Promises of Psalm 103

Promises of Psalm 103

Psalm 103 PromisesGod has promised us so many things in His Word. There are almost too many to count. We read these promises everyday when we read God’s Word. Often we never give it a second thought.

But if we would take the time to really look at these rich verses, we will become amazed, strengthened, and feel secure in our life daily. We need to be reminded of God’s compassion towards us through His promises. Let’s live our lives embracing these powerful promises. It is a broad place to stand. No sinking sand, only solid ground.

Psalm 103 NLT

I would like to show you all God has promised us in this powerful Psalm. King David wrote this and it was his song of praise of all God has done and is doing. It talks about the Father’s love towards us. Amazing to get in your spirit and embrace it daily.

The beginning of Psalm 103 is a cry of praise to a powerful God. David knew where His strength came from.

Psalm 103:1 – 2 NLT
Praise the LORD, I tell myself; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, I tell myself, and never forget the good things he does for me.

I love this because David was a man after God’s own heart. He understood and cherished His relationship with God as the most precious relationship he could ever have. David was quick to praise even in challenging times. He begins with praise and then starts telling of all of the wonderful things God has done and is doing.

Promises of Psalm 103

  1. Forgiveness for all our sins and does not punish, but loves us.

Psalm 103:3a, 10 – 12 NLT
He forgives all my sins… He has not punished us for all our sins, nor does he deal with us as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our rebellious acts as far away from us as the east is from the west.

This is the first of many promises David mentions. Note the importance of placing it first. It shows that David knew he needed forgiveness and how important it was for his life. All other promises pail in comparison. Placing it first above all other promises in this chapter shows David’s priority of needing forgiveness of all his iniquities.

God forgives us of all the wrong we have done. He doesn’t hold a grudge against us. Once God forgives, and He forgives because of what His Son accomplished on the cross, we are forgiven. No matter what you tell yourself, or others tell you; you are forgiven.

Did you know God is more ready to forgive then we are ready to repent? A broken spirit is the quickest way to spiritual wholeness. It almost sounds contradictory. Being broken and contrite before God will always open the door for God to heal and restore to wholeness. Being hard hearted, stubborn, or prideful does the opposite. It pushes you away from God because you are trying to do things on your own and haven’t given God control. It is His kindness that brings us to repentance.

Psalm 51:17 tells us that the sacrifice God wants is a broken spirit. A broken and repentant heart, GOD WILL NEVER despise. Don’t stay in the place of bondage any longer, tell God you are sorry and ask His forgiveness. Repent means to not only ask for forgiveness, but to turn completely away from ever doing it again. You will feel free once you ask God to forgive you and walk away from it.

When we confess our sins and trust Jesus Christ, our sins are wiped away. They will not be held against us. We are freely and fully pardoned by the Lord and should forgive ourselves as well.

Forgiveness is not based on the magnitude of the sin, but the magnitude of the forgiver’s love. No sin is too great for God’s complete and unconditional love to wash away. The Bible does, however, mention one unforgivable sin–harboring an attitude of defiant hostility toward God that prevents us from accepting his forgiveness. Those who don’t want his forgiveness place themselves out of its reach.

Forgiveness means that God looks at us as though we never sinned. We are blameless before Him.

2. He heals us.

Psalm 103:b Amplified Bible
…Who heals [each one of] all your diseases.

Sin can make us sick, literally. Healing can come if we repent of our sin and receive God’s forgiveness. But that is not the only reason we get sick. Life happens. Our bodies do not last forever. accidents happen. God is not bound by the limitations of this world. He can overcome any threat in our lives—physical, mental, spiritual, or emotional.

Luke 5:12 – 13 NLT
In one of the villages, Jesus met a man with an advanced case of leprosy. When the man saw Jesus, he fell to the ground, face down in the dust, begging to be healed. “Lord,” he said, “if you want to, you can make me well again.” Jesus reached out and touched the man. “I want to,” he said. “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared.

Jesus has the ability and the willingness to heal us. We are not bothering God when we pray for healing; we are expressing our faith and trust in him.

God’s healing can reach every level of our lives. His healing brings a joy and freedom that cannot be contained.

3. Redeems, rescues, and ransoms us from death.

Psalm 103:4a NLT
He ransoms me from death …

Amplified Bible
Who redeems your life from the pit and corruption…

We all are born into a sinful world. We all should perish and go to hell. But by Christ’s redeeming love, He rescues us from death and we will never perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).

The Lord gives us absolute assurance: “I will rescue those who love me.” (Psalm 91:14) This passage does not give us license to be reckless. But it gives us the promise that when people and circumstances turn against us, God is for us.

Psalm 50:15 NLT
Trust me in your times of trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory.

God promises to rescue us not only for our welfare, but for His glory. I love that! His name is at stake, and it will give Him all the glory. It is a win – win situation.

Psalm 72:12 – 14 NLT
He will rescue the poor when they cry to him; he will help the oppressed, who have no one to defend them. He feels pity for the weak and the needy and he will rescue them. He will save them from oppression and from violence, for their lives are precious to him.

No situation is too difficult for the Lord. The greater our need, the greater the depth of his love and compassion is for us.

4. He crowns us with mercy and loving-kindness.

Psalm 103:4b, 8, 17 – 18 Amplified Bible
Who beautifies, dignifies, and crowns you with loving-kindness and tender mercy;…The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy and loving-kindness… But the mercy and loving-kindness of the Lord are from everlasting to everlasting upon those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him, and His righteousness is to children’s children of those who are faithful to his covenant, of those who obey his commandments!

The promise is like a glorious crown that decorates the brow. A crown becomes a metaphor of the quality of God’s nature. God has tender mercies toward us “sinners.” It shows of His compassion towards us.

Only God can make something beautiful that was once wretched. Everyone of us are precious jewels that God has made from lost souls like you and I. We are forever-beautiful because of all that God has done in our life. How many of you are thankful for God’s loving-kindness? Me too.

The gift of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, is God’s ultimate expression of His love for us. Though he gives many other blessings, he can give no greater gift. The gift of the Holy Spirit is also an assurance of God’s love. Though it may be difficult to prove objectively, the Spirit gives solid assurances in our hearts.

Psalm 23:6 NLT
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever.

God’s love pursues us everyday. We can be certain that God will continually shower us with his mercy and guard us in his love.

Psalm 31:7 NLT
I am overcome with joy because of your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul.

God understands our weaknesses and struggles without condemning us. He gives us joy to replace our anguish. Anguish means: excruciating or acute distress, suffering, or pain (dictionary.com).

God cares when we are in distress, or anguish, and has a remedy. He replaces it with His joy.

Obeying God will help bring healing, restoration, and fresh growth in our lives. We obey God because we are already loved, not in order to be loved. And as we obey, we are promised joy.

John 15:10 – 11 NLT
When you obey me, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father and remain in his love. I have told you this so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!

Did you know that our obedience expresses our love for God? The more we obey God’s word, the more we truly love him and want to follow his ways.

5. He fills my life with good things so our youth is renewed.

Psalm 103:5 Amplified Bible
Who satisfies your mouth [your necessity and desire at your personal age and situation] with good so that your youth, renewed, is like the eagle’s [strong, overcoming, soaring]!

Wow! What a promise! God satisfies us with good things. What does that mean?

John Gill’s expedition of the entire Bible states about this verse:
With the good things in the heart of God, with his favour and lovingkindness, as with marrow and fatness; with the good things in the hands of Christ, with the fulness of grace in him, with pardon, righteousness, and salvation by him; with the good things of the Spirit of God, his gifts and graces; and with the provisions of the Lord’s house, the goodness and fatness of it; these he shows unto his people, creates hungerings and thirstings in them after them, sets their hearts a longing after them, and then fills and satisfies them with them.

Only God can give satisfaction to our souls. God is good. He is a good Father. His heart is good. His favor is good. His loving-kindness is good. His grace is good. His forgiveness and righteousness and salvation is good. Being filled with Who He is renews us and gives us strength just like an eagle.

Isaiah 40:29 – 31 Amplified Bible
He gives power to the faint and weary, and to him who has no might He increases strength [causing it to multiply and making it to abound]. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and [selected] young men shall feebly stumble and fall exhausted; But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.

I believe being filled with the Holy Spirit gives us energy to do what God calls us to do. Many times I have been quickened by the Holy Spirit and have suddenly gone from being extremely tired to feeling as if I could run around the city. This is a good reason to keep ourselves filled with God’s Spirit; we need all the energy we can get! God can empower you to face everything you need to do with renewed physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual strength.

The Holy Spirit will not energize us to be mean, hateful, selfish, or self-centered. He will give us strength and energy to do the things God has called us to do and to be kind, loving, diligent, and focused in the process.

6. God gives righteousness and justice to those treated unfairly.

Psalm 103:6 NLT
The LORD gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly.

He sees that justice is done to the oppressed. He is on their side. His law, his commands, his judicial decisions, his providential interpositions (just at the right time), are in their favor. This does not mean that it will he done at once; or that there will never be any delay; or that they may not suffer even for a long time – for this occurs in fact; but the meaning is, that God has their true interest at heart; that at proper times, and whenever and whereever there are any dealings of his in the case, his acts are in favor of those that are oppressed; and that there will be sooner or later such interpositions (cause to intervene) on their behalf as shall entirely vindicate their cause.

God only allows injustice to happen for so long, or a season, and then He intervenes. He is our defense in times of unjust treatments or false accusations. When we stand up and try to defend ourselves, we only end up looking bad and self-centered. But when we allow Christ to be our defense, the matter is settled. It doesn’t matter what man thinks, it only matters what God thinks. Again, He is our defense.

7. God knows we are weak and only dust.

Psalm 103:14 – 16 NLT
For he understands how weak we are; he knows we are only dust. Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die. The wind blows, and we are gone—as though we had never bee here.

Reading these verses can almost make you depressed, but they are there to remind us that we are weak and frail.

Barnes Notes states:
For he knows our frame – Our formation; of what we are made; how we are made. That is, he knows that we are made of dust; that we are frail; that we are subject to decay; that we soon sink under a heavy load. This is given as a reason why he pities us – that we are so frail and feeble, and that we are so easily broken down by a pressure of trial.

He remembereth that we are dust – Made of the earth. Gen_2:7; Gen_3:19. In his dealings with us he does not forget of what frail materials he made us, and how little our frames can bear. He tempers his dealings to the weakness and frailty of our nature, and his compassion interposes when the weight of sorrows would crush us. Remembering, too, our weakness, he interposes by his power to sustain us, and to enable us to bear what our frame could not otherwise endure.

