7 Ways to Receive Your BreakThrough Part II

This is the short version of a message I shared at church. Be blessed!

BreakThrough

BreakThrough

Now when the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines went up to search for David. And David heard of it and went down to the stronghold. The Philistines also went and deployed themselves in the Valley of Rephaim. So David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You deliver them into my hand?”

And the Lord said to David, “Go up, for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into your hand.”

So David went to Baal Perazim, and David defeated them there; and he said, “The Lord has broken through my enemies before me, like a breakthrough of water.” Therefore he called the name of that place Baal Perazim.  And they left their images there, and David and his men carried them away.

Then the Philistines went up once again and deployed themselves in the Valley of Rephaim. Therefore David inquired of the Lord, and He said, “You shall not go up; circle around behind them, and come upon them in front of the mulberry trees. And it shall be, when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, then you shall advance quickly. For then the Lord will go out before you to strike the camp of the Philistines.” And David did so, as the Lord commanded him; and he drove back the Philistines from Geba as far as Gezer.                          2 Samuel 5:17-2

4. Be willing to wrestle with God all night.       —Gen. 32:22-32

Jacob wrestled with God all night to receive his breakthrough. For him it wasn’t about money; he was wealthy. He needed a transformation in his life. His breakthrough was about getting a blessing that would change him from the inside out.  Jacob held unto God all night until He blessed him. And God blessed Him and changed him from being known as a trickster or swindler (someone who couldn’t be trusted) to being a prince with God.

What life transformation do you need? Are there areas in your life that remain stagnant or become worse? Do you have character issues or a reputation that stains you wherever you go? Are you willing to stay up all night seeking the Lord to receive your breakthrough? To wrestle with God is to passionately pursue Him and have an encounter with Him that changes your life and perspective. Maybe seeking God in the night season when there are no distractions and you can fully focus on Him is the answer to your breakthrough. Don’t let go until God blesses you.

5. Your heart must hold onto the promise. Speak God’s word over your life not matter how bad it looks.         —Joshua 1:8

Abraham believed God for his breakthrough – to have a son and become the father of many nations. In Gen. 12:1-3, the Lord gave Abraham (then Abram) promise that he would be the father of many nations. Years passed and in Gen. 15:1-6, Abraham confronts God about the promise because the only heir in his house was his servant’s child and Sarah wasn’t pregnant yet. God assured him of the promise, made a covenant with him and changed his name from Abram to Abraham (father of many nations). God also gave him a visual – the stars – to help him understand the vastness of the promise. Then Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him as righteousness. When Abraham is about to sacrifice his only son (Gen. 22), God reiterates His promise with two visuals – the stars of the sky and the sand on the seashore. All those years, can you imagine, Abraham had to hold that promise but God gave him the tools to do it: his new name along with the visual of the stars and sand. In everyday conversation he was being reminded of the promise every time someone called his name. He was being reminded of the promise when he felt the sand under his feet and gazed at the stars at night.

To get the breakthrough you have to hold unto the promise (the word God gave to you). You have to hold to the Word – meditate on it day and night and live it out in your life (Joshua 1:8). You have to keep speaking in faith what God promised you (Heb. 4:14) – be it healing, deliverance, or another promise He has for you. Jesus’ ministry to you is to bring to past the word you speak concerning yourself that is according to the will of God. Therefore be careful what you say – not only in the prayer closet but in your daily conversation. You must hold fast (keep speaking) that confession until your breakthrough happens.

6. Examine your heart (rather ask the Holy Spirit to examine you) and ask for forgiveness where you have fallen.       —Psalm 51

Nothing severs our relationship with God like sin. Sin not only brings a barrier between you and God but it stops the blessing (Deut. 28:15-68). David is an excellent example for us. He wasn’t a perfect man, yet God calls him a man after His own heart. I believe one of the reasons he says this of David is because he was quick to repent whenever he faltered (2 Sam. 12:1-15).

Today, though we are under a better covenant than David was we too sin at times. However, God is faithful and just to forgive you and cleanse you (give you the ability to overcome the temptation) from all unrighteousness (1 <st1:bcv_smarttag>John 1:9). Don’t let sin come between you and the wonderful relationship you have with God. Be quick to forgive and be quick to ask for forgiveness. It is needed to continue in right relationship with God and to experience your breakthrough.

7. Don’t just call on Jesus but believe that you will see the glory of God.          —John 11:1-44

Mary & Martha called on Jesus for their breakthrough; they wanted their brother to be well again. However, as scripture points out Jesus delayed his visit for a few days and by the time he reached there Lazarus was dead. But His intention was still to restore Lazarus though dead. He encourages Martha – at her objection to have the stone removed from the tomb opening – to believe and she will see the glory of God (vs.40).

Often times we accept our sickness or problems quickly and are ready to give up. But your sickness or problem is not meant to end you but to honour God and promote His glory. (vs.4). How? When God gives you your breakthrough you will by all means praise Him and tell others what He has done for you. Ask God to show His glory in your life. Why His glory? Because the God of the breakthrough can make the impossible become possible and real to you. He can destroy the works of the enemy and bring you the breakthrough you need.

