Rabu, 24 September 2008


Are You Mad At God?
by David Wilkerson

I believe there is nothing more dangerous to a Christian than to carry around a resentment against God. Yet I am shocked by the growing number of believers I meet who are peeved at the Lord. They may not admit as much - but deep inside, they hold some kind of grudge against him. Why? They believe he's not interested in their lives or problems! They're convinced he doesn't care - because he hasn't answered a particular prayer or acted on their behalf
I received a letter recently from a young man who's incarcerated in a southern prison. This convict was once a committed Christian - but now he says he's mad at God. He wrote:
"I'm in a hellhole - and I believe God is going to leave me here! At one time I wanted to follow Christ with all my heart. But I had a sin that overwhelmed me - a sexual sin. I tried to repent, but it never helped. I read my Bible, studied and prayed - but it was no use. My sin always took control. And now I'm in prison for a long time because of it.
"I've given up on doing spiritual warfare. Trying doesn't seem worth it. God delivered me from drugs and alcohol when I was a new Christian. But why didn't he take away my sexual lusts?"
Every page of this man's letter was full of bitterness toward God. He has allowed his resentment to turn into an all-out rage!
I see a similar rage among a growing number of ministers in many denominations. They've become disillusioned, burned out, angry with God - and now they're walking away from their calling. When you ask them why, they answer:
"I was diligent, faithful - I gave it my best. But the harder I tried, the less results I saw. My congregation was not appreciative.. And all my prayers seemed in vain. At one point, everything I preached felt phony, because it wasn't working in my own life. Now I've quit the ministry until I can figure things out."
I have learned over the years that very few such ministers ever return. Why? They hold onto their peeve against God! They say, "I did everything right. But nothing turned out the way I'd hoped. I was faithful to him - but he failed me!"
The Awful Danger and Bitter Consequences of Holding a Grudge Against God Were Brought Home to Me Recently!
Not long ago, I picked up a missionary biography entitled Aggie - and I couldn't put it down. This amazing story gripped my heart, and I ended up reading it in one sitting. I'd like to summarize the story for you here - because it vividly illustrates the destructive power of grudging anger in a Christian's heart:
In 1921, two young couples in Stockholm, Sweden, answered God's call to the African mission field. They were members of Philadelphia Pentecostal Church, which sent out missionaries to locales over the world. During one particular missions service, these two couples received a burden to go to the Belgian Congo, which is now Zaire.
Their names were David and Svea Flood and Joel and Bertha Erickson. Svea Flood was only four-feet-eight-inches tall, and she was a well-known singer in Sweden. But both couples gave up everything to lay down their lives for the gospel.
When they arrived in the Belgian Congo, they reported to the local mission station. Then they took machetes and literally hacked their way into the Congo's insect-infested interior. David and Svea had a two-year-old son, David Jr., and they had to carry him on their backs. Along the way, both families caught malaria. But they kept going forward with great zeal, ready to be martyrs for the Lord.
Finally, they reached a certain village in the interior. Yet, to their surprise, the people wouldn't let them enter. They told the missionaries, "We can't allow any white people here, or our gods will be offended." So the families went to a second village - but they were rejected there also.
At this point, there were no other villages around. The worn-down families had no choice but to settle. So they hacked out a clearing in the middle of a mountain jungle and built mud huts, where they made their homes.
As the months went by, they all suffered from loneliness, sickness and malnutrition. Little David Jr. became sickly. And they had almost no interaction with any of the villagers.
Finally, after about six months, Joel and Bertha Erickson decided to return to the mission station. They urged the Floods to do the same, but Svea couldn't travel because she'd just gotten pregnant. And now her malaria had become worse. Besides all that, David said, "I want my child born in Africa. I've come to give my life here." So the Floods simply waved goodbye as their friends began the one-hundred-mile hike back.
For several months Svea endured a raging fever. Yet all that time, she ministered faithfully to a little boy who came to see them from one of the nearby villages. The boy was the Floods' only convert. He brought the family fruit, and as Svea ministered to him, he simply smiled back at her.
Eventually, Svea's malaria got so bad she became bedridden. When the time came for her to give birth, she delivered a healthy baby girl. But within a week she was at the point of death. In her final moments, she whispered to David, "Call our girl Aina." Then she died.
David Flood was badly shaken by his wife's death. Summoning all his strength, he took a wooden box and made a casket for Svea. Then, in a primitive grave on the mountainside, he buried his beloved wife.
As he stood beside her grave, he looked down at his young son beside him. Then he heard his baby daughter's cries from the mud hut. And suddenly, bitterness filled his heart. An anger rose up in him - and he couldn't control it. He flew into a rage, crying, "Why did you allow this, God? We came here to give our lives! My wife was so beautiful, so talented. And here she lies, dead at twenty-seven.
"Now I have a two-year-old son I can hardly care for, let alone a baby girl. And after more than a year in this jungle, all we have to show for it is one little village boy who probably doesn't understand what we've told him. You've failed me, God. What a waste of life!"
