GOD is in control…

Our steps are ordered of the Lord…

In my Bible reading today, I’m starting at the beginning of Matthew’s gospel.

And as I often do, when starting a new book, I often read from Eugene Peterson’s book entitled “The Invitation,” which gives a summary of each book in the Bible.

I thought this introduction to the book of Matthew was quite insightful.

I particularly like the part that says,

“Jesus is the coming together in final form of themes and energies and movements that had been set in motion before the foundation of the world.”

MATTHEW
Fulfilled
by Eugene H Peterson

The story of Jesus doesn’t begin with Jesus.

God had been at work for a long time.

Salvation, which is the main business of Jesus, is an old business.

Jesus is the coming together in final form of themes and energies and movements that had been set in motion before the foundation of the world.

Matthew opens the New Testament by setting the local story of Jesus in its world historical context.

He makes sure that as we read his account of the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, we see the connections with everything that has gone before.

In fact, in his account of Jesus’ birth alone, Matthew reminds his readers of two Old Testament prophecies being fulfilled in the coming of the Messiah.

Watch for this —a virgin will get pregnant and bear a son; they will name him Immanuel (Hebrew for “God is with us”).
(Matthew 1: 23, quoting Isaiah 7: 14)

It’s you, Bethlehem, in Judah’s land, no longer bringing up the rear.

From you will come the leader who will shepherd-rule my people, my Israel.
(Matthew 2: 5-6, quoting Micah 5: 2)

“Fulfilled”is one of Matthew’s characteristic verbs: such and such happened “that it might be fulfilled.”

Jesus is unique, but he is not odd.

Better yet, Matthew tells the story in such a way that not only is everything previous to us completed in Jesus; we are completed in Jesus.

Every day we wake up in the middle of something that is already going on, that has been going on for a long time: genealogy and geology, history and culture, the cosmos —God.

We are neither accidental nor incidental to the story. We get orientation, briefing, background, reassurance.

Matthew provides the comprehensive context by which we see all God’s creation and salvation completed in Jesus, and all the parts of our lives —work, family, friends, memories, dreams —also completed in Jesus, who himself said, “Don’t suppose for a minute that I have come to demolish the Scriptures —either God’s Law or the Prophets.

I’m not here to demolish but to complete. I am going to put it all together, pull it all together in a vast panorama”(Matthew 5: 17).

Lacking such a context, we are in danger of seeing Jesus as a mere diversion from the concerns announced in the newspapers. Nothing could be further from the truth.

———

Matthew’s gospel was primarily directed to the Jews, pointing out all the many prophecies, in the Tanakh (Jewish Old Testament), that were fulfilled in Jesus’ life and ministry, which He performed here on Earth, from age 30 to 33.

The Bible tells us that God lives in eternity, which means He lives outside of our time space continuum, both of which He has created for our benefit.

I think this point is emphasized quite well in Isaiah 46:9-10:

“9 Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me,

10 Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying,

‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure,’ “
———

Eternity is not a long time, but rather it’s the absence of time and space, as we understand it.

The Bible tells us that we each have been created with a destiny and a purpose, and that God’s plan of redemption, for Adam and his descendants, began before God laid the foundation of the Earth.

In Revelation 13:8 we read: “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”

When attempting to understand a verse, it always helps to look for other verses containing similar words or phrases.

Scripture should be compared with Scripture; after all, every verse is related to at least one other verse.

This method of cross-referencing increases the likelihood of exegesis (interpreting the text as Almighty God intended) and minimizes the possibility of eisegesis (interpreting it to fit our own biases and preconceived ideas).

We find something similar in 1 Peter chapter 1:

“19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.” ———

Long before Adam was created and placed on the Earth, long before he sinned in the Garden of Eden, long before Calvary’s crosswork was ever accomplished to undo the damage of sin, that crosswork had already occurred in the mind of the triune Godhead.

Jesus Christ’s destiny was predetermined long before He ever became a man, and long before there ever was a creation.

Nothing in His earthly life occurred fortuitously; even His miraculous birth and graphic death were in the Godhead’s eternal plan!

“Lo, I come to do thy will,” Messiah Jesus, quoting Psalm 40, told His Father at His incarnation (Hebrews 10:7-9).

