Tag Archive: battlefield of life


 

This article serves as the preamble to my upcoming series on Christian suffering. There has been so much written and spoken concerning suffering. There are those that believe that suffering is an indication of some existing sin in the life of the one suffering. Job’s three friends took this line of rationale as they attempted to counsel Job in the midst of his pain. There are those that believe that suffering is the Christian’s lot in life and that it somehow signifies the validity of the believer’s faith.

The truth is that suffering does have purpose in the life of the believer. In fact, there are different types of suffering. There is punitive suffering which is punishment for sin and waywardness in association to God’s plan. We see this quite often in the Bible as Israel (God’s client nation) moves contrary to his will.

There is self induced misery; this is the situation when believers and non-believers alike generate anguish within their own souls as well as the overt conditions and circumstance they create around them. Because God designed the human to have volitional freedom, coupled with a sin nature (contracted at the fall of humanity), it is inevitable that man will make decisions that negatively impact their lives. There is a divine law of volitional responsibility which indicates that as a believer exercises their volitional freedom they are directly responsible for the consequences. This keeps us from taking the stance that we are being unjustly punished by God for executing the very freedom he gave. We do have the freedom of choice, but it comes at a price.

There is collective suffering. This is when an entire group suffers because the collective failed as a whole. A good example of this would be when the Israelites tarried for forty years in the wilderness because the majority believed the negative report of the 10 spies and ignored the positive report and vote of confidence from Joshua and Caleb. Not only did the whiners and unfaithful have to languish in the wilderness, so did Joshua and Caleb. Those two did not die with the rest, but they had to suffer through 40 years of delay because of someone else.

There is suffering for blessing, which is a broad topic. In this study, suffering for blessing is assigned to the believer that has steadied himself and positioned himself in the will of God and continues to execute the protocol plan of God. Even someone who was initially suffering as a punitive measure can move from punitive suffering to suffering for blessing. What this means is that the moment a believer realizes that he has sinned and that his sin has resulting in some form of suffering, he has the opportunity to repent and move toward God. If he does this, the suffering may very well continue, it may even intensify, but it is no longer for the sake of punishment, it is now for the sake blessing.

Suffering is a great teacher. It has the exceptional power to conquer ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) of the spirit. God knows how to get the attention of His creation.

There is providential preventative suffering designed by God to keep the believer from moving off course. A good example of this would be Paul’s thorn in the flesh. Paul tells us the thorn was given to him so that he would not become exalted within himself (arrogant and filled with pride [big headed]). The thorn in the flesh was a constant reminder to Paul that God was his source of power and that in and of himself, he was feeble and week.

Suffering comes as a test. You see, adversity is an unbelievable barometer to test the authenticity of one’s faith and their true commitment to God’s plan. I was once posed the following question: Can God trust you with trouble? Could God give the testimony he gave for Job concerning you?

In this study we will explore the importance of doctrinal thinking in the midst of heartache and struggles. So often, Christians take on a victim’s mentality and totally miss the opportunity to advance. There is no greater platform of advancement than suffering. Allow me to elucidate the previous statement. This does not mean that the Christian should look to live in a perpetual state of suffering. The true Christian’s life is characterized by victory and triumph. There will always be resistance and the enemy will always be present, but we are more than conquers (Rom. 8:37). What this means is that when you find yourself in the midst of the storm, you don’t crumble, you don’t cower, you don’t acquiesce to the pressure, you don’t point the finger of blame, you don’t whine and complain. What you do is gird up yourself with faith in your God and His purpose for your life. You allow God to use the storm to elevate you. Ask Joseph and he will tell you that a 13 year storm elevated him to the second highest position in all of the land of Egypt. Ask Job and he will tell you that a whirlwind entered his life, but it resulted in an undying legacy of faith and perseverance.

Actually suffering can be broken down into five major categories and we will become acquainted with them. We will learn how position ourselves in the storm. Remember, God is sovereign and nothing happens without Him allowing it, and if God allows it then it has a positive purpose in your life. So prepare to engage this study with an intensity that will help you grow closer to Christ as you grow thereby in the knowledge and grace of our Savior (2 Pet. 3:18) ~ Dr. Rick Wallace

You are invited to visit me at my Christian Impact site as well!

Advertisements

October 16, 2012

Master Designer
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth
For he [Abraham] was looking forward to the city with firm foundations, whose architect and builder is God (Hebrews 11:10, New English).

