Category: hope


“…and they overcame him by the blood of the lamb and by the words of their testimony.”

Don’t let the enemy rob you of your testimony. He wants to convince you to give up in the midst of the battle. He understand that through Christ you already have the victory as long as you stand.

As he paints his illusionistic portraits of negativity and despair his purpose is to distort the view of faith. If he can get you to believe his lie you will not retain the testimony of God’s deliverance. Listen, their is no trial, temptation, heartache, valley or pit that you can find yourself in that God has not already planned your deliverance. Don’t believe the lies of the enemy. Don’t accept the negative report of the enemy.

He will tell you that the prolonged length of your struggle is an indication of your failure, when the Word of God has revealed repetitively that struggle has no deadline and delay in deliverance is not indicative of denial of delivery or absence of faith. God has set a path and much of it is appointed for the duration and nothing you do will expedite the situation. Abraham waited 25 years before the fulfillment of the promise. The Children of Israel waited centuries for their deliverance from the Egyptians. Joseph, before them, waited thirteen years before the vision became reality. I could go on. What I can tell you is that the longer the delay, the greater the destiny.

Hold on to your testimony for dear life. Your testimony is a powerful weapon in combating the enemy. Your testimony speaks the powerful words of victory and deliverance. It is a reminder of God’s faithfulness in times of trouble (Ps. 46:1). Hold on to your testimony with all that is within you.

You will overcome, just hold on to your faith and your testimony. They both have power. ~ Dr. Rick Wallace

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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The voice of condemnation

And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: forthe accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

Revelation 12:10

This is another one of those common tactics of the enemy that we see literally all the time in the ministry of deliverance. The accusing spirit is an anti-Christ spirit, because it approaches people with no love, but a tone of condemnation. It works through a voice; the voice of condemnation. It constantly tells you how much of a failure you are. It tells you how your heart is not right with God. It tells you that if you don’t read your Bible every day, that you aren’t serious about your relationship with God. It basically tells you that you’re never good enough. This is the exact opposite nature of God. It tears down rather than builds up. The accusing spirit uses the letter of the law to lay heavy burdens and crush it’s victims, just as the Pharisees would do:

For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.

Matthew 23:4

Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

2 Corinthians 3:6

The accusing spirit works hand in hand with the family of religious spirits and strongholds, including legalism.

The accusing spirit will manifest in a variety of ways. It can cause accuse a person directly, it can cause them to accuse others around them, or it can accuse God in a person’s mind.

Anytime the enemy brings up your past failures, that is the work of the accusing spirit. This spirit feeds on past mistakes, in order to justify how that person is supposedly a failure, even though the Blood of Christ has washed away those failures and cast them into the depths of the sea! In this way, the accusing spirit is an anti-Christ spirit, because it deliberately writes off the work of Christ and the shed blood of Jesus.

A while back, I wrote a teaching which I highly recommend reading, it’s on how to discern Condemnation versus ConvictionWho speaks the voice of condemnation? The accusing spirit! Even when the accusing spirit seems to be pointing to the answer, the burden that it lays on the person is overwhelming or irrational. For example, it may tell a person that they must go back to everybody that they have ever wronged, and apologize… then they can be forgiven. That is not only unBiblical, that is salvation by works, and God’s Word tells us that if we try to be made right by works, then we have fallen from grace:

Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

Galatians 5:4

And getting us to fall from grace, that is, to stop trusting God’s mercy and grace for our salvation and justification, is exactly what the accusing spirit wants to do.

As I said earlier, the accusing spirit is a voice. It speaks to us. It may even sound righteous, because it speaks of how failures are bad. It’s true that failures are bad, but what Christ has done for us the a remedy to our failures.What the accusing spirit wants us to do is overlook or even discredit God’s remedy for our failures! Sound like a Satanic mission? That’s right! This spirit has all the makings of being righteous, even a minister of righteousness, but inside is a raving wolf seeking whom he may devour. He’s busy carrying out the work of his father, the devil.

