Fear is a crippling reality.
Fear often brings on sleepless nights that turn into zombie days which lead to exhausted minds and bodies unable to stand in faith. The feeling of helplessness can be overwhelming and often leads to depression. A person in fear feels completely alone, forgotten and unable to see anything clearly.
2 Timothy 1:7 – "For God has not given us the spirit of fear ..."
Imagine for a moment if you went into battle with your cooking utensils. While you probably wouldn't starve, I'm not sure you would survive very long either. To fight a battle requires offensive weapons. Bring the wrong tools to a fight and you won't survive long at all. When it comes to spiritual battles, you can't bring your physical tools with you. You need spiritual tools.
So what weapons do you bring to a spiritual fight?
The two weapons we have been given to win our spiritual battles are the (1) weapons of prayer and (1) worship. It would require a much longer blog to explain exactly why these two things are so important in our spiritual battles, but for now, just trust me ...
"The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man accomplishes much" (James 5:16)
Prayer = Power. That's good enough for me.
Worship enables us to overcome whatever challenge we have before us. It worked so well for Paul and Silas that it even caused an earthquake!
"At midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened and everyone's shackles were loosened" (Acts 16:25, 26).
Worship = Deliverance. That's a good enough reason to add it to our weapons arsenal.
So, the next time fear grips you, don't try to figure it out with your normal techniques. Pick up some spiritual tools and go after fear in prayer and worship. God has not give you a spirit of fear so don't let it find a place to just come and hang out in your life. Get rid of it in Jesus Name!
We all agree that everybody wants to be loved. Most psychologists agree that man's greatest need is to be loved. No barrier can withstand the mighty force of love.
Agape is God's supernatural, unconditional love for you which is revealed supremely through our Lord's death on the cross for our sins. It is the supernatural love Jesus wants to produce in you and through you to others, by His Holy Spirit.
In 1 Corinthians chapter 13, apostle Paul inspired by the Holy Spirit writes; If I had the gift of being able to speak in other languages without learning them, and could speak in every language there is in all of heaven and earth, but didn't love others, I would only be making noise.
If I had the gift of prophecy and knew all about what is going to happen in the future, knew everything about everything, but didn't love others, what good would it do?
Even If I had the gift of faith so that I could speak to a mountain and make it move, I would still be worth nothing at all without love.
If I gave everything I have to poor people, and if I were burned alive for preaching the Gospel but didn't love others, it would be of no value whatever.
In other words, no matter what you do for God and for others, it is of no value unless you are motivated by God's love.
The five main purposes as why you were made.
1) You were planned for God's pleasure. God made you to enjoy you. In Revelation 4:11 says: "You, God, created everything, and it is for your pleasure that they exist and were created."
2) You and I were formed for God's family.
Look at Ephesians 1:5 - "This unchanging plan, His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into His own family." Family should be very important to us because it is important to God.
Did you know that fifty-eight times in the New Testament the word "one another" is used? Love one another, care for one another, pray for one another, exhort one another, encourage one another, greet one another, and on and on and on. God wants you to care for other people. That's called fellowship. Enjoying God's family is called fellowship, and that's the second purpose for your life. Enjoying life with your family.
3) We were created to be like Christ, that's called discipleship. God made you to transform you into a likeness of his son, Jesus Christ.
The Bible says in Romans 8:29, "From the very beginning, that those who came to him, and all along He knows who would, should become like His son, so that His son would be the first of many brothers." Now this is not God's new plan, It's been God's plan from the very beginning of time.
God is more interested in your character, and I'll tell you why - you're not taking your career into eternity, but you are taking your character.
4) You were created to serve Him
The fourth purpose God created you for is this: you were shaped for service. God made you to serve Him.
In Ephesians 2:10, the Bible says, "God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us to do good works, which God planned in advance for us to live our lives doing."