We don’t have to try and figure things out all by ourselves when we go through trials or temptations, God knows what we are made of…. dust. We can lean on God for His guidance and help. He wants us to lean on Him and cry out to Him. The promise is that in verse 17 God’s love remains forever with those who fear him. He is faithful to His covenant, to those who obey His Word.

This is only one chapter in the entire Bible that has so many promises in it. Thinking of God’s great love for us overwhelms me. His presence engulfs me. We are so blessed to serve a powerful, risen, all knowing and loving God. He keeps His promises from generation to generation.

Embrace God’s promises in Psalm 103 in your life today. They are for you and I to live by and stand on daily.

Your sister in Christ,

Pastor Kris Belfils
http://www.KrisBelfils.com
http://www.HopeFellowshipSpokane.com
http://www.KrisBelfils.WordPress.com

Unlocking the Power of God’s Promises

Unlocking the Power of God’s Promises

Unlocking the Power of God Promises WPGod promises you and I many things, and unlike people who promise and renege (go back on a promise), God never will. He always fulfills what He promises.

God’s promises are seeds of faith, hope, and love. They are not given as options to enhance our lives occasionally, but as means that God can use to change our lives permanently. They are bridges that take us from the bondage of our old life to the freedom of our new life in Christ. They transport us from despair to hope.

2 Peter 1:3 – 4 NLT
As we know Jesus better, his divine power gives us everything we need for living and godly life. He has called us to receive his own glory and goodness! And by that same mighty power, he has given us all of his rich and wonderful promises. []He has promised that you will escape the decadence all around you caused by evil desires and that you will share in his divine nature.

When we fill our mind with the promises of God, God fills our lives with what we need. The promises empower us to overcome the doubts that erode our confidence. They open our eyes to the power and possibilities in Christ. They show us a new way to respond to life’s challenges and heartaches. They are God’s guides to our spiritual growth and vitality.  As you study these promises, here are four specific ways that they will encourage and strengthen you.

4 Ways God’s Promises encourage and strengthen you

1. God’s promises remind you of God’s love for you.

One of our greatest hindrances in times of trouble is our doubt that God is interested in our situation. Deep down, most of us assume that God doesn’t really care about our “little” problems because he is preoccupied with “bigger” things. But Jesus teaches us quite the opposite.

Luke 12:6 – 7 NLT
What is the price of five sparrows? A couple of pennies? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid’ you are more valuable to him than a whole flock of sparrows.

2. Let God’s promises enlarge your vision of what God can do.

When we take our eyes off of God, everything else is magnified. When we magnify God, everything else assumes its proper proportion. God’s promises are like corrective lenses, bringing our circumstances back into proper focus. They help us see life from an eternal perspective.

Romans 8:35, 38 – 39 NLT
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death? … I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The Angels can’t, and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away. When ever we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

If we live our lives claiming God’s promises, nothing that life throws our way can come between us and God. Nothing can get in God’s way. Difficult circumstances are often when God reveals his infinite love and care for us most powerfully.

Psalm 138:8 The Passion Translation
“You keep every promise you’ve ever made to me!
Since Your love for me is so constant and endless,
I ask You, Lord, to finish every good thing
that You’ve begun in me!”

3. Let God’s promises overcome the power of discouragement and pessimism.

God’s promises break the spell that holds us in bondage to the lies, distortions, and deceptions of the devil. Many of us have a tendency to expect the worst. We assume that bad things will happen and brace ourselves for disaster.

We lose perspective because we look at our situation in the light (or the dimness) of human limitations and obstacles. But when the power of one of God’s promises breaks in, it’s like someone has turned on a bright light. We snap out of it and realize we have forgotten the most important factor in any situation: the God factor. As Paul says…

Ephesians 3:20 NLT
Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope.

4. Let God’s promises show you new ways to respond in faith.

When we are stressed, we tend to lose our sight of the many possible responses to our situation. God’s promises expand our repertoire by reminding us that we can respond differently because of who we are and what we have in Christ. When we hear Paul say from prison,

Philippians 4:13 NLT
I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.

We realize that our joy is based on our trust in God’s power, not our outward circumstances. God’s promises remind us that God works in ways we cannot imagine. We read in …

Leviticus 26:8 NLT
Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand! All your enemies will fall beneath the blows of your weapons.

A similar promise is found…

Joshua 23:10 NLT
Each one of you will put to flight a thousand of the enemy, for the Lord your God fights for you, just as he promised.

The Israelites watched God destroy the armies of Pharaoh without their having to lift a finger.

God used David to overcome Goliath with a single smooth stone. God enabled Gideon’s three hundred soldiers to defeat the armies of Midian, and the Lord used one hundred and twenty disciples to establish the church in Acts.

The power of God working through his promises enables us to attempt the unthinkable, to endure the unbearable, and even to forgive the unforgivable.

The power of the promises is rooted in the character of God and the power of his word. When we plant the seeds of the promises in our heart, they will bear fruit that will nourish us through life’s toughest time. As the Lord promises in …

Isaiah 55:10 – 11 NLT
The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my words. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.

Trust God’s Promises

Let’s look at some promises on trusting God. This really is the beginning or foundation of standing on God’s promises. If we don’t trust God, we won’t believe His promises. If we don’t trust God, His Word will mean nothing to us.

2 Samuel 22:31 – 33 Amplified Bible
As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried. He is a Shield to me because I trust and take refuge in Him. For who is God but the Lord? And who is a Rock except our God? God is my strong Fortress; He guides the blameless in His way and sets me free!

God’s ways are perfect. His Word has been tried and is true. He is a Shield to us and we can trust Him, take refuge in Him, and depend on Him. There is no one, nothing like our God. He is immovable and a place to hide in times of trouble. We are blameless because of His Son, and we are set free from sin, depression, distress, and so much more all because we trust in the Lord and stand on His promises.

Psalm 2:2 Amplified Bible
I am blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) because I seek refuge and put my trust in the Lord.

We are blessed when we trust the Lord. It brings us peace and assurance that we don’t have to try and figure things out, but that we can rely on the Lord to help us in any situation.

Psalm 18:2 – 3 Amplified Bible
The Lord is my Rock, my Fortress, and my Deliverer; my God, my keen and firm Strength in Whom I trust and take refuge, my Shield, and the Horn of my salvation, my High Tower. I call upon the Lord, Who is to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies.

There is always a result for our trusting in God and His word. In this case, God promises to be Lord, a Rock, a Fortress, A Deliverer, Strength, Refuge, Shield, Horn (projection) of salvation, a High and strong tower where the righteous can run to and are safe. We shall be saved from our enemies when we trust in the Lord for protection. All of these are promises for trusting in God.

Psalm 20:7 Amplified Bible
Some trust in Chariots, and some in horses’ but I remember (trust) the name of the Lord my God.

People have false security in so many things; Jobs, money, relationships, cars, their home, their education, how thing think, their own abilities, and so much more. If we replaced the words Chariots and horses, with some of the things I just mentioned, it would read like this:

“Some trust in jobs or money, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” “Some trust in education and their own abilities, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”

What this verse is saying is that anything earthly that you trust in can and will fail, but the name of the Lord will never fail us. Relationships will fade, homes can get burned up, education doesn’t promise you a job or income, cars, or our own abilities will fail us, but God will never fail. He is trustworthy.

Psalm 31:14 – 15 Amplified Bible
I trust in, rely on, and am confident in You, O Lord; I say, You are my God. My times are in Your hands.

God is the one who created us. He knows our beginning and our end on this earth. Our times are truly in His hands. We can be confident that He has our best interest at heart. Who else to trust in then our Creator and sustainer. It is a win – win situation. God wants us to trust and rely on Him, and in turn He takes care of us.

Psalm 56:3 – 4 Amplified Bible
When I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?

There is something more important then life on earth; Eternal life in Heaven. Because of this, if man steals from us, tortures us, belittles us, ignores us, it doesn’t matter, they can NEVER take God away from us, no matter how hard they try or threat. People can take our cars, our homes, and even our friendships on earth, but they can NEVER take our relationship with God from us. That is why Christians have been targeted all over the world. We have something that no one can take away. We have a promise from the ultimate Promise Giver that brings life and freedom in the face of turmoil. It is something the world doesn’t understand until they make the same decision we have; Accept Christ as their Lord and Savior and live for Him on this earth. Giving God control brings FREEDOM!

Proverbs 3:5 – 8 Amplified Bible
I lean on, trust in, and am, confident in the Lord with all my heart and mind and I do not rely on my own insight or understanding. In all my ways I know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He directs and makes straight and plain my paths. I am not wise in my own eyes; I reverently fear and worship the Lord and turn [entirely] away from evil. It shall be health to my nerves and sinews, and marrow and moistening to my bones.

These are my favorite verses in the Bible. I have lived by them all my Christian life. Don’t lean on and rely on anything or anyone else but the Lord. Put your whole heart, mind, and passions into it. Trust God’s wisdom. Don’t rely on your own understanding or insight. Whatever we do, wherever we go, God is with you, so keep Him first and foremost in your thoughts and life. Don’t get haughty and think you know everything, because you don’t. Fear and worship the Lord and turn away from anything evil. Turn away from anything that doesn’t please the Lord, anything that goes contrary to His Word.

Proverbs 29:25 Amplified Bible
The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever leans on, trusts in, and puts his confidence in the Lord is safe and set on high.

Amen, Amen, Amen! Don’t fall in the trap of being afraid of people. Don’t get snared in trying to win their approval. Who is man that we want them to approve of us anyway? God is the only one we should desire for His approval. Put your confidence in God and He will set you on high. He will lift you up. He will even prepare a table before you in the presence of your enemies (Psalm 23). That is the God we love and serve. Man will let you down. People will disprove of you. It is okay, because you have God’s approval. Nothing else matters.

Nahum 1:7 Amplified Bible
The Lord is good, a Strength and Stronghold in the day of trouble; He knows (recognizes, has knowledge of, and understands) those who take refuge and trust in Him.

The Lord is good! He is strong and Who we can cling to in trouble. He knows everything about us, and understands us even when others don’t. We can take refuge and trust in Him always.

Hebrews 2:13 Amplified Bible
My trust and assured reliance and confident hope is fixed in Him.

Fix your hope, your confidence on the Lord. He is the best foundation to stand on. All other ground is sinking sand. God will never put you to shame for trusting in Him… Never! His name is at stake.

