Victory Redefined 

pure wisdom!

rethink

Last week I was at a high school conference where we learned about the story of Daniel. Daniel is an interesting guy. He is one of the only people in the Bible, besides Jesus, where his mistakes aren’t recorded. Throughout his whole story Daniel is portrayed as an upright guy that is following God in the midst of some pretty hard circumstances.The book of Daniel is full of story after story of how Daniel stood up for what was right despite the imminent danger that it would cost him. This is where the story gets really interesting. Each time Daniel or his friends were faithful in the midst of danger God spared them. From a fiery furnace to a lions den, when they stood for what was right, God showed up and saved them.

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Blessings don’t have to be difficult

Luke 5: 4-8 – When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.

Why is it that we can’t see something working if it’s just too easy. Like really Jesus it’s that simple? What we see here is a group of men who by their own effort couldn’t catch a fish to save their life, but then came Jesus. And we know once Jesus steps in a miracle is bound to happen. So by their own efforts they couldn’t catch a thing and Jesus tells them to simply throw the net on the other side of the boat. Of course they doubted Him because they had been fishing all night and caught nothing. What would the difference be now? The difference is that Jesus was involved now and He spoke a word, and when God speaks a word it must happen. So, finally they decide to be obedient and listen to Jesus and they catch so many fish that their net begins to rip. Not only did their nets begin to rip, they had to call for help because they had more than they could handle!

Wow! Do you see what obedience can get you? Just simply listening to Jesus gave them enough fish to possibly feed their whole town! We are just like these fishermen. God gives us simple instructions to live by but of course we rather go through life trying to fulfill our purpose with our own efforts and we find ourselves fishing all night with nothing to eat. Work, work, and more work with nothing to show for it. If we would simply listen and obey God not only would He allow us to fulfill our destiny, oh but He will open up the gates of heaven and pour blessings on us so abundantly that we wouldn’t have enough room to store them! We would have enough for us and everyone around us! God wants to do so much for us. He wants to open the doors and help us get through them. He wants to provide everything we need and more but we don’t let Him. We have become so proud that we want full credit on everything we accomplish in life and we find ourselves feeling unfulfilled and empty at the end of it. We find ourselves with an empty boat with not even one fish, not even one blessing to show for all our hard work. But when we let Jesus in the picture, the blessings are overwhelming!

I like in 2 Kings, when the prophet Elisha told a man named Naaman that was suffering from leprosy, to simply go to the Jordan river and wash his face 7 times and he would be healed. Naaman got angry! He was expecting Elisha to say some magic words and touch him so that he can be healed. An officer that was there told Naaman in 2 Kings 6:13-“Sir, if the prophet had told you to do something very difficult, wouldn’t you have done it? So you should certainly obey him when he says simply, ‘Go and wash and be cured!’”. Finally Naaman gained some sense and listened to Elisha and he was instantly healed! Why do we need things to be difficult for us? Not every miracle or blessing has to be so difficult to obtain! Simply obeying God will get us so far. Yes, in life we are faced with struggles but obedience can eliminate those struggles. Not doubting the word that God speaks to us, even when we don’t know how it’s gonna work. Even if we tried a million times but God says try one more time, we have to have faith that God is gonna get the Glory this one last time! Who are we to question how God wants to work His miracle? Let God be God and you just be you. An obedient servant of Christ and I promise you that there is no situation God will not help you through. Don’t doubt the simplicity of obedience. Obedience is greater than sacrifice can ever be. And it saves us a lot of unwanted hardships. So lets stop trying to be in control or over looking the blessing that comes as easy as just listening to God and we will have more than we need and be freed from any ailment that might be holding us back.

LUKE 11:28-   He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.

Praying for rain.

JAMES 5:17-18: Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months. Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit.

