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Healing Book: New Look, New Edition, Lower Price

 

HEALING AMAZON BOOK COVER - FRONT ONLY w. shadowHey, I just want to let you all know that my book Healing Is For You! is now available in paperback from Amazon. It’s been on the market in paperback for years, selling in independent bookstores, at seminars, Bible schools, and through churches. And it went onto Amazon in digital format last year. But the only online retailer for the paperback was the publisher’s website, St. Ellen Press.

However, this week the book has come out in its fourth paperback edition, with a new look, new format, and lower price ($6.99) — and now it’s easy to order from Amazon.

It still offers a thorough study from God’s Word about healing for body and mind, and it still answers scores of the most troubling questions on the subject. Such as —-

Is it always God’s will to heal?

If it is God’s will to heal everyone, then why doesn’t everyone receive healing?

What part does medical science play in God’s healing plan?

Is it God who decides when each person dies?

How can I ever die if I keep getting healed?

If I don’t have faith for healing, can I get it somehow?

The book doesn’t promote any church doctrine. Rather it looks closely and carefully at God’s Word — especially the life and ministry of Jesus — who, according to the Word, is the only exact, perfect representation of God. It looks at God’s personal and perfectly-executed plan to get His people well and keep them well. It covers 9 separate means that God Himself has provided to get His healing power into us, and it looks carefully at 7 of the most common hindrances to our receiving that healing fully. It also offers a final chapter with more than 100 healing scriptures to use as medicine, just the way the Lord instructs us to do.

The Lord has graciously anointed and blessed Healing Is For You! to strengthen and encourage faith and help people receive healing from Jesus Christ. If you need healing, or you would like to better understand God’s healing plan so that you can help others get well, it will be a wonderful tool to help you move more fully into God’s loving, merciful plan to bless His people.

 

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Patrick: Servant of Jesus Christ

(I wrote this article a few years ago, but it’s worth featuring again today.)

ST.PATRICK2. - EXTRA BRIGHT - creditsSo why make a fuss over some guy named Patrick, who was a minister in Ireland 16 centuries ago? What’s the big deal?

Well, the “big deal” has absolutely nothing to do with shamrocks, green beer, and leprechauns. It does have to do with the fact that this one man, with a heart full of love for Jesus Christ and His creation, led at least 70,000 people into a saving faith in Jesus Christ during his brief 30 years of ministry. And he did so using no tools of communication other than the spoken and written word. That fact, my friends, is WORTH celebrating.

When March 17th dawns again this year, millions of people will be wearing green and celebrating in honor of St. Patrick, but I hope that those of us who have a genuine relationship with Jesus will focus our attention – not on the scores of legends that have grown up around that name – but on the truly miraculous, anointed life of the REAL St. Patrick of Ireland.

The Word of God says, “Whom the Son sets free is free indeed.” When a man who was taken into slavery by heathen tribes manages to find the living God, escape to freedom, and return years later, at the risk of his own life, to spiritually set his former captors free by the power of the Gospel, we see the truth of that scripture. In a work written around 450 A.D. and called simply Confession, the man honored by most of the world as the patron saint of Ireland tells his own story of his intimate encounter with God and his evangelism of an entire nation. What I’m sharing in this article comes from that work written by his own hand.

Born in England in the late fourth century, Patrick was the son of a British nobleman, who also served as the deacon of the village church. In spite of that fact, Patrick did not grow up knowing God. At the age of sixteen, he was captured by pirates who frequently roamed the coastal areas and captured large numbers of young people in order to sell them as slaves. He says of that experience: “I was at that time about sixteen years of age. I did not, indeed, know the true God, and I was taken into captivity in Ireland with many thousands of people . . . . There the Lord opened my mind to an awareness of my unbelief, in order that, even so late, I might remember my transgressions and turn with all my heart to the Lord my God. And he watched over me before I knew him . . . and he protected me and consoled me as a father would his son.”

