Daily Post Prompt: Test

upset-womanThere is a doctrine that flows through parts of the Body of Christ that says God sends or brings problems, trouble, and painful events into our lives to “test” us or to “try our faith.” Supposedly, those tests are made up of sickness, handicaps, financial problems, natural disasters, and any number of other destructive things. We have plenty of scripture to nullify that teaching, yet it persists throughout many groups of believers.

The truth is that God’s Word clearly says in Galatians 3:13-14 that all the things included in the curse of the broken law (Deuteronomy 28:15-68) have been laid on Jesus Christ in our stead, and that we have been redeemed from all of them. Now, to be sure, the enemy tries to lay them on us still yet, but when we know the Word and live our lives daily in faithfulness to it, we can throw off those attacks and walk free the way the Lord intends for us to do. Whatever the Lord already laid on Jesus, He is not bringing upon us now — nor is He giving the devil “permission” to bring those things on us. For God to deliberately cause or allow those things to be placed on us now would be a slap in the face of Jesus and a rebuttal of all that He suffered in our place.

We gave the devil permission to act on this planet when we chose to believe Him rather than God in the Garden of Eden, and he is free to act against us if we will let him get away with it. The Lord tells us repeatedly in His Word that we are the ones who open the door to the enemy or close the door to Him, and we can tie God’s own hands by not staying in obedience and faith. We can actually keep Him from being able to help us. Even Jesus could not do what He wanted to do in His own home town to deliver and heal people because the people were in rebellion and unbelief. (Matthew 13, Mark 6). So Christians need to stop blaming God for the evil things that come into their lives and stop copping out of their own responsibility to take a stand in faith against the attacks of the enemy.

A careful reading of God’s Word will show that the Lord used only two methods of “trying” or “proving” the faith of His people. He either offered them something of great value or power and waited on them to decide how they would respond to it (as He did with Solomon) or He calls  them to take a great step of faith and move onto another level spiritually (as He did when He “tested” His disciples by telling them to feed the 5,000 + people.) He never puts things that are from the curse of the law (sickness, plague, pestilence, defeat by enemies, natural disasters, etc) on us to test or try or prove our faith.

We have further evidence of that in Jesus’ own words to us in John 10:10. He tells us clearly that He is the Good Shepherd, who came in by the legal door (being born as a human being into the earth). He also identifies Satan as the thief who has come in illegally because he was not born into the human race. Then Jesus lays the facts on the table and states emphatically that it is the thief who “kills, steals, and destroys.”  But it is God who “gives life, and not just life — but abundant life.”

We get another confirmation of that fact in the epistle of James, chapter 1, verses 13-17. The Lord tells us here not to say when we are tempted (and that word is also translated tested — it’s exactly the same word.) that the temptation or the test is from God. This fact is true when we are talking about being tempted to sin, but it is just as true when we are talking about being in a battle with any kind of evil, hurtful thing, because that kind of battle is always a “temptation” to turn from God. None of those things comes from His hand. Jesus has already said so. If it kills something in your life, if it steals something from you, if it destroys something good in you or your life — brothers and sisters — it is NOT from God. We have His Word for it.

But there’s even more good news. Not only does God not send things our way that will tempt us to turn from Him or to be disobedient to His Word and His will. But even when the enemy brings those things against us, God will always provide a way for us to overcome them and escape them without being defeated by them. He will give us the victory every time, if we will follow His Word and His Spirit. (1 Corinthians 10:13).

So the next time you find yourself in the midst of a trial of your faith, dear one, grab hold of these promises and stand your ground until you have the victory. Let these words live big inside of you and renew y our mind with them. Remember: it’s the enemy who brings the tests. It is God who brings you the victory.


Daily Post Prompt

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Daily Confessions from God’s Word

WHITE BIBLE - KNOW WORD LOGOBelow are several confessions from God’s Word concerning us and the truth about who and what we are now that Jesus has finished His work on our behalf. I’ve included the scripture references so that we can go back to the original text and verify all of these truths.  

