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Thursday, March 30, 2006

In The Presence Of My Enemies

Given March 19, 2003
Probably the most well known Psalm, the 23rd, can be quoted by young and old alike. There is so much "meat" in there that a whole series of sermons could be done from its six verses. But a revelation was brought to me on this day three years ago that shed some positive light on my life.

Verse 5, "Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over." In all the previous years I'd read and heard that verse, I pictured a long banquet table in Heaven with every good thing to eat and angels all around. But a TV preacher reminded me that my enemies won't be in Heaven! This table prepared for me is not in Heaven but here on earth! Maybe you all realized that but it was good news to me!

God has prepared a table for me HERE, on earth and now the picture I see is different. I see me and other "children of God" sitting at this great, long table heaped high with every good thing. The room is long and norrow and my enemies are there up against the wall right behind me. They have to stand and watch me partake of the King's fare and they can't do a thing about it! Wow, what a time. God wants to bless us now, we don't have to wait till we get to Heaven. Hey, your table's ready too. Go have a seat and enjoy!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Plant A Seed

Given March 17, 2006
God has shown me this concept several times and I was reminded of it again recently because it's spring planting time again. I love this time of year with new life coming up everywhere; it's so encouraging. And I love to garden and already have my lettuce and pea seeds in the ground.

But getting back to this revelation; planting real seeds is a faith lesson. You put the seed in the ground, hidden, and you wait. You make sure it's watered and not disturbed and you know, by faith, that soon you'll see that little green plant emerge. If you lose faith and begin wondering, "What is going on under there? That thing should have come up by now. I'll dig it up and see." You've contaminated the process and probably destroyed your plant.

It's the same way with the spiritual seeds you plant. If you've planted a spiritual seed before and seen the harvest, it'll be easier not to dig it up. But if this is the first time, you'll be tempted to try to help it along. (Now who tempts you to do that?) Right! Don't do it! Continue to water it with prayer and have faith that it'll come up and produce the harvest you're looking for in God's time.

And, one good sideline, when you plant one seed, you don't get just one great big seed when it comes up. No, you get a bunch of seeds, a plant, leaves and a stalk. Much more that you planted! "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. John 12:24" Isn't God's plan great?

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Get Under My Feet!

Given March 7, 2006
This day, I was listening to a teaching on demonology and realized, once again, that the enemy is supposed to be under my feet. "Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Luke 10:19". You know as well as I do that the enemy is not under our feet all the time like he's supposed to be. We let him up!

I could see myself in a confrontation with the enemy. I told him to get down so I could put my foot on him and he refused! Well, I wasn't sure what to do next but God appeared standing behind me and told the devil, "Get down!", and he immediately did. I put my foot on him in victory and all was good.

The next time the devil came around, I remembered that God was with me and He'd given ME the authority in His name to put the devil down. So I said, "Devil, get under my feet!" Again, he refused and wanted to argue with me like a child would. But this time, I was confident of who I am in God, what I have, and what I can do. I said, "Do you want me to call God?" He immediately got down, I put my foot on him and all was good.

I believe this is a senario we need to practice to be effective. Our enemy is not going to give up but when he realizes he's not going to be able to trick us, we'll have an easier time of dealing with him. Quote Luke 10:19 every day and live like it's true!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Daddy!

Given April 2003
I heard a preacher talking about the verse in Romans 8: 15 that says, " For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." I was thinking about that. How do we usually address God when we come to Him?

Adam and Eve walked with Him and apparently spent time with Him in the garden, until they sinned. Then they were afraid to be in His presence. Sometimes we're afraid to go to Him when we've been bad. And, we come to Him in church or our prayer time addressing Him as, "Our dear Heavenly Faaathuh". We see Him as a lofty, almost stranger.

But, you know, that verse in Romans says we've received the Spirit of adpotion, we've been adopted by God. I want to go to Him, jump up in His lap, and say, "Hey, Daddy!" And He will say, "Hello Son, I'm glad you're here."

