God is My Source!
Four Keys to Victory in 2012

2012Get ready for victory in your life, in your home and in your community in 2012. For the Lord wants to prove himself to you; to demonstrate that he is your source. Here are four keys that if you will follow them will bring about the victory you desire in 2012.

Flow!

flowing water…everything shall live wherever the river flows. Ezekiel 47:10

Jesus told us in John 10:10, “The thief only comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.” What then is the key to experiencing this abundant life that Jesus came to bring us? I think it has to do with recognizing that God is our source and that everything we need flows out our relationship with him. In Ezekiel 47:1-12 there is an interesting passage of scripture about a flow of water which comes from the temple of God that the prophet saw in a vision:  Click here to read more!

 

The World is not our Source

…and The LORD will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in dry places, and make strong your bones; and you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters don’t fail. Isaiah 58:11
worldWho are we looking to to supply our wants and needs? Most of us are accustomed to looking towards the world to meet our needs, wants and desires. Specifically, we look to others or even ourselves to meet our physical, material and social needs. Yet the problem is that we are all limited. Therefore, when we look to others, there will be times when they will fail us where they will fail to recognize our needs or they will lack the capacity to assist us. And even we try to meet our needs, we too will fail due to our own human weaknesses. Thus, we will often be disappointed if we are always depending on others or ourselves.It was never the Lord’s intention for us to have our needs met by the world. We need to understand that the world is limited. It also has been corrupted by sin and it lies under the power of darkness. Thus the world is passing away (1 John 2:17), along with those who conform themselves to its practices. But God had a different plan in mind when he create man that we can see as we look in Genesis 1

God created man in his own image. In God’s image he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them. God said to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis 1:27, 28

God created man and gave him his blessing so he could replenish the earth, the earth was not meant to replenish mankind.

So what was this blessing that God gave Adam? It was God’s empowerment for him to renew, fill up and exercise dominion on the earth. Unfortunately, Adam disobeyed God; he lost the blessing and brought sin on all mankind. Yet God continued to try to get the blessing back on man first with Noah and his sons (Genesis 9:1) and then through Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3) It was through a covenant with God that Abraham began to walk in the blessing of God. It was a covenant that required faith and obedience. Later That covenant was expanded to include the nation of Israel. Yet the people of Israel struggle and often failed to live up to the terms of God’s covenant. Thus God sent his Son, Jesus into the world to restore mankind’s relationship with God, to remove their sin and bring back God’s blessing on his children so they could attain the purpose for which God created them.

What purpose was that? You see, God is our Father. When he created Adam and Eve, he was starting a family. God loves us and wants to be our need meeter and our want supplier. Yet, because of sin, he became separated from us and from his creation. But Jesus bridged the gap between God and mankind, made possible restoration of a relationship to him and brought the blessing back to us as Paul explained in Galatians 3:13, 14

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us. For it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree,” that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Christ Jesus; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Now then all we have to do is follow God’s laws and meet his conditions. Conditions? Yes, God the Father by his abundant grace has already provided all that we need (1Peter 1:4; 2 Peter 1:3, 4). There is a system in place to handle our needs and desires. It is that blessing that He first put on Adam. Remember when Jesus taught his disciples in the sermon on the mount? He told them not to worry, or give thought about their needs, but rather to seek first God’s kingdom (Matthew 6:24-33). This is one of many Kingdom Principles, that when we follow it adds those things we need to our lives.

The Apostle John summarized how we go about receive from God when he said in 1 John 3:21-2:

Beloved, if our hearts don’t condemn us, we have boldness toward God; and whatever we ask, we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do the things that are pleasing in his sight. This is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, even as he commanded.

Next week, I continue this discussion with some practical ways to stop looking to the world and starting living according to these kingdom principles.

What Are You Connected To?

Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never thirst again; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life. John 4:13, 14
the universeHave you thought about your connections lately? Take your house for instance, it has connections. It’s connected to sources of energy such as electricity and natural gas. It has connections for receiving water and removing waste. And it may have connections for communications: telephone, television and Internet. Just like our houses, we each have connections too. Now the important thing about connections is that they define how we can function or operate. Their presence or absence also define our perspective and our outlook about what we can hope for.

Now if we are connected to the world and its system for doing things then they will define our thinking and our actions. We will be limited to how the world works. But if we are connected to God and his way of doing things then our thinking and our actions will be freed from the world’s perspective. The world’s focus is often on its limitations, on what it does not have and how to fill its own needs without God. And this is the biggest mistake that those in the  world’s system can make, because everything is limited without God. He is infinite and so are his resources. Look at the sky at night, do you see a finite number of stars? Do you see the end of the universe? No. This is the kind of limitless God we serve.

