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Hello, Beloved...

How nice of you to drop in and visit my page. It's actually not really about myself, but about the Lord Jesus Christ. This is a place you can come, should you find time, and find encouragement and free resources for spiritual growth. I pray you will be blessed and provoked to follow on to know the Lord intimately yourself. Seek HIM and HIS Face for HE alone is WORTHY!! He alone is lovely! Most of what is written on this blog is written by myself, during my study time with the Lord unless otherwise stated. If it's otherwise, the author's name will be included.

God is our refuge, a very present help in trouble. Psa 46:1


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Friday, December 26, 2008

A True Disciple/Apostle

He called His disciples together. He summoned, He invited them to come to Him. A disciple is someone taught, pupil-and in this case taught by the Master Himself. They come to Him and learn of Him. They learn directly from HIM. You can't be a disciple without spending time with Him and listening to Him. This means you know His voice, you listen and follow Him closely. Another important point, these have left everything to follow Him. They have forsaken their jobs, their own agendas, their own plans, and hopes and dreams that were founded in this world, and their personal lives and now follow the plan and purposes of the Master. We would do well to remember what exactly a disciple is when we consider the authority and power He gave to the disciples. This kind of spiritual authority is not available to casual, lukewarm people who claim the name Christ.

He called them together, to Himself, in a private place, so He could give them specific instruction. Before they went out to preach, He had to equip them.

Here's a radical thought: before any preacher gets up to preach anytime, should he not have first spent time with the Lord, being equipped in prayer, in the Word, drawing from the Lord what is needed to deliver the message the Lord wants delivered? This is the pattern laid out here in these Scriptures.

When they went out to preach the Gospel, He spoke some things to them, granting them dunamis (G1411) power-which means a miraculous force, mighty power to do what the natural man cannot do. This is an abundant ability. In Mar_6:7 the word for power is G1849 exousia, and it is the same word used for authority in Luk_9:1-the authority of the Potentate-by delegation. He gave them mastery, delegated influence and jurisdiction over all (that means more than one) devils. All demonic beings. All unclean spirits. No matter what vice has gripped a person's life-be it occult, lust, drugs, food addictions, fear, regardless, this power is available to break that thing-resident in one who is a true disciple, and called by Him, and then sent by Him. He gave them power to cure diseases. In the Greek this word is therapeuo, and it is where we get our word therapy. It means to wait upon menially-as a servant, to relieve one of their disease. It also applies to adoring God, in worship-becoming a living sacrifice.

Mat_10:1 He also mentions they are to heal-or cure-same word used for cure in Luk_9:1, every infirmity, disease or sickness, AND every disease-but this word disease (G3119) translates to weakness, softness, debility. He said His strength is made perfect in our weakness (2Co_12:9) When the disciples-those who have forsaken earthly and temporary pleasures and passions, to follow in the footsteps and purposes of the Lord, when those kind of people who are mere containers of the power of God, and the Spirit of God, minister this power of God to needy people, it's like a fragrance of worship and adoration to this wonderful God. Consider this: you see the pictures with a crucified Christ spread on a cross and the caption reads: I asked Jesus how much He loved me and He spread His arms wide and said this much, and He died. When the Lord's disciples sacrifice themselves, to go His way, then they can minister His healing and powerful life to the poor and needy, those who are bound and broken hearted, captives of the evil one, their sacrifice, their willingness to do His will is a testimony of their love and worship for this awesome God they serve. The next verse starts off with three vital words for any preacher: And HE SENT THEM. They didn't go because they thought they should. They didn't go because someone said they needed to. They waited on HIM to equip them, and then they waited until He sent them-prepared containers of the power needed to do the job correctly. That word sent (G649) apostello, means "set apart" and sent out. You can't be sent BY Him if you aren't set apart FOR Him. This word is where the word apostle comes from. It's misused and abused much, I think today. I do not believe man has a right to label himself an apostle. I think his life should testify to it if he is an apostle-it's a sacrificial life led by and lived for Another. That is what being an apostle will cost you. Nothing will build up the man, but everything will be to build and work and labor for Another-for HIS glory, not for the man's reputation. They go to speak the message of Another-not their own. They go to minister the life of Another-not their own. It is all about HIM not themselves-for they are just a vessel, a carrier of the True Power. It does not originate in them or from them, it comes from above. They preach their is a life, a realm that is not earthly or sensual or natural in which you can be granted access if you will come and submit your life to the Lord Jesus Christ. You can have an entrance into a supernatural life, walking with this great and awesome God, a son or daughter of the King of Kings, serving Him, and serving others, led by His Spirit, used for His awesome glory, and obtain an eternal inheritance with His children. You can be set free from what binds you, you can be given a supernatural life, and receive His Spirit to live in you that will fill up that empty ache inside that never goes away no matter what you try to fill it up with. He can give you power over the things that would bind you and hinder you. Set free from darkness and blindness and brought into a glorious truth and light. You can come and experience His love that will take your breath away. You can find peace, security, and endless resources of help to face any trouble that will ever come your way. You can be relieved of that terrible burden of guilt and sin you carry through the blood of this precious Jesus Christ. What a transforming, and powerful message. But a message so powerful must be lived by the messenger to be effective. You must be a living testimony of this message. A true witness.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Hope of His Calling

