When I was growing up, attending a small full gospel church, one of my favorite songs was “Stand up, Stand up for Jesus”.
This morning I keep hearing the first verse in my heart and head. Here it is:
Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross; lift high his royal banner, it must not suffer loss. From victory unto victory his army shall he lead, till every foe is vanquished, and Christ is Lord indeed.
See, in that verse there is truth that we must continue to embrace every day… and it shows us our responsibility to do several things:
We are here to RAISE up His royal banner which I believe includes:
His Name, His Cross, His Love, His Grace. We must not be ashamed of the gospel or His NAME – the Name of JESUS. We must not bow to those “authorities” that say we cannot speak His name or His truth. It is up to us. This is our ASSIGNMENT everyday.
We must stop fighting in the flesh, we must war on our knees, and with our praise, and with our witness of LOVE. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life…” John 15:13
We must be faithful witnesses and not fear the face of men.
Our mindset MUST shift from defeat to VICTORY. From victory unto victory. He always leads us in triumph.
When we fight on behalf of truth we must remember that TRUTH is a person. He came to lay His life down for all. He doesn’t desire that any, I mean anyone, should perish…..especially those who are most deceived.
We must be light and be different in our responses to all the deception and difficulties. Light overtakes darkness. Remember that religious darkness is just as bad, perhaps even worse, than any other kind of darkness. The letter of the law KILLS.
ARE we really soldiers of the cross? Are we willing to lay our life down for others who are yet enemies of truth? Isn’t that what He did for us?
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6-8
Are you or is someone you know under a curse?
Do bad things keep happening to you?
Are you repeating the same destructive habits or patterns over and over?
Did these patterns exist in the lives of other family members?
You may be a really good Christian and yet thinking that you are under a curse. Many people do think that.
Many Christians, as well as unbelievers, seem to really think that the devil has more power to harm, than God has to free and heal.
Many people seem to think that they are stuck and doomed to live with the generational curses.
Others spend countless hours reading and studying and searching for the hidden root of the curse, to no avail. (Jesus said, You search here and there but won’t come to me in faith John 5:40. You want to be “ok” because of your works, or your “goodness”, or with your efforts to fix things.)
Freedom will never come this way.
But, I have a some good news to share. And if you are open to it, it will change your life.
First of all let me say that YES there are “curses” that are passed down from generation to generation. Let’s read Exodus 20:5. “I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me.”
That is real, but now that only stays activated when we refuse to make a quality decision to change the way we think, in other words, refuse to repent for not believing God’s Word of FREEDOM and VICTORY from our past and present circumstances.
When we believe circumstances and the “devil-lies” more than truth, then we have no confidence to believe God (I John 3:21 If our heart does not condemn us we have confidence before God.) When we are believing lies, our heart is automatically condemning us, though it may be at an unconscious level.
Let me lay a foundation here.
- Jesus came to destroy the works of the evil one, and He DID IT. The works of the evil one HAVE BEEN TOTALLY DESTROYED (1 John 3:8). The only power the devil has to enforce the “curse”, the family patterns, is the power we give to him by believing the lies instead of believing the Word of God. [It is critical that we CHANGE OUR MIND about what we believe.]
2. Believing TRUTH is the only thing that sets us free (John 8:32). Therefore it stands to reason that we should make it a top priority to know THE TRUTH about every issue of life.
I remember when I first started walking with the Lord. My life had been a huge mess. I had major emotional issues. But, I also believed God’s Word contained the answers I needed. I didn’t have a promise book, didn’t even know about promise books, but I had a bible concordance. So I got a notebook and made a list of the different emotional problems I had and then took the concordance and began to search out what God said. Fear and panic were particular issues of mine. I had never heard of panic attacks back in 1980, but I surely had them. Here is the truth though – the word of God brought total freedom and healing to me…to my emotions and my body.
There are many verses on fear. I wrote them down and I carried one or two with me because I wanted to live in peace. Over time, the light of the scriptures drove out the darkness of fear and the panic attacks stopped. I was no longer under the “curse” of fear. Studying about fear didn’t bring freedom! Taking truth into my thinking, my heart and my practice, brought freedom.
3. See, the devil is a liar and the father of lies, all he has is lies. As long as we continue to live in agreement with what he whispers, the longer we stay under the “curse.”
4. Jesus took away the devil’s power to control us and keep us in bondage. Jesus actually became the curse in order to dismantle it so that the blessings can flow into our life (Galatians 3:13-14). Jesus hung on a tree when He was crucified. Verse 13 says that everyone who hangs on a tree is cursed. Jesus went through this so that the blessings of Abraham could come to us, too. Believe me Abraham was highly blessed.
Let me show you some more powerful truth:
In Jeremiah 17:5-8 we are shown some very critical information about curses and blessings.
Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs from the Lord. 6 For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, And shall not see when good comes, But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, In a salt land which is not inhabited. 7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is the Lord. 8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit.”
When anyone puts their trust in themselves or in another human being they automatically come under a curse. Plain and simple. You don’t have to believe me, but your life will prove it to be true.
Jesus said in John 3:17 that he didn’t come to condemn the world (or curse the world) but to bring salvation, which equals freedom, health, victory, peace, prosperity etc.
In verse 18 Jesus clearly says that those who do not believe are already condemned, or cursed.
When anyone of us trust in our own goodness, or our ability, or intelligence or whatever, and do not acknowledge God or learn His ways they fall “under condemnation or the curse”.
We have to move beyond our “victim mentality”. WE can change the course of our life and find lasting freedom from all manner of “curses” provided we are willing to make the quality choice and commit to walk it out day by day.
If we make a mis-step, be quick to take responsibility before God, be cleansed by His blood (1 John 1:9) and get back on track.
These curses and patterns do not have to have dominion over you. You have dominion over them.
We have an incredible power within us to choose. Deuteronomy 30:19 says God has set before us life and death and we should choose life that we can live!
Be Free. Then help others make the right choice.
There were g i a n t s in the land. Out of millions of people, only TWO believed God was bigger and more powerful than the giants. Everyone cried and complained….”if only….” [Numbers 14:1-2] But Caleb had a different spirit. He followed God FULLY and was assured that he would enter the promised land and his descendants would inherit it [v.24]
Those who cried and complained were not allowed to enter. And God was not at all pleased with them….you can find God’s account in 1 Corinthians 10. In v.5 it is recorded that with MOST of them God was not well pleased…and v. 6 tells us that these things became EXAMPLES (warnings even) to us….
Read the whole chapter….
Stop fellowshipping with demons v. 20. Stop playing with the demonic. Give up fear and fascination with all that, and serve God FULLY. Know Him. That is the only place of PROMISE, PROTECTION, and PROVISION of supernatural grace and peace.
There is still time to develop a CALEB spirit. Lay aside that which is distracting and disturbing you. Walk as an overcomer, a conqueror, a grace empowered CHAMPION.
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