If you read verses 10-22 of Hebrews chapter 10, you will see the cross!!

God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit—in their omniscience (all-knowledge)—could actually look into the future, down the corridor of time, to see that the Son would suffer and die on Cavalry’s cruel cross.

All three Persons would cooperate to work to that end. It was all settled fact in Heaven before it even came to pass on Earth.

[Quoted from: For What Saith the Scriptures? – arC Ministries’ Bible Questions Answered from the Dispensationally-Delivered Scriptures]

———

And the Bible says about each of us, that we also were created with a destiny and a purpose that was formed before the foundation of the Earth.

Romans 8:29-30
“For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified;

those he justified, he also glorified.”

Ephesians 1:5; 11
“He (God) predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will…

In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.”

Psalm 139:16
Living Bible (TLB)

16 You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book! ———

My point is God already has a plan and purpose for the Earth, for the future our nation and for each of us as individuals.

Nothing that happens, in the earth or in our individual lives, catches Him by surprise.

For God’s destiny to be fulfilled in our lives, the Bible tells us that we must first allow the Holy Spirit to rewrite the corrupt programming that we have received from the world; and this is done first as we immerse ourselves in God’s Word (the Bible), and thereby put on the mind of Christ (see 1 Corinthians 2:16 and Philippians 2:5); and secondly as we learn to trust God with all of our heart, not leaning on our own understanding; and then by acknowledging Him in all of our ways, He promises that He is directing our steps (see Proverbs 3:5-6), as we learn to walk by faith not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).

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The just shall live by faith…

George Mueller’s Timeless Advice for Growing in Faith…

Hebrews 10:35-39

Expanded Bible (EXB)

35 So do not ·lose [throw away] ·the courage you had in the past [or your confident trust in God; or your boldness], which has a great reward.

36 You must ·hold on [persevere; endure], so you can do ·what God wants [the will of God] and receive what he has promised. 37 For in a very short time [Is. 26:20],

“The One who is coming will come
and will not delay.

38 ·Those who are right with me [L My righteous one]
will live by faith.

But if they ·turn back with fear [shrink back],

·I [L My soul] will not be pleased with them [Hab. 2:3–4].”

39 But we are not those who ·turn back [shrink back] and are ·lost [destroyed]. We are people who have faith ·and are saved [leading to the possession/ preservation of life/the soul].

Let not Satan deceive you in making you think that you could not have the same faith but that it is only for persons who are situated as I am.

When I lose such a thing as a key, I ask the Lord to direct me to it, and I look for an answer to my prayer; when a person with whom I have made an appointment does not come, according to the fixed time, and I begin to be inconvenienced by it, I ask the Lord to be pleased to hasten him to me and I look for an answer; when I do not understand a passage of the word of God, I lift up my heart to the Lord, that He would be pleased, by His Holy Spirit to instruct me, and I expect to be taught, though I do not fix the time when, and the manner how it should be; when I am going to minister in the Word, I seek help from the Lord, and while I, in the consciousness of natural inability as well as utter unworthiness begin this His service, I am not cast down, but of good cheer, because I look for His assistance, and believe that He, for His dear Son’s sake will help me.

And thus in other of my temporal and spiritual concerns I pray to the Lord, and expect an answer to my requests; and may not you do the same, dear believing reader?

Oh! I beseech you, do not think me an extraordinary believer, having privileges above other of God’s dear children, which they cannot have; nor look on my way of acting as something that would not do for other believers.

Make but trial! Do but stand still in the hour of trial, and you will see the help of God, if you trust in Him.

But there is so often a forsaking the ways of the Lord in the hour of trial, and thus the food of faith, the means whereby our faith may be increased, is lost.

This leads me to the following important point.

You ask, “How may I, a true believer, have my faith strengthened?”

The answer is this, George Mueller said:

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” (James 1:17).

As the increase of faith is a good gift, it must come from God, and therefore He ought to be asked for this blessing.