At that point, David Flood hired some local tribesmen as guides and took his children to the mission station. When he saw the Ericksons, he blurted out angrily, "I'm leaving! I can't handle these children alone. I'm taking my son with me back to Sweden - but I'm leaving my daughter here with you." And with that, he left Aina for the Ericksons to raise.
All the way back to Stockholm, David Flood stood on deck and seethed at God. He'd told everyone he was going to Africa to be a mrtyr - to win people to Christ, no matter what the cost. And now he was returning a defeated and broken man. He believed he'd been faithful - but that God had rewarded him with total neglect.
When he arrived in Stockholm, he decided to go into the import business to seek his fortune. And he warned everyone around him never to mention God in his presence. When they did, he flew into a rage, the veins popping out on his neck. Eventually, he began drinking heavily.
Shortly after he left Africa, his friends the Ericksons died suddenly (possibly poisoned by a local village chief). So, little Aina was handed to an American couple - some dear people I know named Arthur and Anna Berg. The Bergs took Aina with them to a village called Massisi, in the northern Congo. There they began calling her "Aggie." And soon little Aggie learned the Swahili language and played with the Congo children.
Alone much of the time, Aggie learned to play games of imagination. She imagined she had four brothers and a sister, and she gave them all imaginary names. She would set a table for her brothers and talk to them. And she would imagine her sister continually looking for her.
When the Bergs went on furlough to America, they took Aggie with them, to the Minneapolis area. As it turned out, they ended up staying there. Aggie grew up to marry a man named Dewey Hurst, who later became president of Northwest Bible College, the Assemblies of God school in Minneapolis.
For Years as an Adult, Aggie Tried to Contact Her Father
But to No Avail!
Aggie never knew that her father had remarried - this time to Svea's younger sister, who had no heart for God. And now he had five children besides Aggie - four sons and a daughter (just as Aggie had imagined). By this time, David Flood had become a total alcoholic, and his eyesight was failing badly.
For forty years Aggie tried to locate her father - but her letters were never answered. Finally, the Bible school gave her and her husband round-trip tickets to Sweden. This would give her the chance to find her father personally.
After crossing the Atlantic, the couple spent a day's layover in London. They decided to take a walk, so they strolled by the Royal Albert Hall. To their joy, a Pentecostal Assemblies of God missions convention was being held. They went inside, where they heard a black preacher testifying of the great works God was doing in Zaire - the Belgian Congo!
Aggie's heart leaped. After the meeting, she approached the preacher and asked, "Did you ever know the missionaries David and Svea Flood?" He answered, "Yes. Svea Flood led me to the Lord when I was just a boy. They had a baby girl, but I don't know what happened to her." Aggie exclaimed, "I'm the girl! I'm Aggie - Aina!"
When the preacher heard this, he clasped Aggie's hands, hugged her and wept with joy. Aggie could hardly believe that this man was the little boy convert her mother had ministered to. He had grown up to be a missionary evangelist to his own country - which now included 110,000 Christians, 32 mission stations, several Bible schools and a 120-bed hospital.
The next day Aggie and Dewey left for Stockholm - and word had already spread there that they were coming. By this time Aggie knew she had four brothers and a sister. And to her surprise, three of her brothers greeted her at the hotel. She asked them, "Where's David, my older brother?" They merely pointed across the lobby to a lone figure sitting in a chair. Her brother, David Jr., was a shriveled-up, gray-haired man. Like his father, he'd grown embittered and had nearly destroyed his life with alcohol.
When Aggie asked about her father, her brothers flushed with anger. They all hated him. None of them had talked to him in years.
Then Aggie asked, "What about my sister?" They gave her a telephone number, and Aggie called it immediately. Her sister answered - but when Aggie told her who she was, the line suddenly went dead. Aggie tried calling back but got no answer.
In a little while, however, her sister arrived at the hotel and threw her arms around Aggie. She told her, "All my life I've dreamed about you. I used to spread out a map of the world, put a toy car on it, and pretend to drive everywhere to find you."
Aggie's sister also despised her father, David Flood. But she promised to help Aggie find him. So they drove to an impoverished area of Stockholm, where they entered a rundown building. When they knocked on the door, a woman let them in.
Inside, liquor bottles lay everywhere. And lying on a cot in the corner was her father - the one-time missionary, David Flood. He was now seventy-three years old and suffering from diabetes. He'd also had a stroke, and cataracts covered both of his eyes.
Aggie fell to his side, crying, "Dad, I'm your little girl - the one you left in Africa." The old man turned and looked at her. Tears formed in his eyes. He answered, "I never meant to give you away. I just couldn't handle you both." Aggie answered, "That's okay, Daddy. God took care of me."
Suddenly, her father's face darkened. "God didn't take care of you!" he raged. "He ruined our whole family! He led us to Africa and then betrayed us. Nothing ever came of our time there. It was a waste of our lives!"
Aggie then told him about the black preacher she'd just met in London - and how the country had been evangelized through him. "It's all true, Daddy," she said. "Everybody knows about that little boy convert. The story has been in all the newspapers."
