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Blood was shed so that we can live eternally in heaven.  That shed blood washed away our sins and made us a new creature. Accepting that blood meant that we were no longer our own, we were now a child of Christ.  Accepting that blood meant that we were now different.  We no longer did the things that we use to do.  It required that we act differently, look at life differently, and even speak differently.  Per 2 Corinthians 5:17 accepting Christ means that “the old has passed away; and behold, the new has come.”  But we still must live in this fallen world and that means that the sins of this world would still pull at us and that is when the blood takes on added power.  At salvation, we applied the blood for the first time but our daily Christian walk would require us to lean on it daily power.  The applied blood of Jesus is like a lit-up billboard on a dark desert night.  No matter which directions you turn, you will still see the glow of its bright lights.  The blood declares to the heavenlies that you are a child of God.

Serving Jesus places a target on you in the spirit realm.  I don’t say this to be fearful, but as a statement of fact.  Satan does not want the church (followers of Jesus) to have any victory in this world. He will attack from all directions until he is either a victor or a defeated foe.  To many times we as Christian forget that there is an unseen war going on against us.  This war is relentless and it can make us so weary that we just want to give up.  But at those times, we must fight even harder.  But we need to fight not in our own flesh but in the spirit.  That is where understanding who you are and what you are fighting gives you an advantage over your enemy.

Defeating a spiritual foe that knows our weaknesses and struggles requires the use of weapons that cannot be destroyed.  God speaks about the spiritual armor that is given to us as Christians. In Ephesians 6:15 we are given the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth, shoes of peace, the sword of the spirit, the shield of faith and unceasing prayer but God does not stop with just those weapons.  He has given us additional weapons as well.  The bible is full of His power and one hidden weapon is found in Revelations.  It is the power of our testimony and the power of the blood of His son, the Lamb that was slain for the world, Jesus.

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony …”  Rev. 12:11

Revelations 12:11 is a bible verse that I learned many years ago, but had forgotten until just recently.  When God gave man the Bible it was because God knew that we would need His word to guide us.  No matter what the situation, the Bible has an answer.  I stand in amazement that for thousands of years; this book has guided generations of believers through untold trails and victories.  It’s truth never changes.  The more we read and study it, the more you realize that it is truly a living word.  Each time the word is read, new and greater revelation is given, even if we have read a particle passage many times over.  Revelations 12:11 is a two-prong weapon. It required application and action.  We must apply the blood to our current struggle as well as remind our self and others of what God has done for us in the past.  It is possible to be so overcome by the weight of current trials that past victories are totally forgotten.  But by speaking of what God has done in the past, we are reminded that He has always been there.  Some might be saying “God has never done anything for me”.  Then apply the testimony of someone from the bible. Acts 10:34 tells us that God is “no respecter of persons”.   So, stand on someone else’s testimony until God gives you your own.  If you need a financial blessing, stand on the testimony of God feeding Elijah in the middle of a famine. (1 Kings 17) If you need a physical healing, stand on the testimony of God healing the woman with the issue of blood.  (Luke 8:43) If you have struggled with having a baby, stand on the testimony of Hannah as she cried out to God for a child. (1 Sam 1:10)

Don’t allow yourself to forget about the power of Jesus’ blood. If you have become fearful, weary, complacent then it is possible that you have forget about the power that Jesus gave you through His blood. An old church hymnal written by Lewis Jones in 1899 will remind you of what happened at your salvation and how His blood continues to have “wonder-working pow’r.”

Would you be free for the burden of sin?

Would you over evil a victor win?

Would you be free from your passion and pride?

Would you be whiter, whiter than snow?

Come for a cleansing to Calvary’s tide;

There’s wonderful pow’r in the blood.

There is pow’r, pow’r, wonder-working pow’r In the precious blood of the Lamb.

Declare to the enemy all that God has done for you.  Thank God for His son’s shed blood.  That is one testimony that each one of us has.  We all have a salvation testimony.  Declare it, declare it, declare it until the tide breaks and your victory flows.  You are victorious because of the blood, apply it each and every day.

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I would love to take credit for this title, but I can’t.  All the credit goes to Bill Johnson from Bethel Church.   The road to victory in Jesus can be a tough one.  Only speaking for myself, I have endured doubt, struggle, fear, and rejection as well as unspeakable victory, revelation, and blessings.  I have learned that without faith, I cannot be victorious in my Christian walk but boy does the pull of the enemy seem strong at times.  I am coming out of an almost 10 years struggle and I know that I am set free and that the Lord is with me but I am finding that the hunger and desire I had for the Lord is not where it once was. I want to love my Lord with all my heart, mind and soul but I am struggling.  I hate where I am and I want more.  I am asking for more, crying out for more and as I seek the Lord He has assured me that “he has not forsaken me(Deut. 31:6).  But the struggle is still there.  Not because God is not helping me, but because I am battling with letting going.  God brought me out of the cave but I am still struggling with cave mentality.  And then God led me to this sermon.  It was totally by accident that I stumbled across Bill Johnson (this was my first time to hear him) and this sermon.  And as I have listened to it (three times so far) I know that I know that God is taking me to His stream of living waters.

