Tag Archives: God

Truth Pressure

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          In the early 90’s I was just beginning to really get stirred up about God’s spoken Word, mainly because I was beginning to understand the principles behind it, and not just mindlessly reciting something that I had no understanding of.

          I had an 8 page list of confessions from God’s Word that I would read out loud and declare over my life almost daily. I knew that saying what God said about me would help reinforce my identity in Christ and I was doing my best to grow into who He made me to be.

          One morning, as I was making these declarations, the Lord spoke to me and asked, “What are you doing?” I was quiet for a few seconds and then answered, “well, ummmm… I am confessing your word Lord.” He replied, “You are applying Truth Pressure.” That was the end of that conversation.

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          That was a new term for me, a new concept. I knew that particular phrase was not in the bible, but to validate what the Lord had just spoken to me I knew I must find the principle in His Word. Any Word that you hear by the Spirit must line up with the written Word or it is not valid.

          I knew that God’s Word had power, and I knew there was great power in the spoken word, but it wasn’t until I began to understand the grace of God that I saw what Truth Pressure meant and understood why confession works. So lets take a few moments to make sure we understand grace and how it is connected to what we say.  In the book of Ephesians, we see a wonderful truth concerning our speech.

 Ephesians 4:29 ~ Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.

          This verse is talking about words, that minister grace to the hearer. Since we are always the first one to hear our words, I recommend we take a long look at what is coming from our lips. Is it corrupt or is it grace? Is it faith, or is it fear? Is it blessing or is it cursing? Does it edify or tear down? What kind of influence does our words have in our life?

          What exactly is grace? The best definition that I have found is, “The divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life.” Grace is Gods way of working on you from the inside out. The word of God that is spoken, and heard, ministers to us on the inside in such a powerful way that it  transform us and changes our life.

          Everything that God has prepared and provided for us, can be found in the truth of His word. Truth is full of grace, and grace is divine influence that brings transformation. We need to be speaking His word, if we are going to become what He has created us to be.vvtg

Job 22:28  ~ You will also declare a thing, And it will be established for you; So light will shine on your ways.

By declaring God’s word, we set ourselves in agreement with Him and establish a stronghold of truth about our identity in Christ. It enables the transforming power of God’s grace to mold and shape us into what He wants us to be, keeping us spinning on the potter’s wheel.

Hebrews 1:13,14 ~ But to which of the angels has He ever said: “Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool”? 14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?

Psalm 103:20 ~ Bless the Lord, you His angels, Who excel in strength, who do His word, Heeding the voice of His word.

We have angels assigned to our life. Their whole purpose is to minister on our behalf. When we give voice to God’s word, the angels take heed to it and get busy bringing that word to pass in our lives. I think it would be a tragedy to have a bunch of angels that are unemployed, twiddling their thumbs just waiting for us to speak life and grace that they might do what they are created to do. Let’s put them to work!

          Let’s look at  Ephesians 29 again and we will add verses 30 and 31.

 Ephesians 4:29-31 ~ Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 30And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 31Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

          In other words, if you are not speaking words that edify, ministering grace to those who hear them, including yourself, you are grieving the Holy Spirit. I know,………….OUCH!

          The most frequent sins are sins of the mouth. How we control our mouth and how we bridle our tongue is a direct reflection on how mature we are spiritually. The truth is, if you sin with your mouth daily, you are but a child, regardless of how long you have been a Christian or how much knowledge of God’s word you have. It is not the word that you know that brings maturity, but the word that you DO.

James 3:2-4 ~ For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. 3Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. 4Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.trth ptsr

          The word “perfect” in verse two simply means mature, or of full age. maturity is measured, in great part, by your mouth and how you control it. As we see in the above verse, our tongue is the steering wheel of our life. If we put our hands on the wheel, we can take control of our life and direct it down a path that leads to life, happiness and fulfillment. I think too many of us are driving down life’s road and saying, “Look Ma! No hands!” letting life speak louder than truth and allowing the facts of life to define us instead of the word of truth.

Proverbs 18:21 ~ Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

          The bible is very clear that our words have tremendous power. When it is God’s Word we are speaking, we have the power to minister His life and grace into the situation.

          Confession of God’s Word applies “Truth Pressure” to your heart. God’s Word is filled with divine influence (grace) that feeds and strengthens your spirit man until it that truth shows up in your soul and body and is reflected in your life for all to see. Change will always come first in the heart before you see it manifest in the natural. Everything in the Kingdom of God starts in seed form, including God’s word. So make a decision to plant some seeds of life and grace in the garden of your heart today. YOU ARE WORTH IT!

The Righteousness of God – pt.3

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Righteousness has a Voice

Romans 10:6-13 (NKJV) But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ (that is, to bring Christ down from above) 7 or, “‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say?The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

          Righteousness has a voice, a specific way of speaking. There are laws that govern the way righteousness is expressed verbally. If we adhere to these laws it builds a stronghold of faith and we become established in righteousness. This, in turn, produces the fruit of holiness in our lives.

          Notice in the above passage that the first thing righteousness does… is to NOT SAY in your heart. Words are not used in this instance but our thoughts and actions tell what we are saying in our heart.

