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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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Monday, July 20, 2009

It's God's Joy to Deliver You

When He had a people in the earth, called Israel, they were led to Egypt during a time a famine. After that, the generations of these people were born into Egypt, through no fault of their own. That's just where they lived. It was a land of idolatry, a land where they were oppressed and heavily burdened by the Egyptians. They suffered plenty under the Egyptian rule. God did not want His people to remain in Egypt. He had something and somewhere better for them. He had a bountiful land, full of plenty, already prepared for them by other, pagan nations whom would be thrown out for their great sins and refusal to repent. God looked and watched over this land, called Canaan. In order to get His people to want to leave the land of Egypt, because human nature never wants to leave where it is comfortable and has its needs met, He had to turn the heart of the Egyptians against His people. (Psa_105:25) He did not want His people to have to suffer so greatly, but He knew the demonic influence that was rampant in Egypt with their sorceries, and the multitude of idols, would infect His people and ultimately destroy them. Indeed, by the time He brought them out, many carried small figures of Egyptian idols with them. He had to let it get hard in Egypt before they would remember Him and cry to Him for deliverance so He could intervene and rescue them. He will not force Himself into our lives, but He knows how to cause us to cry out for the help He knows we need.

Israel was a weak and enslaved nation. They had been in Egypt 430 years. Much of that time had been spent under bondage and harsh abuse. When God came down to set His people free, He began by launching an assault against the most prominent of Egypt's idols. He started with the Nile River, because the Egyptians believed it was the center of the world and the origin of the world's beginning. They also believed the soul of the dead had to cross the Nile before it could enter the kingdom of the dead. God turned the Nile River to blood for 7 days. The fish died. He sent plagues of frogs, flies, lice, locusts, and He sent plagues of sores on man and beast, but none in Goshen, where His people Israel were. He sent hail and flaming fire in the land. (Psa 105:32) He sent darkness so great for three days no one went out in Egypt but there was light in Goshen, in the homes of His people, Israel. He took the firstborn both of animal and human, in Egypt. This combination of plagues and catastrophes destroyed this nation of Egypt. In one last final judgment, He destroyed Egypt's army in the Red Sea.

When He brought His people out of Egypt, they were not poor anymore, nor were they sick or feeble. God once again turned the hearts of the Egyptians to have compassion on His people and they gave the Israelites jewelry, gold, and silver and whatever else they needed for their journey. Egypt was glad to see them go. Egypt was destroyed. He showed His people the gods of Egypt were powerless to protect or defend anyone. He showed the world the Pharaoh was not god.

He led His people in the form of a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. He led them through a desert wilderness. When they got hungry, He sent manna from heaven, and quail. When they got thirsty, He took care of it. Remember, He had to supply for over three million people in a wilderness where there were no stores, only the meager provision they brought out with them, which was gone in three days' time.

Psa 105:41 He opened the rock, and the waters gushed out; they ran in the dry places like a river.
Psa 105:42 For he remembered his holy promise, and Abraham his servant.
Psa 105:43 And he brought forth his people with joy, and his chosen with gladness:

What really stands out to me here are three important things. They were traveling through rough terrain. If you have Google earth, I suggest you open it, and pinpoint Egypt. Then use the application to head toward the Red Sea, and then on into the Sinai Peninsula. It is harsh, mountainous territory in places. They were carrying tents, leading their animals and their children, and they were on foot. This was a rigorous journey. But there were places where the ground was level and wide enough for three million people to camp. They got thirsty, He opens a Rock and pours out enough water to satisfy millions, including both human and animal. Is not Jesus Christ, our Lord, the Rock that followed them in the wilderness? (1Co_10:4) He had made a promise to Abraham and He remembered it. He kept it. He brought them out of Egypt with joy and gladness! Does not the Bible say there is joy in heaven when one sinner repents? (Luk_15:10) As you consider their journey to freedom, to the promised land, remember it is much like our own Christian journey. He brings us out of sin and darkness, into His marvelous light. He gives us His Holy Spirit, by which we are born again. Suddenly, there is a new life inside us. War breaks out, for this new life is contrary to the old, human nature. We have part of God's nature in us and it doesn't agree-ever- with human nature. He starts us on a journey, and at times it gets difficult, the way is straight and narrow. He has to strip us, like Israel, of confidence in our self, of worldly ways of thinking and behaving, as He is in the process of creating in us the image of His Son. He wants to make us like Jesus. He takes us through His Word, teaching us as we follow Him through those pages, revealing things in our heart to us that are unlike Him. At times, He allows difficult situations in our lives to cause these things He knows are hidden in our hearts to come to the surface. He has to allow us to be tested so we know what we are made of. When we see what He knows is there, that is unlike Him, then our job is to repent so He can cleanse and forgive us.

He doesn't forget His promises, He watches over His Word to perform it. When He delivered His people, He brought them out of bondage with joy and gladness! Consider He knew these folks would be murmuring and complaining against Him shortly after their deliverance. He knew how badly they would fail. He knew the majority of them would refuse to enter into the land He had prepared for them. He had a place already prepared for them. Still, He delivered them with joy and gladness. Amazing. He knew He would have to judge some. He knew some of them would challenge His authority and perish. They had every opportunity just like the others to be free and blessed by Him had they trusted and obeyed.

Now, let's bring it home to our time, our lives. It is His joy to reach out His mighty hand from heaven and save and deliver sinners from the darkest pits of sin. He is glad to rescue them from their addictions, their habits, their bondage. In doing so, He shows the god of this world who is the devil, is powerless to prevent Him from saving them. But this is a journey impossible for human flesh to make on its own. We must have His power and His strength.

He opened the Rock, which is His Son, Jesus Christ, He is the One who John said would baptize us in the Holy Ghost. We are in a wilderness. It's a dry place, this world we live in. He promised He would send those who would obey Him, and tarry in His presence power from on high to live this life. He wants us to come. He wants us to pray, and believe Him. Faith is what you do about what you know is true. He's coming after a people that are His completely, not half hearted, not wishy washy, but completely sold out to Him. When He comes for His Bride, who only has eyes for Him, He will bring her forth with joy and gladness, as well. He's sent the Holy Ghost to prepare and empower her, He's provided all things that pertain to life and godliness. Everything we need is in Christ, and made available to us by the work and power of the Holy Ghost. But if we don't separate ourselves from the things of this world, from the influences of this world, and turn with all our heart to God, we will miss Him. He won't compete to be heard. We need a time of separation where we read nothing but the Bible, turn the TV and computer off, stay off the phone as much as possible, and limit our conversation with anyone except God, as much as we can. We need to fast our minds from these influences of the world, and separate ourselves and fast, and pray and seek God for the power He promised which is what it will take to overcome. We need to humble ourselves in this way, and just ask God, Lord, am I pleasing to you? What is it you want to deal with in my life? Examine me, Oh, Lord, see if there be any wicked way in me that needs to go. Search me, Father, because I want to be Yours, completely, and I don't want to stay here when You come.

Nothing is worth missing Him, folks. Nothing and no one. If we don't humble ourselves, and seek repent, and turn from our wicked ways, and pray for our families, our lost loved ones, who will? What are our wicked ways?