IRISH PASTURES

IN THE STEPS OF KING DAVID

Patrick was sold to a pagan chieftan-king in Ireland. Most of the Irish tribes at that time were so pagan that they sacrificed their children to idols, and many were cannibalistic. They had never heard of Jesus Christ. Patrick was cruelly mistreated during the six years he was held prisoner and forced to serve as the king’s herdsman. But like his spiritual ancestor, another young herdsman who came to know God intimately while spending days and nights in the fields and on the mountain caring for the family’s livestock, so it was with Patrick. He describes the experience in these words:

“But after I reached Ireland I used to pasture the flock each day, and I used to pray many times a day. More and more did the love of God, and my fear of him and faith increase, and my spirit was moved so that in a day [I said] . . . up to a hundred prayers, and in the night a like number. Besides I used to stay out in the forests and on the mountain, and I would wake up before daylight to pray in the snow, in icy coldness, in rain, and I used to feel neither ill nor any slothfulness, because, as I now see, the Spirit was burning in me at that time.”

After six years, while sleeping one night, Patrick heard the voice of God tell him that it was time for him to escape, and the Lord proceeded to give him directions to a ship harbored almost 200 miles away. “I turned about and fled . . . and I came, by the power of God, who directed my route to advantage, until I reached that ship.” Patrick tried to bargain with the captain to take him on board with the promise to see that he was paid at the end of the voyage, but the captain adamantly refused. Patrick turned away, and as he walked back toward the hut where he had been staying, he prayed, confessing his confidence in God’s faithfulness. Before he had gone many more steps, one of the men called him back to the ship and told him the captain had changed his mind. Patrick recorded, “I . . . hoped that they would come to faith in Jesus Christ, because they were barbarians.”

After reaching land, on the coast of France, the ship’s crew journeyed for twenty-eight days through uninhabited country, running out of food and suffering from extreme hunger. One of the shipmen began to taunt Patrick about his message that his God was “great and all-powerful,” asking why he couldn’t pray for them so that they wouldn’t have to perish from hunger. St. Patrick described his response in these words: “I said to them confidently ‘Be converted by faith with all your heart to my Lord God, because nothing is impossible for him, so that today he will send food for you on your road, until you be sated, because everywhere he abounds.’” He goes on to add, “Behold, a herd of swine appeared on the road before our eyes, and [the men] slew many of them and remained there for two nights, full of their meat and well restored. After this they gave the utmost thanks to God, and I was esteemed in their eyes, and from that day they had food abundantly.”

ROCK OF CASHEL

IN THE PATTERN OF ST. PAUL

A few years later, he managed to return to Britain, and recognizing all he’d been through, his family begged him not to leave them again. But God had other plans. Like the Macedonian call that came to Paul in the night, so the lost souls of the Irish people called out to Patrick. “There, in a vision of the night, I saw a man coming as if from Ireland with innumerable letters, and he gave me one of them. I read the beginning of the letter: ‘The Voice of the Irish,’ and as I was reading . . . I seemed at that moment to hear the voice of those who were beside the forest of Foclut which is near the western sea, and they were crying as if with one voice: ‘We beg you, holy youth, that you shall come and shall walk again among us.’ And I was stung intensely in my heart so that I could read no more, and thus I awoke.”

Patrick then relates two different occasions when he was aware of speech and prayer going on inside of him while he was sleeping. Both of these experiences convinced him even more that he was being called by God to go back to Ireland. Describing one event, he records the following:

“I saw Him praying within me, and I was, as it were, inside my own body, and I heard Him above me – that is above my inner self. He was praying powerfully with sighs. And in the course of this I was astonished and wondering, and I pondered who it could be who was praying within me. But at the end of the prayer it was revealed to me that it was the Spirit.” Another time he said, “ . . . I heard and could not understand, except at the end of the speech it was represented thus: ‘He who gave his life for you, he it is who speaks within you.’ . . . I remembered the Apostle’s words: ‘Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we know not how to pray as we ought. But the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for utterance.’”

Patrick made the decision to go before the church authorities and ask them to send him to Ireland. Some of his elders brought up the sins of his past, before he had known the Lord personally. Others reminded him that he would surely lose his life if he went back among the cannibalistic pagans, and thus would be going as a martyr. But none of those arguments discouraged him, and he finally won their blessing to go as a missionary to the people who had enslaved him and treated him so inhumanely.

