Bible Study

The Rewards of the Lord

22 February 2012
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In 2 Samuel 22, David exalts the Lord and recounts the ways He has blessed him.  In verse 21, David states a major theme, namely that the Lord rewards those that have received his gift of righteousness. This gift is not based on anything we do, but it is based on our faith in what God has done for us.  Jesus is our righteousness.  Galatians 3:6 reminds us that “Abraham believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness.”  The rewards that the Lord gives us are not the same as salvation.  Salvation is the starting point, the entrance into the Kingdom.  From that point on, our whole life’s journey presents one opportunity after another to “believe God.”  We believe Him for greater revelation. We believe Him to reveal Himself to us in all the various aspects of His character as our life presents new challenges to us.  When we are sick, we believe Him as Healer.  When we need provision, we believe Him as provider.  When we are stuck in sin or bondage, we believe Him as Deliverer.  When we are hurt and grieving, we believe Him as Comforter.  This is how we grow in our knowledge of God.  At each point, the revelation of His character and the benefits He releases to us are our rewards.   

Secondly, David says, “According to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me.”  As we know, David was not sinless, yet he trusted God to restore him on every level.  This is another gift the Father gives to His children because we seek to know and obey Him, not because we are perfect in our actions.  Hebrews 11:6 says “Without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”  When we seek to please God, He rewards us and considers us blameless because the Blood of Jesus was spilled on our behalf.  It is not enough just to believe that God is.  Many people believe that God exists, but He is not real and personal to them.  There cannot be relationship without knowing the nature and character of God.  When we move past just knowing that He’s out there somewhere, and we seek to know what pleases Him and cause our thoughts and actions to line up with His, then you can depend on His reward.  David knew that he sinned, but he also knew the heart of God, and God certainly rewarded him for his pursuit.   

It is amazing to realize that David had revelation of this before Jesus was born!  Because David diligently sought the Lord, God rewarded him with revelation that was “before his time.”  This is available to each of us.  We can pull down revelation that is stored up for future generations.  Because of our hunger for more of  Him, He will respond by releasing revelation it to us in our day.  Don’t you want to be like David?

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Samson’s Sobering Story

22 July 2011
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Samson is one of the few births foretold and described in the Word.   He was born into a loving,  God-fearing family, he was born supernaturally, he had a calling  and divine enablement.  God chose Samson from before his birth and had a purpose for His life.  Yet as Samson grew, he seemed to have little regard for the special call from God and his privileged position.   Four chapters, 13-16, in Judges are dedicated to telling his life story.  More is written about him than any other judge.  I believe this is because there is so much to learn from his failures.  Ironically, the best judges, those that honored God and walked uprightly before Him are only given a brief description.

In short, Samson was called to live as a Nazirite, set apart for God for his entire life.  He was given supernatural strength to deliver Israel from the hand of Philistine oppressors, but instead he chose to marry a Philistine woman.  He participated in the Philistine culture and disregarded his vow to God.  He had an eye for women and wealth and sought to indulge himself in these areas.  Samson had a problem submitting to authority and yielding his self-will.  This first shows up in his unwillingness to submit to his parents and then to God.

Samson had been nurtured and raised with every advantage, but in the end he was ruled by selfishness and pride.   Just like Esau who sold his birthright for a bowl of stew, Samson was willing to give up the opportunity to co-labor with God and do something great, so that he could satisfy his immediate cravings of his flesh.  He used his calling for his own benefit.  Never did He inquire about God’s heart for His people or express a desire to protect them.  He wanted revenge against the Philistines for personal reasons and maybe even from a general understanding of their oppression, but never with a desire to know God’s heart in the matter.  He did not have respect for the gift of His strength or why it was given to him.  He took it for granted and became haughty, assuming that he could do whatever he desired and God’s gift would be there to bail him out of any mess he got into.  This is a serious flaw!  We cannot presume on the gifts of God.  We cannot indulge our flesh and think that we possess the fullness of God’s spirit.  Instead, we must recognize that indulging the flesh quenches the spirit within us.  We cannot partake of the things of the world and still operate in the fullness of God’s Kingdom.  They are radically opposed and this is why God calls us to be separate.  This is not about legalism and rules.  It asks each one of us the question, “How bad do you really want the fullness of God’s power and spirit in your life? What are you willing to give up to get it?”  The things God asks you to give up may not be ‘bad’ things.  They might be quite acceptable, in fact.  Yet, for you and your particular call, God has a reason for asking you to let go of that thing.  He knows you and your weaknesses.  His desire to see you overcome a fear or a weakness is what compels Him to ask for ‘more of you.’ He is asking you to depend on Him.  You have the choice in how you respond.  It is always for your good!