2Co 1:8 For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:

2Co 1:9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:

2Co 1:10 Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;

Do not misunderstand God is fully aware of the pressure that is squeezing many of His children mentally right now. There is a pressure unlike any previously known and the intensity is increasing. Many saints are struggling with anguish, burdened down, many are enduring persecution, or some form of tribulation. This will weigh you down, make you feel heavy with despair and cause you to struggle with depression, even. It will truly make you wonder about the purpose of your life, make you feel like your life isn't amounting to much, and seems so fruitless, so pointless, how could God ever be satisfied? Have you caught yourself wondering why, Lord? Of course the enemy will be right there to whisper God is mad at you. He'll throw your failures in your face, constantly seeking to harass and accuse. Why does God allow these things into our lives, those of us who love Him and truly desire to know Him and live for His glory, not for self?

I think Paul tells us in the next two verses. The word for sentence in verse 9 means answer. There is a judicial answer for the problem. There is something in us that has been sentenced to death-and that is self will-it has to die and God will allow things to press and come against us so we will learn that we cannot trust in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but only in God who once we are dead to ourselves, (no longer relying on or looking to please self) is well able to raise us up and make good use of our lives. Just as He rescued us from sin, and darkness, which truly was an awful death, He is well able to deliver us and will deliver those who trust in Him. No matter how it looks right now, no matter how you feel right now, He loves His people, and is working things out for their good and His glory. And He will yet deliver us. Think about what He delivered you from in the beginning. Look at how much your thinking, your desires, your life has been changed since He saved you. He saved us from our sins, but He wants that self will pressed out of us. Why does He want to empty us of self? He has something better to pour in us in its place.

Eph 1:17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:

Eph 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

Eph 1:19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

Eph 1:20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

He can never give this kind of revelation, He can never have this kind of close fellowship with a carnal person. What will happen to a saint of God who gets a divine understanding of the Lord? When He manifests Himself to you, and reveals to you more of who He is then you are knowing Him yourself-you are learning Him. Intimately. As you begin to have this kind of deeper fellowship with Him, your faith is strengthened, your purpose in life is reaffirmed, redefined, and transformed. Now your focus has moved away from self and to HIM. When He begins to manifest His presence in your life, and open His Word to you more, drawing you in deeper, it's a thrilling thing. That aching longing deep in your soul that nothing around you satisfies, begins to find fulfillment in HIM alone as it was meant to do. In the knowledge and presence of this awesome God is fullness of joy. His precious Holy Spirit is working to this end. No matter what is wrong now, or how bad it may look, He wants to minister the cure to His people-His presence, and our divinely given awareness of His presence and who He is. He wants to reveal to us more of Himself. He wants us to understand and consider the hope or expectation of His calling which is an invitation. His calling us is His inviting us to something much better, much greater than what we have. He has such great richness, there is such a majesty about Him, and He has a glorious possession held in store for the saints, (the blameless, the consecrated, those who are HIS). What is that Possession? I believe it is His Beloved Son, the Bridegroom, Jesus Christ. Remember, beloved, many are called but few are chosen. If we don't yield to the stripping and pressing process, we won't be chosen. He has to strip away all the chaff of the carnal and worldly thinking, and living. He wants to replace it with spiritual understanding, spiritual thinking and living, and dependence on God, not self or the world. What is the hope of His calling? The expectation of this invitation God has given us? It is in His Son. Our life is in His Son.

Now there is something else we must know as well....He wants us to know the exceeding magnitude of His power-His mighty ability freely extended toward us who have faith in Him, who are committed to Him, and know that HE ALONE is our hope, our security. As long as we try to do it ourselves, then God will allow things to move against that to tear down that reliance on and confidence in self. If He can't fix it, it can't be fixed. If He started it, He will finish it. He that has begun a good work in you will continue to perform that work until it is finished, if you will allow Him to. That requires yielding to His leadership. And He has to give the grace, the understanding, and Holy Ghost power to do this.

This kind of power He has already shown us when Jesus Christ was crucified, put to death, and the power of Almighty God working in Him raised Him from the dead and elevated Him to the throne in heaven. He rules over all, that which was, which is, and which is to come. Hallelujah!

Col 1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

Col 1:10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

Col 1:11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

Col 1:12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:

Col 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

I know I was in terrible darkness until He opened the door! You never realize how awful that darkness is until you see the Light. Let us pray this way for one another, beloved. Pray the Lord of glory will open our spiritual eyes and ears and that we may be fully aware of His will for our lives, with a godly wisdom and spiritual understanding. That we no longer be carnal in our thinking or living. That we can mentally put the truth He reveals to us together-the pieces of the puzzle coming together so we can see the BIG picture-we can see beyond ourselves to His greater purpose. That we might live a life worthy of Him, pleasing and fertile-so His life is reproduced in us, no matter what work or labor we do, that we are continually being enlarged by Him in the recognition of Him, intimately knowing Him. That intimate fellowship produces a solid faith in us, which will enable and strengthen us, with His mighty power, that dunamis (G1411) power, that works the miraculous-that which only God can do. This will help us endure, patiently waiting for the completion of all things-when He comes for us. It all depends on Him revealing Himself to us. He can't do that if we don't meet with Him in prayer, if we don't pick up our Bibles and begin to dig in, and make time to get alone with God. We need to be filled with His Holy Spirit, we need to know HIM for ourselves, and we need to be depending on HIM and not ourselves. God help us once again to know how to tarry before Your presence, to be willing to tarry and not leave until we get filled. Help us be willing to put off any thing and every thing but You.

Dan 11:32 And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.

There is a temptation to want to prevent suffering, to give in to the desires of ourselves, and indulge ourselves. We need to realize that voice is an enemy of what God wants to do for and give His people. Don't be corrupted by a smooth voice whispering you don't have to go to the cross. You don't have to deny yourself. He did it for you. But we must pick up ours and carry it and follow His example. In this time we live in there is a heavy sense of impending disaster. People everywhere are struggling, the only difference is some have the Holy Ghost in them, and the Word of God is their foundation. If we are on the Rock, built on His Word, and on His promise, no matter what storm hits, we will not go under. Remember, when Peter stepped out on that raging sea, as long as He kept His eyes focused on the Lord, He did not sink.

Those who continually meditate on Him, His Word, and stay in close contact with the Holy Spirit, acknowledging His presence in themselves, communing with Him, hungering to know Him, He will reveal Himself. What He reveals will strengthen, and edify and build us up. It will always leave us longing for more of Christ and less of self. You can reach a place in God where the voices of this world, the things of this world, the temporary pleasures of this world no longer hold any fascination for you. God can be and wants to become so real to you that these things lose their grip on you. When what you read in His Word is more real to your heart than what you see and hear in this world, you have moved into a heavenly place reserved for those who are dead and dying to self. Why does self have to die? Oh, what an awful thing to say, if you don't understand the recompense and the reward! For the carnal mind is enmity (HOSTILE) against God. That is why it has to die. It will never yield to God. It has to be denied. That nature in us that wants to please only itself regardless of the cost to others, to God, it has to be crucified.

Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

I am learning, this is how the Holy Spirit is working in me. Through His power and His love, He draws me to dig into His Word, to seek a greater understanding of this lovely and all powerful Christ who gave Himself for me, so that I might give myself to Him and for Him, and in knowing HIM, in seeing Him, through eyes of faith, through divine revelation, I hunger for more of Him and less of me. In this way, the Holy Spirit, by revealing Christ to me, more and more, creates the desire to give up self and embrace Christ, to do His will, regardless of the cost, and He is the power and ability of God in me to see this accomplished. Hallelujah.

Now, if God had never allowed me to be pressed, troubled, afflicted, so I would be stripped of confidence in self and human ability, see what I would miss out on? He wants to strip us of filthy rags of self and cover us with His glorious presence, with His glorious truth! Nothing is worth missing out on knowing Him! He is our exceeding great reward and our shield!