          When we act like sin still has a hold on us, that it still has a stain, a voice, a judgment, and an impact, we act as if the sacrifice Jesus made was not enough. This is garden variety unbelief. It stops the grace of God from molding and shaping us into His image. Notice, this is done without speaking a word, simply thinking we are less than what God paid for, saying in our heart that we are not worthy,(condemnation) believing we are still sinners, (shame) thinking we are worthy of judgment (guilt). This is the very definition of having a sin consciousness. This is the same consciousness of sin they had in the Old Testament because the blood of bulls and goats could not take away their sins.

Hebrews 10:2-4 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. 3 But in those sacrifices, there is a reminder of sins every year. 4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins.

          The good news is that the blood of Christ CAN take away our sins, and HAS taken away our sins. Past, present and future! Glory to God! He took our sins to the grave AND LEFT THEM THERE! We should do the same, becoming dead indeed to sin, leaving our old man buried with Christ.

Romans 6:11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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          To “reckon” means to think, or imagine. How we think about ourselves determines how we act and how we speak. When our actions and words speak against righteousness, it produces a sin consciousness and is an affront to the work of the cross.

          When it comes to operating in faith, it is just as important to know what NOT to say, as knowing what we SHOULD SAY. Faith always has a voice, a specific language. When we align our speech with the language of faith it makes our faith active, alive and fruitful. It activates grace and all of its transforming power in our life.

          The importance of our words are stressed throughout the entire bible. We have the same type of creative ability that God has. In fact, we are co-creators with Him. He has given us the building blocks, the raw material if you will, of His word. When we put His word in our mouth we release creative power.

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         The righteousness of faith only speaks what God has said about us. It only speaks of our Son-ship, our righteousness, our position as an heir of God, and a joint heir with Christ. It speaks of us being holy and blameless children of the King. It doesn’t even acknowledge the old dead man. Not with our thoughts, not with our actions, and certainly not with our words. Look at this passage a little closer;

Romans 10:8-12 But what does it say?The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart, one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”

          What does the righteousness of faith say? …THE WORD! Specifically, THE WORD OF FAITH.

          We have made Romans 10:9,10 the “go to” scriptures that we share with people when we are convincing them to give their life to the Lord. Unfortunately, we have reduced this to just praying a prayer to go to heaven someday. When we read the entire passage, we see that it is not talking about saving us from hell, but saving us from the law of sin and death. Its emphasis is more about living a transformed life than it is going to heaven. Look at verse 10 again.

Romans 10:10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation.

          We are capable of believing ourselves into actually living righteous and holy. Not by doing, and not doing, not by works, and struggling to live right, but by submitting to the finished work of Christ.

“We must start where He finished and believe Him to produce the fruit of holiness in our lives, even in the face of sin.”

          If we really believe that what God said is true, we will confess that it is true, and this leads to salvation. Salvation from what? From sin and death, from the carnal nature!

          Yes, we are saved from hell, but the entire book of Romans is about living unto righteousness and being free from sin and its effects. It is about being alive to God and embracing the work of the cross. It’s about us becoming who God created us to be. It’s about us being transformed into His image.

          How does this transformation take place? How do we die to sin and come alive to righteousness? By speaking righteousness, by the spirit of faith, and with the power of words!

Before we learn how to speak, think about this:

          What is a word? Why are words so powerful? Why, according to Proverbs 18:21, is death and life in the power of the tongue?

“A word is a verbal or written expression that carries ideas and creates IMAGES. The very nature of the word shapes the image that it produces.”

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          If I say; “Black Labrador Retriever with a red collar,” I just put a specific image in your head. You took what I said, you processed it through your memory and experience, and it produced a specific thought/picture in your mind. It produced an image!

          We must have a preconceived image already present in our thinking for images to form. Unfortunately, we have so much memory and experience of our fallen, carnal nature that these images tend to dominate our thought life and make up our minds in advance that this is who we really are. Jesus didn’t die for us to remain the same and someday go to heaven, He died so that we could be transformed into His IMAGE, so that God’s original purpose for mankind could be restored in you.

          If we read the Bible, keep it before our eyes and in our thoughts, we will have a good idea of what the image of God is because Jesus was the express image of God.

The whole reason He was able to redeem man from sin was that He was the Image of God.

Hebrews 1:3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

          We see in this verse that Jesus was not only the express image of God, but He upheld all things by His word. This means that, among other things, the image of the Father was upheld in Him by the power of His words. God’s image IN YOU is upheld by the power of His word SPOKEN BY YOU!

          This brings us full circle, back to our original text in Romans 10. We looked at what the righteousness of faith doesn’t say, now let’s look at what the righteousness of faith DOES say.

Choosing a Master

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Romans 6:19-22 (NIV) I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness. 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.

          We see in this scripture that being a slave to righteousness, in other words, serving the master of righteousness, yields the fruit of holiness without you trying to be holy! Glory to God! This way the Lord gets all the glory, and no one can lay claim to being a “Super Christian.”

