Sunday, February 28, 2010
Jesus Christ was a vicarious Sufferer (to act or do for another) for the sin of the world, and we have to be vicarious sufferers (on behalf of others) , filling up "that which is lacking of the afflictions of Christ" (Collosians 1:24)
Have we ever realized that through the Atonement we can take on ourselves a vicarious attitude before God, a vicarious penitence, knowing the fellowship of His suffering? (Philippians 3:10)
The sacrifice of the sanctified self is the lesson to be learned. We are saved and sanctified for God, not to be specimens in His showroom, but for God to do with us even as He did with Jesus, make us broken bread and poured-out wine as He chooses.
Not spiritual fireworks or hysterics, not fanaticism, but a blazing holy life that confronts the horrors of the world with a fierce purity, chaste physically, morally and spiritually, and this can only come about in the way it came about for Our LORD.
crying bitterly. (Luke 22:62)
" Peter's denying Christ began by keeping at a distance from Him.
Those that are shy of godliness, are far in the way to deny Christ. "
" Those who think it dangerous to be in company with Christ's disciples,
because thence they may be drawn in to suffer for Him,
will find it much more dangerous to be in company with His enemies,
because there they may be drawn in to sin against Him. "
" When Christ was admired and flocked after,
Peter readily owned Him;
but will own no relation to Him now that He is deserted and despised.
Yet observe Peter's repentance was very speedy. "
" Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall;
and let him that has fallen think of these things,
and of his own offences,
and return to the LORD with weeping and supplication,
seeking forgiveness and to be raised up by the Holy Spirit. "
My thoughts on the issue ~
* Like Peter, when we fall short or sin, let us run speedily to our Advocate and Saviour who is readily able and willing to forgive. Do not let the enemy lie to us and whisper in our ear that we have sinned beyond forgiveness; may it never be!
He is ever ready, able and willing to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness. As long as we are imprisoned in these bodies of flesh we will fall short; but glory be to the Father of our LORD Jesus Christ one day soon this mortal body will take on immortality and we will be given a holy, clean, pure body likened unto His!
This is something to remember, dwell on and tell the enemy where he can go! He already know where it is, that is why he is so angry at the Redeemed of the LORD. Let the Redeemed of the LORD SAY SO! Resist Satan and he will flee from you.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
The precious promises of protection, strength, revelation and effectiveness in our daily lives against the actions of the nations will become more important as the days progress and the Age of Grace draws to a conclusion; a conclusion God has predetermined before the foundations of this earth were ever laid.
Isaiah 17 12 - 14 gives the blueprint of the present situation and what is to come to a great climax in our lifetime~
" Woe to the multitude of many people, which make a noise like the noise of the seas;
and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of many waters! "
* (we feel this happening when the enemy of our souls begins his onslaughts when we are under attack as Believers; Israel feels this also as a nation in the U.N. and with her neighboring nations )
" The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters;
but God shall rebuke them,
and they shall flee far off,
and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind,
and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind. "
* ( remember the words of Christ to us, rebuke the devil and he will flee from you; we have great power available to us, we need to use it daily as the days progress)
" And behold at eveningtide trouble;
and before the morning he is not. (the nations, our enemies, rushing like mighty waters vanish!) This is the portion of them that spoil us,
and the lot of them that rob us. "
Let the nations rage and imagine a vain thing! He who sits in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision. (Psalm 2:4)
We know who wins this battle! God gives us great revelation in His word how this thing we know as life ends up. A new Kingdom, a new King! Christ Jesus sitting on His throne surrounded by those who loved Him more than life itself.
Harry Bultema Commentary quotation in this regard ~
" See how the mighty nations advance in battle array!
This is how the seas roar, this is how they come storming in!
Let the nations rage like mighty rivers,
God wrinkles His eyebrows, and they are destroyed! "
" Like drifting sand from the mountains they are scattered,
Like chaff in the wind their threatening numbers dwindle!
