Life (No Longer A Slave)…

Father, as I prepare to go into the land of promise…my prayer is that You shine the light of Your glory upon my life that I may see every area that is not pleasing to You. I desire to be wholly clean before You and do not want the stench of my past to continue to be upon my life. I pray, Father, that You roll away the reproach of my Egypt from off me as You did with the children of Israel after they crossed the Jordan and entered into the Promised Land (Josh. 5:9).

My desire is to walk up rightly before You everyday in every way, even if it means that You confront me with face to face with my shortcomings. I choose to come forward to You because I do not want to continue on my current path because I know You have more for me. I want to live life to fullest with Your life flowing through me.

Circumcise my heart, Father. Cut away everything and everyone that has been a hindrance to my my growth and maturation…even me, O, Lord…even me. I do not want to return to bondage again because You have truly liberated me. You have broken every shackle and chain off of my life…now I am free to live for You triumphantly in Christ Jesus, my Savior and Lord….Your Son.

I have not come this way before and I do not want to have to come this way again. So help me, Father because I want to get things right this one time. Father, I do not want walk around the same mountain again. I need that part of my life to be over and done with. I want my destiny. My desire for Your promise for my life to be fulfilled. Father, help me to become the man You have created me to become…so roll away the stench of my past…

Consecrate and sanctify me, O, Lord. Make me a vessel that is meet for the Master’s use. I am no longer a slave to sin and bondage. No longer am I a slave to the kingdom of darkness. I am no longer a slave to this world. Now I belong to You, Heavenly Father. I thank You and praise You for this for I pray this in Jesus’ name…Amen!

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Now Is The Time!

“And they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it. Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near unto it, that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore. And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for to morrow the Lord will do wonders among you…” (Josh. 3:3-5).

After going in circles in life for however long, we are on the brink of entering the land of promise. God has sent forth the marching orders and given the command to proceed forward. With this in mind, we have to follow God’s instruction to the letter and lay aside anything or anyone who will cause us to compromise our relationship with God. The command is not given to us for us to wait until we arrive in the land of promise, but to immediately set ourselves apart from those who may attempt to influence us once we arrive at our destination. This is the only way that God’s presence will go before us and remain with us once we have attained the promise.

We need to consider seriously if holding on to these things is worth the possibility of losing the presence of God in our lives? We need to consider seriously if holding on to these things is worth the possibility of losing God’s favor upon our lives? We need to consider if holding on to these things is worth the possibility of losing the promise altogether? The answer to all of these is a resounding and emphatic: NO!!!

Even if we were to remain where we are currently, NOTHING IS EVER WORTH THE POSSIBLE RISK OF LOSING GOD’S PRESENCE IN NOR HIS HAND OF FAVOR UPON OUR LIVES! Whatever God has asked us to rid ourselves of can easily be replaced. Whenever God asks us to let go of something, it is always for something far greater than what we had previously. Never become so attached to something that you allow it to cause you to lose out on the promises of God for your life. Never become so attached to someone that you allow it to cause you to lose out on the promises of God for your life.

The Struggle Is Real

struggleIs it not easier to say, ‘No!,’ than it is to say, ‘Yes!’? We all would like to believe that, even in the simplest of matters in life, we will be able walk away from things that are displeasing to God. However, if this were the case, it would not have been necessary for the Apostle Paul to write in his Epistle to the Romans,

…I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God…(12:1, 2).

It is easy to fall into alignment with the surrounding culture, sometimes blindly and sometimes with our eyes wide open. Prohibitions against living in alignment with the world are listed throughout the Bible in both the Old and New Testaments. The children of Israel were warned about following the practices of those who presented a distraction from absolute allegiance to God in the former state (Egyptians) and those in whom they were about encounter as they entered the Promised Land (Canaanites). (Lev. 18:3, 4, 24-30). Paul spoke of his own struggles in Romans, Chapter Seven,

“…For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of my members. O, wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?…” (vv. 14-24).

There is yet still hope for us. Paul, once again, in Romans says,

…if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live…” (8:13).

The struggle is real and we are not expected to face it alone. Jesus told the disciples in John 16 that He was going to send the Comforter, Who would guide them into all truth (vv. 7, 13). Why would there be a need for Christ to send the Comforter if we were going to be able to navigate through life on our own? Paul says,

“…Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit Itself make the intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God…” (Rom. 8:26, 27).

Trust in the Lord to keep you from the sinful practices of the surrounding culture. Do not place any confidence within yourself or anyone else…you will lose the battle every time…#thinkonthesethings

Lead By Example

live the lifeSometimes we, as leaders, have unrealistic expectations of those placed under our charge. Our propensity to live by the motto, “Do as I say, not as I do!,” is unacceptable if we truly intend to help them to navigate through the insurmountable circumstances of life. In other words, we cannot expect them to do anything that we, ourselves, would not be willing to do.