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          We are to be DEAD to sin, but ALIVE to righteousness. The one we choose to serve (verse 19), sin or righteousness, causes us to be dead to the other. If we are alive to sin, we are “free” from the control and influence of righteousness. The results are death according to Romans 6:20. However, if we present ourselves as an offering to serve righteousness, we are free from the control of our carnal sin nature (verse 22). This enables the etching tool of God’s grace to mold and shape you into what you are believing….RIGHTEOUSNESS!

          We cast our vote for who will be our master by our confession. Confession means to agree with, to acknowledge, to say the same thing as. We must acknowledge and agree with what the Bible says about us if righteousness is to be our master.

          Righteousness must be appropriated by faith, not by works. The righteousness of the law DOES, but the righteousness of faith SPEAKS. The law is about doing, whereas faith is about believing and speaking.

2 Corinthians 4:13 (NKJV) And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak,

          It’s not enough for us to understand the concept of righteousness and mentally agree with it, we must open our mouths and SPEAK IT. LET THE REDEEMED OF THE LORD SAY SO!

Psalm 107:2 (NKJV) Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;

          It doesn’t matter how many books we’ve read on righteousness, or how many sermons we have heard. We must believe it and speak it if we want it to become a reality in our lives.

          If we sin and fall short of the glory of God, we must not respond like Adam, hiding and blaming others for our mistakes. Instead, we run to God and say something like; “I thank you Father for exposing that act of sin and helping me to see that it is not who I am. I thank you Father for paying the price for sin and clothing me in your righteousness. I thank you for delivering me out of the kingdom of darkness and translating me into the kingdom of your Son Jesus. I am free from sin and death and I thank You for Your great mercy. Where would I be if you didn’t love me and Father me? I am so thankful that you redeemed me.”

          When we respond to sin like that, God’s grace acts as an etching tool to mold and shape us into His image. We are saying in our heart that we submit to His transforming work of grace and we believe that He is working on us to produce the fruit of holiness in our life, removing even the desire to sin. This is how we become righteous conscious.

           When the righteousness of faith speaks like this; it shuts the door in the enemy’s face and prevents him from seducing us into condemnation, guilt, and shame, producing a sin consciousness.

“Once you know who you are, you can’t be seduced by who you were.”

           Habit is either the best of servants or the worst of masters. We must be consistent in the confession of who we are in Christ, even in the face of falling short. Habitual declaration of our right standing with God gives no entrance to the enemies deception.

        When we get attacked by the devil, he is never after the NEW man because he is no match for someone who knows who they are IN CHRIST. He is after the “OLD” man (that should be dead) so he can resurrect old things, old habits, and old thoughts, to disturb the new man, and trick him into giving up his dominion, keeping him from flourishing and producing the fruit of holiness. This is what happened to Adam.

        Don’t let a moment of weakness, or a misstep, or a hundred missteps, break the habit of your declaration of righteousness. Hold fast to your confessionn and God is faithful to continue and complete His transforming work in you. Your confession of righteousness keeps the potter’s wheel spinning, and His shaping hand of grace on your life.

Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

           In conclusion: God has forever removed the barrier of sin. He has, through the offering of His Son Jesus, gained us access to His transforming power by making us the Righteousness of God IN CHRIST. He did this because we are so valuable to Him. He did this so that we may enter the sanctification process and be restored back to our created purpose, His image. He did this because He loves us.

Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.

 

The Righteousness of God – pt.1

The Righteousness of God pt. 1

          In most dictionaries, righteousness means right conduct. It describes behavior that is characterized by accepted standards of virtue and morality. In the Bible, righteousness is the condition of being in right relationship or right standing with the Lord. The thing that blinds people to a true understanding of righteousness is confusion about how we become right in the sight of God.

          It is commonly thought that our actions, conduct, and behavior determine God’s judgment of our righteousness. That is simply not true. We are not made right in God’s eyes by what we do, but by accepting what Jesus did on the cross, and acknowledging who we are in Him. Righteousness is not about what we do, it’s about who we are. We are new creatures. WE ARE SONS!

           The righteousness of God is what gains us access to God’s presence. Not the righteousness of the law which is by works, but the free gift of righteousness which comes by faith. To approach God requires a righteousness equal to His own. Any vestige of sin would not be able to stand in His presence. The greatest benefit we have from the righteousness of God is our ability to stand in His presence and have intimate relationship with Him.

           Righteousness is a gift. We can’t earn it, and we certainly don’t deserve it on the merit of our performance. It has to be received by faith. Righteousness is obtained by what we believe, not by what we do. If we embrace the gift of righteousness and believe that it truly has made us right in God’s sight, it begins to change our behavior. Our conduct begins to line up with the truth and it produces the fruit of holiness in our lives without straining and striving to “do better” to produce our own righteousness and holiness.

           Failing to understand this truth is at the root of all guilt and condemnation. Satan’s only entrance into our lives is through sin. If we understand our right standing with God on the basis of what Jesus did for us, and not by our performance, then Satan’s power to condemn is gone. Those who live with feelings of guilt, shame, and unworthiness are not believing in God’s gift of righteousness, but are looking to their own works to obtain right standing with God. This will never work. It will only bear the fruit of frustration and produce more guilt, shame, and condemnation.

