God is Bigger Than My Selfishness (20 Things the Selfless Do)

God is Bigger Than My Selfishness (20 Things the Selfless Do)

God is bigger then My Selfishness - 20 Things the Selfless Do BlogBeing Self-absorbed, Feeling sorry for yourself, only thinking about yourself, maybe even being a narcissist. Do these words describe you? In today’s society people have grown very selfish. Everyone is thinking about themselves and their own personal agenda. Not many people are givers and see a bigger world than their own.

Selfish: adjective, “devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others, characterized by or manifesting concern or care only for oneself.”

Lately, I have come across a lot of selfish people. Selfish people are usually unhappy. They are always talking about themselves, even when someone else shares a problem or pain, a selfish person will always make the conversation go back to themselves. Very seldom do they see the other person’s needs or point of view, only their own. Selfishness grieves God and it blocks growth in your life.

Everybody is bound to be selfish from time to time. Although many elements of our society may encourage it, selfishness just hurts other people, sometimes at little to no personal gain. A selfish person also ends up losing friends or loved ones because no matter how charming or interesting a selfish person may be, a relationship with a selfish person is hard to maintain. A truly selfish person would never consider the possibility that they are selfish. Many think selfishness and pride are good things, and that putting the needs of others above your own is for suckers. If you’re worried that you’re too selfish and want to be on the path to gratitude and humility, then let’s look at what the selfless do, and the Word of God, and learn from them.

Selfless: “having little or no concern for oneself, especially with regard to fame, position, money, etc.; unselfish.”

20 Things the Selfless Do

1. Selfless people put the other person’s need above their own.

Jesus is the best example of a selfless person. He was sent to earth to save the world from eternal damnation. He wasn’t about His own agenda, but His Father’s. He truly saw the bigger picture. It wasn’t about Him, but about the world, about souls. About people who were lost.

Philippians 2:4 ESV
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Proverbs 3:27-28 ESV
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you.

Proverbs 19:17 ESV
Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.

Far too often selfish people only see their wants and seldom see the needs of others. “I want this!” or “I want to become that!” When you become selfless and reach out to those in need, it is a good feeling.

Matthew 25:37- 40 NIV
Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”

I was at an outside restaurant the other day wanting some lunch because I was really hungry. I went to see if they would take a debit card for payment because I only had $2.00 cash on me. As I walked away when I saw the sign that read, “Cash only: No Debit or Credit cards,” I saw a homeless couple that attends our church from time to time. I walked over to say, “Hi.” The woman said she was really hungry. I opened my purse and pulled out my wallet and gave them all the cash I had not knowing if they would use the money for food or alcohol or drugs. When I got in my care to drive away I saw the woman in my rearview mirror getting up and walking to order food with the little money I gave her. The feeling of helping someone in need far outweighed the hunger pains I was feeling in my stomach. It was the right thing to do.

2. Selfless people acknowledge others and find out more about them.

One of the most valuable things you can do for someone is acknowledge their existence. Some people feel no one sees them in a crowded room. I have found that acknowledging people, even when I am in a hurry or don’t want to, will brighten someone’s day. Often it leads to a conversation. Ask them questions about themselves if you don’t know how to start the conversation. Asking questions about the other person will open them up and you will find out more about them. Anyone can tell others about themselves. But asking questions about them or their life shows you are interested in them. Listen more and talk less. It will help when you are trying to overcome selfishness.

2 Peter 1:5-7 ESV
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.

Philippians 2:3 ESV
Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.

3. Selfless people allow God to increase in their life and they decrease.

John 3:30 Amplified Bible
He must increase, but I must decrease. [He must grow more prominent; I must grow less so.]

John the Baptist knew his place when it came to Jesus. John was the forerunner. He had his own disciples and followers, yet John knew his place was to prepare the way of Christ and not build his own kingdom.

God needs to be the center of your life. We follow Him, He doesn’t follow us. Too much of self and not enough of God is a bad thing. It leads to a life of misery and sin. It leads to a wrong path and bad consequences. Aside from all that, who wouldn’t want more of God in their life? He is a good God. I encourage you to develop a craving for God and the things of God. In order to get more of Jesus, you have to give Him more of yourself!

Proverbs 14:14 ESV
The backslider in heart will be filled with the fruit of his ways, and a good man will be filled with the fruit of his ways.

When we decrease, we are nicer to people and value what God values. When we decrease God fills us up with more of His love, peace, joy, and all the fruit of His Spirit. Those are good fruit for people to pic!

4. Selfless people put themselves in the other person’s shoes.

Walking a mile in another man’s shoes can change your life for eternity. Of course, you won’t be able to actually do this, but you can put in the effort into thinking about the other people around you and considering how they might be feeling in any given situation.

Consider how your mother, your friend, your boss, or a random person on the street may be feeling before you take action, and you may find that the world isn’t as clean cut as you thought it was. The more you practice empathy and wondering what other people are going through, the sooner you’ll be able to give up your selfishness.

