Persecuted But Not Abandoned!

Persecuted But Not Abandoned!

persecuted-but-not-abandoned

This is the last message on the Beatitudes series I have been preaching these past few Sundays at Hope Fellowship in Spokane, WA. I pray it ministers to you!

Matthew 5:1 – 12 NIV

Introduction to the Sermon on the Mount

Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them.
The Beatitudes
He said: Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Matthew 5:10 – 12 NIV
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Now, more then ever, Christians are hated and persecuted. We should think it not strange, but rejoice because the coming of our Lord Jesus is soon. These signs are in the New Testament and they foretell of what is to come. The Apostle Paul knew first hand what persecution was like.

2 Timothy 3:10 – 12 NIV
You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,

Living a godly life is a blessed life, and it is also a persecuted life. If you haven’t had much persecution in your life, maybe it is because people don’t know you are a Christian and you haven’t stood on your beliefs in front of them. If you are persecuted, you are on the right track. If you are persecuted by religious people, you are definitely on the right track.

Jesus was persecuted often by the religious people of His day. Judaism was perverted and the Sadducees and Pharisees created something that would benefit them and not the people. Jesus’ message was opposite of this. His message was of love and connection with God. It was not something new to Jesus though. He knew what His mission was when He came to earth in spite of any persecution, He fulfilled his mission.

Persecution is when someone comes under physical and verbal attack for what they believe and for how they live their life. It is as if they were found guilty in court for no cause.

He knew the world would hate him, but it was irrelevant because Jesus knew their ignorance. Jesus even told his Disciples the world would hate them because of Him.

John 15:18 – 25

The World Hates the Disciples
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’[a] If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’”

Persecution is something that happens to you for no reason other than you are a Christ follower.

In that same breath, Jesus started talking about an Advocate who He will send from the Father – the Spirit of truth – who will testify of Him. This Advocate would be the Disciples as well.

John 15:26 – 16:1 – 15 NIV

The Work of the Holy Spirit
“When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning. “All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them. I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you, but now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because people do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.
I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

Why do I bring up all these verses? I hope I am painting a beautiful picture that we are not alone in life, and most importantly, in persecution. We will suffer persecution, the Bible is clear about that, but we don’t have to suffer alone.

John 16:33 NIV
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

The amazing news is that we as Christians already know the ending of the story. Jesus has overcome the world and we will spend eternity with Him! I believe Jesus also shared verse 33 to reassure us that even today, Jesus has overcome the world! With the Advocate, Holy Spirit, living in us, we have more power, more in site, and more help then the Disciples did during their time with Christ. They didn’t know what Jesus was thinking, but we, as Spirit-Filled believers, can tap into what Holy Spirit is saying (He hears only what Jesus tells Him) and be reassured of our life in this world and the world to come.

That is powerful to think about! Today, we have been given gifts from Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12) to encourage each other in the middle of any persecution. As such, we have enough “stuff” we go through during a given day of our life, we should be encouraging one another with our spiritual gifts daily!

I believe the more we are persecuted, the more our spiritual gifts should be manifested! We need help from above everyday! We can not make it on our own. That is why Jesus sent us the Advocate!

The word Advocate means: “a person who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy, a person who pleads on someone else’s behalf. (Dictionary)

In the Old Noah Webster 1828 Dictionary, the word Advocate means:

1. Advocate, in its primary sense, signifies, one who pleads the cause of another in a court of civil law.

2. One who pleads the cause of another before any tribunal or judicial court, as a barrister in the English courts.

In Europe, advocates have different titles, according to their particular duties:

Consistorial advocates, in Rome, appear before the Consistory, in opposition to the disposal of benefices.
Elective advocates are chosen by a bishop, abbot, or chapter, with license from the prince.
Feudal advocates were of a military kind, and to attach them to the church, had grants of land, with power to lead the vassals of the church war.
Fiscal advocates, in ancient Rome, defended causes in which the public revenue was concerned.
Juridical advocates became judges, in consequence of their attending causes in the earl’s court.
Matricular advocates defended the cathedral churches.
Military advocates were employed by the church to defend it by arms, when force gave law to Europe.
Some advocates were called nominative, from their being nominated by the pope or king; some regular, from their being qualified by a proper course of study. Some were supreme; others, subordinate.
Lord advocate, in Scotland, the principal crown lawyer, or prosecutor of crimes.
Judge advocate, in courts martial, a person who manages the prosecution.
In English and American courts, advocates are the same as counsel, or counselors. In England,they are of two degrees, barristers and serjeants; the former, being apprentices or learners, cannot, by ancient custom, be admitted serjeants, till of sixteen years standing.

3. One who defends, vindicates, or espouses a cause, by argument; one who is friendly to; as, an advocate for peace, or for the oppressed.

Wow, so many titles for Advocate in Europe and the United States. Now, why do I bring all of them up? This is the exciting part… because Holy Spirit, our Advocate, is all that and more! He is there supporting and standing up for us in the middle of any “persecution court.”

Now, all that said, this is what I see: I see a church filled with Holy Spirit prophesying over each other, lifting, building, and encouraging each other up! I see each of us stirring up the gifts within us and using them daily. I see a church that is strong in any storm all because we come together and lift each other up prophetically, emotionally, and spiritually! We need each other! Let’s find the treasure in each of us and not the dirt! The gifts of the spirit are for Building people up, Comforting them, and drawing them near to God. It is for edification or to edify the church! Isn’t that AWESOME??? We are not to wallow in our persecution, but to find joy in it because we are Christ’s followers who have an Advocate defending and supporting us everywhere we go.

Yes, we may experience persecution, but we know Christ has overcome the world, and that means we are OVERCOMERS!

Persecution is not the only time to encourage one another in the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, but it sure is a powerful way to look past the suffering and receive from Him help in this area.

