Tag Archive: strength


Lord Heal

Lord, there is someone hurting today. Someone has been left to bear a most pressing burden on their own; lift that burden and give them rest. Someone has been seized by the unbearable pain of abandonment; hold them in your arms and caress away the hurt. Someone is perplexed by the enigmatic conundrums that seem to plague their lives; simply this moment so that they can exhale.

Lord, somebody is at the point of giving up, shine a light into their darkness so that they may see that they are standing on the edge of a breakthrough. Lord someone has been convinced that their life is not worth living, reveal the cross so they will see that you thought so much of their life that you gave yours to save it. ~ Dr. Rick Wallace

One of the questions that finds its way to me from believers seeking guidance more incessantly than all others is: How do I get past the pain? Within this one question lies many others: How do I move on? How do I forgive? What did I do to deserve this? Where is God when it hurts?

One of the most difficult things to do is recognize the hand of God moving in the midst of your pain. The pain of heartbreak and loss can be crippling, paralyzing, and even blinding. Pain has the power to stop you dead in the middle of your tracks and it has the weight to buckle your knees. Being a person intimately acquainted with pain, I can easily empathize with those that are engaging the enigmatic conundrum of pain. One of the most insightful books I have ever read on pain was a book entitled: :Where is God When it Hurts? ~ by author Phillip Yancy. In addressing this topic I thought it would be appropriate to borrow that title.

As I stated earlier, the ability to sense the presence of God in your circumstances can be stifled by the excruciating force of pain. The loss of a loved one, betrayal or abandonment by a loved one, and many other painful experience can squeeze you so tight that the very breath that sustains you seems to leave your body. It takes all that you have within you to rise each day and face the uncertainties of what was once a very simple and sequacious life. The question arises: Where is God in all of this? When the pain won’t subside and the malevolent force of its merciless cruelty, will not allow you to seek refuge from its pernicious assault, what do you do? When you look for a moment to simply recompose yourself, but the deafening sounds of the cries of your soul will not allow you to rest, how do you maintain? When every breath that you take seems to collapse your chest with wreathing pain, where do you turn? When it seems that God has abandoned you to the chaos of the moment, what is left?

I would simply like to make one point. God has never and will never leave you. It may be dark right now, but Solomon said that God dwells in the darkness. God knows all that you are going through right now. He is perfectly cognizant of the depth of your pain and the severity of your struggle. One day, you will be able to say, like King David, “If it had not been for the Lord, who was on my side, I would have been destroyed.”

My friend, you are not alone. Pain is a part of the process and though it is uncomfortable, it is profitable. Your pain is developing character within you that cannot be obtained through any alternative measure. It is building a resolve of faithfulness and commitment to the cause of the kingdom. Your pain is revealing those in your life whom you can trust, and those whom you can’t. Pain has a way of thinning the air of all of the impostors in your life masquerading as friends. Pain frightens the inauthentic people in your life. It makes them uncomfortable and drives them into the distance. It is disappointing, but very necessary that they leave. They were a distraction and hindrance to your growth and advancement.

Pain draws you nearer to God as you yearn and seek his presence. The most awesome thing to me about being a Christian is the uniqueness of the relationship between the Savior and the saved. You see, only in this faith can the believer say that their Lord has shared in their pain. You may say what you will about God being indifferent to the pain of His people, but what other God can boast that he has literally come down as a man and experienced the same pain? So, when you are going through, know that there is nothing that you are experiencing that our Savior has not already experienced before you. You are not alone. In fact, Christ wants to carry that pain for you. Give it to Him. Dealing with pain is never easy, but with God all things are possible. You are a child of the King. Lift your hands and give God praise, for He will soon reveal the great things that your pain has produced. ~ (Bishop) Dr. Rick Wallace

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October 22, 20l2
Set Free
Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free,” (John 8:32 NIV).

Friend to Friend
For fifteen years, Leeanne was emotionally and verbally abused by her mother. Every day she heard that she was a stupid worthless failure. Her mother told her that she was “ugly” and “fat” and “not good enough.” “No man will ever want you,” she scorned.

Leeanne grew up afraid of women and hating herself. “Why can’t I be different?” she wondered.  She believed her mother’s estimation of her and lived in defeat. Leeanne grabbed attention any way she could, and by the time she was twenty-three, she had three abortions on her medical record. The guilt and shame of those abortions compounded her feelings of worthlessness.

But something amazing happened to Leeanne when she was twenty-four. She accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior and became a new creation. She knew that God forgave her the moment she asked – totally and completely. However, Satan continued to remind her of the terrible mistakes of her past.  How could I have killed my children?  What would my friends think if they knew the truth? I can never let anyone know about my past. Some things are simply unforgivable in human eyes.

Leeanne met and married a wonderful Christian man. They began their life of ministry as he pastored a church in a small community. God blessed them with three wonderful children, but still the shame of her past lingered.