And although all of these words are true concerning us, the Lord has made it clear that we must agree with them and speak them out of our own mouths if we would see them manifested. He tells us in Romans 10:10 that we believe in our hearts, but we need to speak with our mouths in order to get the job completed, and He tells us in Proverbs 18:21 that death and life are in the power of our own tongues.

As we make these confessions from God’s Word daily, He works to bring these Words into manifestation in us and in our lives. He is faithful, and He will do it.


I am in Jesus Christ; therefore, I am a brand new species: a God-man, conceived and born out of the incorruptible seed of God Himself. I am supernatural, and through Jesus, I bring the supernatural into my natural world every day.

(1 Corinthians 5:17, 1 John 3:9, 1 Peter 1:23)

I am the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ. My Father God loves me exactly the way He loves Jesus, and He is rejoicing over me with singing.

(2 Corinthians 5:21, John 1:23, Zephaniah 3:17)

Because I am in Jesus Christ, there is no condemnation imputed to me. If I do sin, I run to my Father in repentance, and He is faithful to forgive my sin and cleanse me of all unrighteousness.

However, because God makes a way out of every temptation that comes to me, I choose not to sin.

(Romans 8:1, 1 John 1:9, 1 Corinthians 10:13)

I am a righteous man in Jesus Christ, and my earnest prayers are effective, making tremendous power available, dynamic in its working, bringing God’s Kingdom into manifestation on this earth.

(James 5:16-17)

God is for me; therefore, no one can be against me successfully. I overcome every enemy by speaking God’s Word out of my mouth and by applying the blood of Jesus Christ.

(Romans 8:21, Revelation 12:11)

I am strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. As I wait upon Him, He gives me more and more of His own strength. So by Him I can run through a troop, leap over a wall, and skip about like a calf from the stall. In Him I live and move and have my being.

(Ephesians 6:10, Isaiah 40:31, Psalm 18:29, Malachi 4:2, Acts 17:28)

I dwell in the secret place of the Most High; therefore, no evil can befall me; neither shall any plague or calamity come near me or my dwelling.

(Psalm91: 1, 10)

In Jesus, I have power to tread on all demonic spirits, and no weapon formed against me can prosper. Neither shall anything harm me.

(Luke 10:19, Isaiah 54:17)

I bless the Lord every day, with everything in me, because He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He also renews my youth like the eagle. I will still yield fruit in old age.

(Psalm 103:1, 3, 5; Psalm 92:14)

Jesus has born all my griefs, sickness, weakness, distress, mutilation, and disfigurement. He has carried away my sorrows and pains. He was wounded for my sins and beaten to pay for my peace and well-being. And by the stripes that wounded Him, I am healed and made whole.

(Isaiah 53:4-5, Amp)

My God gives me power to make wealth. When I give, He causes my gifts to come back to me, good measure and running over. When I give liberally, He causes me to be enriched in all things, and I will not be in want of any good thing.

(Deuteronomy 8:18, Luke 6:38, 2 Corinthians 9:8-11)

God fights for my children and delivers them from the hand of the enemy and from all demonic bondage.

(Isaiah 49:25)

I have received God’s Word and His Holy Spirit, and I have His promise that His Word and His Spirit shall never depart from me or from my children or my grandchildren. His Word and His Spirit are working in my children and grandchildren every day.

(Isaiah 59:21)

Jesus has given me His own peace, wholeness, and completeness. I live and walk in His peace every day, and I am not afraid of anything. I live in untroubled, undisturbed well-being.

(John 14:27 – definition of ‘peace’ from original Hebrew)

Because I am in Jesus Christ, the Spirit of the Lord is upon me, and He has anointed me to preach the Gospel, and to bring release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind, and deliverance to the brokenhearted. He has sent me to proclaim the year of God’s salvation and free favors to everyone in the world.