Deut 3:8 “So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.”

As I was listening this this sermon for the third time, I started to remember times in my life where I hungered the most for the things of God.  I had forgotten that in my thirties I had an overwhelming desire for my prayer language.  I would constantly go to the altar and ask God for this gift and yet time and time ago I left not having received it.  People would come up to me and tell me to do this or do that and I would receive my prayer language but to no avail.  I was unhappy in my Christian walk and did not know what to do.  And then New Year’s Eve a friend of my called to say she was taking me to church and she refused to take no for an answer.  I went begrudgingly not expecting anything and it was that night that God gave me what I had been seeking for so long, my prayer language.  I left church that night a different person.  Holy Spirit changed me from the inside out and for the next 7 years I experienced things that I had only ever heard about:  signs, wonders, miracles, revelations. And then 9 years of struggle.

God’s says that “He humbles us, allows us to hunger”, why?  I think because it is possible to get to a point in our walk where we can become so full that we stop hungering for the greater things of God.  My storehouse was full and I thought that I had everything that I would need and when the rejection and hurt came my way, I pulled from my storehouse without adding to it.  I had depleted my resources and stopped seeking after the greater things of God.  My cave was decorated with my blessing of old but they were not enough to make it though.  We cannot live off yesterday blessing.  We must seek God daily.  God knows that we can become spiritually lazy that is why He showed Paul what was necessary for victory, a daily dying to flesh (1 Corth. 15:31).  If we stayed humble, then every day we will recognize that we can’t make it without Him.  We will recognize that daily we need flesh manna.  If God would not allow the Israelites to store us their manna, then why do we believe that we can. (Exodus 16:21)   God is not a God of leftovers, He gives fresh provision each and every day.  He wants us to stay hunger for Him because that is the only way that we will continue to seek the greater things of Him.  My cry is “God give me a gift of hunger.  Allow me to run daily after you.”

 

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Even after more than 30 years of knowing my savior Jesus, I am still amazed at how He knows what I need even when I don’t.  Isaiah 55:9 tells us that God’s “ways are higher than our ways” and recently I was reminded of that fact.

While volunteering at a concert recently, I had the pleasure of meeting a very nice gentleman.  There was something about this gentleman that struck me. I don’t know who can relate, but there have been times in my life when God will send someone into my path that pricks my spirit and this was one of those times.  This gentleman walked up to the stand that I was working and we started a conversation.  While talking, his hat caught my eye.  The symbol on the hat provoked me to ask him what it meant

WB  ./.

He explained to me that he had sat on this logo for some time but believed now was the time to share it with the public.  We spoke for a few more minutes and he turned to walk away.  Then unexpectedly, he turned back, handed me his business card, spoke a few words of encouragement and then left.  He walked away not even realizing the impact that he had just made.  In that short encounter, God used him to rock my foundation.  As I stood there looking at his card, I was in shock that this random strange saw something in me that I struggled to see in myself.  God used that moment to show me how valuable I was to Him, God.

For the last 10 years, I have struggled to pull myself out of a deep dark hole.  To look at me you would never guess that I struggled with rejection, loneness, a strong belief in the fact that I would never be good enough not matter what I did, and an overall sense of hopelessness.  I had a head knowledge that God loved me but very little heart knowledge.  This was my deep dark secret.  How can you serve God and say you love Him and on the inside struggle with feelings of worthlessness and doubting that God’s word was even true?  I had to keep up my façade of lies because it was better than letting people think you were a phony.  If I was still struggling with the same issues after so many years than I was the problem, right? But in that moment, God moved.

The logo on the hat stood for “Why Be Divided”.  I know that this gentleman was speaking to the world as a whole not to be divided among themselves, but God spoke a personal word to me.  God showed me how I had allowed myself to become divided by not believing in His word.  Part of me believed the lies and the other part of me wanted and needed to believe God.

When we come to salvation in Jesus, we come carrying all the baggage of our past.  Some bags fall away instantly and other we learn to lay down as we grow in our walk with the Lord.  But throughout the journey, our adversary the devil tries everything to keep us from letting go of our baggage.  He will use whoever he can to hold us back from walking in freedom and I hate to admit it but I allowed myself to fall into his trap.  I believed the lies others spoke about me.  And that decision caused me to fall into a “poor me attitude” of self-pity instead of fighting for God’s truth.  I became so tired of losing the battles, that I stopped fighting the war and when I looked up years had pasted and I was still in the same place.  This realized made me miserable.  I had found no comfort in my cave and I wanted to be set free of my bondages.  I had started the process of freedom months ago but at that moment I knew unless I truly let go, I would never be free.