8. Step outside the norm or the status quo. Ignore what others may say.          —Mark 10:46-52

Bartimaeus needed a breakthrough – he wanted what he never had before – the ability to see. He was known for who he was – a blind man begging on the road side. Vision is something we take for granted but for him not being able to see meant living below standard and having to beg at the wayside in order to live. No vision was darkness over him – no work, begging all the time, being out in the scorching sun, being snubbed and ridiculed. Bartimaeus wanted more and saw the opportunity when he heard that Jesus was passing by. He was not willing to let this moment pass him by. He yelled out to Jesus until he got his attention. He ignored the naysayers and kept shouting until Jesus took notice of him. Then Jesus asked Bartimaeus … “What do you want me to do for you?”

Is there something in your life that you’ve never had before? Have you thought about how your life and those around you would be better if you could have your breakthrough? Maybe you need a clearer vision your purpose and help to get you started on that road but it’s hard to see or conceptualize and you need God’s direction. Hmm… What do you want Jesus to do for you? What breakthrough do you need from Jesus today? What is it that will get you on the path that God has ordained for you?

What are you willing to do for your breakthrough?

Will you pray and weep until your voice isn’t even heard or wrestle all night with God (pleading in desperation) to get your blessing. Maybe you need to mix your prayer with regular fasting, or make a vow to the Lord in advance of the breakthrough. For you, it may be as simple as asking God for direction or strategy or it may require boldness and faith doing to do what you’ve never done before.

Whatever the need, we all need a breakthrough – our countries, our churches, our families, and ourselves. Let’s pray to get the breakthrough coming….

Don’t forget to share with others to encourage them in the Lord.

7 Ways to Receive Your BreakThrough Part I

This is the short version of a message I shared at church. Be blessed!

BreakThrough

BreakThrough

Now when the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines went up to search for David. And David heard of it and went down to the stronghold. The Philistines also went and deployed themselves in the Valley of Rephaim. So David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You deliver them into my hand?”

And the Lord said to David, “Go up, for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into your hand.”

So David went to Baal Perazim, and David defeated them there; and he said, “The Lord has broken through my enemies before me, like a breakthrough of water.” Therefore he called the name of that place Baal Perazim.  And they left their images there, and David and his men carried them away.

Then the Philistines went up once again and deployed themselves in the Valley of Rephaim. Therefore David inquired of the Lord, and He said, “You shall not go up; circle around behind them, and come upon them in front of the mulberry trees. And it shall be, when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, then you shall advance quickly. For then the Lord will go out before you to strike the camp of the Philistines.” And David did so, as the Lord commanded him; and he drove back the Philistines from Geba as far as Gezer.                          2 Samuel 5:17-25

What is a breakthrough?

David described his victory over the Philistines like the powerful force experienced when water breaks over the banks of a river or like a tsunami that washes away everything in its way. In honour of the Lord he renames what was once called the house of the giant (Valley of Rephaim) to the Lord Who breaks through (Baal Perazim). Where the enemy (the Philistines) thought they were strongest because they had their baals (gods) with them, God proved even stronger!

Today you don’t fight the physical war against people but a spiritual one against the enemy of our souls. We fight against the attacks of the enemy – sin, sickness, failure, lack or poverty, defeat or oppression of any kind. These problems are like the enemy’s floods that are meant to carry you away or to destroy you (Is 59:19). However, when God is the Lord of your breakthrough for you, He advances over and above the enemy’s flood. The Lord pushes back the enemy’s flood of trouble, sickness, lack, and all negativity with the flood of His blessing, goodness, love, favour and every good thing you need in life.

** God wants to give you a breakthrough in those areas of your life that the enemy appears to be the strongest.

Do you need a breakthrough?

  • Is there a need that is long overdue?
  • Have you been waiting on the Lord for a long time and nothing seems to be happening? Do you need God’s hand on your life?
  • Are you pregnant with a vision, dream or desire that seems to mock you?
  • What is your need? To be healed, to have a house of your own, to be relieved of the burden of financial debt, to have a positive income stream to help provide for your family, to see family members come to the Lord…?

Whatever the need, the Lord your God, is the Lord of Your breakthrough. The Word shows us what others have done to receive their breakthrough from God. Let’s see what you can do to receive for your breakthrough?

1. Ask the Lord what to do. Be prepared to seek the Lord.         —2 Sam. 5:17-20

David needed to fight and win the battle against the Philistines who had come after him. So David (as he often did) asked God what to do before going out to battle. He realised that he was in a better position whenever he consulted God. He not only asked what to do but he did as God directed. God gave him strategy on how best to defeat his enemies.

For you to receive your breakthrough you need to ask God and then step out in faith and in obedience to do as God said. God is the Master Strategist and has the upper-hand over the enemy, follow His leading and you will be victorious and rejoice.

2. Make a vow or commitment to do something for the Lord. —1 Sam. 1:1-20

Hannah desperately wanted a child. Being taunted by her rival about her barrenness didn’t make it easy to bear. Hannah poured her heart out to God. She wept her prayer and made a vow to the Lord to give back when she received her breakthrough. She offered to God the thing she wanted the most – a child. What a commitment!

