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Saturday, July 29, 2006

Co-exist With The Devil?

Given July 22, 2006
The night after arriving home from our first cruise, I had two dreams that, I think, God was using to tell me something. See what you think.

In the first, I had a meeting with a powerful man in a black casual shirt. I understood he was the "boss" of an organization and I was moving into his area and was meeting with him to appease him so we could co-exist. He was cordial but tried to get me to join with him and said I could make a lot of money.

The second dream that night showed me coming into a long narrow room where someone else, unseen to me, had a table set up. On this table were many items like this person was displaying them for sale. I was coming in to set up my own table beside theirs but was going out of my way trying not to disturb them, interfere, or take any of their space.

On awakening, I was aware that both these dreams were about the same thing and I felt God was trying to speak to me. The message I got was that, in this world, we have to live with the devil. He is the god of this world, "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 2 Corinthians 4:4". We shouldn't be trying to appease him or worrying about taking his space. We should be kicking him out of our space! "Neither give place to the devil. Ephesians 4:27"

I also am reminded that we have authority to trample on the devil, (Luke 10:19), and he is supposed to be under our feet! (Romans 16:20). It's a different way to look at it. Yes, we're supposed to be curteous to people we have to co-exist with but not the devil and his cohorts. Whenever Christians learn who they are in Christ, and believe it, the devil will get out of our way! He'll flee from us, (James 4:7).

Monday, July 24, 2006

Going Somewhere?

Given March 10, 2005

On this day, I was looking out my kitchen window and saw this dog walking up the road. I had seen it before...walking up the road. On occasion, I had seen this old dog about a half mile up the road. It made me wonder, "Does this dog know where it's going or is it just wandering?" Did it think to itself, "Today I'll walk up to Fido's place and gnaw on a bone for awhile."

And, what about birds? When you see them flying by, are they going somewhere specific or just flying? Sometimes I think about crazy things. And sometimes these things have a meaning.

This one makes me think about us. Are we consciously going somewhere? Do we have a plan as we walk the road of life? Or are we just wandering aimlessly along, changing directions according to what we encounter along the way? If we are a follower of Jesus, shouldn't we be going somewhere? "And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. Isaiah 30:21". God is saying to us, "This is the way I want you to go, walk this way and I'll tell you when to turn."

It may seem silly to think we're wandering aimlessly like that dog but...maybe we are. If we're not in tune with the will of God for our lives through studying the Word, praying, and yielding to the Holy Spirit, then we might be wandering. We might be on the right path sometime but off it many other times. "That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; Ephesians 4:14."

Think about it when you see a dog walking or a bird flying.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

In The World

Given July 18, 2006

My wife and I, along with our two younger sons, went on our first cruise this week. It was a wonderful experience. We were treated like royalty, the food was great, we had many choices of activities and places to visit, and had some quality time with the boys. However, I was reminded that we were still, "in the world" and many of the activities on board were of the "wordly" variety. You know; drinking, "off color" entertainment, bad language, etc.

I realized I'm not around that stuff very much on a daily basis and I don't like being around it. But that's where the witnessing opportunities are. Jesus didn't screen himself from the "other side" of His society. He got right in there with them but was without sin. He said about His disciples, "My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, John 17: 15-16".

We are not "of the world" either but we live in the world and have to deal with what's here every day. It would be great to just go live in Heaven but Jesus wants us to be protected from the evil while we're here so we can do the work He's called us to do. And that work can't be done inside our comfort zone.

I also realized that I need strength to resist the temptations the world offers in order to stay strong in the Spirit and do God's work. It's hard living in this world but we've been given the tools of the Spirit to be successful. Let's use 'em!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Your Assignment

Given July 13, 2006
(Click on the title above for the audio version.)

"Good morning, Mr. Phelps. Your mission, should you choose to accept it..." Do you remember this quote from the Mission Impossible TV show? The agent would listen to this recording, get his instructions, then go out and save the day.