For example, before you start yelling at your waitress for giving you the wrong order, think about how she might be feeling. She might be tired from being on her feet for ten hours in a row, overwhelmed from having to work too many tables, or just feeling sad about something else; is it really necessary for you to make her feel terrible just to get what you want?

Romans 12:15
Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

1 Cor. 12:25-26
… so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.  If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

Gal. 6:2
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

1 Pet. 3:8
Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.

5. Selfless people love their neighbor as themselves.

You can spend so much time thinking about your needs and desires and planning how to get them all met. You plan your day or your future. You are so self-absorbed. Roll that energy and effort onto others. With the same intensity you have for yourself have an intense love for others, even your enemies. This will bring freedom and happiness to your life.

Mark 12:30 – 31 NKJV
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.

First we love the Lord with everything inside of us, and then we love others as we love ourselves. Do you do this or are you more in love with yourself than God or others? Selfless people are exactly that “less of self.” Selfish people are full of self. You choose?

6. Selfless people wait to speak and don’t interrupt others when they are talking.

Let them finish their sentence. Remember that your points can always wait. If it’s urgent (like if you have to leave) say “excuse me”. Selfish people often think that what they have to say is so important, and that what others have to say is so unimportant, that they can just jump in with their opinions at any time. Well, this is not the case. In fact, your opinion will be much better received if you wait your turn. Furthermore, you may change your opinion if you actually take the time to hear people out.

James 1:19 Amplified Bible
Understand [this], my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear [a ready listener], slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry.

I have to say this is one my my pet peeves. When I am talking, it is most irritating when someone interrupts me and talks about themselves. It leaves the listener feeling sick to their stomach when they keep interrupting others and inserting things about their own life. This leads to my next point…

7. Selfless people take the time to really listen to others.

Do you listen to people when they talk to you? I mean, do you really listen? While they are talking are you thinking of something to say in response? Really listening to others is so important in building relationships. No one likes a one sided relationship where one does all the talking and never listens to the other.

Selfish people are notoriously bad listeners. This is because they are too busy talking about their own struggles, their own problems, and their own setbacks to take the time to listen to what their friends are saying. If you’re the kind of person who picks up the phone, talks at someone for half an hour, and then says goodbye, then you’re not taking the time to listen to what other people are telling you.

Any conversation should have about a 50/50 exchange of ideas, and if you’re monopolizing every conversation you have, then you’ve got to work on honing those listening skills the next time you talk to people.

Selfish people don’t care about other people, which is why they don’t really take the time to listen to them. Let’s read that same verse we did for point 6 here:

James 1:19
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.

Listen. Wait. Respond.
How many of our conflicts would dissolve or never even materialize if we:
▪ Listened to really understand a person’s concern or complaint,
▪ Waited… till our typically wrong initial impulse passed, till we’ve prayed, till we’ve asked clarifying questions,
▪ And then responded with patience, graciousness, honesty, clarity, and, if possible, brevity?

8. Selfless people easily give compliments to others.

Don’t just go on about how great you are. Take the time to let people know how great they are, whether you’re talking about their fashion sense, their personalities, or great decisions they’ve recently made. Or just compliment a perfect stranger if you’re waiting in line and like the stranger’s coat. Don’t give phony compliments just to suck up to people; give compliments because they really deserve them.

Proverbs 12:25
Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, But a good word makes it glad.

Proverbs 15:23
A man has joy in an apt answer, And how delightful is a timely word!

We have good words inside of us waiting to come out to encourage others. When you see someone doing good, or dressed nice, or handling a situation well, let them know. It will encourage them to keep on keeping on.

I remember being a young mother with my oldest daughter. We were in a grocery store at the check out line and she was upset over something. I kneeled down to her level (she was around 2) and explained what was going on. She understood and wasn’t upset anymore. Then I stood up and paid the cashier. Upon leaving the line an older gentleman stopped me and complimented me on how I treated my daughter. He said most mothers would smack them around or yell at them to stop their bad behavior but that I didn’t. It was nice to hear. It made me think I wasn’t a bad mother after all. (you know how young mothers feel when they have never done it before)

9. Selfless people practice putting themselves last.

If you’re a selfish person, then chances are you’re always looking for #1, well, first. You’ve got to change that as soon as you can if you want to start living a life filled with joy and free of selfishness. The next time you’re doing something, whether you’re in line at a buffet or waiting for your seat on the bus, stop and let the other people have what they want first, whether it’s food, comfort, or ease. Don’t be the person who always thinks me, me, me and has to get everything first; remember that other people are every bit as special as you are, and that other people deserve to get what they want, too.

Make a goal of putting yourself last in at least three situations this week. See how much better you feel when you’re not constantly thinking about how you can benefit at any given time.

Of course, once you level out, you shouldn’t always put yourself last or you may find yourself in a situation where people are taking advantage of you. But it’s good practice to do this if you’re absolutely always putting yourself first right now.

Matthew 20:16 NKJV
So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen.

It’s okay if you are not first, or have the best seat. Find a place within yourself to be okay with it. Realize you are first with God. You are His favorite, just like everyone else is. Rest in God and His goodness that He won’t allow you to miss out on anything you need or should have. If you are to have it, it will come about at the right time or in due season.