Psalm 25:3 NLT
No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced (put to shame), but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others.

Psalm 25:3 GNT
Defeat does not come to those who trust in you, but to those who are quick to rebel against you.

There is no better life than a life following God. It is so fulfilling, so joyful, so reassuring, and everlasting. The promises of God have so much power in them.

We need to search God’s word and allow the rich and wonderful promises water our faith, refresh our soul, and lead us into the life Christ made possible for each one of us today.

Your sister in Christ,

Pastor Kris Belfils
www.KrisBelfils.com
www.HopeFellowshipSpokane.com
www.KrisBelfils.WordPress.com

God is Bigger Than The Grave

God is Bigger Than The Grave

Easter is one of the most celebrated Holidays in the Christian world. It is the very crux of the Christian faith. Christ, who was sinless, came to earth and showed us the right example of how to live. He died and rose again. He also took our place and sacrificed His life for us. In doing so, he had authority over death and the grave. God is truly bigger than the grave.

We celebrate Easter every year, but do we really realize what is available to us all because of what Christ did on the cross and rose again for you and I?

In the book of Acts, the disciples preached about Christ and focused on His resurrection. The resurrection makes the difference from any other religion. Death, the grave was conquered once and for all. This was done for you and I.

Christ wants us to live a victorious life. Once we ask Jesus in our hearts as Lord and Savior, we are born again. In other words, we are new.

2 Cor. 5:17 NKJV
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

What Jesus did for you and I can never be taken away from us. Even if people don’t believe, we know it is true. When Jesus died, He went to Hell and took the keys. He is bigger than the grave!

It was an amazing thing what Jesus did for us. He also carries the keys of the grave with him.

Rev. 1:18 KJV
I am He that liveth, and was dead, and behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

We have nothing to dread if we put our trust in Christ.

To hold the keys means He holds the power over the dark world; Hell. Our Savior has this authority as He had been raised from the dead by His own power. This shows that Christ has dominion over hell and death. He can raise the dead and destroy the living. Power over life, death, and the grave!

We see that when He raised Lazarus from the dead.

Read John 11:40 – 44

Lazarus hands and feet were bound.  He was alive but could not go anywhere or do anything.  Lazarus’ head was also bound.  He couldn’t hear, see, or speak.

Many Believers are bound up.  They are spiritually alive, but bound up where they can’t go anywhere or do anything for the Lord.  They are bound up so they can’t hear the voice of Jesus, see spiritual things, or speak or share the Word of God.

What grave clothes do you still have on? What is keeping you bound up? Many of us are walking around in our own grave clothes thinking we are okay, but in reality we are the walking dead.

Grave clothes are not what you are wearing physically, but a state of being, or a state of mind. Grave clothes represent things you use to do when you were spiritually dead. Grave clothes represent addictions and worldly things we hold on to. Grave clothes represent things in your past you keep holding on to.

Some Grave Clothes you may be wearing

1. Bad memories

You may be living and reliving bad memories from you past and they torment you. It is time to shed those dirty grave clothes once and for all. This is being obsessed with the grave. You are looking to what was and missing it and wanting it back. We can never live in the past. The past is done and gone away. Living and reliving memories of the past is like constantly looking in the review mirror of your life. You will get in a accident if you don’t start keep your eyes forward to the present.

Philippians 3:13 – 14 Amplified Bible
I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.

2. Sin

Galatians 5:19 – 21 NKJV
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

If we settle for less than a passionate relationship with God, we will start to die and eventually fall into a rut or a pit. We become “grave tenders” of our lives instead of living life to its fullest. We see other people living life and enjoying it, yet in our own lives we are dead. We tend our very own grave, and often times we fight or force others to stay away from our grave. A. W. Tozer states in “Rut, Rot, or Revival” that we are in a “circular grave” when sin has entered our hearts. Sin will separate us from God. This is a fact.

A circular grave has no ending and no beginning. In other words, you can’t remember when or how you got in the mess you are in, and you can’t find a way out on your own. You are dead inside. You see no hope, and no way of escape. A dead corpse has no way of reviving it self. A dead corpse needs intervention from a living source to bring life back. Don’t fool yourself by thinking you can get out of this circular grave on your own. Allow the Giver of life to breathe new life back into your dead places in your heart. Allow God to show and direct you out of your circular grave and bring you on solid ground to stand boldly in Him. It will cost you your control. It will cost you your pride, but it is well worth having new reviving life back into your spirit again.

Isaiah 59:2
But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.

We all have sinned and need a Savior. Receiving Jesus Christ into your heart as Lord is the first step to a revival in your heart, but there is more to repentance then just receiving Christ in your heart. If one is truly repentant they will turn 180° in the opposite direction of their sin.

Satan will try and trip us up in sin. This causes bondage in our hearts and spirit, and a barrier preventing our hearts to be revived. Being aware that sin separates us from God helps us to do our best to stay away and even run from the appearance of evil. The more you fall in love with God the more you want to obey Him and do what pleases His heart.

Tozer also states that, “Since only sin offends God, and sin is extremely deceitful, it can be present doing its deadly work while the people may not be aware of it at all until it is called to their attention.”

Once you realize the sin that is causing you to feel separated from God, immediately repent and ask God to forgive you. The short term pleasure of sin is not worth the long term separation from God. The after affects of sin is not worth the pleasures of pleasing God and being close to him.

It is natural to be a better person when we are closer to God. It is natural to experience more of God and His love when sin is not in the picture. Allow God to show you right now if you have sin in your life that is separating you from Him. Take the time to repent and walk away from the debilitating and crippling sinful action.

Romans 8:15 (MSG)
This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid,“grave tending” life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike, “What’s next Papa? God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who He is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us an unbelievable inheritance!

Nothing is worth missing out on our inheritance from God. No sin is so good that it overshadows what we receive from God. No earthly pleasure is more pleasurable then getting closer to God and experiencing His joy and abundant life He has for us. The sacrifice of leaving our sin behind is nothing compared to the relationship we gain with God.

3. Disbelief

Sometimes we are plagued with disbelief or doubt. We find more pleasure in worldly ways. We don’t want to be told what to do.

2 Tim. 3:1 – 4 Amplified Bible
But understand this, that in the last days will come (set in) perilous times of great stress and trouble [hard to deal with and hard to bear]. For people will be lovers of self and [utterly] self-centered, lovers of money and aroused by an inordinate [greedy] desire for wealth, proud and arrogant and contemptuous boasters. They will be abusive (blasphemous, scoffing), disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy and profane. [They will be] without natural [human] affection (callous and inhuman), relentless (admitting of no truce or appeasement); [they will be] slanderers (false accusers, troublemakers), intemperate and loose in morals and conduct, uncontrolled and fierce, haters of good. [They will be] treacherous [betrayers], rash, [and] inflated with self-conceit. [They will be] lovers of sensual pleasures and vain amusements more than and rather than lovers of God.

4. Obsessed with self

Being obsessed with self means it is all about you and what you want, when you want it, and how you want it. You are always thinking of ways to satisfy yourself.

Romans 8:6 – 11 The Message Bible
Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored. But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won’t know what we’re talking about. But for you who welcome him, in whom he dwells – even though you still experience all the limitations of sin – you yourself experience life on God’s terms. It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s!

5. Addictions

Approval addictions, drug addictions, money addictions, food addictions, these and many more are grave clothes that God wants to remove from your life. See them for what they are… dead carcasses. No life, as a matter of fact they suck all the life out of you and leave you with shame, pain, and destruction.

Christ’s blood sets the addict free!

Proverbs 20:1 NKJV
Wine is a mocker, strong drink is a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.

Proverbs 6:26 NKJV
For by means of a harlot a man is reduced to a crust of bread; And an adulteress will prey upon his precious life.

6. Put off the “Old man”

Eph. 4:22 NKJV
“…that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts”

Col. 3:8 – 9 NJKV
But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds,

All these things are from the old life, old self, or old nature. These things should be shed off of us once we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior. We leave behind the old life and break away from it.

“It’s time to take your grave clothes off!”

God is trying to get you to a certain place and move you to another level. He is trying to move you to another level of grace, another level of His anointing, another level in your relationships, another level in your finances. He wants to change the way you think or look at life. You have to take your grave clothes off to get there

Sometimes the grave clothes are our own power or abilities. We have to be stripped of our own power to allow God’s power to manifest. If he does this, will you still serve Him? (Job – He gives and takes away)

The Lord will strip you down of your pride and humble you so that He can lift you up instead of you lifting yourself up. We all need to get to the place and say, “For God I live and for God I die.” Then you are ready for the next level in life.

When we are wrapped up in grave clothes we can’t work because our hands are bound. We can’t walk in light because our feet are bound. When we are wrapped in grave clothes we can’t witness or talk for the Lord because our mouths are bound. Bondage prevents us experiencing life and freedom in Christ!

Being in a rut and not wanting to get out of it is really a grave with the ends knocked out. Be revived in your spirit from sleeping or from death. Don’t allow your life to just drift. Have purpose and desire. Find your place in God and what His purpose is for your life.

Replace the grave clothes and put on…

1. Put on Christ

Gal. 3:27 NKJV
For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Rom. 13:14 NKJV
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

2. Put on the new self

Eph. 4:24 NASB
and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

Col. 3:10 NASB
and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him—

3. Put on the elect of God

Col. 3:10 – 17 NASB
So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.

4. Put on the whole armor of God

Eph. 6:11 NASB
Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.

5. A new heart and spirit

Eze. 36:26 NKJV
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

6. Gladness

Psalm 32:11 Amplified Bible
Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you [uncompromisingly] righteous [you who are upright and in right standing with Him]; shout for joy, all you upright in heart!

Psalm 100:2 Amplified Bible
Serve the Lord with gladness! Come before His presence with singing!

7. Put on love

Colossians 3:14 NKJV
But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.

Jesus came and conquered the grave. It’s time you give your grave clothes over to Jesus, the Resurrection and the Life. He lives and wants you to have abundant life! He is all powerful and nothing, no one can take His power away.

God is bigger than any grave you may be carrying, pursuing, or wearing. It is up to you to let it all go and run to the resurrection and the life! Jesus came to give us all life, real life with meaning. He wants to heal your broken heart and bind up any wounds you may have from your past. When you receive Christ in your life, you have made the best decision you will ever make. It is an eternity decision. Where will you go after you die? If I were you, I would run to the One Who conquered the grave and holds the keys of death and hell. I would choose eternal life with Christ any day over eternity in Hell. Choose life!