The following means, however, ought to be used, according to George Mueller:

1. The careful reading of the word of God, combined with meditation on it.

Through reading of the word of God, and especially through meditation on the word of God, the believer becomes more and more acquainted with the nature and character of God, and thus sees more and more, besides His holiness and justice, what a kind, loving, gracious, merciful, mighty, wise, and faithful Being He is, and, therefore, in poverty, affliction of body, bereavement in his family, difficulty in his service, want of a situation or employment, he will repose upon the ability of God to help him, because he has not only learned from His word that He is of almighty power and infinite wisdom, but he has also seen instance upon instance in the Holy Scriptures in which His almighty power and infinite wisdom have been actually exercised in helping and delivering His people; and he will repose upon the willingness of God to help him, because he has not only learned from the Scriptures what a kind, good, merciful, gracious, and faithful being God is, but because he has also seen in the word of God how, in a great variety of instances He has proved Himself to be so.

And the consideration of this, if God has become known to us through prayer and meditation on His own word, will lead us, in general at least, with a measure of confidence to rely upon Him: and thus the reading of the word of God, together with meditation on it, will be one especial means to strengthen our faith.

2. As with reference to the growth of every grace of the Spirit, it is of the utmost importance that we seek to maintain an upright heart and a good conscience, and, therefore, do not knowingly and habitually indulge in those things which are contrary to the mind of God, so it is also particularly the case with reference to the growth in faith.

How can I possibly continue to act faith upon God, concerning anything, if I am habitually grieving Him, and seek to detract from the glory and honour of Him in whom I profess to trust, upon whom I profess to depend?

All my confidence towards God, all my leaning upon Him in the hour of trial will be gone, if I have a guilty conscience, and do not seek to put away this guilty conscience, but still continue to do the things which are contrary to the mind of God.

And if, in any particular instance, I cannot trust in God, because of the guilty conscience, then my faith is weakened by that instance of distrust; for faith with every fresh trial of it either increases by trusting God, and thus getting help, or it decreases by not trusting Him; and then there is less and less power of looking simply and directly to Him, and a habit of self-dependence is begotten or encouraged.

One or the other of these will always be the case in each particular instance.

Either we trust in God, and in that case we neither trust in ourselves, nor in our fellow-men, nor in circumstances, nor in anything besides; or we DO trust in one or more of these, and in that case do NOT trust in God.

3. If we, indeed, desire our faith to be strengthened, we should not shrink from opportunities where our faith may be tried, and, therefore, through the trial, be strengthened.

In our natural state we dislike dealing with God alone.

Through our natural alienation from God we shrink from Him, and from eternal realities.

This cleaves to us more or less, even after our regeneration. Hence it is, that more or less, even as believers, we have the same shrinking from standing with God alone, from depending upon Him alone, from looking to Him alone: and yet this is the very position in which we ought to be, if we wish our faith to be strengthened.

The more I am in a position to be tried in faith with reference to my body, my family, my service for the Lord, my business, etc., the more shall I have opportunity of seeing God’s help and deliverance; and every fresh instance, in which He helps and delivers me, will tend towards the increase of my faith.

On this account, therefore, the believer should not shrink from situations, positions, circumstances, in which his faith may be tried; but should cheerfully embrace them as opportunities where he may see the hand of God stretched out on his behalf, to help and deliver him, and whereby he may thus have his faith strengthened.

4. The last important point for the strengthening of our faith is, that we let God work for us, when the hour of the trial of our faith comes, and do not work a deliverance of our own.

Wherever God has given faith, it is given, among other reasons, for the very purpose of being tried.

Yea, however weak our faith may be, God will try it; only with this restriction, that as in every way, He leads on gently, gradually, patiently, so also with reference to the trial of our faith.

At first our faith will be tried very little in comparison with what it may be afterwards; for God never lays more upon us that He is willing to enable us to bear.

Now when the trial of faith comes, we are naturally inclined to distrust God, and to trust rather in ourselves, or in our friends, or in circumstances.

We will rather work a deliverance of our own somehow or other, than simply look to God and wait for His help.

But if we do not patiently wait for God’s help, if we work a deliverance of our own, then at the next trial of our faith it will be thus again, we shall be again inclined to deliver ourselves; and thus with every fresh instance of that kind, our faith will decrease; whilst on the contrary, were we to stand still, in order to see the salvation of God, to see His hand stretched out on our behalf, trusting in Him alone, then our faith would be increased, and with every fresh case in which the hand of God is stretched out on our behalf in the hour of the trial of our faith, our faith would be increased yet more.