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15

The whole motivation behind this ugly demon spirit is to discredit the work of Christ in our lives. We failed, Jesus forgave, but this spirit keeps pointing to the mistake, as if Christ did nothing to erase it! Isn’t that terrible? It is SATANIC!

The fruit of the accusing spirit is widely varied. Self-hate almost always involves the accusing spirit. Guilt, and fear resulting from guilt (when you feel ashamed, you’ll be afraid like Adam and Eve were when guilt drove them to hide from God). Doubt, unbelief, hate, judgementalism, critical spirit, resentment towards God, feelings of hopelessness, shame, etc. The list goes on and on.

What does the accusing spirit really want to do? Tear apart your faith and wear you down spiritually. He wants you to walk in guilt, condemnation, and never feel worthy of God’s glorious plan for your life. It’s goal is to wear you down, and make you weak as a child of God.

The accusing spirit thrives on repeated failures or bondages, or iniquities.Pornography or lust, for example, is a perfect example. A person can keep failing, but have their heart right before the Lord. They feel terrible each and every time they fall into that sin. Paul told us in Romans chapter 7 that he struggled with repeated failures in his own life as a Spirit-filled believer! A person who doesn’t understand their bondage may have no clue that pornography is usually a bondage with roots that need to be ministered to. The accusing spirit, however, is right there to tell them how dirty and sick their mind is. This is, again, the work of the accusing spirit.

The accusing spirit is a finger-pointing spirit. It is a blaming spirit that specializes in digging up the past, and blaming somebody for it. That somebody could be you, others, or God. It works hand-in-hand with a critical spirit, or judgementalism.

Bottom line, the accusing spirit will always point to the problem (even if it’s been washed away by the work of Christ), while the Holy Spirit will always point you to the solution. If there is a case of true guilt from un-repented sin, then once the person confesses it and is forgiven, the guilt should be an issue of the past. If the person continues to struggle with guilt, then (a) they have not mentally accepted the fact that their sin has been washed away, or (b) the accusing spirit is at work. Once a sin is confessed and forgiven, the Holy Spirit stops convicting, but the accusing spirit doesn’t stop, but continues to badger the person over their failures. The accusing spirit will also work in conjunction with spirits of guilt, shame, condemnation, hopelessness, etc.

How do we combat this deceitful spirit? For one, we need to fill our mind with the voice of God’s Word (concerning the forgiveness of sins, God’s love and mercy, etc.). We need to learn to recognize the voice of the accusing spirit and cast it down.

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:5

Being that this is a spirit which builds strongholds in our minds, we need to be diligent in renewing our mind with God’s Word, in order to undo the damage that it has done to our thinking patterns.

It’s also possible that the accusing spirit, along with other related spirits such as religiosity, legalism, shame, etc. need to be driven out as well. You can tear down strongholds all day long, but if a spirit needs to be driven out, it will keep working against you to rebuild those strongholds. ~ Practical Teachings & Studies from the Word of God

“They that sew in tears shall reap in joy.” (Ps. 126:5).

I know that you are going through some dark times in your life right now. It seems that the more you press the deeper you sink into your pit. I just want to stop by and let you know that God responds to the tears of His saints. The scripture says that those that sew in tears shall reap in joy.

Your tears are temporary, but they are compelling the movement of God in your situation. God told Moses, “I have heard the cries of my people in Egypt…I have come to deliver them.” I just want you to know that if you need to shed some tears right now, its okay. Just know that God is about to show up and bust a move in your life.

My Bible tells me that weeping endures for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Well, my friend, God sent me to tell you that morning is near. The sun is dawning just over the mountain top. Hold on with all that you have in you, for God is about move in the midst of your mess. He is about to rescue from the darkness of depression and establish you on the platform of promotion. Your broken heart is about to be mended and set ablaze with a passion for praise.

So, go ahead and cry if you must, God is about to personally wipe every one of those tears from your eyes. ~ Dr. Rick Wallace

God is Enough
9 But 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. (2 Cor. 12:9, AMP)

“Let’s face it–anxiety or worry have no advantages! They ruin our health, rob us of joy, and change nothing! Our day stands no chance against the terrorists of the Land of Anxiety.