Your sister in Christ,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.KrisBelfils.com
www.HopeFellowshipSpokane.com
www.KrisBelfils.WordPress.com

God is BIGGER Than my Complacency

God is BIGGER Than my Complacency

God is bigger then my complacencyGod is bigger and more powerful then anything we are going through. We look to Him to help us in all things. We look to His character, and Who He is, to trump anything that overwhelms us in life. He never changes. Our lack of faith doesn’t diminish God’s power. Even our way of thinking or acting or reacting to things doesn’t change God’s character. God is BIG and always will be BIG no matter what happens in us or this world.

We looked last week at how God is bigger then our fear. One of the things God is BIGGER then is our complacency. Today let’s look at the word and see what the Bible has to say about it, and what to do with it.

Complacent: “marked by self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies.”

(Webster Dictionary)

Complacency creeps on us and we don’t even know it. If you think you are not complacent, think again. There are so many areas in our life that we can be complacent in. Our passions for God, Our love for God, how about our love for others?

We need to be aware of this tool the enemy uses to vier us off course of our walk with Christ and what He has called us to do.

Complacency is lukewarmness. Complacency is getting in a rut. It is not having motivation to change or to bring the change. It is settling for the mundane mediocre and thinking you are okay when you are not.

Some Quotes on Complacency:
-Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth. ~ A.W. Tower
-Complacency kills
-Complacency the mark of a wasted life
-May your hunger for change be greater then your complacency to stay the same

The opposite of complacent, in my book, is zeal. We may have lost our first love. It’s easy to lose our zeal or first love for God and life. I think we all need to go on our second honeymoon with Christ and bring back our first love.

The church in Ephesus was a loyal church but the Lord had a complaint against them.

Revelation 2:1 – 7 (NKJV)
“To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, ‘These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place-unless you repent. But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicoliatans, which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.””

Paul talks about some good things the church is doing in Ephesus like having patience, and not bearing those who are evil. They have tested and found apostles who say are, but found they are not. They have persevered and labored for Christ’s name sake and not grown weary. These are all good things, but they are not the most important thing – loving their God.

We can find ourselves in this church as we get caught up in works or making sure there is sound doctrine or sound teachers. We might even leave a church over this issue.

Having our love for God gone or growing cold is the very reason we have become a Christian. We love Him because he first loved us (John 3:16). We need a personal revival. After God has revived your heart don’t let your love grow cold. Find ways to keep your love for God strong. Spend time with Him. Worship Him constantly. Be thankful and love on His people. These all help immensely.

You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling

These verses also tell us that we need to repent for allowing our love for God to grow cold. We are to remember where we have fallen from. The word “fallen” literally means “to drop away; specifically be driven out of one’s course.” This implies that someone or something has driven us away from the course we were on of loving God. How easy it is to let “things” take the place of God in our life. It could be our jobs, or relationships, or our riches.

Most people don’t think it is wrong to allow their love for God to grow cold. They believe it is not sinful, but just how life goes. It is a sin to allow your love for God to grow cold. If you find yourself indifferent to God and His ways, it is because you have allowed your love to grow cold towards God. Repent quickly before He comes and takes away your lamp-stand. This is your light or illuminator. This is what you are to be doing in this dark and dreary world; shinning for God’s glory. Without the light, we are just another person struggling in the dark. It also means God is our spiritual light. He illuminates His word in our spirit and gives us revelations. Without this we become stagnate and lacking zeal.

Then God commends the church at Ephesus for hating the deeds of the Nicolaitans. Nicolaitans means: “Conquering the Laity, and Victorious over the people.” Apparently this group claimed some kind of superior status that permitted idolatry and immorality. God hates this (Revelation 2:15). This church seemed to do a lot of things right. Yet, they neglected their first love.

Reveations 2:4 NASB
But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.

They were known as the loveless church. Love is so important in a church body. For that matter, love is so important in our walk with Christ. If we lose our first love for God our zeal, our fire grows dim and we become complacent.

Many are simply lukewarm, unzealous, or uncommitted. I believe complacency in our churches has reached utterly pandemic proportions.

Being lukewarm means to be slightly warm, also to not be enthusiastic: not having or showing energy or excitement. We could say an indifference. Lacking zeal. Lost your first love.

Another church in the book of Revelations who was complacent was the church in Laodicean. They were a lukewarm and uncommitted church.

Revelation 3:14 – 22 (NKJV)
“And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, “These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the beginning of the creation of God: I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ — and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked — I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

“… I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.”

They didn’t keep their flame burning. Their flame was almost out. Have you ever tasted lukewarm soda? It is terrible. On a hot summer day I enjoy a cold Diet Pepsi. It is one of my favorite drinks. If I leave it out in the sun and forget to drink it, it will get warm. Not even thinking I will pick up the soda and start pouring it into my mouth. Immediately I spit it out as it is terrible to drink when it is not ice cold. The picture I am painting for you is not a very pretty one.

I never want to imagine God spitting me out of His mouth. I want my worship and life to be a sweet thing to God. To find me lukewarm in my walk with Him is like slapping God in the face and saying, “I am too busy to take the time to be on fire for You.” Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary states; “But the lukewarm has been brought within reach of the holy fire, without being heated by it into fervor: having religion enough to lull the conscience in false security, but not religion enough to save the soul.” This is a scary place to be.

God would rather us be cold or hot then lukewarm. Why? He would rather you be anything better then this condition. Hot means you are burning for God and on fire with zeal for Him. We understand that. What about being cold? Being cold, as sad as this state may be, you are being honest. There is no faking or hidden agenda. You are cold to God and the things of God. This marks a higher character then one who is lukewarm.

Looking at the character of Saul of Tarsus there is a zeal and passion to kill the Christians. There is an element of greatness. Looking at Judas Iscariot there is no greatness or zeal. He was sneaky and greedy. One was capable of becoming honorable; the other, even being taught by the Savor of the World for years, didn’t amount to anything but a traitor. There is a chance of turning the heart of someone who is cold. Turning the heart of someone who is lukewarm is very hard. They don’t see what condition their heart is in. They think they are okay. They rely on themselves instead of God and don’t see the need for leaning on Him.

“… Because you say, ‘I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’ — and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked…”

They were rich and wealthy and needed nothing. They were full of self-sufficiency and complacency. Indifference had settled in. They probably had a little religion or faith mixed in, nothing to change their outlook or behavior. Just enough to make them feel good about themselves, not enough to change their hearts to love God fervently. They didn’t know they were wretched.

The word “wretched” from Dictionary.com means: “very unfortunate in condition or circumstances; despicable, contemptible, or mean, poor, sorry, or pitiful; worthless: condition of extreme affliction or distress, and is outwardly apparent.”

Miserable refers more to the inward feeling of unhappiness or distress and it means: “wretchedly unhappy, uneasy, or uncomfortable, wretchedly poor; needy, of wretched character or quality; contemptible, attended with or causing misery.”

What a terrible state of condition they were in. To not even see themselves like this surely shows their blindness. What hope do they even have of changing, let alone to see the condition of their hearts? God brought this out into the light for this church to take note.

It was up to the church to repent and turn from these actions. Poor, blind, and naked shows exposure of their sin was seen by others, yet they were blind to any thought of their weakness.

We need to ask God daily to show us areas in our lives which do not please Him. Never think you don’t have weaknesses. We all do. The true test is what are you going to do with the knowledge of your weakness? My prayer is that you grieve in your heart over your complacency and self-sufficiency.

My friend and fellow minister, Rev. Philip Gideon Agene, from Lagos, Nigeria, states; “To rejoice in righteousness and grieve over wickedness is proof of a genuine Christian!” This is a true statement.

“… I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.”

Here the Author is using the Laodiceans own language of riches. It is not that we can buy salvation or anything from God, but there is a cost in receiving more of God. The number one price is ourselves and possibly our comfort. God wants all of us, not just a portion. He wants to pour out His wisdom and revelations but He doesn’t just give them away, He chooses who and when to bring revelation into our life. Often the cost is time spent with Him. Time alone in your secret place of prayer. Time thinking about and worshipping God. It also cost the Laodiceans their self-righteousness and giving up of things dear to them. Don’t look at this as a bad thing. It isn’t. We are all full of ourselves and we need to be set free of it. Spending time with our Creator is the best time spent. Also it will cost you your pride. We have talked about this costly character trait before. It can never be said enough. Pride robs us.

White garments signifies purity. Remember that Christ’s blood washes us as white as snow.

His righteousness is easy to wear, ours is filthy and stinky.
His righteousness covers our nakedness. Our righteousness exposes us and shows our true character.

It is easy to get complacent and even prideful of your walk with Christ. If you have been a Christian for years the taste of God’s grace and mercy might become very bland. This shows our flame has grown dim, and our spiritual eyesight is weak.

“… and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.”

Jesus has a far more costly ointment for the Laodiceans then anything they could have found in their city and beyond. Laodicea was known for its riches and wealth. There was anything at their disposal to buy, including eye salve. Christ’s eye ointment was far more valuable. It was the Holy Spirit to open their spiritual eyes to see. Just like applying eye drops in your eye, or a healing ointment into your eye, it hurts at first, so the Holy Spirit applied to our spiritual eyes smarts with the conviction of sin, and then the healing comes. Christ opens our eyes to the wretched condition we are in and then we finally see how precious He is as He brings His healing to our spirit. Eye salve is mandatory according to this scripture.

“… As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.” True love will correct and discipline. I love my children. I want to see them succeed and flourish. I would be a terrible parent if I didn’t sit down with them from time to time when I saw some concerns in their life. Keeping our children safe with guidelines is a mark of a loving parent. Children respect and want this (in spite of what their actions may say).

We are to be zealous and repent of our lukewarmness. Once we see that we are lukewarm, repent quickly and wholeheartedly. Don’t let another minute go by before you do. If we don’t, I am sure God will bring upon us something that will rebuke us of our ways so we will come back to Him. That’s what loving Fathers do. Let’s be the one to make the first move – repent and become ablaze for God again.

“… Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”

I am sure your mind goes to the famous picture of Jesus knocking at a door that only opens inwardly, with no door handle to open from the outside. Jesus stands at the door of our hearts and knocks. This shows He is a gentlemen and won’t force His way in. Standing implies waiting with long-suffering.

This is the hour of Christ knocking. The hour of grace. Soon, the knocking will stop. He is the Door, the way to heaven. Salvation is available for everyone if we would open the door and let Christ in to dine and fellowship with us. How can you pass up this gentle loving Savior? He loves us so extravagantly. Open the door and you will never be the same again!

“… To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”

This is the first time in these letters that the reward of overcoming is to sit with Christ on His throne! What a reward for overcoming lukewarmness. It shows how important it is to rid being lukewarm from our life.

Being hot for Christ shows our passion for Him. Jesus wants His followers to be excited about following Him. Christianity is not passive. Christianity is being very active in our love for Christ and telling others about Him. If we are not excited about Jesus, we won’t share the Gospel to others. Therefore, people will die an eternal death because we are passive and complacent in our walk with Christ. We have to look at the bigger picture. []Our lukewarm hearts can hurt a non-believer and make them have no desire to come to Christ just because of our example.

Sitting with Jesus on His throne allows us to share His joys and triumphs. Jesus has overcome and is set down by the Father on His throne. Christ’s throne and Father God’s throne are the same. On this very same throne we, who are faithful, are given the privilege of sitting. How amazing is this? How humbling to know this is our reward.

“… He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

Where do you fall in these churches? Do you find yourself doing similar things that God hates? Let’s learn from Revelation how to keep our spiritual flame burning and not get caught up in losing our love for God. Quickly repent of any wrong doing.

Don’t give up when you are being persecuted or experiencing a trial. Don’t compromise and follow other gods. Keep yourself from corruption. Guard your heart from allowing anything in that shouldn’t be there. Don’t carry any dead carcass with you. Allow God’s fire of revival to burn resurrection life into your body today!

We are more than conquerors in Christ over anything in our life, including complacency!

Romans 8:37 NKJV
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

It’s time for a personal revival. Ask God to help you awaken and walk away from being complacent. How hungry are you for God? Do you love Him? Do you have zeal and passion for God, His people, and the lost? If your answer is no to any of these questions it is time for personal revival!!!

Prayer,
Lord Jesus please forgive me for losing my first love and becoming lukewarm and complacent in my walk with you and others. I want to be more like you and have passion and compassion for people and the things you cherish. Help me to walk in your footsteps and not my own. Put a fire down in my soul that I can’t contain or control, I want more of You God! ~ Amen!

Your sister in Christ,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.KrisBelfils.com
www.HopeFellowshipSpokane.com
www.KrisBelfils.WordPress.com

God is bigger than my Fears

God is bigger than my Fears

Do you have big problems? How big is your God? What is your view of God and how He can help you in your life? We can be surrounded by circumstances, fear, self-pity, relationship struggles, financial hardships, health issues, and so much more. When we look at the issues and worry and fret about them, they become bigger and God becomes smaller. How big is your God?

One can watch the news or read a news paper and see so much evil of people being brutally killed, we see terrible crimes, and horrible despicable things happening all over the world. Is God bigger then all of that?

This is the first of a new series, “God is BIGGER!” We need to remind ourselves of Who God is and what He is capable of doing. Our problems are no match for our powerful God!

There are many Bible stories of God showing how BIG He really is and what He did for the people who cried out to Him.

Daniel expressed how awesome God is with his words after God showed him the dream of the king and it’s interpretation.

Daniel 2:20 – 23 NKJV
Daniel answered and said: “Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and might are His. And He changes the times and seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings: He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. He reveals deep and secret things; He knows what is in the darkness, and light dwells with Him. I thank You and praise You, O God of my fathers; You have given me wisdom and might, and have now made known to me what we asked of You, for You have made known to us the king’s demand.

Wisdom and might are God’s. Times and seasons are His. God removes kings (leaders) and raises them up. God gives His wisdom and knowledge to those who are wise and seeking it. God reveals deep and secret things. God knows what is in the dark, and light dwells in Him. He answers those who call to Him.

Jesus moved with compassion and healed many and raised the dead.

Matthew 19:26
But Jesus looked at them and said,  “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

“With God all things are possible!” Not just some things, but all things! What looks impossible to you is possible with God. Nothing can stump God or make Him wonder if He can fix it. He is the great physician. He is all knowing and all powerful.

Ephesians 3:20-21 NKJV
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

In the book of Job we read:

Job 26:5 – 14 TLB
The dead stand naked, trembling before God in the place where they go. God stretches out heaven over empty space and hangs the earth upon nothing. He wraps the rain in his thick clouds, and the clouds are not split by the weight. He shrouds his throne with his clouds. He sets a boundary for the ocean, yes, and a boundary for the day and for the night. The pillars of heaven tremble at his rebuke. And by his power the sea grows calm; he is skilled at crushing its pride! The heavens are made beautiful by his Spirit; he pierces the swiftly gliding serpent. These are some of the minor things he does, merely a whisper of his power. Who then can withstand his thunder?

All people will have to stand before God and give an account of their lives. What will you say about yours to a God who “stretches out the heaven over the empty space and hangs the earth upon nothing? Who makes it rain, and who made the oceans and set their boundaries?”

If the God of heaven can do all that, He is BIG ENOUGH for any situation in your life. I love that God can do all of that and yet He created us and cares for us personally.

Now that we have painted a picture of how powerful God is, let’s look at what He can overcome in your life! In this series we will look at how God is bigger and more powerful to help bring breakthrough in many areas of your life if you will let Him. Let’s start today by looking at Fear.

GOD IS BIGGER THAN MY FEARS

Fear, we all have to deal with it, sometimes everyday, in our life. Fear can paralyze us if we allow it too. Fear does serve a useful purpose in that it is a vital response to physical and emotional danger—if we didn’t feel it, we couldn’t protect ourselves from legitimate threats. But if we allow it to rule above our faith, and what God wants us to do for His Kingdom, the devil wins. Remember that the devil is full of fear.

I’ve heard the saying, “Fear is nothing more then faith in the devil.” Ouch! I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to ever have faith in the devil! We are serving the enemy when we fear and pull away when God wants us to push forward and persevere and expect a breakthrough.

It’s amazing what we lose in life by listening to fear instead of listening to God. Choose to listen and obey God’s voice and not your fears. You will gain so much and stay on the right path.

If you listen to your fears, you will die never knowing what a great person you might have been. ~ Joyce Meyer

Everyone struggles with fear! Fear is a spirit!

2 Timothy 1:7 NJKV
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

FEAR is something that causes feelings of dread or apprehension, a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain whether the threat is real or imagined! (dictionary.com)

The word “fear” in this text is translated in the Greek as “timidity.” God doesn’t want us to be timid. We get timid and pull away instead of pressing forward and taking the land.

What fear can cause
Fear can cause us to reduce the size of God and elevate the size and opinion of man.
Fear can cause us to reduce the size of God and elevate the size of your problem.
Fear can cause us to lead people in the wrong direction.
Fear causes us to stay quiet when we should clearly speak up.
Fear causes us to be passive about an issue that The Lord has clearly brought to our attention.
Fear causes us to seek consensus rather than really seeking the voice of The Lord.
Fear causes us to not engage the broken, the hurting, the misfits and the neglected.
Fear causes us to refuse to embrace change. (Fear of the unknown)
Fear causes us to try and control things and take matters into our own hands rather than trusting The Lord and trusting others.
Fear causes us to conceal sin and shame in our lives when God’s Word is so clear that we should ask others for help.
Fear causes us to seek the easy decision, what’s comfortable rather than seeking the right one.
Fear makes us choose wrong choices.

So what do we do with our fear? I don’t know how you have dealt with fear in your past, but it is my heart to help you overcome any fear, and to realize God is bigger than anything that comes against you.

How to overcome fear

1. Overcome fear with faith.

Fear is the opposite of faith.

A.W. Tozer said, “Fear is of the flesh and panic is of the Devil.”

It seems when we entertain thoughts of fear, and allow it to settle in our spirit, panic will set in. Many people have had panic attacks in their life all due to fear. Most of the time the fear is something we think will happen and not a factual outcome.

The Bible says, that Satan is like a roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8). He roars that he might make us afraid. The roar of a lion can actually paralyze its prey causing it to be its easy target. If Satan can create fear in us, we become an easier prey for him to destroy.

God offers us faith as Romans 12:3 says, “For by the grace (unmerited favor of God) given to me I warn everyone among you not to estimate and think of himself more highly than he ought [not to have an exaggerated opinion of his own importance], but to rate his ability with sober judgment, each according to the degree of faith apportioned by God to him.”

Everyone is given the measure of faith as a born again Christian. You have faith, you don’t need to pray for it. I don’t need to pray for faith, I just need to use the faith that I have. The more I use the faith that I have, the stronger it will get. Faith can grow and the only way it grows is if you use it. Faith is a powerful force that resides on the inside of our spirit. When it is released tremendous things can happen.

We have to have faith to get up in the morning. We have to have faith to raise our children, or drive in traffic, or get married and stay married. So also we need faith to overcome our fears. Faith is a decision we make about where we are going to put our trust. Our trust has to be in God and His Word. He is for you and not against you. He has great plans for you. He brings opportunities for you to walk in and wants you to walk in them fearlessly.

There are times I feel anointed to preach the Word of God, then there are times. I may be fearful or don’t sense God’s anointing that I have to step……. into it by faith and God always meets me and helps me to get to where I need to be.

We can release our faith in three different ways: by praying, by saying, and by doing. Stop saying how you feel or think and start saying what God says about your situation. Allow your faith to arise in times of being afraid. The shield of faith is your best weapon to overcome the lies and roars of the enemy.

2. Confront your fear.

What we cannot perceive, predict, understand or explain, creates in us an unknown fear. That is why children are afraid of the dark and cautious of strangers over which they have no control. We need to learn how to confront our fears. Again, “Knowledge is power.” Once we understand what the core issue is, it decreases its hold on our life and the fear subsides.

Sometimes when we go through fearful experiences, we fail to analyze it. Understanding what was previously unknown can go a long way to dispelling fear. Understanding a problem is 90% of the solution.

Be determined to overcome and confront what is making you fearful. You can never overcome anything you don’t confront! We can fear our past, or fear of natural disasters, fear of relationships, or fear of a new job or opportunity. When we choose not to confront, the fear controls you and your decisions.

Confrontation is not usually pleasant or comfortable. Most people don’t want to confront issues in their life. They would rather live with it, allowing it to rule them, instead of overcoming and pressing forward with out the bondage of it all. But when someone has confronted issues in their life, and overcome them once and for all, they look back and ask themselves, “Why didn’t I do this a long time ago.” You see now they are walking in freedom instead of the bondage the fear or their flesh had on them.

It is a night and day difference of being paralyzed by your issues and trying to live your life from day to day in struggle and misery, then to confront the issues and decide you want to change, (and be determined to change) and walking out the other side as an overcomer in liberty and power. It’s your choice: Fear and bondage vs. Freedom and power!

3. Be courageous.

Courage is not the absence of fear, but courage is actually forward motion in the presence of fear.

God wants us to be strong and courageous. He spoke this to Joshua many times before he crossed over the water to possess the promised land.

Joshua 1:6 – 7 Amplified Bible
“Be strong (confident) and of good courage, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only you be strong and very courageous, that you may do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you. Turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.”

Joshua was just getting ready to face the giants in the land and to possess the promises God gave Moses forty years earlier. He needed courage to be encouraged to go even in the face of any fears he may have experienced.

Hebrews 13:6 Amplified Bible
“So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to me?”

What can man do to me? Our flesh screams daily for being comfortable. Our spirit should be tenacious to overcome our flesh and to press forward with the new God has waiting for us.

The Webster dictionary speaks of being encouraged as: “to inspire with courage, spirit, or hope.” This is what we need to do for ourselves. We need to encourage ourself in the Lord. I have written on this in my article, “How To Encourage Yourself In The Lord.” It is the number one article on my Blog. Daily I have people reading that article and they found it by searching the internet on “How To Encourage Yourself.” Everyone of us need to be encouraged daily. If we lose our courage, we have lost the war.

Courageous is possessing or characterized by courage; brave (dictionary.com). We need to have brave hearts in this journey of life. Anyone can give up and retreat. It takes a courageous person to press on in the midst of fear or discouragement.

4. Ask for God’s peace to reign supreme.

John 14:27 Amplified Bible
“Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]”

God has given us His peace. It is one of the fruit of the the Spirit. We already have it. Allow it to grow in your life. “Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.”

There are times it comes right down to our choices. Do we choose to be fearful and intimidated, or do we choose to walk in God’s peace and assurance that He never leaves us and will take care of us. If he takes care of the sparrow, surely He watches over you and I!

Luke 12:6 – 7 Amplified Bible
“Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And [yet] not one of them is forgotten or uncared for in the presence of God. But [even] the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not be struck with fear or seized with alarm; you are of greater worth than many [flocks] of sparrows.”

God doesn’t want us to walk in intimidation. He wants us to walk in boldness and to have our spirits be at peace.

Philippians 4:6 – 7 Amplified Bible
“Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

5. Confront the devil and cast him out!

Never let fear fool you into thinking there is nothing you could do about it. Sometimes by the grace of God, with a little effort you can put an end to that danger. You must have an active engagement with the problem, or in other words take precautionary measure. If you fear that your children may catch polio, then get them vaccinated.

Don’t allow anything, or anybody to rob you of your God-given peace! The enemy can’t do anything to us, only if we let him. His biggest weapon he uses against us is our own mind and what we think. So he will fill your mind with doom and gloom. He will tell you that there is no hope. These are the times we confront the devil and cast him out, and shake him off! Amen!

In order to overcome fear brought about by Satan you must have a bold confrontation with him. Jesus did this many times when dealing with and casting out evil spirits.

Col. 2:15 Amplified Bible
“[God] disarmed the principalities and powers that were ranged against us and made a bold display and public example of them, in triumphing over them in Him and in it [the cross].”

You must realize the fact that Satan is real, but a defeated foe. We will overcome when we take our authority in the name of Jesus. For greater is He that is in us then he that is in the world (1 John 4:4).

God is bigger than any fear you may face. Remind yourself of 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” His spirit lives in us! God is big enough for anything you are going through.

You may be facing…
Fear of the unknown = God is bigger
Past hurts or failures = God is bigger
Self-pity = God is bigger
Relationships = God is bigger
Sin = God is bigger
Disease = God is bigger
doubts = God is bigger
Experiencing a storm – God is bigger

Be strong and courageous and get a glimpse of who God is in your life. He is Bigger than anything and everything you face!

Your sister in Christ,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.KrisBelfils.com
www.HopeFellowshipSpokane.com
www.KrisBelfils.WordPress.com

How To Hear From God

How To Hear From God

How Can We Hear From God5Does God speak to people today? We can read in the Bible of different stories of how God spoke to them. In the Old and New Testament there are many events and circumstances of God speaking to people. But, does He still speak to us today? Some people think God is a fairy tale and isn’t real. Others believe He is real but is mute. Some think God stopped speaking after the New Testament. All of those thoughts are wrong. God DOES speak to people today.

How can we hear from God? There are several ways we hear from God and there are many hinderances that prevent us from hearing His voice. One thing is for certain if we are a Christian and follow the Bible, we should hear His voice.

John 10:27 NKJV

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

Do you know the voice of your Shepherd? Do you have a hunger in your heart for fellowshipping with Him? Nothing can satisfy our longing for God, except communion and fellowship with Him. It is hard to walk in obedience to God if we don’t know or recognize His voice. We need to know Him. Know His character.

Hearing from God is vital to enjoying God’s eternal plan for our lives. Listening to God is our decision; no one else can make it for us. God won’t force us to choose His will, but He will do everything He can to encourage us to say yes to His ways.

We are sheep and Christ is the Good Shepherd. I love that! We have a Good Shepherd Who is constantly looking out for us. Are you an obedient sheep or a rebellious sheep?

Sheep are listeners and then doers. Sometimes they need correction, well often times. But our Good Shepherd has a rod and staff to guide, correct, and comfort us on our journey in life.

Psalm 23 Amplified Bible

A Psalm of David.

The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack. He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; He leads me beside the still and restful waters. He refreshes and restores my life (my self); He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him—not for my earning it, but] for His name’s sake. Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my [brimming] cup runs over. Surely or only goodness, mercy, and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, and through the length of my days the house of the Lord [and His presence] shall be my dwelling place.

David understood how the Lord was His Shepherd and what His role in his life was. God does lead and guide us through His Word, and through other ways for us to know what steps we are to take.

There are a few things we can do to help us hear God’s voice.

  1. Expect God to Speak to you.

God is always speaking to us today. Remember that you are in a relationship with Him as soon as you received Christ in your heart as Lord and Savior. Relationships take time. We expect people to talk to us, especially those we are close to.

I know my husband will talk to me an I know my husband’s voice. There could be a hundred people in a room with him, and all of them speaking, but I know I could pick out my husband’s voice. 29 years of marriage and communion with him has given me the ear to hear him. I want to hear from him. I expect him to speak to me, if not that would make for a very cold and shallow relationship.

This is the same with God. We have His Holy Spirit living in us and because of that, we do have the ability to tune into His voice. If you don’t know what the voice of God sounds like, spend time praying and reading His word. Take time to listen for His voice. Don’t be the one doing all the talking with your concerns and petitions. Love doesn’t demand. So there are times we wait in God’s presence and expect Him to Speak to us. We take the time to listen.

First, His voice will never contradict His Word. If you wonder if what you are sensing or hearing is from God, go to His Word and He will confirm it. If it doesn’t confirm, then chances are it is not from God.

Another way to know if it is God who is speaking to you is to test and see if the spirit  acknowledges Jesus Christ as the Son of God who has come in the flesh.

1 John 4:1 – 3 NKJV

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

I stopped just now and took the time to quiet my heart. “Be still and know that I am God” came to my mind so I stilled myself. Then I waited. It was just a few seconds and this is what I heard:

-I love you

-I am a warrior

-I am strong in Christ

-No weapon that comes against me will prosper

Wow, this really happened. This is what I heard God say as I quieted myself before Him for just a few seconds.

Now, does what I heard line up with God’s Word? Yes, all four things that I heard do line up with His Word. Here are verses to prove what I heard:

“I love you” – God loves me with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3 “The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.)

“I am a warrior” – I do not fight against flesh and blood. (Eph. 6:10 – 18)

“The Lord gets his best soldiers out of the highlands of affliction.”

~ Charles Spurgeon

“I am strong in Christ” – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

“No weapon that comes against me will prosper” – Isaiah 54;17 “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.”

Imagine if we allow ourselves to slow down and rest in His presence and listen to His voice? The good news is God is always willing to speak to us. Sometimes we think God isn’t saying anything, and that may happen at times, but God is always right there wanting to comfort, guide, protect, and shield us if we listen and allow Him to.

Right now let’s stop and take a few minutes to listen to God’s voice. (Speak out what you hear to everyone – most Pastors wouldn’t do this for concern of what people might say, but I know God wants to talk to us right now.)

2. Expect to Hear Him.

Through Christ, and the power of His Holy Spirit, God wants to speak to you on a One-to-one basis, every day. He wants to lead you step by step to the good things He has in store for you. He cares about the tiniest details of your life. He even keeps track of how many hairs you have on your head (Matthew 10:30). He cares about the desires of your heart. And He wants to reveal truth to you that will set you free from worry, fear, past hurts, and so much more.

His plan to share an intimate relationship with you existed before you were even born. The psalmist said of God,[] “Your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in Your book all the days [of my life] were written before they took shape, when as yet there was none of them” (Psalm 139:16).

Like I mentioned in point 1, I expect my husband to speak to me, and he expects me to speak to him. When we pray, we need to expect an answer. When we want to spend time with God, we need to expect He will speak to us in some way. It might be an assurance that you can trust Him. It might be that still small voice you hear in your mind and heart that brings peace. But if we don’t expect to hear from God, we won’t be listening for His voice.

Doesn’t it stand to reason that, if God knows all of our days and where we are going to live before we are even born, it is important to learn how to hear form Him? Hearing God’s voice is not only exciting, it also keeps us on the right track!

In Matthew 7:13 – 14 Jesus spoke of a narrow path that leads to life and a broad path that leads to destruction, and He told us to stay on the narrow one. If we can discern God’s voice, we can know if we are veering off onto the wrong track, and we can make an adjustment before we reap bad results from a bad decision.

Each of us can hear from God and be led by the Holy Spirit daily! Look at your neighbor and tell them “God is speaking to you, are you listening?”

When you wake up in the morning, before you even get out of bed, tell the Lord you love Him and you are His. Ask Him what He would have you do that day. Even if you have to go to work or school, you can ask God to show you what to say to do that day  that would give Him glory. He might have an assignment in the middle of your day that would minister to someone. He might have something precious He wants to tell you about yourself. Expect to hear from God every day. So exciting will be your life!

3. God offers a lifetime partnership.

We need the Holy Spirit guiding us through every day of our time on this earth. God is committed to guide us even until we leave this life, so it seems important to learn how to hear what He is telling us.