Would the believer, therefore, have his faith strengthened, he must especially, give time to God, who tries his faith in order to prove to His child, in the end, how willing He is to help and deliver him, the moment it is good for him.

Though older, these timeless truths from George Mueller can help us grow in our faith.
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The Battle belongs to the Lord…

Getting our mind on right every morning…

Learning to prepare for the battle ahead like a soldier of GOD.


2 Timothy 2:4-7
The Voice (VOICE)

4 Remember that soldiers on active duty don’t get wrapped up in civilian matters because they want to satisfy those who recruited them.

5 Look at it another way: if someone competes as an athlete, he won’t win the race and be crowned with the wreath if he breaks the rules.

6 And the farmer who exhausts himself in the field should be the first to taste his harvest.

7 Think about what I am telling you, and let the Lord give you clarity on all of it.

Saturday, February 27
The Spirit Filled Believer

The Tried Tested & Seasoned Veteran
by Dick Mills

“Let not the one who puts on his armor boast like the one who takes it off.”
— 1 Kings 20:11

The one who takes his armor off is the tried, tested, seasoned veteran who has been in battle and lived to tell about it.

He has learned to survive. He understands his opponent. He knows the stratagems, designs, ruses, and cunning of the enemy.

He has also found from his battle experiences that as tough as his adversary may be, he is vulnerable and can be defeated.

The one taking off the armor has a victory to report.

He has earned the respect of his fellow soldiers by helping the cause of truth to gain new footholds and win new ground.

He could write the manual of fighting and winning.

He also keeps the victory in right perspective. He knows all triumph is a result of teamwork.

A true hero wisely recognizes that victory is always the fruit of combined effort. He takes the armor off as a real winner, humbly grateful to be alive.

The one who puts on the armor (for the time) is a rookie. Inexperienced, untested, unproven, full of enthusiasm, and even a little conceited:

“Let me at ’em; just wait till I get into combat, I’ll show ’em a thing or two.”

These are invariably the words of the one putting on the armor.

Such bravado is rarely heard issuing from the mouth of the veteran. It is typical of the untried youth full of his own eagerness and supposed prowess.

Soon enough his boasting will be replaced by a more sober, mature viewpoint. The one NK takes off the armor has a different attitude from the one who puts it on.

Source: The Spirit-Filled Believer’s Daily Devotional by Dick Mills
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Hold your course, the battle is just beginning…

This Psalm, this prayer of David, is appropriate, I believe, for these times that we are living in today...


In Psalm 5 David rejoices because of GOD’s protection and His peace that guards and watches over him, in the midst of great adversity; its called GOD’s Shalom peace that we read about in Philippians 4:6, that peace that passes all understanding, that guards our heart and our mind, and enables us to endure every obstacles and resistance in our life.

In this Psalm David encourages others also to trust in GOD.

David knew, through all his deep struggles and grief, that only his faith and reliance in GOD was sustaining him.

Sorrow and hard times come, but GOD’s covenant people can always place their confidence in Him because He listens to our every prayer and puts His joy in our hearts (see Nehemiah 8:10).

We’re living in an amoral political environment today, where a good many people adjust their morality according to the prevailing political winds, where good is called evil and evil is called good.

A good many politicians today operate in an environment of duplicity, double standards and rampant lies, that more and more we’re seeing at every turn, where  these corrupt politicians betray our country and their oath of office for personal advancement, power and financial gain.

These same politicians, who take an oath to protect and obey our constitution and to serve the American people, instead they lie and cheat continually, as their standard business practice; they have betrayed their oath of office and have also betrayed their country; and for them, the ends always justifies the means.

This is the time that we must appeal to the Courtroomourtroom of Heaven, as David did in this Psalm.

Let David’s prayer be our prayer:

“Lead me, Lord, in your righteousness
    because of my enemies—
    make your way straight before me.

Not a word from their mouth can be trusted;
    their heart is filled with malice.

Their throat is an open grave;
    with their tongues they tell lies.

Declare them guilty, O God!