Every Christian is created to serve - called to ministry, created for ministry, saved for ministry, gifted for ministry. The Bible makes it very clear that every Christian is a minister. Not every Christian is a pastor, but every Christian is a minister because to be Christ-like is to be a minister. You can't be like Jesus Christ without serving others.
5. You were created for a mission.
Jesus said, in John 17:18, "[Father,] in the same way you gave me a mission in the world, I give them a mission in the world." Every believer needs a ministry in the church and a mission in the world. You need both. You need a ministry to believers, and you need a mission to unbelievers.
If you want God's blessing on your life, if you want God's hand of blessing on your life, you must care about the things that God cares about most! And that is bringing lost children back to Jesus. That is what God cares about more than anything else.
What we need to know
Even if there is a so-called generational curse, Jesus is the cure for that curse. The Apostle Paul wrote that “all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them’” (Galatians 3:10). This means we’re all cursed because none of us can ever keep the Law perfectly or do enough good works to save ourselves.
Thankfully, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree” (Galatians 3:13). It is true that “the LORD is slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, forgiving iniquity and transgression, but he will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and the fourth generation” (Numbers 14:18). In that sense we’re all a bit cursed because of our sinful nature.
It’s good to acknowledge that, but then we must acknowledge we have trusted in Christ and profess Him to others so that they might have the curse of death lifted, too. Then they might receive eternal life by believing in Jesus Christ.
The Bible says, “The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself” (Ezekiel 18:20). Yes, there is something like a generational curse, but it only effects a family that is not walking with God but walking in their own flesh. Fleshly living produces carnal results, which eventually leads to eternal death. I hope you’re not worried that you’re locked into a generational curse and can’t get out of it because that’s NIT true. Jesus said, “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed,” (John 8:36). This means the condemnation has been lifted (Romans 8:1) and you now have peace with God (Romans 5:1) through Jesus Christ, Who became a curse for us so that we might have our curse lifted. (Galatians 3:13-14)
IF YOU ARE A BORN AGAIN BELIEVER, YOU HAVE BEEN REDEEMED FROM THE CURSE OF THE LAW
Very few of over 7 billion people on this planet will ever maximize the full potential that God has placed inside them. Most people live mediocre lives. The full extent of their capabilities and talents go untapped. They are not even aware of the tremendous potential they possess.
What is “potential”? It is your unused strengths. Your hidden talents. Your untapped abilities. Your dormant talents. Your capped capabilities.
There is a great wealth of potential within you. But you must decide if you will deprive the world or bless the world with those gifts that are locked away inside you.
If you decide that you do want to release your potential, the next step is to understand the principles God has established for unlocking potential. Miles Munroe, a minister in the Bahamas, identified 10 keys to unlocking potential:
1) You must establish a relationship with God — the source of your potential.
2) You must understand how God made you to function: by faith and by love.
3) You must know your purpose in life (your potential was given for just that).
4) You must identify the resources that help unlock your potential.
5) You must know and find or create the right environment you need to function at your peak performance level. Part of this is daily contact with God.
6) You must realize that potential is expressed through hard work.
7) You must cultivate your potential. Fertilize it like a seed.
8) You must guard your potential — from laziness, distractions, and compromise.
9) You must share your potential. No potential exists for itself.
10) You must understand and cooperate with the limitations God has placed on your potential. Remember, you’re not God! When you violate these limitations, your potential actually decreases.
Your potential is God’s gift to you. He expects you to use it!
From exacts of Rick Warren and Miles Monroe
Words create things or destroy things. Words are the most powerful things in the universe! The words you speak will either put you over in life or hold you in bondage (Proverbs 18:18).