One of the many benefits of hearing from God is that He helps us prepare for the future. The Holy Spirit gives the message to us that has been given to Him from the Father. He announces and declares to us things that will happen in the future.

John 16:13 – 15 NKJV

However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.

We see many instances in the Bible when God gave people information about the future. Noah was told to prepare for a flood that would come to destroy the people of the earth (Genesis 6:13 – 17). Moses was told to go to Pharaoh and ask for the release of the Israelites, but he was also told that Pharaoh would not let them go (Exodus 7). Obviously, God does not tell us everything that will happen in the future, but the Bible says He will tell us of “things to come.”

John 10:4 – 5 NKJV
And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.

God will tell us the way to go, but then we have to do the walking. A walk with God takes place through one step of obedience at a time. Some people want the entire blueprint for their life before they will make one decision. God does not usually operate that way; He leads us one step at a time.

By faith, we take the step God has shown us, and then He gives us the next one. At times we may fall down and must get back up; we may stumble, but He always helps us. We continue on by His strength and His grace, knowing that every time we face a fork in the road, God will guide us.

4. Don’t have selective hearing.

When we are unwilling to hear in one area, it may render us unable to hear in other areas. Sometimes we choose to turn a deaf ear to what we know the Lord is clearly saying to us. We only hear what we want to hear; it’s called “selective hearing.”

After a while, people think they can’t hear from God anymore but in reality there are lots of things they already know He wants them to respond to, and they haven’t done so.

The more quickly we do whatever it is the Lord tells us to do, the more quickly He reveals the next step we are to take. Obedience brings blessing. Obedience brings growth. Obedience sharpens our fellowship with God. Disobedience is a growth blocker.

I assure you that if you fight with God every time He tells you to do something, it will make you just plain miserable.

Jesus said, “Follow Me.” He did not say, “You take the lead, and I will follow you.” We may as well just do quickly whatever God says, the way He wants it done, because in the long run, if we want to enjoy God’s perfect plan for our lives, we are going to have to follow Him.

Are you the type of person who when having a conversation with someone you think you are listening but in reality you are thinking of the next thing you will say to them? This is not listening. Oh you may be hearing them, but you are not connecting with what they are telling you.

Personally, I get so frustrated with people who do this with me. In fact, I will down right stop and say, “You are not listening to me!” They will reply, “Yes, I am you said….” but their answer after I spoke tells me they heard what I said but didn’t pay attention to it because they said something totally different then the topic I was on. If we don’t listen to people, who are right in front of us, how can we ever listen to God?

When you ask someone a question in the natural, you have to take time to listen to their reply. If you are thinking about the next question or the next thing you want to ask them, you will not even pay attention or be sensitive to what they are saying in the first place. Seriously, don’t waste other’s time and don’t waste God’s time. Be sincere and really listen. Be a listener.

5. Create an Atmosphere to Hear From God.

If we want to be led into victory by the Spirit of God, then we have to be willing to change our lifestyle as God speaks to us. We need to create an atmosphere that is conducive to hearing from God. By atmosphere I mean the climate, environment, or main mood that surrounds us.

Atmosphere is created by attitudes, and certain attitudes enhance or hinder our relationship with God.

Example: If we live in a constant life of strife, which is a spiritual problem, we can feel that strife in the atmosphere. If we enter a room where several people are angry or upset, we can feel that tension even if nobody is saying anything.

We should work to create and maintain a peaceful atmosphere:

Romans 12:18 

If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

To enjoy the fullness of God’s presence, we must consistently maintain an atmosphere conducive to seeking Him, honoring Him, and being faithful and obedient to Him.

If we want to hear form God, we must yield our attitudes to the lordship of Jesus Christ and learn to be led of the Spirit in all of our ways.

Attitudes for hearing God

  1. Keep a Listening Attitude.

Listening is an important key to hearing! Have you ever met someone who asks questions, but doesn’t listen to the answers? It is hard to talk to people who are not listening. The Apostle Paul warns us that we will miss learning rich life principles if we don’t have a listening attitude.

Hebrews 5:11 Amplified Bible

Concerning this we have much to say which is hard to explain, since you have become dull in your [spiritual] hearing and sluggish [even slothful in achieving spiritual insight].

When we have a listening attitude, we will know it is God Who is speaking. Remember He doesn’t contradict His Word. We can also know what we are hearing by placing it against His character. We must know God’s character in order to know what is from Him and what isn’t. He is gentle, not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing.

Matthew 11:28 – 30 Amplified Bible

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good—not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.

Listening to God’s voice we know that He will never go against Himself. In other words, if you hear a voice, thinking it is the Holy Spirit, and it goes against the Father or the Son, or against His Word, it is NOT the Holy Spirit speaking to you. If it goes against God’s character, it is not from the Holy Spirit. God’s voice will never tell you to walk in disobedience to His Word, never!

There are many facets of God’s character, and each one of them seems to be more wonderful than the next. He is faithful, true, loving, kind, long-suffering, just, and honest – among many other wonderful attributes.

If I thought I heard God tell me to give up on something just because it was difficult for me, I would question whether that message was from Him, because I know His character is to be faithful. His word says that even when we are faithless, God remains faithful; therefore, when He is told me to do something, it is unlikely He would tell me to give up quickly. He would be telling me to have endurance, perseverance, courage, and to never quit!

2 Timothy 2:13 Amplified Bible

If we are faithless [do not believe and are untrue to Him], He remains true (faithful to His Word and His righteous character), for He cannot deny Himself.

People need to see God in action and He wants to work through His children. Don’t let Satan deceive you in this area of hearing from God. Know God, know His character, and you will be able to discern the voices that come to you, whether they are His, yours, or the enemy’s.

Jesus said that people have ears to hear, but they hear not; and eyes to see, but they see not.

Matthew 13:15 NKJV

For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their heart and turn, so that I should heal them.

This is all about our attitude towards God and listening to what He wants. If your ear is dull to God’s voice it is time to sharpen it so you can be healed once and for all of your past issues.

Have an attitude to listen, and go the next step and obey His voice. Even if it requires the pain of letting go of past offenses and looking at yourself to change. You will experience a freedom in God you have never experienced before.

II.  Keep an attitude of Faith.

I remember when God called me to go to a Lutheran church in Washington state to be their Minister of Music. I was raised Pentecostal and charismatic. But God told me to “Bring the water to the desert.” Much opposition came from the religious group who wanted things to remain the same. They had secret meetings (about 50 of them) discussing the Senior Pastor and I. Ultimately they made the church Board vote to decide on keeping me or not. They printed out over 50 statements of their “concerns” regarding how their church was going. The vote was 3 to 2 to keep me. During that time I had to totally keep an attitude of faith and believe God’s voice of bringing the water to the desert. I wanted to quit many times. It was hard and people came against my character. Why would they invite me to come and be their Minister of Music if they had issues of me being female, and have a pentecostal background in the first place? My attitude would make or break me if I let it. God was teaching me to have a “bull-dog” grip on His words He spoke to me and to keep a good attitude of faith.

Sometimes we give more consideration to what people tell us or what they think instead of what God has said to us. If we pray diligently, hear from God, but then start asking everybody else what they think, we are honoring people’s opinions above the Word of God. This attitude will prevent us from developing a relationship in which we consistently hear from God. This is not an attitude of faith.

Paul had been persecuting the Christians and was not a likely person to be called to preach. If I was one of Paul’s peers, I would have had a hard time believing that he was called. He knew what the reaction to his ministry would be, so he wrote:

Galatians 1:15 – 17 NKJV

But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.

The Amplified Bible adds: [did not consult or counsel with any frail human being or communicate with anyone]. Paul said that he kept the news of his calling to himself; he didn’t check it out with “the big guys” who were supposed to always be hearing from God. He knew what God had done with him on that road to Damascus. He knew that he had been changed forever (Acts 9:3 – 8). He knew that the Son of God had been unveiled and disclosed on the inside of him. He knew that he could never go back to the life he had lived. He knew that for the rest of his life he would have to preach the gospel and remain faithful to why he head heard Jesus say to him.

Paul kept God’s Word in his heart and let it grow and  manifest on its own. Then he started doing what he was called to do. Soon others recognized that the calling on him must have been from God. Paul finished by saying, “And they glorified God [as the Author and Source of what had taken place] in me” (Galatians 1:24).

I had to learn how to be led by the Holy Spirit. We all have a conscience. Our conscience will bear witness with the Holy Spirit when God is calling us or guiding us to do something.

Romans 9:1 Amplified Bible

I am speaking the truth in Christ. I am not lying; my conscience [enlightened and prompted] by the Holy Spirit bearing witness with me.

Did you know God created our Conscience? Doesn’t it make sense that our conscience has to bear witness to the Holy Sprit when He is talking to us? It does. So, never ignore your conscience because it has to line up with God’s Spirit. If you think you have heard from God don’t move on it until you know for sure that it “fits inside.” Everything that is right for our lives has a place on the inside of us, where it is going to settle comfortably.

God may call us to do something we don’t always like in the flesh, but deep inside it will give us pleasure if it is truly a calling from God. For example I am not eager to write a sermon every week because it takes time, prep, and sacrifice, but I know what I am called to do. I am excited about preaching, so I don’t think about the parts of my ministry that are less pleasant.

There is a deep desire on the inside of me that is settled with any inconvenience associated with my calling. I know I have to sacrifice time during my week to write sermons in order to do what God has called me to do.

God may call you into things that you may not be used to doing. You may be scared in the natural, but you will feel that what you are doing fits inside with everything else that God has developed in you.  An attitude of faith will help you fulfill your calling.

III.  Keep an attitude of patience.

I need to hear from God everyday, and I want to hear from Him about everything. To hear God, we must be willing to wait on wisdom out of a passion for wanting God’s will more than anything else.

We will hear from God much more clearly if we are determined not to move in the heat of our fleshly desires or emotions. We will be blessed if we wait and make sure that we have heard form God before we take any steps at all. Then we should do what God is saying to do, even if it hurts, and even if it costs us something.

Patience is one of the fruit of the Spirit. Patience is not an ability to wait. Patience is a fruit of the Spirit that manifests while we are waiting. If patience doesn’t manifest in times of waiting, then we see the fruit of impatience during those times. We all have patience inside of us. What prevents it from coming out is being impatient.

Even this week I had to ask God to forgive me for being impatient waiting for Him to do something or to show me what to do. My flesh can win out and get the best of me sometimes. I hate that! That’s why we have to “die to our flesh” and allow the Holy Spirit to have His way in us. His ways are far better then our ways.