Wow! How much power is there in our tongues! We are not even aware of how powerful we are because we have the power of Christ in us. Some people have been praying for their rain for years and they are still in a drought. Where is that faith? Elijah was a mere mortal just like me and you but he had something that a lot of us lack. Elijah had full confidence in His God. I’m talking about 100% faith that if He asked God for something it will be done. When Elijah wanted to prove to the 450 Prophets that were praising Baal how real his God was, he didn’t do it with an ounce of doubt in His mind. He knew Baal was powerless and That the Lord was going to send fire to ignite his sacrifice. He didn’t know how and he didn’t worry about how it was going to be done, he just knew that His God was going to deliver. Which of course He did. That is what we need. That doubtless faith in our God. Not wondering or worrying ourselves with the details. Lets leave that to God. All we need when we hit our knees or when we speak a word is that faith.

When is our rain gonna come? We don’t know but we know its coming. We could smell it in the air. The healing, the promotion, the house, the car, the manifestation of Gods promise in your life is coming. Whatever you are waiting for, praying for is coming all it takes is that doubtless faith. That we serve a faithful God that will deliver for His glory. God didn’t deliver so that Elijah can look powerful. No God delivered so that He can get the Glory. So He can prove His power to the people who were serving false Gods and He will do the same for every Christian in today’s world. He will deliver so that people around us can see the power of faith and prayer. So that God can get the Glory when He delivers us. All we have to do is show that confidence that we have in Him. God knows our hearts and He knows if we believe what we are speaking. Sometimes we’re praying for something with uncertainty that God is going to give it to us and He won’t! Not with that type of faith! He wants to know there is not one drop of doubt in your prayer.

Elijah prayed earnestly.

Earnest: serious in intention, purpose, or effort; sincerely zealous, showing depth and sincerity of feeling, seriously important; demanding or receiving serious attention.

How earnestly are we praying? How serious is our situation? How badly do we want our blessing? We have to pray like we need it! Live like it is already ours! And most importantly have that undoubtedly, unquestionable faith in our God no matter the situation or the outcome, that He will make everything work out for our good.

Matthew 21:22 And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”

Mark 11:24  Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

John 14:13-14 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it

Our Calling

Matthew 28:19-20

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

What a privilege it is to speak words that came forth from the mouth of God. Something we are not even worthy of. But to be chosen to speak the word of God, what a blessing it is. Are we doing it as much as we could or should? I don’t think so. When I read the word and I see how dedicated Jesus disciples were. It’s like they ate, slept and breathed the word of God. They were truly Holy Spirit filled, healing in the name of Jesus. Do we not have the same Holy Spirit? Did the name of Jesus become any less powerful? NO! The Spirit has never changed. What changed was the desire, the wanting, the need of speaking life. The fear of God has diminished. We aren’t as worried about the coming of Christ as we should be. Are we not living in the end times? I feel like the power of the Holy Spirit should be seen now more than ever as we get closer and closer to the return of our savior Jesus Christ. The disciples spent every waking moment working for Christ. They didn’t care if they ate, if they had clothes to wear or money they went where they were led in full dependence on the Lord. Where has that dependence gone? Why is it that we feel as if we can’t do something unless we are completely satisfied and comfortable with our surroundings first?

Thinking back on how uncomfortable the disciples of Christ must have been. And knowing how they would be beaten and imprisoned and eventually killed for their faith and it still didn’t stop them! How selfish are we? And I include myself in this. Whenever I feel the Holy Spirit telling me to speak the word in public I think about it for a second, I get nervous which is ok. But why do I have to even have to think about it? Where is the obedience, the hunger to spread the Gospel? Why should I even have to wait until God gives me a nudge to get up and preach? I should be filled with so much fire for Christ that I want to take advantage of every opportunity to speak His word. I’m desperately waiting for God to come back and I know He is waiting until every one has heard the name of Jesus, which should give me an even bigger desire to spread the Gospel. Matthew 24:14 “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”  

So is time to get it together, get over the fear of public speaking. To seek God for courage and guidance and to just speak His word in any way we can. Not only with our lips but with our lives. To be examples of Christ at all times of our day. To be that light in this dark world and people will be drawn to Him. God has chosen us and set us apart for this Leviticus 20:26 Thus you are to be holy to Me, for I the LORD am holy; and I have set you apart from the people’s to be Mine.” Preaching the word of God is a privilege and a great responsibility we should not take advantage of. More now than ever do we have to stand up and speak for our God. We were not saved to be silent. But to be used so that others can see what God has done in our lives and seek Him for salvation. Not by our own human effort will souls be saved but by the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 2:8  “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God”  It’s time to give the gift of salvation, unashamed and unafraid. Walking in the footprints of our ancestors and putting the desire of doing Gods will before anything else.