God gave Samson supernatural strength.  This physical strength was a sign that God would have also backed up Samson spiritually and emotionally if only Samson would have yielded himself to God.  Samson could rip up a lion with his own hands, but he could not free himself from the lustful desire of a woman.  He could tear out the gate of the city and carry it for miles, but he could not maintain his own boundaries when it came to sensual pleasures.  God’s strength was there for him to overcome, but instead he relied on his own ability and desire.  His desire and lack of commitment to the Lord led to his premature death and failure to fulfill His calling.  This is a tragedy.

Though Samson’s failure is great, let us not miss the most exhilarating part of this story.  It is the faithfulness and mercy that God shows to His people.  It reminds us that God can and does use imperfect people to carry forth His plans.  He prefers when we cooperate with Him because He ultimately desires to bless us, but when we do not cooperate, He still uses us.  His mercy endures forever.  God is so patient with His children, but He will not let us continue to operate in our own willfulness without consequences.  Again, He allows His judgment to come because of His love for us.  His goal is always our repentance.  Judgment is a means of moving us toward repentance, for it is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance.  If our repentance does not come, He sets us aside and waits.   He will limit our exposure and our participation in His work.  “Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion.  For the Lord is a God of justice.  Blessed are all who wait for him!”  Isaiah 30:18

As we train our children to be end-time warriors, they must understand that they are bought with a price, and they are called to be bond-servants of the Lord Jesus.  This is not a slave mentality, but rather an understanding of how much the Lord loves them  and how He gave His life, so that they can give theirs back to Him and rise to their high calling in Him.  God is looking for lovers, those who willingly and sacrificially lay down their lives for Him.  He’s not looking for law-abiding Christians who  abstain from things or seek to follow  the rules.  He’s looking for passion born out of  love for Him because of His Love.  God does not have a mediocre life planned for anyone.  Whosoever will can be great in His Kingdom.  All it takes is a heart that is willing to submit to His love and His training.  Those who put their trust in Him will not be disappointed!  It may be painful at times, He promises that there will be suffering in this life, but the end result will be glorious forever.  We will never be sorry that we gave it all for Him Who loves us!

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The First and The Last

22 March 2011
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“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last”  Rev 1:11

The description of Jesus as the First and Last is mentioned seven times (Isa. 41:4; 44:6; 48:12; Rev. 1:8, 17; 2:8; 22:13), both in the Old Testament and the New. He is telling us that He is the assurance of all things pertaining to our lives.  He is the Uncreated One, the Source of life.  He has given us life and He has given all things to us.  Whatever we have was given to us by Him, He allowed us to have it.  It belonged to Him first.  He is our Source and Supply.

As Christians in this life, we will suffer loss.  Things will be taken from us because of our stand for righteousness.  We may lose friends, we may lose money, we may lose our reputation and honor.  We may even lose our life, but Jesus is telling us, “Do not be afraid.  What you have I gave you.  If I gave it to you once, I can and will give it to you again.”  He is able to refill and recover all that has been lost.