Deadly fear prevailed at night,
and weeping and wailing ---
In the morning there is joy and the shouting of victory! "
Weeping may endure for a night,
but joy cometh in the morning!
Let us walk worthy of the One we serve.
We are victorious through Him!
Monday, February 22, 2010
Trust in the LORD and do good, so shall thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight in the LORD and He shall give you the desires of your heart. If we delight only in the LORD I have found that the desires of my heart are in perfect harmony with His desires.
Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in Him;
and He shall bring it to pass. It does not say that He may bring it to pass, or He could possibly bring it to pass, He said HE WILL bring it to pass. Not always, or usually an immediate answer, but it does come to pass. Usually in ways that surprise us if we examine how our requests have been answered in the past.
He will bring forth our righteousness as the light; our good deeds will be exposed to all because He has ruled in our favor. Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him; fret not because of those who are successful in getting what they always want by doing things their own way. Those who do wickedly may prosper for a season, but they and their deeds will fail in the long run.
Cease from anger, walk away from wrath. Do not think of doing evil in fits of rage or revenge. Judgment belongs to God; He will repay.
Those who wait on the LORD shall inherit the earth. Not may inherit, or could possibly inherit, but SHALL INHERIT!
Five steps to changing our mindset!
* TRUST IN HIM
* DELIGHT IN HIM
* COMMIT ALL TO HIM
* REST IN HIM
* DO NOT FRET OR WORRY, (He has everything under control!)
Sunday, February 21, 2010
The kingdom of God starts as a seed in our hearts and eventually grows into an international commonwealth of peace and harmony (Matthew 13, Isaiah 2). In the meantime, no religious denomination should have authority over a government. In Muslim nations, the Roman Catholic Middle Ages, and some aspects of Rabbinic Judaism in Israel today, religious institutions with authority over the government can result in corruption, coercion, and persecution against true believers.
On the other hand, our prayers, moral values, and good works are to influence society. God's spiritual authority is over the government as it is over every human institution, including families, churches, and businesses (Romans 13, Ephesians 5, I Peter 2). We are to be involved in government, even at the highest levels. Joseph was prime minister of Egypt, Daniel prime minister of Iraq, and Mordechai of Iran.
Daniel emphasized repeatedly God's involvement and authority in government:
Daniel 4:17 – The Most High is in control of the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He desires.
Daniel 4:25 - The Most High is in control of the kingdom of men and gives it to whomever He desires.
Daniel 4:32 – The Most High is in control of the kingdom of men and gives it to whomever He desires.
Daniel 5:21 – The Most High is in control of the kingdom of men and sets over it whomever He desires.
There are two ways to miss the connection between God and government. One is to want government without God. The other is to want God without government. The first mistake is typical of unbelieving politicians. The second mistake is typical of believers who have weak faith concerning God's dominion and power.
Those in government who are sinning can be saved and brought to repentance. Those who do walk in faith and integrity can be brought into positions of authority. In both of those ways the kingdom of God can change the government.
Yeshua (Jesus) as Messiah is king, prophet, and priest - all in one. When He returns, spiritual authority and human government will be unified (Ephesians 1:10). Yeshua died on the cross to give us forgiveness of sins, rose to give us life from the dead, and ascended into heaven to receive authority (Ephesians 1:20, Psalm 110:1).
When Yeshua ascended to heaven and was brought before the "ancient of days," He was given governing authority.
Daniel 7:13-14 – To One like the Son of Man… was given authority, honor and dominion, and all peoples, nations and tongues will serve Him.
Much of the drama of the Bible deals with the battle of who will rule on this planet. Satan rules temporarily (through the influence of sin). Soon Yeshua will return as king and judge. When He does, Yeshua will transfer that authority to those of us who have been faithful (Luke 19:17). Daniel expressed the same idea:
Daniel 7:18 – The saints of the Most High will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever.
Yeshua came not only to give us salvation, but also to reclaim authority over the government of this world. This is a great revelation of the kingdom of God. It may be considered the last revelation of God's prophetic strategy.
