Sometimes we have to go back to basics, or “back to the very beginning” (as Julie Andrews sang in The Sound of Music), and do a quick review of how we are actually “getting along” in living this life of faith, and in the effectiveness of our prayer life.
For several weeks I have personally been in that “mode”, as I have spent much time meditating and reflecting upon the “prayer-conversation” of Jesus and the Father as recorded in John 17, and other passages.
I would like to share some insights that have formed over the last few days. I am only sharing what I have personally had revealed to me and what I am purposing to walk out as I am surrendered to and empowered by the Spirit of God.
Crazy as it may seem to many, I am motivated by extreme desire to be effective in prayer and victorious in my mind and emotions. I strongly desire to not be a believer whose joy and victory is dependent upon circumstances. I strongly desire that my circumstances always bow to the TRUTH of God’s Word and that no matter what I will genuinely rejoice in God and in truth – regardless.
(It is my understanding that the early Christian martyrs, who were tortured or burned at the stake did so not with complaint or accusations against God but with praise on their lips. To me, that is the “gold standard”.)
Here are a few simple keys I want to pass on today.
#1 We must always look with spirit eyes into the unseen realm, in order to maintain the kind of victory that is based upon truth, not upon circumstances. We must always keep our eyes upon God who CANNOT lie and who KNOWS HOW to work out the details of our journey in this life.
Of course this can be a major challenge to our mind…especially when we are certain we have ‘heard from God’…. as to what His will for us is.
#2 We must expend effort and invest time into increasing our deep trust in His word. His Word must be the SOLID ROCK inside us, when the storms hit. Our trust must never be in people.
It may sound easy enough to embrace this, but be assured it isn’t because we are all basically “people pleasers” or “people reactors” at our core.
(We must know and personally believe that Jesus was not moved by external “evidence”, but by eternal evidence. He was not moved by opinions of man. He needed no human attention, acceptance, approval, or applause. See John 5:41, 44 and John 2:25)
#3 The biggest battle we all must win is the battle in our mind. So we must face it head on, in order to win.
I will now share something very simple that can help anyone make progress in this arena.
Begin immediately to make the changes you want.
Start here. The scriptures declares that:
1. “NO weapon formed against you shall prosper….” Isaiah 54:17 (It would be good to read the entire verse)
2. “You are more than a conqueror…(through Christ) ” Romans 8:37
3. “You have the mind of Christ…” 1 Corinthians 2:16
What was revealed to me was that most of our mind battles consist of facing one or all three of the following:
Fear – of the FUTURE: of the unknown, failure, or exposure of our real self
Regret — from the PAST: of mistakes, or wrong choices
Emptiness – in the PRESENT: no sense of a reason to exist, purpose, love, or joy
The battle(s) can be won by first honestly “owning up” to what is bothering you. Then realize that it is possible to exchange truth for the lies that are going round and round inside your mind.
In fact the cross of Jesus is all about the place where the “great exchange” took place -He gave His life, His emotions, His mind for mine, if I will but take what is offered.(Positive thinking and positive confessions can never match the power of the life giving word of God)
Take one scripture, all or add additional ones to the ones above. Use the scripture as your sword against the lies that come against your mind until the “skirmish” is completely over!
Be aware that there will be new battles, but you will always win the same way….by starting off with “It is written…..”
Do it out loud. (You do not have to feel like it.) The word is living and active and it works if you will work it.
Darkness in thoughts and distress in emotions will go. Peace and joy will come.
And please remember, it does not glorify God to live in regret or fear or emptiness. Jesus came to give us abundant life.
On February 20, 2016 I had a dream just before waking. The dream was short and troubling.
I was seated in a “pub” between a high ranking government official and a church leader. I was trying to speak to the government official, but all he wanted to do was blame others for the condition of our land. I tried to say “why don’t you just take some responsibility?” He pulled away in anger. Then I turned toward the church leader on my right. I noticed a “beer can”. On the can was the word ‘intoxication’.
When I awakened I was very troubled. I asked the Lord what it meant and I sensed what I believe to be His revelation – that we as a nation and as “church” in our nation, by in large, are lacking in proper leadership and that there is a propensity within church leadership to be intoxicated with the music/worship, teaching/preaching, anointing, signs/wonders, ministry and gifts more than with THE giver of it all.
My prayer for myself and for the church at large is that we return to our first love, and put the “mechanics” of doing church on the back burner, or at least in the proper place.
Christ alone. Christ to have preeminence. First Place. Even above our prayer burdens.
And my prayer for government leaders is to own up to, take responsibility for, actions and the impact of all the wrong decisions. I pray for leaders to chart a new course and quit blaming everyone and everything.
For meditation and prayer:
Isaiah 56:10-12 “His watchmen are blind,They are all ignorant;They are all dumb dogs,They cannot bark; Sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.11Yes, they are greedy dogs Which never have enough. And they are shepherds Who cannot understand; They all look to their own way, Every one for his own gain, From his own territory.12“Come,” one says, “I will bring wine, And we will fill ourselves with intoxicating drink;Tomorrow will be as today, And much more abundant.”
“In returning and and rest you shall be saved. In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” Isaiah 30:15
Are you developing? Are you more like Jesus today than you were last month or last year? Or are you just an older version of what you have always been? How would you answer these questions?
As I see it, the bible is clear that the Father is looking for full grown sons. (Ephesians 4:13; Romans 8:29; Colossians 1:28; Hebrews 2:10 etc.)
Our model, our pattern and empowerment, is found particularly in the gospels, but also throughout the scriptures.
Let me quickly run through a few verses. Please examine these prayerfully on your own.
He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. 1 John 2:23
How did He walk after the Holy Spirit came upon Him? (Matthew 3:16)
In Acts 10:38 we see a concise summary of how He walked: “…God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil for God was with Him.”
That verse contains the answer.
He also proclaimed His mission “to preach the gospel to the poor; heal the broken hearted, proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord (or the year of the Lord’s favor) Luke 4:18-19
This is the commission, the mandate, the assignment day in day out – 24/7.
How do we get there?
We do whatever it takes to shift our mind from things of this world to things eternal. Jesus’ disciples asked Him once “What shall we do, that we may do the works of God?” Jesus answered them…. “This is the work of God, that you BELIEVE IN HIM whom He sent.” John 6:28-29
Our mind has to be renewed to think His thoughts, have His purposes always central and let go of things that hinder.
Think about it.