But Christ offers a worry-bazooka. Remember how He taught us to pray? “Give us this day our daily bread. Matthew 6:11” This simple sentence unveils God’s provision plan: live one day at a time.

Worry gives small problems big shadows. Corrie ten Boom said, “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows; it empties today of its strength.” And Romans 8:28 affirms: “Every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”

Most anxiety stems, not from what we need, but from what we want. Philippians 4:4 says, “delight yourselves in the Lord, yes, find your joy in Him at all times!”

If God is enough, you’ll always have enough!” ~ Max Lucado

We are commanded in the Bible to “fear not” or not to “worry” over 365 times. That is an average of at least one scripture per day telling us to cast away worry. Corrie ten Boom said, “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, it empties today of its strength.” How true; fear and worry paralyzes those in whom it is able to sink its relentless talons.

The study of psychosomatics reveal that any prolonged emotional or psychological tension subsequently manifests itself physically. Not only does worry and fear create health issues, but they also create a state of dysfunctionality in which a person is rendered ineffective in the most simplest of daily tasks. So, it is easy to see why we are commanded to “fear not” or “be anxious about nothing”.

It is one thing to know that you are not supposed to be overcome by fear or engrossed in worry and an entirely different thing to understand the power you have to carry out the command. It is understanding the power available to every believer to carry out the commands of God that empowers them to live a powerful and effective life.

The presence of fear and worry is the product of doubt. It is the absence of faith or I sometimes say that is is having more faith in your situation than you have in God. It is the inability to apprehend with certainty God’s desire to act on your behalf and His ability to do so. When Paul went to God and asked that the thorn in his flesh be removed, he did not get the response that he desired. The fact that Paul went to God three times on the matter reveals to us the significant impact it was having on his life.

God did not remove the thorn, instead, he responded with the revelation of one of the greatest of truths in the Bible; “My grace is sufficient…” In other words, your survival and success does not rest in your extraction from hardship, but in the strength provided to withstand and ultimately overcome every struggle triumphantly. Your peace is not hidden in the ability to circumvent the vicissitudes of life, but in the God sustained power to move through them.

Why should there be no worry? Because God is enough. All by Himself, God is enough. “Why should I feel discouraged; why should the shadows fall…for Jesus is my portion…” God is enough my friend. When you are struggling to hold your marriage together, God is enough. When you fighting to keep your head above water, God is enough. When the doctor is shaking his head, confounded by your condition, God is enough. When your finances are in shambles, God is enough. When there is more mouths to feed than there is food, God is enough.

You are fighting to breakthrough and there seems to be no end to the darkness, just know that God dwells in the darkness. Trust me, I know the pain of abandonment and betrayal. I know the heartache of loneliness. I know what it feels like to be tossed by the waves of uncertainty and to have despair knocking at your door. What I want you to understand is that God is “a very present help in trouble”. He is moving in the undercurrents of your struggles and he is preparing your breakthrough. Know that you are not only coming out, but you are coming out with your hands up (sot in surrender, but in victory).

You may be facing the darkest time in your life. You may look around and it seems as if there is no hope. The enemy has sent a report of failure and futility, but I want you to understand that God works best in the darkness. Masterpieces are wrought out in the darkness. Greatness is developed in the darkness. Marriages are strengthened in the darkness. Relationships are forged in the darkness. Legacies are built in the darkness. So, as you traverse this difficult moment in your life, fret not, for God is enough! ~ Dr. Rick Wallace

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.

Raising Your Expectancy

God usually meets us at our level of expectancy. It seems that whether it is Israel in the Old Testament or the blind man in the New Testament, what is done for the believer by God is in direct correspondence to what that believer expects. In Numbers Chapter 14, we see that Israel received the negative report of 10 of the twelve spies sent to scout the land of Canaan. They came back and basically said that it is all that God said it would be, but there are Giants over there and we are like grasshoppers in their sight. Two of the spies, Caleb and Joshua, said that we can take it. Why did they feel like they could take it? Because God said they could. They believed the promises of God. Their faith was based on what he said, not what they saw. Faith is not circumstantial, it is unconditional. What God says, he is definitely able to perform.