10. Selfless people remember they are not more important than other people.

Selfish people are constantly thinking that they are the center of the universe and that the world should revolve around them. Well, you need to drop that thought like a bad habit. Whether you’re Madonna or Donna the hairdresser, you should think of yourself as the same as everyone else, not as somehow better because you’ve got more money, more looks, or more talent than the person standing next to you.

Practice being humble and modest. The world is a huge and absolutely amazing place, and you are just one tiny part of it. Don’t think that you somehow deserve more than other people because you are “you.

Feeling you are more important than others is a sign you are competitive. No one is better or worse than you. We are all the same: Humans.

Gal. 3:28 NKJV
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Comparing our growth with others can be intimidating. No one is better than you, but they may have experienced more or accomplished more than you have. Learn from these people and don’t compare yourself to them. Don’t be intimidated by your lack of knowledge. Be teachable and a forever student in life. You will grow if you decide to do this. Surround yourself with people who can take you higher in your walk with God, in your abilities, and in your character. If you surround yourself with people who don’t want to grow, or don’t want to be close to God, it will affect you. Always be striving to grow more and complain less.

11. Selfless people enjoy giving the spotlight to others.

You don’t always have to be the center of every party, or every conversation. Selfless people enjoy allowing others to speak and are truly interested in in them.

I have a friend who is always talking or talks over others when others are sharing their needs, or telling a story, or expressing something funny. I watch the other people when my friend starts talking over them and they shrink back and stop talking. When my friend talks it inevitably changes the topic and others never get truly heard. I feel for the others and try to get the conversation back onto what they were talking about. It is extremely hard to have a relationship with selfish people who always have to be in the spotlight.

Selfish people cringe when someone else goes in the spotlight because they always want it for themselves. Well, if you want to stop being selfish, then you have to not only give up the spotlight, but you have to enjoy letting other people take it. Stop trying to be the bride at every wedding and the corpse at every funeral and let other brides have their time in the spotlight. Be proud of other people for achieving things instead of wishing it was you.

Romans 12:1
Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

We should be willing to raise others up and allow them to shine for God’s glory. I enjoy raising up my leadership staff and allowing them to preach or teach or, give them public compliments. It is good for the congregation to know and for that individual to publicly be raised up.

12. Selfless people keep in touch with friends, family, and relatives.

No one is an island. We all need each other. It is good to keep in touch with the people in your life. Take the time to be with family and friends. Relationships take time. They are worth it.

Selfish people find it easy to lose touch with people because they know that they will always come back to them. Don’t think that your time is so important that you can’t call your own grandmother or spend your lunch hour with a friend and then expect other people to be at your beck and call when you do need them. Give people the basic consideration of wanting to know how they’re doing just because.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

13. Selfless people show an interest in others.

Listening to people is a great way to show interest in them. Another thing you can do is to ask people questions, from their opinions on the local news to their experiences as children. You don’t have to interrogate them to show a casual interest in them as human beings, and to let them see that you really do care what they think about or what they’re struggling with. When people talk, don’t just nod and wait your turn to talk, but slow down and ask them questions if they’re talking about something that they feel passionate about.

You can show an interest in people without overwhelming them. The next time you talk to someone, set out to talk 20% less and to ask a few more questions than you normally would and see how it makes you feel.

14. Selfless people help people they know during their time of need.

When your friends, family, or even your neighbors are struggling, you should be there for them. Maybe your co-worker has had a death in the family, or your neighbor has been sick for months; take the time to make them a home-cooked meal, call them, or give them a card and ask how you can help.

People may be reluctant to say that they need help even if they obviously do. It’s up to you to figure out when you can really help without being intrusive.

Hebrews 13:16 ESV
Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Galatians 6:2 ESV
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

15. Selfless people know when to stop talking about themselves.

Selfish people go on and on and on about their needs, their struggles, and their desires. The next time you have a conversation with a friend, do a personal recap afterwards and see what percentage you spent talking all about you, you, you. If you feel like everything you said was about yourself instead of the world around you and that your friend hardly got a word in edgewise, then it’s time to turn that behavior around.

It’s okay to ask for advice, talk about your day, and mention your wants within a reasonable realm, but it’s not okay if you’re known to be the person who can’t see past herself in any social situation. For one thing, if you have a reputation for only talking about yourself, people will get the message and won’t want to hang out with you.

Proverbs 10:19 ESV
When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.

Proverbs 17:28 ESV
Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.

Proverbs 21:23 ESV
Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.

Honestly it is down right rude to always be talking about yourself instead of seeing and listening to other people and their needs and concerns.

16. Selfless people learn to compromise.

If you want to stop being selfish, then you’ve got to learn to compromise. This means seeing that it’s better to be happy than to get what you want, that other people have needs too, and that you can’t always get what you want. You don’t want to have a reputation for being so stubborn that people wouldn’t even think about approaching you with a difficult situation. Learn to listen to people, to weigh the pros and cons of any situation, and to be able to see the situation from another person’s perspective.