    Let their intrigues be their downfall.
Banish them for their many sins,
    for they have rebelled against you.

But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
    let them ever sing for joy.

Spread your protection over them,
    that those who love your name may rejoice in you.

Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous;
    you surround them with your favor as with a shield.”

As Watchman on the Wall intercessors, let us continually stand in the gap, as GOD instructed us to do, in 2 Chronicles 7:14, THAT THESE CRIMINALS WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO GET AWAY WITH STEALING THIS ELECTION!

Let us Stand also against all of Satan’s lies, his cheating and wickedness, and let us continue to pray for Donald Trump, our 45th president, that he will also reign as our ONLY lawful 46th president.

In Jesus name. Amen

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GOD’s Battleground Tactics…

Getting our heads on straight each day, in preparation for the battle ahead…

The battleground starts in our mind, in our attitude and in the way we think, whether we can conform to God’s way of thinking, having put on the mind of Christ (see Philippians 2:5), or whether we are attempting to fight according to our flesh, in our natural way of thinking.

GOD’s rules of engagement in spiritual warfare are far different from what we know and understand in the natural.

If we are going to win the battles that confront us today, personally and nationally, then we’re going to have to learn to fight the way God tells us to.

Thursday, February 18
The Spirit Filled Believer

The Power of Praise and Worship
by Dick Mills

“Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people – who had come against Judah; and they were defeated.”
— 2 Chron. 20:22

Think of it! Singing and praising your way to victory. Singing and praising your way through discouragement, oppression, depression, fear, and worry.

“…And they were three days gathering the spoil (the loot) because there was so much” (v. 25).

In Bible days, driving an enemy out entitled the victor to all the spoils of the battles.

The army of Judah so routed the enemy that it took three days to collect all the booty the enemy had left behind. And the victory was wrought not by fighting but by singing and praising the Lord!

God responded to the prayers of His people with these reassuring words:

“…the battle is not yours, but God’s” (v. 15).

With this assurance, the king of Judah appointed singers and praisers to go out before the army and to praise the Lord.

When they began to praise, the enemy was defeated.

The key word in this passage is began.

Your victory is dependent upon your doing something.

You need to begin. Begin to count your blessings. Begin to enumerate past deliverances. Begin to praise the Lord. Begin to sing your song of deliverance.

The Bible says the Lord inhabits the praises of His people (Ps. 22:3).

When the Lord’s presence comes into our setting of praise and worship, the enemy is powerless against us.

We can literally sing our way through every battle and win the victory the same way Jehosphaphat’s army won.

Singing and praising the Lord is an effective weapon in our spiritual warfare!

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My Heart, Christ’s Home

My Heart, Christ’s Home
by Robert Boyd

Ephesians 3:14-21

Appreciation of the Mystery
14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.


In the fall of 1947, a pastor named Robert Boyd Munger was preparing to preach a Sunday evening message to the congregation of First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley.

As he prepared he was drawn to passages in scripture like the one (above) from the Ephesians’ 3, passages, which touch on the remarkable idea that the God of the universe, who we know as Jesus Christ, desires to come in and make a home (an abode) in each one of our hearts.

Part 1
Watch “My Heart, Christs Home 1” on YouTube



Part 2
Watch “My Heart Christs Home 2” on YouTube

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Be still and know God…

GOD is our refuge, our strength, and He is our Source in every area of life…

God is always with us because that is His promise to every born-again believer, of everyone who loves Him and is called according to His purpose; but sometimes we have to still our mind and calm our spirit, tuning out all the white noise of life and it’s distractions, and there be still that we may hear what God may be speaking to us in the moment (see Psalm 46:10).

“God speaks to every individual through what happens to them moment by moment.”

(The Sacrement of the Present Moment, by Jean-Pierre De Calissade 1675 -1751)

———

December 21
God Calling
by Two Listeners

SMILE INDULGENTLY

“And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.”
— Luke 19:17

Children, take every moment as of My planning and ordering.

Remember your Master is the Lord of the day’s little happenings. In all the small things yield to My gentle pressure on your arm.

Stay or go, as that pressure, Love’s pressure, indicates.

The Lord of the moments, Creator of the snowdrop and the mighty oak.