See Him, being pressed by a crowd of people, on His way to raise a dead girl, and you see that trembling, fearful, and very ill woman pressing through a crowd, pressing through many voices, much opposition, just to touch the hem of His garment. She's lived like an outcast for 12 long years, lost everything but nothing has brought relief. See her trembling fingers touch the very part of His garment that was put there in remembrance of the law that marked her as unclean. See sin, and sickness touch holiness and be cleansed!! See Him stop and turn and fasten His wondrous eyes on Her, as she tries to slip unnoticed back into the crowd. See her fearful eyes lock with His as He says "Who touched Me?" She knows He's not going anywhere. She's exposed. Her heart is pounding like a frightened rabbit's, but she comes forward, completely exposed and vulnerable. Oh, she got healed, immediately, but there was something else she needed. See Him take away the reproach of 12 long years of living as one unclean, a social outcast. See Him recognize that pain of being ostracized. Hear Him speak to her "Daughter, be of good comfort, your faith has made you whole." What a lovely heart for us He has! See Him as He is and desire Him! Love Him! This is what the Holy Spirit wants to reveal to us! He wants us to know who this wonderful Christ is! Our lives will be revolutionized! We will never be the same. We will no longer be content to live mediocre, barely getting by lives. We will no longer feel like we are barely hanging on when we are holding His unchanging Hand and we KNOW IT! See Him and Love HIM! See His mercy and praise Him! He is so worthy!!!! Glory to GOD!! He will not fail you, neither will He forsake you! The Perfect One who lives in you will make you perfect-complete in HIM. You stand in God's sight, complete in Him, but He wants to make that finished work a reality in you now. It doesn't happen overnight, but each yielding of your will to His is a step toward that perfection. That completion.

He is circumcising our hearts, cutting us off from that tendency to live by self rule. Be encouraged Beloved, the stripping process is very unpleasant and painful, but God knows what He is doing, and doesn't delegate this task to another. No, He is right there, doing this Himself. That is in itself a declaration of His love. He will not entrust such a personal, painful process to one of His angels. He does this Himself-through the power of His Holy Spirit. He will not leave you alone, defenseless and wounded and raw, having been stripped. No, He wants to replace that confidence in self, with the kind of faith and peace that comes from intimacy with Him. Sharing His heart, and learning who He is, how He thinks, and what He thinks. Don't believe the lie of the devil that what you are going through is God's judgment because He is displeased! God knows your heart, He knows if you truly desire Him, and if you hunger and thirst after righteousness! He wants to fill you! He has to empty you first. Nothing must be allowed to remain that would hinder the free flowing river of living water. He wants to pour it in us that it may flow freely out of us to others. He is a hands on God, Beloved. Let this truth comfort you today, and pray this truth be real to your brothers and sisters in Christ. We are all being pressed, being afflicted, and things are growing darker by the day-but if we yield to God, He will trim the chaff off us and we will shine brightly in this dark hour. He wants us to shine so the lost can see and come and be saved. Let us be found willing vessels, submitting to the Refiner's fire, so we can be purified, and shine brightly to the praise of His glory. Knowing Him for yourself will produce a confident faith and peace that is never dependent on circumstances-and never goes unnoticed by the lost. In our tribulation, He is our Rock, our Refuge, an ever present Help in an increasingly dark and evil world.

Friday, December 19, 2008

An Invitation From God in Hard Times

2Ch 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

He's not talking to the world here. He's not talking to sinners who don't know the Gospel. He is talking to His own. They are called. They are bidden to come to Me. They proclaim My Name-My character, My authority, who I AM. Yet they misrepresent Me. They are called by My Name, they are called Christians. If they want their prayers heard, if they want Me to cure their land, repair the damage, then they have some things they must do. If they will bend their knee, (bow their heart) and come under subjection to Me, humble that self life that rules most if not all of their decisions, on a daily basis, yet they call ME Lord, if they will judge their own selves guilty and and repent and begin to intercede for their nation, for their families, for homes, search Me out, and seek Me, desire Me, strive after Me, and turn away from evil ways then I will hear and I will pardon their offenses against Me, and will mend and repair the damage that has been done to their land. That land can be applied to our homes, our spiritual walk with God, our families, our lives, marriages, relationships, and yes, our country. Is their hope for America? I do not know. But I know God can always be taken at His Word.