What about you? Don’t be reserved. If you have to cry, then cry but let God know your burden and express your desire to Him (vs.10). If you are as determined as Hannah was about receiving her breakthrough, maybe you too need to make a commitment to the Lord. Is there an area in which you’ve been meaning to serve but haven’t yet? Is there something you will sacrificially vow to give to the Lord? I’ve seen friends vow their first pay check to the Lord when they needed an income stream and God blessed them. What can you vow? Make a vow to the Lord and when you receive your breakthrough be sure to follow through.

3. If you want to get something you never had, you have to do something you’ve never done before and fast your prayer.         —Esther 4:13-17

Esther fasted and prayed to save her life and those of the Jews. She did something she never did before – she risked her life for the sake of her people by going before the king uninvited. However, before she took that risk, she and her people prepared themselves – they fasted and prayed to God for three days. Why? She knew only God could touch the heart of the king and give her favour with him.

Do you need to take some risk? Do you need to mix your prayers with fasting? As Jesus said there are some situations that would need prayer and fasting to bring deliverance, to be resolved or for breakthrough to come. Examine your life and the circumstances you are experiencing? Have you tried different ways to deal with your problems but they still prevail? Consider spending time in prayer and fasting. Even a commitment to skip a meal for a season would help bring light to your situation.

Next week, I will share the second part of this message.

Don’t forget to share with others to encourage them in the Lord.

10 Ways to Grow in God’s Word

Grow in God’s Word

Reading the Bible

But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it. Deuteronomy 30:14

The Bible is a wonderful gift from God to us, yet we hardly make use of it. Although we claim to be Disciples of Christ, we can find ourselves more inclined to read everything else except the Word of God or be involved other activities that occupy our time leaving us with little or no time for the word of God. But this Word is really special.

The Word of God is …

  • Alive, full of power, effective, energizing and knows the condition (thoughts and purposes) of man’s heart. Heb. 4:12
  • Everlasting. There is no time limit on it. Matt. 24:35 & Isaiah 40:8
  • Sure. God holds His Word in high regard. He stakes His integrity on it. Isaiah 55:11
  • Full of truth and life. We can live abundantly by the Word of God. John 6:63 & John 6:63 (GW)
  • To be desired more than riches and is sweeter than the sweetest thing every tasted! Furthermore, the Word rewards the one who obeys it. Psalm 19:10-11 (AMP)

The word of God is so very relevant to our present and future but yet we take light of its importance. If you need direction or guidance on anything in your life – spiritual, financial, relationships, career, health or wellness, emotional, professional – you can look in God’s word for help. There are so many ways to feed ourselves with the word that we have no excuses for not knowing what God says in about specific aspects of our lives or for not living it out daily.

  1. Read the Word daily. Read it like a book – from cover to cover – and gain insight into life through the accounts of God relating to man. I try to read it through at least once a year. If I don’t succeed the challenge of finishing it by the end of January, I try to continue until I’ve reached the end.
  2. Pray the Word. Remind God what His word (His promise) is concerning you. However, you can only do this if you know what the word says about that area of your life.
  3. Speak the Word. I am not talking about praying here but about making God’s word a part of your everyday conversation with friends, family, work colleagues, and whoever you interact with in your day.
  4. Study the Word. If you want to know how to manage your money, how to raise your child, how to related to your family and friends and about anything pertaining to your life and your relationship with God; the answers are in the word of God. You can research specific passages, people, topics, etc. You can also adopt certain methods of study like in the inductive or manuscript method and others that would help you gain a better understanding of God’s word.
  5. Teach the Word. God commands us to teach our children His word. Through family devotions and classes at church we can teach them. But of importance is to teach them through our lives – what we say and do have great impact on how they view God. Therefore we must aim to live God-honoring lives and as we do God promises that training our child in His ways will help them to remain in Him.
  6. Memorize the Word. I never really took much effort in memorizing though it is highly recommended. I realize that the more you study the Word, you will remember it and the Holy Spirit will remind you of specific scriptures when you need encouragement and guidance.
  7. Meditate on the Word. In the Hebrew language “meditate” means to speak or to mutter repeatedly. When I read and I find a scripture that stands out, I would personalize that verse or passage and speak it out. I would put it on a cue card to visualize it throughout the day or I would do further study on it and write it out in a personalize way. I recently shared Psalm 91 with you.
  8. Believe the Word. If you claim that the Bible is written by men who were inspired by God to pen this message to us, then believe it. If you choose to become a disciple of Christ, take God at His word.
  9. Share the Word. God’s word is good news that isn’t for one but for all. Share with those who believe to encourage, exhort or even reprove. Share with those who don’t believe that they might come to believe and accept Christ as their Saviour and Lord.
  10. Apply the Word to you. The Word is not just for the purpose of gaining knowledge but it’s meant to change man to become like Christ. The Word is like a mirror but searches deeper the surface. It shows you who you in your heart are and gives you the insight on how you can change. Let the word enter your heart and bring the life transformation your need.

Once during Bible reading month challenge this verse above (Deuteronomy 30:14) really stood out for me. As I thought about it I realized that when this was said to Israel the Word (then the Law) was read to them on occasionally. Yet God said the Word is in their mouths, and their hearts and they should live it out.

What about us today? We have access to the wonderful gift 24/7 in hard-copy form in various translations, on our cell phones, on e-readers, in CD or audio format, in DVD format, on television and there are even programs that would help you by sending reminders to read the Word. Check out: Bible Gateway, You Version, Faith Comes by Hearing, and The Word of Promise. We can read, we can listen, we can watch the Word anytime.

God promises that His word will bring you all-round and ongoing success when rightly applied (or lived out) – Joshua 1:8-9. I encourage you to intentionally spend time in the Word of God and apply the methods above to make it a part of your daily living.

How near is the Word of God to you? This week, make a plan to study specific areas of the Bible outside of your daily devotional time. It will bless your life.

 

God Already Done It… Your Success Assured

Done!

Done!

Have you ever realized that God speaks in the past tense especially when He is talking to us about a present situation we are dealing with? Yes, God speaks to our present like it’s in the past. Or rather as though He has already seen and already taken care of the problem. He has an interesting way of assuring us that everything is alright; that He is aware of our problems and that He has already taken care of them.

Although it does not make sense to our limited human logic, the Lord tells us what He has already done. It’s like He saying, “Oh I’ve already taken care of that! You don’t need to worry about how it looks now. I’ve got everything under control.”

As we read through the Word, it is sometimes hard to imagine the challenges people were facing and yet God was saying, “Oh, I have already solved that problem for you!” Even now in our lives, when in the midst of a difficult – sickness, lack of money, a troubled relationship, a wayward child and many others  – it is sometimes hard to hold on to the promises of God.

God is always ready. Nothing surprises Him. He has prepared well in advance to solve our problems, fight our battles, provide our needs, heal our bodies and give us success in all areas of our lives.

Already Provided

In Genesis, the account of creation, God shows us that He is an All-ready God who has taken care of all our needs.

And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Genesis 1:29

So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs. Genesis 9:1-3

Already Own

When God made a covenant with Abram, He gave him a promise that went beyond him (to descendants that he would not see) and He spoke it as already done. God promised to give them land and He spoke this to Abram:

“On the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying: “To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates …” Genesis 15:17-19

Throughout Israel’s journey to Canaan, God reminded them that He had already given them the land to own. Numbers 33: 53 “you shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land and dwell in it, for I have given you the land to possess.”

Already Succeeded

Joshua was facing battle with a formidable force, yet God says to him, “And the Lord said to Joshua: “See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor.” Joshua 6:2

Even again Ai, God spoke to Joshua in a similar manner, “Now the Lord said to Joshua: “Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed; take all the people of war with you, and arise, go up to Ai. See, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, his people, his city, and his land.” Joshua 8:1

Really, now. Joshua had not even started to fight yet but God said he’d won the battle. Hmm, when God speaks we ought to take Him at His word. From that word and Joshua’s obedience to do as God instructed, Jericho was sorely defeated and so was Ai.

What promise do you have what instruction has you been given? Step out in faith and you will win!

Already Answered

There is no limit to what God has already put in place for us. Even when it comes to our many and varying prayer requests, God answers like they have happened. Look what He says to King Solomon who asked for wisdom to lead Israel, “Behold, I have done according to your words; see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you. And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days. So if you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David walked, then I will lengthen your days.” 1 Kings 3:12-14

Isn’t God amazing? He does more that we think of asking (Eph. 3:20)!

Already Healed

Before the coming of our Lord Jesus to the earth to fulfill God promise of salvation, God tells us through Isaiah that we were healed.

Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy]. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole. Isaiah 53:4-5

Today, those in Christ can hold to this promise of healing as being already done since Jesus did it on the cross where he bore of sicknesses and diseases through the stripes he suffered.

For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously; who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. 1 Peter 2:21-24

Believe God’s Already…

We tend to speak based on what we have experienced. We speak of “have done” based on the past – what God has done for us that we have seen, heard, tasted, smelt, touched. The kind of experience that David mentioned in Psalm 21:2  “You have given him his heart’s desire, and have not withheld the request of his lips.” David praised God for the wonderful things He had done in his life. Yet, you can hold to this word. It is a wonderful promise.

But God speaks of “have done” even before we experience it! He is telling us, “I have already done it for you.” It is almost strange to talk this way but like God – we should speak what is even though it is yet to happen (Romans 6:17). That is faith talk.

God already said, “It is done”. He has already solved our problems. Therefore we must speak like He does; like we already have it. So when we are faced with a problem we should speak to ourselves and say, “Yup, God has already done it.” Believe in Him and His promises. He has the power to perform the “Already”.

Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. (Rom. 6:20-21, NIV)

Are you fully confident that God has already done for you what you long for?

Where Can You Find Safety In This World?

God over all

Life is no trouble-free zone and although we try our best to take care of and protect ourselves, we’re not very good at it.  Even in seasons of celebration and good times, in this world there is still turmoil, death, sickness, wars, and every kind of calamity that we silently hope would not come close to home.

