Category: praise


November 6, 2012
Are We Having Fun Yet?
Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth
I [Jesus] came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows),” (John 10:10 Amplified Bible).

Friend to Friend
C.S. Lewis says that most Christians lack “merriment.”  I like that word. “Merriment.” Just moving the words across my lips is fun. And I think Lewis is right. We lack merriment and we don’t expect it. Many Christians look like they’ve been weaned on a dill pickle. My goodness, if there is anyone who should exude merriment, it is a person who knows Jesus as Savior and Lord. We, above all people, have something to be merry about!

What God desires, not from you but for you, is life to the full (John 10:10). There’s nothing ho-hum about that. I read Jesus’ words in John 10:10 and I am famished for glory moments of life to the full. I want to see God, to experience His presence as I live and move and have my being in Him.

John wrote, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1). He didn’t simply use the word given, but lavished. Webster defines lavish this way: “given or provided with great generosity and abundance, to bestow with large generosity, profusion, a downpour.” Ponder those words separately.

Lavished.
Provided with great generosity.
Abundance.
Bestow with large generosity.
Profusion.
Downpour.

Do these words reflect your expectations in your relationship with Jesus? C.S. Lewis said it well:

“We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”(C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory (New York: HarperCollins, 1949,1976,revised 1980), 26.)

The first statement in the Shorter Catechism of Westminster Confession of 1646  states that man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Enjoy Him! To enjoy God is to glorify Him. Just as He takes delight in you, He longs for you to take delight in Him. You simply can’t separate the two.

Are you enjoying God? As you live and move and have your being in Him, is there a smile on your face and a skip in your step? Do you expect the rich adventurous faith-filled life that you read about in the Bible? Do you expect to experience God’s glory today? If not, perhaps you need to raise your expectations of what your relationship with Jesus can be.

Once we’ve tasted the sweetness of His fruit, to settle for anything less than the bountiful orchard of His blessings will always disappoint. Oh yes, there are heavy-laden branches filled with low hanging fruit just waiting to be picked. If only we would reach up high enough, raise our expectations, and pluck them from the tree.

Let’s Pray
Jesus, forgive me for acting like I’m doing You a favor for following You. I know that you came to give me life to the full. Help me to stop walking around like I have life to the half-full. Today, I’m going to laugh, to smile, to enjoy being in Your presence. I am going to keep my eyes open for moments of sudden glory as You make Your presence known to me!
In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.

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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.

 

Foundation Scriptures: Hebrews 3,4:1-8; Isa. 26:3,4

Key Verses Is. 26:3

“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you.” (Isa. 26:3)

 

I have read and believe that a true state of happiness is the most difficult state for a Christian to achieve.  In order to apprehend the veracity in this statement, one must be willing to be honest with themselves; next they must have the ability to detach themselves from the euphoric world in which they have become engrossed.  Allow me to paraphrase: Wake up and smell the coffee! Please understand that I am not saying that it is impossible, I am simply pointing to all that comes against us to rob us of our contentment and joy. We will find out shortly that in Christ all things are possible.

 

Through experiential progression, I have come to the conclusion that no matter how determinedly and agonizingly we strive to escape the pain, heartache and despair that life so opportunistically places at our feet, we will inevitably endure asperity and anguish.  Christians don’t like hearing that.  We want to be told that post salvation life will be a metaphorical cakewalk.  The truth is, we have been promised that there will be a great deal of trials and tribulation.

 

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer.  I have overcome the world.”

(John 16:33)

 

The Greek word used for tribulation here is “thlipsis” which means: pressure, oppression, stress, anguish, tribulation, adversity, affliction, crushing, squashing, squeezing, distress.  This word carries the connotation of taking something that is free and unfettered and compressing it with the objective of producing something better.  The same word is used of crushing grapes and olives in a press.  “Thlipsis” is, in essence, spiritual bench pressing, making a stronger and more formidable Christian soldier.  So, our struggles are quite a necessary part of our spiritual progression.

 

This does not mean that inevitable trials and distresses will be easy but they should not produce fear, anxiety, or bitterness.  At the same time Jesus promised tribulation, he also promised peace.  How is this so?

 

“Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone.  And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.” (John 16:32)

 

At the time of Jesus’ arrest, trial, and crucifixion, the disciples would all in some way forsake Him and flee to the safety of their homes.  Though they would leave Him, He would not be alone, because the father would be with Him.  We have the same promise.

 

“For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ “ (Heb. 13:5)

“For He Himself is our peace.” (Eph. 2:14)

 

Therefore, our peace is not in the absence of trials, but in the perpetual presence of our Lord and Savior.  As believers, we tend to paint illusions of grandeur; we have all the right responses to the struggles and vicissitudes we face.  Painting over the realities of this harsh world, we give the appearance that life is all peaches and cream; when in fact, the pressures against those who believe in Christ are a thousand times greater than those of the unbeliever.