More tender with the snowdrop than the oak. And when things do not fall out according to your plan, then smile at Me indulgently, a smile of Love, and say, as you would to a human loved one,

“Have Your way then” —
knowing that My loving response will be to make that way as easy for your feet as it can be.

Now unto Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. Jude
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Nothing else will satisfy in life…

The secret to enjoyment and fulfillment in life is putting GOD first…

Monday, Dec 21
The Winning Walk

DO YOU REALLY LOVE GOD?

St. Augustine asked his followers if they really loved God.

“Do you love Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength?” he asked.

Then he told a story as a way to discover the answer.

Suppose God came to a man and said, “The world and all that is in it is yours. I will give you perfect health.

Whatever your heart desires is yours. I will even do away with sin and death and enable you to live forever.”

Sounds good, doesn’t it? The whole world at your disposal-no sin, eternal life?

Too good, perhaps. “There is only one thing you will not have,” God would say in this imaginary exchange.

“You will never see My face. The choice is yours. I will respect your wish.”

Augustine said if there were a quiver in a person’s heart at the words

“you will never see My face,”

it is quite possible that he might really love God.

If a man decided to turn away from all that the world could offer for the joy of seeing God’s face, his love might be true. Sounds like a pretty good test to me!

The only satisfaction to be found in this life is found in the love of God.

We can choose Him through His Son Jesus Christ and know Him as we are known.

Only then does satisfaction come-but then, it comes from everywhere. Because when the soul is satisfied, all the other things in life may be enjoyed for what they are: gifts from a God who is unchanging and good, and whose love endures forever.

Memory Verse

MATTHEW 22:37
You shall love the Lord Your God with all you heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.
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Fighting GOD’s battles GOD’s way…

We must first understand that whatever you’re facing in life, that the battle belongs to the Lord…

In learning to fight GOD’s battles GOD’s way, we must learn and practice each day casting our cares upon Him, because as our shepherd He cares for us:

1 Peter 5:5-11
The Passion Translation (TPT)

5 In the same way, the younger ones should willingly support the leadership of the elders. In every relationship, each of you must wrap around yourself the apron of a humble servant. Because:

God resists you when you are proud
but multiplies grace and favor when you are humble.

Humility and Faith
6 If you bow low in God’s awesome presence, he will eventually exalt you as you leave the timing in his hands.

7 Pour out all your worries and stress upon him and leave them there, for he always tenderly cares for you.

8 Be well balanced and always alert, because your enemy, the devil, roams around incessantly, like a roaring lion looking for its prey to devour.

9 Take a decisive stand against him and resist his every attack with strong, vigorous faith.

For you know that your believing brothers and sisters around the world are experiencing the same kinds of troubles you endure.

10 And then, after your brief suffering, the God of all loving grace, who has called you to share in his eternal glory in Christ, will personally and powerfully restore you and make you stronger than ever.

Yes, he will set you firmly in place and build you up.

11 And he has all the power needed to do this—forever! Amen.
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You see this is the way it works, if we are in the fold of Christ (as a covenant child of GOD) and if Jesus is our Shepherd (á la Psalm 23), then WHATEVER is coming against us MUST first go through our Good Shepherd; and thus the battles we face in life belong to Jesus!

What does the Bible say about the battle belonging to the Lord?

Jesus is our Good Shepherd
Psalm 23 is the best known and most beloved psalm in the collection.

Surprisingly, it casts humanity as sheep—stupid, helpless sheep. But the long-lasting appeal of Psalm 23 is a direct result of that casting because the imagery is both soothing and accessible.

When he was a boy, King David was a shepherd watching his father’s flocks in the hills around Bethlehem.

In those days, too, it was common to refer to kings in the Near East as shepherds; but not all shepherd-kings cared for their sheep.

Though David tried to shepherd his people well, he knew the truth: that the Lord is the true Shepherd.

In John 10:11 Jesus makes a bold claim. He declares that He is the good shepherd.

Immediately His disciples detected the resonance of Psalm 23 in His words. Those of us who follow Jesus today come to know Him as that gentle but strong shepherd who guides us through life if we will follow Him.

Psalm 23:1-6
The Passion Translation (TPT)

The Good Shepherd
1 The Lord is my best friend and my shepherd.
I always have more than enough.