Suddenly the Holy Spirit fell on David Flood - and he broke. Tears of sorrow and repentance flowed down his face - and God restored him.
Shortly after their meeting, David Flood died. And although he was restored to the Lord, he left only ruin behind. Besides Aggie, his legacy was five children - all unsaved and tragically embittered.
Aggie wrote down the whole story. Yet as she worked on it, she developed cancer. Just after she finished writing it, she went to be with the Lord.
This Message Is for All Who Believe - Like David Flood - They Have a Right to Be Angry With God!
David Flood represents many Christians today. They've been disappointed, cast down - and now they're full of rage toward God!
The Bible gives us an example of this, in the book of Jonah. Like David Flood, Jonah received a missionary call from God. And he went to Nineveh to preach the message of judgment God gave him: The city would be destroyed in forty days.
After delivering the message, Jonah sat on a hillside, waiting for God to begin the destruction. But when forty days passed, nothing happened. Why? Nineveh repented - and God changed his mind aout destroying them!
This angered Jonah. He cried out, "Lord, you've betrayed me! You put a burden on my heart to come here and preach judgment. Everyone in Israel knew about it. But now you've changed everything without telling me. I look like a false prophet!"
Jonah sat under the hot sun pouting - peeved at God! Yet, in his mercy, God caused a plant to spring up to shelter Jonah from the heat: "...that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from his grief....." (Jonah 4:6)
Now, the word "grief" here means "displeasure, disappointment." Simply put, Jonah was grieved because things hadn't gone as planned. God had changed his course - and Jonah's pride was wounded!
This is where most rage against God begins - with a disappointment. God may call us, burden us and send us - but he may make changes without including us in his sovereign plan. Then, when things don't go as we'd planned, we may feel misled or betrayed.
At this point, God understands our cries of pain and confusion. After all, our cry is a human one. And it is no different from Jesus' cry on the cross: "Father, why have you forsaken me?"
But if we continue nursing a peeved spirit, it will grow into a rage within us. And God will ask us the same question he asked Jonah: "Doest thou well to be angry...?" (verse 9). In other words: "Do you think you have a right to be so angry?"
Jonah answered, "I have every right to be angry, to the day I die!" "...And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death" (same verse). Here was a prophet who was so vexed, so irritated, so full of rage at God, he said: "I don't care whether I live or die! My ministry is a failure. And all my suffering has been in vain. I spent three days and nights in the stinking belly of that whale - for what? God has changed everything on me. I have every right to be angry with him!"
Many Christians are like Jonah - they feel they have a right to be mad at God. They think, "I pray, I read my Bible, I obey God's word. So, why has all this trouble fallen on my life? Why don't I see the blessings God promised me? He has failed me!"
The Worst Danger of Harboring Anger and Irritation at God Is That You Might Spin Out Beyond the Point of Consolation!
It is possible to reach a point where you're no longer able to be touched. This is a point where nothing and no one can console you!
Jeremiah writes: "...A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping: Rachel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not" (Jeremiah 31:15).
At the time Jeremiah wrote this, Israel was being led away into captivity by the Assyrians. Their homes had been burned and destroyed and all their vineyards laid to waste. Jerusalem was reduced to a pile of rubble. All around them they saw nothing but ruin and desolation. So Jeremiah used Rachel - Israel's ancestor - as a weeping figure who's so distraught at seeing her children taken from her that nothing could comfort her.
In essence, Jeremiah was saying that these mourning Israelites had settled into their grief - and they were beyond all consolation! Jeremiah couldn't comfort them; there was no use even trying to talk to them. In their minds, God had allowed captivity to overtke them - and they had a right to be bitter toward him!
Yet here is the danger: When we harbor our questions and complaints for too long, they turn into irritation. Then our irritation turns into bitterness. And, finally, our bitterness turns into rage. At that point, we no longer listen to reproof. God's word does not affect us. And no one - no friend, pastor or spouse - can reach us. We shut out all wooings of the Spirit!
For Those Who Admit They Are Near or Even Past the Point of Refusing Consolation, There Is Good News!
God's word says there is hope! "Thus saith the Lord; Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the Lord; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy" (Jeremiah 31:16). In other words: "Stop crying - stop complaining. I'm going to reward you for your faithfulness!"
"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 15:58). Beloved, your cries and prayers have not been in vain! All your pain and tears have been for a purpose.
God is telling you, "You think it's all over. You see only your circumstances - failure, ruin, no results. So you say, 'This is the end.' But I say it is the beginning! I see the reward that I'm about to pour out on you. I have good things in mind for you - wonderful things. So, stop your crying!"
Dear saint, allow God's Spirit to heal you of all bitterness, anger, rage - before it destroys you! You may see only ruin in your life - but he sees restoration! Let him restore you now from the desolation surrounding you. He has only good things in mind for you - because "...he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him" (Hebrews 11:6). Hallelujah!