His actual work there began around 430 A.D. At that time the Druid priests regularly performed animal and human sacrifices to idols, and numerous forms of black magic and occult rituals were a part of the normal life of the people. Patrick was literally walking into a haven of deep-seated witchcraft and demonic strongholds. He had intended to go first to the king who had enslaved him, purchase his own freedom from that king, and then tell him of Jesus and His love. However, when the king heard that Patrick was coming to try to convert him, he gathered all of his goods within his house and set fire to everything, including himself, so that he would not be tempted to believe in Patrick’s God. Patrick arrived at the home in time to see the smoke still rising from the self-created funeral pyre, and he was shattered at the power of the devil to bring a man to do such a thing in order to keep him from knowing the true God.

Patrick relates a number of episodes of attack on his person by demonic spirits, as well as by the pagan kings and Druid priests. He prayed daily against these forces of darkness and used every spiritual weapon at his command to break them. But he was never afraid of them. “I fear none of these things” he wrote at one time, “because of the promises of heaven. I have cast myself into the hands of God Almighty who rules everywhere.”

GREEN MOUNTAIN

IN THE SHADOW OF ELIJAH

The major turning point in this confrontation between the powers of hell and the powers of heaven came when Patrick decided to confront the most powerful king and his evil priests at the king’s own stronghold – Tara. The place was full of kings, nobles, soldiers and Druid priests, who were celebrating an important pagan feast which happened to coincide with Easter that year. On the eve of the feast, the high king was supposed to light the first bonfire — before any other fire was lit anywhere in the land. However, Patrick had camped out on a plain in full view of the castle on the hill at Tara, and he lit a huge fire in honor of Jesus Christ and His resurrection, before the king could light the ceremonial fire to worship his idol.

The king was enraged, and he armed twenty-seven chariots with his soldiers, priests and a crowd of other guests, and drove to Patrick’s camp. As one of the two most powerful Druid priests began to insult Patrick and His God, Patrick called on God audibly to cause the evil priest to be brought to death immediately. Before everyone present, an unseen force lifted the priest off the ground and then sent him crashing back down, shattering his skull. The king then called for his soldiers to seize Patrick, but that godly man stood and spoke a word from the Psalms, “May God arise and His enemies be scattered!” Immediately, darkness covered the area, and confusion set in. Soldiers attacked one another, horses ran away, and chariots were smashed. The following morning, Easter Sunday, Patrick and five of his companions entered the king’s castle. The king’s personal priest still tried to hold out against Patrick, but the confrontation ended in the fiery death of that priest, as a result of which, the king finally admitted his defeat and knelt before the man of God.

This auspicious beginning to Patrick’s ministry gained him an enormous reputation. But because the land was divided among numerous small, warring kingdoms, Patrick found that each realm had to be won over individually and taken for the kingdom of God. He often approached the kings bearing valuable gifts and money in order to gain an audience with them. Then he would tell them about Jesus and his salvation. If a king gave his blessing, Patrick was permitted to preach throughout that realm. The Druid priests and unsaved kings continued to fight him fiercely, but the Lord blessed Patrick’s faith and obedience.

Records show that during the thirty years of his ministry, St. Patrick led at least 70,000 people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. He established hundreds of churches, and in less than a hundred years from the beginning of his work, the nation of Ireland had become predominantly Christian and was sending out its own missionaries to other lands. Patrick went to be with his Lord on March 17, most likely in the year 460 A.D.

IRISH CHURCH.JPG - ed

FROM GENERATION TO GENERATION

As we approach the day that marks the yearly celebration of St. Patrick and his life, perhaps it would be good to consider this truth: In every generation, God has his David’s, His Elijah’s, His St. Paul’s, and His St. Patrick’s. All He requires to be able to raise them up in our generation is for each of us to do two things: get close enough to Him to hear His voice clearly and then obey Him instantly, regardless of the cost. St. Patrick has said it well:

“Therefore be amazed, you great and small who fear God . . . . Who was it summoned me, a fool, from the midst of those who appear wise and learned in the law and powerful in rhetoric and in all things? Me, truly wretched in this world, He inspired before others that I could be – if I would – such a one who, with fear and reverence . . . faithfully, without complaint, would come to the people to whom the love of Christ brought me and gave me in my lifetime. . . . Accordingly, therefore, to the measure of one’s faith in the Trinity, one should proceed without holding back from danger to make known the gift of God and everlasting consolation, to spread God’s name everywhere with confidence and without fear . . . .”

