Posts tagged ‘Jesus’
In the times in which we are living; a time with the world’s economy falling apart and with wars and uprisings on just about every continent, it’s no wonder so many people are living in fear. I really believe that fear and the stress that comes with it is one of the leading causes, if not the leading cause of sickness and disease today. Scripture even says in Luke 21:26 that men’s hearts will fail them for fear, and for looking toward those things, which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven will be shaken. Job 3:25 says what I always feared has happened to me. What I dreaded has come true. In both of these instances things happened to people because they were afraid. In the one instance people’s hearts failed, and in the other instance, well, we all know what happened with Job. He lost his kids, livestock, pretty much everything except his life, oh yea, and his wife. But even she was trying to convince him to curse God and die. Anyway, fear was a major issue back then, and is even more of an issue now. Because fear and anxiety seem to be playing such an important role in the lives of men and women today, even Christians, it is imperative that we gain understanding as to what fear is, how we as Christians are to address it, and how to overcome it.
Fear is an unpleasant emotion like dread, fright, and apprehension that manifests as an expression of ones belief (or faith) that someone or something else has a greater ability to influence their circumstance than God.
Once while teaching on fear in a conference the Lord gave me a vision of how fear influences people. I saw all the people as puppets with strings attached at one end to the peoples feet, legs, arms and hands, while the other ends of the strings were attached to the word ‘FEAR’ that was suspended above their heads. Fear was pulling the strings attached to the individuals and by doing so controlled their actions. One way this is demonstrated in the natural is in the fight or flight response. When you are confronted with a fearful event your body will react by either fighting to rid yourself of the threat or by running away, that is what is meant by fight or flight. This is shown spiritually when you are presented with the opportunity to pray for someone who is injured or sick on the street or in the store. Fear will grip you and cause doubt to enter your mind. It will say something like, “If you go over there and pray for them nothing will happen and you’ll look like a fool!” At that point you have two choices. One is to go and pray for the sick (fight), the other is to walk away (flight). If you pray for them you are declaring that God’s word, which says we will lay hands on the sick and they will recover, is true and greater than fear. If you walk away you’re saying that fear and the lies it tells are truer than the Word of God. By walking away and giving into fear, you have just made fear the potter in your life instead of the only One who is to be the potter, God. That may sound a little harsh but sometimes the truth is harsh, even when spoken in love. In cases where the threat is not imminent like being attacked physically, or praying for the sick, but more like being fearful of losing a job or getting sick, your body will react by becoming anxious or stressed. Many times this stress and anxiety will cause you to make irrational or unwise decisions in order to get free of the perceived threat. As Christians however, we are not called to live in fear or even allow fear to have a say in our lives; we are called to live in His love, since He is love, and to become love. As He is so are we in this world. (1 John 4:17)
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear has to do with punishment. He that fears is not made perfect in love. (1John 4:18)
Like we mentioned above, God is love and when we have a revelation of His perfect, unconditional love, we understand that there is no way He will let us down. There is no way He won’t do whatever it takes to meet our needs, if we will just allow Him. We will believe Him above anything else because we gained an understanding of His true nature, we know who He really is.
How many times do we speak the word of God into a situation and see nothing change? It can be extremely frustrating, causing us to question God’s will in a situation. My heart hurts as I recall the people I’ve talked to who have struggled with seeing the power of God manifest in their lives and their world around them. When nothing seems to be happening they usually respond in one of two ways.
- They give up, thinking that either God word doesn’t work or there is something wrong with them. Most people get frustrated and start looking for another answer.
- They become more fervent in their prayers. They beg and plead God to move, many times adding fasting or repentance trying to “activate” the power in the word.
God has been really impressing on me these past couple weeks that we need to change our perspective. Quit focusing on the words that we speak and start focusing on where those words come from. It’s not the power of the words, it’s the words of power. Let me explain it this way.
Scripture is valuable to know, knowing it and rightly dividing it gives us the guidance we need for our lives. Yes, even Jesus quoted scripture, but it wasn’t really what He said that stopped Satan’s temptation, it was who was saying it. He didn’t ask God to make Satan go away, He didn’t go through all sorts of rituals, He just spoke, and if He would have said, “ That’s a lie, be quiet!”, it would have been just as effective. You see, Jesus knew something we all need to get a greater revelation of. He knew He was God’s beloved son and that His Father was well pleased with Him.