Friend to Friend
Our son was born to be a builder. From the time he could hold a plastic red hammer in his toddler-sized hands, Jered began hammering imaginary nails into the coffee table, fixing everything that was broken in our house, and drawing crayon blueprints of various objects he planned to build. No wooden surface in our home was safe from Jered’s scrutiny or design.

Since my husband enjoyed woodworking as a hobby, he decided to build Jered a miniature workbench beside his own in the garage. Several nights each week, Dan and Jered headed out to the garage to pound and hammer and do what they called “man stuff.” I thought it was cute – a philosophy that would drastically change in the years to come.

I knew we had a true builder on our hands when Jered built a clubhouse inside our garage. And what a clubhouse it was – complete with four walls, a roof, windows and a door, carpeted flooring and a window air conditioning unit – all of which he scrounged from neighbors, dumpsters and piles of discarded wood at construction sites. He built a jewelry box for my birthday and a toy box that held his prized Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. If we needed storage cabinets in our garage, Jered drew up blueprints and built them. When we moved to a house with small bedrooms, Jered designed and built a queen-sized bunk bed over a built-in desk and book shelves to conserve space in his room. We no longer bought furniture. Jered simply built it. Looking back, I did not realize that those crayon blueprints and plastic tools would pave the way for our son’s career. Today, he owns his own construction business and is a master carpenter and builder.

Jered reminds me of another young man who was destined to become a builder – Jesus. Jesus’s earthly father, Joseph, was a carpenter by trade and taught Jesus everything he knew about being a master carpenter. It was not uncommon for the son to carry on his father’s business in those days. I often wonder if Jesus didn’t have a little workbench beside Joseph’s. I am sure Jesus must have followed His daddy around, hammering alongside His father’s true blows. I imagine Joseph had to remove a few stray nails driven by Jesus and even repair a few of his Son’s “jobs.” Did Jesus make a jewelry box for His mother or did He build a piece of furniture that Mary treasured like I treasure everything Jered has ever built for our home? Jesus was and is the ultimate Architect and Builder.

Yes, God is the Master Creator, but His greatest creations are not made of wood or stone. Jesus was and is the creator of eternal masterpieces like you and me. His blueprint for our lives is second to none. His plan is the Word of God and is without flaw or error as it molds us into the image of God – a process that is sometimes painful.

I once promised myself that I would never buy a house that could be described as a “fixer-upper.” I don’t like fixing things. I want everything to be fixed before I move in. But there I was, buying a town house that needed so much work even the realtor couldn’t believe my husband and I wanted to buy it. Why didn’t someone stop me? No one did, so the sale was made, and we went to work. Actually, my son and husband went to work while I went crazy.
I had no idea how horrible the process of remodeling could be. Layer after layer of dirt, grime, stains and ugliness was stripped away. Rotten kitchen cabinets were torn from the walls, and rusty appliances were replaced. We basically gutted the whole place and rebuilt it – while living in it. I was not happy!

I will never forget the day I woke up to see a toilet sitting at the foot of our bed. It was at that moment I resolved to never set foot in another house that required so much work. I am so thankful God does not feel that way about me.

Honestly, I used to wonder why God didn’t just demolish the old me and build a new one. Then He did just that – through a two-year battle with clinical depression. While sitting at the bottom of that deep, dark and slimy pit, the Father lovingly stripped away old fears and insecurities. From the walls of my heart, He tore the rotten attitudes, undisciplined thoughts and unholy desires that had walked me to the edge of my pit – then pushed me in. He replaced rusty old dreams with new ones and basically, gutted my life to build a new one, a better one, and a stronger one.

I know there are days when the plan of God seems completely wrong and we simply do not understand. Every moment is pregnant with darkness, and our hearts are numb, paralyzed by fear and doubt. We are treading water in the storm-tossed sea of life, desperately longing to see Him walking on the treacherous waves toward us, rescue in His hand. It is in those shadowed moments that we must choose to trust the Plan Maker, the Master Designer, even though our faith is small, and we cannot understand the plan. His ways are higher than our ways. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. And one day, every one of our question marks will be yanked into exclamation points as we see that high plan as He sees it – perfect.

For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11, NLT).

Today, girlfriend, set aside your meager agenda. Lay down your limited life arrangement and look for God to meet you at the point of surrender, power and victory in His hands. Now that is a great plan.