           Righteousness can’t be produced by works, it can only be obtained by submitting to it, by believing in it.

Romans 10:1-4 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

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          To submit to righteousness means that we must believe that what God said about us is true. We must believe that He looks at us as if we have never sinned. That belief is established by how we act. Unfortunately, we have a problem acting like we have never sinned because we know we have. We see our ability to sin and fail and it makes us believe that we are sinners and failures. We look at our actions and consider our past and we walk by sight and not by faith in what God has done for us.

2 Corinthians 5:7 (AMP) For we walk by faith, not by sight [living our lives in a manner consistent with our confident belief in God’s promises]

          God wants us to live with no consciousness of sin. He wants us to live as though sin never existed. He made us equal to His righteousness because He loves us and wants relationship with us. He gave us the ability to approach Him unveiled, unashamed, righteous, and holy IN HIS SIGHT! For righteousness to become a reality, we must become righteous, holy, and blameless IN OUR SIGHT. This can only be accomplished through faith, no amount of striving to “be right, or do good” will produce it.

           We are born with a sin nature because of Adam. A sin nature has a strong voice. It is always saying, “You are a sinner, you are going to fail, you are not worthy, you are not righteous, and there is no way you can be.” When we listen to that voice we become alive to it, and then we become a slave to it. We have no power over something we are a slave to. We must learn to die to this sin nature so that we may live unto righteousness.

Romans 6:8-11 (NIV) Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

         The key to understanding this free gift of righteousness is having the proper perspective, the perspective of FAITH! We must see ourselves as God now sees us, righteous, holy, and blameless in His sight. If we still see ourselves as sinners after we have been born again, that just reveals our unbelief in what He accomplished on the cross. His sacrifice was enough! We need to start acting like it! As verse 11 above states, “In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” To count, imagine, reckon, believe yourself dead to the old and alive to the new.

The Kingdom of God pt.2

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  Boundaries of the Kingdom

       In every area of our life that we do not acknowledge God’s rule and reign, another king rules there. This other king is a selfish, childish, petty king. This king is influenced by lust and fleshly desires. This is not a loving, caring king. This king is vindictive, judgmental and prideful. This king wants to exalt his throne and be like God. This king is willful and disobedient. This king… is you.

       Yeah, I know, you may have thought that I was going to say the devil, but no, it’s you. If you have areas of your life that Jesus is not Lord over, then you have decided to preside as king over those areas. You have violated the most important Kingdom principle; Obedience.

The kingdom of me.

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       Willful disobedience violates the light of truth, and goes directly against the will of the King. When that happens you now attempt to serve two Kings. King Jesus, and king ……………<(your name here). The Kingdom of God and “the kingdom of me”. Just saying “the kingdom of me” sounds pathetic doesn’t it? Go ahead, say it out loud. How does that register in your spirit? Pathetic, right?

       Before you serve a king, you need to consider the authority, power and resources of the king you will serve. Is he a good king? Does the king have the power to save? Does he have the power to heal? Can he confer blessing, and power? What are your rights and privileges under this king? Are there any kings more powerful than him? How long will his reign be?

       If you ask yourself these questions before disobeying God, you will be less likely to set up the “kingdom of me”. For in the kingdom of me you must get your own deliverance, your own healing, and your own provision through your own power and resources. Obedience to the King prevents the kingdom of me from being established.

       Just like all other kingdoms, the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of me have boundaries. The boundaries of both kingdoms are established by the same thing; our free will. When we submit our will in obedience to the King’s word, the Kingdom of God expands and the King is exalted. When we disobey the King’s word, we set up our own kingdom with its own boundaries. The boundaries of that kingdom are set up to keep God and the light of His word out.

       Make no mistake, there are only two kingdoms in the spirit realm that we see in scripture. The kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness. The kingdom of me is the kingdom of darkness.

       The Lord has made us a steward over the Kingdom of God in our heart. As a wise steward, we are expected to expand those boundaries within us. God expects increase. The only way those boundaries are expanded is by proper stewardship of our free will. This equals obedience. Walking in the light of the truth we have been exposed to. The more we obey the King the more light we will be exposed to, and the more His Kingdom grows within us. The more expansive His Kingdom becomes, the more authority we are able to walk in and the more power is released in and through our life.

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The Garden of God

       When we are born again, God recreates our spirit as a model of the Garden of Eden. Paradise within you, perfect and complete. In our inner man stands the Kingdom of God. What an awesome thought!

       We know from scripture that the Garden of Eden did not cover the whole earth, but was located in a small area in Africa at the head of four rivers. Adam was placed in the Garden and was instructed to fill the whole earth and have dominion, bring it into subjection, and subdue it. When we are born again, the Kingdom of God within us is small, but just like the first Adam, we are commanded to be fruitful, multiply and fill it up! We are to fill ourselves up with God and take dominion over our entire being, subduing the carnal man and bringing him into subjection. We should always be taking new territory in our hearts. This results in the restoration of the image of God in man, which is our created purpose.

