Unlocking the Power of God’s Promises

Unlocking the Power of God’s Promises

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

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

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

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

4 Ways God’s Promises encourage and strengthen you

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A similar promise is found…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trust God’s Promises

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your sister in Christ,

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

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I Pinky Promise

PinkyPromise3When you and I were children, there was a saying we’d often hear. I’m going to say the first half of the saying and let’s see if you know the 2nd half:

“Cross my heart and (hope to die)”
What was that child saying?
They were saying they’d made a promise, and if they were to break that promise they would expect something bad to happen.

Actually, the original phrase is a little longer:
“Cross my heart and hope to die. Stick a needle in my eye.”

The only thing kids could think of that was worse than dying was sticking needles in their eyes – and I would tend to agree. Kids understand the importance of promises. In fact parents have learned that they need to be very careful what promises they make to their kids.

When I really want someone to promise me something I put up my pinky and say, “I Pinky Promise?” If the other person wants to make the promise, they will put up one of their pinky fingers and connect it with my pinky finger and shake on it and say, “I pinky promise.” If they “pinky promised,” in my mind, they would keep their promise. But often they didn’t.

As my girls were growing up I learned that if I told them that…
• I was going to do something for them
• I was going to take them someplace
• I was going to get something for them.
and then (for whatever reason) I didn’t do that, you know what they’d say to me?
BUT YOU PROMISED!

As children we learned that promises are important and need to be kept. God understands that and so He has repeatedly told us throughout the Bible that if He makes a promise He’ll keep it. And in the Bible one of the most significant kind of promises God made were called “Covenants”.

God has made many promises or covenants with us. But, unlike people in our life, he keeps his promises. God has “Pinky Promised” all of us many promises and He is true to His promises!

1 Corinthians 1:20 NIV
For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.

Hebrews 10:23
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

A promise is a declaration of some benefit to be granted.

The Webster’s Dictionary gives us this: One’s pledge to another to do or not to do something specified, narrowly, a declaration which gives to the person to whom it is made a right to expect or to claim the performance or forbearance of a specified act.
Ground for hope, expectation or the assurance, often specified of eventual success.
That which is promised—To engage to do, give, make, obtain: to make to another a promise of; also, to give one’s promise to assure as “He will go, I promise you.” To show or suggest beforehand.

The word “promise” is used more than 100 times in the Bible, there are other terms implying the same thought. The Old Testament is a record of God’s promises to patriarchs, kings, prophets, Israel, lowly saints, and to the world at large. The Hebrew noun, []dither, is generally rendered “word,” but “promise is found in…

1 Kings 8:56
According to all that He promised: there hath not failed one word of all His good promise.

Nehemiah 5:12 – 13
That they should do according to the promise.

Another Hebrew word for “promise” is omer, meaning “saying.” This is the term used in “Doth his promise fail for evermore?” (Psalms 77:8) Also, Psalm 68:11 “The Lord gave the word.”

Psalm 105:42 RV
He remembered his holy word. (Holy saying)

This reminds us that God’s Holy Word is always a Holy promise (a pinky promise). From cover to cover of the Bible it is filled with God’s promises for us. One could say it is God’s promise book for all people.

2 Timothy 3:16a NKJV
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God…

It’s divine promises must be God-breathed, and therefore impossible of not being fulfilled. Knowing this information makes me say farewell to any doubt and trust my God fully and completely.

Furthermore, His promises are backed by His faithfulness which runs like a golden thread through His Word. All writers of the Bible magnify God for His unfailing faithfulness to all generations. That’s a pinky promise if I ever saw one!

Deut. 7:9
Know therefore that the Lord thy God, He is God, the faithful God, which kept covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandment to a thousand generations.

Hebrews 10:23
He is faithful that promised.

1 Thess. 5:24 “Faithful is he that calleth you, who will also do it.

God’s faithfulness, then, is our special ground of encouragement as we apply His promises.

Lamentations 3:23
Great is Thy faithfulness.

Looking just at the names of God, each one designates a promise:

-El Shaddai – Lord God Almighty
-El Elyon – The Most High God
-Adonai – Lord, Master
-Yahweh – Lord, Jehovah
-Jehovah Nissi – The Lord My Banner
-Jehovah-Raah – The Lord is my Shepherd
-Jehovah Rapha – The Lord that heals
-Jehovah Shammah – The Lord is there
-Jehovah Tsidkenu – The Lord our righteousness
-Jehovah Mekoddishkem – The Lord who sanctifies you
-El Olam – The everlasting God
-Elohim – God
-Qanna – Jealous
-Jehovah Jireh – The Lord will provide
-Jehovah Shalom – The Lord is peace
-Jehovah Sabaoth – The Lord of Hosts

Let me pick one of those names, Jehovah Jireh, and share a promise:

Philippiains 4:19
My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Let’s look at one of God’s promises and dissect it today:

Psalm 34:17 NKJV
The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles.

“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears…

One of the biggest advantages of being righteous is the privilege of crying out to God or calling out His name with the assurance that He will deliver us. It is a privilege to call upon God; a privilege of prayer. There is no blessing superior.

Can you imagine what a world this would be if we couldn’t cry out to God for help? How sad, how helpless, how wretched if there were no God for the guilty, the helpless, the broken, the suffering, or the sinner to call to.

More scripture on calling out to God.

Isaiah 65:24
It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.

Psalm 91:15
He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him.

Psalm 145:18 – 19
The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them.

Jeremiah 33:3
Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.

…And delivers them out of all their troubles.

He often delivers them from trouble in this life.
He will deliver them literally from all trouble in the life to come.

The promise is not that they shall be delivered from all trouble on earth, but the idea is that God is able to rescue them from trouble here; that he often does it through prayer; and that there will be, in the case of every righteous person, a sure and complete deliverance from all trouble here after.

There are a few verses that go along with Psalm 34:17.

Psalm 34:6
This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, And saved him out of all his troubles.

The word “poor” here does not mean “poor” in the sense of a want of wealth, but “poor” in the sense of being afflicted, crushed, forsaken, desolate. The word “miserable” would better express the idea than the word “poor.”

…And the Lord heard him – That is, heard in the sense of “answered.” He regarded his cry, and saved him.

Psalm 34:19
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.

This is not to say the righteous have more afflictions then the unrighteous. But the righteous do have suffering and trials. The good news is that God sustains us in our trials. He supports us and makes beauty from ashes. He turns trials into triumphs!

As a Christian, we are never alone in the middle of any trial. God is always with us. Even when we go through deep waters, we are not alone.

Isaiah 43:2 NLT
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.

Isn’t it amazing to realize all these verses are actually promises from God to help us in our everyday life? I love it! God tenderly holds us with these verses to reassure us that we have help in all situations. They are “Pinky Promises” from God that He never ever stops fulfilling!

I am excited for this new series we are embarking on. I need to get the promises of God in my heart and I believe you do too. We will grow and learn as we look as some powerful promises together.

Let me leave you with a quote from Dwight L. Moody:

“Take the promises of God. Let a man feed for a month on the promises of God, and he will not talk about how poor he is. You hear people say, ‘Oh, my leanness! how lean I am!” It is not their leanness, it is their laziness. If you would only read from Genesis to Revelation and see all the promises made by God to Abraham, to Isaac, to Jacob, to the Jews and to the Gentiles, and to all His people everywhere — If you would spend a month feeding on the precious promises of God — you wouldn’t be going about complaining how poor you are. You would lift up your head and proclaim the riches of His Grace, because you couldn’t help doing it!”
Dwight L. Moody

Your sister,

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

How To Hear From God

How To Hear From God

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

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

John 10:27 NKJV

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

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

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

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

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

Psalm 23 Amplified Bible

A Psalm of David.

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

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

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

  1. Expect God to Speak to you.

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

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

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

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

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

1 John 4:1 – 3 NKJV

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

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

-I love you

-I am a warrior

-I am strong in Christ

-No weapon that comes against me will prosper

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

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

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

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

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

~ Charles Spurgeon

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

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

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

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

2. Expect to Hear Him.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. God offers a lifetime partnership.

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

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

John 16:13 – 15 NKJV

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

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

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

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

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

4. Don’t have selective hearing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. Create an Atmosphere to Hear From God.

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

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

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

We should work to create and maintain a peaceful atmosphere:

Romans 12:18 

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

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

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

Attitudes for hearing God

  1. Keep a Listening Attitude.

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

Hebrews 5:11 Amplified Bible

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

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

Matthew 11:28 – 30 Amplified Bible

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

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

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

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

2 Timothy 2:13 Amplified Bible

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

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

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

Matthew 13:15 NKJV

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

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

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

II.  Keep an attitude of Faith.

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

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

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

Galatians 1:15 – 17 NKJV

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

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

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

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

Romans 9:1 Amplified Bible

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

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

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

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

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

III.  Keep an attitude of patience.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IV.  Keep an attitude of obedience.

The psalmist David said of God:

Psalm 40:6 Amplified Bible

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

V.  Keep an attitude that honors God.

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

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

Luke 22:42 Amplified Bible

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your Sister In Christ,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.KrisBelfils.com

www.HopeFellowshipSpokane.com

www.KrisBelfils.WordPress.com

 

 

 

 

Sources: Pastor Kris Belfils and Joyce Meyer

Overcoming Door Phobia (Dealing With Fear)

Door Phobia (Overcoming Our 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.

Everyone struggles with fear! Fear is a spirit!

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

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.

Fears 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!

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.

This fear phobia is America’s number two-health problem. It makes us tense and can cause depression. Many diseases have their roots in fear and depression. According to medical experts, stress, induce by fear, can easily lead to peptic ulcers, kidney disorders, high blood pressure, indigestion, liver disorders, etc. Fear is the most destructive force in the world today. “Fear, worry and depression have killed more people than all the wars combined; have brought about more health problems than all the germs put together and have been responsible for more failures than those caused by economic imbalances.” (christian-faith.com)

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, especially if it is a phobia to walk through an open door of opportunity.

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.

Example:
These past few weeks have been pretty trying on me because of having a gallbladder attack and then having surgery to remove my gallbladder. I was taken to the ER twice during this process. On the second time I was experiencing chest pains and shortness of breath. It was after the surgery and my fear was that I might be having a heart attack or a blood clot. The more the pain increased, the more my fear grew, and the less able I was to breath. It zapped me of any strength and my teen daughters had to get me into my car and then drive me to the ER. Thank God someone was walking into the ER as my daughter drove up to the ER doors and they helped me get into a wheel chair and then into the ER. Now, you have to know something about my mother’s health history to really understand my fears. My mother had a stent put into her heart in November of 1995 and then a week later I had to drive her to the ER with shortness of breath and chest pains. She did have a blood clot and they had to do open heart surgery on her and she never came off the Heart and Lung machine and died. So my fear on this day I was taken to the ER was that I was going to die just like my Mother did almost twenty years previous. All the signs were there, and the more I was in ER over this the more my fears grew. I couldn’t make my breathing calm down and even after they gave me some pain medicine through the IV, I still felt the pain and my breathing was still poor. Friends came into my room and I really thought I was seeing them for the last time. My husband came in and I wept and could hardly breathe because my emotions were getting the better of me all because my symptoms were manifesting outwardly and it became fact to me. Ultimately they did some tests and I found out I had a hernia from the Gallbladder surgery and the hernia will bring on chest pains and shortness of breath.

All this said, I was thinking I was going to die because it had all the signs of what happened to my mother, but the factual outcome was that I had a hernia. Knowledge is power and it eased my mind after I was home and experienced these same symptoms again. I knew it was the hernia but to be truthful it really felt like a slight heart attack. My faith was low and fear was supreme in my thoughts. We act on our fears. There is no question about that. When I experience that pain again, I have to start talking to myself and telling myself that “I will live a long life!” That “God is not finished with me yet!” That “there is more work for me to do with my family and ministry.” I say even out loud that “No weapon formed against me shall prosper.” and that “God is healing this hernia, and the Gallbladder surgery. This helps my faith to grow and fear leaves.

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 tenuous 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! There is a gospel song that sings; “Shake shake shake, shake the devil off. Shake shake shake, shake the devil off. Shake shake shake, shake the devil off. In the name of Jesus, shake the devil off.” This is what we need to do when troubled by the enemy. He 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).

You must read and know what the Bible teaches about Satan and his evil devices and also about the authority of the believer over Satan. Believers, united with the Lord Jesus Christ, have the same authority to claim and use which our Lord used against wicked spirits.

Some Devices the enemy uses:

a. He blinds us.

2 Corinthians 4:3 – 4 NKJV
“But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.”

The enemy wants to blind the unsaved and the saved from the Truth of God’s word and who He is.

b. Gets people hooked on the “Things in/of the world.”

1 John 2:15 – 17 NKJV
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”

When it comes to the world we are tempted in three areas: The lust of the flesh, The lust of the eyes, and The Pride of Life. There are many examples in the Bible that show exactly this. Eve was tempted in Genesis 3:6 and it shows all three of these devices the enemy used on her:

Genesis 3:6 NKJV

“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.”

Eve saw that the fruit was good, pleasant to the eyes, and desirable to make one wise,” this is the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. Our flesh is constantly saying, “Feed me, give me what I want!” In this case, Eve looked and saw that the fruit was good and pleasant and desirable to the point of disobeying God and pursuing action to satisfy those thoughts. This is how the devil tempts us with the things of the world. Everyday those temptations are clamoring for our attention. Be determined to seek God over the matter and walk in the Spirit instead of satisfying the flesh.

Jesus is another example. In Matthew 4:1 – 11 we read how Jesus was “…led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” He had fasted for forty days and nights and was very hungry. His flesh longed for food and then the tempter came onto the scene. I believe this is in the Bible to show us how even Jesus, the Son of God, was tempted in all three areas the enemy uses but in this case, Jesus didn’t fall for his devices.