(Photos of Pastures, Ben Bulben and Rock of Cashel: Jon at pdphoto.com)

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Building Up Our Resistance

RED OCTAGON - STOP“Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”  (James 4:7).

These instructions are strikingly clear and to the point. They confirm another set of instructions set forth in 1 Peter 5: 6-10: “Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Be sober; be vigilant, because your adversary, the devil walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith.” The Amplified Bible translates verse 7 as follows: ” … casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.”

God wants us to be humble enough to admit that we can’t fight our own battles and win our own victories in ourselves. He wants us to come to Him for the help we need. We cast the problems onto Him, and He fills us with His anointing and power to win. Not only that: He also goes to work on the situations with all the forces of Heaven working and fighting on our behalf.

The main key is for us to MAKE THE DECISION  to side with God and His Word rather than with the devil and his lies. Whether those lies come to us in the form of temptation to sin, relatives who are caught up in addition or demonic activity, a doctor’s report that says we can’t get well, the loss of a job, or any other attack on our lives, our response needs to be the same. We need to run to God’s Word and find out what He says about the situation.

When we do that, we will find — every single time — that our God has a solution. Once we see that solution presented in the Word, our next move should be to turn on the devil and refuse to accept what he has done or what he says about our chances of victory over it. And we have to be very careful; most Christians fail at this point because the lies about their situations are coming at them in the form of “worldly wisdom.”

They hear the reports in the terms of the doctors, lawyers, politicians, and specialists of the world who say what the world has taught them. But God tells us in James 3:15 that the wisdom of this world is demonic. So we have to recognize that although the reports and the prognosis for failure come to us in terms that may sound “reasonable” to the world, if they do not agree with God’s Word, they are wrong.

We must make a decision to believe God INSTEAD OF the natural situations and reports. God tells us clearly that everything natural will pass away, but His Word will abide forever. It is His Word, after all, that created everything natural. (Genesis 1, John 1). And His Word has the power to change those natural things. That’s why speaking God’s Word to a mountain will force it to move. The physical mountain cannot refuse to obey the Word that created it in the first place.

We must refuse what is contrary to the Word. Actively resist it. Command it to be gone from us and from our lives. Then we speak God’s Word over the situation in faith and command it to change and line up with that Word.

But remember: resisting the enemy works ONLY when we are submitting to God first.

 

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Breaking the Mold

BOOKS - darker with symbolSome of the happiest hours of my life have been spent reading great inspirational fiction. But during the past couple of decades, I’ve noticed a trend in that genre that troubles me deeply – not to mention that it takes the fun out of reading inspirational romance and mystery novels. What I’ve been seeing is that nearly every major publishing house now has a mold into which they force every Christian novel – with characters that are carbon copies of scores of characters before them, and with a plot that requires characters to meet within a certain number of pages and to carry out specific types of actions within a certain number of chapters – and worst of all – with themes that carry the reader into the erroneous doctrines of man’s traditions rather than the pure Word of God.

I’ve failed to find one inspirational novel in the past several years that does not promote the erroneous belief that God is behind every single thing that happens in our lives and, therefore, is behind all of the trouble, afflictions, sickness, hurt, and heartache that we undergo. The doctrine that says God deliberately allows (sanctions) those things in our lives in order to teach us something or bring us into a more Christlike character is rampant throughout the Christian bookstore shelves. Now, let’s not beat around the bush: If God deliberately allows those evils when He has the power and the know-how to restrain them is exactly the same thing as His putting those things in our lives Himself. That teaching goes against everything Jesus Christ taught and lived.

I don’t intend this biographical vignette to be a major Bible lesson, but I will say here that the Word of God is extremely clear for the New Covenant believer that God says He is not in control of all things, and in fact He does not get His own way about a lot of things. He wants all men to be saved, but they will not be. Jesus taught us by His own personal example that God wants all the sick to be healed as well, because He never refused one sick person who came to Him for healing, and he sent out His disciples to visit the surrounding towns and to heal every sick person in those towns – announcing to them as they did so that they were experiencing the Kingdom of God in that deliverance and healing. He wanted the people in His own hometown to be healed as well, but His Word tell us clearly that He “could not” do any mighty miracles because of their unbelief.

God does not want us to suffer from sickness, deadly storms, earthquakes, accidents, or any number of other horrible destructive forces. But we experience them simply because we live in a cursed world where sin has opened the door to those things, and most of us do not yet have enough of a handle on God’s Word to be living every aspect of our lives according to it. But none of that is God’s plan for us. If it were, He wasted His breath when He breathed out Psalm 91 to the Psalmist and had it included in the canon of the Holy Bible.

So the Christian novels that promote the teaching that it is actually part of God’s will and plan for us to suffer the kinds of things Jesus delivered people from is simply another attempt by man to cop out of our personal responsibility to study and learn God’s Word for ourselves and then to believe it for ourselves. If we can blame God for all the problems we’re facing, we don’t have to take any responsibility for their cause or their cure either one. It’s convenient for the lazy believer, but it is a pack of lies about our God.

His Word also tells us clearly that He has given us His Word, His promises, and His Holy Spirit that will impart to us “all things pertaining to life and godliness” and will create into us the Divine nature of God. The teaching that problems, hardships, and heartaches create the Divine nature of Jesus Christ in us is a direct contradiction of God’s personal Word on the subject. Yet hundreds of inspirational novels that have lined the bookstore shelves for years now keep preaching that demonically inspired theme again and again.

So when the Lord called me to write inspirational novels, He called me to write stories that were true to His Word and that presented Him in the light of what Jesus showed us daily in His time with us on the earth. Jesus said He spoke only what the Father wanted Him to speak and He did only the works that the Father wanted Him to do. So I make every effort in my inspirational novels to show God doing exactly what Jesus did and said. And because He’s still the same “yesterday, today, and forever,” I show Him doing and saying the same things in the everyday lives of ordinary believers in the 21st century.

It’s past time for us to have some inspirational novels that don’t fit the molds. It’s time for stories that show us what it’s really like to live in the 21st century with a God who is just like Jesus Christ.

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Birds Remind Us of God’s Care

I love birds and really enjoy hearing them sing. I like watching them for a while, but if they are in one of their twitchy moods, that doesn’t relax me. Their songs and communication, though, always relax and refresh me. My friend Lee, over at Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures Plus has more gorgeous photos and more detailed information about birds than anyone else I know. You might like to visit her if you enjoy birds as well.

But the other day I came across this video of these gorgeous robins. And, I tell you, they are do darn cute that you just have to sit and watch them. So I thought I’d share the link with you and give a boost to your day.

The Word of God tells us in a number of places that the Creator cares very much for His birds, but that He cares for us even more. It’s just comforting and encouraging sometimes to sit and watch those little creatures and think about how God enjoys watching us — and watching over us — even more.

 

 

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Daily Post Prompt: Expectation

amoeba-man-with-box-edited“My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him.”  (Psalm 62:5).

In this psalm, David expresses the truth he’s learned about life on this planet. If we want anything good — if we need help, healing, deliverance, encouragement, protection, or supply of any kind — it has to come to us from God. There is no other source of good and blessing available to this sin-weary world. But God’s supply of all that is good and rich is totally inexhaustible.

The Lord makes clear promises to His people concerning His personal plans for those who will turn their lives over to Him and walk in His covenant. In Jeremiah 29:11, He says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you; … thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”  Many alternate translations (which give the broader meaning of some of the words in the King James version) read like this: “I know the plans I have for you; … plans for good and not for evil; plans for welfare and not for calamity, to give you a future and a hope.”

I love all of those translations, and as a Bible teacher for over 40 years, I can verify that everyone of them is accurate, according to the original language. But I was always fascinated by the King James version and that term “an expected end.” One day, during a time of prayer, I asked the Lord, “Just exactly what do you mean by that term?”

His answer was immediate and very encouraging. He spoke from deep within my spirit and said, “I mean I’m going to give you an end that you can look forward to with expectation. When you walk in agreement with Me, I plan to fulfill your dreams and the desires of your heart. And whenever you are in a battle, if you will believe My Word, you won’t have to dread or be afraid of the outcome. You can rest assured that I have victory for you, and you can look forward to it with joy and excitement.”

Well, folks, that’s good enough for me. How about you?



To participate in the challenge visit here.

 

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Daily Post Prompt: Simple

HEALING HAND - DARK SEPIA - FEATHEREDThe simple truth is that God loves you. The Creator of the universe – the one who created you – loves you beyond a level that words can describe. He sent Jesus the Christ – His own son – to live the perfect life that none of us could live in our own strength. And when He had fulfilled the perfect life of obedience, Jesus then took all of our disobedience onto Himself — and the curse which came on us as a result of disobedience — and died in our place.

But that’s only half the story. Because He rose from the grave with brand new life, which He had paid for by His sacrifice. And the Word of God guarantees us that when Jesus the Christ came out of the grave, we came out with Him as far as God was concerned. And if we will simply accept the sacrifice that Jesus made on our behalf – by accepting Him as Lord of our lives – we will step right onto that state of righteousness and eternal life that He bought and paid for. (Ephesians 2: 4-6; Colossians 1:15, 18-20).

Yes, the simple truth is that man does not need any “religion” that gives him a bunch of rules and regulations that he must obey in order to “earn” some kind of peace in the life after this short earthly sojourn. All the “religions” of the world tell man that he must somehow manage to “measure up” to some kind of mystical standard in order to have a chance at life after death. And some of those “religions” require man to accomplish major feats of warfare and brutality against others in order to have a chance at eternal bliss.

But, dear one, the great truth is that Christianity is NOT A RELIGION.  It is simply a Father and His family. Father God, with His first son Jesus Christ, and all the brothers and sisters who were conceived and born into that same family by receiving Jesus Christ into their lives and making Him Lord. (2 Corinthians 5:17, Galatians 3: 13, 26-29).

We are the desire and the delight of the God of the universe, and despite what some religious dogmas and traditions try to teach, that same God loves you more than you can possibly understand, and He wants to bless you with every conceivable blessing at His command – if you will simply believe it and receive.


 

To take part in the ‘Simple’ challenge, visit here.

 

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Where the River is Flowing Free

Exif JPEG

Many years ago, a great friend of mine in ministry wrote a beautiful worship song. Well, I say he wrote it, but actually the Lord gave it to him. It blessed me when I first heard it, and it still blesses me to this day. The first line says, “I hear the Spirit saying come up higher; come up higher where the river is flowing free.”

At one point, as I was hearing these words rolling through my mind and heart, I felt the Lord spoke this to me: “Where I am, the river of My life flows completely unhindered. There is no boulder, no dam, no hindrance of any kind that holds it back or slows its progress. If you will seek Me completely and continually – if you will focus on Me fully so that you settle down and abide permanently in the depths of Me and My presence – you will find that My river will flow unhindered through you and through your life as well. There will be no barrier — no circumstance, no problem, no blockage, no sin – that can dam it up or slow down its cleansing, healing, life-giving progress through you and your life.”

I just want to share that word with all my readers, because I believe this word – like the scriptures below – is a word from our Father God’s heart for everyone of us. He who has ears to hear, let him hear and receive.

“There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God ….” (Ps.46:4).

“And he showed me a pure river of water of life proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” (Rev. 22:1).

“And everything shall live wherever the river goes.” (Ezekiel 47:9).

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Daily Post Prompt: Crossing –This Year Let’s Cross Some Lines

I originally wrote this article a few months ago, but it fits the prompt today so perfectly, I decided it was worth taking a second look at as we enter this new year.


 

do-not-cross-line-darker

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 is consistently drawing lines in the sand, and we’re afraid to cross over them. To use a more Biblical analogy, we can say that the enemy establishes his gates of authority in our lives, and we’re afraid to break through them.

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 Word of God provides the answer. First of all, it 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.

But right there is the root of 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 truly is defeated, we will find that crossing over the rest of those lines is much easier.

Are you ready? Here’s the battle plan:

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

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

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

 

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