“I felt so unworthy of my husband’s love,” she said. “I felt I wasn’t good enough to be his wife.  I never told him about my past. It was a secret that weighed me down.”

Leeanne went to a women’s retreat and picked up one of my books, Your Scars are Beautiful to God.  For the first time, she began to heal from the wounds her mother had inflicted on her little girl heart.  She realized that is was Satan who continued to taunt her with those lies and make her feel as if they were true. Then she did something that really made the enemy mad.  She forgave her mother. Even though her mother had since died, she forgave her as if she were standing before her that very day.

Leeanne imagined Jesus erasing away all her faults, especially the ones that her mother had so maliciously written on the chalkboard of her mind. “All gone,” she said. “I’m set free.”

But there was one more step to Leeanne’s freedom. See, as long as she kept her past a secret, she would never be totally free. “I prayed all day and night for the courage to tell my husband about the three abortions, and I finally did. No one in the world knew about the abortions but me.  I had to tell my husband the secret so Satan could not use it against me any longer.”

“Finally, I did it. I told him the truth. But he did not react the way I imagined he would. He held me in his arms and cried. ‘I can’t believe you have held on to this for so long alone,’ he said.”

Leeanne went on to say…

“I am no longer shameful. I am pure.”

“I am no longer ugly. I am beautiful.”

“I am no longer unlovable. I am dearly loved.”

Leeanne recognized the lies. Leeanne rejected the lies. Leeanne replaced the lies with truth. She is now walking in the truth as a holy, chosen, dearly loved, child of God.

Let’s Pray
Dear LORD,   thank You for setting me free from condemnation.  Thank you for Your grace – receiving the gift I don’t deserve, and for mercy – not receiving the punishment I do deserve.  Thank You for making me a new creation in Christ – pure, holy, cleansed.
In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.

April 2

Grow in His Strength

“As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: so the Lord alone did lead him, and there was no strange God with him” (Deut. 32:11, 12).

Our Almighty Parent delights to conduct the tender nestlings of His care to the very edge of the precipice, and even to thrust them off into the steeps of air, that they may learn their possession of unrealized power of flight, to be forever a luxury; and if, in the attempt, they be exposed to unwonted peril, He is prepared to swoop beneath them, and to bear them upward on His mighty pinions. When God brings any of His children into a position of unparalleled difficulty, they may always count upon Him to deliver them.

–The Song of Victory

***
“When God puts a burden upon you He puts His own arm underneath.”

Rick Wallace Ministries
http://rickwallaceministries.bbnow.org

This went out to the Facebook open group “The Believers Initiative”. Anyone that wants to better themselves in every aspect of life is willing to join.

 

Anyone that knows me knows that I am intent on being informed about past and current issues. I was contemplating the objective of this Group Forum
: To help advance believers in every aspect of their lives. So I took the 21 principles of Christian Living as revealed to me by the Holy Spirit and I wanted to address the 5 that are lacking the most.

21 Principles of Christian Living

1. God above all else ( When God is placed first the process of power begins)
2. Always know that God is in control (This is the essence of faith)
3. Constantly renew your mind and your thinking (transformation begins here)
4. Daily intake, digestion, metabolism & inculcation of Bible doctrine
5. Always look to give more than you receive (Fill your space)
6. Wholeness of Life (let no area be in lack)
7. Living in true abundance (finance is only a small portion of true abundance)
8. Guard Your Tongue & Understand its power. (Life & Death lie here)
9. Maintain the Temple (our bodies; health, fitness & nutrition)
10. Teach others as you learn (Of whom much is given, much is required)
11. Build up rather than tear down (Christians have become good at the latter)
12. Forgive (Forgiveness is one of the greatest ways to reclaim stolen power)
13. Live in your purpose (Your Purpose defines your pain)
14. Honor God in your Walk (This is your greatest testimony
15. Allow Praise to become a daily practice (Praise confounds the enemy)
16. Work in harmony with all believers (stop being a busy body & complainer)
17. Accept Correction (Only a fool despises it)
18. Maintain a heart of gratitude (take notice of the simple things)
19. Develop a sense of order (Without order chaos rules and little is accomplished)
20. Expand your vision & God will enlarge your territory (We have been trained to
think
small, criticized when we open up to the possibilities (God is not a god of
mediocrity)
21. No surrender; No retreat (God takes not pleasure in those that draw back)

When we follow these principles victory is inevitable. When I began to delve into the things that were troubling believers most, I found the following 5 things to be most prevalent.

1. Financial Struggles (falls under principle #3)
2. Fitness and Nutrition (falls under principle #9)
3. Relationship Issues (falls under principles #11 and 17)
4. Poor Vision or Dwarfed Goals (falls under principle 20)
5. lack of Knowledge (falls under principle #3)

Each of this issues are due to lack. The issue is always lack.

25 “This is the inscription that was written:

MENE, MENE, TEKEL, PARSIN

26 “Here is what these words mean:

Mene[e]: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end.

27 Tekel[f]: You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.

28 Peres[g]: Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”

This is the famous passage in Daniel dealing with the writing on the wall. Belshazzar was weighed in the balances or searched by God and found to be lacking. Any area of perpetual personal struggle is always due to a lack of the virtue that provides foundation and strength in that area of your life. This is why we are to have an abundance in every area of our life, not just focusing on wealth.

We are going to address these issues head on. The first thing that I want each of you to do is determine which of these areas of struggle apply to you. Determine what the exact need is. Second you are to determine which of thse areas you are strongest in and decide the best way to use your strengths to help others with weaknesses in the area of your strengths. If you know of courses, products, people and other resources, prepare to share them with the rest of the group beginning Monday. If you have something you want to share before then thats fine too. I need all of you Entrepreneurs, Life Coaches, Motivational Speakers, Spiritual Leaders to step to the forefront. I will provide support on several fronts. I will provide insight from my years of experience as a business owner; Health, fitness, health, and holistic living from my expertise in the fitness arena; and scriptural foundation in order to build the foundation on which we will build up each of these areas of weakness.

Let every one you know that is in need of help to come. Tell all the heavy hitters that this is a chance to give back as well as generate business within the guidelines of the program.

Together we will make a difference, not only in the lives of the people within this group, but the people we come in contact with outside this group.

Okay, lets do this.

Bishop Rick Wallace

http://rickwallaceministries.com

http://funnychurchclips.blogspot.com

P.S. Pastors, I have some special resources to share with you. Those of you in the Dallas and Houston area should contact me directly. This includes Author and Publisher Andrea Taylor of Third Chapter Press

I want each of you to pick up your iPhones, EVO’s, and all of those other smart phones, turn off the screen until its dark and then look at your reflection in that iPhone and I want you to tell yourself, “Self, I am coming out and I am coming out with my hands up! I coming out of every dark situation with my hands held high in victory. God has promised that he would deliver me.I am coming out of the trap of selfish ambitions.
I am coming out of depression.
I am coming out of low self-esteem.
I am coming out of financial difficulty.
I am coming out of this abusive relationship.
I am coming out of confusion and despair.
i am coming out of subpar living
I am coming out of the sphere of dwarfed goals
I am coming out of weak moments and poor decisionsLook to God and tell Him that you glory in His name and you rest in the promises of His Word. Self, I know that God has something for me, for His Word says that Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the hearts of men all of the things that God has prepared for those that wait on Him. Self, hold on a little while longer, the breakthrough is coming. Self, settle yourself into the peace that transcends all understanding and wait for the flow of God’s awesome power to reach into this situation. Self, I am coming out. I coming out with my praise in tact. I am coming out with my joy in place. I am coming out with my song ever refreshed in my soul. I coming out with a new testimony. I am coming out with new wings to soar. I am coming with a Dance like David’s. I am coming out with vision and purpose in view.

Praise God.

Enlarge Your Vision

The revelatory influence of God’s Word never ceases to amaze me. No matter how much time I spend in the Word, no matter how well I believe I have anatomized a particular subject, God always seems to take me a little further each time I visit Him in His Word. When it comes to the power and sufficiency of His grace there is no exception.

As Christian believers, we will inevitably come to a place of trouble in our lives. Christ promised that there would be tribulations. He said that the world would hate us because it hated Him. Yet, He said that we should be of good cheer because he had already overcame the world (John 16:33). This means that the victory has already been one. The strategic victory has been established (Christ magnanimous work done at Calvary), and now the tactical victory must be executed (the believer’s victorious walk made available by the victory achieved by Christ at Calvary).

It is important to understand the multitudinous assets we have at our disposal. Because of our position in Christ we have the power to overcome any obstacle and conquer any enemy. God has designed each of us with a specific purpose in mind and He has empowered (anointed) us to fulfill our destinies. As Christians it is not our aim to circumvent life’s struggles because we understand that it is in the struggles that the power of God moves mightily on our behalf. It is in the weakness of pain that the power of God’s love restores us. So, any attempt at circumventing the vicissitudes of life is futile and reveals a level of spiritual immaturity. There are numerous text within the Bible that reveal this truth; none quite as powerfully and distinctly as 2 Corinthians 12:7-10.

7And to keep me from being puffed up and too much elated by the exceeding greatness (preeminence) of these revelations, there was given me a thorn ([a]a splinter) in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to rack and buffet and harass me, to keep me from being excessively exalted. [Job. 2:6.]

8Three times I called upon the Lord and besought [Him] about this and begged that it might depart from me;

9But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and [b]show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may[c]pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!