This lesson is taught to us in the Book of Leviticus, wherein God is instructing Moses on how Aaron is to prepare for the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) (Lev. 16). Aaron was responsible for, first, bringing…

“…the bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and shall make an atonement for himself, and for his house, and shall kill the bullock of the sin offering which is for himself: And he shall take a censer full of burning coals of fire from off the altar before the Lord, and his hands full of sweet incense beaten small, and bring it within the veil: And he shall put the incense upon the fire before the Lord, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is upon the testimony (the Ark), that he die not…” (vv. 11-13).

After Aaron presented the sin offering for himself, then, he was instructed to present the sin offering for the people.

How would it have looked if Aaron only presented an atoning sacrifice for the people without, first, presenting a sin offering for himself? Was the Levitical priesthood without sin and above reproach? The answer to this question is found previously in chapter 10, wherein Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu, were killed by the “fire from the Lord” for violating the sacred order of the things of God (vv.1,2). Therefore, we are to understand from this example that leaders are just as capable of falling into error as well.

The point being made here is this: whatever God is instructing the leader to present to the people must, first, be applied to the life of the leader before he or she can present it to the people. We must never fall into the error of thinking, and subsequently believing, that we are above the law. The people who have been placed under our charge must know and understand that their leaders can identify with and relate to them on every level and are “…subject to like passions…” (Jam. 5:17).

Lead by example…or else we may turn around and discover that we are not leading any one at all…#thinkonthesethings

Does Being Called Mean Being Anointed?

anointing makes differenceIs there a difference between being called and being anointed? The Bible seems to says there is a difference. For example, the Bible teaches us in the Gospel According to Matthew,

“…for many be called, but few are chosen…” (20:16; 22:14).

and in the Epistle to the Romans,

“…For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance…” (11:29).

This leads us to question why “…many are called…”, but only a “…few are chosen…”? Within life, several people can be selected for the same opportunity, but only the one who has stood out from among the rest will be chosen. Why? Because the individual has certain qualities and experiences that cause the person in charge to focus upon him or her more so than the others.

Likewise, in the Kingdom, the thing that causes one person to stand out above the others lies not so much in their own ability. It lies in the quality and experience of their lives that stem from having a genuine relationship with God which is evidenced by the presence and power of the anointing of the Holy Spirit upon and within them. Not convinced?

Reflect, for a moment, upon the story of Nadab and Abihu (Lev. 10:1-7). The sons of Aaron were called and ordained to perform services within the Tabernacle. However, only Aaron was anointed to offer

“…burning coals of fire from off the altar before the Lord, and his hands full of sweet incense beaten small, and bring it within the veil: and he shall put the incense upon the fire before the Lord, the cloud of incense may cover the mercy seat that is upon the testimony…” (16:12, 13).

Stepping into a role just because you have the gifting to perform in the office does not automatically qualify you to function within the position. It is the anointing that makes the difference! Still not convinced?

Jesus, Himself, said,

“Not every one that saith unto me, ‘Lord, Lord!’, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he that doth the will of My Father which is in Heaven. Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? And in Thy name have we not cast out devils? And in Thy name done many wonderful works?’ And then will I profess unto them, ‘I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.'” (Mt. 7:21-23).

There are many people who have been called to perform certain assignments in the Kingdom; however, if their lives are not aligned with the Word of God and their actions are not endorsed by the anointing of the Holy Spirit, then they will not be qualified for service. If they never receive the endorsement of the Holy Spirit, it does not mean that they were not called. It just means that God’s presence will not play a role in what the person is doing. It will be a work of the flesh as opposed to a work performed under the unction of the Holy Spirit.

Receive God’s seal of approval before embarking upon any new endeavor as His ambassador…#thinkonthesethings

Day Thirty-Nine Of Consecration: Restoration Has Come

blood-in-the-waterSimilar to the lepers in the Old Testament, when we step out of alignment with God’s will and plan for our lives, we, too, must be restored into fellowship with God. We can no longer handle the sacred things of God as we have become unclean. However, also in like manner as unto the lepers, when we are exposed to the Blood and Water of the Sacrifice, we are restored back into fellowship with God (Lev. 14:2-8; Jn. 19:34; 1 Jn. 5:4-12).

Regardless of what we have done…regardless of what we have said…regardless of where we have been…once the brokenness, cleansing, and healing have taken place…once we have received affirmation as sons from above…restoration has come!

“…For there are Three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these Three are One…” (1 Jn. 5:7).

#thinkonthesethings