Don’t focus blindly on getting your way. Focus on understanding the situation from both sides. You don’t always have to be right or get your way.

Romans 12:18 ESV
If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

John 13:34 ESV
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.

1 Cor. 13:4 – 8a NKJV
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.

When you truly love someone you will compromise to make your relationship work. Marriages end in divorce all because the couple was not willing to compromise. Selfish people will put being right or their own needs above the other and compromise never happens. Don’t let this be you. Learn how to compromise. This is a quality of the selfless.

17. Selfless people learn how to say, “Thank you.”

Selfish people think they deserve the best treatment and deserve to be spoiled, and that’s just not the case. If someone does something nice for you, whether they are complimenting you or giving you a ride to class, you should be grateful and thank them for their actions instead of just acting like it’s perfectly normal that they want to do favors for you. Don’t expect kindness or understanding and be grateful when it comes your way.

Selfish people think they “deserve” the best treatment at all times. It’s time to stop and think about all of the people who have really made your life better. It is not too late to thank them. I believe God has placed them in your life to be a blessing. We should be quick to thank others for their kindness, acceptance, and love.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Ephesians 1:16
I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.

James 1:17
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

18. Selfless people have learned to give up control.

Selfish people think that they have to choose every movie, plan every vacation, and get their way in every school or work-related project. Well, it’s time to take a step back and to let some other people do some of the deciding. Sure, it may be scary to go to that new Thai place instead of your favorite usual Italian restaurant, and sure, you may not like letting Mary have so much control over your latest report; but you’ve got to trust that other people know what they’re doing and to let them get their way, too.

Giving up control can help you relieve stress and be happier, too. Think about how much easier your life will be if you’re not obsessing over planning every little thing so that it goes your way.

Psalm 46:10 GW
Let go of your concerns! Then you will know that I am God. I rule the nations. I rule the earth.

Every day, you have to decide who’s going to be in control of your life — you or God. Letting your spouse or friend decide something is easy when you place your trust in God. You can trust God that the decision someone else makes that affects you will work out for your good. You honor God and others when you give up your control. You might find out you even like it.

19. Selfless people spend time with people who are not selfish.

Join others who are kind and reciprocate kindness. Being with other selfish people, will not help you become a better person. We are very much defined by the company we keep. If you spend all of your time with other people who only care about themselves, then you won’t be a very considerate person. But if you spend time around an inspiring, giving person, you will be inspired to act in a less selfish way.

I am sure you can think of someone who is selfless in your life. You might have thought, “I wish I was more like them.” You can. The more you hang around the selfless, the more it rubs off on you. You are the company you keep.

Proverbs 13:20 GNT
Keep company with the wise and you will become wise. If you make friends with stupid people, you will be ruined.

1 Corinthians 15:33 ESV
Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.

2 Corinthians 6:14 ESV
Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?

20. Selfless people have a heart of gratitude.

Make a habit of writing down all of the things you’re grateful for every Sunday or at least once a week. Take the time to think of each and every individual thing that makes your life really great, and don’t spend all your time focusing on the things you don’t have, or the things you wish you had, or all of the “If only” chants that can ruin your day and your life. Think of things that are going well for you, from your health to your plethora of friends, and feel happy about what you’ve got.

Selfish people are never satisfied and always want more, more, more. If you want to stop being selfish, you have to feel like you already have enough amazing things in your life. Any additional joys or gifts should come as a bonus.

Researchers studied the differences that occurs when people focus on their burdens, or themselves, versus focusing on what they’re grateful for. Simply acknowledging a few things you feel grateful for each day is a powerful way to create change. In fact, gratitude not only impacts your psychological health, it can also affect your physical health.

-People who feel gratitude don’t get sick as often as others.
-Gratitude leads to more positive emotions.
-Gratitude improves social lives.

Psalm 118:24
This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Acts 24:3 ESV
In every way and everywhere we accept this with all gratitude.

God is bigger than your selfishness. He wants you to let go of self and cling to Him. We can trust Him with everything.

If you realize you are selfish, now is the time for change. Do some of or all of the selfless things on this list every week. Ask Jesus to be more like him. He moved with compassion and cared about others. He laid down His life for you. That is the ultimate selfless act anyone could do.

Your sister in Christ,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.KrisBelfils.com
www.HopeFellowshipSpokane.com
www.KrisBelfils.Wordpress.com

Sources: Pastor Kris Belfils and http://www.wikihow.com/Stop-Being-Selfish

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God is Bigger Than My Rejection

God is Bigger Than My Rejection

God is bigger then my Rejection BlogYou know the scene. It is in the middle of the day. The children are out to play on the playground. They choose team members to play the game. One by one everyone is picked until it comes down to the last person. By now this lonely person really doesn’t want to play because they were the last to be chosen. The reject! The one no one wants.

Rejection! We’ve all experienced it. Not getting that promotion we were anticipating. Or not getting the job you interviewed for and someone you know did. We all want to be valued and accepted. Being valued is a natural human desire. When we don’t feel valued we tend to draw back and isolate ourselves. Maybe you have been rejected from a friend, or relative. How about wanting to go out with somebody and they said, “No!”

