|Posted on September 26, 2019 at 5:00 PM|
Being an overcomer is an achievement that every individual aspires to, desires, and pursues in every aspect, endeavor, and facet of one’s life. The foundation of one who overcomes is their relationship with Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Jesus declared that “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26 NKJV). Overcomers are disciples of Jesus Christ who are victorious in resisting the power, temptation, and cultural norms of the world’s system. An overcomer is not perfect, sinless or blameless but one who prevails, is steadfast, and is determined to walk by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7), press on (Philippians 3:12), and run the race (Hebrews 12:1) until the end or finish line. One does not turn away when times, issues or life get difficult or become a backslider or defector.
Overcoming requires total trust and belief in the sovereignty of God; complete dependence on His Word, voice, promises, direction, and purposes; and faith to follow His plan for one’s life. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NAS). To overcome means to rise above, conquer, subdue, vanquish, overpower, and prevail against any conflict, issue, obstacle or challenge that stands in the way of one being obedient and fulfilling what God has called, instructed, and purposed. A believer who overcomes is known as one who is obedient (2 Corinthians 2:9), is faithful to God’s Word (Titus 1:9), is steadfast and immovable (1 Corinthians 15:58), finishes the race (Acts 20:24), and endures to the end (Matthew 24:13). “He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne” (Revelation 3:21 NAS).
Being an overcomer is more than wishful thinking or hoping for something, it necessitates a decision and a choice to live by faith (Romans 1:17), have a strong and vibrant belief system (Mark 9:23), be a doer of the Word (James 1:22), and work out one’s salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). Scripture declares that “He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son” (Revelation 21:7 NKJV). Every believer of Jesus Christ has been equipped and empowered by God through His Word and His promises, giftings, and instructions to be an overcomer in every aspect of life.
For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith. Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 1 John 5:4-5 NAS
|Posted on September 19, 2019 at 5:00 PM|
God’s gives life because He is the Creator and source of life. God breathed the breath of life into man who was formed of dust from the ground and man became a living being (Genesis 2:7). By the breath of God mankind not only became living beings but God gave mankind a soul which distinguished mankind from all other beings. Scripture states that there is a natural body and a spiritual body (1 Corinthians 15:44). “And so it is written, ‘The first man Adam became a living being. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit’” (1 Corinthians 15:45 NKJV). It is important to note that the first man (Adam) was from the earth and bears the characteristics and image of the earth while the second Man (Jesus Christ, Last Adam) is from heaven and bears the characteristics and image of the heavenly Man (1 Corinthians 15:47-49). Upon being born again (John 3:7) by receiving Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, one’s spirit becomes alive and is given a new heart and new spirit (Ezekiel 36:26). Through the breath of Jesus Christ, believers receive Holy Spirit (John 20:22) who quickens the spirit man and empowers life in Spirit.
Throughout Scripture the breath or wind of God denotes the impartation of life both in the natural man and in the spirit man. For example, on the day of Pentecost there came a sound from heaven as a rushing mighty wind and filled all in attendance with Holy Spirit (Acts 2:1-4). The word ‘wind’ also can be interpreted as breath which brings new life in Spirit. Another example comes from the vision of Ezekiel where he was instructed to prophesy for the four winds to come and breath upon the dead bodies so they may live again (Ezekiel 37:9).
The breath of God will bring new life--a refreshing, an awakening. God’s breath will also revive those believers who have become weak, apathic, and lethargic in the things of God; are influenced by an unstable belief system and lack of faith; have turned away from the Lord; and are in cultural bondage and have lost hope. Upon experiencing God’s breath there will be a quickening of one’s spirit resulting in the transformation of the inner man. This transformation brings hope, a renewed belief system, and an empowered faith which enables one to draw close to God changing the inner man and shifting the focus of life to the Lord and the things above (Colossians 3:2). God’s breath is essential for every believer and the body of Christ (ekklesia) to be awakened, revived, and brought into right standing before the Lord.