Then He says, “I am the Last.”  Jesus is the end, He is the purpose, He has the final word.  Whatever He supplied to us was for His purpose.  He entrusts us with things and we benefit from His gifts, but they are ultimately given to us to further His Kingdom.   When people resist our message, reject our friendship, take our money unjustly, they do not have the final word.  Jesus does.  Jesus’ promises to us are YES and AMEN.  His plan for our life cannot be thwarted.  He does not lie and He does not forget what He has spoken to us.  He sees the whole picture, the end of the story.  He is able to return to us not only what was lost, but He returns in greater measure.  May He return to you a hundredfold.  The returns may not all come in this life, but they will come…..we will be blessed throughout eternity by Jesus, the First and the Last.

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Unveiling Jesus Christ

12 October 2010
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The Book of Revelation presents a great challenge to the Church of Jesus Christ.  Some are intimidated by it, some claim it’s too difficult to understand, others are afraid of it.  For these reasons, this Book has been largely ignored.  This sad reality must be reversed.  God gave us this Book as a gift!  It is part of His Word, just like any other book in the Bible, but it has key information for the End-Times generation.  To ignore this Book is to ignore the wisdom and insight that God wants to reveal at this critical juncture of history.  He wants to prepare His Body by first, drawing us deeper into His heart so that we may be assured of His thoughts and His intentions toward us and toward others.  Secondly, He wants us to be aware of what He is about to do so that we can partner with Him.  He doesn’t intend for us to be bystanders.  We have the opportunity to actively engage in bringing about His purposes in the earth.  We have the opportunity to be partakers of His glory.

For anyone who loves Jesus, it is vital that you study the Book of Revelation and begin to understand the great depth of God’s heart that He has chosen to share with us.  Part of the problem may be that we have shortened the name of the Book to “Revelation.”  The whole title of the Book is “The Revelation of Jesus Christ.”  Sounds more intriguing already, doesn’t it?  It is the revealing, or the unveiling of Jesus!  I think it’s interesting that we can read from Genesis to Jude and Jesus is revealed in every book.  But then we come to the very last book of the Bible and God leaves us a surprise, now He says, “I’m going to reveal my Son.”  This book alone contains almost 100 names and descriptions of Jesus!

The first chapter contains 24 descriptions of Jesus.  Through these names and descriptions, Jesus is revealing greater depth of understanding of His personality and His ministry.  These are to be understood in the context of eternity.  The Bible presents the story of Jesus, who was, who is and who is to come.  As the End-times generation we really want to know this Jesus who is to come.  We need to understand His heart and His leadership.  Everything Jesus does is done for love, He is love.  Even His judgments are done in love.

Chapters 2 and 3, known as the Letters to the Churches, reveal more about Jesus, but also how we are to live before Him in relation to each other.  It gives us a blueprint for dwelling together in unity so that we can release the fullness of His power in the earth.  Ephesians 4:13 tells us that our goal, as the Body of Christ, is to “attain unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.” This level of maturity will be necessary for us to work with Jesus in bringing forth His plan that is laid out in the rest of the Book.  Chapters 6 through 22 explain Jesus’ End-Time strategic plan to remove all that hinders love from the earth.  Understanding the plan requires an understanding of the Man.  We can easily misunderstand Jesus’ actions if we do not understand His heart.  The Bible tells us His ways are not our ways, His thoughts are not our thoughts.   Yet, God does not leave us uninformed.  He has given us His Word and Holy Spirit so that we can understand.  It is our glory to search the matter out .

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.  Prov 25:2

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Two New Resources Released!

28 September 2010
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It’s a pleasure to announce two new homeschooling resources.  The First and Great Commandment study is vital to training up this end-times generation.  It’s only through Loving God wholeheartedly that we can learn to really love ourselves and others.  This is something that we desperately need to face the challenging days ahead.  Discovering Life in the Polar Regions was developed to complement the study of the Arctic and Antarctic in My Father’s World Exploring Countries and Cultures.  It was a great learning experience for our family and I hope it will fun for yours as well.

Loving God:  The First and Great Commandment is a unique study designed to teach elementary and jr. high kids how to become lifelong Lovers of God.  God wants to restore the First Commandment to FIRST place among His people.  This is of utmost importance to God, but do we really understand what it means to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength?  The twenty lessons in this study consist of scripture verses, stories and discussion starters to help us visualize what it looks like to live a life of loving God.  There are worksheets, drawing pages, mini-books and activities designed to help our young learners practically express their faith and their heart for God.   Reg price $7.00 / Discounted introductory price $4.99 Click here for discount

Discovering Life in the Polar Regions – This exciting lapbook project takes your children on an adventure to the coldest, harshest parts of the earth.  You will explore the geography and the plant, animal and sealife that exists at the poles, along with discussing the magnetic fields and the auroras.  The teacher’s guide contains all the information you need to complete the booklets as well as many internet links with videos, games and topics for additional research.  You can feed your children’s love of learning through creativity as they construct 19 booklets to put in their lapbooks.  It’s a project the whole family will enjoy!  Reg price $5.00 / Discounted introductory price $3.75  Click here for discount

Check out our resources page for additional products!

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Confront the Deception

24 August 2010
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Yesterday we looked at how Elijah learned to operate by God’s Spirit.  Today let us learn from Elijah, not only how to be trained but how to boldly confront the deception that surrounds our culture.

The world we live in is not very different from Elijah’s world.  The spirit of Baal is very much alive in our culture.  One of Baal’s names, Baal-hamon, means ‘lord of wealth or abundance.’  This spirit wars against the transfer of wealth to the church that God has promised.  Another of Baal’s names, Baal-berith,  means ‘lord of the covenant.’  The word ‘baal’ means husband or marriage.  This spirit always works to cause the people of God to break covenant with Him. The Baal spirit is also the spirit behind sexual perversion, including homosexuality and pornography.  Baal always seeks to destroy the next generation.  He is a violent spirit that requires human sacrifice, the spirit behind abortion, and the ‘cutting’ that is prevalent in the vampire and goth movements today.  This spirit is the spirit of death that has invaded America.  Jezebel, witchcraft and occult spirits all operate under Baal, who is identified as the ruler of demons, Beelzebub.

The Bible says we are not to be conformed to the world, but most of us are….more than we realize.  We have been brought up in the culture of the world.  We have gained certain mindsets and predispositions that are as normal to us as the skin on our arm.  We have beliefs about how things should work and what people should do.  We read about God’s way in His Word, but we live according to ‘the way things are’ in the world.  We think we have aligned ourselves with the Word, but God sees our divided hearts. He sees our worldly mindsets and our dependence on worldly things.  He is no longer content for His people to be double-minded.  He wants us to understand His Kingdom mindset and economy. He wants us to know that His ways truly are higher than our ways.  Therefore, He is sending confrontation to His Church, just as He sent Elijah to confront Israel.  He is letting us see how the world system cannot produce the security we thought it could.  We cannot depend on our jobs, our bank accounts, our retirement plans, and our possessions to save us when crisis comes.  God is calling us to an either/or decision.

Only God knows what lies ahead as we come closer and closer to the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord.  Only God truly knows what we need to be able to make it through this time.  As our loving Father, He will discipline us, not punish us, so that we will be conformed to His image and we will be able to stand in the midst of hardship and persecution that will surely come.  It is coming soon.  The Word says, “no discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful, yet afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness for those who have been trained by it…..shall we not…be subject to the Father of spirits and live?”  (Heb 12:11, 9b)  In His great love and mercy, God is sending His “Elijah’s” and allowing circumstances, so that we will be trained and made ready for His return and be able to stand with Him in the battle.