He's not this far-off ,unapproachable being but He's my Daddy! I can go to Him and He'll love me no matter what I've done. That's the relationship I want all the time!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Devil's Choice - Part 2

Given March 12, 2006
"Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 peter 5:8" Another view of this verse that God gave me is that of a stone wall that surrounds us. I think we have a "hedge of protection" around us that God has placed there, (Job 1:10), but it's not always solid. Satan knows our weaknesses and I can see him roaming around my wall of protection to find that weak stone and start picking away at it. For instance, he's not going to mess with the stone of theft because he knows I have no weakness in that area. I have no desire to steal something so he can't tempt me there. That stone is solid!

But, when it comes to anger or pride or some other of my weaknesses, he knows he might have a way in there. So he tells me a lie, offers a situation, or something that will make me lose my temper or get me puffed up. You see what I mean? It happens to you too. And if I don't do something about it, he'll keep picking away until he gets through the wall. Then, I'm in trouble!

So, what do we do? Probably, we already know our weaknesses and if not, ask God. Then begin to search the Word for scriptures that address those weaknesses and speak them out when Satan comes around picking. If it's anger, say, "Devil, you're not getting me mad, I'm not receiving it! I see what you're doing and Luke 10:19 says I have authority over all your power. So, GET OUTTA HERE!" He'll leave. Try it.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Devil's Choice - Part 1

Given March 10, 2006
"Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 peter 5:8" I was meditating on this verse and, as happens to me frequently, I got a picture of what this might look like but it was differnt. First, this verse tells me the devil can't get to everyone, some are easier than others. And some things that are good can result in harmful outcomes.

I saw the devil and some of his demons roaming around looking for those he could get to. Now, these are Christians mind you. They come upon one guy who is doing "church work" but he's doing it all the time. Old Slew Foot says, "Get that one, he's unbalanced, we can influence him" Then they come upon one who is spending time with family, work, recreation, and church activities and the devil says, "Don't bother with him."

Then they come upon this guy who is balanced, knows the Word, AND believes it. The devil tells his crew, "Whoa, get on the other side of the street. This guy's dangerous, don't be around him!" That's the one I want to be!

We can get so involved with good things that we get out of balance and open ourselves up to deception. We focus on the work and get our eyes off Jesus. Other areas of our lives will be affected. Take a look at the "things" in your life and ask God to show you if anything is unbalanced. Then do something about it.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Raising Hell

Given March 3, 2006
We've seen this term, and others like it; raising a ruckus, raising cain, raising the roof, and probably used them from time to time. They all mean we're complaining, arguing, in conflict with or something of that nature. The Bible says, "A hot-tempered man stirs up conflict, but a man slow to anger calms strife." Proverbs 15:18

One of my boys got a big disappointment recently from somewhere he'd applied to and his first inclination, as was mine, was to retaliate. We wanted to let them know how we felt! And how wrong they were! But, in his youthful wisdon, after thinking about it, he said this, "When you raise hell, you only bring up fire and misery."

I thought that was a very true assessment. As Christians, we're supposed to do our best to be at peace with everyone, to turn the other cheek, to forgive. Our flesh wants to retialiate and fight back but that usually only does what he said, brings up bad things and makes the situation worse. His reply to these people was goinig to be more Christlike, and that makes me proud of him. Way to go JD.




Thursday, March 02, 2006

My Son's Calling

Given March 1, 2006
During my morning prayer time, I was visualizing how it must be in Heaven with God on the throne and all the residents there worshiping and praising Him. A vast crowd, I’m sure. Or, He’s taking care of some of His duties running the universe. Whatever He’s doing, He stops when I lift up a prayer.

I can see God holding His hand up to the crowd as He hears me and He says, “Wait a minute, my son’s calling.” Even in the midst of all that’s going on in Heaven, He hears my prayer and takes the time to listen and respond back to me! "I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live. Psalm 116:1-2". What an awesome thing!

Jesus did this too. Many times, although crowds were around him, He took the time to listen to Jairus, (Mark 5:22-24), the woman with the issue of blood, (Matthew 9:20), or the centurion, (Matthew 8:5-7). He takes the time to listen to us too.