Genesis 1:28 (KJV) Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

       There were many trees in the midst of the garden that were beautiful and good for food. The two trees specifically mentioned in the midst of the garden where the Tree of Life, and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. God’s instruction to Adam was to eat of every tree in the garden except the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, because in the day he did, he would surely die. ( Genesis 2:17)

       Just like the original Garden of Eden there are two trees in the midst of the garden in our heart. We have the Holy Spirit representing the tree of life, and we have our free will, our own personal authority, which represents the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

       We are the body of the “last Adam” (1 Corinthians 15:45). We can walk with God just like the first Adam did by the Holy Spirit living within us. The model is very much the same, with one little difference; we are the last Adam’s body. Instead of Adam walking around in the Garden, Adam walks around with the Garden inside His body. This is one reason Jesus is called the last Adam.

       We have a stewardship just like the first Adam, and in like manner, we have only one thing that we must not do. We must not eat of the tree of our free will. For in the day we do, we will surely die. Our free will represents our right to say no to God, and it represents our ability to know evil. If we continually walk in obedience to God, we will only know good. Saying no to God always brings death in some measure, but say yes to God brings abundant life. Disobedience not only brings death, it makes it painful the whole time we are dying.

~ Walking in heavy F.O.G. (Favor Of God) ~

Psalm 5:12 ~ For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield.

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What is Favor? How do I get some? How do I know it when I have it?

It is available to everyone in the body of Christ, but not all Christians experience it. Favor is not automatic, we need to learn to experience heavy F.O.G. (Favor Of God) in our lives.

Romans 8:31 ~  What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Having the favor of God in your life means that GOD IS FOR YOU! Favor makes a difference! It helps you, sustains you; it means you are “preferred,” and it’s noticeable! Webster’s Dictionary (1828 edition) defines favor as: “an advantage for success.

Have you ever heard the old saying: “If you see a turtle on a fence post there is one thing you know for sure,

  He had some help!”

The point is; favor gets you to places you couldn’t get to by yourself. The favor of God takes you places that you could not go in your own strength and your own abilities.

Our culture, and our government try to equalize everyone—everything “politically correct,” everybody’s a winner, we don’t keep score…. The reality is, everybody is not a winner. That doesn’t work in the real world. We all have different capacities, different abilities, different strengths and gifts. Yes, we all have the same created value. We all bear the same price tag; The blood of Jesus. However, we see in scripture that there are different levels of rank, authority, and capacity.(Read the Parable of the Talents, Matthew 25 )

Favor is a major theme throughout the Bible. It goes along with grace, mercy, peace, etc. We see favor in the lives of Moses, Noah, Abraham, David, Joseph, Mary and Jesus, and many others.

There is a way for us to find favor with God and with men:

 Proverbs 3 ~  1 My son, do not forget my law, But let your heart keep my commands;  2For length of days and long life and peace they will add to you. 3Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart, 4And so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man.        

Many Christians don’t experience the Favor of God because they don’t esteem the Word of God properly, they don’t put it first place and they don’t make it final authority in their lives. Being a person committed and submitted to the Word of God is THE quickest way experience favor. Not to mention all the other benefits like spiritual strength, growth, wisdom, understanding, etc.

There are two brands of favor that comes from God: unmerited (we don’t deserve it and we can’t earn it) and merited (we qualify for it). As you cooperate with God, He will put favor on you! And trustme, you don’t want to go bumping along in this life without the favot of God on you.

Psalm 5:12  ~ “For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield.”

To “surround” means “to encircle,” “encompass,” or “protect.” The favor of God will protect and preserve you. We need the favor of God to surround us as a shield!

 Look at what God’s favor did for Israel when He delivered them out of Egypt;

Exodus 3:20-2220 So I will stretch out My hand and strike Egypt with all My wonders which I will do in its midst; and after that he will let you go. 21 And I will give this people favor in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be, when you go, that you shall not go empty-handed. 22 But every woman shall ask of her neighbor, namely, of her who dwells near her house, articles of silver, articles of gold, and clothing; and you shall put them on your sons and on your daughters. So you shall plunder the Egyptians.”

They exited with silver, gold and cloths—loaded up!—because God gave them favor with the Egyptians, their enemies, the ones who enslaved them!

When you have heavy F.O.G. (Favor of God) in your life, you will never go away empty-handed (at a job interview, at the store, on a sales call, as you travel, in a difficulty, etc.).

Psalm 41:11 ~ (AMP) says, “By this I know that You favor and delight in me, because my enemy does not triumph over me.”

Your enemy is not always a person; it may be a situation, a symptom, a diagnosis, but when you have the favor of God in your life, it means the enemy will not triumph over you!

If favor seems missing from your life, you need to check on it! If you are living without favor, or if you are assuming you have no favor, you’re not looking for favor, or you’re not cooperating with God. If that is the case then you are making it is easy for the enemy to keep you down and hold you back.

Favor is rooted in God’s grace. Everything that God has promised, prepared or provided is contained in His grace—salvation, peace, provision, and favor….

Favor is contained in the grace of God. Favor is divine influence that leads you to success. God will give you unmerited favor, but there’s a merited favor that you qualify for as you cooperate with God. By faith you release the favor that grace contains.