For several weeks now, I have been meditating daily on Psalms 91:1-16 (AMP). I am fully persuaded that I am alive and well because of God’s protection and care. It is God alone who keeps us. He is always looking out for us and wanting our best. This does not mean that in this fallen world there won’t be trouble at times but certain there is a way we can keep most of them away. If you make the promises of God your own, if you make the Lord your secret place, you will be find safety while living in this world.

As I meditated on and prayed Psalm 91 over the past few weeks, I have some promises that I hold dear to my heart and wanted to share with you:

  • I am safe in God. He is my Protection and my Safety Nest. I imagine being a little girl with her Dad who she sees as Strong and Invincible. No one can defeat my Dad and when I am with Him I am so very sure that everything is alright and I don’t need to be afraid of anything (Ps. 91: 1-2, 5-6).
  • Although trouble may lurk and try to attack me, I am sure that God will rescue me from it. He will even allow me to see from a distance the trouble He kept me from (Ps. 91: 3, 7-8).
  • Jesus has given me authority over the enemy and nothing can harm me (Ps. 91: 13; Luke 10:19). Therefore I must use that authority as a defensive and offensive weapon against to works of the devil.
  • I especially like the benefit of being trouble-free and sick-free when God is my Refuge and My dwelling place (Ps. 91: 9-10).
  • It is comforting to know that I am not alone. The Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit and the angels of God are all on my side. God’s angels are specifically assigned to watch over me and each member of my family. I have my own 24/7 body guards who even make sure that I don’t do anything to hurt myself (Ps. 91:12). Wow! Indeed, if God is for me, who can be against me!
  • Even when there is danger, God will come to my rescue and hide me in a place of safety (Ps. 91: 14) and be with me in the midst of troubled times (Ps. 91:15).

I hope that as you read how I have applied this scripture to my life that you would be encouraged to make the Lord your hiding place and reap the benefits of doing so:

  1. I dwell in the secret place (presence) of the Most High and I shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow (protection) of the Almighty God (the Unconquerable One). [Almighty God, You are Shaddai is the All-sufficient God, who is forever capable of being all that I need.] Lord, You are the Almighty God whose power no foe (no sickness, no disease, no trouble) can withstand.
  2. Lord, You are my Refuge (Shelter) and my mighty Fortress, on You I lean and rely, and in You I [confidently] place all my trust!
  3. For You will deliver (rescue) me from the snares set by my enemies and from the deadly pestilence (plagues).
  4. Like a bird protecting its young, Lord You will cover me with Your feathers, and protect me under Your wings (my hiding place and my refuge). Lord, Your truth and faithfulness are a shield around me (a rock solid wall and a fire wall to protect me) and my armor. [Eph. 6:10-18]
  5. I shall not be afraid of the terror of the night, nor of the arrow (the evil plots and slanders of the wicked) that flies by day,
  6. Nor shall I be in fear of the plague (pestilence) that stalks in darkness, nor of the destruction and sudden death that surprise and strike at noonday.
  7. A thousand will fall at my side, and ten thousand at my right hand, but they (my enemies nor their weapons) shall not come near me.
  8. I shall look with my eyes [while inaccessible in the secret place of the Most High] and see the punishment (just reward) of the wicked (but I shall not suffer because of it).
  9. Because You Lord are my Refuge, and the Most High my dwelling place (my only home),
  10. No evil shall come to me; plague (sickness, disease or calamity) shall not come near my home (my household or my body).
  11. Father, You will command Your heavenly messengers to guard (accompany, defend and preserve) me in all my ways [as I obey and serve the Lord].
  12. Let them hold me up on their hands so that I will not crash, or fall or even graze my foot against a stone. [Luke 4:10-11; Heb. 1:14]
  13. I shall walk on the lion and cobra; I shall trample on the young lion and the serpent underfoot. [Luke 10:19]
  14. Because I love You Lord with all my being, therefore will You rescue me from harm. You will protect me (You will set me above danger), because I know and understand Your name [I know You intimately. I know Your mercy, love, and kindness– I trust and rely on You, knowing You will never forsake me, no, never].
  15. I shall call upon You Lord, and You will answer me; You will be with me through hard times (trouble). You will deliver me and grant me honor.
  16. With long life (many good and healthy years) Lord You will I satisfy me and show me Your salvation. I will experience the abundant eternal life of God, love, joy, peace, healing, deliverance, freedom, provision, prosperity and every good and perfect gift from God.

Thank you Lord for keeping me safe. Amen.

God, the All-Sufficient One is your Refuge! I hope what you have read encourages you to pray the Word and find safety and peace in God.

What other scriptures do you mediate or pray that are comforting to you?

Sickness or Health – Which Do You Prefer?

Now at the setting of the sun [indicating the end of the Sabbath], all those who had any [who were] sick with various diseases brought them to Him, and He laid His hands upon every one of them and cured them.                                                                                                                                               —Luke 4:40 (AMP)

I have been experiencing the challenges of sickness especially that of a loved one. As I go through the process of nursing back to health, I have developed a hatred for sickness. Though that may sound harsh it’s a good hatred. Also, during this challenge I have been digging into the scriptures and praying the Word as it relates to healing. Indeed God wants us to be in good health just as much as He wants us to have a strong relationship with us. He too does not like sickness just like He doesn’t like sin but loves the sinner.