 

At first glance, the aforementioned statements present a gloomy and dark picture and may be somewhat discouraging to those who are new in the faith; However, I believe that it is of vital importance that all Christians face the facts.

 

Fact One: We reside as aliens in a world that is under the rule and Lordship of Satan.  We are considered aliens because although we reside here, our citizenship is in heaven. (Phil. 3:20)

 

Fact Two: The world by its very nature is hostile toward Christians.  Christ declared that since the world hated him, it would hate us also.

 

Fact Three: We are dead centered in the midst of a spiritual warfare, the angelic conflict.  We are both, participants and spoils of this war.  There are spiritual forces that are constantly moving against us.

 

In summary, the Christian is constantly facing tremendous, powerful, insidious pressures, and often, the greater your capacity for service, the greater the believer can be used by God, the greater the pressure on every side — the world, the flesh, and the devil.

 

In the beginning, I stated my belief that a true state of happiness is the most difficult state for the Christian to achieve.  I did not say it was unattainable, for it is very much within the grasp of every believer.  Then why is it so difficult to achieve? It is difficult because believers have taken on the worldly view of ephemeral elation, happiness of the moment.  The celerity at which happiness enters and exits the lives of believers is astounding.  To most, happiness is circumstantial, depending on situational occurrences.  This produces instability and ineffectiveness.  God, through His infallible Word, has promised perpetual joy.  This joy is irrespective in nature; it is not dependent upon external circumstances; it does not dwarf in the face of adversity and it burgeons in response to the development of our relationship with Christ.  This joy is closely related to the peace God has promised.  They are always found in close proximity to each other.  Our joy and peace are produced through constant abiding in Jesus Christ.  So allow me to reiterate this truth: Joy and peace are not produced through the circumvention of life’s storms, but are perpetually present despite them.

 

When your mind is fixed on Jesus; when your heart is settled in love, there is no storm, no disappointment; no heartache that can rob you of your joy and peace, even in the midst of the storm.  We are forever coalesced to the Prince of Peace.  “For He Himself is our peace.(Eph 2:14)  The Greek “eirene” (eye-ray-nay) carries the meaning of state of rest, quietness, calmness, an absence of strife, and tranquility.  It also carries a connotation of “being united with” as well as “to bring an end to hostility”.  So in essence, the peace that surpasses all understanding (Phil. 4:7) is the culmination of “being united with Christ” whereas he “brings an end to hostility”, thereby creating a “state of rest” in which there is “an absence of strife” and a sense of “calmness” and “tranquility”.

 

 

This union with Christ is birthed through the channel of faith.  God wants to provide a place of rest, but it has to be obtained through the promises of His Word, received by faith.  Let us take a look at Hebrew 4:1,2:

 

“Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it, For indeed the Gospel was preached to us a well as to them; but the Word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.”

 

 

The first thing we notice here is the conjunctive adverb “therefore”.  This word indicates that there is a preceding clause as well as a subsequent clause.  The subsequent clause is easily identified as it immediately follows the conjunctive adverb, but where is the preceding clause?  The answer is: In the previous chapter.  The original text of the Bible was not separated into chapters or numbered in verse.  This was done later as a means of reference.  So we will have to look beyond the confines of these numbered boundaries.  The preceding clause that completes this statement is found in Chapter 3, verse 19, “So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.”

 

In Chapter 3, the writer of Hebrews reminds us that the first generation of recently freed Israelites failed to reach the peace, tranquility, and abundance of the promise land.  The writer quotes a passage from Ps. 95:7-11 that reinforces the cause of this failure to reach the promised place of rest.

 

In Chapter 4 he jumps from the past to the present and exhorts or admonishes the readers not to fall short of the promised rest.

 

“For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as them; the Word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with “faith” in those who heard it.” (Heb. 4:2)

 

Here lies the very thing that separates those who are able to attain true peace and happiness and those who are not —faith!  They received the promise just as we have, but it did not profit them.  They had the promise, but did not stand on it.  We have thousands upon thousands of promises in the Bible.  It has been estimated that there are in excess of 33,000 promises and of these, over 7,000 promises that God will have a direct and positive impact on those who will trust and believe in Him.

 

The problem with the Israelites in the wilderness was the spiritual ineptitude, the inability to see past their circumstances and trust God to perform that which he had promised.  They received the promise, but it was not encapsulated by faith.  Faith not only empowers, but it protects the promise.  Faith guards against anxiety, doubt, despair, impatience, and fear.

 

We have to face the fact that as Christians, we are going to be tested; we are going to endure trials and tribulations; we will be battered by the storms of the suffering and compounded by the vicissitudes of life; however; God has promised never to leave us nor forsake us.  God is saying, “You believed enough to trust Me with salvation, trust Me to provide you with that peace that transcends all understanding.  Trust Me to provide you with that happiness that is inexpressible.  Trust Me to anoint you with the power to fulfill your destiny.”  He is standing before you telling you that His grace is sufficient for you.

 

God has bequeathed us His infallible Word, we only need to take hold of the promises that are before us.