10So for the sake of Christ, I am well pleased and take pleasure in infirmities, insults, hardships, persecutions, perplexities and distresses; for when I am weak [[d]in human strength], then am I [truly] strong (able, powerful [e]in divine strength). (2 Corinthians 122:7-10, AMP)

Here Paul informs the Corinthians about the “thorn” in his “flesh”. What exactly this thorn is has been the topic of much great debate among theologians for centuries. I will not endeavor to state my case on the matter because it does not have true bearing on the message. If it did, Paul would not have been as ambiguous in revealing it. What is important is Paul’s request for God to remove the thorn and God’s response.

One thing to take notice of here is the fact that Paul lists the reason that he has the thorn. Paul had received an abundance of revelation and with the natural exaltation that comes with a gift like that it would have been easy for Paul to get big-headed, so God allowed this thorn to exist to keep Paul grounded and dependent upon Him.

Paul says that he prayed three times. This is significant for two reasons. First, the multiple supplications reveals Paul’s intense desire to have the thorn removed; it was not simply a nuisance, but it was painful and a burdensome. Second, as powerful of a faith warrior as Paul was his will could not override the will of God. God is sovereign and his will is the final standard.

Paul, as we often do, sensed the intensity of the moment and immediately sought extraction from the pain, discomfort, and toil involved with his affliction. He wanted to be taken back to a place of comfort, but God’s response was both, powerful and succinct. “My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.

Let’s slow down for a moment so that we can take a good look at what is happening here. God is revealing the fact that there is not an autonomy, as for as man is concerned, outside of God. Man functions optimally under the power of God. God is saying to Paul, I will not take you out of the trial, but I will bring you through it. God is opening and bearing up the truth concerning His grace. We all see grace as simply the function through which God forgives our sins, but it is so much more. Grace represents everything that God is able to do on our behalf based on Christ’s magnanimous gift on Calvary. This includes the power he provides to live this Christian life in victory.

“My grace is sufficient” is one of the most powerful statements in the Bible. Some of you may feel that I am being melodramatic, but allow me a moment to point out a couple of things that validate my point. We know that this is a powerful statement first of all because God uses it as a “settle all” for Paul’s incessant prayers concerning his thorn. God did not go into a long doctrinal treatise to give Paul an explanation; He simply said, “My grace is sufficient….” In other words, the buck stops with grace. One of the most impactful words of this entire passage is one that almost always goes unnoticed; “IS”. “IS” is the 3rd person singular present indicative of “be”.  The key grammatical designator is “present indicative”. Present means now and indicative indicates what. In simple God’s grace “is” sufficient, not shall be sufficient, but “is” sufficient. This means right now, you have all that is necessary to overcome everything that you encounter. Right now; not tomorrow, but you have the power to stand right now.

Let’s look at the word “sufficient” for a moment. The Greek word translated “sufficient” is

ἀρκέω

arkeō

ar-keh’-o

Apparently a primary verb (but probably akin to G142 through the idea of raising a barrier); properly to ward off, that is, (by implication) to avail (figuratively be satisfactory): – be content, be enough, suffice, be sufficient.

Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries  G714

 

Sufficient means that everything that is required is supplied. There is nothing lacking in the grace of God. Allow me to state it this way; God does not supply your spiritual assets in installments; he has given you all the assets that are required and then some, but you must possess the faith to access them.

God supplements His declaration to Paul with a final declaration of power. “For my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Paul, in his ingenious elliptical writing style has boldly explained our pain in two verses of scripture. In verse 7 we find that our pain and afflictions stabilize us and prevent us from becoming haughty. In verse 9 we find that this same pain (weakness) allows the power of God to work mighty on our behalf; meaning that we can accomplish more in our state of acknowledged weakness through God’s power than we can at full strength in our own human strength. So, the very thing that humbles us also makes us strong. All I can say to that is “only God”.

What is Paul’s Conclusion to all of this?

 

“…Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may[c]pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!

10So for the sake of Christ, I am well pleased and take pleasure in infirmities, insults, hardships, persecutions, perplexities and distresses; for when I am weak [[d]in human strength], then am I [truly] strong (able, powerful [e]in divine strength).” (2 Cor. 12:9-10 AMP)

Paul is not saying that his pleasure is in the actual infirmities, but that there is pleasure and encouragement in what these infirmities and afflictions will produce. Paul understood that his greatest achievements would be accomplished under the pressure of affliction. He came to the knowledge that his pain activated God’s power. He understood that his weakness opened the door for something great to come in.

God wants you to know that there is nothing going on in our life that he is not aware of. He desires that you apprehend the fact that the very things that are hurting you right now will facilitate your greatness. Your weakness and inability to resolve the issue on your own opens the door for God to step in and perform all that he has promised. Know that all that you are dealing with at this moment is not beyond you because God has you in His care. Your pain and struggles may be bigger than you, but they are never too big for God. So when you traveling through the vicissitudes of life and it seems that things are simply getting worse, lift up your hands in praise because God’s grace is sufficient.