Boasting in our Weakness
by Watchman Nee

''He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in your weakness.' Most gladly therefore I will rather boast in my weaknesses that the power of Christ may tabernacle over me.'' II Corinthians 12:9

It is one thing to say that we cannot make it, and it is another thing to give up trying to make it altogether. Can we see that these are two things? The first condition to victory is to realize that we cannot make it, and the second is to give up trying to make it. If we will admit that we cannot make it and give up trying to make it, we will overcome.

What does it mean to try to make it? Let me take temper as an example. Suppose you are a quick-tempered person, and you cannot control your temper. The more you try, the more you fail. You admit that you can do nothing about your temper. What should you do? You know with certainty that there is no way to control your temper, yet you still try to control it. Then what do you do? You try to be more careful when you speak with others. You try to avoid those with whom you cannot get along well, and you try to talk to those with whom you can get along well. You avoid fellowship with those who agitate you and run away from their face. Every time you are about to lose your temper, you try your best to suppress it. You try to suppress it with more prayers. What is this? This is being unable, yet at the same time trying to be able.

Brothers and sisters, please remember that the condition of victory is acknowledging that we are unable, and the greatest barrier to victory is trying to be able. Victory is from Christ; it is Christ who is living on our behalf. The overcoming life requires that we take a stand and declare, ''I cannot make it and I do not intend to make it. Please make it for me. I will not fabricate my own victory.'' I have heard a few sisters remark to me, ''Brother Nee, it would be wonderful if my temper could improve a little.'' I always tell them, ''You have to thank the Lord for your quick temper.''

Weakness is not something that one should lament over or weep about. Weakness is something that one should boast in. You may have said, ''Thank and praise the Lord He has made me overcome,'' but have you ever said, ''Thank and praise the Lord, He has made me fail miserably''? You thank and praise the Lord for giving you patience, but have you thanked and praised the Lord for your impossible temper? Have you thanked and praised Him for your pride? Have you thanked and praised Him for your jealousy? Have you thanked and praised Him for your unclean thoughts within and for your sin? Brothers and sisters, do you have a sin which you cannot even confess? What are you going to do? Are you going to be sorrowful?
It is a glorious thing for a man to realize that he is helpless. Once the Lord shows you that you cannot make it, He will immediately show you that God can make it. Your Lord does not show you your inability to discourage you, but for you to believe that He has an excellent opportunity to work in you. In the past you may have grieved over your weakness or wept over your sins. But today you can boast and praise! ''Lord I thank You because I cannot make it. I thank you because I have no way to overcome. I am not able. I rejoice because I am not able. I rejoice because I cannot do anything. Only You can do everything.'' If you do this, you will overcome.


True Heroes of 21st Century Christianity
by Lee Grady (Editor Charisma Magazine) www.themordecaiproject.com

I draw deep inspiration from brave Christians I've met in the developing world. Let me introduce you to a few of these amazing people.
Which do you want to be—a hero or a celebrity?
Our narcissistic culture tempts us to sell our souls for five minutes of fame on a reality show. It’s not much different in some churches today, where we’ve developed a celebrity culture that morphs pastors into motivational gurus and worship leaders into pop stars.
But when I visit places like India, Nigeria or China, I don’t typically find Christian celebrities. I find humble heroes. And these simple people have rocked my world. They have become my role models.
“But when I visit places like India, Nigeria or China, I don’t typically find Christian celebrities. I find humble heroes. And these simple people have rocked my world.”
Kelechi is my bravest African friend. Still single, he started a ministry in Nigeria a few years ago that focuses on evangelizing dangerous militant gangs. Some of these para-military groups have kidnapped oil company workers in Nigeria’s petroleum-rich delta region during the past year. But Kelechi is not afraid of their guns or machetes. In fact, he has allowed himself to be kidnapped in order to get a face-to-face conversation with a gang leader.
Kelechi also trains college students to reach the leaders of Nigeria’s campus “cults.” These mysterious fraternal organizations are involved in occult rituals, and sometimes the members engage in human sacrifice. Yet Kelechi and his friends risk their lives every day to share Christ with these people.
I met 29-year-old Jeet during a trip to northern India in February. His Hindu father disowned him when he became a Christian at age 17. “My father said that if I deny Jesus I can come back,” Jeet said with a resolute tone. He has not returned to his parents’ home in 14 years.
Jeet has a slight frame, but his heart is ablaze with courage. He has been planting churches in two of India’s most resistant states—Bihar and Orissa. Just last Christmas, a group of Hindu fanatics attacked him and ordered him to stop his meetings. They also threatened to kill one of his colleagues. “They told me there is no need to preach the gospel here,” Jeet said, “but I tell them it is a commandment from Jesus to preach to all people.”
I met Otoniel, a Guatemalan pastor, seven years ago during my first mission trip to that country. He lives in an area that was deeply scarred by Guatemala’s 36-year civil war. After he was baptized in the Holy Spirit, he planted a church in 1980 in the town of El Rosario. The growing congregation has become a beacon of hope to a needy region.
Today, from his modest, three-bedroom house, he feeds lunch to most of the poor children in his town, runs an orphanage and a vocational training center, and preaches the gospel on the radio daily. “One day we will go to other nations and spread the gospel,” Otoniel told me.
Jeyasingh is a brave Indian lady who refuses to fit in anyone’s box. In a nation where women still suffer unimaginable discrimination and abuse, she has worked tirelessly as a leader among India’s growing Pentecostal churches. Now 54, Jeyasingh trains young pastors from her isolated school in the state of Bihar, in northern India, where Hindu tradition is strong. She is particularly burdened to train more women; those who convert to Christianity struggle to learn the Bible because they have been denied education.
I saw a fire in Jeyasingh’s eyes that I don’t see often in my own country. It was a mix of holy courage and relentless love. “This whole nation will be set ablaze,” she said of India’s future.
Xuan is a church planter in rural China. I met him at a secret training conference held near Hong Kong seven years ago. He told me how militant Buddhists used medieval swords to attack him when he tried to evangelize an area of northern China a few years earlier. During the conference he saved soaps and shampoos from his hotel room to take on his missionary journeys. He had no money, but his faith was big.
These people are my heroes. They have denied themselves to take up the cross. They endure persecution from government officials, angry villagers and family members—yet they live, eat and breathe one passion: to make Christ known to a broken world.
In his book A Time for Heroes, Dutch evangelist Brother Andrew issued a call to all of us to become heroes rather than celebrities. He wrote: “Brothers and sisters, the time is now. Christ goes before you, accompanied by many heroes of the faith who have gone before. Learn from their example let us heed God’s call to be heroes of the faith, so that we can say with the apostle Paul, ‘I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.’”

Rabu, 17 September 2008


Father, I believe the Bible is your Word; that your word is not only true, but it also has creative power. Jesus said, "I assure you that whoever tells this mountain to be thrown into the sea and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him." I believe that when I confess in faith what you have said about me in your word, I establish these realities upon myself in the spirit realm and that eventually they will be evident in the material realm.
Lord, I thank you that you have brought me out of darkness into your marvelous light and that I am now a child of God by faith in Jesus. I am an heir of all the promises you gave to your servant, Abraham; Abraham's blessings are mine and I do now receive them with thanksgiving! You said that all the promises of God are "Yes" to us because of our union with Jesus Christ, and we shout to you our "Amen" to the glory of God. We say, "YES, LORD, LET IT BE SO!"
I thank you that Jesus shed his blood to atone for my sins and that I have clean hands and a pure heart by faith in the atonement. I now come boldly before your throne of grace because I am clean, I am pure, I am holy, I am forgiven, I am justified, and I am sanctified by the blood of Jesus.
Father, you said that in Christ, we have all things that pertain to life and godliness. I confess that I am all that you say I am; I am filled with your Holy Spirit; I am able to do all things through Christ who strengthens me; I have all I need and enough to be generous to others and you are fulfilling your word to make me prosperous in all that I undertake.
I affirm that your name is Jehovah-rapha, THE LORD OUR HEALER. I receive you as my healer and my physician. There is nothing too hard for you to do and there is nothing impossible to those who believe. I believe it is your will to heal me and in Jesus' name I declare that no sickness or disease shall come upon me and remain upon me because you said you forgive all my iniquities and heal all my diseases in Psalm 103.
Father, Jesus suffered the agony of forty stripes so that I might be healed; I thank you for your promise of divine health; It belongs to me! I believe it; I receive it; I confess it! I embrace it. I am healed through the sufferings of Jesus on my behalf. I confess that I live in the shadow of the Almighty and that I shall be satisfied with long life. I place my life in your hands and therefore when it comes my time to leave this world, I shall go in your time, in your will, and in your way.
Father, you said that he who lives and believes in you shall never die; that if a man keeps your word he will never see death; he will never taste of death. I confess that when it I depart this life, I shall walk with Jesus through the valley of the shadow of death into the next life with LOUD shouts of resounding Joy!
A Declaration of Unity
I belong to everything that belongs to Jesus and everything that belongs to Jesus belongs to me! It's not us and them. It's just us! There's only one Body of Christ, and the problems of the church, the whole church, are our problems, for we are the church and we can do more united than we can do divided! So let's unify, simplify, and multiply!