 

When we are able to grasp the understanding that the absence of trials and storms in our lives is not indicative of the potential for joy, peace, and fullness, but rather, our joy, peace and happiness is afforded and sustained despite the presence of life’s trials, we are then able to enter that rest.  We will be able to “count it all joy”.  We will be able to enter into our divine purpose with an unbridled pertinacity, overcoming every trial by faith.

 

As the burdens of this tedious life press us down and drain us of our strength, we can rest in the calm assurance that God’s grace is sufficient for us and His strength is made perfect in weakness.  We will be able to withstand the nefarious attacks of Satan while resting under the shadow of the almighty.

 

The Israelites in the wilderness could not enter the rest of the Promised Land because they did not receive the promises of God with faith.  So then faith is a prerequisite for peace, and we know that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Rom. 10:17)

 

It is time to uncover the secrets of God’s Word.  It is time to uncover the secret that says: “If I delight myself in the Lord, he will give me the desires of my heart.”

It is time to uncover the secret that says: “I have never seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging for bread.”

It is time to uncover that secret that says: “God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think.”

That secret that says: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.”

That secret that says: If I “wait on the Lord and be of good coverage, He will strengthen my heart.”

I’m talking about joy inducing secrets.

The secret that says: “He who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him.”

That secret that says: “When my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will take care of me.”

That secret that says: “No weapon formed against me, shall prosper.”

I’m talking about shackle loosing secrets.

The secret that says: “My defense is of God who saves the upright in heart.”

The secret that says: “Fear not for I am with you.”

The secret that says: “At my first defense, no one stood with me, but God stood with me, and strengthened me.”

The secret that says: “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God for the pulling down of strongholds.”

I invite you to do as I do.  When darkness falls on my life, I call out the name of the Lord.  I can call Him any time of the day.  I will call Him in my moments of weakness.  I will call Him and tell Him about my troubles.  When I call Him, I can say, “Father, I stretch my hands to thee, no other help I know, if thou withdraw thine self from me, where else shall I go.”  I can say, “Precious Lord take my hand lead me on and let me stand.”  I can say, “Guide me over Great Jehovah, a pilgrim through this barren land.  I am weak but thou art mighty hold me with though powerful hand.”  I can say as the Psalmist, “Restore in me the joy of your salvation.

 

I can call Him down in the midst of the storm.  When I call Him, I say, “Lord, I need healing” or can simply speak those two worded prayers: hold me; keep me; protect me; bless me; shelter me; guide me.  No matter what happens I know when I call Him, He answers.  I invite you to join me in this place of rest.

 

May God bless, keep, and prosper you, even as your soul prospers!

 

Sincerely,

Bishop Rick Wallace

 

 

 


 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; (rom. 8:26 NASB)

Paul says that the Spirit helps our weakness. The word translated “helps” is the Greek word:

G4878

συναντιλαμβάνομαι

sunantilambanomai

soon-an-tee-lam-ban’-om-ahee

From G4862 and G482; to take hold of opposite together, that is, co-operate (assist): – help.

Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries

I know it’s a huge word and it carries an equally huge meaning. This word paints the image of someone who comes alongside another to assist them in bearing out a particular task. In essence, the Holy Spirit comes alongside you and yokes up with you to assist in completing the task at hand. In this instance, Paul is speaking of the Holy Spirit’s ministry of intercession. This is where is becomes a part of your prayer life in order insure its efficacy.

It is important to understand that the help that the Holy Spirit provides is not limited to prayer. He is your power source. That’s right I said He. So often we neglect the personage of the Holy Spirit. We often refer to Him as it. We don’t recognize Him as part of the Trinitarian existence of God. Here lies a great deal of the problem of living in weakness and defeat. We have invested too much energy into sacramental rituals and too little into understanding the rite we practice. We will go around putting “anointing oil” on everyone and everything, but we seem to have very little understanding of what it represents. Oil, like water, wind, etc. is a semantic symbol of the Holy Spirit. Oil, represents the Holy Spirit’s anointing power. To anoint means to give power for the fulfillment of a particular task.

Pneumatology, the study of the Holy Spirit reveals an immensity of information about the Third Person of the Trinity. In fact this one chapter (Romans 8) reveals quite a bit about the Holy Spirit. Let take a look at a few:

  1. Verse 2 – The Holy Spirit sets us free from Sin (It was Christ’s death at Calvary that provided the atonement, but it was the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through Him that made it possible). It is the Holy Spirit that works through the redemption of Christ to make you free from and cancel the penalty of sin, which is death.
  2. Verse 4-5 – The Holy Spirit fulfills righteousness.
  3. Verse 9-11 – The Holy Spirit indwells believers.
  4. Verse 10 – The Holy Spirit gives life. (Spiritual life is in view here. We are born spiritually dead; dichotomous beings, only having a body and soul, but at the moment of faith in Christ the Holy Spirit quickens or brings to life our spirit within us).
  5. Verse 11 – The Holy Spirit also quickens our mortal bodies which are dead because of sin. “The Spirit is both the instrumental cause of the resurrection-act and the permanent substratum of the resurrection-life.” Gerhardus Vos, The Pauline Eschatology, p. 169.
  6. Verse 13 – The Holy Spirit mortifies sinful members.
  7. Verse 14 – The Holy Spirit leads the children of God.
  8. Verse 15 – The Holy Spirit adopts into the family of God. It is through the Holy Spirit that you are adopted and grafted into the Royal Family of God.
  9. Verse 16 – The Holy Spirit bears witness to the fact that we are children of God and if we are children of God then we are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.
  10. Verse 26 – The Holy Spirit helps us in our weaknesses.
  11. Verse 26 – The Holy Spirit makes intercession to God the Father on our behalf.

It, by no means, ends here. Galatians 5:22 tells us that the Holy Spirit produces positive life bearing fruit in the life of the believer. Let’s take a look at one more powerful scriptural passage before we move forward.

Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams] (Eph. 3:20 AMP)

God is able to do things that are impossible for the mind to fathom by the power that works within us. This power is the Holy Spirit. You have not been left alone. In fact, you have been left with an inexhaustible power source. Was it not Christ that promised that he would not leave us as orphans, but would send a comforter?

16And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever–

17The Spirit of Truth, Whom the world cannot receive (welcome, take to its heart), because it does not see Him or know and recognize Him. But you know and recognize Him, for He lives with you [constantly] and will be in you.

18I will not leave you as orphans [comfortless, desolate, bereaved, forlorn, helpless]; I will come [back] to you.

26But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you. (John 14:16-18, 26 AMP)

But when the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) comes, Whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth Who comes (proceeds) from the Father, He [Himself] will testify regarding Me. (John 15:26 AMP)

7However, I am telling you nothing but the truth when I say it is profitable (good, expedient, advantageous) for you that I go away. Because if I do not go away, the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you [into close fellowship with you]; but if I go away, I will send Him to you [to be in close fellowship with you]. (John 16:7 AMP)

How amazing, Jesus, the great and powerful savior of the world indicates, with perfect lucidity, that He must leave to make way for the coming of the Holy Spirit who will produce powerful results in the lives of believers.

Here’s and interesting point: Theology reveals to us the existence of the Hypostatic Union (Jesus Christ being 100% man and 100% God joined together without mergence). It is important that we understand that it was Jesus the man that paid the price for us on Calvary. Only the death of a perfect man could atone for the sins of fallen man. This is what Paul meant when he called Jesus the new Adam. It would do us well to take notice that Jesus, the man, did not perform one miracle until the Spirit descended upon Him at His baptism. It was the power of the Holy Spirit working in and through Christ that gave him the power to raise the dead, heal the sick, and calm raging seas. If fact, Christ actually means the anointed one; remember the anointing comes through the Holy Spirit.

So Jesus was basically saying that the very power that I used to sustain me in my earthly walk has been made available to you. You are not alone; you are filled with the Spirit of God.

When the resurrected Savior appeared to the disciples, he told them that not many days afterward something awesome would take place in their lives.

1 The first account I [a]composed,(A)Theophilus, about all that Jesus(B)began to do and teach, 2 until the day when He (C)was taken up to heaven, after He (D)had [b]by the Holy Spirit given orders to (E)the apostles whom He had (F)chosen. 3To [c]these (G)He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of (H)the things concerning the kingdom of God. 4[d]Gathering them together, He commanded them (I)not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for [e](J)what the Father had promised, “Which,”He said, “you heard of from Me; 5for (K)John baptized with water, but you will be baptized [f]with the Holy Spirit [g](L)not many days from now.”

6 So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, (M)is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which (N)the Father has fixed by His own authority; 8 but you will receive power (O)when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be (P)My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and(Q)Samaria, and even to (R)the remotest part of the earth.” (Acts 1:1-8 NASB)

Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit gave the disciples His parting orders. So, even then he was being led by the Spirit. He told them that you will receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon you. Fifty days later on the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit fell upon the disciples, who out of fear had been hiding in the upper room with the door locked. Once the Holy Spirit fell upon them they were transformed into spiritual powerhouses. Those once cowardice men that denied Christ spoke boldly of Him openly. They would go on to accomplish marvelous feats.

I am here to tell you that the same Spirit that filled Peter is in you. The same Spirit that filled Paul is in you. The same Spirit that filled John is in you. Yes, the same Spirit that filled our Lord Jesus is in you. You are not alone. You are filled with power from on high. You have God resident in you. You have His power at your disposal. God has not left you alone. You may not see anyone standing in your corner, but God is with you. You may have spent 2011 in a place of perceived loneliness, but God is with you. The enemy may be whispering the sweet nothings of negativity in your ear, but God is with you.

You are not alone. The Holy Spirit has come alongside you and He is saying to you: “You don’t have to bear this burden on your own. I have yoked up with you and I will help you bear the burden. I will not take it completely away from you, but if you will simply believe it, will it, and walk in it, I will bring you through.