Psalms 40:8  “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.”

Was I born Gay?

This is such a sensitive topic for me because I once thought I was born a bi-sexual or lesbian. I have a lot of Homosexual friends and family members and now that I am a christian its hard to speak about it with them because a lot of them truly believe they were born this way. Honestly who am I to argue with them? All I can do is share what I have experienced and learned since finding Christ.

“God made me this way”.  That is a common thought of a homosexual person. Just because we have a thought or something is programmed into our minds at a young age we believe we must have been created that way. Lets take it back to Genesis. When God created the world and Adam and Eve. Oh lovely Eve, that was so easily deceived by the serpent. Because of the first sin of man every human that was born after them was born in sin. Separated from God spiritually. Which is why Jesus Christ had to be the human sacrifice to reconcile us with the Lord. But back to being born in sin, because we are born with sin in our heart, into a world filled with sin, the devil automatically has the upper hand in our lives. He is in control of this world and everything we are seeing and experiencing. Its hard not to walk around and not see a gay couple, which is completely normal in today’s world. Now if you have a thought or feeling as a child about liking the same-sex and you turn on your tv or walk outside and see that homosexuality is normal, then you are never going to think it’s bad. People are telling you that if you feel like you’re attracted to the same-sex then you were born this way. Of course you’re not gonna argue about it your going to do whatever pleases your flesh because that is what we do. We live to please our sinful desires because before we know Christ we don’t know any better.

I speak on this not because it’s what I learned in church or from anybody. This is what I lived through. I was struggling with this spirit since I was a child. It started with kissing girls when I was little. To having full on sexual relations with them when I got older. Growing up in a family with a few homosexual people and being surrounded by it of course I thought this was normal. Although I did have some knowledge of God and knew that the bible clearly states that it was a sin. I thought, well God must make some exceptions right?. Wrong. Pleasing God wasn’t my concern when I was living in sin and being in a lesbian relationship was only one of the many sins that I was committing at the time. I had a serious drinking problems, I smoked weed like my life depended on it and the list can go on. Finally when I couldn’t take the life I was living anymore I knew I needed Jesus. Deep down living in sin was killing me. The thought if I died I would go to hell was haunting me.

But back to battling this spirit, it wasn’t until I gave my life to Christ that I began to understand that Satan really messes with your mind and he doesn’t have an age limit. He is active in our lives from the moment we come out the womb trying to stop us from having a relationship with God. Making us comfortable in our sin. The world has made gay marriage legal so that people who are living in sin can feel comfortable. Now they feel because the government approves then it must be ok. That is exactly what satan wants. He wants people to feel comfortable in their sin so they wont turn to God. But the word of God teaches us we are not to follow the world but His word which gives us life. We have to separate ourselves from this world and their behaviors if we want to reign with our heavenly father. When I spoke to God about my battle with this spirit, He spoke to my spirit and reminded me that I was made in His image and He didn’t create a confused child. I had to search for God to get the answers to my many problems. But in today’s society sadly people don’t turn to God anymore for answers they turn to the world and if the world says its ok then in their minds they figure it ok.

Am I condemning homosexuals to hell? Of course not. Who am I to judge? I was just in that spot almost a year ago. But God saved me so I can be an example that it’s not too late. He is waiting for you to stop going to the world for answers and support but to go to Him. He is the only one that can save you and He loves you! A lot of homosexual people are afraid to go to church because they think they won’t be accepted which is really the fault of a lot of churches. I mean of course we have to preach against the sin but welcome the sinner. Church is a hospital for the spiritually hurt and sick people. We have to encourage each other and show the love of Christ so that we can bring souls to His kingdom. I know that death is something everyone thinks about and I’m sure it scares a lot of people to think if they died right now they would be going to hell. I know it use to scare me.

So were you born gay? No. God loves you but He doesn’t like your sin. If you give Him a chance and let Him work in your life He will help you overcome this spirit. Because the victory is yours!