What society, culture, and people need is a fresh breath (wind) of God to be released or blown throughout the earth that will bring change in the hearts of mankind and shift the atmosphere from darkness to light. This will require believers and the body of Christ to enter into fervent prayer, have a hunger and zeal to seek the Lord (Isaiah 55:6), walk by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7), and believe for a fresh outpouring of the breath of God bringing new life to all.
|Posted on September 12, 2019 at 5:00 PM|
It is written in the Bible that God’s ways and thoughts are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:9). Each believer that sets their mind on the things above not on the things that are on earth (Colossians 3:2) will position and establish themselves with the ability to receive and be in tune with what God is speaking and revealing thus enabling them to receive the instruction of Holy Spirit in the higher ways and thoughts of God. “Make me know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day” (Psalms 25:4-5 NAS).
Many believers have been indoctrinated in worldly thinking which causes them to live in the natural environment where they believe it is impossible to receive, live in, and embrace the full revelation of God’s heavenly realm. In order to embrace God’s ways and thoughts and make them a part of the inner being, the believer is instructed to not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2). In the renewing of the mind, believers will understand that the entire universe was framed by the word of God so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible (Hebrews 11:3).
A worldly minded believer would believe that God’s ways and thoughts are beyond them and impossible to obtain. A spiritually minded believer would declare the word of God and believe that "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." (Matthew 19:26 NKJV) and "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes." (Mark 9:23 NKJV).
But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him." But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, and the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 1 Corinthians 2:9-11 NKJV
(This blog post was previously posted in January, 2016.)
|Posted on September 5, 2019 at 4:50 PM|
In the beginning God’s purpose was to establish the Word and cause all creation to come through the Word–the Word being the Son of God. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:1-4 NKJV). God’s purpose was to move upon the earth which was without form, void, and full of darkness and speak forth light in the midst of darkness, bring order between the waters and firmament, bring life through creation, and set the atmosphere and environment for mankind. Everything God created including man was made to expedite, facilitate, and fulfill His purpose.
Another dimension of God’s purpose through Jesus Christ and by Holy Spirit is to raise up and empower a body of believers as sons and daughters who are worthy, obedient, and comply to His Word. Every believer must realize that they were chosen before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4), predestined according to His purpose (Ephesians 1:11), and called to fulfill their role or portion of God’s purpose (2 Timothy 1:9). Having the vision and divine revelation of God’s purpose will assist in identifying one’s assigned purposes, guide in running the race (1 Corinthians 9:24), and sustain momentum as one presses towards the goal of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14).
Understanding God’s purpose in life is when one discovers the reason why one was created. Every believer of Jesus Christ was created with purposes, assignments or missions that are set before them which not only fulfills their call but furthers and establishes the kingdom of God. Having God’s purpose identified, defined, and revealed in one’s life will bring substance, value, and relevance thus preventing one from being unduly influenced by circumstances, life issues, cultural norms, individual mindsets, and social pressures.
God’s purpose in one’s life is worked out and demonstrated on a daily basis. The challenge is many believers have a misconception of the magnitude and importance of God’s purpose. There are practical ways to activate and empower God’s purpose in and through one’s life such as caring for and nourishing one’s family, being part of and serving in a local church body, being a witness in one’s community, and being a light in the work place. “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones” (Luke 16:10a NLT).
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 NAS
|Posted on August 29, 2019 at 5:25 PM|
Deep in the inner being of mankind there is a longing, quest, and yearning to know and understand the significance, meaning, and defined purpose for their life. Every individual's life is designed, created, and given life by the word and breath of God with a divine purpose and destiny. God’s original intent in the creation of mankind was to share His nature, power, and plans in the design, forming, and implementing His divine purpose. “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NKJV). Mankind was fully positioned and equipped to know one’s purpose until sin, rebellion, and disobedience caused a divide between God and His creation. As a result of this divide, mankind relinquished any awareness or connection between their life and the designed purpose God intended. It is important to understand that although there was the fall of mankind God’s original purpose and destiny for one’s life was not nullified, canceled or altered; however, the awareness and recognition of their purpose became hidden.