 Daniel 1:9 ~ Now God had brought Daniel into the favor and goodwill of the chief of the eunuchs.

Daniel had been conquered and taken captive, but he did not fret, complain, get depressed or compromise. He made godly choices based on God’s Word. God gave Daniel favor with his captors, and Daniel ended up in a better place! He received promotion, preservation, restoration and increase because of the favor of God that got him through.

The favor of God will not only get you through but it will get you ahead. Whether it’s promotion, preservation, restoration or increase, favor will find you!

You will find repeatedly in Scripture people who “found favor.” To “find” something, you have to “look” for it. Part of looking for something means that you are expecting it. Look for favor, expect it, and cooperate with God and you will experience heavy F.O.G. in your life.

JC

VERY SOON…….

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~Faith that is ALIVE!~

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The book of James speaks about two kinds of Faith, a living Faith, and a dead Faith. Obviously a living Faith is to be preferred over a dead Faith because dead things produce no fruit. The problem is, many people truly believe that they are operating in a living faith but they see no fruit, and get discouraged because their faith is dead. Here is why:

James 2:26 For as the body without t he spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
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In this passage we see that faith is likened to the body, and works is likened to the spirit. It
is making the point that spirit is what gives life to the body. The word “Works” simply means corresponding action that indicates that you actually believe.
So the question is: How do I apply “works” or “spirit” to my faith to insure that my faith is a alive and capable of producing fruit? The answer is found in 2 Corinthians 4:13.
2 Corinthians 4:13 And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak,
The “Spirit of Faith” is the primary way we apply “works” to bring life to our faith. It is simply speaking the answer, the end result, the desired outcome. Declaring that you have (present tense) what you are believing for is an indication that you believe you have the answer. For instance; if you are believing for healing in your body, you should be declaring “I AM HEALED!” You should be declaring the Word of God that states “By the stripes of Jesus, I AM HEALED!” ( 1 Peter 2:24)
This makes folks extremely uncomfortable because they feel like they are lying. It seems like foolishness to them. They don’t understand the creative power of the spoken word. There is a basic principle of faith that God has established from the beginning that calls things into existence. It took God over two decades to teach Abraham this principle. God even changed his name from Abram to Abraham so that every time he said or heard his name, he was speaking or hearing that he was a father of many nations. Abraham means, “father of nations.” God called him this before he ever had a the promise child,  Isaac. God had to get Abraham into agreement with Him before the child could be born.
We must set ourselves in agreement with God’s word if we want to see it come to pass in our lives. Here is the principle in the New Testament:
Romans 4:17  (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; 
You see, God established this method of believing and speaking and He expects us to follow His example if we are to have a living faith. If we do not follow his example and be “DOERS” of THIS word … we deceive ourselves.
James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

Notice that the devil does not get credit for this deception, YOU DO!

It is not enough just to know God’s word, we must be doers of the word. This is the works of our faith. Corresponding action that indicates we actually believe it.

We must take control of  our tongue and force it to do its due diligence.
James 1:26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.
There, we see that “self deception” again.
Understand that bridling and taming are two different things. Your tongue IS untamed, and the implication in scripture is that it CAN’T be tamed.
James 3:8 But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
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We bridle untamed horses and force them to do our bidding. We must treat our tongue in the same manner. WHY? Because the power of life and death rests in one of your members that is untamed!

Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.
faith1We have our hands full keeping our faith alive because we have our hands full controlling our tongue. The good news is that the number one way that you apply WORKS (spirit) to your faith is speaking the word. In many, and I would venture to say MOST instances, it is the ONLY action required for you to get results with your faith. As we declare the promises of God they become established and manifest in the physical realm.
Job 22:28  You will also declare a thing, And it will be established for you; So light will shine on your ways.
 
Mark 11:23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.
 
In the process of growing in your ability to bridle the tongue I will leave you with three rules that I try to apply to my life. It will help you stay in faith if you apply them to yours.
1) Give your heart time to tell your mouth what to say.
Proverbs 16:23 The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, And adds learning to his lips.
Be slow to speak, put a bridle on your tongue and don’t allow yourself to speak words of unbelief
2) When you speak, make sure it is an improvement on silence.
If you can’t speak words that agree with your fait…keep silent.
3) Make sure your mountain is hearing your voice. Mark 11:23
Throughout the New Testament we see Jesus speaking to things like wind, waves, trees, fevers, demons, dead people, etc. They all obeyed Him. He is our example. Make sure you are speaking faith to your problems and circumstances.
JC

~ Bobblehead Christiany ~

So … What is a bobble head Christian? Oh you know a few! The ones with the
head so filled with knowledge about the things of God, the power of God, the
fullness of the Spirit. They know what the word says about virtually any
subject you bring up … yet they have no fruit of it in their life. The have
not walked ANY of it out. Their head is swelled with knowledge yet their
 spiritual feet are small and underdeveloped from not walking in what they know. Big ole head .. Itty bitty feet. BOBBLE HEAD! (Work with me here, I am trying to paint a picture)

Learning is important, knowledge is important, but what is MORE important is that we believe what we have learned enough to step out and walk in it. Not
 just cram our noggins so full of knowledge that our head grows so big we become unbalanced.