So consider your connections this week. Are you concerned about your limitations; are you worried about the future or what you do not have? Then you must be connected to the wrong source. Change your connection! Get connected to the Lord Jesus, the one who overcame sin, death and Hell. He is our source of life. He has the answers and the resources that you need. Get connected to him through his word, through prayer and through worship and praise. Let your connection to him change how you think, act and speak. There is no need to fear or worry as long as we stay connected to him.

What are Your Kingdom Aspirations?

targetSeek first God’s Kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33
It is normal for us to focus on pursuing our hopes and dreams for a better future. Some are working toward completing an education. Others are looking to be employed with a bigger salary in better position or with a new company. Another may be seeking to be the best in his field of expertise or the best in her sport. Some may be seeking to move to a better house in a better neighborhood. And others are desiring something new in their lives: to start a new business, to have a baby, to take a trip to visit a new destination or to start a new relationship. Most of these aspirations have to deal with our daily physical existence. But what goals and aspirations do we have concerning our spiritual lives, concerning our relationship with God and concerning our effectiveness for God’s kingdom? How often do we ever hear believers say things like:

  • “I aspire making abiding in Christ my daily habit.”
  • “I want to learn how to receive God’s guidance and direction for every difficulty and challenge I may face.”
  • “My goal is to excel in bringing people to Christ through personal evangelism lead by the Holy Spirit.
  • “I want to bring glory to Christ though my testimony and talents.”
  • “My goal is to see people delivered and healed through sharing and proclaiming God’s word.”
  • “I want to dedicate my life to prayer and intercession for individuals to be delivered, peoples set free and nations opened to hear the gospel of Christ”
For most of us Christians it often seems that these goals that we have to satisfy the physical, emotional and financial needs of ourselves and our families should take precedence over our spiritual development and our relationship to the Lord Jesus and his kingdom. Yet, after being a Christian for 37 years I have come to see things differently. For over these years I have had the opportunity to discover, among those things which I aspired to obtain, which ones were worth pursuing and brought satisfaction. Too much of the way we think and our  desires and aspirations have been shaped by the world’s standards. We have been taught by the world to value possessions, status and power and even sin; but these things will never completely satisfy us; they are not enough in themselves to make us happy. Meanwhile, as we were busy seeking the things that the world tells us are important, the Lord has been busy also. He has been trying to get us into the position where we can hear from him, learn his principles and receive his blessing that will bring us true satisfaction.
So what about your current dreams and aspirations? How do they related to the Lord and his kingdom? Perhaps you are putting to much emphasis on your self and your earthly life. But there is more, much more if we would bring our aspirations in line the Lord and his kingdom as Jesus explained to his disciples:
Most assuredly I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone. But if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life will lose it. He who hates his life in this world will keep it to eternal life. If anyone serves me, let him follow me. Where I am, there will my servant also be…John 12:24-26
The Lord is seeking to bring us into a position of close and constant fellowship; a place of confidence, steadfastness, peace and adequate resources. He calls out to us, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, then I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with me, Revelation 3:20.” Will you answer his call today? Will you reevaluate your goals and aspirations? Maybe you should make some changes. And the Lord wants to say to you, “It is not too late.” There are areas where you need to grow that are more important than obtaining those things you feel are your greatest need. Change your aspirations; make following the Lord Jesus and fulfilling your role in his kingdom your greatest priority. Once you get into the position where the Lord wants you, then you will discover that you are in a place of joy. And those earthly things you desired, they too will start to come.

Our Source for Overcoming Evil in the World

Once again evil has made it presence known, this time in the unlikely country of Norway. There one or more misguided individuals have committed immoral acts to promote their “cause” resulting in pain and grief across this nation. What were they thinking? They seem to think that the killing of innocent people would somehow bring about an instant changes in people’s attitudes and behaviors. Rather such an attack makes those targeted more firm in their beliefs. It is reported that alleged gunman, Anders Breivik, posted on Twitter, “One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100 000 who have only interests.” That is not true when the person’s belief is immoral.Yet, we should not be surprised by these kind of events because we are living in the Last Days. The Apostle Paul reminded Timothy  saying, “But know this, that in the last days, grievous times will come,” 2 Timothy 3:1. We must not be deceived into thinking that the world is getting better. Rather things will get worse as Satanic forces bring increasing pressures against the world for the purpose of setting up a one-world government ruled but the Antichrist (2Thessalonians 2:1-10).