As born again believers we too are beloved sons (both male and female) and God is very pleased with us. It has nothing to do with your actions, Jesus made you righteous and holy by the finished work of the cross, your Heavenly Father is pleased with you in the same way He is pleased with Jesus. As a matter-of-fact, He is so pleased with you that He has seated you at His right hand in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. That’s right, He seated you in a place of authority. And that gets us to the main point. It’s from that place of authority that we must speak. It really isn’t important what we say or the words used. What is important is having the revelation that it is spoken from that position of power and of having all authority. It’s from a position of the authority of all of Heaven and earth that gives the words power. When we speak from that position we don’t ask God to do it we demand the situation change and conform to the will of God. We should no longer ask God to do what He has given us authority to do and commanded us to do.
Many years ago, in my youthful exuberance and raw passionate love for God, I set out to change the world for God. I preached the love of God and healed the sick everywhere I went. There were no grey areas in my life; everything was black or white, right or wrong. I knew the nature of God, He was revealing it to me through supernatural experiences; unfortunately, I can’t say I always demonstrated it.
During this time I sought a church to call home; one that would “understand my passions”. Needless to say, I wasn’t received everywhere I went. Sometimes it was my fault, sometimes not, but regardless of the reason, I took offense and the hurts started to build.
Funny thing about hurts, if not dealt with, they will influence every part of your life and ministry, especially your relationship with God and others. Those hurts will start dictating how you view others, and if you are ministering, you will minister out of those hurts instead of love.
Anyway, my hurts against “the church” built causing me to become more and more separated from all Christians except for those I was ministering to. Gradually my message changed from God’s unconditional love to one that was centered on going against the popular doctrines that I saw were unscriptural. I slowly went from loving all, to seeing the faults in the lives and beliefs of others. Now, I realize some may say, “ Aren’t you supposed to expose false teachings?” Yes and no. We are called to expose false doctrine but the way we go about it is as important as the exposing of it. If you look at the life of Jesus, He taught the truth. He didn’t teach against anything unless he was addressing the teachers of the Law. Even then, He never sought them out, they came to Him and addressed Him; He was just responding. So yes, we expose the false but we do it by teaching the truth. Light will expel darkness if you just let it shine.
So, my hurts continued to build and I became more and more isolated from other Christians until finally one night, sitting in a restaurant in Malawi Africa, I walked away from ministry. I still loved God tremendously; I had just allowed the hurts to build until my discontent with the condition of the church caused me to want no part of it or even to minister to it. The not-so-funny thing about isolation is that the enemy knows that as long as he can keep you from the fellowship with other believers, you will never be healed from the hurts.
I stayed away from any organized Christian service for four years; even then it took my wife telling me it’s time for us to start going to church again and prodding me for me to go. I knew this was from God and I knew where He was telling me to go, I was just reluctant to go. I had never been to the church He was telling me to go to, but I had seen the pastor and had seen his heart. I knew he had a heart in love with God and with love for the people.
We’ve been going to Christian Center Shreveport for 3 years now and God has used the people there to heal my heart. He has once again restored my love for people and the desire to see them become all God has created them to be. I could not have been healed of hurts from the church unless I started going to and started being around the church again. (I realize we the people are the church and the place isn’t but give me some grace here 🙂 ) We cannot be all we were created to be apart from the rest of the body. I’ve learned through all this that it’s not about being in 100% agreement on every issue, it’s not about people understanding you or recognizing your “anointing”. It is about loving people, serving people, and laying your life down so they can be who Jesus has created them to be. I’ve learned that it’s about having a family that when you are down, they are there to stand with you and help support you. I’ve learned that it’s all about love and for that I’m very thankful to my Christian Center Family. I love them and even when I’m not able to be with them physically, I’m there in spirit.
To all of you that have isolated yourself from others because of hurts or because they don’t believe the way you believe, get back in the fellowship. Don’t worry about them or what they do or say, love them, serve them, and watch the wounds heal.
I’ve had people ask me why I have such strong feelings and a no compromise attitude when it comes to the doctrine of holiness. But if you understand where I’ve been then you’ll understand why.