Today the devil uses these tactics through Immorality (lust of the flesh), materialism (lust of the eyes), and arrogance (pride of life) that’s why we need to be in the Word of God and in prayer to stay close to God. Even the strongest Christian can fall. Don’t be deceived into thinking you are strong and would never fall away. This is pride in itself. Always have a humble heart that wants to please God instead of your flesh!

Jesus came against these devices of the enemy but first he spent time in prayer and fasting. Shouldn’t we at least spend time in prayer and reading God’s word, and fasting if need be, to overcome these things in our own life. It is a fight for you soul. Who is going to win?

c. Persecute those who are trying to do right.

Wow, seems we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t, right? Wrong! We should count it all joy when we experience trials and persecution. We are a threat against the enemy! I would rather be a threat to the enemy then to be fearful and passive and live a mediocre life.

1 Peter 5:8 – 9 NKJV
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.”

We can defend against this by encouraging one another and building each other up. Don’t isolate yourself and think you will overcome, no that is a trap of the enemy too. Be determined to fellowship with other believers and go to church. Keep on keeping on and growing in Christ. Yield to God’s Holy Spirit and be willing to change. Don’t grow weary in doing good. Don’t give up!

d. Get believers to enjoy evil company.

1 Cor. 15:33 NKJV
“Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.”

There is one thing to try and win an unbeliever to Christ, and another to just hang around them and eventually enjoy doing what they do and becoming what they are. They will corrupt you. You will feel pressure to do what they are doing. It takes a strong fish to swim against the current. Take a look around you. Are most of your friends non-believers? Chances are you will follow and enjoy their company more then following Christ. Be aware of this device.

e. Discourage believers through unChristlike Christians.

Is there such a thing? Yes there is. Today we call them “worldly Christians.” These are those who believe in Christ but fail to follow after Him. They would rather take on the behavior of the world then to die to their flesh and live for Jesus.

You know you are a worldly Christian if you consistently miss several Sunday services on a given month. You are a worldly Christian if you swear a lot and take the Lord’s name in vain. You are a worldly Christian if you don’t want to come to church drunk. You are a worldly Christian when the world does contrary to the Word of God and it doesn’t bother you.

There is even another name for worldly Christians. They are called, “Backsliders.” If you have missed a few Sunday services and then attend one, then miss three and then attend one, and miss a month, and then attend one service, you are a backslider. I am sure I have offended many already by stating such. I really don’t care. Your comfort is not my priority. Your salvation is!

You see we deceive ourselves when we think we are okay and don’t have to read our Bible, pray, or attend church on a regular basis. God has placed these things in His Word to warn us for a reason. I know I will self-destruct if I rely on my own understanding and following the ways of the world. I will lead my self astray, but I will think I am totally okay and can handle it. Is that you? Have you said those words? If so, you can change and correct this immediately by making a decision in your heart to stay close to Jesus and hunger after Him. When we do, we will hunger to read His Word, we will hunger to pray and fellowship with God, we will hunger and desire to attend church on a more regular basis. We will hunger to live a life pleasing to God, Amen!

I have seen too many “worldly Christians” come and go from churches and lose out on the best God has for them, all because they have chosen poorly and chose the ways of the world and not the ways of God’s Kingdom.

Matthew 24:12 NKJV
“And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.”

Has your love grown cold for God and His ways? Chances are you started to be influenced by the world. Don’t allow your love for God to grow cold. Nurture it daily. When worldly Christians or unChristlike Christians come up to an on fire Christian, they usually try and speak down about attending church, or give lame excuses why they weren’t at church. You might say, “Pastor Kris, aren’t you being a little to harsh? No! I have a passion to see you come back to the Lord. Don’t ever think you are immune from backsliding. We all can fall from being close to Jesus just by turning and walking down a wrong road. God is a gentleman and will give you free choice. He wants you to live for and serve Him out of love, not out of obligation. We stay close to God because we love Him and we realize staying close to Him eliminates most of our problems. We have trials, but at least they won’t be because of some stupid choice we did relying on our own understanding instead of leaning on and relying on God!

Why would I talk about backsliding and being a worldly Christian when I am talking about our fears and overcoming them? Far too often people will be fearful and think they cannot overcome and then turn slowly away from God and the things of God. Don’t let this be you! Be determined to be strong and courageous and face your fears. Often we have to do things afraid. It doesn’t mean we don’t have courage, quite the opposite, it means we do have courage in spite of our fears.

Do you think the children of Israel, when possessing the promise land with Joshua, had many fears even though there was a huge door of opportunity in front of them? Of course they did, but this time, compared to the first time with Moses, they had a leader who was obedient and listened to the Lord for every step they were to take.

I want to share with you that that is my heart: to be a leader who walks in obedience and listens to what the Lord tells me for every step. I may not be perfect, and you may not be either, but we are in this journey together overcoming our fears and possessing the land God directs us to!

From one courageous determined believer to another,

Pastor Kris Belfils

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

Doors

 

Doors Series

Doors! We all have them. We all have walked through them or we have shut them. In this new year God has given, we will be given open doors of opportunity. What will we do with them? I am amazed at how people can look at a door of opportunity and see it as a negativity. There are times when an open door can be beneficial for our life and then there are other times when an open door may take us in the wrong direction. How does one know if the open door is good or bad? When do we walk through the open door or when do we walk away from it?

Many questions right? In this new series of “Doors” I want to explore all these possibilities and more. God has been speaking to my heart about doors. How they give us access into places we may never have walked before, and how to discern what God’s will is regarding different doors.

Doors give us access. They take us from one area or realm to another.  Doors are much like gates in the Bible.

Door (Pethach – H6607) in the Hebrew means: “any gateway marking an entrance or exit from one place or state to another. (H6605 – Pathach) “A primitive root; to open wide; specifically to loosen, begin, plough, carve, appear, break forth, draw out, let go free, engraven, loose, opening, put off, ungird, unstop, have vent.” Strongs Hebrew and Greek Definitions

I love this Hebrew definition and bringing it down to the primitive root because it gives such a bigger enlightenment on the word “door.” Most of the time we think of it as an opening, entrance, or exit as the first Hebrew meaning has stated. But looking further we see such a bigger picture.

Looking at the primitive root we see that it is a wide open door and that it loosens and becomes a plough (cutting furrows in the soil and turning it over to prepare for the planting of seeds). The open door allows one to break forth and let go and be free with no one or thing stopping them. In other words, When God opens a door for you it opens up such big possibilities in so many directions and no man, nothing will close it.

In the book of Revelation Paul writes about the Faithful Church that when God opens a door no one will shut and when he shuts a door no man will open.

Revelation 3:8 NKJV

“I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.”

We can see that God is all powerful and when He opens a door before you, and you walk through it, no one will take it from you. It doesn’t matter if man approves of this door or not, it was given by God and designated for you. This is shouting ground because knowing God has birthed 2014 for you to walk in and has much prepared for you. Things that are beyond your comprehension. Things that will blow your mind.

The definition of the word door in dictionary.com means: “a movable, usually solid, barrier for opening and closing an entranceway, cupboard, cabinet, or the like, commonly turning on hinges or sliding in grooves, a doorway, any means of approach, admittance, or access, any gateway marking an entrance or exit from one place or state to another.”

Doors usually block entrances until they are opened. Have you been praying for open doors? I saw a picture on Facebook that read: “Until God opens the next door, praise Him in the hallway!” We praise God when we are waiting, and we praise God when the door is open and we can take action and walk through the threshold.

Doors cannot do us any good if we stay back and don’t walk through them. We can stand at the doorway and never enter into our promised land. We can stand at the doorway of the church and never enter, and therefore we would never receive what God has for us.

Abraham walked through the doorway of his tent and received a promise of a son being born to Sarah.

Read Genesis 18:1 – 3 

Looking at verse one we see that Abraham was sitting in the doorway of his tent probably to get shade as the tent itself was too hot and sultry at noonday. The shaded open front is often resorted to for the air that may be stirring.

Genesis 18:1 NKJV

“Then the Lord appeared to him by the terebinth trees of Mamre, as he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day.”

He was at the threshold of his tent and the outside. The men who were passing by were outside. If Abraham would have stayed at the doorway I believe he would not have received the blessing that was about to be given him.

How often is that how we function today? We see and believe for a breakthrough yet we don’t take the extra effort to walk through the threshold of the open door. Maybe our spirit is willing but our flesh is weak?

This was an important decision for Abraham. He could have retreated back into his tent in fear for his safety. Three of them and only one of him. Fear, doubt, and disbelief can creep into our spirit and we miss out on what God has for us. Believe it or not we can create a door of fear just by believing the worse will happen. This stifles us and we retreat thinking the worse will happen.

Listen, God wouldn’t bring you to the threshold of your promise only to dash all hope in the bondage of fear. He wouldn’t cause defeat at this moment. That is not His way. But we have to do our part and walk through the open door!

Remember sitting in the doorway doesn’t get you to your promise land. No! Believing the land will come to you is not the answer either. I know because God spoke to me about a promise land He had for me. For years I would wait daily to see this promise land come to me. It doesn’t happen in the natural and it defiantly doesn’t happen in the spiritual either. We have to take action as we seek and pray for God’s direction.

Doorways, gates, thresholds, and passageways all have something in common: they give access from one realm to another, from one place to another.

Faith-filled people of God take bold action, which opens a gate and releases spiritual power. In other words, our boldness of faith in action will release and open the doors or gates God has for us this year!

Being bold is not being arrogant. It is taking risks and stepping out beyond what you know. It is allowing your faith to arise and walking in it!

I would rather be a water walker then a boat talker.

When we step through the open door God brings provision. Your faith is a catalos for God to move on your behalf. Faith pleases God. It will be credited to you as righteousness (Romans 4:3).

We can’t have the new when we are timid and fearful of it. Don’t be intimidated by the enemy (satan). Be bold as a lion and fearless as a lioness. Be ready to take action and this will open up the doors of opportunity in your life.

If a vision or promise is attainable by our own power it is usually not from God because we can do it in our own strength and wisdom. God gives bold, outrageous dreams to His people and it usually brings them to the threshold again and again. It is at the door or gate that our faith is tested. This is the place where either spiritual abortion or spiritual birthing happens. I know because I have experienced both.

I remember a time in my life when I had pretty much given up on my promise land. I was willing to give it up if that was what God wanted. Many times I tried to make it happen in my own strength and wisdom and spiritual abortion occurred. When I finally gave up what I thought should happen and was willing to do what ever God wanted me to do, that is when the breakthrough came. But it came in a form I was not ready for. The breakthrough came with pain and rejection from others. It came with letting go of what I knew and participated in for years. It was my comfort zone. When I came to the threshold of the new, not knowing what the future held, I decided to fight for it. When I did, I was rejected by many people. I stood up for what I believed for and never in my wildest dreams imagined I would be standing alone. But it was that very event that catapulted me through the doorway I came at many times before.

This crossing over required me to give up what was precious to me; my security and comfort, friends, family, and more. It was what I was holding onto and it was the very thing that was preventing me from crossing over to the other side. Crossing over can mean to let go of that which does not fit through the door with us. Are you willing to give up things or even people for what God has for you? Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting for you to divorce your spouse or quit your job. What I am saying is simply are you willing to let go of what you think you need for what God has for you?

It is at the door or threshold that we win or lose. We must break through intimidation, doubts, fears, discouragement, loneliness, or whatever else that is trying to prevent us from walking through the open door before us. The awesome thing we need to know is that God meets us when we step out in faith.

Jesus met Peter when he stepped out of the boat and He will meet us too as we step out. You see it is actually our stepping out that brings God’s provision. God gives us the grace to endure the moment we step and leap forward. His supernatural provision comes the moment we step out in faith.

This year be a person who is not intimidated of the unknown. If you are feeling depressed or uncertain know that it is all part of being at the threshold. It is decision time. Indecision can bring depression and stress. If we decide to stay where we are it is actually a decision to go backward and that is why depression comes. We feel trapped and hopeless. Be determined to step out and keep walking into the new open door that God has waiting for you.

2014 is a brand new year. Did you know that the number four means Door? Four is the value of the Hebrew letter dalet:  ד.Dalet means door.

“The letter Dalet is the fourth letter in the Hebrew alphabet. The letter Dalet is actually the source of the Greek letter Delta, as you can see by the similarities in the two letters’ names. The English letter “D” is derived from Dalet, as well. While the specific reason for the letter being named Dalet is not known, many believe it is because one of the letter’s predecessors (in even more ancient languages than the Hebrew language) looked like a door. In the Hebrew language, the word for “door” is “delet”.” (hebrewtoday.com)

Wow, what confirmation that 2014 will be the year of doors! To be honest I didn’t know that when I felt impressed to preach a new series on the word, “Door.” I just felt in my spirit that that is what God wanted for the first few months of January 2014. This is a God-ordained time. Let’s be wiling to walk through the doors God sets in front of us throughout this year. I am sure we all will be surprised at what lies in store.

“Be careful not to shut your soul’s door through doubt, when God has just opened it by His grace.” 

John Bunyan

I like that saying by John Bunyan. Don’t waist God’s open door by doubting yourself away from it.

There are many doors that we will be looking at during this series.

Door Series Titles:

Door of Fear

Door of Discouragement

Trap doors

Open doors

Behind closed doors

Door of Hope

Door of disobedience

Unexpected Doors

Miracle Doors

Knock and it will be opened

Miracle at your door

Sin At your door

Door of Hope

Closed Doors (What to do when faced with a closed door?)

Open Door of Opportunity

Open Door Church

Shut De Door Keep Out De Devil

Check Your Attitude at the Door

Beyond the Open Door

Unexpected Doors

These are possibilities of upcoming sermon messages. Things may change but get ready for some powerful words that will transform your life. Invite your friends so they don’t miss this open door of opportunity in their life too!

“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?”

(Isaiah 43:19, NLT)

“It’s a new year, and God has something new in store for you! His plan for your life is not for you to reach one level and get stuck and stay there for 30 or 40 years. His plan is to increase you, open new doors before you, and take you places that you’ve never imagined. He has something big in your future, and He has something big in store for this year! He’s already planned out big breaks, big opportunities, and big ideas for you. You may have seen God’s goodness in the past, but you have not touched the surface of what God has for you in 2014! He is doing a new thing!”

~ Joel Osteen

Let me leave you with this verse:

John 10:9 AMP

“I am the Door; anyone who enters in through Me will be saved (will live). He will come in and he will go out [freely], and will find pasture.”

Jesus is the Door or portal to be saved, delivered, and rescued. Walk through His open door and you will find green pastures and be fed spiritually, physically, financially, emotionally, and so much more. He is more than enough for any need you have.

Your sister in Christ,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.KrisBelfils.com

www.HopeFellowshipSpokane.com

www.KrisBelfils.WordPress.com

Play Nice

Play NiceChildren are taught to “Play Nice’ in school and on the play ground, but when we grow into adults, we tend to be less kind and more selfish.

We have to approach relationships and getting along with people differently then having the attitude of “what can I get out of this.” We have to put our big boy and girl pants on as adults and be mature when getting along with others. It is easy to decline and fall back into our old nature habits of only thinking of ourselves, but once you have conquered something, once you have grown and matured naturally, we are responsible for our behavior. Actually we are responsible for our behavior all the time.

It doesn’t matter if you are a Christian or not; people hurt people. We all have hurt someone in our life. No exceptions. Often it comes when we don’t get our own way or we feel rejected. Looking at the United States Government and how the Democrats and Republicans seem to not get along, in essence they haven’t learned how to “Play nice” with others. Playing nice means that you don’t always get what you want. It means thinking of the other person’s needs beyond your own. This is hard for us, especially when what the other person thinks or wants is contrary to what you want or even believe is right.

So what do we do?

Matthew 7:12 Message

“Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them. Add up God’s Law and Prophets and this is what you get.”

How would you like to be treated? If you were the other person receiving your behavior how would you react? One thing is for certain we should never behave badly because someone else behaves badly. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Learn to maintain good behavior in spite of your coworker’s or your family’s actions. Take the higher road. Negotiations can never happen if rather party is unwilling to budge from their opinions or viewpoints. Compromise is not a bad thing when it comes to working out differences. Compromise is an extremely bad thing if it means compromising the Word of God and your morals. We all should be people of integrity. But there is still room for working things out even when we are standing up for what we believe. Fighting doesn’t get us anywhere.

PLAY NICE

1. Understand that everybody is different.

More fights are had all because we are expecting people to be just like us. Don’t expect people to be like you. God has made us all different for a reason. He even works out circumstances so that we are with people that rub us the wrong way all to build our character. We might not like it. We might actually hate it, but what are you going to do? I have learned to say to myself, “It’s okay, that is how they are and I can’t change them.” I remind myself (if the person is a Christian) that the same Holy Spirit who works on my heart and character is working on their heart and character too.

Do you have multiple children, with different personalities, and wonder how they all came from the same place? How many of you have kids you get along with better then some of the other kids you have? How many have a child you love but don’t get along with them very well? Is the one you don’t get along with a lot like you? Usually that is the case. This makes my point of how would you respond if you were the one receiving your own behavior?

When you have a strong personality and you have a strong-willed child the war is on! Give them something to be in charge of that you are okay with. Then, don’t meddle in their business. If they fail at what they are in charge of it will be a learning experience for them. If they succeed, which is what we hope for, then it will help build their character of being responsible.

God gives us all a temperament and they are all different. We can look at all the personalities of the Disciples. Peter and John were so different. Peter was like a fireball who couldn’t keep his mouth shut for two seconds, and John just hung out with Jesus. He even referred to himself, in the book that he wrote, “I am the disciple whom Jesus loves.” I am sure that grated on Peter. Remember when Jesus was teaching on forgiveness it was Peter who said, “How many times am I to forgive someone for the same thing?” These guys were people just like us. They got offended at each other. They were constantly dealing with that stuff.

Jesus had opportunity to be offended. Jesus came to do a job, He was anointed to do that job, He had to maintain that anointing on His life. Let me tell you He needed an anointing to go to the cross. He needed the presence and power of the Holy Spirit to get through Gethsemane. We have to have the power of the Holy Spirit to get through these things.

What would have happened if Jesus would have gotten offended at John the Baptist when he began to doubt rather He was the One.” What if Jesus hid that offense in his heart and dwelt on it? What if He got offended a the religious leaders because they were always giving Him trouble and Jesus didn’t let it go but dwelt on it? What if He got offended at His own family because His brothers thought He was stock raving mad? Even though Jesus kept on trying to do what God called Him to do He was carrying heavy weights and bondages because of the un-forgiveness in His heart. You know what? We wouldn’t be here today! You wouldn’t be having this message today. We wouldn’t have believers today because He could not have finished what God had called Him to do. He was tempted every time He turned around to take offense but He didn’t.

I hope you are seeing something here! I have to work constantly to keep offense out of my heart. Deal with it violently. Don’t think that I am any different then you. I can be going through my day or even praying and a thought goes through my mind about what someone said or did towards me and start to think, “Well, I can’t believe they said that!” or “I can’t believe they did that to me!” We all have to be aggressive in dealing with being offended. This is learning how to play nice.

The devil is the devil in everybody’s life. He is not easier on one person compared to another. Sometimes I have to say out loud, “No! I am not going to dwell on that junk.” “I refuse to dig up that stinking garbage any longer.” Often I Pray, “God help me!” You know why? Because I don’t belong to myself. Neither do you. we don’t have the privilege of acting like an ordinary person. Paul told the Corinthian church, “You are carnal, fleshly babies because you are acting like mere unchanged men.

1 Cor. 3:1 – 3 Amplified Bible

“However, brethren, I could not talk to you as to spiritual [men], but as to nonspiritual [men of the flesh, in whom the carnal nature predominates], as to mere infants [in the new life] in Christ [unable to talk yet!] I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not yet strong enough [to be ready for it]; but even yet you are not strong enough [to be ready for it], For you are still [unspiritual, having the nature] of the flesh [under the control of ordinary impulses]. For as long as [there are] envying and jealousy and wrangling and factions among you, are you not unspiritual and of the flesh, behaving yourselves after a human standard and like mere (unchanged) men?”

Let me say it again, “We don’t have the fleshly privilege of acting like everybody else.” The whole rest of the world can get mad and stay mad, but we don’t get to stay mad! We get mad, but we don’t get to stay mad. We have to let it go, drop it and leave it and not be stumbling over that stumbling block all the time.

I am determined to finish what God has called me to do. And you need to be determined to do what God has asked you to do! Whatever that is you need to be determined to finish it. If it is nothing more then serving the Lord with gladness then be determined to do that! Everybody is not like us and we need to understand and look at a person and say. “you have just as much right as I do to think like you do. We don’t have to answer for anyone else, we only have to answer for ourselves.

Life would be pretty boring if we were all alike. Just think about making a pizza with just the crust? Adding more ingredients makes the pizza a pizza. Sauce, cheese, pepperoni, olives, … etc. We need to learn to appreciate the differences in people. Appreciate the value they are to us stop thinking about how different they are. Amen!

Stop trying to be somebody else and just be fully and completely you and let everybody else be who they are!

2. Be humble. 

No one likes an arrogant person. Don’t over or underestimate yourself.

Romans 12:3 Amp

“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.”

Learn how to say I am not always right. Learn how to say, “Yes its ok if we do that, I don’t have to get my way all the time!” Always wanting your way is childish. That is how we were when we were toddlers. They don’t understand sharing or thinking about the other person. But we are adults and we know better. Only a dictator gets their way all the time. Don’t be a dictator. A dictator is someone who has complete power and no one can trump it. Usually a dictator is oppressive and demands their own way. They have unrestricted power and control. This is NOT the case with any Bible believing Christian. We are all subject to God and His authority.

Being around a person who is a leader and they act like a dictator is oppressive bondage. “My way or the highway!” Does this describe you? We should have freedom our creative selves. Are you a dictator in your house? In your work? With other Christians? We need to learn to be humble and realize we don’t have all the answers. Remember in marriage that you and your spouse are a team. Each have important things to bring into the marriage. Love will be patient and kind and not self-seeking. What have you contributed to your relationships lately?

James 4:10 KJV

“Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”

If you are being oppressed don’t try and seek revenge or feel it will be like that the rest of your life. God sees. He will lift you up. He will bring deliverance. God is your vindicator. He fights for injustice. He is fighting for you so you don’t need to fight but just to remain stable and keep your ground.

Exodus 14:14 NKJV

“The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”

God will fight for you so stop fighting for yourself. Learn to play nice with others and know that God keeps the books.

3. Give criticism sparingly. 

People don’t respond well to criticism but they respond well and are motivated by encouragement. You can have a student who has one teacher that gives encouragement and one teacher who criticizes. Inevitably the student who has the subject with the encouraging teacher will have a higher grade then the subject with the teacher who criticizes their work. It is the same in our families and any relationship we may have; encouragement goes a long way.

Are you a nosey ninny? Sometimes we just need to mind our own business! Here are a few quotes about minding your own business:

-The hardest part of business is minding your own.

-The biggest fool is one who minds the business of others rather than minding his very own.

-Hey, I found your nose, it was in my business again.

-Everyone else notices everyone else’s problems but never pay attention to their own.

-Facebook; Letting you put your nose in other people’s business since 2004.

You have enough to deal with in your life, it is not your job to know it all or fix others. If you see something wrong in someone else’s life, pray that God shows that other person. The Holy Spirit can do a far better job then you can. There will be times we have the means to help somebody, then do it!

There are times we need to give criticism, but not at the expense of destroying someone.

Criticism means: “the act of expressing disapproval and of noting the problems or faults of a person or thing : the act of criticizing someone or something: a remark or comment that expresses disapproval of someone or something (merriam-webster.com).”

This causes fights. People won’t respond well to judgement.

Matthew 7:1 – 5 NKJV

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

Powerful words. Here is a down to earth rendition of those verses:

Matthew 7:1 – 5 Message

“Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.”

We can criticize or judge someone inwardly. Even though we didn’t share our critical thoughts to them we still have committed a sin because Jesus said if you even look at a person and lust for them you have committed the act in your heart.

We respond outwardly to how we think about others. If you think someone is doing something wrong, but you don’t tell them, your actions will reflect what you are thinking. You will probably treat them as if they were “less then.” You may even snub your nose at them. You could think, “I would never do that!” and your actions could be one of arrogance or indifference.

We all have faults. You do too if you would be truthful with yourself. If you are a person who is constantly being critical of others you will live a lonely miserable life. Criticizing doesn’t do anything good for anybody, including you. Learn to be easy going! Learn to accept the differences, or even the faults of others. Nobody is perfect. Give some people some slack: mercy and grace, even if they don’t acknowledge the wrongs they may have done to you.

4. Talk less and listen more.

Are you a person who likes to tell people what you think? Maybe you always have to tell something about yourself when others are talking. Many fights have started all because someone talked over another and didn’t really hear what the other person said. I know because it has happened in my life.

We could avoid undue stress and broken relationships if we would just talk less and listen more. Have you ever been around someone who talks so much you can never get a word in edge wise? It is pretty frustrating to say the least. When this happens voices are usually raised so the other person is heard. This can create an atmosphere of stress, or even worse, one can walk away from it thinking less valued.

Learn how to be quiet until the other person is finished talking. Even if you are afraid you will forget what you want to say or contribute into the conversation, just note what you want to say in your mind and turn your listening ears on.

People want to know you care. They don’t necessarily want a sermon or a lecture. If someone is going through a hard time, and they haven’t asked for your advice, don’t give it unless you ask them. We can say things like, “Would you like to know my advise?” or “Do you want to know what I think?”

Proverbs 10:19 NKJV

“In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise.”

We can sin just by talking too much. In other words if you babble on and on about you, your life, people, things that happened to you, chances are you will gossip and criticize others in the process. Talking less gives your tongue a rest and your ears a chance to function! LOL

Proverbs 17:28 Amplified Bible

“Even a fool when he holds his peace is considered wise; when he closes his lips he is esteemed a man of understanding.”

Holding our tongue, even when what we want to say is right, can keep the peace in a relationship. Sometimes it is just enough to know you are right. Other people don’t need to know that. Being a “know-it-all” is annoying to others and it is not playing nicely.

Often when we talk we don’t think about what we are saying. We should think about how it will come across to the listener. Our tone of our voice and our actions actually speak louder then words. We can tell someone that we love them, but if the tone of our voice is anger or if our actions suggest that we don’t value the other person, chances are you really don’t love that person. They will walk away feeling undervalued.

I like to learn how to watch people’s body language. It intrigues me to find out if someone is lying or not. There is a technique. There are many books out there too. Police and Law enforcement’s study people and can tell if someone is telling the truth. Most of the time if you talk less and listen more you can decipher things about the other person’s character. Not to criticize them but to understand them.

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.”

Be quick to listen. Be determined to find out more about the other person instead of the person knowing way more about you. We have two ears and one mouth. This should remind us that we should think twice as much as we speak!

Proverbs 8:2 ESV

“A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.”

Psalm 141:3 ESV

“Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!”

This should be our prayer. It will help in all areas of our life. I don’t want anything coming out of my mouth that is not pleasing to God. We can lose relationships just by what comes out of our mouth. Guard your mouth. Always think before you speak. Will the listener be okay with the words I say to them? This will help us to play nicely with others.

5. Display true love.

1 Cor. 13:4 – 7 Message

“Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.”

Often we think we need someone to love us but in essence we need somebody to love. The Bible says love is the most excellent thing we can do.

We are not called to “in-reach” we are called to “outreach!” Live to make somebody else happy.

1 Cor. 12:31 Amplified Bible

“But earnestly desire and zealously cultivate the greatest and best gifts and graces (the higher gifts and the choicest graces). And yet I will show you a still more excellent way [one that is better by far and the highest of them all–love].”

Loving people is a more excellent way. Choose to love instead of hate. Choose to look at the good and not the bad in people. You will always find bad, some people have more of it then others. Most of the time when someone is acting up it is because they have unresolved issues in their life. People are not our enemy though.

Matthew 5:44 Amplified Bible

“But I tell you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you to show that you are the children of your Father Who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the wicked and on the good, and makes the rain fall upon the upright and the wrongdoers [alike]. For if you love those who love you, what reward can you have? Do not even the tax collectors do that? And if you greet only your brethren, what more than others are you doing? Do not even the Gentiles (the heathen) do that?”

God wants us to do good to people who haven’t done any good for us because that is the best spiritual warfare to keep the devil under your feet. It breaks any stronghold the enemy is trying to put on you.

Love is the highest form of spiritual warfare. If we think we are doing something smart and stay mad at somebody and get revenge on them, it is the absolutely worse thing we could do for ourselves. Its all based on feelings. I feel, I feel, I feel! Feelings come and go but God’s word remains; we are to love one another as He loves us.

One of the main reasons people don’t walk in love is because love is an effort. Now get this: love will always cost you something. Its gonna cost some time, some effort, even to not start a fight in your home. It will cost you some pride. Be willing to swallow your pride to let someone else think they are right. Even though you are sure your right a fight and we have to guard our peace.

Its not that you become a doormat or let everybody walk all over you and push you around. You confront when God shows you to confront and you wait God tells you to wait.

Most of the time when God wants me to confront I want to leave it alone and when I want to confront He is telling me to leave it alone. When somebody has hurt us one of the hardest things in the world is to wait and let God bring our vindication. We want to take it for ourselves don’t we?

If you are waiting for the other person to do whats right, I have an announcement to make; You maybe waiting a long time. You are the one hearing this message so guess what? You get to start first! And not only that, if you’re the Christian in your house, then you ought to be the one to start first. You can’t expect the people who don’t know the Word to do anything right because they don’t even know what right is. So we have to do it as an example.

No matter how others act you stay the same. Don’t allow their behavior to dictate yours. Jesus didn’t change with the circumstances and act up with the people who were acting up. He remained the same. We can do this too by the grace of God. Love because we are commanded too. Love because it is being like Christ.

In order to get along with people in these last days we are living in it is imperative that we:

Play Nice (Review)

1. Understand that everybody is different.

2. Be humble.

3. Give criticism sparingly.

4. Talk less and listen more.

5. Display true love.

This is how we play nicely with others. It is not rocket science, just plan and simple stuff.  Be a person who lets go of selfishness and clings to kindness and love. Your world will be a much better place and you will keep your peace in any relationship you may have.

From one playground dweller to another,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.KrisBelfils.com

www.HopeFellowshipSpokane.com

www.KrisBelfils.WordPress.com

Stand Therefore

Stand ThereforeWe are in a war spiritually. This war has been going on even before Adam and Eve in the garden. Lucifer (satan, the devil) was cast out of heaven, along with a third of the angels (Isaiah 14:12), because satan wanted to be worshipped and lifted up. This was the beginning of the war of good vs. evil.

The devil is the epitome of all evil. He is evil. The Bible tells us that he “comes to steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10). This is his agenda with anything and anyone on earth. Don’t ever think for a moment that your enemy relaxes or gives up. No, he is relentless in pursuing you to destroy your walk with Christ, to make you think you are defeated, and to bring glory to himself while he is doing it. He is the father of lies.

 John 8:44 NIV

“You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

Everyday we are challenged in this spiritual war to either press in and attack or to retreat and give up. God has given us His Word to help us daily in this war. We are not alone in this battle, our Mighty Warrior is constantly with us, fighting along side of us, to overcome any attack of the enemy.

We have to remember that we are not in a war against people, although at times it sure feels like we are, but this war is against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places (Eph. 6:12).

We are to dress for success in this battle. I remember hearing about the Armor of God and even reading about it and really didn’t give it any thought. I felt I had the armor on because I was a Christian, but that is not necessarily the case. The attacks from the enemy are harsh and wickedly evil and sneaky. Being fully dressed in the Armor of God daily helps us to fight this battle as a courageous soldier we all need to be.

Read Eph. 6:10 – 18

Eph. 6:10 – 11 NKJV

“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”

The Bible says put it on. Put on the full armor of God. Now, we’re not looking at metal, swords, leather, shields and helmets, but the armor that God’s talking about for us is a spiritual thing. It’s not something that you see. It’s not something that I see, but the devil sees it and God sees it. And the devil sees if it’s not there. Believe me, if he’s looking for somebody to attack, he’s going to pick the people who don’t have their armor on and don’t know how to use their offensive weapons against him. He’s going to look for lazy, passive people who just do nothing but sit around and whine and murmur about their problems all the time. We are in a war — a spiritual war. Paul tells us:

2 Cor. 10:3 – 5 NKJV

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for the pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”

God didn’t leave us weaponless. We will see in this series that we have the biggest and only weapon of the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.

Eph. 6:13 – 14a NKJV

“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore…”

STAND

Eph. 6:13 – 14 NKJV

“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore,…”

In Eph. 6:11 – 13 we see the word “stand” four times:

Eph. 6:11 “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand…”

Eph. 6:13 “…that you may be able to withstand in the evil day…”

Eph. 6:13 “…and having done all, to stand.”

Eph. 6:14 “Stand therefore…”

Stand therefore! This is before Paul even goes into the different parts of our spiritual armor. Paul is telling us to prepare ourselves for combat.

Once a soldier has on their full armor or uniform for combat, they can stand knowing they are prepared and ready for battle. Stand in battle position.

There’s some new sayings that are slowly becoming old – yet fit the message I want to get across today. They are: “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything,” and “If we don’t stand together, we’ll fall apart!”

Sometimes we can’t do anything but stand. When we’ve done all we know to do – many of us will allow the weight of our tribulations and trials to drop us to our knees. We give up. We quit. We lose the fight. But, God is calling you and I to a place that requires determination and fortitude…He’s calling us to …stand!

There are times we find ourselves in the place of uncertainty, we fly off the handle or take matters into our own hands. We must get to the place where we’ll not speak, not move, not act – sometimes, we must do nothing but stand!

Standing our ground is still winning! We are not giving up territory. We are not retreating. Standing is a battle position.

Many of God’s people walk out of their house every morning naked! Spiritually naked that is. Without the Armor of God! You must remember the enemy is going to shoot his arrows where he finds the weak spots. So, you must have the ‘whole’ armor on! You see you can’t stand without the whole armor! It would be like you were standing naked in a snowstorm expecting not to get cold! Rather foolish don’t you think? And yet, that’s how some Christians live their lives. They think they’ve got it all together. They have this attitude – ‘hey I can stand!’ Problem is, they are trying to stand on their own. You can’t stand on your own! It may be your own two feet that you stand on, but it’s by God’s grace and power that you can stand at all!

Paul tells us to “Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Without the armor on, You will not be able to stand.

1 Cor. 10:12 – 13 NKJV

“Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear (endure) it.”

The Amplified Bible goes into much more detail on these verses:

1 Cor. 10:12 – 13 Amplified Bible

“Therefore let anyone who thinks he stands [who feels sure that he has a steadfast mind and is standing firm], take heed lest he fall [into sin]. For no temptation (no trial regarded as enticing to sin), [no matter how it comes or where it leads] has overtaken you and laid hold on you that is not common to man [that is, no temptation or trial has come to you that is beyond human resistance and that is not adjusted and adapted and belonging to human experience, and such as man can bear]. But God is faithful [to His Word and to His compassionate nature], and He [can be trusted] not to let you be tempted and tried and assayed beyond your ability and strength of resistance and power to endure, but with the temptation He will [always] also provide the way out (the means of escape to a landing place), that you may be capable and strong and powerful to bear up under it patiently.”

First Corinthians 10:13 promises us that God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear, but with every temptation He will also provide the way out — the means of escape. The end result will be that we are capable and strong to patiently bear up under whatever negative circumstances we face.

Temptation” can be translated in the Greek; “enticement to evil or testing in general, including various kinds of trials.”

I think we look at the word “temptation” and think of a sinful act. It can be that, but it also can be that we are tempted to react ungodly in a trial or battle or hardship. God wants us to stand firm under any situation we face today.

Sometimes we don’t get answers or relief from the battle in our timeframe, but to Stand and not be moved, is a battle position. Standing is winning!

The thing about God’s armor is that it’s ‘one size fits all!’ When Saul tried to assist little David in his fight against Goliath, he invited him to wear his armor. But, David could not because it was too big for him. It didn’t fit.

Many of God’s people look at the Armor of God and try to leave some articles at home declaring that they don’t fit their lives. Some may say, “Well, I don’t need that shield of faith because I just don’t believe in all that faith stuff.” Then how in the world did you ever get saved in the first place without faith?

Some would say, “Oh, truth doesn’t fit into my life, I don’t need that belt of truth. Telling the truth just hurts too much.” Fact is, truth might hurt a little, but lying will flat out kill you! You might say, what is truth? The Bible tells us that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and that no one goes to the Father accept through Him. The Bible is truth! Leaving the belt of Truth out of your armor is setting you up for failure and being vulnerable to the enemy.

No, this Armor of God is one-size-fits-all! In fact, if you think it doesn’t fit your life then you have to change your thinking or you are being deceived.

Eph. 6:13 Amplified Bible

“Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands],to stand [firmly in your place].”

“…and having done all…” There will come a time in every battle that, “after having done all,” after doing all we know, we stand and see the salvation of God. We stand, and watch God work.

This is exactly what happened to Moses and the children of Israel after fleeing from Pharaoh in Egypt.

Exodus 14:13 NKJV

“And Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today you shall see again no more forever.”

On one side was the Red Sea and on the other side were Pharaoh’s army. The Israelites had no place to go in either direction. They were up against a wall so to speak. It didn’t make sense to them. One minute they were leaving Egypt and captivity and excited about their future and then the next they were surrounded by impossibilities.   Did God make a mistake? Did they make a mistake? Did they hear God correctly to go posses their promised land? They started to second guess everything.

Exodus 14:11 – 12 NKJV

“Then they said to Moses, “Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you so dealt with us, to bring us out of Egypt? Is this not the word that we told you in Egypt, saying, ‘Let us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than that we should die in the wilderness.”

How quickly do we start grumbling and complaining about our circumstances when things don’t go our way or they seem impossible?  We are just like the Israelites. We complain when we don’t see answers to our prayers. We complain when we are challenged in life. We want out of hard situations instead of walking through them and possibly receiving a miracle of the parting of the red sea in our own lives.

Moses reminded them to Stand still and see the salvation of God. Too often we are busy and quick trying to get things done on our own power. We are busy complaining and murmuring to ever see the miracle God is trying to do in our midst.

We are to stand still. Stand therefore! Do not stir from the place where you are. Do not offer to run away, or to make your escape. We are to hold our ground. We are to look to God for deliverance and not our own abilities. Even in the midst of this possible tragedy God was protecting them.

Exodus 14:19 – 20 NKJV

“And the Angel of God, who went before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud went from before them and stood behind them. So it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel. Thus it was a cloud and darkness to the one, and it gave light by night to the other, so that the one did not come near the other all that night.”

Wow, God was intervening. He was protecting them and kept them hidden from their enemy during the night. This was the beginning of the salvation of the Lord for them. God was setting them up for an even bigger miracle and victory.

If they would have fled from where they were, only destruction would have happened. Standing in the middle of hard situations shows your trust in God. It displays godly character. It sets you up for God’s salvation, His miracles, and His victory.

Remember that Jesus is our armor. All that the Armor of God is, is Jesus Christ’s character and strength.

 Jesus is our Armor

Jesus Christ is the Armor of God, think about it. Paul tells us to have on the belt of truth. Didn’t Jesus say He is “the truth, the way, and the life…” (John 14:6b, KJV).

Paul said to put on the breastplate of righteousness. Walking in Christ and His righteousness is equivalent to putting on the breastplate of righteousness.

2 Cor. 5:21 NKJV

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (Christ).”

Walking in peace is equivalent to putting on your shoes of peace.  Isaiah 9:6 calls Him the “Prince of Peace.”

Ephesians 2:13 -14a NIV

“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace…”

Paul says to take the shield of faith. Is Jesus not our shield of faith? Does He not protect us from the evil one? God says he is our shield and the lifter of our head (Psalm 3:3).

Paul says to put on the helmet of salvation. Without Christ, there would be no plan of salvation. He is our help and our salvation!

Jesus is also the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. John tells us: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1, NIV).

In essence, what we need to do is ‘put on Christ!‘ Paul said, “…for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.” (Galatians 3:27, NIV)

You can’t stand in this world without putting on Jesus! Once you put Him on, just stand!

Standing, ready for battle, in the middle of the battle, is a requirement. It is essential in winning the battle.

This is the introduction of the series; “Armor of God” that we will be having the next few weeks. Next week we look at the first piece of armor; “The Belt of Truth!” Be ready for battle. Be ready with your armor on everyday of your life. God gave it to us but we must put it on daily. Don’t leave home without it! Dress for success!

Your sister in Christ,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.krisbelfils.com

www.HopeFellowshipSpokane.com

www.krisbelfils.wordpress.com