A SPECIAL SHIELD

Isa 61: 1The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.

Today, let’s talk about a special kind of shield that God has provided for us:  His favor.

First of all, I want you to know that from today on, YOU are blessed with His favor. He has granted us this favor by His grace. He has given us beauty for ashes…..the oil of joy instead of mourning…..and the garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. If you are broken hearted today, let me proclaim to you in Jesus’ name that your joy is coming today. Your situation is turning around in the spirit as we speak. Those of you who feel like a captive, you are being set free right now.

God has promised to surround us with His favor as a shield:

Psalm 5:11But let all those rejoice who put their trust in you; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name Be joyful in You.  12 For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield.

When God puts His favor on you, Nothing can touch you. Every attack will be driven back by the fortress of His favor.

Psalm 89:17 For thou art the glory of their strength: and in thy favor our horn shall be exalted. 18 For the LORD is our defense; and the Holy One of Israel is our king. 

Fall back into His favor today and watch the enemy be repelled from your life. You will be proclaiming victory to everyone around you as God’s favor defends you.

Isaiah 59:19 – So shall they fear  the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.

Starting today, it would be very healthy for you to say, “I am favored of God.” You need to say this 30 to 40 times every day. Memorize the scriptures that we have talked about and study on your own about His favor. As we get the word into our heart, His favor will spring up on every side of us – just like a shield.

PROMISED PROTECTION

How many of you feel that you are being shot at on a daily basis? Do you feel the attack on your soul from the powers of darkness?

These attacks come in many forms: Discouragement, temptation, fatigue, hopelessness, etc. We are in a spiritual battle and if we can be rendered powerless by our enemy, we will be ineffective in our mission.

At these times, we must lean on God’s promise to be our shield:  

2 Samuel 22:31  As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.

Remember: God never goes back on a promise. His word is proven, He will be our shield. It says He is a shield to ALL who trust Him. That includes me. That includes you!

Proverbs 30:5  Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.

There it is again! When God gives His word, It will shield us from the enemy.

In Ephesians chapter 6, We see the armor of God. The shield of faith protects us from all the fiery darts of the wicked one.  We produce this shield of faith by hearing the Word of God.

Romans 10:17 –  So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

What a powerful piece of armor this is. As we learn that God is our shield, we can walk through our day protected. He will protect us when we are falsely targeted at work. He will stand up for His children just like I would stand up for mine.

This will be at least a 2 part discussion. There is so much to see in His word about his protection. Tune in tomorrow for more. I want to leave you with this scripture to meditate on today.

Psalm 3

1 A Psalm of David when he fled from Absalom his son. Lord, how they have increased who trouble me! Many are they who rise up against me.
2 Many are they who say of me, “There is no help for him in God.”

3 But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, my glory and the One who lifts up my head.
4 I cried to the Lord with my voice, And He heard me from His holy hill.
5 I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustained me.
6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.

Please feel free to leave comments and examples in your life where God has shielded you. It may be an encouragement to someone.

THE ABILITY TO DELIVER

Next year, we will be having midterm elections for our House of Representatives and 1/3 of our Senators. We will be bombarded with campaign ads on television, radio, email, billboards, and even on our smart phones. These ads will make us promises that we have heard over and over. The same people, making the same promises that they were unable to fulfill last time.

We have come to expect this.  In the back of our minds, we know that they cannot actually do what they are saying. We understand that even the president, the most powerful man on the planet, cannot act alone to fulfill any campaign promise.  We are, once again, conditioned to believe that promises are meant to be broken.

Our God does not need the permission of Congress or the president or any other being in the universe to deliver on what He has promised.

Numbers 23:19  God [is] not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do [it]? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

Abraham received a promise from God. He was pushing 100 years old when God promised him that his wife Sarah would have a baby. When you read the story in Genesis 18, you can see how human they both were. Sarah laughed because she did not believe it. But in the end, Abraham understood that not only did God make promises, but He is able to deliver!

Romans 4:20-21   He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

Do not fear. We do not serve a powerless God. He can do far above anything that we can imagine. And the best part is, He is willing to do it. He will move heaven and earth to be sure that none of the promises He makes is broken. Jesus said that all power was given to him both in heaven and in earth. He will use that power to make sure he never breaks a promise to you.

Eph 3:20   Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

LIFE GIVING, NOT JUST ENCOURAGEMENT

As I promised, We are back to talking about God’s promises.