Revelation 10:7 – In the days when the seventh angel is about to sound the seventh shofar, the mystery of God will come to fulfillment.
Revelation 11:15 – The seventh angel sounded his shofar… "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Messiah."
The last secret comes at the seventh trumpet. And what is that secret? – The governments of this world will be transformed into the kingdom of Yeshua. For us who believe in prophetic revelation, this should be our ultimate "trumpet" call as well. As we proclaim this prophecy, it will come to pass.
Esther Fast – This Friday, February 26, during the time of the biblical fast of Esther, some 20 Messianic congregations are coming together for a sacred assembly in Jerusalem. We will worship the Lord, repent of our sins, declare God's word, intercede for the salvation of Israel and the nations, and pray against the spread of terrorism, anti-Semitism, and anti-Christ spirits. Please join us for what we believe to be a significant turning point.
Television – Finally, Asher's interview on Israeli educational television is to be broadcast this Monday evening. Please intercede strongly for God's grace on this broadcast that Asher's testimony of faith and explanation of the Messianic movement will be received in a true and positive light.
Rabbi Alon - The popular Israeli rabbi Mordecai Alon has been reprimanded by a council of orthodox rabbis for at least two incidents of alleged homosexual contact with students. The report was spread in the Israeli press and has caused an emotional turmoil in the national religious community. Pray that the soul searching around this issue will be part of God's plan to bring them to true faith.
Dubai – This week, Mahmud Al Mabhuh, a top Hamas terrorist leader, was killed in his hotel room in Dubai, seemingly by Israeli Mosad agents. The killing was carried out cleanly; not one innocent civilian was injured; and all of the agents escaped unharmed. The very professional Dubai police quickly published pictures of 11 supposed agents who carried out the operation. [The "high tech" Dubai police have one of the most sophisticated surveillance networks in the world, including a reported 3,000 (!) cameras in the airport alone.]
The operation has caused a diplomatic scandal because the Israeli agents used forged European passports. (What did you think? - that Israeli undercover agents would use their real passports?) The issue here is not the use of forged passports, but the bringing to justice of a criminal terrorist responsible for murdering innocent civilians.
It is interesting that Scripture says that the "Holy Ghost" was upon him. This was years before the Day of Pentecost. He was led by the Holy Ghost into the temple when baby Jesus was being given back to God by Mary and Joseph.
What Simeon said is what we should all strive to be able to say when we reach the end of our life here on earth. " Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy word: For mine eyes have seen Thy salvation which Thou hast prepared before the face of the people; A light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of Thy people Israel."
All Believers can testify that our eyes have truly seen the salvation of the LORD. We have also experienced it on a firsthand basis. Our Saviour was sent to be for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign that is spoken against in the world.
May our lives be for a sign for the rise of many who know us. May they say we also are full of and led by the Holy Ghost in our daily lives. In good times and bad, may we be steadfast in our confidence and actions; operating and fully aware that God controls all events and circumstances when it comes to those who are His. He has promised to love us with an everlasting love. Everlasting is just what it says, forever!
What precious promises He has given.
Have a blessed week thinking upon Him!
Monday, February 15, 2010
©February 14, 2010
I first started teaching on Romans 11 in 1978 as a new Jewish believer in Yeshua (Jesus). This passage of scripture describes the New Covenant view of the destiny of Israel. I was impressed then, and continue to be ever more so today, by the depth of this revelation.
Romans 11 teaches that the calling and chosen-ness of the Jewish people did not come to an end at the birth of Messiah two thousand years ago, but continues on in the present day and into the future. It further teaches that the destiny of Israel is primarily to be seen in the Messianic Jewish remnant of Israel, more than in the yet unsaved Jewish politicians, soldiers, rabbis, and scientists - no matter how talented they may be.
In response to the revelation of this chapter, I have dedicated most of my adult life as a believer to help build and strengthen the Messianic community in Israel. This Messianic remnant, though still small in number (around 15,000 today), has great significance in the kingdom of God. [According to Revelation 7:4-14, when this community grows to 144,000 in number, the last stages of the end times’ tribulation and revival will begin.]