I heard someone said that we like to own our sickness. Oftentimes in the body of Christ, we are very accepting of sickness. We like to attach ourselves to the sickness, “I have diabetes.”, “My back is killing me.”, “I have this or I have that.” We tend to take ownership of sickness rather than hate it and banish it from our bodies by the authority we have in Jesus’ name.

Sometimes we even bring sickness upon ourselves. We may have bad eating habits. We may not exercise regularly or fail to practice good self-care. At times we even call sickness upon ourselves because we believe will have the same sickness another relative had and died from. Others willingly accept sickness as a part of life and always expect it. Yet some have the extreme thought that they will always be sick and therefore baby their sickness. But Jesus didn’t accept it. He fought against it. He healed many while He was on this earth. Many were and still are healed through the power of Christ’s resurrection.

Then why should we like or even entertain sickness. Sickness is not of God and carries many ill-effects in our lives. It in no way honours or glorifies God. Sickness:

  1. Makes our bodies weak and tired
  2. Reduces or brings our productivity to a halt. We are limited in how much we can do for ourselves or others
  3. Causes us to depend on others. Although the help is appreciated, any sick person longs to be able to help themselves
  4. Brings down the human spirit. Sick people feel weary in spirit and at times unwilling to keep going
  5. Has a negative impact on our finances in two ways – the inability to earn income and the increase expense due to medical care
  6. Disrupts or kills your dreams and goals. It is a potential destiny killer
  7. Limits our ability to serve God in whatever capacity we normally do

However there is much to be gained by having good health and this is what God desires for us. The prize of good health:

  1. Is strength in body, soul and spirit
  2. Frees us to do what we need to and want to. There is high productivity
  3. Gives us the opportunity to do good works for others
  4. Allows us to enjoy life to the full
  5. Impacts our finances positively because it is not decayed by reduced income or medical expenses
  6. Liberated to fulfill our God-given goals and destiny
  7. Brings glory to God because we are able to do good works that cause you and others to praise Him

Friends, which do you think is better? I vote for good health and with that long life. Just like Jesus does. So whether or not you or a loved one is sick, pray daily for good health. Meditate on scriptures that remind you what God’s heart is concerning your health:

  1. Jesus has already borne or sicknesses, weaknesses and distresses and carried our sorrows and pains, so why should be now. —Is. 53:4-5 (AMP) & 1 Pet. 2:24 (AMP)
  2. God can restore health and life to your body. —Rom. 8:11 (AMP)
  3. God willingly and freely give us all things including good health. —Rom. 8:32 (AMP)
  4. God sends His word to heal and deliver us. —Ps. 107:19 (NKJV)
  5. Speak the Word: “No disease, no sickness shall come near my dwelling.” Therefore, if not near your home then certainly not in your body. —Ps. 91:9-13 (GW)
  6. God’s desire is for us to prosper and be in good health and be in right standing with Him. —3 John 1:2 (AMP)
  7. If we are sick, Jesus wants to make us well. —Matt. 4:23-24; Matt. 8:5-7; Mk. 10:49-52; Jn 5:5-9; Acts 10:38 (NKJV)
  8. God wants to satisfy you with long life. —Ps. 91:16 (GW)
  9. He is the Lord our Healer. —Ex. 15:26 (NKJV)
  10. There is no limit to what God can do. He can heal any sickness. —Ps. 103:2-3 (NKJV)
  11. Since God is able to raise man from death (Luke 7:12-15, NKJV), He is well able to renew your youthful strength and perform a creative miracle in your body.—Ps. 103:5 (AMP)

May we all experience the kingdom of God in our lives and may good health and long life be ours. God bless you.

Pray: The Way to Change Our World

Again I tell you, if two of you on earth agree (harmonize together, make a symphony together) about whatever [anything and everything] they may ask, it will come to pass and be done for them by My Father in heaven.                          —Matthew 18:19 (AMP)

Day after day we are constantly hearing and seeing terrible news accounts of wars, bombings, disasters, killings, etc.  around the world. Before we are able to deal with the effects of one devastation event another one comes up. There is a feeling of hopelessness that invades the world and more intensely the lives of these who suffer the loss of loved ones on account of someone’s heartless and evil act. There is feeling of futility to all the fighting and killing, and sickness and disease we see permeating throughout our world. At times it causes us to wonder if there is any point to doing the good works that we do. And often wonder if prayer does make a difference.

One thing I have also noticed is that as Christians and most people generally tend to react to the problems as they occur. We call for prayer and for all work together in any way possible to help the hurting souls struck by these misfortunes. That is very good on our part. Yes, Jesus has called us extend His love to others (Matthew 25:31-39). We should by all means not fail to do good works and show the love of God to others.