(Luke 4:18-19, John 14:12, 2 Corinthians 5:18-19)

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Crossing the Line

 

do-not-cross-line

Did you ever face a situation as a kid where one of your antagonists drew a line in the sand and said that line represented a boundary you were not to cross? You were required to stay on your own side of the line, and if you didn’t, there would be serious negative repercussions? “Don’t cross that line, or I’ll beat you up.”

Well, you know what? That’s still happening to the Body of Christ in this world. The devil has drawn a line in the sand, and we’re afraid to cross over it.

During the time of Jesus’ ministry, the gates of a city represented, not only the places of entrance and exit, but also the place of legal authority. Major decisions and legal transactions were commonly made at the “gates of the city.” And certainly the gates, being part of a protective wall, were the main elements in the security of the city.

When the devil sets up his “gates” – his places of entrance into our lives — he does so in order to set up his own “seat of authority” and to try to be in control of those areas. The gates may be in the form of disease in our bodies, drug addiction in our children, pornography in a spouse, loss of a job or source of income, unsaved loved ones. Those gates may be political or legal actions that change the tenets of our cities or nations. They may be roots of strife and jealously that spring up in the midst of a congregation of believers.

But whatever form those “gates” take, the Lord has instructed us that we are to overrun those gates and demolish them in His name. His intention is very clear when He speaks in Matthew 16:18 : “Upon this rock, I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” That promise actually goes all the way back to Abraham. And just as Jesus came to fulfill all the rest of the Old Covenant – ushering in the New – so He fulfilled that part of the covenant promise as well. God told Abraham that he would “possess the gates of his enemies.” (Genesis 22:17 ). He repeated that promise to Isaac as well, because the promise is part and parcel of the Covenant as a whole.

Jesus came to provide the avenue through which all those promises would be passed down to everyone who would follow Him. And under this new Covenant, now that we have been born again into a new species and are actively members of the Kingdom of God, the power to execute those promises is far superior to what Abraham had. He was constrained to the natural world, with intermittent help from the spirit realm. We, on the other hand, have our life in the spirit Kingdom of God on a constant basis and can make use of the powers from that realm at will.

So how do we find ourselves so often in the position of standing there looking at a line drawn in the sand (disease, addiction, poverty, etc), feeling that we are imprisoned by that line and required to suffer behind it – not being able to cross over it into victory? The answer to that question is quite simple actually. The Word of God tells us clearly that we can submit to God and resist the devil, and he will most assuredly flee from us. The Word also tells us that “greater is He that is in us than he that is in the word. It further guarantees that faith overcomes the world (and all the world throws at us.) The word “salvation” alone covers every possible need we could have, and Jesus has already done all the work of providing that complete salvation for every man, woman, and child on the earth who will believe.

And there’s the problem, beloved: it’s with that word “believe.” The simple truth is that we – the Church – do not truly believe God’s Word. And one of the main reasons we don’t believe it is that we don’t know what it says – because we don’t read and study it for ourselves. We don’t spend hours reading, meditation, and praying over the Word to receive revelation. If we did, and we truly believed what it says, we would speak and act accordingly. And our first action would be to step across that line the devil has drawn at our feet.

Are you tired of living in the prison behind that line? Most of us are facing a number of those lines in our lives. It’s past time we got fed up with being in prison and, instead, got “fed-up” (filled) with God’s Word. Once we get enough Word activated in us that we are willing to pick up our feet and march over those lines, we will live our lives in victory on every level. Because after crossing one of the devil’s lines and realizing that we really are free, and he is truly is defeated, we will find that crossing over the rest of those lines is much easier.

Are you ready?

Fill up on God’s Word. Toss out everything that contradicts it.

Concentrate on that Word until it is the most real thing in your life.

Then Step Over the Line into your victory through the name of Jesus Christ.

 

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Dead In Christ – Part 1

OPEN TOMB 1

” If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind (and affections) on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”  (Colossians 3:1-4)

Walking in the likeness of Christ on this earth stops being some vague, mysterious idea to us when this passage of Scripture becomes real to us. I like the translation of verse 3 in the Living Bible. Although the Living Bible is actually a paraphrase, and, in some places, lacks accuracy, on this verse, it hits the bull’s eye in translating God’s intention in these words. Verse 3 in that translation says, “You should have as little desire for this world as a dead person does.”