Several times in the New Testament, as Jesus performs a healing, He says “according your faith you shall have what you seek.” In other words, I will perform up to that which you believe and expect of me. There seems to be a direct correlation between what is expected and what is accomplished.

As for Israel, God was angered and considered their lack of faith as a complaint against him. His response was, “Just as you have spoken in my hearing, so shall I do to you.” That is exactly what he did. Joshua and Caleb said they could and they were the only two of their generation to see the Promised Land. The other 10 spies and all of those that believed their report died in the wilderness over the next 40 years. What are you expecting and what are you speaking in the hearing of God concerning His promises toward you? Remember life and death are in the power of the tongue.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life]. (Proverbs 18:21 AMP)

Expectation is something quite awesome in the life of the believer. We have the right and even the obligation to expect from God all that He has promised. We limit God with our limited faith. We allow the circumstances to dictate the flow of our thought processes instead of believing God for all that he is and all that he has promised. He has promised that his Word would not return to Him void, but would accomplish all that it was sent to accomplish.

“So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” (Isa. 55:11NASB)

 

The Bible also tells us that we are not able to fathom the things that God can and will do for us, in us and through us.

 

“But, on the contrary, as the Scripture says, What eye has not seen and ear has not heard and has not entered into the heart of man, [all that] God has prepared (made and keeps ready) for those who love Him [[e]who hold Him in affectionate reverence, promptly obeying Him and gratefully recognizing the benefits He has bestowed]..” (1 Cor. 2:9 AMP)

 

 

 

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, (Eph. 3:20)

 

A common phrase used by Christ upon healing someone was “According to your faith”, as with the Blind man in Matthew 9:29. According to your faith is basically saying that based on what you believe or taking it even further, what you know, this I will do on your behalf. Faith is the conduit through which God engages and functions in the life of every believer. Without faith it is impossible to please God.

 

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. (Heb. 11:6)

 

You cannot please God without faith because the absence of faith is a personal indictment against God. Basically your lack of faith is saying to God, “I don’t believe you can!” It is saying that you cannot possibly be the great I AM. Remember what he said to the Israelites concerning their fear of entering into the Promised Land:

The LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, “How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who are grumbling against Me? I have heard the complaints of the sons of Israel, which they are making against Me.  “Say to them, ‘As I live,’ says the LORD, ‘just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will surely do to you; your corpses will fall in this wilderness, even all your numbered men, according to your complete number from twenty years old and upward, who have grumbled against Me. ‘Surely you shall not come into the land in which I swore to settle you, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun.  (Num. 14:26-30 NASB)

 

What are you speaking into the hearing of God about your situation? Are you grumbling against Him with you unbelief, or are you standing on His promises and trusting His power? I urge you to raise your expectations. Set your focus like the woman with the issue of blood. Twelve long years she suffered with no end in sight, but her faith in Christ was so strong that she decided she did not need a personal face to face encounter with Him; she simply needed to touch His clothes. Her faith was so strong that it pulled power from Jesus to the point that her touching His clothes felt to him as if she had touch Him directly. This faith of hers was so powerful that it drew on the power of Christ. When he asked who touched me, the disciples thought he had lost his mind because there was a crowd and he was being thronged by the crowed. Yet, in all of this he feels this woman touch Him. Now that is faith. That is a great expectation.

Then there was the Roman General that came to Jesus and said that I am not worthy for you to enter into my house, but if you would just simply speak it (Glory to God), I know that it will be done. Now that’s faith. That is saying that if God said it, that settles it. I am not overtaken by my circumstances because God has promised to deliver. I am not shaken by delay because God has promised to come through. My circumstances sometimes paint an aphotic and desperate portrait, yet there lies underneath a cultivated seed of faith that compels my spirit to disagree with my circumstances. I did not say deny my circumstances or pretend that they are not real, but I disagree with them. I do not give the circumstances power and authority over my life.