This is a time of power and elevation for you. You simply have to receive it. Stop listening to the naysayers that think they have your destiny figured out. You are a born again child of the King. Walk in your destiny of power and greatness. Walk in your designed purpose. Live in the massive blessings that God has for you. Shake of those feelings of despair. Break free of those shackles of addiction. Power out of the shadows of dwarfed goals and colorless dreams. God is calling you to rise up and live the life of a true believer. No, you are not alone.

May you be richly blessed,

Bishop Rick Wallace

Life Solutions 21

Scripture Reference: Exodus 3:7-9The Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings.8  “So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and to bring them up from that land to a good and spacious land, to a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite.9  “Now, behold, the cry of the sons of Israel has come to Me; furthermore, I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians are oppressing them. (NASB)

 

 

In this ethereal journey we will traverse many trials and afflictions. We will engage many challenges and undergo multitudinous transformations as we progress towards spiritual maturity. The enemy will, in these instances, attempt to convince us that we are alone. He would have us believe that God has, in some way, forsaken us. However, in this scriptural passage, we find that God had not forgotten Israel. He had not become aloof or indifferent to their plight.

 

By the time that God speaks to Moses in this passage, the Israelites had been in bondage in Egypt for 400 years. They had fallen from a position of prosperity and reverence among the Egyptians to one of oppression and servitude. They had come to a point in which it seemed to them that the hand of God no longer acted on their behalf. They spent many a hot day in the desert heat, under the fear of the task master’s whip, only to see the sun go down without even an inkling of deliverance. It is in this atmosphere of perceived hopelessness that God began the process of deliverance. It is when all except those who knew Him personally had written off the Israelites as nothing more than a slave race did God show Himself mighty on their behalf.

 

It is in this moment of despair that God inserts Himself. Some might say that God had left them to fend for themselves for four centuries. Some might postulate that they had traveled this journey alone. Yet if we study the Character of God, if we investigate His commitment to His covenantal promises, we will find that he is a constant help in the time of trouble (Ps. 46:1) It is through the power of God that the Israelites maintained the power to endure this perpetual and egregious struggle. They had not been left alone, but were a part of God’s plan. God had been there through every beating, through every heat scorched day, through every misdeed that they had suffered. He was completely cognizant of their pain and suffering and now He was about to move in a way that would be unmistakably God.

 

“I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings (verse 7).”

 

 

 

 

 

God is telling Moses, “I have certainly seen every misdeed. I have witnessed every lash from the taskmaster’s whip. I have seen every tear fall from their eyes. I have not been unaware of their struggles. I hear their cries and I have come because of their cries. Let my people know that their prayers have been heard. Let my people know that delay was not an indication of desertion. I have been working even their pain for their good. From this group of slaves, I will raise a mighty people. From this group of slaves shall descend kings. From this group of slaves shall ascend the messiah, the one who will save the world. In their suffering I have created a testimony of my power.”

 

The God that moved on behalf of the Israelites then is the same God now. I know that there of those of you that are struggling in your own world of enslavement. Some of you are in abusive relationships that you can’t seem to escape. Some of you have been battling the pain of abandonment by parents and loved ones. Some of you have found yourselves encapsulated by the fear of uncertainty. Some of you have become engrossed in the cares of this life and have found peace to be quite allusive. I want you to know that you are not alone. I want you to apprehend the fact that you belong to a purpose greater than yourself. It is imperative that you understand that God is a God of deliverance and power. The enemy is trying to convince you that you are defeated, but you are more than a conqueror. The enemy is telling you that you have met your demise, but you are at your moment of elevation. God is speaking into your situation, “Be still and know that I am God (Ps. 46:10).” God is saying that I hear your cries, and I have come because of your cries.

 

Listen to what David had to say on the matter:

 

“I waited patiently on the Lord; And he inclined to me and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay. And he set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth… (Ps. 40:1-3).”

 

Praise God, for He is about to reach into your situation and give you a new song. Oh what a blessing it is to have a new song; a song that says “Can’t Nobody Do Me Like Jesus”; a song that says “There’s Healing in His Wings”; a song that says “I’m So Glad Jesus Lifted Me”; a song that says “My Soul Looks Back in Wonder of How I Got Over”. He is about to pull you out of the pit of destruction and place your feet firmly on a rock of stability. He is about to rescue you from that dysfunctional relationship. He is about to speak peace into the tumultuous existence in which you now reside. He is about to calm the billows of your stormy seas. Shake free of the feelings of despair for God is about to bust a move in your life. The Bible says that David encouraged himself in the Lord. So begin to speak the promises of God into your situation. Stand on your faith and trust God to honor his Word.

 

May you be blessed in the Lord.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Bishop Rick Wallace

Life Solutions 21

 

Trouble Don’t Last Always!.

1 Therefore (A)I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to(B)present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice,[a]acceptable to God, which is your[b]spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not (C)be conformed to(D)this [c]world, but be transformed by the (E)renewing of your mind, so that you may [d](F)prove what the will of God is, that which is good and[e]acceptable and perfect. (Rom. 12:1-2 NASB)

In my previous writings I pointed to the need of the Christian believer to rise up and live in the greatness of their design. There are too many Christians that are walking around defeated and devastated by life’s circumstances. There are too many Christians that are walking around perplexed by the vicissitudes of life.. There is, without question, a need for Christians to walk in their elevated purposes.

As I stated in my previous contribution, I will be presenting some covenantal truths to you over the next 52+ plus weeks. These truths are biblically founded and point to the power of God and the veracity of his words. These truths have the power to elevate and establish those that are willing to receive them as truth and to walk in them inexorably. We will see as we move forward that God honors his Word and He has established a covenant with His people to provide for them, to protect them, to prosper them, to work mighty works through them; however, there is something that has to take place in order for the Word of God and the work of God to function optimally in the life of the believer; there must be a renewing of the mind.

I want you to pay very close attention to what you will read from this point because it will be the difference between your success in escaping all that has oppressed you. As we move on, those that are willing to change their thinking will see remarkable progress, while those that continue to think in the same old ways will find themselves repeating another year of the “barelies”, The “barelies” are a series of positions one finds themselves in due to erroneous concepts manifested through poor thought processes: barely getting by (financially), barely holding it together (emotionally), barely functional (in kingdom work), barely living (in every aspect).

What you will find is that some of you have excelled in some areas, but have struggled mightily in others. The ones that will be most difficult to reach in this process of growth will be the ones that are experiencing some level of success. You will think that you have arrived when you haven’t come close; however your perceived success will act as a barrier to true growth and prosperity in every area of your life. Some of you are unaware that you are in need of help because you have convinced yourself that your deficiencies are just a part of being human. Actually your deficiencies are a result of decision making.

I will be calling for you to move away from non-Christian worldviews. I will be touching on modern worldviews over the next several weeks. I will be showing you some of the ways secular paradigms are diametrically opposed to biblical doctrine.

In Romans 12:1-2 Paul appeals to the Roman believers to present their bodies as a living sacrifice that is Holy and acceptable to God. He concluded by iterating that this was there reasonable service. This was not something that was beyond reasonable expectation. With all that God had done in the way of grace, this was the minimal action that should be expected from the redeemed. What I want you to focus on is the second verse. Paul says, “Do not be conformed to this world…”  The word translated “conformed” is the Greek word “suschematizo”- meaning conform to the example of another. So Paul was saying that believers are not to conform to the examples of the world. If fact, careful study of scripture reveals that believers are to set the example, and when we do we reap the benefits of the seeds we have sown.

Paul continues by showing the Roman believers how to get out of the rut they were in by following worldly examples: “…but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” The word translated “transformed” here is the Greek word “metamarphoo” – it is where we get our English word metamorphosis, and it means to transform or change. So Paul says that the way we change ourselves is to first of all change our thinking. The bible is replete with scripture that points to the immense impact our thinking has on our life and our being.

“and that you be (BE)renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and(BF)put on the(BG)new [q]self, which [r](BH)in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” (Eph. 4:23 NASB)

7For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Prov. 23:7)

“You offspring of vipers! How can you speak good things when you are evil (wicked)? For out of the fullness (the overflow, the[p]superabundance) of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Matt. 12:34 AMP)

Don’t let Matthew 12:34 or Proverbs 4:23 throw you off with the use of the word heart; heart and mind are often used synonymously (or interchangeably) in the Bible. Actually the mind and the heart function in conjunction with one another as the perceptional functional faculties of the soul. I will cover this in detail in the upcoming weeks so that you may have at least a basic understanding of why it so important to think Bible doctrine.

It is paramount that you understand that a change in thinking is absolutely necessary to insure that you are able to truly walk in your design. Remember you were not designed for mediocrity. Despite what so many are being taught today, Christ did not make the magnanimous sacrifice he made so that we could live in the pit of poverty nor meander through the maze of mediocrity. We are not to elevate ourselves above what we are, but we are not to walk below it either.

I promise you, once you free up your mind to think biblically, you will free up your finances. Once you break your mind free, you break free of depression. Once you break your mind free, you will break free of sight walking. Once you break your mind free, you will break free of relational dysfunctionality. Once you break your mind free, you will break free of mediocrity. When you renew your mind, your spirit will be renewed and the transformation will take place.

Don’t allow the enemy to convince you that your thinking is perfect. Over the weeks to come I will reveal to you some erroneous concepts that have filtered into the Church that are 100% secular worldview, yet they are being taught by the pulpit. The concepts and beliefs has crippled the power of the Church and given the enemy an upper hand.

If you enter into this process of change and advancement with an open mind and a willingness to change, there is no limit to what the Holy Spirit will do in developing you. It is time to step outside of the boundaries of limited advancement and view the opportunities of limitless possibilities.