2 He offers a resting place for me in his luxurious love.
His tracks take me to an oasis of peace, the quiet brook of bliss.

3 That’s where he restores and revives my life.
He opens before me pathways to God’s pleasure
and leads me along in his footsteps of righteousness
so that I can bring honor to his name.

4 Lord, even when your path takes me through
the valley of deepest darkness,
fear will never conquer me, for you already have!

You remain close to me and lead me through it all the way.
Your authority is my strength and my peace.

The comfort of your love takes away my fear.
I’ll never be lonely, for you are near.

5 You become my delicious feast
even when my enemies dare to fight.

You anoint me with the fragrance of your Holy Spirit;
you give me all I can drink of you until my heart overflows.

6 So why would I fear the future?
For your goodness and love pursue me all the days of my life.

Then afterward, when my life is through,
I’ll return to your glorious presence to be forever with you!
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GOD gives us the power to remove those obstacles that the enemy places in our path, in order to discourage us and cause us to want to quit; but we must have confidence that GOD will do what He says.

To gain this confidence the mettle of our faith must be tested and stretched, and the only way that can happen is by our learning to walk in this GOD given power and peace, as a way of life, through the process of having our life crushed in the crucible of life and our faith tested in the refiners fire.

November 3

Faith Food Devotions

WHAT I SAY
by Kenneth E. Hagin

“For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; HE SHALL HAVE WHATSOEVER HE SAITH.”
—Mark 11:23

Let’s examine what Jesus said in today’s text:

“…and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe (that is, believe in his heart) that those things which he saith shall come to pass…”

Those things that you say are your words – your confessions – and those words give you power over demons, disease, and circumstances.

What is it Jesus says you shall have?

What you believe for?

No. Many people think, If I believe strongly enough, it will come to pass. But at the same time, they are talking unbelief, so what they are asking for cannot come to pass!

Jesus did not say, “He shall have whatsoever he BELIEVETH;” He said, “…he shall have whatsoever he SAITH.”

For you do receive what you say. If you’re not satisfied with what you have in life, then check up on what you are saying – what you are confessing.

All you have and all you are today is a result of what you believed and said yesterday!

Confession: I believe in my heart. I believe in my words.

Source: Faith Food Devotions by Kenneth E. Hagin.

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Putting on the Mind of Christ, in this battle for our nation…

America is in a spiritual battle for our very survival…

And so this is why we pray.

“Prayer moves the arm that moves the world.”
— Charles Spurgeon

“God has of his own motion placed himself under the law of prayer, and has obligated himself to answer the prayers of men.

He has ordained prayer as a means whereby he will do things through men as they pray, which he would not otherwise do.

If prayer puts God to work on earth, then, by the same token, prayerlessness rules God out of the world’s affairs, and prevents him from working.

The driving power, the conquering force in God’s cause, is God himself.

‘Call on me and I will answer thee and show thee great and mighty things which though knowest not,’ is God’s challenge to prayer.

Prayer puts God in full force into God’s work.”
— E.M. Bounds

As stated in Amos 3:7, “GOD still today does nothing unless He first speaks through His servants the prophets.”

Also, as the Apostle Paul admonishes us, in
1 Thessalonians 5:19-22:

“Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.”

So with the above Scriptures in mind, please listen to this prophetic word from the Lord, on this upcoming 2020 election:

The issues at hand are light against darkness issues, good against evil (see Isaiah 5:20); as the Bible instructs us, that our fight is NOT against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (see Ephesians 6:12).

These demonic spiritual powers of darkness and wickedness have, over the years, crept in and have established themselves as seats of power and strongholds, within our nation; as Christians have abdicated their GOD given position, as His occupational force in the Earth, to push back against these forces of evil.

This is done through our preaching of the Gospel’s message, which is GOD’s offer of forgiveness and reconciliation, which is being extended to all of the Earth’s inhabitants, and has been bought and paid for through the salvific and propitious work of Jesus Christ, on our behalf, on Calvary’s cross.

Our mission today is to occupy and exercise GOD’s dominion and righteousness, in the Earth, until He returns.

Luke 19:11-13
11 And as they heard these things, he (Jesus) added and spoke a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.