However, there is another aspect to this that is often missed. When we help others during their difficult times we are being reactive. But as Christians we must be proactive. Why? The word of God tells us that the devil is going about seeking to find people to devour (1 Peter 5:8)! He is busily about the work of stealing, killing and destroying lives. Somehow, we don’t get that. It is only when we face trouble that we remember that we need to pray and to work to counter his works. But we should be many steps ahead of the enemy to destroy his works before he destroys us, our loved ones and those who haven’t yet come to know Christ as their Savior and Lord. When we are proactive prayer warriors, we stop evil in its tracks.

How can you be proactive in this fight against the enemy? Pray, pray and more pray. Paul instructs us to always be rejoicing and praying (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). We must be unrelenting in prayer because the enemy will go to any means to steal from us, kill us or destroy us. We need a 24/7 connection to our Father God. Wherever and whenever, we can talk to God about what’s happening in our world. We can pray that His will be done on the earth. As we do this more and more, we will begin to see more of God’s hand in our lives for our good.

At times we fail to recognize the power of the words we speak in prayer and in our daily conversation. If we always speak contrary to what the word of God says we will for sure reap bad results (Proverbs 18:21). If we agree with the word of God about every detail of our lives, we will experience an abundant life.

Very closely intertwined with what we say is our belief system. We don’t believe that prayer can positively impact our world. We don’t believe that God can forewarn us of trouble and that through work of prayer we can prevent it. Often we silently tell ourselves that we are not seeing any change as quickly as we want to, so we give up and give into accepting everything that is not good. We faint or lose heart when Jesus wants us to keep praying. I have experienced for myself and heard of testimonies where prayer saved lives and restored broken families. I have seen people’s lives transformed because others were willing to pray until change came.  I have known of those to whom God brought revelation which led them to pray and thus save others from accident and death.

Jesus’ outburst in the temple when He found people conducting business there bears an important truth for us. He certainly was not pleased by what He saw. One thing He expects is that we would be temples of prayer.That we would gather into His house to pray and be in constant communication with Him. We often think we gather with the main focus of worship – of course, we must worship this great God. Yet we have another important responsiblity when we meet – to pray. We must pray for our needs, for our country, for our government, for those who are sick, for peace throughout the world. We must pray for anything and everything because we want to set up God will and purpose on the earth. When we pray we must take authority over the wicked principalities and powers and establishing God’s rule in our lives and in this world. For certain, as we prayer in agreement, God says that He will honor our requests (Matthew 18:19).

I want to urge you, pray more. Pray without ceasing. Pray for the needs you see all around you whether near or far. Pray for protection and safety of yourself and others. Pray and believe that the Father will respond to your requests and send help. Pray proactively, don’t wait for trouble to come (Matthew 6:10). Pray and rejoice even before you receive the answers. Pray and change your world.

Need A Blessing? Then Ask

Now it was so, when she came to him, that she persuaded him to ask her father for a field. So she dismounted from her donkey, and Caleb said to her, “What do you wish?” 19 She answered, “Give me a blessing; since you have given me land in the South, give me also springs of water.” So he gave her the upper springs and the lower springs.           —Joshua 15:18-19

This account of Caleb’s daughter requesting a blessing is recorded twice in the Word. (Joshua 15:18-19, Judges 1:14-15). At first glance this appears to be a seemingly simple request of a daughter to her father but when you consider this more closely, we can learn a few things from Achsah.

1. Identify Your Need

Achsah had already received land in the South from her father. Now she wanted more. She wanted springs of water. My first thoughts, “Lord, she already has, what more could she want?” But really she was asking for what would sustain and complement the previous one – springs of water would help water the land.

What blessing do you need? What extra in life do you need to help you live a healthier, happier, longer life? What do you need to help you succeed?

2. Go To the Source

Ask of the one who is able to give it. Achsah knew her dad had what she needed. She knew her dad was able to give it. And she knew if she wanted it, she would have to ask him for it. So she went boldly asking and expecting to receive it and she did.

Who do you need to ask for your blessing? Is your need something that no one else but God would be able to fill? God your Father is able to give and He is willing to give but you need to ask. Just as Caleb was willing to give to his daughter, God is will to give to you.

3. Expect the Blessing

As children we often asked our parents for many things never thinking that we would not receive them. I don’t believe that Achsah went to her father thinking that she wouldn’t receive the springs of water. She went expecting to receive the blessing. Faith says that you believe that God is and that He will bless you when you ask Him.

When you pray do you believe that God will give you what you need? Or do you ask but deep within you don’t think that God will honour your request? Ask and believe in the ability, availability and willingness of your heavenly Father God to bless you.

The word of God has examples of many who asked God for a blessing and they received it. To name just two:

Jacob (Genesis 32:22-32) – You would think that Jacob was satisfied. Going to Laban he had nothing but leaving him he had for more than imaginable – a family and great wealth. Yet he wrestled with God to bless him. Why? There was a deeper need – no more to be considered by others as a schemer. He wanted a change in identity and only God could do that. As big as that request was, God blessed him and changed his life forever.

Jabez (1 Chron. 4:9-10) – A more honorable man than his brothers, yet Jabez asked God to bless him. He too desired change; he did not want to be known by his name. He did not want to live in pain or to cause pain to others. Jabez asked and God granted his request.