 

God bless,

Bishop Rick Wallace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It would probably surprise some to find the source of scriptural text that produced the inspiration for the above title. It was while immersed in a study of this related text it came upon me and overtook me. We are consistently pressing along a constant continuum of spiritual progression. This progression is toward spiritual maturity and ultimately leads to meeting God’s grand design for our lives. There are times we make great strides and there are times that we seem to regress, however, I find that our ability to move consistently along this progression is directly connected to two separate scriptural passages. I will introduce you to the first of the two on today and I will follow up with the next on tomorrow.

No matter where you are in your “walk” (and this term will be explained within this brief treatise), if you enter this study with an open mind, trusting the Holy Spirit, via His revelatory ministry, to illuminate God’s truth within, you will be empowered through knowledge and direction. You will find that the ground work for your success has been laid well before you were conceived. God has designed a plan specifically for your life that coincides with His divine plan for the entire universe. You may have been struggling to make headway in your incessant desire to be a better Christian, but find yourself always falling short. You have probably begun to accept the worldly view that your humanity bounds you to a life of sinful failure and “thank God for grace” has become your mantra. I want you to know that God has not called you to do anything that He has not given you the power to do.

You do not have to matriculate to any great theological seminary to apprehend the truths that will be presented here today. You simply have to be committed to become submitted to the Holy Spirit and the serious study of the text. I have said this on more than one occasion and I will venture to say it yet once again: The first and greatest responsibility of any believer is the constant, daily, intake, digestion, metabolism and inculcation of Bible Doctrine. Every other responsibility and calling is predicated on mastering the first. When you neglect the Word, you become spiritually emaciated and functionally impotent as a Christian Soldier.

I invite you to take this journey through the word of God and the mind of the Apostle Paul as we uncover this powerful truth that the enemy has successfully hidden from so many through a method I call “Delusional Fixation”. Satan has used the ignorance of believers as it pertains to the Word of God to infiltrate their thinking with false doctrines that are being disseminated from within and outside of the faith. Everywhere you turn there are messages “you are simply human” when the Word clearly states that you are more than a conqueror. It is time that the believer begins to live in the power of the Holy Spirit and shake the limitation of ignorance and fallacious doctrines.

So, let us move into the related text.

16But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. 19Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Gal. 5:16-24 NASB)

Your ability to grasp the truth residing within the composition of the aforementioned words is tantamount to walking in complete victory as you travel this ethereal journey of Christian faith. God has not left you clueless in this journey. He has not called you to greatness and then left you on your own to figure it out. God has ingenuously left you a blueprint to greatness and mission fulfillment. God designed you to be responsive to intellectual stimuli; the infusion of knowledge into your psychological gateways. He then provided that stimuli through his infallible Word to literally lift you into greatness.

Before we can fully understand this particular passage, we must build the context to insure that we do not erroneously apply it.

Beginning with Galatians 5:1 Paul moves from an emphasis on theology towards a focus on ethics, basically taking the Galatian believers from doctrine (the teaching) to practice (the living out of what has been taught.). Up to this point Paul had devoted his Epistle to debunking the theoretical teachings of some teachers that had convinced a great deal of the Galatian Church that they had to follow the tenets of the Mosaic Law in order to be received by God, so Paul immediately engages the Galatians concerning the ease at which they were deceive to move away from what they had been taught concerning grace.

6I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; 7which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! 9As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! … 1You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? 2This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? 3Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? 4Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? 5So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? (Gal. 1:6-9; 3:1 NASB)

Paul is addressing the interpolation of legalism into the Gospel of Grace. Jewish teachers had convinced the Galatians that they needed to be circumcised in order to be accepted by God. Anytime legalism is introduced into the plan of grace as it functions within the dispensation of the Church, we encounter massive problems (this is not the focus of our study today, so I will refrain from addressing this at the present moment, but understand that legalism is an extremely destructive force). Paul understood this and immediately moved into the correct the problem.

Paul spent a considerable amount of time and effort explaining the polarity of the Masaic Law and Grace. He cleverly disseminates the doctrine of grace so that the ground work of the Christian walk has once again been laid. Without this ground work being properly laid out it is impossible to adequately advance in this spiritual walk. Paul had effectively ruled out the Law as a regulatory standard in the age of the Church; in other words, the law had no power to advance the Christian way of life. In essence, the law had no regulatory value; in this sense it was useless. This does not mean that we should discard the Old Testament, which would be extremely foolish. What the Law lacks in regulatory value in compensates for in revelatory value. The Old Testament reveals the essence of God, the function of God, the veracity of God, the loyalty of God, the power of God,. Etc.