Many peope have been held captive in their circumstances by their own words. The absence of God's Word in your life will rob you of faith in His ability. Recieve from God! Put yourself in a position to recieve God's best for you by speaking His Word. God's creative power is still just as it was in the beginning of time when he stood there and said, "Light-be," and light was. His Word spoken from your mouth and conceived in your heart become a spiritual force releasing His ability within you. Creative power in you! Man was created in the image of God and His likeness. Learn to speak His faith-filled words to your situation and see your life transformed. Allow God's creative power to flow from you. "I have told my people they can have what they say, but my people are saying what they have." (by Charles Capps)
Exodus 2:11-15 (NIV) One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. Glancing this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. Then next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, "Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew?" The man said, "Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian?" Then Moses was afraid and thought, "What I did must have become known." When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well. Moses began to assert himself on behalf of his own people.
I. Our Ways
What might have happened if Moses had actually tried to deliver the children of Israel through a human approach? Thousand's and thousand's would have been slain. It already costed Moses 40 years of exile in Midian working as a Shepherd. Moses succeeded when he allowed God to do it His way.
When God delivered the children of Israel there was not one person lost nor any feeble person among them. Psalm 105:37 (NKJV) He also brought them out with silver and gold, and there was none feeble among His tribes. God's ways are indisputably better than our ways, so why do we persist in doing things our own ways rather than God's way.
II. God's Ways.
Isaiah 55:8-9 (NKJV) "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.
The Bible offers many principles to aid the process of making decisions that honor God. The following list is not exhaustive, but it does represent many teachings of Scripture.
First, begin with prayer. First Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” If we should pray in all situations, we should certainly pray in times of decision-making. As we pray, we ask for wisdom (James 1:5).
Second, define the issue. Wise decisions are informed decisions. It is important to understand what options are available. Once the factors are known, options can be further considered and evaluated.
Third, seek biblical wisdom. Some decisions become easy, if there is one clear choice consonant with God’s Word. Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” When we follow the teachings of God’s Word, He guides our path and provides knowledge to make wise choices.
Fourth, seek godly counsel. Proverbs 15:22 says, “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.” Sometimes, consulting with a friend or family member is enough. At other times, consulting with a pastor or other trusted voice can make the difference between a harmful decision and a helpful one.
Fifth, trust the Lord with your decision. In other words, if you’ve made your decision with prayer, sound wisdom and biblical counsel, trust God for the outcome. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
Sixth, be willing to admit mistakes and adjust accordingly. In most cases, there is no wisdom in continuing down a wrong path after you have discovered it is wrong. Be willing to admit mistakes or failures and ask God for the grace to change.
Seventh, give praise to God for your success. When your decisions result in personal success, the temptation is to believe it is due to your own power, talent, or genius. However, it is God who blesses our efforts and gives strength. “A man can receive only what is given him from heaven” (John 3:27).
Recommended Resource: Decision Making and the Will of God by Friesen & Maxson
James 5:17-18 tells us, “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.” It wasn’t Elijah’s asking that accomplished this but it was God answering his request because it was his will, He had a purpose in it. God can take away things by our praying and affect people and nations and He can add things and bless them. He can and does miracles for his namesake. Ps.145:18 “the Lord is near to all those who call upon him, to all who call upon him in truth.”
According to 1Corinthians 2 we have several spirits going on within us or just outside of us. They have a restricted influence over us, but we still must make a choice of whose influence we follow. These three spirits that Paul wrote about to the Corinthians are:
The spirit of man,
The spirit of the world,
The spirit of God
Let’s take a further look into each one of these that Paul writes about.
The spirit of man.
Who knows the nastiness of our thoughts except for our own spirit, the spirit of man. For the spirit of man is in tune with the things of the flesh. Our spirit senses hunger, thirst and pain and acts accordingly with a response.
Anyone who has fasted runs into this fact. We allow the spirit of God to take over, thus yielding our hunger to Him. By this we become an overcomer or overcoming the spirit of man. This is the reason it says in 2 Cor 10:5 that we are to be taking every thought captive and bring it into submission to God with our obedience to what Jesus taught us by word and deed.
The spirit of the world. This spirit relies upon what things a man teaches, not the things that God teaches. This would be what Jesus called the traditions of man, which were nailed to the cross (where we should leave them.)