What will it take before God's own people will realize they call Him Lord, but they make their own decisions? Oh, I am guilty. I see myself here. Father, forgive me, please. Do we decide when to sleep, when to rise, when to eat, when to and how much or how little we read His Word, do we neglect fasting and prayer because we are too busy, and don't spend enough time in His Word or His Presence, and yet we call Him Lord? We always have ready excuses, do we not? We make our own decisions, ruled by our own intellect, and yet we call Him our Wisdom? Then we look around, frustrated at the dysfunction all around us and wonder why it is this way. Dysfunction is always the result when self rules. No wonder the world doesn't take the Gospel seriously when they see such ineffective displays of it in our lives.

Consider this carefully and know the hour is late and it is time to stop playing religious games. It is time to stop thinking one day I will, by God's grace be different. It's time to pay the price and sacrifice, and get alone with God, and stop feeding the self life and start feeding the spiritual life He birthed in us, and repent, and do what He says. Faith is obeying what you know is true. Come back to our First Love. Pastor BH Clendennen said recently in one of his messages "Do we limit the Holy Spirit's operation in us by functioning in our own strength because of our selfish thinking and acting ? We are on the threshold of the coming of the Lord. Are you a foolish virgin, knowing what you ought to do and not doing it? Or are you a wise virgin with oil in your lamp waiting on His Coming?"

Monday, December 15, 2008

Serving God or Serving Self?

Rom 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

What shall we say then in response? Shall we continue to miss the mark, to err and wander from the path of uprightness and honor, to do or go wrong? Sin is an offence, a violation of Divine law, in thought or deed. We are to be dead or dying to sin. Having been born again of the Spirit of God, we should not want to violate God's law, or miss the mark. We should be seeking the right way, seeking truth and understanding of the truth. Why would we want to continue to remain in the mire and muck God delivered us from? Then again, if we are continually striving in ourselves to serve and please God, frustrated at our lack of power to do so, frustrated by repeated failure, then we have missed the mark. If we are trying to live a Christian life in our own strength, when He said we had to be filled with the Spirit of God, the Word of God is asking us shall we continue in this sin, failing because of weakness, sin, confess and repent in a never ending cycle? Shall we continue to miss the mark or will we finally humble ourselves before God and admit we can't do this on our own, and repent that we tried for so long, in spite of His dealing with us, and seek to be filled with the Holy Ghost who is the ability of God in every believer to do what the Lord calls us to do?

When we were cleansed and immersed into Christ-into His life-have we not considered what that life was? Do we not understand that means we are also to be immersed into His death? This is what Paul is asking the Romans. What does that mean? His life was a life lived for others, a sacrificial, selfless life, led and governed completely-not by Himself, but by the Spirit of God. He was dead to self and sin.

When we consider this complete denial of self, it is an overwhelming thought. How can we do this? How can we reject ourselves? We have lived our whole lives in self, pleasing self, a slave to self. If self wants something, we sacrifice to get it. We will do without something else to get that thing self wants. The Spirit of God deals with us to get up early and pray before the rest of the family, but self is sleepy and denies God, because self wants its way. The Spirit says fast and seek Me for the deliverance of others, and self makes excuses, self is weak, and it whines, looking for a way out. Many times the Spirit of God deals and draws us to do something or go somewhere that self doesn't want to. Whomever we yield to, doesn't the Scripture say that is who we serve?

Still, when we have this God-given desire to please Him, when we have His fear in our hearts, and we start by His operation in our lives to see ourselves in His light, it is ugly thing we see. It can cause us to despair over ourselves. Still self focused. But it starts with us, minute by minute, day by day, one thing and one thought and one act at a time of surrendering ourselves fully to Him. Start with what He is dealing with you most about. Is it prayer? Is it fasting? Is it spending more time in His Word? Is it asking someone to forgive you for something you said or did? Is it paying your tithes? Maybe being faithful to come to church? Whatever it is, start with that one thing. Is there one thing He's wanting you to get rid of? He's recently ended my life long love affair with caffeine.

He's been a long time stripping me, but He has been and still is stripping me of self. I have seen enough of HIM that I have begun to want HIM more than self. This is the key to surrender. You can't preach and thunder "You must die to self! You must be crucified!" No, the message can't be self focused it must be Christ centered. He must be put on glorious display, and in seeing HIM we see self and then we realize what grace truly means and how costly it was.

Then it becomes precious to us-not ever to be taken for granted. For when we see Him, when we have a divine understanding, a revelation of who He is, of His holiness, we see our own self centered and pathetic attempts to be holy by how we look or act, by what we do or don't do, and all we can do now is fall on our face before Him and admit Oh, Lord I can never be like you. Do away with me and come rule and reign in me. Give Him more and more of yourself. Ask Him to and let Him draw you by the power of His Spirit into His presence, more and more. When we see Him, by default we see our failures, our selfishness, how totally unlike Him we are. He is completely all together different than what we are. The only way we can be holy is be filled with His Holy Spirit-that is His holiness in us. Humanity can't be holy-we can have nothing that we have not been given from above regarding this divine life and nature. It doesn't originate from self or in self. It comes from above-from HIM.

Whenever there is a temptation to put self over God, deny that self its desire and expression. Yield to God, not self, minute by minute, hour by hour, thought by thought, day by day. When self is crucified with Him, that body of sin, that self will in us that can never be satisfied no matter how much it has, is done away with. Then we are not enslaved to serve a selfish nature in us that is voracious in appetite-regardless of what kind of appetite, and demanding. Then we can be free to serve HIM. He provides the faith, the strength, the wisdom, the forgiveness, the power, the holiness, the promises, the ability, the Holy Ghost-who is the ability of God in us. We have nothing we have not received-we can't do this ourselves. Provision has been made for the one who is sick of serving self, and wants to be used by God to make a difference in these last days. But we have to choose to suffer some things, in denying ourselves. The Lord says if we will make the choice, He will enforce it. Now, think about that..If we are willing to deny ourselves, if we reject self as the master of this body we live in, and present it to Him, for Him, and ask Him for the power, He will enforce our decision. This requires stepping out in faith, into a way of life we have never known-and that requires courage and trust in the Lord. Again, He is the provision. He is everything we need to succeed.

Just as Jesus Christ died unto sin, and self, He lived unto God. This is our pattern. If we yield to the inner promptings of the Spirit of God, at the expense of self, refusing it any expression, minute by minute, day by day, always looking to Christ for the power to do this, then we are overcoming ourselves. Remember you have been made a spectacle before angels and men. So is God, and So is Satan.

When temptation arises, a choice has to be made. Do you yield your body and your mind to what the Spirit of God wants you to do, or do you yield to self and its desires? When you reject the rulership of yourself, and choose to yield to the Spirit of God, He will enforce that decision. He will be right there with all the power you need. Let NOT sin therefore reign in your mortal (temporary) body. By saying let not, He shows us we have a choice in the matter-to let or not to let self rule. Neither yield your members-your tongue, your hands, your mind, as tools of that which is wrong. Yield to God as one who is alive and a tool of His righteousness. Sin shall not have dominion over you. We don't have to sin-we choose to sin. When we feel weak, do we just give in to that weakness or do we refuse and call on His strength to stand and make the right choice? We do have that right. We fail ourselves and Him if we choose not to exercise that right.

Don't you know that whomever you submit yourself to obey when that choice arises, that is who you are in reality serving?

Jud 1:24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

Jud 1:25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

He has the power by virtue of His own ability and endless resources to do this. That word 'keep' means to watch, to be on guard, carefully observe, to save and preserve. He protects what is HIS and He is able to guard us and keep us from ourselves. This is one reason why I believe He chose to come and live IN us rather than with us. He is right there every step of the way-the very second temptation arises. He's able to keep you from stumbling if you look to HIM and not yourself. So, if we present ourselves to Him, then He is going to be able to present us before Himself without fault before the throne of glory with gladness and great joy. He truly is the only wise God, our Source of wisdom, and our Deliverer, to HIM be all glory, honor, praise and worship, and majesty, dominion, and power for He alone would never abuse these. Truly, we are our own worst enemy. Yes, there is a devil out there who seeks to devour and destroy, but there is a carnal, rebellious nature inside every human being that does not want to yield to God. To deny God is to deny life-for HE is the source of all life. Those who can hear and follow these Scriptures are those who will have the testimony of Jesus Christ. They will overcome by the blood of the Lamb, all those failures and sins, and they word of their testimony will be they loved not their own lives unto death-but rather HIS life. This is the testimony of Jesus Christ-a life lived for another, by the power of another. Father, teach us to walk in this truth, to live it, make it a reality in our lives, oh Lord, for You alone are able. The choice is ours, and by Your grace, we choose YOU, not self.