The tenacity and zeal, the spirit and power, of Elijah is needed to expose, confront and destroy the workings of the Baal system in our world today.  Elijah was a powerful weapon in God’s hand because he was a wholehearted believer in God, he was obedient, and he was willing to suffer.  He did not hold on to his comfort, but was willing to surrender all to God, knowing that God would prove Himself faithful.  If we are going to effectively impact our world, if we are going to see people return to God, then we must first allow God to expose our own heart and be cleansed by Him.  Then, as our faith is developed and we yield our lives to Him completely, He will cause us to operate in the spirit and power of Elijah.  We must not love our own lives more than we love God.  We must be wholehearted in our devotion to Him and trust that He will bring us through any crisis, that He will provide for us, that He will demonstrate His power through us and He will glorify His name through our obedience.  His Word it true, Praise be to God!

References:  http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=2&letter=B

http://www.soniclight.com/constable/notes/pdf/1kings.pdf

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The Spirit and Power of Elijah

23 August 2010
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Courtesy of BiblePlaces.com - Mount Carmel

It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous; so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. Luke 1:17, NAS

The end-times generation will be full of those who have the “Spirit and Power of Elijah” demonstrated through their lives.  There will be many “forerunners” proclaiming the coming of the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord.  Today we will review the events of Elijah’s life to see how God taught him to operate in faith and power.  Tomorrow, we will apply the lessons of Elijah’s life in order to know what it means for us to operate in the “Spirit and Power of Elijah.”

Elijah

Elijah’s name means “Yahweh is my God.”  He was sent by God to declare to Israel that there was only one true God.  In doing this, he had to confront the Baal system and the false worship that much of Israel had been following.  The Israelites had come to believe that Baal was the storm god who brought rain to water the earth thereby producing crops that would sustain them.  In other words, it was Baal that brought the blessing of food. Not so obvious in this account is that human sexuality played a major role in worshipping this god.  Male and female prostitutes performed for Baal in order to arouse him to make rain for them.

Ba‘al religion revolved around the cycles of nature necessary for survival and prosperity in the ancient world, primarily growing crops or raising livestock, as well as the growth of human populations.1

Elijah’s story in 1Kings 17-19 holds many keys for us in the days ahead, both for those that will be raised up as  forerunners and for those that are being confronted.  Elijah prophesies that there will be no rain for three years.  Then the Lord gives him instruction for how he will survive the ensuing famine.  During this time, the Lord trains Elijah and develops a great faith in him.  By the third year, Elijah was ready to openly confront Baal worship that pervaded Israel.

Lessons for Elijah

Elijah’s prophecy of no rain for three years was not only going to impact Israel, but him as well.   God provided a solution for Elijah by telling him to go to the brook Cherith where he would be able to drink from the brook and the ravens would feed him.  Elijah was spared from the judgment God was bringing because he obeyed.  The word “cherith” means “separation.”  God was separating Elijah for his safety from Ahab, but also so that his faith would be built as he learned of God’s supernatural provision.  Ravens are birds that do not even provide for their own young.  God alone caused the ravens to supply food for Elijah, proving that He was the source of food, fertility and blessing.

When drought began to take hold of the land, the brook dried up and again God gave instruction to Elijah about where to go.  He was directed to Zarephath, meaning “refinery,” where he would find a widow that would provide for him.  Elijah would have known that widows were normally poor and would be the first to feel the effects of a drought, but he boldly went and asked for what he needed.  Even after the woman’s desperate response, Elijah confidently told her that God would provide for her if she obeyed.  She honored the word of the prophet, indicating her trust in God not Baal, and therefore, she was blessed.    God promised that her flour and oil would not run out until the rains came.  The flour and oil, staples in this time, represent life.

Some time later, the widow’s son became very sick and died.  Elijah, seeing that only God would be able to restore his life, prayed earnestly and unashamedly.  Not only did he lay hands on the boy, but he laid his whole body over him knowing that the power of God in him would be transferred to the boy.  This is the first resurrection recorded in the Word.  God answered his prayer and through this, once again, showed that He is the God of Life, not Baal. God used this situation to show Elijah that the boy’s condition was representative of Israel’s spiritual condition, and that He had given Elijah the power and authority to speak life back into people. Elijah’s confidence in being a channel for God’s blessing was greatly increased through his encounters in Zarephath.

