A life of prayer is a life of Victory!

praying in churchA life of prayer is a life of power! The degree of power in our life is a direct reflection of our prayer life and habits. If you find weakness and fatigue in your faith then you can be sure that you are weak and impotent in prayer. The deeper our intimacy with God the stronger our prayer life will be. Deuteronomy 4:29 says, “But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Our prayer life is strengthened as we get to know Him experientially and understand who He is.

In times of spiritual dryness, we need to be saturated in God. In Topeka, Kansas just before Christmas of 1900, Charles F. Parham instructed the forty students at Bethel College to study the scriptures, to determine what would be considered the New Testament evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which they did. Then these students began to pray fervently that they might experience this same New Testament experience.

Clare Davis in her book, The Move of God writes of this experience. On the watch-night of 1901, they had a hallowed time of prayer for God’s blessings to be upon them in the coming year. During the first day of 1901 the Spirit of the Lord was with them in a marked way, stilling hearts to wait upon Him for greater things. The spirit of prayer was


God doesn’t want you to go through life with powerless prayers but being filled with the life changing power of the Holy Spirit.


upon them in the evening, and about 11:00 p.m., one of the students, Agnes Ozman, asked for prayer that she might receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. As the students laid hands on her she began to be filled with more of God. She later stated, “I had the added joy that my heart longed for, and a depth of the presence of the Lord within, that I never knew before. It was as if rivers of living water were proceeding from my innermost being.” Days later Parham, himself and soon all of the students received the Holy Spirit. The news spread quickly and many people were filled with this wonderful outpouring of the Holy Ghost. Parham went to Houston and began to teach this Book of Acts experience.”

God wants every believer to hunger for more of Him. Just as these students desired to experience the fullness of the power of the Holy Spirit, you and I need to come to that same place of hunger for more of God. The apostle Paul wrote to young Timothy


Our prayer life is strengthened as we get to know Him experientially and understand who He is


saying, “I desire therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting,” (I Tim. 2:8). This isn’t for a select few but for every believer. God wants all Christians to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit so that they can pray effective prayers.

God has so much more for each of His children. He doesn’t want you to go through life verily getting through with powerless prayers but being filled with the life changing power of the Holy Spirit. We need to make powerful prayer a way of life. It’s our life source and spiritual umbilical cord. What’s holding you back today? I encourage you to take time out of your busy schedule and pray, asking God to give you everything He has for you. There’s great power in prayer.

 

 

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Living a Life in light of the Resurrected Christ

images-70Isn’t it amazing how the weeks following the Easter holiday just slides back into routine? We find our children crashing from their sugar buzz from all the chocolate eggs and the new clothes aren’t new anymore. The family festivities all pass into sweet memories as well as the inspiring messages and church celebrations. The reality of the whole purpose also seems to fade so quickly into the next appointment on our agenda. I can’t help but think that this isn’t all Easter should be. A matter of fact, I believe the scriptural theme backs up a total different outcome. Easter wasn’t ever intended to be over and done with, but to increase more and more.

Several days of celebrating Jesus being falsely accused, scourged, crucified, buried and then risen from the dead for us, doesn’t fulfill the scripture purpose. Don’t get me wrong it’s good to celebrate and have a day of focus; but the whole reason for Christ dying and rising again is to give you and I a life more abundantly (Jn 10:10) as He intended not just an annual event. All of us were caught in inherited sin from Adam in the Garden of Eden, and plunged into a spiraling devolution. Paul describes all humanity


Christ’s death and resurrection is to give you and I a life more abundantly as He intended not just an annual event.


in Rom 3:10 as, “there is none righteous” and in Eph 2:17 “you who are far off”.   Bottom line is that we received a sin problem that separated us from our Heavenly Father, which we inherited through Adam. (Rom. 5:12) But through the incredible gracious and merciful free gift of God through Jesus sacrifice we are declared righteous and reconciled back to God. (Eph. 2:13, 1 Cor. 6:11)       Yes, we definitely have a great reason to be thankful and to celebrate our deliverance from enslavement of sin. But scripture teaches that being justified isn’t the end but a beginning of a glorious journey. Paul describes it as a great transfer. (Rom. 5:19) In what most acknowledge as Paul’s finest and most thorough work on doctrine, we find where he says in his letter to the Roman’s, in chapter 5:18 “Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, … even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life”.

The purpose of Easter celebration, which is about our justification through Christ’s death and resurrection, is much more than a holy week or day. God’s intent was a change in the way we live, “a justification of life”. We are purchased from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of light, from death unto new life. Paul says in 2 Cor 5:17 “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away…” and in Rom 6:4 he says “…even so we also should walk in newness of life”. The cross is the beginning of


I choose to live a life of victory not just be a Easter believer


every Christian’s walk of faith. God doesn’t want us to stay at the tomb of Jesus who died for us. Jesus wants us to identify with His resurrection and live a life unto righteousness. We shouldn’t go back to the humdrum of mediocrity after Easter, but we need to move forward in victory of life. (Rom 12:2, 2 Cor 3:18) If we have been purchased by Christ’s own blood shouldn’t we live a life that reflex’s His great mercy and power. Yet, that can only be achieved when are eyes are opened to the living Christ. The two disciples were sad and perplexed in their journey to Emmaus until their eyes were opened to the risen Savior that walked with them. (Jn 21:13-35) It’s time to walk each day in the power of the risen Lord! (Titus 2:13-14)

 

It’s Time to Grow Up!

1A- adult on baby bottleThere’s nothing like codling your new born when they first come home from the hospital and they still smell so new. Starting the journey of parenthood can be an exhilarating time in ones life. My wife would wrap our children when they were in that infant stage and bring them to me, so I could feed them and love on them. Wow! There’s nothing like it!

But if you fast-forward the journey, it definitely will get different. They have nothing on their mind other than playing with their friends and living life to it’s fullest. Feeding time can look like a litter of young pups knocking over anything and everything that stands in the way of their bowl of cereal on a Saturday morning. Sadly, the codling goes away and the feeding memories are filed away in the archives of the past.

Even in the bird kingdom in the coming of Spring you can find mother’s bringing worms and insects back to the nest, where the newly hatched babies eagerly await dinner with their mouth open. King Solomon in his wisdom sums it up


It is unnatural and incapable for anyone believer to grow spiritually if they stay spoon-fed     (tweet)


in Eccl 3:2 where he says there’s, “A time to be born, and a time to die; A time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted;” He pens what many of us parents have already experienced or what some are learning as they are currently in the trenches with raising their children. There are season! What might be cute and making of great memories with your newborn would totally be absurd to do with an older child. Keep cuddling by all means, but let them feed themselves when they’re older.

As Paul writes his letter to the believers in Colosse saying in Col 2:6-7, “As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.” Paul in his spiritual fathering exhorts those who had made a decision to receive Jesus as their Lord: to not stop with just a decision but to begin the journey of following their new master. What he says here he also says with more detail to the


If you are Not growing in the Lord… what’s your excuse?    (tweet)


Hebrews that weren’t progressing in their spiritual walk. He says in Heb. 5:12-14, “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you Continue reading

Roll Up Your Sleeves and Fight Vultures!

imagesNot only is the story of Abram fighting vultures away from his sacrifices captivating in Gen 15, but also has helped me in my walk with the Lord over the years. It demonstrates that we have a responsibility to keep our commitments to God as living sacrifices. This story in brief shows God revealing His promise to Abram through a covenant that both agree upon. Also in Deut. 7:9 Moses shares about God’s covenant, “Therefore know that … God (is) faithful … who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments”.

Growing up we have all had childish promises and agreement as friends. Whether it’s a promise to be best friends forever or a promise to keep a secret we have experienced them. But, it’s not until we get older in our life’s journey that we really


Man has proven his inability to keep any agreement without God’s grace and empowerment.   (text)


understand how common covenants and promises between individuals have been throughout history. They were used for territories, peace treaties and passage rights through other lands. Today, we use them in our everyday lives, such as marriage, loans, jobs and etc. Even though most looked much different, all were based on the philosophy of a serious promise. They came with the agreement that if one side or both ever break the agreement it could bring severe consequences.

            In the scripture we see how God’s love for His people is portrayed through His unfolding of His purposes through the making of covenants to individuals through out the ages. Looking at the 9 covenants in scripture give us understanding that God who is the originator of His promises reveal that He is a covenant-making God. He has the right to set up the conditions in which man can enter into or maintain the covenant. He is also a covenant- keeping God. Once He makes covenant with us He will not Continue reading

Asking for what’s on God’s Heart

IMG_2431In Ezekiel 36 we read a fascinating statement from the Lord to the children of Israel. God lays out His will and promises of mercy and love for His people. “Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘I will also let the house of Israel inquire of Me to do this for them: I will increase their men like a flock,’” (v. 13). This scripture reveals that God wants us to ask for His will to be done. He invites us to inquire of Him for revelation and fulfillment of His promises!


As we seek Him, He reveals His heart and His promises to us so that we, in turn, can ask Him for them. (Tweet)


It is His desire that we would know His will. Too often, we miss God’s great promises because we never knew they were for us. On the other hand, we might know of the scriptures but haven’t ever been taught that we must inquire of God for them. As we seek Him, He reveals His heart and His promises to us so that we, in turn, can ask Him for them. It’s like Mary sitting at Jesus’ feet listening. Knowing His heart empowers us to have confidence to ask for His will. Yet, we miss out by not communing with Him.

In Ezekiel 36:13 God reveals that His people should seek him and His promises with faith and expectancy. We also read in James 1:6-7 that the man who wants to receive from the Lord must pray with expectancy. The person who asks with unbelief will end up empty handed. It says, “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord.” Prayer that is not seasoned with faith is nothing more than worthless religious jargon. It is impossible to catch the attention and favor of the Lord without a believing heart. God reveals His heart and will to those who incline their ears and seek Him. In return, we are invited to be a part of the manifestation of His promises.

We see this same principle working in the book of Daniel 9:2-3. Daniel received revelation through the Word that the seventy years of the Jews’ captivity had ended. However, their release was not yet manifested. Therefore, Daniel began to set his face toward the Lord in prayer and fasting. This empowered him to be confident in intercession since he now knew God’s heart.


God reveals His heart and will to those who incline their ears and seek Him. In return, we are invited to be a part of the manifestation of His promises (tweet) 



God promises that He will put His desires in our hearts when we live in communion with Him. (Ps. 37:4) His heart will become ours, transforming us to think as He thinks. God wants us to know His will and pray in agreement with Him. Too often, we want God to jump on our bandwagons of self-will instead of us connecting with His will and His heart’s desire. When we follow our own heart it leads us away from Him into idolatry. We become servants of our selfish wants and desires.

When we have discovered what’s on His heart and what His will is, then we can come into His presence with boldness and confidence. In I John 5:14-15 we read that if we ask anything in His will, that He will hear us. It goes on to say if He hears us then we can have the confidence to expect answers to those petitions. The key to answered prayers in our lives is to pray according to His will and purposes.

Does the Devil Really Wear Red?

red devil 1How many times do we come across different co-workers or associates that say they are Christians yet live a lifestyle below the bar of God’s plan. They seemed to be caught in a red devil theology, blinding them from seeing or fulfilling God’s plan in the earth. Let me explain with a fun but true story.

Some years ago several ministers and I were doing a pastor’s conference in Tampico, Mexico. We would daily drive from the hotel to the location of the conference. On one morning in the midst of the rush hour traffic we came across a man dressed in a red devil costume in the center medium blowing fire out of his mouth. It was quite amusing to say the least. All of us being preachers thought it would be a fun photo opt so we stopped and proceeded to walk over to him.

When the man in the red costume saw us coming and before we could reach him he grabbed his belongings and bolted across traffic and flagged down an oncoming bus heading out of town. We stood in amazement as everything unfolded before us so quickly. Back in the van we chuckled about the way this humorous event had played out saying “we had chased the devil out of town”. Yet, he might have gotten the last laugh due to the fact that he had distracted and hindered us from fulfilling God’s purpose. We were late getting to the conference that we were speaking at.


Some people seem to be caught in a red devil theology, blinding them from seeing or fulfilling God’s plan in the earth       (tweet)


As humorous as this story is, many people if they were honest would say they basically go through their day-to-day journey thinking the devil is nothing more than a sideshow of a circus. I might be stretching it a little but I still believe many people view the devil in a far from accurate way. The fact is the devil is real, even though he doesn’t wear a red suit, carry a pitchfork and stand in plain view making a show for drive by traffic. But on the contrary in Matt 10:10 it says, he wants to steal, kill and destroy individuals.

Paul exhorts believers to not be ignorant and blinded of the devils devices in 2 Cor.2:11. The scriptures reveal he is self-seeking and will do anything to exalt himself. Which includes ravishing your life and stealing your inheritance as a child of God. In 1 Pet 5:8-9 we’re exhorted, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith…”.

God is unfolding His plan in the earth and desires us to be co-laborers with Him. Yet because of a lack of understanding many have made light of the schemes of the devil disqualifying or derailing them from fulfilling God’s purpose. They have swallowed the lie that the enemy of their soul is only a harmless figure dressed in a red devil’s costume blowing fire for entertainment, which has opened the door for deception.


Jesus has covered us in red through His blood calling us sons and daughters.   (tweet)


When we are aware of his tactics and grounded in who we are in Christ then we are able to oppose him. Jesus has covered us in red through His blood calling us sons and daughters. Therefore as the scripture says “greater is Christ in us then the deceptive devil. We must be rooted and solid in our understanding of who God is and who the devil is not!

Blessed is the Nation that Comes Together in Prayer

praying in a huddleAs the clock struck twelve, the crowds had only one thing on their mind—getting to the place of prayer. The whole city was shut down, businesses closed their doors, schools dismissed class early, and even the legislature had called it a day. The year was 1905, and from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., the eyes of the city were looking to God for his guidance. The mayor of Denver had declared a day of prayer, resulting in more than twelve thousand in attendance in downtown prayer meetings.

During this same time, over two hundred businesses closed for three hours of prayer in Portland, Oregon. In Burlington, Iowa, many stores and factories closed to allow their employees to go to prayer meetings. There seemed to be a yearning and anticipation for a fresh move of God sweeping through people of every social and ethnic level. Churches were bulging full of people praying and seeking God. The news of the great Welsh revival spread through the land like wild fire, causing a hunger to be aroused in America. The result of this great move of prayer was powerful. Many denominations recorded a significant increase in their membership. Things were beginning to be stirred and get in place for the soon coming Azusa Street Revival in 1906.

Nearly fifty years earlier, a similar movement of prayer took place, bringing our country to its knees. It all started in 1857, in Manhattan, New York, area, with an individual named Jeremiah Lanphier, who had a burden from the Lord to start a noon prayer meeting. He advertised and promoted it, which soon brought a steady increase in attendance. Before long, prayer meetings began to spring up in almost every public building downtown. The local newspaper’s publicity thrust a landslide of prayer, beginning a movement that spread throughout New England

The revival that followed had no boundaries going out in every direction changing lives. Shortly after the revival had begun, the country found itself in the middle of the bloodiest war ever fought on American soil. Yet, due to the moving of God, many of the men who lost their lives had been prepared for eternity through God’s grace and mercy.

The effects of this revival touched even the White House. President Lincoln, being concerned about America and how it had become too successful and self-sufficient, full of pride, gave his Proclamation for a National Day of Fasting, Humiliation, and Prayer. On April 30, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln said, “It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.” The results of this great revival not only carried on, but also lasted for many years. It had begun in a passion for prayer and was sustained with faithfulness of prayer!


When God’s people come together in persistent powerful prayer, God breaks in with radical results!       Tweet


Mathew Henry once said, “When God intends a great mercy for his people, he first sets them a praying.” We must find the place of prayer! Revival has never come through great preaching or successful programs. We must set ourselves to prayer, seeking to be changed by the power of God. Only when we have touched the hem of his garments will we see a visitation of God!