The DVD series we've been watching on Wednesday nights at church talked, this week, about believers being "living stones". And how each one of us has a place in the "temple" made by these stones. It was great! During my prayer time this morning, I was reminded of that and the fact that we all have been given an assignment. "...for many be called, but few chosen. Matthew 20:16", and " Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, 2 Timothy 1:9".

All of us who have been saved has a calling, an assignment, a purpose in the Kingdom of God. I think God is saying to us, (I know He's saying it to me), "Bill, your assignment today, should you choose to accept it, is to live a Godly life, witness for Me, and help anyone who needs it." But it's important to notice the part, "should you choose to accept it". Matthew said many are called but few are chosen. I think WE do the choosing! We have a free will to accept God's assignment or not.

I pray each morning, "God, how may I serve you today?" And most days He'll send someone my way, which is my assignment for that day. Lord, forgive me for the times I've missed it. "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. John 15:16". Seems like a pretty good deal to me!

If this revelation has spoken to you or made you think, please leave a comment below.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Strength In Numbers

Given April 17, 2006 - (Click on the title above for audio version)
We are always in a conflict between good and evil. Our enemy the devil is constantly trying to trip us up, trick us, or somehow hinder or ruin our walk with God. We're in a battle! But, too many times, we try to fight that battle alone.

Now, God has given us the weapons of warfare to defeat the devil and his cohorts but we have to practice using them. We have to know what God's Word says about who we are, what we have and what we can do. So, what are we to do when we need to fight and we're not, "practiced up"?

This revelation gives an answer to that. I saw a line of Christians who were opposing the devil one by one. As the devil came to each one, they would weakly resist, (in my devotional booklet, I wrote, they'd "fight like a girl"). You know, turn their head and slap up and down with their hands at the devil. Of course, he would defeat them easily and go on to the next one in line. They didn't individually have the strength or knowledge to be strong.

But, down the line, some of them got together and decided when the devil came to them, they would join together and resist. They used what weapons they had which complimented each other. When the adversary got to them, he realized they were joined together for battle and he ran away. "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12."

Jesus just spoke a word and demons trembled or fled. He is the ultimate fighter of evil. Most of us aren't there yet. It's good when we can join with other Christians and pool our resources against the common enemy. It's effective. That's why the devil works so hard to keep churches and Christians separated and confined to our church buildings and bound by our denominational beliefs. He knows if we ever get together against him, he's a gonner.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

What's Under Your Robe?

Given March 31, 2006
(Click on the title above for audio version.)
I was listening to a series of messages on the love of the Father and the speaker made a reference to wearing a robe that made me think. When we get saved, there is an exchange made between us and Jesus. (Actually, the exchange was made at the cross.) Jesus gives us His coat of righteousness and takes our coat of sin. Read about that revelation here from my post on January 6, 2006.

I think, sometimes, we put on the "robe of righteousness" but we're still dirty underneath. "Then the Lord said to him, "Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. Luke 11:39". Just like these Pharisees, we look pretty good on the outside; for the people at church or the office or in public. But our family, and some close friends maybe, have seen under that robe and know what's lurking there. And, there may be some "dirt" under there that even our family doesn't know about. But we know. And God knows.......

But the good thing about it is that we can go to the Father, admit we're dirty, and ask Him to clean us up. We can offer Him our empty, dirty cup and He'll clean it out and refill it. Do it now.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Do The Right Thing

Given July 1, 2006 - (Click on title above for audio version.)
There's a commercial on TV where a man does something nice for a lady and her baby and a bystander notices it. That person later does a good turn for someone else and it's witnessed by another. And it goes on. Each person who sees a good turn being done apparently remembers it and gets involved with helping others themselves. At the end, it says, "When people do the right thing, it's called responsibility. When it's a company....then they tell the name of an insurance company. What a great commercial. It makes me think.

What if.......every Christian did that? Jesus did. "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. Acts 10:38". Jesus went about doing good. How would the world be if we all took the time to do something good for our neighbor. Hey, how much better would our city, town, or neighborhood be if we did that on a regular basis. I know it would make a difference.

Just as in that commercial, you know, people are watching. Let them see Jesus in you.