We need to wait for sound wisdom before we act on an impulse that we think is from God.

Learn to wait. Emotions that rise and energize us will fall, and emotional impulse won’t carry us where we really need to go. We need God’s energy, which is Holy Spirit determination to follow through and do what God has said.

We can miss God by being in a hurry to get what we want. If we don’t wait, especially in important areas, we will bring trouble into our lives. Patience is becoming more finely tuned in my life all the time.

I have learned that when I feel anxiety rise in me to handle something, I should let it rest for at least twenty-four hours. It is amazing how we can change our mind if we will just let things settle for a few hours. We can save ourselves so much trouble if we will learn to wait on God.

IV.  Keep an attitude of obedience.

The psalmist David said of God:

Psalm 40:6 Amplified Bible

Sacrifice and offering You do not desire, nor have You delight in them; you have given me the capacity to hear and obey [Your law, a more valuable service than] burnt offerings and sin offerings [which] You do not require.

God delights in the atmosphere of our obedience. Naturally, it doesn’t do God any good to talk to us if we aren’t going to listen and obey.

For many years, I wanted God to talk to me, but I wanted to pick and choose what to obey. I wanted to do what He said if I thought it was a good idea. If I didn’t like what I was hearing, then I would act like it wasn’t from God. God has given us the capacity both to hear Him and to obey Him. He does not require a higher sacrifice than obedience.

Some of what God says to you will be exciting. Some things God tells you might not be so thrilling to hear. But that doesn’t mean that what He tells you won’t work out for good if you will just do it His way.

If God tells you that you were rude to a person, and He wants you to apologize, it won’t work to answer back, “Well, that person was rude to me too!” If you talk back with excuses, you may have prayed, and even heard, but you haven’t obeyed.

Don’t allow excuses to prevent you from doing what God tells you to do. Excuses stop you from your promised land. Excuses are the easy way out. Excuses are birthed from the flesh. If the flesh wins, sin has won!

Instead, go apologize if God tells you to do so. Take yourself through the walk of obedience and say to that person, “I was rude to you, and I’m sorry.” Now you have obeyed. Now God’s anointing can flow through your life, because you are obedient.

Disobedience is sin. Sin separates us from God. God can not anoint and approve of sin. It goes against His character. Bottom line: Don’t disobey God, but pray and obey.

If you want God’s will for your life, I can tell you the recipe in its simplest form:  PRAY AND OBEY

God has given you the capacity to do both. If you do that, before you know it, you will have stepped right into God’s perfect plan for your life.

V.  Keep an attitude that honors God.

Another attitude that invites the presence of God into our atmosphere is one that honors Him above all others. We need to have an attitude that says, “God, no matter what anybody else is telling me, no matter what I think myself, no matter what my own plan is, if I clearly hear You say something to me, and I know it’s You, I am going to honor You and what You say above anything else.

Remember He will never tell you do to anything that goes against His Word. His role is supreme in our life. Not our will but His. Most people have a hard time with this. But if we want to be more like Jesus, we have to have the same attitude He did. Jesus said,

Luke 22:42 Amplified Bible

Saying, Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but [always] Yours be done.

The word honor means: “high respect, or esteem, a privilege, regard with great respect, fulfill an obligation or keep an agreement.” (google.com)

We show God respect when we obey Him. He deserves respect. Our attitude should be that God is in charge and I am to listen and obey His orders. I am to honor Him in my lifestyle, the words that I speak, who I hang around, what I watch or listen to, what I think, and what I do with my body.

Even having a critical spirit dishonors God. Being critical of others, or even being critical of God, can prevent us from hearing God’s voice.

There are so many things that can make us “un-clean.” But thank God we live in the New Testament Covenant and we have God’s mercy and grace so we can ask for His forgiveness. We just need to walk away from what doesn’t please Him that we are doing. He will always have something better for us when we do!

Perhaps you have wasted many years walking your own way without seeking God’s guidance. The good news is that it’s not too late to turn and go in a new direction – toward God’s plan and purpose for your life. It is not too late to learn how to hear from God. If you are sincerely willing to obey God, He will guide you on an exciting journey of learning to hear from Him every day of your life.

Get ready for the ride of your life as you walk in obedience and create an atmosphere to hear God’s voice.

Next week we will look at the “Hinderances to hearing God’s voice.”

Your Sister In Christ,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.KrisBelfils.com

www.HopeFellowshipSpokane.com

www.KrisBelfils.WordPress.com

 

 

 

 

Sources: Pastor Kris Belfils and Joyce Meyer

The Holy Spirit – In The Life Of Christ

The Holy Spirit - In The Life Of Christ2Last message we looked at the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament, and how Jesus had to leave for the Promise of the Holy Spirit to come. We learned that the Holy Spirit “came on” or “filled” individuals in the Old Testament, but it was temporary until the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the Book of Acts.

The ministry of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament is prominent right from the beginning. The activity of the Holy Spirt is evident at every phase of the life and ministry of Jesus.

The Holy Spirit in Jesus’ Life
1. Conceives.

In Matthew, after the genealogy list, the Holy Spirit was right there at the conception of Christ in Mary’s womb.

Matthew 1:18 NKJV
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.

A clearer understanding of “she was found with child of the Holy Spirit” is found a little further in Scripture.

Matthew 1:20 NKJV
But while he (Joseph) thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.”

Conceived means form, and another word for conceived is begotten. Begotten means to procreate or generate, to father, to produce (dictionary.com). The Holy Spirit literally was the producer and formed Jesus in Mary’s womb.

What a correlation between Genesis 1:2, and the Spirit hovering over the face of the waters and the conception of Jesus: Both incidences the Holy Spirit was present and very active.

Of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit really shows He is the “executive arm” (Notes on Genesis 1:2 in the New Spirit Filled Life Bible). He brings action. That is just awesome and amazing! He is active always.

2. Baptises.

The Holy Spirit descended and came to rest upon Jesus before His public ministry.

Matthew 3:16 NKJV
When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.

The word baptized in the original Greek means; “To cover wholly with a fluid” (Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Definitions).

When Jesus was baptized the Holy Spirit was present, in fact so present that He came upon Jesus.

In the Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Definitions the word, “lighting” upon Jesus literally means: “To come enter” (G2064).

Before Jesus began His public ministry, He was filled with the Spirit of God.

3. Leads.

Matthew 4:1 NKJV
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit

Luke 4:1 NKJV
Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,”

Mark 1:12 states, “Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness.”

The word drove doesn’t imply reluctance on Jesus’ part, rather it was the conviction or urge that Jesus had over how necessary He needed to go. Jesus had to go through the temptations of the devil and defeating them before He stepped out and helped others defeat the enemy in their lives.

How often do we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and we find ourselves right in the middle of a struggle or temptation? We can see this in Jesus’ life when the Spirit led Him into the wilderness after His baptism. For sure we will experience the same thing. The question is how do you respond when you are in the middle of it? In Jesus’ case He combated the enemy with scripture. This is powerful. The Word of God is powerful!

Jesus was full of the Spirit and overcame the enemy! Listening to the Holy Spirit and following His leading will bring VICTORY. You might say, “Pastor Kris, it’s too hard!” “I don’t like what I am going through!” Well neither do I at times, but that is not the time to give up. That is the time to press into the Holy Spirit and He will give you what you need to overcome. Without a hardship you will never experience a victory!

4. Empowers.

Following Jesus’ victory over temptation, Jesus returns to Galilee in the power of the same Spirit.

Luke 4:14 NKJV
Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region.

The Holy Spirit enabled Jesus to fulfill His ministry. He was now the Spirit-anointed Messiah. Jesus travels to the synagogues and when he comes to the synagogue in Nazareth He was handed the book of Isaiah and reads:

Luke 4:18 – 19 NKJV
The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD. (see also Isaiah 61:1 – 2)

Being anointed by the Holy Spirit breaks the yoke of bondage. I have experienced first hand the anointing of God when I speak and I sense the Holy Spirit speaking through me. The words He brings cuts through the flesh right to the spirit of the listener.

I have also experienced when I have walked in my own strength. Walking in the Spirit, and His anointing makes ministry easy. Walking in my own abilities and power makes for one rough service.

The Holy Spirit is just that; Holy. Holy means: sacred, pure, blameless, consecrated, separated, properly revered, worthy of veneration, Godlikeness, God’s innermost nature, set apart for God, reserved for God and His service. Since nothing that is polluted could be holy, purity becomes a big part of holiness. A holy God calls for a holy people (Holy, hagios (hag-ee-oss) Strong’s #40).

We have to understand that the Holy Spirit abides in us. We are the temple of the Holy Ghost.

1 Cor. 6:19 – 20 Amplified Bible
Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own, You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body.

Keep your temple clean and honor the Holy Spirit in all you do and say. You will have such an anointing on your life that will break bondages, empower you for Gods work, and bring favor in your life. Don’t abuse or take for granted what Jesus did on the cross for you.

Anything that Jesus did was lead and empowered by the Holy Spirit.

5. Joy.

The Holy Spirit spreads joy, both to Jesus, the disciples, and the new community.

Luke 10:17 NKJV
Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your hame.”

Luke 10:21 NKJV
In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight.

The Spirit was moving in Jesus and the disciples and He gave them joy for the ministry. They rejoiced often seeing the work of the Lord being accomplished.

Luke 24:49 – 53 NKJV
Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high. And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven. And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God. Amen

All this said, as we looked at many scriptures last week from the book of John, he speaks of the Holy Spirit as “Comforter” or “Helper.”

John 14:16 Amplified Bible
And 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—

John 14:26 Amplified Bible
But 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.

We need to understand that the Holy Spirit is our comforter, literally “one called alongside.” He is “another Helper,” namely, one of the same kind as Jesus, and thereby extending the ministry of Jesus to the end of this age.

The Holy Spirit is not necessarily for only predicaments we get ourselves into, but much more because He is there in every facet of life to help and comfort, and strengthen and guides us.

The Father sent the Holy Spirit after Jesus left the earth. The Holy Spirit never draws attention to Himself, nor does He speak in His own authority. Instead, His mission is to glorify Jesus and to declare Christ’s teachings.

John 16:13 – 15 NKJV
However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.

The Holy Spirit is with us today! He is available for all to receive as the Promised Gift that Jesus talked about when He left this earth. Are you hungry to receive the Holy Spirit’s infilling? We will look at that next!

Your sister in Christ,
Pastor Kris Belfils
http://www.KrisBelfils.com
http://www.HopeFellowshipSpokane.com
http://www.KrisBelfils.WordPress.com