Let me explain something to you. Stop giving so much weight to the facts. See people who do that are known as empiricist and pragmatist. They base everything on what they can see and observe. However, the Bible tells us that we should live by faith and it also says that we walk by faith not by sight. What does this mean? It means we must acknowledge the facts (do not be in denial. A real problem does not go away because you pretend it’s not there), but don’t give more weight to the facts than you do to your trust in God. My cousin and I say this slightly different, but basically it comes out to the same meaning: Either your faith will resolve the facts or the facts will dissolve your faith. You and only you will make that determination.

What are your expectations for God’s movement in your life?

 

I pray that you are blessed.

 

Sincerely,

 

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

Faith Grows Amid Storms

“He hath acquainted himself with my beaten path. When he hath searched me out, I shall come out shining” (Job 23:10, free translation).

Faith grows amid storms”–just four words, but oh, how full of import to the soul who has been in the storms!

Faith is that God-given faculty which, when exercised, brings the unseen into plain view, and by which the impossible things are made possible. It deals with supernaturals.

But it “grows amid storms”; that is, where there are disturbances in the spiritual atmosphere. Storms are caused by the conflicts of elements; and the storms of the spiritual world are conflicts with hostile elements.

In such an atmosphere faith finds its most productive soil; in such an element it comes more quickly to full fruition.

The staunchest tree is not found in the shelter of the forest, but out in the open where the winds from every quarter beat upon it, and bend and twist it until it becomes a giant in stature this is the tree which the mechanic wants his tools made of, and the wagon-maker seeks.

So in the spiritual world, when you see a giant, remember the road you must travel to come up to his side is not along the sunny lane where wild flowers ever bloom; but a steep, rocky, narrow pathway where the blasts of hell will almost blow you off your feet; where the sharp rocks cut the flesh, where the projecting thorns scratch the brow, and the venomous beasts hiss on every side.

It is a pathway of sorrow and joy, of suffering and healing balm, of tears and smiles, of trials and victories, of conflicts and triumphs, of hardships and perils and buffetings, of persecutions and misunderstandings, of troubles and distress; through all of which we are made more than conquerors through Him who loves us.

“Amid storms.” Right in the midst where it is fiercest. You may shrink back from the ordeal of a fierce storm of trial…but go in! God is there to meet you in the center of all your trials, and to whisper His secrets which will make you come forth with a shining face and an indomitable faith that all the demons of hell shall never afterwards cause to waver. –E. A. Kilbourne

*************

What an awesome revelation. The Apostles Paul said that tribulation produces perseverance and perseverance produces character and character produces hope. Paul said that hope produced through this sequence does not disappoint (Rom. 5:3-5 paraphrased). This type of hope is the product of pure faith. The type of faith is the fruit of a seed that that can only be cultivated within the fertile soil of trials and sufferings. Faith is not faith until it has been tested and proven pure.

6[You should] be exceedingly glad on this account, though now for a little while you may be distressed by trials and suffer temptations,

7So that [the genuineness] of your faith may be tested, [your faith] which is infinitely more precious than the perishable gold which is tested and purified by fire. [This proving of your faith is intended] to redound to [your] praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) is revealed. (1 pet. 1:6-7 AMP)

The furnace may be turned up seven times hotter than normal, but understand that you are not in the furnace alone. Just ask Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego about the fourth man that joined them in fiery furnace (Daniel chapter 3). When you allow your faith to be developed in the heat of life’s trials you will see your naysayers and enemies speak just as King Nebuchadnezzar, who had to humble himself before the God of his servants. Nebuchadnezzer came to personally witness the reason for such resolute faith in those three young boys. This faith produced results so powerful that King Nebuchadnezzer said: “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, Who has sent His angel and delivered His servants who believed in, trusted in, and relied on Him! And they set aside the king’s command and yielded their bodies rather than serve or worship any god except their own God …there is no other God who can deliver in this way!” (Dan. 3:28-29 AMP)

Trust God in all that you are going through right now is is worthy, willing, and able to perform His promises. Give God Some glory! ~Bishop Rick Wallace

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