when God created the angels, Lucifer was the prince of the Morning. He worshipped the Lord, walked with Michael & Gabriel, & played music from the tabrets God formed in him. The angles were innumerable, & they sang & glorified God. All Heaven & Earth were in a perfect state, that is until iniquity was found in Lucifer.

 Do you know what great sin he committed? The Bible says he sowed discord among the angels. He flapped his lip so much causing a third of the angels to fall. We need to stop & think before we sow discord anywhere~in our homes, in the work place & especially in the Church. God doesn't take it lightly. Lucifer ascended into heaven to bring destruction to God's kingdom. They had a great war, & Jesus said “" Yes,” he told them, “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning! ( Luke 10:18) This was not a vision that Jesus saw satan of cast out of heaven; rather He saw the ultimate defeat & demise of satan. If you look in the book of Revelation, you will find that the lightning that proceeds from the throne is the anointing. When Lucifer was booted out of heaven, God stripped him of his anointing. That is the price you will always have to pay for discord. It will rob you of the anointing. Lucifer became spiritually dead, full of malice & hatred, & the father of lies. He began defaming everything God created, especially man. Adam was the smartest, most beautiful man who ever lived. God gave him power & dominion over everything He had created. Adam ruled the stars, the sun, the planets, the universe, the galaxies & planet earth. Eve ruled & reigned with him.

I want you to understand, that God did not look over His shoulder cheeking them to make sure they did everything right. He left them to do exactly what they wanted to do. Then in the cool of the day, he showed up to walk & talk with His creation. When they committed high treason through sin, it brought judgments in the Garden of Eden. One judgement came upon the snake, one upon the women & one on the man. When God told the snake that on his belly he should go does not mean that the serpent had legs, it is likely a poetic language supporting the fact that the animal kingdom will not be able to reverse its post~fall condition on its own; & when Jesus said "you shall eat dust" is also figurative for extreme humiliation. All the animal kingdom came under the curse because of sin. Then God looked at Eve & said to the woman, “I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth. And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you. Gen3:16)

In other words, not only would the woman's great blessing of bearing children be painful to her, but she also live her life desiring to be equal to her husband, but he would rule over her.

Now this curse has been seen throughout history~Inequality for women began with sin. Before it, man & woman lived in harmony. After it, they did not. Today's uphill battle for equal rights rages in many parts of the earth. Christ sacrifice over two thousand years ago on the cross brought salvation from the curse for Christian men & women~a way of the distortion of our relationships toward one another brought on by sin's entrance into earth. Gal 3:13 But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree

By faith we receive the benefits provided by His death, including justification. We also learn that through Christ we are all equal.

You may be wondering what happened to Adam? What judgement did he receive? Well God told him in Gen 3:17-19 “Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat, the ground is cursed because of you. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it. It will grow thorns and thistles for you, though you will eat of its grains. By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made. For you were made from dust, and to dust you will return.” For the man the curse was very harsh~the ground which was what Adam tented was cursed. In other words Adams job would be much more difficult. His occupation would cause him to sweat & work all the days of his life. His major mistake was heeding the voice of the woman instead of God.

When God cursed the ground, thorns & thistles came up. The Bible teaches us that even nature groans & travails to be brought back yo it's original state (Rom 8:22) That is why Jesus wore a crown of thorns. It was not by accident; it was by design! Jesus came to reverse the entire curse, including the curse on the ground. That's not all. He also redeemed the animal kingdom because of Jesus they didn't have to sacrifice any more lambs, pigeons, doves or cattle. He redeemed them all. Last but not least He redeemed mankind from the curse of the law. You see, God loved man so much He sent His one & only son to die a cruel, cruel death on the cross paying the price of sin for all mankind.

Think about Adam for a minute. God told him that when he ate the forbidden fruit, he would die. But we know God wasn't only talking about a physical death because Adam lived physically for nine hundred & thirty years. God was also talking about a spiritual death. Adam died spiritually on that day in the Garden~He was cut off from the life of God that may have sustained in that body for eternity. Yet Adam was so full of power of God in his body that it took sin, sickness, demons, disease & Lucifer hundreds of years to kill him~ hundreds! The day Adam sinned he handed over all of his rights & dominion~the earth, the planets, the animals, & the galaxies~to Lucifer.

But God had a plan to get the planet Earth back legally, like it once was under Adam. If you think about it, when satan tempted Jesus, he said "All these kingdoms I'll freely give you." ( Lk 4:6) Jesus didn't contend with the devil about that because He knew that satan was offering Jesus what He legally owned. That's what made the temptation real. Satan was offering Jesus what he legally possessed. Jesus refused to compromise. He went to the cross & took upon himself all the sins of the world. Then He died, went to hell, & beat the devil on his own turf.

The second Adam (Jesus) did what the first Adam should have done: He took dominion over the devil & legally took back the right for mankind to be united with God. in this earth. I hear a lot of people ask why hasn't the devil left yet? The answer is simple: it is because he is still ruling & reigning over anyone who who doesn't know Jesus. He has the legal right to sell them into slavery, to get them on drugs, to bring them divorce & starve them into famine, he has the right to steal, kill & destroy, BUT he doesn't have the right to bring any of those curses on the believer. That is why it is crucial that you know your scriptural bill of rights.

We see just one of them in John 14:12-14 “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. 13 You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it

This Scripture is saying that the promise is not that the disciples will perform works that are greater in value or significance than His. Rather they are greater in scope & number, in these respects: 1) Because He was crucified, Jesus earthly ministry was limited to a few years, but after the Resurrection & Pentecost, His ministry was & continues to be multiplied through Spirit~empowered believers. 2) Our works include the preaching of the gospel, resulting in the blessings of justification, reconciliation & the gift of the Holy Spirit coming to humankind~all post Resurrection manifestations of Christ.

We need to pray for & expect the "greater things" in the ministry of the church. The key word in John's gospel is "believe." Faith unlocks our understanding of the Scripture & releases the Spirits activity in our lives. Faith, like love, evidences itself in obedience. Finally faith approaches God boldly to receive from Him the things it needs. We also see in this passage that Jesus always glorified the Father. Now if it was important for Him to glorify the Father, then the body of Christ~the Church (us)~should be about the same business.

You may ask how do we glorify the Father? We do it by doing the same thing that Jesus did. He promised that we would do the works that He did, & greater as I have just explained. It is time that you understand your rights & privileges & start claiming them! But I warn you there is one solid stipulation to the promise. It isn't fasting. It isn't praying. It isn't sacrificial giving. It is believing.

Many years ago I realised my life was a mess on every side. Finally it dawned on me that the devil was taking my blessings all because I was letting him. I was letting him because I had a lack of knowledge about what God could do for me. Satan was working up a storm he was putting sickness on my body. Yet God was saying by Jesus stripes, I was healed! I like that report a lot better. The Lord said "It is there for you, just go & get it"

He will say the same to each & everyone of you~He wants you well. The devil screamed you can't have it. He tried to pull me away from my healing & destroy me. For me this did not happen overnight but finally it dawned on me that satan was under my feet! Jesus put him there, & I almost let him up. I have often wondered why so many Christians glorify the name of satan. With things like: "You know satan destroyed us." "Satan hindered us." "Satan killed Nana." I don't wont to hear anything about satan. Talk about what God has done for you! Just go to the Father & glorify Him: "Father Jesus delegated His authority to me in John 14. & You said that I am seated in heavenly places with you. Therefore I take authority over this situation. People have been fighting for centuries when all they need to do was to stand. When you stand in faith & patience, the Bible says you'll inherit the promises of God.

Sometimes I think that God must wonder why His kids don't pray out of their hearts instead of their heads. Then the devil would know who they are in Him. Instead, most people have satan on the front pew of their church. They give him place, when the Bible commands us not to give him a place in our lives (Eph 4:27). Sometimes we get side tracked with what satan is trying to pull that we forget that Jesus told us to ask anything in His name & He'd do it. When God says anything he means anything His Word will not return to him void Isa 55:11 (N K J) says So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

Choose to believe that God's Word is the most powerful force in the universe & act accordingly. But remember that He shall only answer that prayer if it is His will for your life. Just a few of the things that are His will are: He wants you to claim your healing, He does not want you to be side tracked by the devil & He wants you to walk in what He has called you to do. Faith takes God at His Word when circumstances seem to deny the truth of His promises.

Our ability to endure to the end will depend upon allowing the Holy Spirit to train us in this kind of faith. God's promises & plans (words) are as sure of fulfillment as the fact that it rains & the sun comes out. There is no excuse for spiritual weakness & poverty in the family of God & when I say poverty I am not just talking about material wealth but wealth in all area's. The wealth of heaven is ours. We are not suppose to come to God like a tramp. we have to come to Him legally~as a son or daughter. Most Churches have a tramp like attitude with God. Saying things like "Now Lord you know my shoes are in a bad way. We don't have anything; the devil took it away from us"

Don't come to the Lord like Freddy the freeholder. You are not a tramp, & you won't impress God by acting like one. Remember the story of the prodigal son? The elder brother had a tramp attitude. He was as much a son as the prodigal, but he had a servant's attitude. He owned everything his father had, but he whined you won't even give me a goat to have a party with my friends. His dad just looked at him & said "What's the matter with you? Don't you know everything I have is yours? Do you know why he never took a goat or a cow? He didn't know his rights & privileges in the family. Yet he had the audacity to walk out of the party. His dad loved him very much, so much that he followed him outside to try & talk some sense into him. How many times have you acted that way to God?

If someone isn't saved, he's a slave. The Bible says that you are either a child of God or a child of the devil. So if you are a child of God you get all power.

I know you may ask what I mean by that statement? Nobody has all power except God. Lets look at Mat 28:18 NKJ) And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. I can hear you saying sure all power has been given to Jesus but it hasn't been given to us. Turn with me if you will to Eph 1:17-23 NKJ) That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you [That is you & me He is praying for] the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, [That's us] and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

 Drop down to the next chapter & verse 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. I want you to get this, the day God raised Jesus out of the pit of hell, He raised you & me, too. He set us right beside Jesus~far, far above every devil & demon. Not that only that but He gave you & me power of attorney to use Jesus name because our eyes have been enlightened to understand the Word of God. You are a citizen of Heaven who happens to be living on earth.

 No demon from hell has the right or authority to bring any of satan's curses on you. You weren't brought by the devil. You were brought by Jesus Christ. You are sitting with Him in heavenly places. I know what you are thinking that you are not seated in heaven but right here on earth. But that is only your physical body, your spiritual authority is seated with Jesus in heavenly places. All you have to do is claim it.

You have the right to claim eternal life. A home in heaven. God's protective care. Victory over sin. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Divine health. Prosperity (All area's). To be translated in the rapture. To live with the Father through all eternity. & ever other promise in the Book, from Genesis to Revelation. One of our rights is liberty, & not just the liberty guaranteed in the constitution. 2 Cor 3:17 AMP) promises Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (emancipation from bondage, freedom). The Amplified Bible defines liberty as emancipation from bondage: freedom. If the Son liberates you then you are really & unquestionably free. We are free from the power of sin. (Rom 6:14)Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.
The Bible says that sin will not have dominion over you.

The words sin & satan are synonymous. If you call yourself an old sinner, you are actually saying satan has dominion over me. If you are sinning every day you have a sin problem you need to get to the altar & make Jesus the Lord of your life~In deed not just word. Rom 6:15-16 NLT) puts it this way Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.

If you have given your life to Jesus, the righteousness of God has been imparted to you because, through Jesus, you have received God's nature. Sin & the dominion of satan cannot have authority over you because Jesus is your Lord. It is time for the Church to wake up & do what God sent us here to do so we can go home. We don't have a caravan up in heaven or a shack, Praise God we have a mansion waiting for us. That home is your right & privilege. you can have a nice home here too, if you are willing to believe God for it & claim it. We must also learn that we have the right for our body to line up with the Word of God that says I'm healed.

 Jesus said that sin, sickness & disease will not have dominion over us.

Take preventive medicine everyday through the Word of God. I am not asking you to do anything that I would not do myself. The Bible says that it is health to your flesh. It also say that a merry heart does good like a medicine. Learn to laugh. We are free from manipulation & control. Free from fear of what others think of us. we are free from comparing ourselves with everybody else. Free from competition with others. Free from selfishness. Free from legalism. Free to be an individual that is free to be you.