Thus, it is not a time for us believers to be relaxed and unaware of what is going on. More than ever, now is the time for us to be alert and living according to God’s word. More than ever, the world needs us to demonstrate the love, power, mercy and grace of God. God is our source for responding to the Anders Breiviks of the world. It is time for believers to live as sons’ of God, not being self-centered or afraid for our own lives when confronted with such dangers. And not confronting evil men through our own human efforts but through the power and wisdom of God. That we keep our minds renew according to the word, that we confront wicked spiritual forces through prayer and that we stand boldly on the authority of God’s word in the face of threats, attacks and danger. For weapons that God supplies are mighty for pulling down the strong holds of hatred and violence.

And we, as members of Christ’s body, the body of the Anointed One, are able to minister to those effected by the acts of violent men. For the anointing of God lifts burdens and breaks yokes of bondage. It can bring comfort and restoration to those who are grieving. And death is not the end for loved ones lost. It is just a temporary separation because there is much more to life than these years we experience on here on the earth. An eternity await for all of us.

One day soon the Lord Jesus will return in power and majesty to set up his kingdom, to set thing right and to put an end to all the violence and injustices we see going on in the earth. Therefore, let us not loose hope, but let us be alert and active until that day comes by demonstrating his love, character and power in a confused and chaotic world.

Sowing in Difficult Times

Those who sow in tears will reap in joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed for sowing, will assuredly come again with joy, carrying his sheaves. Psalm 126:5, 6

Sowing is a fundamental part of God’s kingdom. Paul reminds us in Galatians 6:7 not to be deceived for we always will reap what we sow. The Lord has provided us seed to plant into the lives of others (2 Corinthians 9:10). Yet there may be times in our lives when we will feel hesitant about sowing. But we have to understand that when God is our source, we do not pay attention to what we can see. We do what the Lord tells us to do knowing that he is not going to let us fail. It is just a matter of what we have our eyes on. If our eyes are on our circumstances and our own resources we will be reluctant to obey the Lord. But if our eyes are on him them we can sow without reservations. We can even sow in times of trial and uncertainly because we trust in his ability and power and not ourselves.

So where is your focus today? If you are paying too much attention to your circumstances, then spend more time with the Lord, in worship, in prayer and in his word. Then your perspective will change.

Our Source for Happiness in Relationships

Relationships can be complicated. Often they put us in new and unexpected situations and they  can be a drain on our energy and strength. Something we can develop negative attitudes toward those who are closest to us. Often, we expect too much from others, that they should be the answer to fulfilling our needs so that we will be happy. And herein lies the real problem that first, we fail to recognize that we are looking to the wrong persons gain satisfaction. And second, we fail to recognise that happiness, joy and satisfaction depend on what we do and how we respond.

The truth is that it is not possible for human relationships to fulfill all of one’s needs. There is only one source of fulfillment and satisfaction which is thought  Jesus, God’s Son, the Anointed One. He is and has all that we will ever need.

While the world tells us that we need certain relationships and certain things in order to be happy the reality is that true satisfaction comes primarily from the Lord rather than from others or from things. Our relationship with him will minister to and bring fulfilment of our deepest needs and produce the happiness and joy that we are all searching for.  Plus, He fill us up with joy, wisdom and strength so we can minister to to others; to our spouse and our family, to our neighbors, co-workers and community so that we can be a blessing to them. So it is our relationship with the Lord that should be our first priority. If he is satisfied with us, we too will be satisfied with our lives and our relationships.

How do we apply this then? What steps to follow to find this happiness in our lives?

1. Spend time with the Lord Jesus each day in worship, praise and prayer; to learn to listen to his voice; and bring your thinking in line with his by meditating on his word.

2. Discover what your assignment is during your time spent with the Lord. Assignment? What assignment. Yes, we all have a an assignment. You see, we are his representatives (2 Corinthians 5:20), the Lord has things he needs us to do and people he needs us to assist, just like the disciple, Ananias, in Acts 9:10-18. We all have a calling and a purpose to fulfill in the body of Christ (Ephesians 5:30).

3. We stay obedience to his word follow the guidance of his Spirit.

4. Practice loving God and showing his unconditional to love to others (Matthew 22:36-40)..

5. Walk by faith and stop relying on what you see (Provers 3:5, Romans 1:17, 2 Corinthians 4:18)

6. And learn to stop following the impulses of our flesh by yield to the control of God’s Spirit (Galatians 5:16-26).

What happens as we follow these steps? We discover that joy does not come by gratifying our own desires but by bringing gratification to the Lord and fulfilling his desires. And as the Lord’s requirements are met, our needs will be taken care of, just like He promised in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first God’s Kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things will be given to you as well.” Thus, we never have to worry or be anxious. He will take care of our needs. We just need to be faithful in fulfilling what he has called us to do.