The definition of rejection is: “Dismiss as inadequate, inappropriate, or not to one’s taste, or to satisfy one’s taste. To refuse to accept, consider, submit to, take for some purpose, or use. To refuse to hear, receive, or admit.”

I don’t know about you, but I have experienced many times the definition of rejection. When it happens, it’s easy to think you did something wrong or that there is something wrong with you. Most of the time this is not the case. But, the enemy will try and make us feel bad about ourselves, or bad about our life after we have been rejected.

Rejection hurts. God is bigger than the rejection we have received. I am here today to let you know there is hope after rejection. We can allow the “sting” of being rejected to torment and alienate us, or we can be determined to rise above those who rejected us and keep on keeping on with our life.

Jesus knew first hand what it felt like to be rejected. Many times the religious rulers of His day rejected what He had to say, or even rejected Who He was. They were unwilling and refused to accept His teachings because they liked being in control of the people. They didn’t think He was the “Messiah.” Jesus’ taught about mercy and grace and the religious rulers were legalistic.

How many times Jesus endured scrutiny from the Pharisees and Sadducees. They even tried to “trip” Jesus up with His answers, but again, Jesus knew what was in their hearts.

I wish I could say I acted or reacted in a godly manner after experiencing rejection in my own personal life. There were times I did, and times I didn’t. But I have learned several things about rejection, that I pray, will help you to deal with it and overcome any negative affects it brings.

We can learn so much on how to deal with rejection by watching Jesus’ reaction.

Dealing With Rejection

1. Keep walking boldly!

Luke 6:28 – 30 NKJV

“So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath (rage), and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff. Then passing through the midst of them, He went His way.”

Jesus knew what was in the religious rulers heart’s. He spoke the truth with authority. They took Jesus out of the synagogue and out of the city to a high hill and wanted to push him over the edge. Jesus, turns, and walks boldly through the crowd and continues on with His ministry.

People will reject out of fear. It shows their insecurities within themselves when they reject you.

The religious leaders rejected Jesus because they were afraid. Afraid of losing their position. Afraid that the people will turn from their leadership and follow truth, which Jesus represented, and oozed out with. People already thronged Jesus. Fear makes people do crazy rejectful, brutal things.

Truth is power. The religious rulers saw truth in Jesus and they had to destroy Him.

2. Shake the dust off your feet!

Read Mark 6:1 – 13

Mark 6:11 NKJV

“And whoever will not receive you nor hear you, when you depart from there, shake off the dust under your feet as a testimony against them. Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.”

There have been times when I have had to shake the dust off my feet when I was rejected, and some of those places were in a Christian church, with Christian people.

There will be people who will be offended by the truth you represent. They will harden their hearts towards you and kick you out of their group or organization. I’ve heard it said, “Go where you are celebrated!” There is some truth to that because it is extremely hard to stay somewhere where the people are constantly rejecting you. Jesus said to shake the dust off of your sandals and to move on. Do what you can there, but move on and keep your head held high! People are not rejecting you, but rejecting God. To a degree, it is Christian persecution to have fellow Christians kick you out of their “club.” This is what happened to Jesus many times.

3. Don’t get offended!

Luke 17:1 (HCSB)

“Offenses will certainly come, but woe to the one they come through!”

We have to get elephant skin when it comes to speaking the truth and not being received. People hurt people. As long as you are around people, you will have the chance to get offended.

Scriptures tell us “Offenses will come” (Luke 17:1). We will always be tempted to be offended. Our expectations weren’t met, or someone hurt us or rejected us. You might have said things like, “How can they treat me like this?” or “I was a part of them for years and look how they treat me!” They will call you names, slander you, and want you gone. They will ignore your true worth in Christ and reject you because of the truth you represent. This happened to Jesus. He was known as the “Carpenter’s Son.”

Mark 6:3 NKJV

Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon? And are not His sisters here with us?” So they were offended at Him.

They rejected Jesus because they only saw Him as the Carpenter’s Son. They put Jesus in a box in their minds. They knew His family. They saw Him grow up and become a man. God was raising Him up, but they refused to accept Who He was called to be.

When you have a heart for God you will be rejected. You might even be rejected by those close to you. Even if you are not a minister, you will experience rejection. But let me tell you; Once you meet Christ you are a minister! Your life is a sermon that everyone reads.

Jesus was rejected and even mocked while He was hanging on the cross. As if what they did to him was not enough. After being beaten and whipped, after the crown of thorns were pushed on His head and imbedded into his brow, after his hands and feet were nailed to the cross, after He was mutilated beyond recognition, they mocked Him.

Mark 15:29 – 32 (NKJV)

“And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself, and come down from the cross!” Likewise the chief priests also, mocking among themselves with the scribes, said, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. Let the Christ, the King of Israel, descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Even those who were crucified with Him reviled Him.”

They were sarcastically mocking Christ while He was hanging on the cross. Who does that? Who kicks people when they are “already down?” Those who are full of themselves and think they are right. Those who want their way and arrogantly assume they deserve it. That’s who! They thought they were sitting in the driver seat. Little did they know God used them to bring forth Salvation to the world.