26 For [r]consider your(BD)calling, brethren, that there were (BE)not many wise according to [s]the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; 27 but(BF)God has chosen the foolish things of(BG)the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of (BH)the world to shame the things which are strong, 28and the base things of(BI)the world and the despised God has chosen, (BJ)the things that are not, so that He may (BK)nullify the things that are, 29 so that (BL)no [t]man may boast before God. 30But [u]by His doing you are in (BM)Christ Jesus, who became to us (BN)wisdom from God, [v]and(BO)righteousness and(BP)sanctification, and(BQ)redemption, 31 so that, just as it is written, “(BR)LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.”

 

Paul reveals that God uses those that are lowly, debased, and downtrodden to manifest His power through. He takes those that the world sees as worthless and useless and unleashes his power in a manner that confounds the wise and powerful of the world.

 

God does this so that there can be no mistake of the source of the great works that come forth. God has revealed to me that we are in the midst of a time in which he will use men and women that have very little value by the standards of this wayward world in ways that are unimaginable. We are rapidly approaching a massive international revival the likes that have not been seen since Wesley’s Methodist movement.

 

Men of God are being called to stand on their faith and walk in their divine purpose; they are being empowered to reassume their God-ordained roles. Women are being inundated with a more lucid sense of worth and destiny. Children are being given dreams and visions of a future filled with God’s blessings and direction.

 

Make no mistake about it; this is a time for advancement of theKingdomofGod. This is a time for reclaiming what the enemy has taken from us. It is a time to walk boldly in our callings. This is not a time to meander through the maze of mediocrity or to ponder at the pool of popularity. This is not a place to dwindle into the destitute valley of diminished dreams and dwarfed goals. No, this is a time that the kingdom is to rise up and live in all of its Heavenly Splendor.

 

For far too long we have been giving ground to the enemy as we retreat into the comfort of our temples and church sanctuaries. We have been content with preaching to the choir while neglecting the greater command to go out in the community and share the Gospel of God’s love. We have relegated ourselves to temple ministry and failed the mission. Those days are over. It is time to rise up and live out the true meaning of the Christian Creed.

 

There are many of you that for your entire life have been told that you don’t matter. You have been convinced that the best you will ever be is average. You have struggled with your self-esteem as others have mishandled and mistreated you. You have shed an abundance of tears while wondering what meaning your life could possibly have in this world that seems to be so hostile towards you. I want you to understand that this is your moment. God wants to use you. Where others have doubted you, God believes in you because he designed you with this very moment in mind. I encourage you to come forth. I implore you to stand in the power of the Holy Spirit as God thrusts you into your destiny. You are a part of the Royal Family of God and an aristocratic resident of theKingdomofHeaven; walk in your purpose and achieve your destiny.

 

This is the moment where we as a people stand up and declare our faith through our actions. This is where we step from behind our words and execute the actions that that validate our words.

 

I want every man and woman that reads this to contact me via email, tweet, or Facebook inbox so that we may organize and mobilize in our communities, at our jobs, and in our homes.

 

Remember your breakthrough comes through obedience

 

May you be blessed in all that you do.

 

Bishop Rick Wallace

http://rickwallaceministries.com

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

 

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

21 Principles of Christian Living

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

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

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

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

25 “This is the inscription that was written:

MENE, MENE, TEKEL, PARSIN

26 “Here is what these words mean:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Okay, lets do this.

Bishop Rick Wallace
http://rickwallaceministries.com
http://funnychurchclips.blogspot.com
P.S. Pastors, I have some special resources to share with you. Those of you in the Dallas and Houston area should contact me directly. This includes Author and Publisher Andrea Taylor of Third Chapter Press

Tried In The Fire

Tried In The Fire.

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

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

G4286                                                                                                     

πρόθεσις

prothesis

proth’-es-is

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

Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries

 

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

Purpose and its underlying elements have been pondered through the ages. The Great Greek philosophers of ancient times have grappled with purpose and the significance of human life and their modern counterparts have faced the same enigmatic issues that plagued them centuries ago. Freud, Nietzsche, and Foucault have no better settled the quandaries of life than did the likes of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Secular paradigms and cosmic speculations have infiltrated the faith of Christianity and have brought about paradigmatic shifts in the thinking of believers.

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Welcome to your purpose; welcome to your destiny!

 

 

Best regards,

 

Bishop Rick Wallace

Founder & President

Rick Wallace Ministries

100 Men of Purpose

Life Solutions 21

The Invisible Father

 

 


 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

%d bloggers like this: