The Ultimate Parade of Victory!

images-47As far as you could see there was a sea of blue clothed fans packed in the streets. The atmosphere was filled with excitement and resounding shouts of victory as the crowds pressed in to see the oncoming parade. It was the fall of 2015 and the Kansas City Royals had just clinched the World Series pennant. The city couldn’t have been more committed in the celebration parade; schools were closed as well as some businesses and many took the day off to make a family day of it. The parade was filled with local marching bands, ticker tape and most important, the bigger than life team players.

After being involved in this city-shaking event it makes Paul’s words to the Colossians come alive more vividly. He says in Col. 2:14-15 concerning Jesus work on the cross, “…having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the


At the End of the Age we will be shocked at the devils weakly appearance!


cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it”. The word “triumphing” Paul uses here and also in 2 Cor. 2:14 is a figure of speech drawn from the ceremony that greeted a Roman general who had won a decisive victory over a enemy. This “Via Triumphalis” parade usually featured a display much like our “parade of champions” in our sports enthused societies.

The parade would wind through the most occupied places of the city. At the front would be musicians, dancers and maidens carrying perfumes and incense, throwing flower petals along the way, much like the flower girl at a wedding. The air and atmosphere would be filled with the smell and sounds of victory! Then in a chariot pulled by white horses, came with the conquering general wearing a crown on his head given by Caesar, and in his right hand a palm leaf symbolizing victory. Behind him came his son’s and officers sharing in the victory.

Yet there was one more group following and it was those captured. They were being displayed before the citizens of the city, stripped of weapons, armor, clothing, bound in chains and tied to the conquerors chariots. These defeated foes would be revealed as humiliated and powerless opponents in front of the cheering crowds.

The apostle Paul used this triumphal procession as an analogy of Christ’s victory at the cross. He was painting a picture for us so we could see that the enemy


 If the devil was defeated at the cross and we are victorious through Jesus why don’t we live like It!  


was totally defeated through Jesus’ work. Therefore, as a Christian we need to see the enemy of our souls as just that, a defeated foe! To often we still imagine the devil as a big bad threat in our lives instead of the humiliated spectacle beheld on the parade route!

Peter describes in his letter the devil as someone that roams around acting like a roaring lion. (1 Pet. 5:8) And if we look further at some other passages in scripture we can even paint a broader picture of satan being nothing more than a toothless fake lion on a leash with a bashed in head eating dirt! (Gen 3:14-15, Ps 3:7, Job 1:12) He is nothing that we should be intimidated by as sons and daughters of God. (Gal. 3:26) In Isa 14:12-17 it tells us concerning the devil at the “End of the Age” that we will “gaze at you, and consider you, saying: ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms”. We will be shocked at his weakly appearance! So let’s not wait until then to get a right perspective. He is defeated and we are victorious through Jesus our Lord! So live like It!

 

Thoughts to Ponder:  

  1. Have you been one of those that have imagined wrongly the devil as a big bad scary enemy?   Why do you think you have believed that?
  2.  If the enemy of our souls is already defeated why do you think many people are in bondage by him?
  3. What must a person do to be included in the triumphant parade behind Jesus? In other words how do we become a son and daughter of God?

 

Quotes to Tweet:

At the End of the Age we will be shocked at the devils weakly appearance! www.billvirgin.com

If the devil was defeated at the cross and we are victorious through Jesus why don’t we live like It!    www.billvirgin.com

 

#TheDevilIsNothingButADeafeatedFoe        #WhyShouldIBeAfriadOfTheDevil

 

 

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Let The Pit Produce Your Purpose

images-46It’s amazing how fast things can change around us. Many of us have had some event or situation in our life where something had happened which altered our surroundings and radically changed us from that moment forward. Those earth-shaking events can either bring a positive or negative outcome depending on our faith, support and personal fortitude.

In Genesis we read a story of a young man who’s life went from being spoiled and loved by his parents to separation and devastation throughout much of his life. We read in Gen 37:18-20 where young Joseph was going to check on his older brothers who were taking care of the family’s sheep. “Now when they saw him afar off, …they conspired against him …said to one another, “…Come therefore, let us now kill him and cast him into some pit”. These were his family, stepbrothers who should have protected him, but chose to bring hurt to him by throwing him in a pit. They stopped short of killing him physically by selling him into slavery aborting any life desires he might have had. Let alone they lied to their parents that wild animals had viciously killed Joseph. Needless to say, this was a life-altering situation brought on by selfishness and jealousy among family members.

It’s hard to believe that those that should bring safety and encouragement through life’s struggles can sometimes bring the most damage and devastation. Whether it is co-workers, teachers or even those you’re related to they can at times bring the worst destruction in our lives. Life can be fragile and altered many times


Earth-shaking events can either bring a positive or negative outcome depending on our faith, support and personal fortitude.


where we find ourselves in a deep pit very quickly. We can feel like the popular commercial that states, “I have fallen and I can’t get up”. This advertisement goes on to advertise an emergency button that you can have so during these serious situations you can call for help. You and I can also have in place a much more effective response for our cry for help. That is firstly, our personal relationship in Christ, secondly a strong support by family and friends of faith, as well as thirdly, our own fortitude that comes from confidence in God’s purposes for us.

It is so important that in these times we have our foundation already established in Christ so that our eyes are kept on the one where our help comes from. (Ps 121:2-3) Jesus said in Matt 7:24-25 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.” We will have storms in our


Life can be fragile and altered many times where we find ourselves in a deep pit very quickly. Who will you call?


lives for sure, but they don’t have to wipe us out completely. We can take our deepest pit and allow God to turn it into our strongest purpose to help others. Joseph went from the pit to Potifers house and even through a dark prison season. He could have and possibly did entertain the thoughts that God didn’t care or was punishing him, but ultimately we read that Joseph kept his eyes on the Lord. He knew God was a God that would bring justice in this situation. The end of this incredible story is that God used this incredible tragedy to bring triumph to His people through Joseph. God brought young Joseph from a pit to a palace with a purpose to help others!   I encourage you even though you have fallen into a pit to not stay there but look ahead for your palace!

 

Thoughts to Ponder:  

Have you ever had a situation in your life that has altered your future course? Or maybe you have a close friend that has gone through some tragedy that changed their life. Explain?

As you read the story of Joseph being thrown into a pit by his brothers and then being sold into slavery, what comes to your mind? What do you think brought on such hatred for their younger brother?

Describe what kind of support or helpful measures you have in your life to keep get you out of a pit if you ever fall into one? What do they look like in detail? How would you encourage others to be equipped to overcome adversity in their lives?

Quotes to Tweet:

  • Earth-shaking events can either bring a positive or negative outcome depending on our faith, support and personal fortitude. – billvirgin.com

 

  • Life can be fragile and altered many times where we find ourselves in a deep pit very quickly. Who will you call? – billvirgin.com

#IHaveFallenAndCantGetUp         #DontStayInThePitLookToThePalace          #LetThePitProduceYourPurpose

I am not some Grasshopper I am a Kings Kid?

images-4There are only a few things that come to mind when I think about grasshoppers. They’re great bait, they were fun to catch when I was a kid and they make a horrific mess on the windshield. So what on earth would make ten distinguished representatives describe themselves as grasshoppers? There are certain profiles that depict our personalities and compare them to certain animals, but is a grasshopper really something that has any good features to compare us with? I choose to say no!

In the story of God’s children coming out of their bondage and come to the verge of their promised land, we find a very interesting statement that was made. Let’s look at a few passages in this story in Num. 13, 14.

First we are introduced in verse 2 where God tells Moses to have each of the twelve tribes pick out a representative to be a part of an exploration team to the land that God said He had given them. Remember, God had delivered His children from


Don’t “blow it” when finally arrive on the brink of your destination, your God given inheritance as a child of the King, which was divinely hand picked by God.


being abused slaves through demonstrating His power through incredible signs and wonders. God even wipeout the enemy that was pursuing them without even having the Israelites lift a finger. Now they are on the brink of arriving at their destination, a land that was abundantly blessed with God’s goodness! It was their inheritance as His children, which was divinely hand picked by God.