It was even prophesied in the Old Testament that Jesus would be despised and rejected.

Isaiah 53:3 – 5 KJV

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows:  yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

I don’t think anyone of us have experienced all that Jesus experienced, in our entire lifetime, what he experienced in just a few hours. Still, when we experience rejection its sting hangs with us.

Like I said earlier, there is hope. Not only can you be healed from any sting of rejection, but there are other promises you can stand on when dealing with rejection.

Rejection rewards:

1. You will be vindicated!

Psalm 35:24 NKJV

“Vindicate me, O LORD my God, according to Your righteousness; And let them not rejoice over me.”

God hears our cry and sees all. God knows what is in a man’s heart. He knows what is in your heart. He knows everyone’s motives. If there is injustice, God will repay. He is a just God.

There are times we are rejected for walking justly. Again, God will vindicate you.

Psalm 26:1 NKJV

“Vindicate me, O LORD, For I have walked in my integrity. I have also trusted in the LORD; I shall not slip.”

Psalm 43:1 NKJV

“Vindicate me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation; Oh, deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man!”

If there is injustice, it will only last for a season and God will deliver you from the deceitful injustice.

Jesus was vindicated. He didn’t stay on the cross or in the tomb. He was resurrected. No man, no matter how much power they think they had, couldn’t keep Jesus from raising from the dead.

2. You will be promoted.

Psalm 23:5a NKJV

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.”

People will be surprised at your promotion. It will go against what they thought of you. They rejected you because they didn’t agree with who they thought you were. They will see you resurrected. They will see you doing things and walking in ways they never imagined. What are you going to do when this happens? Rejoice! It will happen!

3. You will be transformed.

Walking out of rejection and leaning on your beloved, you will be more like Him. We lean on Jesus and connect to His rejection immediately when we are rejected and treated unfairly.

To know Christ in His resurrection and suffering, we have to experience a death. When we die to ourselves and our flesh, we allow Christ to increase in us. It really is a win – win situation. We win when we lose. We lose our flesh and we gain a changed perspective. Treated unfairly is exactly what Christ went through.

All this said, God is keeping score and He will pay you back with heavenly blessings for the scourge you have received from your enemies. The rejection we have received from others simply open our hearts to receive more of the anointing into our lives. We will be eating a feast of His power and presence while our enemies look on, unable to understand why we have been chosen to receive such blessing. Little did they know it was their reproach against us that made us a target for God’s blessing. It was their betrayal that brought God’s best blessings to our doorstep!

Walk as Jesus walked and hold your head up high knowing you are God’s child and He has great plans for you.

Maybe you have experienced rejection and long to be healed of its sting. Bring this to the Lord and humbly ask God to heal you, and transform the way you think and act. Your perspective needs to change and view any rejection as being “set up” for greater things. You are being positioned for promotion and blessing!

Your sister,

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

The Power of Oneness

The Power of Oneness

As a Pastor, I have always ached in my heart when people, who use to attend our church, decided to come every once in a while or eventually they don’t come at all. I felt there was something wrong with me because my loveThe Power Of Oneness (WP) for them would get the better of me. Sometimes it consumed me because I knew they were missing out on what God was doing and I wanted them to be a part, also those who were faithful attenders really missed those who were not there too. “Did I do something wrong?” “Are my sermons boring or not having substance?” “Don’t they long to be in the presence of God?” “Is it because I am a woman?” These and more questions I would ask myself.

So many people have an independent spirit about them and believe they can come and go from church whenever they so choose, and they think it doesn’t effect anyone or anything. American Christians are notorious for this behavior.

God showed me the reasons why I was aching so much over these people. I found in the Book of Acts my answer and it has nothing to do with me, but it has to do with us.

Appearing to the Disciples after His death and resurrection, Jesus told them to wait in Jerusalem.

Luke 24:49 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.

In the beginning of Acts we see Jesus assembled together with them and He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now. (Acts 1:4 – 5)

Jesus knew they needed to receive power from the Holy Spirit to be witnesses for Him. He also knew what was ahead of them, they didn’t. He was preparing them for more. More people to teach and disciple, more miracles, signs, and wonders, more power, and more of His Spirit.

It was important for all of them to be together and to stay together and wait together.

Acts 1:14 NKJV
These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.

The phrase, “one accord” is translated from the Greek: homothumadon (hom-oth-oo-mad-on’) and it means, unanimously: – with one accord (mind) [Adverb from a compound of the base of G3674 and G2372].

This is something we can learn and glean for our own lives and church in that phrase, “One Accord.” To all come together with one mind, unanimously expecting God to move in our midsts should be our mindset. Most people won’t tarry. Most people have other things on their mind instead of waiting for something they don’t even know what it is. It is easy to wait for something you know is coming… Holidays, package coming in the mail, a certain event, but to wait for an unknown promise, in todays instant culture, is hard and challenging.