When our heads are puffed up with knowledge and we try to take a step on
those tiny atrophied feet … we fall. Then we realize that we are immobilized
by our lopsided development. Some of us are just going to have to step out at
the risk of falling on our face just to get our WALK developed.

We live in the information age. Google any subject you want and you will
find countless “experts” on any given topic. Folks in general don’t know the difference between true revelation and mere head knowledge. when YOU experience God unveiling a truth to YOU personally, THAT is TRUE revelation. Getting true revelation for yourself will empower you to walk in it. We must not confine the demonstration of the Holy Spirit to mere intellect. That is RESISTING the Holy Spirit. We must submit ourselves to Jesus command.

Matthew 10:8 ~ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead,  cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

God wants to show up BIG right where we are! We need to be willing to let the Spirit lead us, even into situations that we don’t understand and trust Him to back our play. Have the courage to step out and actually DO what you believe to be true.

~ What Is Christian Fellowship? ~

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What is true Christian fellowship? It has been said that fellowship is just a bunch of fellows on the same ship, however, it is far more rewarding and enriching than that. There is a wonderful exchange that takes place when Christian brothers and sisters come together in true fellowship.

The key is; true Christian fellowship only occurs when you are interacting with the people who God has ordained you to connect with.

The Greek word for fellowship that you usually see in the New Testament is: “koinonia,” This word has a very intimate meaning and has to do with communion, joint contribution, joint participation and a sharing of something that goes beyond what a single individual can contribute. It is a partnering together to share God on a level that cannot be attained by an individual. It is an activity that brings Jesus into your very midst and produces dynamic discipleship and enriches relationship with God on a personal and corporate level.

Matthew 18:20 ~ For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.

God has called you to a particular fellowship, a company of believers that you are to be in relationship with. It is impossible to mature as a balanced Christian without this God ordained fellowship. You have a supply that is needed in that fellowship and the fellowship has a supply that you need also. The supply is both spiritual and natural and it is necessary for balanced growth and maturity in the body of Christ, and for you as an individual.

Ephesians 4:16 – From whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Notice in this passage that supply comes from the joints in the body, not the parts of the body.

A joint is where two parts meet together, like your elbow or knee. That joint causes both parts to be more effective, more mobile, and increases the ability and strength of both connected parts. It is no coincidence that Jesus used this analogy. If you have ever had an injured joint like an ankle, knee, elbow, or wrist, you know how debilitating and restricting it can be. If you are not connected properly to the local assembly where God has called us, you hinder the overall effectiveness, productivity, and strength of the body of Christ. Not to mention yourself.

There are people who claim that they can worship God and be just fine without going to church or being around other believers. This is a deception of the enemy to prevent them from getting connected to the life of the body. It is a ploy to keep the branches disconnected from the vine so they can’t bear fruit. It keeps them from maturing and renders them ineffective and unproductive.

Hebrews 10:25 ~ And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

It is important that you be in the right circle of people so that you can experience this kind of fellowship. You don’t need to interact with every person on the planet, but you do need to find your place in the body and develop those relationships around you. It is this kind of fellowship that brings joy to your relationship with God and others.

Almost all of God’s blessings come through relationships. He uses people to bless people. When you are in true fellowship the blessings flow freely. They flow to you and they flow through you. Make it a point to develop and invest in those relationships.

Give yourself to walking in the light of true fellowship, for to fellowship with the body of Christ is just another way to fellowship with Him. In fact, there are realms of God that you will NEVER experience if you don’t engage in this type of “Body Interaction.” As you fellowship together there is a cleansing of sin that allows you to draw closer to God and to each other.

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

 

~ Learning To Be Led By Peace ~

Years ago, when I found out that God actually speaks to His people, I had this thought; “If I can learn to hear His voice and be led by His Spirit, I’ve got it made,” because I had already made up my mind that I was going to follow Him, and I believed that anything He would lead me to do would be the best thing for me regardless of how it may seem at the time. I still believe that.

What I have learned over the years, in my efforts to be sensitive to His voice and His leading, is that the primary way that God leads His people, aside from His written word, is with the inward witness of Peace. Not the inward voice, not the audible voice, no angelic messenger sent with a light show and a message from the Almighty, just a subtle witness, an impression, a feeling that something either seems right or seems wrong.

God still communicates with the inward voice, the audible voice, angelic visitations, dreams and visions, but that is not the norm, God leads us primarily through the Spirit of Peace. It is important to understand what Peace is and how it works so that we recognize when the Lord is trying to show us something. Jesus was trying to convey this to His disciples in John 14.

John 14 ~ 22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me. 25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. 26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. 27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Some would suggest that Peace, as mentioned in verse 27, is a separate subject than the previous verse where He talks about the Comforter, but it is not. Jesus is still on the same topic, and He is still answering Judas question about How He will manifest himself to believers and not the world. The answer is Peace.

Peace is the advantage that we have as Christians. It is the arbitrator of our decision-making process that works to lead us into the perfect will of God. It is the supernatural compass, the leader that is never wrong. It is the guide on the inside with a direct line to heaven, the connection to God’s thoughts and intents for your life.