Now after forty days of exploring we read in Num.13:25-33 as they bring back specimens of the new land. The twelve give their report before all the people saying how great the bounty of the land was. But then ten of the twelve began to take a serious noise dive from the positive to a deep negativity spreading their fearful propaganda to all that listened, saying in vs. 30-33 that there was no possible way they could occupy this land of inheritance. They concluded with these words in vs 33, “There we saw the giants …and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.” What? They’re calling themselves grasshoppers? If there is ever a bad confession that is it! The sad thing is this isn’t just a bad confession but is evidence of a much deeper problem. It wasn’t just a bad choice of words but was the results of not understanding or knowing who they were!

Jesus says in Luke 6:43-48 that the fruit of our lives come from our heart and specifically says in vs. 45, “For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”


When you face difficult situations are you quick to declare “you are able” because of your confidence in God or that you’re nothing but a grasshopper?    


Also in verse 46 Jesus brings out that the people He was talking to were speaking words but they weren’t in their hearts, “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say? Solomon says in Prov. 4:23, “Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.”

God had called these people His children (Ex. 3:10, 6:6-8) and confirmed it through fighting for them and showing His power in their behalf many times. Yet, ten of these men evidently were lacking that understanding in their heart. The result was it brought devastation and hindered them from receiving what was theirs.

Where do you stand? When you face difficult situations are you quick to declare like Caleb and Joshua in vs. 30 that “we are well able” because their confidence in God or that you’re nothing but a grasshopper? Do you realize that you’re a child of God (Rom 8:15-17) or just caught up in some sort of empty religion?

Do You know Who You Are?

images-45When I was in Junior High my brother and I were riding our bikes on a hot August evening through a section of our small farming community when a neighborhood “Bully” came riding up between us yelling, “Do You know who I am?”. The question he was asking was not a wrong question but his arrogant and blunt manner of how he was asking it was definitely out of place. At the time my brother and I were confused and not sure what we had done to stir this assault with words and anger. Thinking back, I guess we must not have had permission to go through his turf. He must have been a self appointed kingpin of that block. Yet in an uncommon fashion and complete unison we decided to just ignored him and keep riding along our journey.

Honestly, when I think of that event it still brings a smile to my face and makes me chuckle. But in a more serious note it also reminds me of how the devil, the enemy of our souls, comes to us often and arrogantly tries to intimidate us and convince us he is in control.

In 1 Peter 5:8, we read Peter’s exhortation to Jewish believers, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour”. The devil has no other thought than to accuse you and destroy you. Stopping you from fulfilling your God given purpose. The enemy does that through stealing, killing and destroying in your lives. (Jn. 10:10) He is a master intimidator and manipulator, an transform himself as a angel of light” as it says in 2 Cor 11:14. He looks and waits for you to leave the gate open in the fields of your life.


The devil has no other thought than to accuse you and destroy you, stopping you from fulfilling your God given purpose.


In other words the devil is a squatter, which is a person that unlawfully occupies land or a building making and saying it is their own. The devil is a self appointed kingpin and can only overpower you by deceiving believers.

In the same manner that the neighborhood bully tried to intimidate my brother and I with the words, “do you know who I am”, the enemy is also doing the same to many immature Christians. Paul declares he wasn’t ignorant of satan’s devices, desiring to take advantage of God’s people. (2 Cor 2:11) There’s to many Christian that don’t know who they are, therefore, the enemy pushes them around!

In all reality my brother and I should have said to the bully in our past, as well as, every believer should say when the enemy comes knocking is… “Do you know who we are?”. Instead of cowering to the intimidation of the enemy we need to stand


We have the privilege of being in the family of God. You are now a child of the King.    


in confidence of our identity in Christ. We are children of the most high. We should be quick to announce to the enemy “You are messing with the wrong person! We are a kings kid”.

In Gal 4:4-7 we read, “God sent forth His Son … that we might receive the adoption as sons… Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” Through our receiving of Jesus being the Son of God we are adopted into being His sons and daughters. We now have the birthright of His bloodline. That’s what it means to be an heir! A person legally entitled to inherit and continuing the legacy of a predecessor. We have the privilege of being in the family of God. You are now a child of the King.

There’s Nothing like Sitting by the Campfire!

 

campfire-082-f-0611mld106657_sqPaul’s pointed remarks to the believers in Corinth, who he states as acting immature and childish gives us understanding in walking out our faith in Christ. As we build on the Rock Christ Jesus which is our foundation. (1 Cor. 3:10-17, 10:4) Paul says, “each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.” Paul declares that there is a day that our life’s activity will be unveiled and dealt with through a process of God’s fire. Those things, which remain, will be rewarded.

My brother and I had such a desire to be outdoorsmen when we were young, that one day we planned on getting some of our friends together after school and meeting in a grove of pine trees behind a row of houses on the edge of our subdivision. All five of us Elementary students had agreed to bring some needed things from home and the school lunchroom such as matches, milk carton and more.


In the same manner that mankind needs fire the Christian needs the fire of God even more. It’s a game changer! (more…)


We were going to have a bona fide cook out with a real campfire. It was such a perfect day…until the crackling of the fire and the growing smoke alerted a lady working in her backyard. She screamed out to her husband, “call the police, there’s some boys trying to burn down the forest”! In a moment’s notice what seemed to be an innocent fulfillment of our childish imaginations was now beginning to come crashing down and turn into a marathon escape from the law. Scrambling in every direction all five of us ran as hardened criminals. I took the shortest route home through the houses. The others took their choice path of escape from the fear of the long arm of the law. Each one quickly being apprehended by the police and put in the back seat awaiting a free ride home to talk to their parents. I had almost made it safely home franticly riding my banana seat bike, when I hear the sounds of a car pulling up alongside of me. The deep authoritative voice “put the bike down and get into the car” drew my attention to a police officer that was speaking from his car. With a glance I could see my brother and friends looking from the back seat with eyes that told the message of “we’re in so much trouble”. After a humiliating lecture from the officer and my father letting us know that even though fire can be good it can also destroy things, we were released into the loving arms and custody of my parents.

Fire has been a part of mankind all down through history. In scripture we see fire is used often whether for sacrifice, judgment, natural use as well as, to describe God Himself. One of my favorite authors, Leonard Ravenhill said “Holy Ghost fire both destroys, purifies, warms, attracts and empowers.” In the same manner that mankind needs fire the Christian needs the fire of God even more. It’s a game changer! If we will embrace the Fire of God and the fire that He allows in our lives it will change us for the better. Peter says in 1 Peter 1:7, that our faith will be purified like gold when it is made more pure by fire and will bring honor and glorify to Jesus when He returns.

We all have things in our lives that are displeasing to God that need to be tossed like wood in the campfire. Let’s choose to throw another dishonoring log on the fires of God, so we can be more like Him.

 

Yes, I am my Fathers son

images-37  I love when different ones identifying me as my father’s son. It immediately gives me an identity in our family as well as, there comes a comfort and sense of privilege when I represent by family name. That was a big part of the birthright we see in scripture. The first-born son would receive the authority and privilege of leading the family once the father would pass it down. It was a position of honor, prestige and authority but also carried the burden and weight of responsibility. Any place for arrogance and pride in this position would quickly be swallowed up by the demands that were on the person who would carry the fathers’ name.

Unfortunately, we have an epidemic of children being raised up without or not knowing their father living in our society, which breeds’ emptiness and a orphaned mentality. Once we have lost that identity it quickly flows into forgoing the


We will never know who we are until we have understanding of who Jesus is. (tweet)


blessings of the father’s name also. Esau is a sad but real biblical example of so many others that have given up their identity and birthright with lead to the deteriorating of the blessing. (Gen.   )

I believe that is why Jesus when coming into the region of Caesarea Philippi huddled up His disciples and asked them some pointed questions. He started off with wanting to know what they had heard about who He was around the water fountains and the coffee shops of their day. In Matt 16:14, we read that they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets”. So there was a lot of religious talk going on in the area, but as we know ourselves, that can lead to confusion if it is not ground on the truth. So Jesus probes a little deeper and asks, “who do you say that I am?” This was a “pop quiz” just like your teacher would give you growing up after a long weekend. She wanted to make sure you were learning correctly so everything else she taught would fall in place that next week. Right? So in the same token Jesus was now pressing the envelope to see what the disciples were learning or maybe catching. Did they really understand the depth and truth of who He was? Was it sinking in or was this just a casual social club that would have no lasting impression for them? Jesus wants us to know Him.

The bottom line is we will never know who we are until we have understanding of who He is. We will go through life knowing the surface talk of religion without ever being penetrated by the power of knowing who He is and what


We will only begin to walk in the benefits and authority of son-ship with Christ when we really catch the revelation of who Jesus is ourselves.


He has done for us. Making the statement of thanks to the “man upstairs” after a sports game or the action of pointing up once a touch down has been made is not enough to settle the dilemma of birthright in our lives.

Peter blurts out a download from heaven that he probably hadn’t really digested himself in response to Jesus’ question. He says, in verse 16 “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus immediately let’s them know that this answer was straight from the heart of God the Father. It was a divine revelation that Jesus would establish His church in the earth. And that would be the prevailing truth that would sustain His people from the onslaughts of the enemy.  When you and I come to that understanding ourselves we will truly begin to walk in the benefits and authority of son-ship with Christ.

Does Anyone really Know what Time it is?

images-35Spending many of my teenage years in the Rocky Mountains, I can recall many evening skies that were nothing less than breathtaking. It’s hard for me to see how anyone can question God’s existence when his creation shouts his praises.

I can remember how I would test the sailor’s jingle, “Red sky in the morning, sailors take warning and red sky at night sailor’s delight,” as I was growing up. It seemed to always be a true sign of the coming weather conditions. It wasn’t until much later that I found Jesus also speaks about this same truth.

The Pharisees and Sadducees asked Jesus to show them a sign from heaven testing him. In Matthew 16:2–3 Jesus responds, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today,


God desires to do something so powerful in the earth that it will catch the attention of all who hear about it.      (tweet)


for the sky is red and threatening.” Jesus goes on to declare them “Hypocrites” for they could see the natural signs but could not see the spiritual signs.

In the same manner has the church fallen in the same religious hypocritical rut that the Pharisees and Sadducees were in? Have we become so cold and callous that we cannot see the signs of the times we are living in?

One of the reasons David’s mighty men were so effective is that they understood the times. In 1 Chronicles 12:23–40 we see the numbers of those who came to David from each tribe, to make him king. The smallest group that was represented was from the tribe of Issachar. Though they were small in number they were mighty to God. Listen to what was recorded of them; in verse 32 it says they “Had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do.” These men had great skill above their fellow brethren. They could discern the times, not only in the natural but also in the spiritual. They not only knew when to plow and cultivate, but also when to sow and reap!

In Deuteronomy 33:19, we read that Issachar shall call the people to the mountain for sacrifices of righteousness. They knew the ceremonial times, when to press into God. They knew the condition of the nation and all the public affairs. Issachar knew it was expedient to make David king, for they had a grip on the signs of the time! Therefore, they knew when and what was needed!

I believe that not only are the signs of the times screaming at the church, to seek God for revival, but the Lord is speaking to those who will hear him. He is saying, like he said to Samuel, “Behold, I will do something in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle.”

God desires to do something so powerful in the earth that it will catch the attention of all who hear about it. The problem is when the church is asleep spiritually and not attentive to what God is doing. I believe the church has settled in with mediocrity and has become satisfied with the minimum! All the while, God is—able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.

It’s time for the church to wake up and understand the times we’re living in and the purposes of God? If we are lacking in understanding of the times, we will not be tenacious in prayer for revival in the earth. Let’s be alert and seize the opportunity before us.