Throughout our day, we come across people who have needs. One has marriage problems, one has financial difficulties, another is sick, and on and on. I have met few people who have their lives totally together….come to think of it, not one name comes to mind. Each of us has our own struggles we wake up with each morning.

It is uplifting when someone speaks an encouraging word to us. Sometimes, I can go for days on a kind word. But, what if you had the ability to inject LIFE into a person? What if the words you spoke produced a power that brought real change into someone’s situation?

God’s promises are exactly like that:

 Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

John 6:63 It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

God’s Word will encourage us, but that is not the full extent of what happens to us when we read. It gets into our innermost being and produces real vitality.

The Greek word for life used here is ζάω  (Zao). Strong’s Concordance gives its meaning:

to be in full vigor, to be fresh, strong, efficient, active, powerful, efficacious,

having vital power in itself and exerting the same upon the soul

When we read, hear or speak God’s promises, God’s life is injected into the situation. THAT IS POWER!

We are not just receiving encouragement when we learn and apply His promises, we are feeding on God’s life. And He is the God who lives forever. Even when He died, He could not stay dead because He promised!

Today, receive the life of God from His Word. Be encouraged. Be healed. Be set free. Be ALIVE!

John 10:10 The thief comes not, but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

 

A WORRY FREE MONDAY

Here we are…..another Monday morning. It is time to pick up all the worries and responsibilities of another work week. Peace in a pressure cooker world is a rare commodity. The world handles pressure by “working for the weekend.” They are ready for the next party where they can drown their anxieties in alcohol. But there is a much better way to cope.

Philippians 4: 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.   

 

Before you begin your week, take time to deposit all your fears and worries into the hands of a mighty God. He tells us here not to worry about anything…..anything?……ANYTHING!   That does not mean that we do not think about our responsibilities. Instead, we replace our worry with prayer and thanksgiving. God promises us that if we will pray and give it to Him, he will give us peace that will go beyond everyone’s understanding. Those around you will wonder how you can hold up under such pressure.

 

By controlling our thoughts, we can control our destiny. Verse 8 above tells us to what we should be thinking about.

 

2nd Corinthians 10:4-5 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

 

Through God’s word, we can bring into captivity our thoughts and make them obedient to Christ. As we hide His promises in our heart, we will not sin against Him (Psalm 119:11) and we will preserve the peace He has given us. So, have a worry free Monday!

 

Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusts in thee

Wisdom….is it important?

Excellent preaching from our pastor last Sunday: He gave some really good advice about our past…leaving it in the past….along with some of the people in our past. Those who think they are strong enough to handle it, usually get blindsided and end up reliving the hurts over and over.

We have promises from God that will keep us from these hurts if we will just listen. He knows people’s hearts and will guide us away from the fools of this world.

Proverbs 1:20 Wisdom cries in the streets. She calls out in the public squares. v. 22 How long, you simpletons, will you insist on being simpleminded?

God never intended us to try everything to see if it works. We do not need to experience whatever the world throws at us in order to be “street savvy”. Those types of experiences leave us with scars that mold our character for years to come. Yes, God is merciful to forgive, but his greatest love comes from warning us beforehand so we will not have the scars. He has written it all down in His book. They say that experience is the greatest teacher…..as long as it is someone else’s experience! Learn from the hurts of others and read God’s promises: especially Proverbs. That is the owners manual on how to run a successful and happy life.

 

Team work

Today I want to take a little detour from talking about promises. I promise to get back to it soon.  I want to relate a dream I had last night and what God spoke to me about it. 

I played basketball my high school years. Being only 5′ 8″, I could not mix it up under the basket for rebounds, so I learned how to handle the ball and shoot outside. I became the point guard and play maker for our team. Last night, I dreamed of those “glory days” again. I was inbounding the ball to the captain of the team. As I stepped in bounds, I looked toward our basket and saw 2 of our players wide open. A quick pass to them would result in an easy 2 points. The captain handed the ball to me and I turned to fire the ball down court. But he did not let go of the ball. No matter how hard I tried, I could not pass the ball as long as the captain was holding on to it.

I woke up immediately and God began talking to me. The scripture in Ephesians 4:11-16 came to mind. It talks about how God has set apostles, prophets, Evangelists, pastors and teachers to equip the saints for the work of the ministry. It then goes on to say that the saints will be no more children, tossed and blown about by every wind of doctrine. It also says that as each one does its special work, it helps the other parts grow so that the whole body is healthy.