For those of you that are ready to make 2012 their year of coming out, I simply say be prepared to be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Tell yourself right now, “Self, I am coming out of this with a new way of thinking. I am walking into abundance, I am walking into my designed purpose, and I am walking into all that God has prepared for me.”

 

I look forward to traveling this journey with you.

 

May God bless and keep each of you!

 

Sincerely,

 

Bishop Rick Wallace

Life Solutions 21

 

 

 

“For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. (Psalms 30:5)

Allow me to pose a rhetorical question: Where does the trouble, pain and the trials of our life come from?  If you were to survey believers and non-believers alike each would have their own theories.  Some would tell you that suffering is the victims fault.  They will reason that the suffering person must have done something that displeased God.  Believers will confidently point to the just nature of God, which, in their minds, supports their rationale.

Others will insist that pain, trials, and all suffering simply happen by chance.  Their postulation is based on the ostensible sporadic dispersion of pain and suffering.  There are no common denominators, both sinners and the saved, the rich and the poor, white and black, all suffer.  Though all suffering has purpose, nothing is without purpose in God’s divine plan,  I have become convinced that no amount of research will deduce an irrefutable conclusion to discovering the where’s and why’s of suffering .

What we do have, however, is pragmatic and empirical evidence that how we receive and respond to the trials and vicissitudes of life have a direct bearing on our ability to endure.  One of the most influential truths in confronting one’s struggles is that your trials are temporary.  They are impermanent situations that will produce permanent advancement in this ethereal journey called Christianity.  In essence, trouble don’t last always.  The latter statement may not be grammatically adequate to the eyes of some of my academician readers, but I’m giving it to you the same way my mother gave it to me, so I humbly request your tolerance in the matter.

Physiologically, we are all the same, irregardless to race, religion, or economic background.  Yet, there are some who crumble under the pressure of life’s struggles and then there are those who, despite the difficulty of the moment, face their trials head on and overcome them triumphantly.  There is, however, a common denominator in both instances:  For the person who succumbs to the pressure of their struggles, the common thread is despair, the belief that there is no way out.  The person who perseveres has that one thing the latter person does not have -hope!

What is hope?  Merriam-Webster defines hope as thus: to desire with expectation of fulfillment, trust, reliance; desire accompanied by expectation; one that gives promise for the future.  Therefore, hope travels beyond the boundaries of wishful thinking.  Hope, according to Merriam-Webster, is desire conjoined with expectation; the word of focus being expectation.  One may desire what he wills, howbeit, expectation, by its very definition requires prospection, the foundation of that which we desire.  There must be something considered that influences hope.  Thus, hope is never empty desire, but desire married to reasonable expectation.  For the Christian warrior, this reasonable expectation, or faith as we call it, materializes within the fertile soil of trust, trust in God.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  (Heb. 11:1)

So, the very essence or nature of hope is faith.  Faith is not only the quintessence of hope, it is the sustainer.  We know that faith comes through the Word of God (Romans 10:17).  This means we are to engage the struggles of this life with the promises of God in mind.  We are to always have hope.

To some, hope is that illusive jewel that evades capture at all cost.  There are some who find hope to be an alien concept.  To them, hope is unattainable.  They live each day in the darkness of perpetual despair.  In the absence of hope, one is forced to turn to other coping mechanisms; illicit drug use, sexual deviancy, violent paroxysms and other destructive behaviors.  The absence of hope is despair, and despair chokes the life out of its victims.

I mentioned that hope can be quite illusive to some, for the spirit filled believer, this should not be the case.  Since we walk by faith, the very substance of hope (Heb. 11:1), we should be able to count it all joy as commanded by James (James 1:2), and glory in tribulations (Romans 5:3) as exhorted by Paul.

We are able to count it all joy because we trust and lean on Jesus and not our finite perspicacity of His ultimate plan (Prov. 3:5).  We are able to glory in our tribulations because God has promised to work all things for the good (Rom. 8:28).

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight in glory.” (2 Cor. 4:17)

Paul says that our afflictions are momentary, not only that, they are also working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.  What you are going through is temporary.  The heartache and pain you feel will pass.  That vehement sense of sorrow and that immobilizing sense of loneliness will be replaced with joy unspeakable.  This, in itself, should produce a double investment of hope; the hope resting in the knowledge that my afflictions produce eternal blessings and reward, as well as the hope that comes in knowing that “Trouble Don’t Last Always”.

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you may have peace.  In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

The Word of God guarantees that there will be struggles, adversity, and disappointments.  This insures us that problems will arise in the life of every believer.  The direct source of this pain and difficulty becomes irrelevant in the scope of its reality.  Knowing its origin will not eradicate its existence.  We must not become so engrossed in the task of locating the place of blame that we fail to properly respond to the situation itself. So many of us spend enormous amounts of time and energy placing blame, hoping it will release us of the burden of the moment.  The primary focus must be on how we respond to these hardships.  As followers of Christ, we have a responsibility to face the difficulty with an inexorable faith in our God to bring us through.