Divine Appointment Prayer
Father, give me a divine appointment today with someone who is hungry for God, or sick, or in need, and give me grace to minister the love of Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Living to Give
Father, make me a generous giver today! Show me where to give, what to give, how much to give, and let all my giving bring glory to the name of Jesus.

The law demands, demands demands, but gives me neither feet nor hands
Now Grace and Truth are better things, they bid me fly and give me wings!

Selasa, 16 September 2008


Walking by Faith
by Don Walker basileia08@yahoo.com

“For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘But the righteous man shall live by faith.’” (Romans 1:17) 
When Paul says that the righteousness of God is revealed “from faith to faith” what is he referring to? I believe that Paul is speaking about the faith of Christ and our faith. As a man Jesus had perfect faith in the Father (Heb.2:13). He was given the Spirit without measure (John 3:34) which is why He had perfect faith. While we have only a measure of faith (Rom. 12:3), this was not true of Jesus. His faith is what lay behind His perfect obedience. He stood in our place not only in death, but also in life. He was our substitute. He believed perfectly on our behalf, which is why He was the only one who could fulfill the Law (Matt. 5:17). Our imperfect faith is covered by His righteousness – resulting from a perfect faith – which is put to our credit (Rom. 4:5) We are not required to produce a perfect faith to be saved, only faith in a perfect Savior.
The faith of Christ is of no value until it is ratified by our faith. Galatians 2:16 states: “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ.” (The Greek phrase is pistis christou, which means the “faith of Christ,” contrary to translations that choose to render it as “faith in Christ.”) Paul uses the same phrase when he says in Galatians 2:20 that, “I live by the faith of the Son of God.” (The KJV translates it correctly.) Paul is showing that he continues to trust not his own faith but that of Jesus. This perfect faith of Christ continues to the present because Jesus intercedes for us at God’s right hand without doubt or unbelief. This is why Paul could make such a statement. He lived by the faith of Christ, demonstrated by His obedience during His earthly life, and His “intercessory faith” in heaven now. If Christ does not pray to the Father with a perfect faith, there is no hope for any of us. But Paul did not worry about Christ having less than perfect faith. He knew that Christ’s faith was sufficient and complete – his faith was in Jesus’ faith..
It is a daily choice to see God working in us and every situation. It's a daily choice to believe we are kings, priests, holy, accepted, loved, one Spirit with the Lord. We can choose to not believe God, and so focus on the stress, guilt, worry, anxiety and doubt. But what we take by faith takes us. If we take stress as the reality, it stays real to us and usually intensifies.

Our souls are imprinted with the pathways of our history of choices. These are ruts in our psychology, and when the chips are down we go into the old rut of self-pity, anger, rage, self-righteousness, or whatever apparently used to make us feel better. This is the root of addictive behavior. I'm finding that despite wrong choices, I'm to stand up again, thank God for the cleansing Blood of Jesus that has washed away all of my sins from God's consciousness, and start walking in faith again.
The story is told about a young man who went through the wedding ceremony, coming out of the chapel he turned to his new bride and said, “Honey, I don’t feel married.” To which his bride replied, “Dear, you had better adjust your feelings to fit the facts.”

My contrary feelings give me the choice. When I feel guilt over a past, confessed sin, I stand on the Blood. I can walk as though I never committed the sin.. If I sin against someone I first confess it to God, then go to the other person and ask for forgiveness. After that I am free; I can get walking again as if I'd never done it. This is a choice, an internal choice to believe 1John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanse us of all unrighteousness." And then I can believe Psalm 103:12, "As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us." My sins are literally right out of God's consciousness, so I can shove them out of mine in agreement with God, rather than be plagued by guilt. He sees me as a son, a pure, holy son who is on the path to deeper and better expression of Christ. This does not mean that there are not sometimes consequences to my sin, but in terms of my relationship to the Father, I am restored.

Faith is mostly about courage. It's about Moses being opposed by Pharaoh and not backing down. It's about Joshua and Caleb seeing the giants and fierce inhabitants of the Promised Land and pushing back fear, saying, "Let us go up and possess the land, for we are well able to overcome it" simply because God had promised them the Land. We see that courage in Abraham leaving his home because God said "Leave Haran and go to a land I will show thee." The same courage operated in David, who was persecuted and hunted by Saul and yet chose not to kill Saul when he had the perfect chance. He knew God would perform His promises to make David the king.