I have observed so many leaders who are not allowing the members of the body to grow up. They wish to keep their hands on all aspects of the ministry to maintain control. They place someone in the position, but will not allow them to perform without direct supervision. It is like a parent who wants their child to ride a bicycle, but will not take their hand off even when the rider knows how to keep their balance. One word of advice to those in ministry who are doing this: Take your hand off the bicycle! Your people do not need to seek God for their ministry as long as you are telling them every move to make. Let them grow up. Just like the basketball game, you will not get the victory you so desire until you are willing to let go of the ball!

 

Broken promises

Little Jimmy runs up to his father excitedly: “Dad, remember my baseball game tonight? You are going to be there, right?” Jimmy’s father smiles as he walks out the door, “I’ll be there! I promise.” Jimmy smiles and heads off to school expecting his father to be in the bleachers at first pitch.

When the game starts, Jimmy looks at the stands from his position at 2nd base: no Dad. Jimmy is disappointed, but has begun to get used to it. His father never keeps his promises.

Across town, at the First Baptist Church, other promises are being pledged: “Do you, John, take Jessica to be your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, and keeping you only unto her as long as you both shall live, till death do you part?” John smiles and says, “I will”. This vow is repeated by Jessica. Statistics tell us that there is over a 50% chance that these promises will be broken.

These types of broken promises rock the world of the person the promise was made to. Our world has fast changed into a place where very few can be trusted even when contracts are signed. Never in the earth’s history has the word of mankind meant so little. We have degenerated into a society of liars. Oh, we still make promises, but we have a terrible track record of keeping them. This has developed a mistrust among the population that begins very early in life and follows us even after we have died and we are not sure if we can trust the attorney to disperse our earthly goods to our relatives in the way our last will and testament states.

We have come a long way from men sitting down and sealing a business deal with a hand shake. Promises are only as good as the character of the person making the promise.

So, when God makes us a promise, we have been conditioned to question whether He is telling the truth….we do not say that, of course. All the while, we put on the “faith face” and tell everyone that we believe.

But, we can trust God. When He makes a promise, you can bank on it.

Titus 1:2 in hope of eternal life, which God, who can’t lie, promised before time began;

We are going to delve into a lot of His promises in the days to come, but first, we must understand that when God makes a promise, it will come to pass. It is not in His nature to lie to us. His character is our collateral. We can make a “handshake” with Him and know that it is a binding contract. Once you understand this principle, you will read the Bible with a renewed excitement and you will benefit from all that has been promised to you.

There are so many broken

Obtaining the promises

It is time to soar! You are a special individual and God has given you “exceeding great and precious promises.” (2nd Peter 1:4). We are told that the reason we are given these is so we can partake of the divine nature and escape the corruption that is in the world through its evil desires. The word “corruption” in the original Greek, has to do with moral decay. There is nothing that will bring you down with despair and heartache like moral decay. As we see our world sink deeper and deeper into this destruction of  Christian values, we also see a spike in mental illness and depression. Our psychiatrists are having a hard time connecting these dots, however. They are using the same Freudian principles to try to cure people that got us to this state in the first place.

God has granted us promises that will bring joy to our lives and success to our efforts. As it says it Psalm 19:7-11 (KJV)

7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.

8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.

9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.

10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.

I want to listen to the One who designed us because He understands what makes us happy. Over the next few days, I want to talk about God’s promises and how to obtain them. Our lives will be infinitely more fulfilled as we walk in these promises. If you have a favorite promise from God, feel free to comment and share that with us. So let’s take this journey back to hope and peace. Let’s soar to the heights that we were meant to attain!

Welcome to my Blog

Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; [and] they shall walk, and not faint. (KJV)

Welcome to my blog! Eagles have always been a favorite of mine.  They build their homes, provide for their babies, and go about their everyday lives much in the same way we do. But they seem to have mastered the art of soaring above their fears and worries. To see an eagle in flight is a majestic thing indeed. We can get wisdom from a higher place that will enable us to do the same thing: SOAR through life instead of crawling. Live a life of abundance and happiness. All the answers have been written down for us in life’s owners manual: The Bible. As we explore the great wisdom that has been given to us, I pray that you will find the strength to look at life in a different way and take flight.