Brothers and sisters, when we move into complete surrender to Jesus, we truly recognize that we have been crucified with Him — we have died to this world, to sin, to the pull of our flesh. And we have been raised, but not given our own life to live. Rather, we are raised with Jesus in us, prepared to live out His life, His plans, His purposes, His goals through our bodies and minds. According to this passage of Scripture, our own life is hidden away safely in God. When Jesus comes again in glory, then our life will be released to us so that we may live it out in glory and perfection with Him. But in the meantime, we are not our own.

Let me use myself as an example. Since Sandra Conner is dead, and her life is no longer to be lived out on earth, but rather is tucked away in God for the time being, the only life she is to live here is Jesus’ life. Sandra no longer has rights and privileges for herself personally. Rather, Jesus, in her, has all the rights and privileges. Sandra no longer calls the shots in making plans or determining how she will act or react in any situation. Jesus does. Sandra no longer has the say in how she spends her time, her energy, or her money, because she isn’t living out Sandra’s life any longer. Jesus is using Sandra’s body, mind, and heart to continue to live out His life here on earth, so that His love, His truth, and His power can be offered to all the people Sandra comes into contact with.

Needless to say, Sandra Conner no longer has a right to indulge in offense, hurt feelings, self-defense, self-indulgence, or self-promotion. Jesus has all the rights, and if He does not have His feelings hurt, Sandra certainly can’t express hurt feelings, because she is dead, and her new life is tucked away in God. If Jesus doesn’t give in to the temptation to indulge the flesh instead of spending time in the Word and prayer, Sandra certainly can’t, because she isn’t the one living now.

Do you see how it works, dear believer? Now, please don’t misunderstand: Sandra Conner is NOT perfected in this walk by any means. But by using myself as a real-life example, I can better explain what our understanding and attitude should be.

When we truly see that it is to be Jesus living His life His way through us — that we’re just the carriers, so to speak — then our perspective of life will change dramatically. We will see life from an eternal perspective. Our goals will become eternal goals. We will begin to judge everything we do and say on its ability to accomplish something lasting for God’s kingdom. And we will set our priorities accordingly.

So how do we live this out practically? We will talk more about the how-to’s in Part 2.

 

 

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Wanting Nothing

 

Another striking creation capture by my good friend, photographer Terry Valley.

ORANGE DUSK IN MEADOW w. drop shadow

“Oh taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him. Oh fear the Lord, you his saints: for there is no want to them that fear Him. … They that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.”   Psalm 34:8-10

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Hey, Aren’t You Looking for Something Good to Read???

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Read any good books lately?  Are you looking for another one?

Something entertaining, inspiring, inexpensive, easy to purchase and download?

Well then, come visit me at my Amazon Author’s Page and pick up one of my e-books.

Read one, and you just might like it well enough to buy another one and to tell your friends about it.

And if — by some slim chance — you read one and don’t like it — well — just don’t tell anybody.

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Nothing But a Stick?

MOSES RED SEA - cropped“So the Lord said to him [Moses], ‘What is that in your hand?’  He said, ‘A rod.’  And the Lord said, ‘Cast it on the ground.’ So he cast it on the ground and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it. Then the Lord said to Moses. ‘Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.’ And he reached out his hand and caught it, and i t became a rod in his hand.’”  Exodus 4:2-4.

At the time of this conversation, Moses had just spent 4o  years in the desert herding sheep for his father-in-law. He carried a rod, as was the custom of sheepherders. It served a number of purposes, including supporting Moses as he climbed steep areas, guiding the sheep when they tended to wander, and providing a weapon to beat off attackers. It was just an ordinary rod. A long, solid, sturdy piece of wood with nothing out of the ordinary about it.