Next, Elijah began his trek to meet Ahab, but on the way God used an encounter with Obadiah to reveal more to him regarding Israel’s spiritual condition.  Obadiah was a genuine believer in Yahweh and he took great care to convince Elijah of this.  But Elijah clearly identified the problem by saying to Obadiah, “Go, say to your master…” referring to Ahab.  Obadiah held a high position in Ahab’s government so he had to serve Ahab’s interests.  His heart was divided in trying to serve two masters. Obadiah had a hard time believing Elijah and therefore, was slow to obey Elijah’s request to go get Ahab.   Like Obadiah, many believers in Yahweh at that time in Israel had divided hearts, their faith was weak, they were fearful for their safety, and they were slow to respond to God’s word.

Finally, it came time for Elijah to confront the Spirit of Baal that had captured the mind of Israel.  God was ready to challenge what the people of Israel believed.  They had not completely rejected Yahweh, they still believed in Him, but they believed in Baal as well.  They served them both.  Elijah invited Ahab, the king of Israel, and all the people to Mount Carmel for a showdown between Baal and the God of Israel.  Elijah would call them to an either/or decision.

God Sets the Stage

God chose a drought because rain was supposed to come from Baal.  God strategically chose Mt. Carmel for the showdown because it was thought to be the sacred dwelling place of Baal.  Storms and lightening were common there and the ground was very fertile.  The word “carmel” means “the garden land.”  Here, God let the futility of Baal worship be exposed.  He let the prophets of Baal dance wildly in worship and cut themselves to get their god’s attention, shouting and crying, all to no avail.

Elijah, on the other hand, prepared the altar of God and made sure that all things in the natural were contrary to “helping” his God.  He flooded the altar and prayed a simple prayer.  He asked God to reveal Himself as Israel’s God and that the people would understand that Elijah was being led by God to offer a right sacrifice.  He asked for the people’s hearts to be turned back to the One True God.

God’s response to Elijah’s prayer did cause the people to turn their hearts back to Him.  He had exposed the deception they were under and they repented.  This repentance brought rain and refreshing, it ended the drought.

Elijah had been faithful to God’s call and in the process he had gained much in his knowledge and understanding of his God.  Elijah held a passionate conviction that there is but One God and that is Yahweh.  He learned to operate by the Spirit of God in him and that brought great power to overthrow the lies and deception of the Baal system.

Tomorrow, we will apply the lessons of Elijah to our generation  and learn what it means to operate in the Spirit and Power of Elijah.

References:

1http://www.crivoice.org/baal.html

http://www.soniclight.com/constable/notes/pdf/1kings.pdf

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The End-Times Generation

20 August 2010
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When you see all these things, know that it is near – at the doors!  This generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place…of that day and hour no one knows.      Matt 24:33-36

Matthew chapters 24 and 25 are two key end-time chapters.  Here, Jesus is commanding us to “know the times.”  He says we will not know the exact day and hour, but we can know the generation.  He tells a story about a thief breaking into a house in Mt 24:42-44 and He gives a warning, if the head of this house had known a thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into.  Then Jesus speaks to us, His Body, His Beloved Bride and says “you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.”

So how do we “get ready?”  Thankfully, Jesus never leaves us to figure these things out on our own!  First and foremost, He has given us His Word.  Did you know that there are 89 chapters in the Bible that tell about Jesus’ first coming, but there are over 150 chapters that tell of His second coming?  These chapters reveal Jesus’ end-time plan.  We can know what  Jesus is going to do and how He’s going to do it.  Daniel prophesied about this end-time generation saying,    “Those of the people who understand shall instruct many….”  (Daniel 11:33)  Have you considered that Daniel might be speaking about you and your children, prophesying over you without you realizing it?

Noah understood the generation in which he was living and he acted upon it.  He prepared himself and his family while onlookers thought he was extremely foolish.  Jesus rebuked the people of His generation for not seeing the prophetic signs of the times they lived in (Luke 19:42-44).  By studying the end-times scriptures we can know what to look for, we can cry out for eyes to “see” what God is doing.  There are specific events and trends in the Word that should cause us to be on alert, to be watchful.  It is no coincidence that we are in a 10-year Ayin season of learning “to see” as God sees.

Let’s pray:

Father, let us be those who hear and receive Your prophetic call on our generation.  We say “yes” to your calling.  Thank You for Your Word that instructs, thank You for Your Holy Spirit that gives us understanding, thank You for Your grace that enables us to stand.  Help us to get ready and make us wise so that we can help others.  We come to You and ask You to anoint our eyes with eye salve, that we may see. Come, Lord Jesus, Come!

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Never Give in to Self-Pity!

14 August 2010
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By Chuck Pierce

August 12, 2010

The opposite of confidence and worth is self-pity. Self-pity occurs when we feel we are warranted to receive but get passed by. This can occur in our natural or spiritual life. Self-pity helps define our moment or, may I say, cause us to miss our moment. We feel we are deserving or entitled to a blessing, and we lose faith when we see a blessing slip past our life.

One of the best examples of self-pity is the crippled man at the Pool of Bethesda (see John 5). Jesus knew his full condition and then, through Peter, asked the man if he wished to be healed. The man began to explain why he had not and could not be healed. Jesus seemed to quit listening to his self-pity and healed him anyway.

We can easily lose sight of God’s promises when we are in difficult situations. This is often how we get off target in seeing God fulfill our prophetic destiny. Even though the Body of Christ goes through great times of testing, we are not to grow fearful and be discouraged. The enemy takes advantage during our testing periods by using a strategy to discourage us. Discouragement breeds hope deferred, which makes the heart sick. When we have a measure of hopelessness within us, we lose our expectation of God.

“Future” and “expectation” are synonymous. Our future is linked with an expectation of God moving. This is a time for the Church to have its expectation level renewed and raised to another level. Isaiah 59 and 60 are wonderful prayer guides for us to follow to see this happen in our lives. Hope must transcend and move into faith. Faith produces overcoming. Overcoming leads to a demonstration of God’s power and a manifestation of His promises.

The Cycle of Self Pity

Prophecy unlocks our future. But once we get wounded or experience loss, we can lose sight of our future. The biggest demonic force that we have to contend with is self-pity. Self-pity draws attention to our loss and keeps us from seeing God’s glory manifested in our life. Instead of our loss directing us to God’s continued perfect plan for our life, our self rises up and causes us to say, “Pity me for what I have lost.” Any time we experience loss, trauma, wounding or injustice, we can either choose to live with a belief system that God can heal and forgive or we can allow our mind-set to form rejection, self-defense and self-pity.

During times of loss and wounding, we have a tendency to accuse God for the trauma that we are experiencing. The power of this accusation leads to a type of fatherlessness. Instead of experiencing the spirit of adoption, we feel abandoned and lost. From our self-defense, we actually form a rebellion to authority. We also become unteachable. We have a mind-set that says, “No one understands me or what I am going through.”

We also begin to think that there is no solution to our problem. We wake up thinking, “There is no way out.” We fall into apathy because we have no hope of healing or restoration. Since we know that we should be living a godly life, religious mechanisms become a solace to us. We may even gain a martyr complex and say, “O woe is me. This is my cross to bear. Look how heavy is my cross.” This type of thinking causes us to not fight when we need to fight. Instead of fighting and advancing, we become a slave to comfort and the status quo. We forget that we are called to fellowship with Christ’s sufferings-a type of fellowship that leads to His resurrection power manifesting in us.

Losing sight of the love of God causes us to turn to self. God’s love forces us to deal with these thoughts born of our self-pity. I have experienced enough freedom in my own life to know when I am not free. Faith works by love. Once we experience God’s liberty and love, we will be able to resist that call from self to be pitied and be able to overthrow hope deferred.

Image: dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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