Our Source of True Freedom

Most assuredly I tell you, everyone who commits sin is the bondservant of sin. A bondservant doesn’t live in the house forever. A son remains forever. If therefore the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:34-36


As we celebrate our nation’s independence we need to remind ourselves of what is the source of all true freedom, which is Christ who is God’s Son and the Anointed One. Jesus overcame. He overcame sin, self, Satan, death and the world, “In the world you have oppression; but cheer up! I have overcome the world,” John 16:33. And by his victory Jesus won freedom for us. True freedom and liberty are found when one receives Jesus as Lord and Savior: 


  • He freed us from sin and self - “Thus also consider yourselves also to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord,” Romans 6:11
  • He freed us from fear, Satan and bondage - “Since then the children have shared in flesh and blood, he also himself in like manner partook of the same, that through death he might bring to nothing him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might deliver all of them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage,” Hebrews 2:14, 15.
  • He freed us to love and serve others - “For you, brothers, were called for freedom. Only don’t use your freedom for gain to the flesh, but through love be servants to one another,” Galatians 5:13.

Thus we have true freedom. We are free to worship and serve God. We are free to live according to God’s righteous standards. And we are free to carry out God’s will for our lives and discover the destiny and destination He has for us. Men may try to oppress us and try to prevent us from serving God or helping others. Oh let them try! The Anointed One Jesus lives inside of us and he is an over comer! Thus we are never alone. We are never powerless. And we are never without hope. Oh, we might suffer for a while, but we will receive a reward for that. Even death is not the end for us, it is just a promotion. Thus we can have boldness and fearlessness because that same Jesus who overcame the devil, sin and the grave lives in us.
 
So let us remember what the source of true freedom is this Independence Day. Our freedom comes from God. It is more than just political freedom. He frees from sin, from burdens and bondages so we can live free and without fear and worry all the days of our lives.

Practicing “For me to live is Christ”

Back in May 2008 the Lord began leading me to study what it means to live with God as my source. I have learned a lot during these last three years. Much of what I have learned has been summarized in the article Discover that God is your Source. At first I focused on seeking God as my source for provision and then later for guidance but now He has shown me that I can even seek him as my source on the most basic level: on how to live moment by moment. I think the Apostle Paul expressed this principle best when he explained in the letter to the Philippians that, “For me to live is Christ,” Philippians 1:21.

 
Now what does this mean? First we have to understand the meaning of the word Christ. The word Christ comes from the Greek word chrīstos - anointed one, which means the same as the Hebrew word for Messiah. Thus, when we say ‘Jesus is the Christ’ we are saying He is God’s Anointed One. And we understand from the Old Testament that there were three types of people who were anointed: prophets, priests and kings. The act of anointing these individuals symbolized the empowerment they received from God to carry out their responsibilities. That empowerment was the Holy Spirit. And we see that Jesus did not begin his ministry until he received God’s anointing:

Now it happened, when all the people were baptized, Jesus also had been baptized, and was praying. The sky was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended in a bodily form as a dove on him; and a voice came out of the sky, saying “You are my beloved Son. In you I am well pleased.” Luke 3:21, 22

Later Jesus preached in the synagogue in Nazareth saying,

The Spirit of the Lord is on me, Because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim release to the captives, Recovering of sight to the blind, To deliver those who are crushed, And to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord…Today, this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing. Luke 4:18-20

Thus, Jesus began to proclaim and demonstrate who he was, the Messiah, the one whom the Jews were waiting for who would restore God’s kingdom.

And this was the Apostle Peter’s commentary on his life and ministry:

…Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. Acts 10:38.

Yes, Jesus went about doing good and healing those who were oppressed. And that is what takes place through the anointing according to Isaiah 10:27, “It shall happen in that day, that his burden shall depart from off your shoulder, and his yoke from off your neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed by reason of the anointing”.

So it is through the anointing of God that we are able to see burdens lifted and yokes of bondage broken in our lives and the lives of those around us. It was this anointing; it was this empowerment of God that removed the suffering of others and accomplish God’s will that Paul strove to see manifested in his life. And we should strive to accomplish the same in our lives too. Not by our own human efforts but by living and moving under the control of God’s Spirit.

But to accomplish this we have to develop our spiritual lives. We have to learn to abide in Christ, for he is our source for God’s anointing: “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch can’t bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in me,” John 15:4. The greatest, most satisfying life that we can ever experience can be found by putting this truth into practice: Live so that the anointing of God will be manifested and flow through our lives. This happens as we

  • yield our selves daily to the Lord
  • meditate on and obey his word
  • walk in love
  • live by faith and not by what we see
  • and learn to follow and obey the voice of the Lord.

So let us not be idle or unfruitful as believers, but let us strive like Paul to live in the same manner and say: “For me to live is Christ!”