Acts 2:1 NKJV
When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

What a powerful manifestation of the Holy Spirit on each of the one hundred and twenty in the upper room waiting together for the promise of the Father which Jesus told them about. There oneness kept them there together, and they all were seeking what God wanted for all of them.

As we read more about what happened after that powerful event, we see how their oneness produced great results for the Kingdom of God.

On the Day of Pentecost there were people from all nations under heaven and they heard them speaking in their own language the praises of God. They were all amazed and marveled and wondered what it could be. At the same time there were others who were seeing it all and they mocked the disciples saying, “They are full of new wine” (Acts 2:13).

I found it interesting that there were mockers who instantly criticized the power of God and the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. We, as a church, need to be aware that critics will criticize what God will do and stay in oneness no matter what.

In spite of any mockery, there were those who gladly received Peter’s words and were baptized and 3000 souls were added to them that day (Acts 2:41)! I would say the Disciples oneness produced powerful results.

Acts 2:42 – 47 NKJV
And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear (awe) came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. []So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

The phrase “continued steadfastly” means to continually devote themselves to one another. It means to be earnest towards one another, to persevere, constantly diligent, and attend assiduously. (Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Definitions)

Continually means that they did these things consistently, while devoting means there was a strong focus on these things that deeply consumed them. They chose not to scatter their energy and investment of time into all kinds of other concerns and commitments.

I believe this is where the church, as a whole, has failed. We have not continually devoted ourselves to one another or there would not be church splits, or indifference in coming to church, or a lack of desire to be together. We all have to work on this. It is biblical. Oneness set the church of Acts on a solid foundation and I believe we need to do the same.

The more they were together, they realized how important each other was. They saw the value of being together because it knit their hearts as one. Never underestimate the power of fellowshipping together.

There is more to being in One Accord then being in one mind and purpose. It also is being one soul, or a covenant community. We make a covenant when we marry our spouse saying I will be with you always and there is no other. God established a new covenant with us by sending His Son to save the world from damnation and we no longer have to follow the law and rules of the old covenant. God’s new covenant will not change. It abides forever. But have you ever considered to make a covenant with the body of Christ you attend on Sunday? I challenge you to establish that covenant with one another and keep it at all costs! Not to be legalistic but to create a bond that will produce results! Amen!

Each week we come together to worship God and to learn from His Word. But there is so much more then that. We come together to see and fellowship with one another.

Fellowship means spending time together with other believers in a connected and vulnerable way, sharing lives and being accountable to people with whom you have chosen to share life. Even a quick reading of the books of Acts will show the people of the early church spent a lot of time just being together, everyday, often.

Acts 2:42 – 44 Amplified Bible
“And they steadfastly persevered, devoting themselves constantly to the instruction and fellowship of the apostles, to the breaking of bread [including the Lord’s Supper] and prayers. And a sense of awe (reverential fear) came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were performed through the apostles (the special messengers). And all who believed (who adhered to and trusted in and relied on Jesus Christ) were united and [together] they had everything in common;”

“Devoting themselves constantly to…” The first thing on the list to which the early church gave its devotion was the apostles’ teaching. In other words they devoted themselves to hearing and absorbing what would later become the New Testament. They were constantly getting fed and allowing the word of God to become a part of their soul. You could say they were absorbing or being saturated in good teaching of God’s Word.

The important thing here is that they were being taught the same thing. If one person left and received a teaching from another place, contrary to what the disciples were teaching, it wasn’t the same. Being taught the same thing brings unity and oneness. You are a part and you understand where your fellowship is going.

Then comes fellowship, breaking of bread and prayer which implies, and even requires consistent, deep, passionate covenant relationship between people inspired and filled by the Holy Spirit.

I talked about fellowshipping, now lets look at breaking of bread. It’s more then observing communion and/or eating together. In the Bible times, sharing a meal meant much more than our own casual invitation to “do lunch” together. For people in the Bible, sharing a meal constituted one of the most intimate forms of fellowship possible. You ate together only with people to whom you felt willing to commit in a covenant way. I think that’s why churches love potlucks. There were many jokes about potlucks at church in the past, but seeing how the early church came together often and broke bread and communed together, we should do the same. Enjoy days where the church has a potluck or lunch/dinner. Enjoy those you are eating with. Find out more about them. Truly care about them and have compassion for them. This is being biblical and it pleases God’s heart!

Finally, prayer seemed most often to be something they did together as a unified body. The time leading up to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost the apostles and a few others were praying together in the upper room and ended with 120 pouring out their hearts to God in one accord, or oneness. Just like it states in Acts 2, verse 1, that they were all with one accord in one place. This is a picture of unity! Prayer is vital for your breakthrough!

Just as soon as the Holy Spirit fell on that original one hundred and twenty a deep, passionate and strong sense of community resulted.

Acts 2:43
Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles.

Notice the sense of awe came before the signs and wonders. The awe was a direct result of their depth and power of the love and fellowship they experienced. The wonders and signs did not produce the awe. The passage only mentions wonders and signs only once, while the remainder of the passages focuses on all the things they did together in love, and on the sacrifices they made for one another as they lived out their faith in covenant relationship, consistently and deeply pursued.