One quick warning; in our understanding of temporary struggles we must not be guilty of “my time thinking”.  Our hope must not exist solely in the belief of immediate extraction by God from the problem.  We operate by God’s time table and should never postulate that he has to respond by ours.  If we only hope for an instantaneous resolution, our faith may be shaken by delay.  We can, however, take solace that in His own time, God will deliver. -”Trouble Don’t Last Always.”

We must also focus our hope on that eternal reward for our faithfulness.

I was once told that the strongest qualities of a Christian shine brightest in the fierce winds of adversity.

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it be tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”  (1 Peter 1:6,7)

You will never realize what’s inside until you are tested.  Testing, through struggles, unveils the genuineness of your faith.  Testing brings the mature Christian to a point of focus; on God and purpose.  The most indestructible mineral and the hardest surface known to man is a diamond.  A diamond is created when a lump of coal is placed under immense pressure.  In the same way, the pressures of life’s many struggles and vicissitudes develops character, integrity, and fortitude, that jewel we know as the Christian soldier.  The question then arises: Can we prosper in the midst of adversity?  The answer is: We must!

Adversity is the fertile soil in which the seed of prosperity must be planted and cultivated.  Satan would have you believe that your trials are meant to destroy you.  He will tell you that God has forgotten about you.  God has promised, however, never to leave nor forsake you.  Psalms 34:19 says, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous,  but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”  Proverbs 24:16 informs us that the righteous man can fall and rise again, meaning that even when our storm is of our own doing, we can still rise and recover.

The promises of God’s Word should produce a transcending peace that consumes all anxiety, stress, and fear.

We should be able to walk in the strength of knowledge that our trials are temporary -Trouble Don’t Last Always!

We must process a non-oscillating faith in God to deliver.  Satan will use our wavering faith as an orifice to come in and totally dismantle our hope.  So, when the lone winds of suffering creep into your paradise -count it all joy.  Put on the whole armor of God and prepare to take a stand.  Rev. 2:10 says -”Do not fear any of those things you are about to suffer.  Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into the prison, that you may be tested and you will have tribulation ten days.  Be faithful until death, and I will give you a crown of life.”  Let us fist take notice of the word “indeed”; indeed implies without question that trials will come.  Secondly, the term “ten days”; which should not be interpreted literally, but is symbolic of a relatively short period -Trouble Don’t Last Always!  We are to be faithful, even until death.  This sounds like a directive of no surrender; no retreat.  We are to focus our hope on that crown of life and press toward the mark.

The story of Job is brought to remembrance.  There are not too many that have suffered to the extent of my man Job.  I’m sure that while he tarried under the pernicious attacks of Satan, he wondered when or if it would ever end, but through an unrelenting and unwavering faith, he found that, trouble don’t last always!

I can envision David, surrounded and outnumbered, crying out to God, don’t hide your face from me.  Though the odds are stacked against him, he stands in faith, knowing, trouble don’t last always!

As I take mental flight, I can see Mary and Martha weeping because of the untimely death of their brother, Lazarus.  I can imagine the overwhelming grief and vehement sense of helplessness. However, I see Jesus standing at the opening of the tomb and speaking the words: Lazarus, come forth!  At their darkest hour, Mary and Martha learned trouble don’t last always!

I can even see Joseph, traded into slavery by his brothers, living as a slave and then as a prisoner, but Joseph remained steadfast, a bedrock of faith.  In time, he was promoted to the second highest post in all the land of Egypt.  After the death of his father, Jacob, he addressed his brothers with courage and forgiveness.  He said to them, “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.”  He was ultimately saying, I’ve been through the storm and rain, but I made it.  You see, trouble don’t last always!

Understand this; the aforementioned faith warriors understood something about this faith walk.  They had an experiential and erudite understanding that in order to obtain the prize, you must travel through the storm.  In apprehension of the prize, they experienced the reality that trouble don’t last always!

From this very thing we extract hope.  A hope that assures us that weeping endures for a night (temporary) but joy comes in the morning. -Trouble Don’t Last Always!

We rest in a hope that is anchored in the fact that our light and momentary afflictions are weighing for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.  It is an domitable hope that is sustained and substantiated in the fact that God works all things for the good.

So, as each of you face the vicissitudes and struggles of this life, anchor yourself in the same hope as the faith warriors of times past.  Focus on the outstretch hands of God.  Tell yourself that this trial is just a testing of my faith.  You look at yourself in the mirror and say, trouble don’t last always!

Feeling lonely?  Trouble don’t last always!

Feeling overwhelmed?  Trouble don’t last always!

Facing an uphill struggle?  Trouble don’t last always!

God’s grace is sufficient for you.  Trust and believe.  Live each day to the fullest.  Live a life grounded in hope and the efficacious power of passionate and effectual prayer.  Fulfill your destiny!

God bless

Bishop Rick Wallace

Author: The Invisible Father

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