Now back to us. Jesus tells us to ask because He wants us to be joyful (John 16:24), ask even though God already knows your need (Matthew 6:8), ask for our daily needs (Matthew 6:11), ask for wisdom (James 1:5), ask until you receive (Luke 18:1-8). The point is you need to ask. The need you have – good health, financial success, stronger or restore relationships, wisdom, knowledge, understanding, favor with people, additional income streams, career change – is the blessing you need to ask for.

What do you need in your life that would improve or make a significant difference to the way you live now? Today, ask for your blessing and expect to receive it.

A Life of Gratitude: Free Kindle Book & Giveaway

By Shelley Hitz

Download on Kindle

FREE on 2/27/13 & 2/28/13

From the Author:

During a season of transition in my life, I found myself overwhelmed with negative emotions like self-pity and a complaining spirit. It was as if a dark cloud had descended over me. I prayed and asked God for wisdom on how to overcome these negative emotions. As I did, I sensed Him leading me to do a 21 day gratitude challenge.

Over the course of the 21 days, God began to change me as I spent intentional time being grateful for all I had been given. I did this through writing in my journal each day and also sending a hand-written thank you note to someone different each day. This also led me to writing out 21 prayers of gratitude and compiling 21 stories of gratitude.

I want to share what I learned with you in the pages of this book which includes:

  • 21 Days of Gratitude Challenge
  • 21 Prayers of Gratitude
  • 21 Stories of Gratitude

What to Expect On Each Day:

  • Read my personal stories, struggles and reflections.
  • Read one scripture and one quote about gratitude.
  • Apply one personal application step from the challenge.
  • Read one prayer of gratitude
  • Read one story of gratitude

Get Accountability and Encouragement

Along with the 21 day challenge, I also started a private Facebook group to provide accountability and encouragement for myself but also for others who decide to join me in the challenge. You will get access to this group as well. It has been amazing to see God at work in each of our lives.

Will you join me on this journey to gratitude?

 

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Shelley Hitz

Shelley HItzShelley Hitz is an award-winning and international best-selling author. Her openness and vulnerability as she shares her own story of hope and healing through her books will inspire and encourage you.

Shelley has been ministering alongside her husband, CJ, since 1998. They currently travel and speak to teens and adults around the country. Shelley’s main passion is to share God’s truth and the freedom in Christ she has found with others. She does this through her books, websites and speaking engagements.

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God Honors Your Words

Then Joshua charged them at that time, saying, “Cursed be the man before the Lord who rises up and builds this city Jericho; he shall lay its foundation with his firstborn, and with his youngest he shall set up its gates.”                                        — Joshua 6:26

God Honors Your Word

Speak life

In his days Hiel of Bethel built Jericho. He laid its foundation with Abiram his firstborn, and with his youngest son Segub he set up its gates, according to the word of the Lord, which He had spoken through Joshua the son of Nun.                           —1 Kings 16:34

This short record of Joshua’s words after the defeat of Jericho says so much about the words we speak.

Our words when spoken under the direction of the Lord have great power. It does not matter how long ago the words were spoken, when mixed with faith, whatever was said will happen.

God honors His own words and whatever He says, He does. Searching through the Scriptures, men spoke and God honored their words.

  • The dreams Joseph and others had which he interpreted all happened as he said
  • Moses spoke to Pharaoh according to God’s instruction and whatever he said would happen to Egypt happened.
  • Whatever Jacob blessing was to his twelve sons, or Moses, Joshua and others prophesied to Israel came to pass
  • The words Jesus spoke to us have and continue to unfold before our eyes today

It is wonderful to know that God honors what we say. However, we should be careful what speak since our words produce life or death (Proverbs 18:21). The daily conversation we have with others and with the Lord shape our destiny and the future of those who we speak of either negatively or positively.

The fact is your words:

  • Shape your life
  • Have power
  • Can change your world
  • Impact other people’s lives
  • Bring healing or hurt
  • Create life or death
  • Determine the course of your life

You choose what you get by what you say. Therefore choose your words carefully.

If you choose living words, then you must also have confidence about what you say. Can you imagine commanding to the sun and the moon to stand still and they do (Joshua )? You can only command great things if you’re confident that God will make it happen. But sometimes we think that our words don’t have an effect or that God does not hear them. Even if we prayer, speak, command we lack the faith that by our very words God will act for us. Sometimes our expectation is so low and does not match what we say. But powerful words can move a huge mountain (Matthew 17:20).

Think about it this way: Jesus spent a major part of his ministry speaking – words, words, words and more words. To heal he spoke, to bless a child he spoke, to deliver someone he spoke, to teach the principles of the kingdom of God he spoke. In the midst of his teaching we learn that His words are life and are spirit (John 6:63).  We read how every one of His words and actions were God-honored.

Since we stand as the representatives of the great God, created in His image, our words too are spirit and are life.  And our words are those that God will honor. But remember; speak words of life to yourself and others. Choose life. Be a blessing through your speech.

What can we do to continually speak life-giving words to ourselves and others?