Romans chapter 11 makes three enormous promises concerning the Messianic remnant of Israel. This seemingly insignificant group of people in the eyes of the world will actually be the key to:
Restoration in the Church
Revival in Israel
Resurrection of the Dead
I. Restoration in the Church
The international Church is described as being “grafted in” to the olive tree of Israel (verse 17). The Messianic remnant in Israel today is the covenantal link where the Church becomes grafted in. However, the Church is not to be grafted in only to the cultural elements of the faith, but to be grafted in as a “partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree” (verse 17). This is more than a celebration of the holy days; it is the recapturing of the prophetic revelation contained in those celebrations. It is more than the historical context of the first century Messianic community; it is the revival and power of that community.
“If the root is holy, so are the branches” (verse 16). What happens to the root affects the branches. If the Israeli Messianic community can return to the holiness of the original apostolic community, it will affect believers all over the world. Being “grafted in” to the root means being connected to that first apostolic community. It is a restoration of the Church to all of her apostolic foundations.
Another element of that restoration is the unity of the Church. The grafting in of the olive tree in Romans 11 is related to Yeshua’s prayer for unity in John 17. There are two levels of unity: one is in spirit (Acts 1:14); the second is in soul (Acts 4:32). Unity of spirit comes from prayer, faith in Yeshua, and Bible study.
Unity of soul is a more human level, which includes dialogue, cooperation, and common heritage. The original Messianic apostolic community and the history of ancient Israel contain the common heritage of all true Christians. Identification with both biblical and modern Israel provides an indispensable link of unity for the international Church. The Messianic Jewish remnant in Israel today is the only possible steward of this common heritage of the Church. In being connected and grafted in to this remnant, the Church will find a covenantal link for her own unity.
II. Revival in Israel
Romans chapter 11 also contains the great promise for a national revival in Israel. The “banner call” of all of our congregations is “All Israel shall be saved” – Romans 11:26. More and more Israelis are hearing of Yeshua everyday. Our congregations are growing. The reputation of love and integrity from the Messianic community is growing in the eyes of the Israeli public, despite and perhaps because of the continued persecution against us.
The progressive growth of the Messianic community in Israel is the first stage of the great revival soon to come. The daily witness now in the lives of housewives, soldiers, businessmen, students, etc. is how the light of Yeshua is spreading through our people.
III. Resurrection of the Dead
The third promise has to do with the Second Coming. “If their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?” – Romans 11:15. Yeshua said He will not return until the Jewish people in Israel cry out, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord” – Matthew 23:39. This pre-requisite is part of Yeshua’s covenantal commitment to the Jewish people and an affirmation of their continuing role as the “chosen” people. He would not come the first time without His people. He will not come the second time without His people.
If the chosen-ness of the Jewish people could be seen in the ancient Israelites and in the early apostles, how much more will it be seen in the end times’ remnant. “If their failure is riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their fullness be!” – Romans 11:12. The best is yet to come.
When Yeshua returns, a resurrection of the dead will take place. The current age will come to an end. The millennial reign of the kingdom of God on earth will begin. All that is a result of the restoration of the Messianic remnant. When the Messianic remnant in Israel is restored to its fullness, Yeshua will return and the dead will be raised.
To all true Christians, we say, “Please stand with us. We cannot do it without you.” The restoration of Israel is dependent on the restoration of the Church. Our people will remain blinded “until the fullness of the Gentiles comes in” – Romans 11:25. As we stand with you, and you stand with us, it will all happen just as prophesied.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
" (Moses) esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasuries of Egypt; for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward." What does this mean?
Respect means to look away from everything else-to intensely regard something. Recompense and reward mean receiving a requital, which can be good or bad, to be paid for a service rendered. It also means to be hired out for wages, to be paid for a service.
The decisions of Moses were so important and so pressing to him that he looked away from everything else; realizing that the decisions he made would have eternal consequences. He had a deep understanding that one reaps what they sow. He realized that their was an eternal payday coming and he respected that fact and did not allow anything, even sitting in the court of the world power of the day, Egypt, interfere with his decisions.
What a contrast this is when we remember the lives of Jacob and Esau. One did everything he could to receive the birthright blessing, even deceiving his father, and the brother Esau sold out his position for a bowl of hot soup! The birthright meant nothing to Esau; it meant everything to Jacob.
There is a price to pay to live a godly life in Christ Jesus. It will cost you something. 1 Peter 4:14 says, " If you are reproached for the name of Christ, happy are you; for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you..."
Walking close to God cost Moses something; he set up the tabernacle outside of the camp, away from the children of Israel, the very children that God was providing for in their wilderness travels with manna from heaven and water out of a rock! Still, Moses moved the tabernacle away from the camp. Joshua was a man that stayed with the tabernacle, outside of the camp. He was the next leader being prepared by God. I feel a main reason is that he separated himself from the multitudes.
But, remember, Moses and Aaron, although outside the camp at the tabernacle interceded on behalf of the children of Israel. Moses fell on his face more than once begging God to forgive the people for their rebellion and actions. If we are to be priests and kings, as I hear television preachers bragging about, intercession is what a Priest does. Our High Priest in heaven, Christ Jesus ever intercedes before the Father on our behalf.
1 John 2:27,28 says, " Abide in Him, and now little children, abide in Him;
that when He shall appear, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming." John also had a deep respect, realizing the recompense of the reward that awaits each and every one of us. If we have this mindset, we will not be ashamed before Him at His coming.
Like Moses, intercede for those in error. Stay on our face for family and friends who are lost. Pray for our national and state leaders that the good that they may do will succeed and that the evil they may do will falter and fail. Pray that they are surrounded by men and women who know the One True God.
Intercession is the heart of God. God is love. Moses had a heart of intercession. Jacob fought for what was important. Joshua hung around the tabernacle, away from the crowds that murmured and complained. If our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ, we can be nothing but intercessors; because this is His heart.
For He so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son!
The riches of Egypt are temporary. Continue to have a mindset that is very alert to the eternal recompense of the reward. The reward can be good or bad. Let us strive to be willing to suffer the reproach of those who are serious about God in the closing days of this Age of Grace. Outside the camp is a good place to be!
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
©February 7, 2010 Asher Intrater
One of the most important proclamations of the New Covenant is "Yeshua is Lord." To say that Yeshua is Lord is to recognize His authority. That simply means that you intend to do whatever He tells you. We can learn the correct response from this example of the opposite:
Why do you call Me, "Lord, Lord" and do not do what I say?
We must not only say that He is Lord; we must do what He says. One of the "scariest" passages of the New Covenant indicates that there are many people who call Him Lord - seemingly Spirit-filled believers - who are actually deceived. The point of deception is that they call Him Lord but do not obey.
Not everyone who calls Me, "Lord, Lord" will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day: "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name and in Your name cast out demons and in Your name perform many miracles?" Then I will say to them: "I never knew you. Depart from Me you evil doers."
The separation of faith from basic moral obedience is a source of great deception; so great that "many" who think they are saved actually are not. The word "many" shows how widespread this problem is. Many think that their salvation is based only on a confession, without the commitment to obedience.
Lordship and Salvation
The phrase "Yeshua is Lord" appears three times in New Covenant epistles. The first one deals with this very issue of confession and salvation.
If you confess with your mouth, "Yeshua is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
This verse is quoted to demonstrate that only a confession is needed. However this confession must be a truthful one, from the heart. To confess with your mouth that Yeshua is Lord is to make a covenant commitment to obey Him. We cannot proclaim a covenant commitment to obey Him and then ignore it.
This most basic salvation proclamation declares lordship and obedience as the first words that proceed from our mouths. It is illogical to use a verse that declares the lordship of Yeshua to try to prove that salvation is by confession without obedience. Can one proclaim that Yeshua is Lord without making Him Lord?
Some separate salvation from lordship; as if salvation is a first stage and then lordship a second and optional one. But Romans 10:9 states that the confession of lordship is the very essence and first step of salvation.
We love the gifts of the Spirit, and rightly so. The second confession of the lordship of Yeshua has to do with the "charismatic" gifts.
I Corinthians 12:3-4
No one can say, "Yeshua is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit. There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.
There are many supernatural experiences in the world. Some are from God; others are not. The dividing line is the lordship of Yeshua. This is not a superficial mouthing of the words that Yeshua is Lord, but a commitment of the heart to obey Him.
If we are involved in the miraculous gifts of the Spirit, but do not obey Him, then the proclamation of His lordship is a meaningless incantation; and the spiritual gifts may degenerate into a type of witchcraft under a "Messianic" or "Christian" guise.
When we obey the Lord and operate in the gifts of the Spirit, those gifts become a powerful tool which allows the Holy Spirit to work in our lives and touch those around us. Separating the lordship of Yeshua from the charismatic gifts is a dangerous path toward witchcraft. Combining the gifts of the Spirit with moral obedience releases the supernatural power of the kingdom of God.
The lordship of Yeshua deals with His authority in our lives. When we are under His authority, we have His authority. If we are not under His authority, we do not have His authority. The Roman centurion expressed this simple rule of faith: authority goes both upwards and downwards.
For I myself am a man under authority and I have soldiers submitted under me.
All true authority comes from God through Yeshua to mankind. There is only one stream of authority. It flows down from His throne. You are either in it or not. If you are in His authority, you have authority. If not, then you do not. The key to having spiritual authority is being under the lordship of Yeshua.
Every knee will bow, in heaven, on earth and under the earth; and every tongue will confess that Messiah Yeshua is Lord.
Philippians 2 calls us to have the same attitude that Yeshua had. He humbled Himself and obeyed even unto death. Therefore He was given authority above all others. If we commit ourselves to total obedience, then we as well will receive spiritual authority. Yeshua is Lord. God desires to delegate to us part of the authority invested in Yeshua.
It is a great revelation to know how much authority God wants to give us. The key to that authority is obedience and the lordship of Yeshua.
A Personal Note:
- Betty and I are pleased to announce that our son Yehezkel and his wife Odeliah are expecting their first child.
- We are also pleased to announce that our son Freddy has finished his bachelor's degree at Hebrew University in Jerusalem in "Old Testament Studies and International Relations."
- Please keep up urgent prayers for the interview recorded on Israeli television last week. We are still awaiting the final broadcast date.
Monday, February 8, 2010
The divine pursuit begins with the humbling of self. Until we embrace humility, our natural mind displays itself as a god sitting in the temple of our thought-life. We are ruled by the tyranny of fleshly desires, soulish fears and human ambitions. To advance in God we must retreat from self.
Thus, when true meekness emerges in our hearts, it comes to silence the clamor of our fleshly minds. The volume on our self-righteousness mutes; the voice of our fears and inadequacies becomes a whisper. To humble our earthly perspectives and opinions, we must relegate them to a lower priority; they become mere background noise as our focus turns increasingly toward God. No pretense prevails; we come humbling ourselves. We bow on our face before the holy gaze of God. And in His light finally we perceive the darkness of our soul.
Thus, humility, at its root, starts with honesty. The humbled heart is truly and deeply acquainted with its need and, in the beginning, the awareness of one’s need becomes the voice of prayer. This confession, "I have sinned," puts us on the side of God concerning it. We agree with our Father that our behavior is wrong - we’re selfish, lustful and unloving. Thus, the process of healing begins during this moment of self-discovery. We are working together with God to defeat sin in our lives, and in this process of humbling ourselves the Lord grants us peace, covering, and transforming grace.
Yet, with humility we not only acknowledge our need, we take full responsibility for it. We offer no defense to God for our fallen condition. We’ve come, not to explain ourselves but to cleanse ourselves. Though we may have suffered injustice, we abandon self-justification or accusation toward others. We are consumed with the condition of just one soul, our own; and our quest is for mercy, not vengeance.
At some point, however, our humility toward God, if it is genuine, will regenerate and bloom again in our relationships with others. We will be able to laugh at ourselves; we will no longer take offense when challenged or accused. If we have been embittered by life, we now forgive. And, if we sinned against another, we humbly ask their forgiveness. We must deal with our offended heart. The Lord God may not require us to trust everyone, but He does call us to forgive (Matt. 18:21-35).
In a world where the heart of man is "deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked" ( Jer. 17:9 KJV), in Heaven’s eyes, to tearfully acknowledge our need is a breakthrough.
A People of PrayerThe road to healing a society, whether it is a community, a church, or a family, begins with humbling ourselves to God and to one another. The Lord, who dwells "on a high and holy place," also dwells "with the contrite and lowly of spirit." It is the contrite and lowly the Lord promises to revive (Isa. 57:15).
Yet, humility is not our final goal. We must learn also to be a people of prayer. Prayer is the voice of our dependency. Strong, independent people do not pray; dependent people broken of self-will pray and look to God. Prayer is not a laser beam; it is a prism that accommodates variations of color and expression. Whether our cry is in supplication or silence, regardless if it is tearful or rejoicing, at its core, prayer is not just telling the Lord our needs; it is transferring those needs to God.
It should also be acknowledged that, especially in the beginning, prayer is often an expression of fear - fear concerning the threats and conditions of life, and fear that our sin or circumstances will overwhelm us or a loved one. Yet, we do not pray because we fear; we pray because we have a promise from God. He has said He will "hear from Heaven … and heal." Thus, at some point, fear must be displaced by faith; our prayer must be an expression of our growing trust in God. The world will remain a fearful place, but prayer empowered by faith can transform our world.
The Goal God SeeksIf we humble ourselves and pray, we will have ever increasing access to God. Yet, while we may experience degrees of breakthrough, our hope is to see God actually heal our land. It is encouraging to see that, today, the prayer movement has become a force in the earth. However, if we are honest, the depth of healing we have sought has not occurred. We have fasted and prayed, but the greatest breakthroughs have not come. Why? Perhaps we have sought God’s hand more than His face.
First, it is right to seek God’s hand. Indeed, Scripture asks, "To whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?" (Isa. 53:1). Jesus cast out demons by the "finger of God" (Luke 11:20). Seeking the arm or hand or finger of the Almighty certainly is of great value. But the Lord did not say, "Seek My hand." Rather, He calls us to seek His face. We must lift our prayers beyond the needs of our world, and let our highest prayer be to seek God for Himself.
"If My people … seek My face," He says. Until now, our pilgrimage has been about us coming to God with our needs. Now, it is about Him. In this shift of focus, beloved, is the power to turn nations. When we become true God-seekers - individuals whose delight is perpetually in the Lord - we will secure the full help of Heaven. And more, we will rise to meet the consummate reward of Heaven: to see the face of God (Rev. 22:3-4).
As a leader in the prayer movement, I ask you to join me in making my highest goal to seek the face of God. Whether we live in times of crisis or times of peace, my heart says to the Lord, "Thy face, O Lord, I shall seek" (Ps. 27:8).Yes, we have prayer, and from our hearts, we humble ourselves and fast and weep. Yet, until we are obsessed with love for God, we will always fall short of the greatest fulfillment. It is time to rise higher.
In a parallel promise given by God to Jeremiah, the Lord spoke to a people in exile from their land. He assured them that His plan for them was for their welfare and not for calamity (Jer. 29:11). And again He brought their focus to seeking Him. He says, "Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart" (Jer. 29:12-13).
In the next verse, the Lord reinforces His promise, saying, "And I will be found by you" (v. 14).
The Spirit of God desires not only that we seek Him but that we actually find Him! The humbling of our soul and learning to pray - these are not simply spiritual disciplines or mechanical things we do for the sake of revival. They are heart preparations. The invitation from the Lord to seek His face is not to be taken lightly; indeed, it is staggering!
God desires intimacy with us. To seek His face is to behold the divine expression and to hear the tone of His voice. From this vantage point of His presence, we can truly turn away from evil. For to know His love is to know why we’ve been created.
God-seeker, do not doubt the outcome of your pursuit. He says with glad assurance, "And I will be found by you."
Oh God, my insides ache for You, to know You and walk in Your ways. You are my exceedingly great reward, the pearl of great price. I love You, Master. And I will seek You until I trulyfind You.
Adam was to develop and grow in wisdom and stature as he obeyed God's rule over him. He was not to use his own wisdom upon himself, dependent upon himself. He was to have depended upon God.
Satan came along and questioned what God had said. He still does this to us today.
We can read the promises of the Word of God, claim them and proclaim the victory, only to have the exact opposite thing happen for a season. The enemy, as he has for thousands of years, asks us, "did God really say this or mean this?" or " this promise was not for you..."
As Believers we will be tested and tried. The enemy is relentless. But if we have the same mindset as was in Christ when He was tempted of Satan we will succeed, as did Christ. The secret to the victory of Christ as our example is what He said in reply to Satan and those he sent ~
" The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do; for whatsoever things He does, these also do I do..." John 5:19
or verse 30, Christ said " I can of mine own self do nothing; as I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just because I do not seek My own will, but the will of the Father that sent Me..."
This principle of total dependence upon the Father is again exhibited in John 7:16 "My doctrine is not Mine, but His that sent Me...again in John 8:28 and 14:10, " When ye have lifted up the Son of Man, then shall ye know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father hath taught Me, I speak these things..."
Notice what Christ said, "As My Father hath taught Me!" What an amazing statement coming from Christ! Are we not also in the school of the Father? Are we smarter than the Christ, thinking that we can learn spiritual things on our own, doing our own will, hoping He will bless it?
In verse 10 Christ opens up the way to true life for us, " Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of Myself: but the Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the work."
It is the same with us. We must not be like the first Adam and allow the enemy to lie to us. God gave us dominion over many things; this has existed since He first blew the breath of life into the nostrils of Adam.
The secret is to know that the one thing Believers do not have dominion over is ourselves! We were bought with a very precious price in the eyes of God. The blood of His only begotten Son.
We are learning every day of our lives. The Spirit of God is our Guide, Teacher and Comforter. Remember that all dominion, power and honor goes to God and God alone.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
What is this light spoken of? If He is in it, how do we know we are? I have heard this verse hundreds of times and never looked up what the word "light" meant. It means to shine, to show, to make manifest or to reveal. If you go a little deeper it means to make known one's thoughts and to speak and say such.
Jesus Christ walks in this light. We should not be in darkness. We are not children of darkness, and there are such people. Jesus is the light of the world, but the majority have chosen to remain in darkness because the light reveals their deeds. The deeds will not stay hidden forever. They will all be revealed and exposed on that Great Day of accounting.
Isaiah 9:2 also speaks of this light. " The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined..." In Psalm 23 God has promised to bring us through the valley of the shadow of death.
We have the light of God shining in our soul. It makes manifest and uncovers the things in our lives that are not pleasing to Him. The blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin as we appropriate His sacrifice on a daily basis. We are a people that sat in darkness and we have seen a great light. To us who have sat in the region and shadow of death light has sprung forth.
Jesus came to this planet in human form to call us in righteousness. He will hold our hand and keep us. We are a light to the nations. He has opened our blind eyes, brought us out of the prison house and delivered us from sitting the prison house of great darkness.
He has done it for us. He will do it for others as we take them before His throne in intercession on their behalf. Those who walk in the light, in His revelation, are called to be priests on behalf of others. The priestly calling is intercession on behalf of the lost. He is and will always be our High Priest. He is faithful to forgive and honor our requests as His representatives on this dark planet.
The effective fervent prayers of those who are righteous avails much!
Our righteousness is in HIM!
Do not believe the lies and condemnations of the enemy. If we sin, we have an Advocate with the Father. Let your light shine!