Several months ago, I began a bible study with a group of ladies at a local church.  I did it because a friend asked me to attend and I thought it would be a great way to spend time with her.  As the study progressed, I knew that I was meant to be there.  It was making me confront my stuff from years back.  My façade was being dismantled piece by piece and I did not even realize it at first.  When you have been in a rut for so long, I believe that you get so use to the rut you don’t fight it any more.  Having been hurt time after time, my nature defenses had kicked in and my wall was up.  I had stopped feeling and truly did not realize it.  The wall around my emotions (and my heart) was tall and thick and breaking free would only come through the love of my Father.  What did God do?  Exactly what He promised, to “never leave me“(Deu. 31:8). He showed me His love.  How?  By exposing the areas in my life that I have given over to the enemy.  But He did not stop there, He showed me how to tear down my wall of lies.

“And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand”

Mark 3:25

In the third chapter of Mark, we see Jesus and His disciple speaking with the teachers of the law about the kingdom of darkness.  Jesus is accused of performing miracles by the power of darkness and Jesus teaching them about kingdom division.  Darkness will not cast out darkness.  Why?  Because why would it harm itself.  “.. if satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand, his end has come.”  V26.  Division brings destruction.  My lack of belief in God’s word had allowed a divide to be birth in my spirit.  It became easier for me to believe lies than lean on the truth.  That internal struggle had spilled over into every area of my life.  When I struggled financially, I believed that God “was not there for me, that He was not going to provide for my needs”.  When I struggled in my relationships, I believed that “I was not worthy of friendships”.  If I struggled with my marriage, I believed it was “easier to leave than fight”.  There was no area in my life that satan’s lies did not touch.  I had allowed the enemy to come in through pain, but instead of standing on God’s word for victory, I gave into the lies and fell deeper into to the pit.  But even in the pit, Jesus was still there.  He had not given up on me and now it was time for me to seek Him.  I just did not want freedom, I sought after it.

It was time for me to change who I chose to listen to. The time had come to not only break the cycle but to destroy it.  The process would involve not only reading God’s word but knowing it.  Each new day was another opportunity to decide which voice to believe and the key would be recognizing the lies and choosing to believe the truth.  Thank you to the gentleman from California.  Without you even knowing it, you touched a life with WB ./.  You were right, it was the right time to bring it to the public.

*** www.father’s love letter.com  This is an excellent resource to know exactly how God sees His children.           Be blessed. ***

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“You are the salt of the earth … you are the light of the world.. let your light so shine before men..” Matt 5:13,14,16

Jesus commissioned believers in Him to be salt and light to the world.  He called all of us, that call ourselves Christians, to a higher level of living.  One that not just allows us to exit, living day to day in this world, but to a life that impacts those around us.  Jesus did not call us to an unattainable way of living but one that He knew would be possible if we gave ourselves 100% to the Father through Him. 

To be salt and light requires a change in ourselves and salvation in Jesus is the first step in that change process.  When we ask Him into our hearts, we make the decision to step out of the darkness and turn to walk in the light.  Jesus tells us in Matt. 5: 1-12 what we will look like as we walk as the light and salt to this world.  We will be “poor in spirit” (humble), “merciful”, “meek” (gentle), “seek after righteousness”, “pure in heart” and “peacemakers”.  Jesus knew that this higher level of moral and ethical living would not be possible on our own.  He let us know exactly what living for Him would require as well as what would happen once the decision was made.  The persecution would be great and yet He said “rejoice and be glad” when people persecute you, insult you and falsely accuse you because the reward will be great in Heaven. (v. 11,12)

As Christians our life is not our own.  We ask Jesus to not only be our Savior but our Lord.  We are to led a submitted life to the Lord and that means being salt and light.  If we allow our life to cease being that, then we become as Jesus says in verse 13: “good for nothing” in need of being “throw out and trampled by men”.

When I think about being a light for Jesus, I think about Corrie tin Boom.  She was a Dutch Holocaust survivor whose family was captured by the Nazis’ during WWII for being Jewish sympathizers.   After being captured, she and her sister (Betsie) ended up serving time in Ravensbruck concentration camp, a woman’s labor camp.  It was there that Corrie’s sister died.  Yet despite the hatred and evil that surrounded them, they still were a light for Jesus.  They held worship services in their barracks knowing that if they were found out it would be certain death.  Once Corrie was released, she continued a life for the Lord sharing with all that she encountered about His love.  She was a light in the darkness of that concentration camp.  Both her and her sister allowed their lights to shine in what, for all intensive purposes, appeared to be complete darkness.  On Betsis’ death bed, she told her sister “there is no pit so deep that He (God) is not deeper still.” No matter what we are walking through, He can use it and allow His light to shine through it.  We just have to have a made us mind that we will shine no matter what the circumstances are.

We are not asked to be salt and light, but we are commissioned to be. We are given an order from our Savior to affect our world.  We might be the only salt and light in our current situation.  Whether it be in our home, on our job, on the mission field, or in the market place, we MUST shone for Jesus.  This world is hurting.  They are turning to anything and everything to fill the hurt and loneliness of this world and yet they are not finding it.  But once they encounter the salt and light of Jesus, they will be changed.

If your light has failed or your salt has lost it’s savor, sin has entered into your heart.  Ask Holy Spirit to show you how and when it happened.  Wait on the answer and when you receive it, ask Jesus to forgive you.  Jesus called you to be His hand and feet, allow Him to use you to affect this world.

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