 Jeremiah 29:11 ~ For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

Learning to be led by Peace is like learning anything else, you must practice. There is an old saying, “repetition is the mother of skill”. The more you do it, the better you get at it, it is as simple as that.

I believe that learning to recognize the subtle unction of peace is the first step in the learning process. Peace does not manifest with boisterous announcements and an earthshaking demonstration, it is soft, quiet, and serene like a gentle breeze or still waters.

We are all used to being stimulated to our 5 physical senses. It is important to learn how to shut out all external voices and noises in order to open up, and tune into, your spiritual ears. It is hard to hear a whisper if people, and problems are screaming  at you from every direction and over-stimulating all your senses.

Tuning in to the Holy Spirit’s leading is like tuning into a radio station, and the frequency of the Holy Spirit is Peace. We have to move the tuning dial of our spirit in such a way that the static of outside stimuli gets weaker and weaker (tuned out) and the inward witness of our spirit becomes clearer and clearer (tuned in). Once we discipline ourself to tune in to the Peace frequency, there are some other techniques that will help us be more accurate in being led by Peace.

Emotions are the strongest and loudest voice you will have to quiet in the battle for silence in your mind. Sometimes, no matter how much we try to tune out the world so we can hear our own heart, there are situations and circumstances that elevate our emotions to a level that make it very difficult to tune them out. In a situation like this there are a few practical things that we can do to help us be more accurate in our decisions. First is what I like to call the RAD technique. RAD stands for Reduce All Decisions to a yes or no answer.

No matter how detailed or complicated a decision is, even if it has a multitude of possible answers, break it down to a two answer question, a yes or no, this way or that way, or go ahead or wait questions. In reality, you may have to reduce it down to many two answer questions to get your answer, but this helps you focus your soul and spirit.

Once you have used the RAD technique and have identified all of your “two answer” questions, take each question and use another little trick I call TIP.

TIP stands for TOUCH IT with PEACE. Here is an example of how to TIP something.

Years ago I felt like God was dealing with me to sell my house. I could not get clear on the time I was supposed to sell it. This was my first home and it was a pretty big deal. I did not want to miss it on such a big decision and yet I was not clear if I was to sell it now or in the near future. Then the Lord said to “Touch it with Peace”. I had never heard that before but I knew what the Lord meant. I immediately took a FOR SALE sign and placed it in my front yard, went back in the house, got quiet, and listened on the inside.

Quickly I realized that I had an uncomfortable, scratchy feeling on the inside, a little buzzer, a check, a feeling that what I had just done seemed wrong. I knew that I had violated my peace. A half hour later I pulled the sign up and my struggles to be clear were over. I knew I was to wait.

On another occasion, I lost a receipt to a battery that I had bought for a boat. The battery was the wrong size and I had spent about an hour ransacking my house and garage trying to find it. I was getting frustrated and finally asked the Lord to help me. ( yeah, I know, should have done that first Ding Dong.) The Lord said “why don’t you do what you know to do?” I knew He was talking about relying on the Holy Spirit to lead me with Peace.

God cares about all the little things in your life and desires to get involved and help you. He is a gentleman however and will only get involved if asked.

So I was standing in the middle of my living room, looking up at the ceiling, and I just got real quiet and “tuned in” to my heart. There were three directions I could go from where I stood, out the front door, down the hallway, or through the kitchen. I hadn’t been out the front door so I could eliminate that without thinking, so I looked down the hall while listening to my heart. I got that subtle yucky feeling from staring at the hall so I turned to the kitchen and it seemed right. I stepped into the kitchen looking around at the opened drawers, the papers I had scattered on the counter, the dreaded trash can that I had pilfered through repeatedly, and that scratchy, yucky feeling was there again.

 I stepped to the backdoor and looked out the window at the garage and had a witness that this was the right way. It didn’t make sense to me. I had been through the garage several times. And then I got a revelation about a passage in Philippians.

Philippians 4:7 ~ And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

You must learn to trust Peace pass the limits of your understanding.

So I slowly walked outside, looking around, trying to be sensitive, and when I took the second step into the garage I knew I was in the right place. It seemed right, it felt good, I had a witness in my heart, … but I still didn’t see the receipt. I stood there with arms crossed and carefully scanned every area. I looked up to heaven to inquire of the Lord and … RIGHT THERE!

I was standing by a 6 ft. step-ladder that I had opened in the middle of the room to change a light bulb. As I look up to heaven I saw the corner of the receipt hanging over the edge of the top step, just over my head and out of sight. Peace had led me to it.

I use this TIP technique often, especially when I misplace my keys or phone, and this is great practice when learning how to be led by Peace. Repetition is the mother of skill. the more you practice on things like keys, phones and receipts, the easier it will be when the pressure is on.

Peace is one of my favorite topics, and what I believe to be one of the most valuable things to learn about if you are to live a life of the Spirit. Here are some scriptures to meditate on to help you grow in Peace.

Colossians 3:15 ~ And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

Philippians 4:5-7 ~ 5 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 2:13-15 ~ 13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

Isaiah 55:12 ~ For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.