12 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.

13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, OCCUPY (and carry on business in the Earth) until I come.
———

As Watchmen on the Wall intercessors, as per Jesus’ instructions, we are to both WATCH and PRAY!

As Gideon’s 300, we are to keep our eyes on the horizon, watching to see what the enemy is doing; and as the Apostle Paul instructed us, in 2 Corinthians 2:11, “Lest Satan should get an unfair advantage over us, let us not be ignorant of his devices (speaking of the enemy’s strategies and modus operandi).

As we learn God’s rules of engagement in spiritual warfare, this is the kind of mindset we need to have and maintain, that pushes back against these forces of evil.

It’s with our persistent prayers, in Earth, that lines up with GOD’s will in heaven, that the forces of evil in the earth will be overturned.

This is where the battle starts, on our knees, as we learn (as per 2 Chronicles 7:14) to humble ourselves and to pray, seeking God’s face and turning from our wicked ways.

We have to each stand transparent before our GOD, who sees all and knows all anyway, and repent – which means to change the way we think.

This is what I believe God is saying to us today, here in America, as we focus upon and learn the mind and will of GOD:

Isaiah 58:1-14
The Voice (VOICE)

1 Eternal One: Tell My people about their wrongdoing;
shout with a voice like a trumpet;
Hold nothing back: say this people of Jacob’s line and heritage
have failed to do what is right.

2 And yet they look for Me every day.
They pretend to want to learn what I teach,
As if they are indeed a nation good and true,
as if they hadn’t really turned their backs on My directives.

They even ask Me, as though they care,
about what I want them to be and do, as if they really want Me in their lives.

3 People: Why didn’t You notice how diligently we fasted before You?
We humbled ourselves with pious practices and You paid no attention.

Eternal One: I have to tell you, on those fasting days,
all you were really seeking was your own pleasure;

Besides you were busy defrauding people and abusing your workers.

4 Your kind of fasting is pointless, for it only leads to bitter quarrels,
contentious backbiting, and vicious fighting.You are not fasting today because you want Me to hear your voice.

5 What kind of a fast do I choose?

Is a true fast simply
some religious exercise for making a person feel miserable and woeful?Is it about how you bow your head (like a bent reed), how you dress (in sackcloth), and where you sit (in a bed of ashes)? Is this what you call a fast, a day the Eternal One finds good and proper?

6 No, what I want in a fast is this:
to liberate those tied down and held back by injustice, to lighten the load of those heavily burdened, to free the oppressed and shatter every type of oppression.

7 A fast for Me involves sharing your food with people who have none, giving those who are homeless a space in your home, Giving clothes to those who need them, and not neglecting your own family.

8 Then, oh then, your light will break out like the warm, golden rays of a rising sun;
in an instant, you will be healed.

Your rightness will precede and protect you;
the glory of the Eternal will follow and defend you.

9 Then when you do call out, “My God, Where are You?”The Eternal One will answer, “I am here, I am here.”

If you remove the yoke of oppression from the downtrodden among you,
stop accusing others, and do away with mean and inflammatory speech,

10 If you make sure that the hungry and oppressed have all that they need,
then your light will shine in the darkness,
And even your bleakest moments will be bright as a clear day.

11 The Eternal One will never leave you;
He will lead you in the way that you should go.

When you feel dried up and worthless,
God will nourish you and give you strength.

And you will grow like a garden lovingly tended;
you will be like a spring whose water never runs out.

12 You will discover there are people among your own
who can rebuild this broken-down city out of the ancient ruins;

You will firm up its ancient foundations.
And all around, others will call you
“Repairer of Broken Down Walls” and “Rebuilder of Livable Streets.”

13 Eternal One: If because of the Sabbath you set aside your own pursuits and pleasure,
and you honor the Sabbath and sanctify that day by leaving it to and for the Eternal—If you speak of Sabbath-delight but avoid speaking idle words, and refuse to get caught up and busy with your interests and concerns—

14 Then you will discover joy such as only the Eternal can give.
And I will raise you high and make your reach as wide as the earth,And you will live on all that I promised to Jacob, your ancestor, the heart of Israel.

The Eternal One said these very things.
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