The Lord speaks in Jeremiah 29:11 NAS, “'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.'” The word ‘plans’ means that God has thoughts, intentions, and purpose. For us today to give a future and a hope means to lead one into a relationship with Jesus Christ and the restoration and activation of God’s given purpose enabling the fulfillment of one’s destiny. When an individual accepts Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, their divine purpose and destiny is then released to fulfill God's will in their life. Every believer must realize that they were chosen before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4) and predestined according to His purpose (Ephesians 1:11) so purpose was established the moment one took their first breath. To know God’s intended purpose for one’s life requires obedience and committed action to call upon Him, come to Him, and pray.
As in many things in today’s culture, purpose has evolved into a self-centered and man-driven desire for the edification and gratification for one’s life. The importance of the origin, source, and substance of purpose has been diminished and is some cases eliminated. One’s significance, meaning, and defined purpose for life cannot be disconnected with the Creator. God created mankind and equipped them with giftings, qualities, characteristics, and abilities enabling them to activate His Word, walk in Spirit, carry out His instructions, and perform His purpose.
The LORD has made everything for his own purposes... Proverbs 16:4a NLT
|Posted on August 22, 2019 at 5:15 PM|
With everything that is transpiring in the world today including rapid change and the condition of culture, one of the greatest battles in one’s life is to remain faithful in a faithless society. Faithfulness is considered as a quality, attribute or characteristic which is attributed to both God and mankind. Someone who is faithful is true to their word, keeps their promises, honors their commitments, performs their duty, loyal to their covenant relationships, and adheres to established standards. There is a cultural challenge for any individual to exhibit a faithful lifestyle without a committed relationship with God who is the source of all faithfulness through Jesus Christ and by Holy Spirit.
Faithfulness is one of the distinguishing facets and distinctive characteristics of God’s nature. It denotes the sovereignty, steadfastness, and constancy of God in His relations with mankind and particularly with His people. God’s faithfulness is not contingent on what He does but it is who He is and He is unchangeable, immutable, and constant in keeping His covenant, promises, and Word. God is the Beginning and the End (Revelation 1:8],does not change (Malachi 3:6), and through Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8], God established the earth to all generations (Psalms 119:90); keeps covenant and lovingkindness (Deuteronomy 7:9); chose Israel (Isaiah 49:7); gave His Son, Jesus, for the redemption and salvation of mankind (John 3:16-17); and cleansed believers of all sin by the blood of Jesus, His Son (1 John 1:7).
For each believer of Jesus Christ to maintain a healthy relationship with God and be effective in the body of Christ, one must remain faithful to God’s Word, voice, Spirit, and commandments. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37) and “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). Faithfulness is not an option and is expected of every believer because it demonstrates God’s attributes, character, and nature in and through their life. Each believer is required as a steward in God’s kingdom to be found faithful (I Corinthians 4:2). Without faithfulness to God there can be no life in Spirit.
Remaining faithful hinges upon what one values as important combined with commitment. To remain faithful, believers should engage in life disciplines such as having holiness as a priority, holding God’s Word as true and the source of authority, relying and depending on God’s strength not man’s, staying the course regardless of the storms and issues of life, and embracing the fellowship of believers.