God calls us to oneness in relationship powered by the heart and Spirit of Jesus. Oneness with God leads directly to oneness with each other. The effect is prophetic, producing the fruit that is beyond our needs so that the world may believe.

Our focused covenant community affects others in a great way. Your part is so vital in the scheme of things. All are needed, and all were filed with the Holy Spirit, and all fellowshipped and broke bread together.

What if I, the wife of my husband of almost 30 years, decide to live half of the time at another man’s home? What if I said to him, Honey, I love you. You are my husband and this is my home but I just need to live part-time at John’s house because he has something I need right now? How stable and effective would our household be? How would that impact our children? How would it impact my covenant with my husband?

Or what if I informed my husband, “You will always be my first husband, but I just feel I need to be married to this other one, too? We all know it wouldn’t work. Our marriage would resolve and it would effect my entire family, and possibly community.

Spiritual polygamy does not build the Kingdom of God. It only keeps us fragmented, ineffective and unproductive at making a prophetic impact on this world. Spiritual polygamy means you are not planted anywhere. You become a vagabond (wondering from place to place without a home).

Why do I say all of this? The majority of modern Christians attend and even commit themselves to more than one church in a year. I have heard that the average number of churches christians attend is six. This can never build stable and effective covenant community any more than the kind of living arrangements I described about my husband and I could create or sustain a stable home.

The kind of church life many Christians practice might be more aptly described as spiritual promiscuity, hopping from church bed to church bed seeking the next thrill or perhaps to have personal needs met without real concern for selfless sacrifice, depth of relationships or effective ministry for the sake of others. Personal trust, of others, so necessary to life changing ministry over time, can only be built in being consistent in oneness and covenant community.

God calls us to focused commitment that builds strong relationships in love. The sense of awe the early church experienced flowed not from the signs and wonders but from the love they practiced, the connection, the continual devotion to things that made for relationship in the power of the Holy Spirit. Prophetic community cannot develop without this kind of “continually devoting.”

I have been thinking why don’t we see miracles and healings? Why don’t we see amazing things; signs and wonders in today’s church? I believe it is in part because no one wants to commit to each other and to love one another deeply. We are so concerned with ourselves.

In Romans 12, the apostle Paul understood and taught the value, power and practice of community.

Romans 12:1
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

No longer can the Christian walk be built around “me,” feeding “me,” entertaining “me.” I must become the sacrifice given up to God for His use and His purposes.

The world practices a way of thinking which revolves around self and pushes away anything that has to do with commitment or covenant. We are not to be conformed to this world but to be transformed by the renewing of our mind, so that we may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect (Romans 12:2). We must absorb God’s mind – which begins and ends in covenant.

Covenant love makes us a prophetic people, a people with something to say, a light house, or city of refuge of God’s healing grace, a people who will change our world. In covenant love we will make a difference. Very few members of the first church in Acts 2 could be said to be prophetic individually, but they functioned as part of a prophetic community. What they did together and how they lived out their bond of love made a statement to the world that changed things forever. Without the bonded community meeting regularly, fellowshipping, loving, and praying and breaking bread together, all the signs and wonders would have been meaningless. When real devotion to one another develops, a prophetic statement is made. This is Church, and we are one!

If you have been gifted as one of those few who are truly prophetic, but without a solid foundation in a covenant with God that bonds you to one specific local expression of the Body of Christ, you will fail to make whole and accurate prophetic statements. Trying to be committed in covenant to more than one body at once is like practicing polygamy. You end up being truly close to no one and hindered in your effectiveness to anyone.

Being a part of a local church is one of the great joys and responsibilities of every believer. However, it involves more than showing up on Sunday! How do you participate in the life of your church? While you experience different levels of involvement in a church during different seasons of your life, be sure to consistently avail yourself of opportunities to fellowship, worship, serve, and receive teaching of the Word of God.

Romans 15:5 – 7 NKJV
Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be likeminded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.

There is a song that was written back in the seventy’s that, as a little child, I remember singing in church. I think it is very appropriate to read the words of this song for the message.

They will know we are Christians by our love

1. We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord,
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord,
And we pray that all unity may one day be restored.

Refrain
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love,
Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

2. We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand,
We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand,
And together we’ll spread the news that God is in our land.

Refrain
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love,
Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

3. We will work with each other, we will work side by side,
We will work with each other, we will work side by side,
And we’ll guard each one’s dignity and save each one’s pride.

Refrain
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love,
Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

4. All praise to the Father, from whom all things come,
And all praise to Christ Jesus, his only Son,
And all praise to the Spirit, who makes us one.

Refrain
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love,
Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

Who will make a covenant with me, and with those who you fellowship with to continue steadfastly with each other in teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, and in prayer? Let this become who we are every time we come together to worship our Lord, Amen!

Your sister in Christ,

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

 

 

 

 

Resources: Pastor Kris Belfils, “The Prophetic Church” by Loren Sandford, and “They Will Know We Are Christians By Our Love” Peter Scholtes

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