As Paul moves from developing the theological perimeters of Christian functionality through Grace into the access of grace’s provision of power to live out the Christian life, he interjects a statement that is all in one; a summation of what has come before and a transition into what was to follow.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Gal. 5:1)”Before plunging into this third section of his letter, Paul interjects a verse that is at once a summary of all that has gone before and a transition to what follows. It is, in fact, the key verse of the entire Epistle. Because of the nature of the true gospel and of the work of Christ on his behalf, the believer is now to turn away from anything that smacks of legalism and instead rest in Christ’s triumphant work for him and live in the power of Christ’s Spirit. . . . The appeal is for an obstinate perseverance in freedom as the only proper response to an attempt to bring Christians once more under legalism.” (Boice, p. 486.)

You must understand that to lean on legalistic tenets and sacraments is to discount grace. It is to say that the magnanimous gift that Christ provided on Calvary was not sufficient that and that we must in some way, add something to it. Grace, by its very definition is a non-meritorious conduit through which God blesses us on the basis on Christ’s saving work at Calvary. The erroneously disseminated doctrines of grace being taught now simply focus on God’s ability to forgive and a cast off the debt of sin for the believer, and though that part of grace has massive implications in the Christian walk, it is only a fraction of the complete function of grace. Graces greatest functions are unity with Christ and all believers, right standing with God (justification), and the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit (which supplies the power not to sin and to fulfill ones purpose).

Paul did not want the Galatians to get the idea that because they were no longer under the law they could cast off restraint and move into unbridled antinomianism. He wanted them to understand that grace actually brought with it more responsibility. You may ask how; grace inherently provides exceptionally more power in the Church age, and with more power comes more responsibility.

“Christian freedom is not license [sic] to sin for the simple but tremendous reason that the Christian is not the man who has become free to sin, but the man, who, by the grace of Gdo, has become free not to sin. (J. Dwight Pentecost, “The Purpose of the Law; Bibliotheca Sacra 128:511 (July – September 1971) 227-33.

Paul understands that he must now explain how the Galatians will be able to resist the natural inclination to sin (due to an inherent sin nature that resides in all humans since the fall of Adam with the exception of one; [through the virgin birth, Jesus was the only human born without a sin nature] all are inclined to sin.) Paul is about to introduce a truth that when fully apprehended brings full liberation from sin. As a matter of fact, this truth, when put into practice, immediately and automatically eliminates sin. It is only when the believer fails to live within this truth is he even able to sin.

Paul goes on to explain that there is a constant conflict taking place within the believer.

16But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. (Gal. 5:16:18 NASB)

He then begins to set out the disparity in what each warring force produces.

19Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Gal. 5:19-24 NASB)

It is extremely important that we give this passage quite a bit more attention than we normally do and it is equally important to assign to it an enormous gravity. This passage is not simply assigning deeds and attributes to a particular source. It is providing the format for understanding the status of believers and none believers. It is most importantly, revealing the source through which the Christian lifestyle and walk is accomplished.

We are told first that the “flesh’ strives against the “Spirit” and the “Spirit” against the flesh. That inherent nature within all of us desires to pull us in ways that are contrary to the will of God. It is important to understand that as long as we live we will have to contend with the sin nature residing in us. The sin nature does not leave the believer at any stage of their walk; however, it can be brought into submission and controlled through complete acquiescence to the Holy Spirit. It has been said that this can be analogous to having two dogs that are constantly warring with each other for prominence and position; the one that will ultimately win is the one that you feed the most. Obviously the Holy Spirit is nothing like a dog, but the analogy comes in the fact that whatever you feed grows stronger and whatever you starve grows weaker.

Paul tells the Galatians that if they walk by the Spirit they shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. Walking by or being led by the Spirit is living moment by moment in a place of submission to the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Anytime that you are not walking in this state of submission you become subject to the yearnings of the flesh. In this case, “walking” is a metaphorical expression used in scripture to express spiritual progression. The modes of transportation in Bible days were definitely not as fast or as efficient as they are today, but walking was still the slowest way to get from one place to the next. As slow as the process of walking may have been, one knew that if he continued to put one foot in front of another he would cover the necessary ground and would eventually reach the desired destination. So, the Christian walk is the progression toward becoming what you were designed and created to be.

Since we have two warring factions within us, Paul wanted to give us an honest way to assess which side is winning. Each of these two warring entities within us produces certain byproducts. In understanding what these products are, we can know where we are in our walk and whether or not we are truly being submissive to the Holy Spirit.

First, Paul reveals the deeds of the flesh. They can be broken down into five basic categories:

Sexual Sins (verse 19) – Immorality, fornication (Greek “porneia”, all types of forbidden sexual relationships from a physical perspective). Impurity, uncleaness (Greek “akatharsia, all moral uncleanness in thought, word and deed). Sensuality, licentiousness, indecency, debauchery, lasciviousness (Greek “aselgeia” the open, shameless display of these sins)

Religious Sins (verse 20) – Idolatry (Greek “eidololatria”, worship of anything other than God and the practices and sacramental rituals involved). Sorcery, witchcraft (Greek “pharmakeia”, attempts to aid the powers of evil and the practices associated with that).

Social Sins – (verses 20-21) – Enmities, quarrels, hatred (Greek “echthrai”, hostilities). Strife, discord, variance (Greek eris, antagonism). Jealousy, envy, emulation (Greek zelos, self-centered animosity). Outburst of anger, fits of rage, wrath (Greek “thymoi”, temper eruptions). Disputes, strife, factions, selfishness, selfish ambition (Greek “eritheiai”, putting others to get ahead). Dissensions, divisions, seditions (Greek “dichostasiai, disputes over issues or personalities). Factions, heresies, party spirit (Greek “haireseis”, divisions over issues or personalities. Envyings, jealousies (Greek “phthonoi”, wrong desires to have another’s possessions). When you examine the force of these deeds and what they will ultimately produce you will come up with one word that sums it all up; chaos.

Intemperate Sins (verse 21) – Drunkenness, drinking bouts (Greek “methai, excessive use of intoxicants). Carousing, reveling, orgies (Greek “ komoi”, parties involving excessive eating and drinking).

Other Sins – Things like these listed (similar violations of God’s moral will).

“The common feature in this catalogue of vices seems to reside not in the precise ways in which these fifteen items manifest themselves but in the self-centeredness or egocentricity that underlies all of them.” (Thomas Constable, Commentaries of the Bible)

Not only do these deeds serve as indicators of a walk on the side of carnality, they also wreak immeasurable havoc on the life of the person perpetrating them.

Then Paul moves to the other side of this polarity transitioning through the use of the conjunction

δέ

de

deh

A primary particle (adversative or continuative); but, and, etc.: – also, and, but, moreover, now [often unexpressed in English].

Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries G1161

 

22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Gal. 5:22-24 NASB)

 

 

Notice that the “flesh” produces “deeds” and the “Spirit” produces “fruit”, in the Greek

καρπός

karpos

kar-pos’

Probably from the base of G726; fruit (as plucked), literally or figuratively: – fruit.

Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries G2590

 

“Fruit is singular signifying a unified Christ-like character; an aggregate affect of walking in the spirit. Let’s take a look at the fruit that the Holy Spirit produces in those that are surrendered to His leadership. There are nine that fit into three basic categories.

 

Mental or God-ward Qualities (verse 22) – Love (Greek “agape”, self-sacrificing affection for others). Joy (Greek “chara”, deep-seated happiness regardless of circumstances). Peace (Greek “eirene”, inner quietness and repose regardless of circumstances).

Interpersonal or Other-ward Qualities (verse 22) -  Patience (Greek “makrothymia”, forbearance even under provocation). Kindness (Greek “chrestotes”, benevolence and graciousness). Goodness (Greek “agathosyne, constructive action reaching out to others).

General or Self-ward Qualities (verses 22-23) – Faithfulness (Greek “pistis”, reliability, trustworthiness). Gentleness (Greek “praytes”, acquiescence to authority and consideration of others). Self-control (Greek “enkrateia”, ability to master oneself.

 

Paul has ingeniously provided the blueprint for effective and powerful Christian living. When we walk in submission to the Holy Spirit he not only guides us, but also reciprocates by allowing you to access His power to, not only walk the Christian way, but to fulfill your particular purpose. There are multitudinous individuals struggling through this ethereal journey of Christianity feeling as if there is no possible way to rise up and live the life that they should be living. Many have been taught secular world views such as “once an addict always an addict”, but we find that surrender to the Holy Spirit produces the power to master oneself. There is complete healing available for every illness.

Paul masterfully extracts the built in excuse of humanity from the equation and interjects “grace’s” greatest hidden secret; power. When Paul prayed for the removal of the thorn in his flesh God’s reply was simply, “…My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Wait a minute; what does grace have to do with power? Everything, in its comprehensive definition, grace is all that God is able to do for every Christian based on the work of Christ at the cross. So grace appropriates justification at the moment of salvation. Grace facilitates the purifying and preparative act of sanctification, and grace allows for the Holy Spirit to indwell every believer providing so much in the way of power, revelation, and direction.

You have the power to walk triumphantly and live effectively as a victorious warrior. I urge you to surrender to the Holy Spirit; allow Him to empower and direct you. If you do so, no demon in hell, including the devil himself can stop you from completing the course and fulfilling your destiny.

 

God bless,

 

Bishop Rick Wallace

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose.” (Rom. 8:28)

 

Recently I put together an exegesis on Romans 8:28. That analysis of Romans 8:28 brought lucidity to the subject of knowing for whom God works all things for the good. What I aim to do here briefly is give insight to the last word in this passage; purpose.

G4286                                                                                                     

πρόθεσις

prothesis

proth’-es-is

From G4388; a setting forth, that is, (figuratively) proposal (intention); specifically the show bread (in the Temple) as exposed before God: – purpose, shew [-bread].

Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries

 

The Greek word “prothesis” translated purpose in English connotes something being set forth and placed in view (with the underlying meaning being that it has been set forth with the understanding  and clarity of the reason for which it was set forth). Simply put, purpose means something that has been set forth with clear understanding of its reason. Clear understanding does not constitute easy access, but clarity in the sense of understanding what has been revealed.

Purpose and its underlying elements have been pondered through the ages. The Great Greek philosophers of ancient times have grappled with purpose and the significance of human life and their modern counterparts have faced the same enigmatic issues that plagued them centuries ago. Freud, Nietzsche, and Foucault have no better settled the quandaries of life than did the likes of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Secular paradigms and cosmic speculations have infiltrated the faith of Christianity and have brought about paradigmatic shifts in the thinking of believers. When I survey the Christian landscape I find that the cosmic thinking of secular worldviews such as Nihilism, Secular Humanism, Religious Pluralism, Relativism, etc. have infiltrated the thought processes of the Christian believer. This helps to explain how so many things that were socially unacceptable just a few decades ago is now common place. When these worldviews impress their tenets of moral ambiguity and their nebulous approach to purpose and destiny, they undermine the power of God and they open the door to antinomianism and even legalism.

Understanding purpose carries with it a wealth of benefits in the sense of perseverance through the trials of this life. Purpose steadies us when we begin to waver under the pernicious attacks of the enemy. Purpose sets the resolve necessary to penetrate the darkness of doubt. Purpose makes visible the plan that is unique to each individual’s life. Purpose says that I am here for a reason, and in knowing this purpose I can comprehend the challenges that accompany this life in the sense that they will work toward the fulfilling of that purpose. My purpose explains my pain.

There is an inherent desire for significance within each of us. There is a yearning to belong; there is a yearning to matter; there is a yearning to have something for which you can base your life; purpose is the substance that satisfies this yearning. Purpose identifies and validates your direction. There are many secular systems that have created paradigms that suggest there is no true meaning to life and that our existence is simply the result chance mutation. There are those that speculate because of the size of our planet in relation to the rest of the universe that we have no true significance. It is easy for the finite perspicacity of man to erroneously hypothesize concerning such issues because without knowledge of God there is no true revelation. Without God things just don’t make sense. Until we unite with our purpose as set forth by God, we will wonder aimless, and strive ineffectively throughout our lives.

To really understand the power in purpose we must understand the following verse of scripture in the Romans 8 passage:

“For those whom he foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.” (rom. 8:29-30)

“For those whom he foreknew”, introduces the doctrine of foreknowledge which can be defined as the subcategory of God’s omniscience in which he personally knew each believer in eternity past and thereby knew that they would repent and receive The Lord Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. With this knowledge in mind, he set forth an individual plan for the life of each of these believers. Within this plan lies the purpose and destiny of each believer. The setting out of this plan by God is known as predestination (To predetermine or foreordain; to appoint or ordain beforehand by an unchangeable purpose).  In other words, by divine decree, a purpose has been placed upon your life and the emptiness that is within many of you will never be satiated until you began to walk in that purpose. When you begin to walk in your purpose a peace will settle upon you. When you engage your purpose you will find exceptional power to live in that purpose. When you put on the jacket of purpose you will defend yourself from storms of doubt that have filled your life.

 

Purpose girds your thoughts when the enemy attempts to infiltrate your mind. Purpose provides the focus that propels you into your destiny with a passion that is undeterred by trials. Purpose is the inexorable force that speaks to doubt and reminds you that God is behind the scenes holding the plan together.  Purpose reminds you that your destiny has been decreed and that only your dedication to remaining on the path is required. Purpose exposes you to the unlimited assets that God has placed at your disposal. Purpose provides the answer to the question: After salvation, then what?

 

We are told to work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). The Greek word [ κατεργάζομαι , katergazomai] which is rendered “work out” means “to continually work to bring something to fulfillment or completion. This is sometimes misapplied to teach salvation by works which would call for us to disregard scriptures such as Romans 3:21-24 and Ephesians 2:8-9). What Paul is teaching is that there is more to salvation than eternal life. Salvation comes with purpose or after salvation we would be immediately taken away to live in eternity. We have been left behind in this hostile world because we have a purpose in it. Salvation is not earned by works, but it is confirmed by them.

 

I urge each of you to search out your purpose and take hold of it; walk in it. Stand in your purpose. Do not relinquish the vision that has been placed inside of you for the vision is inundated with purpose. Do not forsake the constant study of the Word of God, for the Word is saturated with purpose. Do not forgo prayer, for prayer settles you in purpose. Do not forsake the assembly as some do because fellowship exposes the interconnectivity of individual purpose with the universal purpose of the body of Christ.

 

Welcome to your purpose; welcome to your destiny!

 

 

Best regards,

 

Bishop Rick Wallace

Founder & President

Rick Wallace Ministries

100 Men of Purpose

Life Solutions 21

The Invisible Father

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