But one day, when the Lord was ready to call Moses and anoint him for the purposes of the Kingdom, the Lord took charge of that ordinary piece of wood and converted it into a tool for His own use. As the passage of scripture above makes clear, the Lord was able to take a solid stick of wood, with no qualities of life or animation at all, and turn it into a living creature. He totally changed, not only the shape, but the whole molecular structure and chemical makeup of that wood until it became something else entirely. And then He changed that living, breathing creature back into a solid stick again.

From that moment, Moses’ rod was no longer an ordinary object. It had become a tool in the hands of the Lord, anointed to do whatever work God called on it to do. So in Exodus 7, it becomes a serpent at the feet of Pharaoh, and when the Egyptian sorcerers produce serpents from their rods, Moses’ rod (with the anointing) swallows up all the serpents of the devil’s camp.

Then in Exodus 14, we see the Lord commanding Moses to lift up his rod over the Red Sea, and when the rod is lifted up, the Lord sends a strong east wind to blow all night and divide the sea so that the entire nation walks through the sea on totally dry ground. Later, when the Israelites are thirsty and belligerent toward Moses because they can find no water (Exodus 17), the Lord instructs Moses to use that very same rod to strike a  rock, and a gusher of fresh, sweet water comes pouring forth from solid rock.

Nothing but a stick in its own right, that rod became a miracle-working tool once the Lord took charge of it and anointed it for His use. The same is true of each one of us. We may be nothing in our own right. We may even be a big mess. We may be a prime example of how to fail at everything. But when we turn ourselves over to the Lord and make ourselves and our lives available to Him for whatever He needs to do with us, we suddenly become a blessed, anointed, miracle-working tool for the Kingdom of God.

So if you’ve been sitting there feeling sorry for yourself — or feeling that you’re too big a failure to be of any use to the Lord and His kingdom — or that you’re too ordinary to be used for anything great in God’s work — just toss yourself down at His feet and let Him change you into what He wants you to be. Once you’re in His control, there’s just no limit to what you can become or the supernatural work you can do.

 

‘Slate’ – My Newest Novel is Now on Kindle

SLATE COVER # 2 - correctedEveryone calls him Slate, and you won’t want to miss knowing him. Rough around the edges, a little slack in his morals, but totally irresistible all the same.

When I started writing this my 11th novel, it was going to be Vanessa Hayes’ story. But, somehow, while I was minding my own business — just sitting at my computer keyboard — quietly putting the story together one chapter at a time — Slate took over. And I’m so glad he did. I struggled with this novel for a couple years, but once Slate came to the front of the story, it flowed the way it was always intended to do.

What’s it about? Well, several of my readers know because they followed the story with me while I posted it one chapter at a time (under a different title) on my author’s blog (The Happy Wordcrafter). And they helped it along with their comments and encouragement. But for the rest of you, here’s a short synopsis:

While in Florida looking for her brother Ken, who has disappeared, Vanessa Hayes meets Slate. Owner of Buccaneer Boat Charter Service, Slate is actually better known in the area as the local rake. Moreover, his connections with sources on the wrong side of the law prove more valuable than local law enforcement in helping Vanessa discover Ken’s fate.

But Slate’s attention isn’t fully centered on the investigation. His primary interest is in seducing Vanessa, even though she is engaged to a man back home who’s very much in love with her.

As the investigation heats up, so does Slate’s pursuit of Vanessa, causing her life-long commitment to the Lord to meet head on with temptations she never thought she’d have to face.

And in the meantime, the Lord is in pursuit of Slate. Love on several levels gets a workout in this story, and the resolution will stick with you long after you’ve read the words “The End.”

The book is now available for purchase at the Amazon Kindle Store, and because the contract with Amazon is exclusive, I won’t be able to leave the chapters on this site for free reading. But I hope some of you will hop over and check it out. Even if you read it here, if you enjoyed it, I hope you’ll buy one for someone you love.

And don’t forget. You don’t have to own a Kindle. Amazon offers a free Kindle app for any device. You can download it from the same page where you order the book.

Just follow the link and get to know Slate for yourself.

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