We have to face our Pharaohs, our giants, fierce inhabitants, our Sauls, that face us on the battlefield of our mind, or in physical reality. And the answer is the same for us as it was for the biblical patriarchs from Adam and Eve all the way to the disciples of Jesus Christ. "Will I trust God, or will I trust my own feelings and thoughts?" That's where the rubber meets the road.

Kamis, 11 September 2008


by Robert Fitts
While in a group prayer meeting recently, the Lord revealed an exciting truth to me.  It was a simple word that started me to thinking. He said, "You are always receiving more in the Spirit when you pray than you can experience or express." As I thought upon this word, I was encouraged, for who cannot testify that he has often felt very dry in his times of prayer? I certainly have, even in group prayer! I should say, especially in group prayer!
My first teachers in the life of faith leaned heavily on logic, intellect and reason. They taught me, not in so many words, but strongly implied, that in order for anything to have any spiritual value it had to pass the test of reason, knowledge and understanding. As if anything outside the realm of our understanding could possibly have any value. This is a defective teaching in the light of the fact that there are so many mysteries in God that go beyond the reach of our intellect and our understanding. 
         How can Jesus actually come into our spirit and make His home there?
         How can the fullness of God in the person of Jesus Christ make my spirit His dwelling place?
         How does He change me into His image and likeness from one degree of glory to another?
         How can He communicate to me in the spirit without the use of words or consecutive thoughts?
         How can I commune with Him in the spirit without speaking words to Him?
All of these questions, and many more, make it clear to me that if we wait upon our understanding to catch up with reality, we will not experience very much growth in the things of the spirit.  Spiritual growth does not depend entirely upon grasping truth with our minds. The deeper mysteries of God are perceived in the spirit and embraced by faith. Paul speaks of just such an experience when he says, "When I pray with my spirit, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful . . . He that speaks in tongues, speaks not to men but to God for no man understands him, howbeit in the spirit he is speaking mysteries . . . He that speaks in tongues edifies (builds up) himself.”
Those who have experienced speaking in tongues will agree that this is a form of communion with God and a release in the spirit into a new dimension of prayer that was not open to them in their own language. There is an opening up into a new realm of spiritual reality as we enter into this form of prayer.
There is another level of prayer that also enters into the realm of the mystical and supernatural and which also goes beyond the reach of the intellect.  This is a very simple form of prayer.  Some may question as to whether it is actually prayer at all.  It is mentioned in Romans 8:26, "The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that we cannot express . . . he intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will." This is prayer that supersedes our intellect and reason, for words are incapable of expressing this kind of prayer. But we know, according to what Paul says here, that it is prayer to God and that it is intercession for us and for the saints that is always in accord with God's perfect will. It is perfect prayer birthed in our spirit by the Holy Spirit.
Charles Spurgeon said of this kind of prayer, “There are some prayers that break the backs of words.”
In Romans 8:15: "You have received the spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry 'Abba', Father."  The Spirit we have received is a praying Spirit. He came into us "crying” which means “crying out to the Father.” The Spirit of Jesus within us is a crying (praying) Spirit. And He is continually praying, non-stop, if He is not grieved, resisted, or quenched. This is unceasing prayer.
In Galatians 4:6 Paul says, "Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, 'Abba, Father.'"  In Romans 8:15 it is 'we' who are crying "Abba, Father" by means of the Spirit of His Son, but in the Galatians passage it is the Spirit of His Son in us who is crying, “Abba, Father.” This is a form of silent prayer. Even when we are not crying, or groaning, or speaking in tongues, or in our own language, there is a silent prayer ascending from our spirit to God by means of the Spirit of Jesus within us. Some have called this, "The prayer of silence".
There is a prayer of silence that we can enter into by a total surrender to the indwelling Christ. He prays for us, interceding for the saints, crying out to our Abba, Father, for us and through us in a prayer of silence. (the English equivalent of “Abba” would be “Daddy.“)
The interaction between my spirit and the Spirit of God is not limited within the boundaries of my intelligence, knowledge, or understanding. There are levels of prayer that extend beyond into the mysteries of God that go beyond felt experience, or expression in human terms. There are times when we can only exclaim with Paul: "By faith we understand." (Hebrews 11:3)
Robert & Joni Fitts

Where it all Starts
All fruitfulness flows out of intimacy. Out of the womb of prayer, praise and worship all things in the kingdom of God are conceived, nurtured, and brought to birth to the glory of God and for the good of mankind.