His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.' Matthew 25:21 NKJV
|Posted on August 15, 2019 at 5:15 PM|
All creation and mankind long to experience authenticity, reality, and truthfulness in every aspect of life. Some of the major challenges that mankind faces today is that authenticity is met with skepticism, reality is shaped by uncertainty, truth is replaced with opinion, and ethics are substituted by what works. The makeup and design of any society and the structure of its culture must have at its very core authentic people whose lives are founded and rooted in truth, principles, and ethics derived from a source which is established in God, the Creator. For someone to be authentic one is genuine, credible, trustworthy, faithful to their beliefs, steadfast in their convictions, and confident in their nature no matter what issue or situation is in front of them. Authenticity is a powerful force rooted deeply and established by a genuine and bona fide source whose origin is supported, approved, and authorized by factual evidence and confirmed as true which stands contrary to what is false, fictitious, counterfeit, and deceptive lies.
The true source or origin of authenticity that exists in life rests in God the Father who created all things, His Son Jesus Christ who redeemed all things, and Holy Spirit who sustains all things. From the beginning God the Father invested all in His Son Jesus Christ. “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist” (Colossians 1:16-17 NKJV). Currently in today’s culture mankind has adopted and embraced other sources created by the god of this age, the spirit of religion, and false teachers. These other sources have given way to destructive heresies, the philosophy of relative truth, false doctrines, the denial of and resistance to God’s creation, rebellion against foundational truths, and a decline and weakening of standards established by God.
The deterioration of society and instability of culture has created a deep longing and craving within man’s soul for reality to overshadow uncertainty, light to penetrate darkness, truth to replace lies, and good to triumph over evil. The only authentic force that can affect and change the prevailing culture and bring healing, restoration, wholeness, and peace is the body of Christ (the ekklesia). This authentic force is believers of Jesus Christ who have been redeemed by the blood (Ephesians 1:7), adopted as sons of God (Galatians 4:5), empowered by Holy Spirit, and called and commissioned by God to bring authenticity, reality, and truthfulness into the world, its society and culture.
There are many people who desire and attempt to live an authentic life. However, without a relationship with Jesus Christ and the indwelling of Holy Spirit, one is unable to accomplish this because there is no connection with God--His presence, Spirit or Word. It is time for every believer to allow Holy Spirit to work in their life from the inside out to mold and shape them into being an authentic force and be released into society as a bold representative and an effective witness for the kingdom of God. This can be accomplished when one puts on Christ (Galatians 3:27) and takes upon themselves the characteristics of an authentic believer. Authentic believers openly confess Jesus Christ (Matthew 10:32), walk as children of light (Ephesians 5:8), obey the commands of Jesus Christ (1 John 5:3), submit to God’s Word (1 John 2:5), walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:25), hear the voice of Holy Spirit (Revelation 2:17), enjoy fellowship with other believers (1 John 1:7), seek first the kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33), and love the Lord with all their heart, with all their soul, and with all their mind (Matthew 22:37).
|Posted on August 8, 2019 at 4:55 PM|
Living a quality life comes from the innermost part of man. There is a perception that if the outside of man looks good then the inner quality must be good. Jesus addresses the religious leaders about the outside and inside condition of their lives in Luke 11:39-40 NAS “But the Lord said to him, 'Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and of the platter; but inside of you, you are full of robbery and wickedness. You foolish ones, did not He who made the outside make the inside also?'”
Mankind has learned to address the issues of life by changing their exterior conditions, presentations, life style, circumstances, relationships, atmosphere, and environment. There is a problem with this perception because it is the opposite of and contradicts God’s Word and His process of changing a person’s life from the inside by the indwelling and power of Holy Spirit. Scripture declares in Ezekiel 36:26-27 NKJV, "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them." A change from the outside of one's life can only change what is around them and is always temporary where an internal spiritual transformation is full of life and everlasting. Scriptures declare that out of the center of your being (heart) will spring the issues of life.
But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him." But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. 1 Corinthians 2:9-12 NKJV
Only Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of life (Romans 8:2) and who dwells in each believer (Romans 8:11, I Corinthians 3:16), can bring full assurance to a person (I Thessalonians 1:5) upon the acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior to a quality life full of righteousness, peace, joy, victory, and the fulfillment of all that God has purposed and destined.
(This blog post was previously posted in March, 2015.)