In 1998 when I heard the audible voice of God calling me to serve Him, it radically transformed my life in an instant. His love took such hold of me that I would pray and spend at least 8-10 hours a day in His presence, many times not even eating just because His love had captured me. Then as the months passed by, I met other “charismatics” that started telling me about “paying the price” to see the power of God move in my life. Saying that through the ridding myselff of everything not of God and living a life of holiness, God’s power could then flow in my life. I then continued to pray for 8-10 hours a day, fasting at least 3-4 days every week and many times 10-14 days once to twice monthly to get more of God’s power in my life. I dedicated my life to scripture and the presence of God, but gradually, even though I was spending all this time with God, the intimacy I had experienced in the beginning began to fade. Even the supernatural experiences began to occur less often. I struggled to try and find out why, after all, I was spending time with God and living a more holy life than most could imagine. I searched and searched trying to find the spot or blemish in my life that was limiting the power of God from manifesting. I even explored generational curses that my ancestors brought about that could be limiting the flow of the power of God in my life. Then gradually and lovingly Daddy showed me where the problem was. It wasn’t sin, it wasn’t a curse, it was my righteousness.
But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; (Isaiah 64:6)
It all started with spending time with Daddy because of love, allowing Him to father me and spending enormous amounts of time with Him because I wanted to be with my Daddy. The power flowed in my life 24/7 and everything was easy. Then everything began to change as I began “paying a price”, trying to get what He had already given me. Daddy then revealed to me that my righteousness is by the sacrifice of Jesus and that alone. I can’t add anything to it and if I try to gain righteousness, favor, power, or anything else in my life by acting Holy, then that lifestyle is like filthy rags to God,; basically I was saying that Jesus’ sacrifice wasn’t enough. I was declaring that I must add to the sacrifice, and that belief system is Anti-Christ.
It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. (1Cor. 1:30)
I’ve learned the hard way, Jesus alone is my wisdom, righteousness and holiness. He made me righteous and holy and my actions have nothing to do with it. I am righteous and holy by faith in the finished work of the cross. It was that revelation that has allowed the power of God and supernatural experiences to once again start manifesting. It is that revelation that has caused me to fall more in love with Daddy and rest in His love instead of working for it.
The cross, although it has become the symbol for our faith, was never intended by God to be the focus. The cross was one of the means by which God fulfilled His purpose; it was not the fulfillment of His purpose. Let me explain it this way.
When God created Adam He blew the Breath of life into him, basically God placed His Spirit in Adam and they became one. When Adam sinned Holy Spirit left, He no longer abided in man, the two were no longer one; and throughout history it has been God’s plan to reconcile himself back to us.
19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
The cross was the means God used to provide the way for us to once again be who/what we were created to be – man one with God. He in us and us in Him; the one new creation that looks like Jesus, and He is to be our focus. The purpose was once again for man/God to walk this earth in dominion, making it reflect the glory of Heaven. For this to occur we must adhere to a very important spiritual principle – That which you gaze upon is that which you become.
For us to become the salvation for this earth, the manifestation of the son’s of God, we must focus our sight on Jesus. As we keep our eyes on Him then we will be transformed into His image. If we continue to gaze at Him then we will be who we are created to be because as He is, so are we in this age. Then and only then will the whole earth see the glory of the Lord.
The Gospel of the Kingdom is the power of God for salvation. The word used here for power is the Greek word “dunamis”, the word we get dynamite from; and the Greek word for salvation is “soteria” which means welfare, prosperity, deliverance, preservation, salvation, and safety. The Gospel is the explosive power of God to keep you safe, prosper you, deliver you, protect you, and save you. Unfortunately for many, the Gospel has been reduced to a debate as to why you should say a prayer to go to Heaven.
I was out in the city one day with a friend teaching him how I minister healing to people on the street and shooting video for teaching purposes. A young couple sitting and talking on a bench caught my eye so I went over and introduced myself. We started talking about Jesus and it came up that people say that Jesus is Lord because the Bible says so, but what makes the Bible more reliable than other books such as the Koran. To them, just saying the Bible says so is a useless argument. I agreed with them and then said, “but if I could prove Jesus is Lord then that would be different.” They agreed. I then pointed to the guy and said, “you have back problems, and so if I can heal that problem in Jesus’ name and all the pain left, then that would prove Jesus is who the Bible said He was”. They both agreed. I then commanded his back to be healed; he said he felt movement in his back and immediately all the pain left.
The interesting thing is that both said they had prayed the salvation prayer at one time in their life. Someone had convinced them earlier in their lives that Jesus was Lord, but neither had ever personally encountered the Living God. Without this encounter, the decision to say the prayer is based on an intellectual argument, one that leads an individual to question the reality of their beliefs when confronted with another seemingly viable argument. But that day Jesus became real to them, no longer just a theological debate. That moment He became their living savior.