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, or sinners here, but His own people. Humble that self life that wants to make all the decisions but still call Me Lord. When we are acting independent of Him, acting without consulting Him, neglecting Him, walking in the flesh and not in the Spirit, it is wickedness. I was sitting in a meeting in London, KY two years ago, and Pastor BH Clendennen was preaching in this pentecostal church. These people seemed passionate, even the children were well behaved, and many had their hands in the air, praying and worshiping God, and it wasn't a show, either. I could see the sincerity on their little faces. You could feel the presence of God in this place as the Pastor preached that message "To Live is Christ, to Die is Gain". I'll never forget it. It was May 2, 2008. During that message, Pastor said "God said we need to get the worldliness out of the church". I looked around, all the ladies' hair was very long, their dresses long, I saw no one dressed inappropriately, none of them had make up on, or jewelry. It looked like an old fashioned, holiness believing, Pentecostal church congregation. The men were dressed as they should be, with neat hair cuts. There was a sense of reverence, and respect in this place. That statement he made just stood out to me, and in my mind, I whispered a question to the Lord. "What does he mean by that, Lord? This church doesn't look worldly at all." I was surprised when God answered me, in that still, small voice I've come to love. "Worldliness is when the church acts and does things without praying, without talking to Me first." I thought about that, about how we read the Bible, and often take it as we understand it, without digging in deep and praying and asking Him, Lord, am I getting this right? We say and do things without Him, we don't always ask His direction and leading through out our days, our lives, and we make our own decisions. We decide when to pray, when to read the Bible, and what to do, with very little input from God, yet we call Him Lord. This must change. How? Give ourselves to prayer and the Word and fast our minds from outside influences that would make it hard to hear what He has to say. We only get one shot at this, folks. He's coming soon. This world is getting darker and more wicked by the minute. We must have our own Word from God, now. We can't make it on what somebody else says. We need to hear from Him ourselves.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Overcome With the Cares of This Life

Full Notes Click Here
This is an excerpt from "To Him Shall Be Given" posted this morning Here

Luk 21:34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.

Luk 21:35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.

Luk 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

Surfeiting is the result of over-indulgence. Regardless of what it is, over indulging in anything not spiritual will slow you down, make you dull, hard, heavy and slow. This is why too many church goers don't respond to the Word and the Spirit with the sensitivity they should and need to. Too many things are spotting them up. If your mind is filled with earthly things, heavenly things have no room. He will not force His way in. He stands outside and knocks, seeking entrance. It us who need to hit our knees and cry out for mercy and forgiveness, and ask Him to come and take His rightful place as number one. What a change we would see if we separate ourselves as much as possible from the things of this world, turn off the TV and computer, for a time, and read nothing but His Word. Take a set time as soon as possible and fast your mind and your body from as many worldly influences as you can, including food. Don't read the paper or watch TV for a few days. Get off the computer and out of the debate forums, and get alone with HIM. We can't reject ourselves, our ways, our desires, unless we are able to see One we want more than ourselves. That is the whole point of what the Holy Spirit is trying to do in our lives. He seeks to show us there is One who is better, who is right, who is everything we aren't, and yet He loves us. He wants to lead us to the cross Jesus said we must carry daily, nail our self will to it, and crucify us, so then the One who is more, who is better, who is Everything, can live in and through us and many can be saved and delivered from a perishing world. He is the love and life every hungry heart is searching for, whether they realize it or not. It will be an awful thing on that day of judgment when we all will have to stand before Him, and see the love and pain in His eyes. Many will stand there in awe, and finally understand that here is the love, here is what they spent their whole lives searching for only to find it is forever beyond their reach. Those who deny Him in their lifetime will be denied when they stand before Him. If we reject Him in life, He will not accept us in eternity. He will give us in eternity what we demanded in our life: His absence. It will hurt Him to do so, but He will not violate our free will. That's what is going to make hell so awful. Millions will mourn they were deceived-and you can't be deceived if you truly love the truth and pray for Him to help you not be deceived. To spend eternity realizing He was what we longed for and we missed Him will be horrible. The devil has many deceived into believing things of this life, such as getting ahead, having money, reputation, beauty, popularity, or position, are what is important. People are always grasping, because self is never satisfied. That inner emptiness is never filled. Only God can fill that void and make us complete. Only His love can heal our wounds and hurts. Only His peace can calm our troubled hearts. If all this sounds too hard, too difficult, too impossible, just pray and admit honestly that you can't do this. You wouldn't even know how to begin to try to do this. God already knows that you can't. But He can. Trust and commit yourself, your life to Him and He will bring it to pass. He can make you what He wants you to be. Time is short, don't delay any longer to run to Him. Please. The one who listens and obeys, to him shall be given life. He is our life.

Psa 37:5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

Php 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

Psa 138:8 The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Take Heed That Ye Be Not Deceived

Take Heed To Yourselves: Warnings From Jesus
(full notes, click link)

Luk 21:8 And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.

Consider that the name "Christ" means the anointed one of God. Of course there are those who are deluded and claim to actually be Jesus Christ, but those are not the primary threat I believe He was warning them about. Those are easily identified as frauds. But how many today are on the religious stage proclaiming they are the anointed of God? Many of the religious celebrities travel around holding their conferences, and they boast and deceive all in the name of the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ and God. They put on a show, and glory in the flesh and multitudes throw their money at these showmen and women, order their cds and dvds and books, and feed their minds on deception because it's by and large a prosperity gospel, without mention of any cross in the life of a believer. Go ye not after them, He said. Don't listen to them, don't give them your money, don't buy their leaven. The truth is, if they really possess the anointing of God, they will also possess a healthy fear of God, and recognize where the real power is-in HIM not them. They will love Him and not dare touch the glory. They will not point people to their ministry but to their Christ! If anything or anyone except Jesus Christ is at the center, beware.

I've been thinking about this word 'anointing'. It was a custom among the Hebrews and other oriental nations to anoint themselves and when there was no anointing, it was one sign of mourning. To anoint was to put oil on the head or body. They anointed the head, the hair, the beard, and at their feasts, the whole body, but sometimes only hands and feet. Anointing dead bodies was also practiced to preserve them from corruption. Anointing visitors was also an act of hospitality. It was a means of refreshing their bodies. But the common uses for anointing were not to be confused with the special anointing decreed by God. Leaders were anointed and so were high priests at their inauguration. This signified they were set apart for God, and it was a costly and fragrant mixture of oils-forbidden for all others. Jesus Christ was the Anointed One, the anointing was the Holy Ghost working in Him and through Him. This is why I fear to use this word anointing very much-when you speak of the anointing, you speak not of a thing or a condition, but of a Person.

God would only allow the holy anointing oil to be put on that which was sanctified, set apart totally for Him. Common things nor strangers were never allowed to be anointed. They were not allowed to make this oil for themselves and their own personal use, either. This isn't a selfish thing. Its use was always to be governed by God. Whatever was anointed was for God's service. Any vessel used in the ministry in the tabernacle had to be anointed. This is the pattern the church of God was meant to follow. In the book of Acts, they had to be full of the Holy Ghost and faith just to minister to the widows' earthly needs, such as food and housing. Any one who was not filled was not allowed to minister or operate in the Sanctuary. My God. How far we have fallen. This requires a sacrifice of one's time and will but to be granted private, intimate audience with the Lord God Almighty, to be able to sit at His feet and eat His Word and learn FROM Him, not about Him...oh my..what could be better? Nothing can compare with being in His presence, hearing His Voice..

For those in leadership, this is the standard. They should give themselves to prayer and the Word of God else they will have nothing of lasting value to give the people of God. Instead they will have only their basic understanding which is vague at best of Scripture and won't reproduce life in the congregation. Those who would really know God, who want to go deeper, whether in leadership, behind the pulpit or just someone who loves God and sees the need to be an accurate witness of God, this is the way to know Him....get alone with Him, seek Him, search the Scriptures, bring them to Him, ask Him what it meant and dig and dig and pray and pray. Oh, what rich rewards of His presence, to learn from Him instead of about Him. It is necessary for the leadership to be alone with God, to be filled with God, yielded, and know when to step out of the way and let God move because that congregation is naked only before God. He knows each need, each hidden sin, each one who is holding too tight to something they need to let go and too loose to what they need to hold fast. He alone is able to perfect us. The more we decrease, and the more He increases in us, the more perfected we become.