 A Declaration of Unity
I belong to everything that belongs to Jesus and everything that belongs to Jesus belongs to me! It's not us and them. It's just us! There's only one Body of Christ, and the problems of the church, the whole church, are our problems, for we are the church and we can do more united than we can do divided! So let's unify, simplify, and multiply!
Divine Appointment Prayer
Father, give me a divine appointment today with someone who is hungry for God, or sick, or in need, and give me grace to minister the love of Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit.
A Prayer for More Workers and More Miracles
Father, send more laborers into this harvest and grant us boldness to speak your word, by stretching forth your hand to heal and that signs and wonders be done in the name of Jesus. 

Winning the War on Terrorism Through Prayer
"Father, give every terrorist in the world an encounter with Jesus like Saul of Tarsus had on the road to Damascus."

The law demands, demands, demands, but gives me neither feet nor hands.
Now Grace and Truth are better things, they bid me fly and give me wings!

Rabu, 03 September 2008


Transformation - Ed Silvoso has written a great book about Releasing Kings, breaking poverty, and discipling nations. Highly recommended reading! I also heard him share these points at Harold's conference. See chapter 3 in Ed's book, "The five pivotal paradigms for transformation" - really for reformation, are quoted below.
1. The great commission is about discipling nations, not just people.
2. The marketplace has already been redeemed by Jesus and now needs to be reclaimed by His followers.
3. Labor is the premier expression of worship on Earth, and every believer is a minister.
4. Our primary call is not to build the Church but to take the kingdom of God where the kingdom of darkness is still entrenched in order for Jesus to build His church.
5. The premier social indicator that transformation has taken place is the elimination of systemic poverty.
Fish or Fisherman - At the moment our missions emphasis is seeing people saved and healed. Last week we shared Duane Smith's trip report from the Philippines. He not only saw salvations and miraculous healings. He saw newly saved believers praying for the sick and getting instant results. So we're celebrating amazing results and at the same time seeing the next step.
Discipleship (and the gospel) includes breaking poverty off of God's people and showing them how to multiply their finances. When we explain the theology of healing we quote Isa 53 and 1 Pet 2:24 to point out that the basis for healing is in the atonement - through Jesus' redemptive work on the cross.
Surely he took up our infirmities... and by his wounds we are healed. Isa 53:4-5

...by his wounds you have been healed. 1 Peter 2:24
When we explain prosperity we often say it's a gift ("giving" Rom 12:8) and some have it and others don't. To be honest, most of what we know in the church about finances is how to take offerings... tithes, first fruits, seed, increase - everything goes in the ever present offering basket. The resulting saints are numb to the appeals for offerings, know little about personal generosity, and are generally broke at the end of the month. Very few know how to disciple the saints in a way that causes them to increase financially. Now, consider what Jesus accomplished on the cross in this area.
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. 2 Cor 8:9 NIV

10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. 2 Cor 9:10-11 NIV
Rich in every way - Our concept of the Gospel, revival, missions and reformation are just now starting to break out of poverty. Again my proof text is a person, David Tinney. Take the time to read his interview. David is a hard working business man that has been going to Ukraine for about 10 years. He is teaching business conferences and financial release in a missions context. "In many ways the believers in the Ukraine are ahead of Christians in the US… having investment clubs and training for investing, FOREX trading, and real estate." Yes, they heal the sick, see salvations, and plant churches. However, with the financial ingredient, they are also changing a nation... discipling a nation.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations  Matt 28:19
David demonstrates generosity by personal example, but he does it from a position of abundance instead of poverty. He's started businesses to fund his ministry. It includes teaching and books (one of his books is a best seller in Ukraine). However, David believes one of the keys to prosperity is taking care of widows and orphans. He's a lover of people, however, he's bold and aggressive in business and marketing so that he can be generous with the people he has passion for.
A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. Prov 11:25 NIV

He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done. Prov 19:17 NIV

A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor. Prov 22:9 NIV
John & Sue

Selasa, 02 September 2008


Living In The Rain of God's Favor

God longs for us to be like a well watered garden, flourishing, full of joy, always in blossom. Yet many times, due to situations that are happening in our lives, we don’t necessarily feel like we are in full blossom, rather we feel like we’re in a dry spell.

When this happens, instead of giving up and accepting your present circumstance as your lot in life, decide to praise God more than you ever have. In the Bible, the psalmist said, “I will keep on hoping for You to help me. I will praise You more and more.” When we decide to give God praise, something powerful and supernatural happens. Peace, joy and divine favor begin to rain down over our lives.

By praising God at all times, what happens in the natural with rain, will be the same spiritually over your lives; a cloud can only hold so much condensation, so many vapors, before it releases. In the same way, when you keep sending up praise, you keep singing, “God is good all the time,” that cloud can only hold so much before the blessings come bursting back down. When you stay full of praise, God’s blessing will begin raining down, making sure that you are always in blossom; causing you to bloom where you’re currently planted, even if you’re in a dry spell!