Your sister in Christ,

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

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Keys to Open Doors

Keys to Open DoorsDoors are all around us. You have a door to get into your house, to go from one room to another, to get into your car, to get into the store, and even the bathroom. I am sure if we took a pole of how many doors we walk in and out of each day we would be surprised at the number.

2014 is the Year of the Open Door. This is the fifth sermon in my Doors Series God placed on my heart back in August of 2013. There will be many doors that will be placed before you this year and beyond. What will you do with that open door? Many will get discouraged because they either don’t see the door or they will walk away from it because it seems too hard to open. Don’t let this be you!

God is growing us numerically, spiritually, prophetically, and in all directions by His Holy Spirit.

God has been speaking to my heart about His anointing of His Holy Spirit that will draw people to Him. Often churches don’t talk much about the Holy Spirit. They are either afraid, uneducated, or have decided it was for the Book of Acts but not for today. I am here today to tell you that the Holy Spirit longs for a living breathing relationship with everyone of us. He has gifts to give that will fall right in line with our natural gifts and talents to unlock doors for you this year.

Listen, if you had the key to open a vast treasury wouldn’t you use it? That is the same with learning the keys to open the right doors in our life. To me, using the key, is the same as God opening the door. He has given us keys to unlock and open doors, our job is to learn what those keys are and to us them for God’s glory.

Keys To Open Doors

1. Manifestation (Gifts) of the Holy Spirit.

God has blessed us already with some natural gifts and talents. Maybe you like to serve, or work with people or children. Maybe you like to teach or be a leader. Maybe you like to help others or like to have people over to your house and love on them. There are so many natural strengths we have. Most of the time we are told to focus on our weaknesses and work on them. But to me that is wasted energy. The Holy Spirit is helping us with our weaknesses and brings change as we yield to Him. Truly God cannot be strong in our life if we don’t have weaknesses (2 Cor. 12:9 – 11). Let’s develop and focus on our strengths and allow God to launch us through any door He has set up for us.

Take a look at your strengths and see what you are good at in the natural, then you can look at the Spiritual gifts and even the Fruit and combine them to be a useful and effective person for God.

Let’s look at the Manifestation of the Spirit, or Spiritual Gifts, and the fruit of the Spirit.

1 Cor. 12:7 – 10 NKJV

“But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.”

Gal. 5:22 – 23 NLT

“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

I wrote down some of the natural abilities I and others see in me and then combined them with the manifestation of the Spirit I see God using me in. (I share these things not to boast, but to give an example to look at. All of this is for the glory of God and to edify the body of Christ.) Then, I added all the fruit of the Spirit, and you can see how they work together to edify the body of Christ, grow the Kingdom of God, and to open doors. We may not have all the gifts of the Spirit, but we do have all the fruit in us, they just need to grow.

Natural Gifts Gifts of the Spirit Fruit of the Spirit
Teacher Word of Wisdom, Word of Knowledge, Discerning of Spirits, Interpretation of tongues Love, Joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control
Caring, Compassionate, Encourager Word of Wisdom, Word of Knowledge, Faith, Healings Love, Joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control
Creative/Dreamer of Dreams(Music, Writing, Graphic Design) Faith, working of miracles, Interpretation of tongues, wisdom, knowledge Love, Joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control
Leadership Word of Wisdom, Word of Knowledge, Faith, Prophecy, Discerning of Spirits Love, Joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control
Visionary Word of Wisdom, Word of Knowledge, Faith, Prophecy, Discerning of Spirits, Interpretation of tongues Love, Joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control
Tenacious, endurance, perseverance, Determined, Committed Word of Wisdom, Word of Knowledge, Faith, Prophecy, Discerning of Spirits Love, Joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control
Faithfulness, loyal, trustworthy, honest, integrity Word of Wisdom, Word of Knowledge, Faith, Prophecy, Discerning of Spirits Love, Joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control
Patient, Merciful Healings (Spiritually, Emotionally), Word of Wisdom, Word of Knowledge Love, Joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control
Self-Starter and Finisher Word of Wisdom, Word of Knowledge, Faith, Prophecy Love, Joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control
Out Spoken, Bold, Not afraid of Confrontation Prophecy, Faith, Discerning of Spirits Love, Joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control

You see it is when we walk in obedience, and practice His gifts, we will edify the body of Christ and do mighty things for God. What natural gifts and talents has God given you? What gifts of His Spirit has God given you? It is time we use them in the body and to help each other grow in Christ.

It is amazing how God uses our natural God-given abilities, with His gifts of His Spirit, to create the very key to open doors.

The apostle Paul assures us that each of us within the Body of Christ have different gifts that are a response to God’s grace.

Romans 12:6

“Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly…”

And Peter reminded his readers that they were on earth to glorify God through the use of their gifts.

1 Peter 4:10 – 11

“As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

Proverbs 18:16 promises us, “A man’s gift makes room for him and brings him before great men.”

The manifestations of the Holy Spirit + our natural gifts + Fruit of the Spirit = Keys to open doors.

2. Commitment

“Too many Christians have a commitment of convenience. They’ll stay faithful as long as it’s safe and doesn’t involve risk, rejection, or criticism. Instead of standing alone in the face of challenge or temptation, they check to see which way their friends are going.”

Charles Stanley

There is a lack of commitment in the world, and in the church. Are you a great starter but not so good at finishing things? It is probably because you are not committed. Commitment will keep you when you want to give up.

The word Commit means: “to give trust or charge, to pledge or engage oneself, to bind or obligate, to entrust.” So commitment means: “the act of committing, pledging, or engaging oneself, a pledge or promise” (dictionary.com).

Psalm 37:5 – 6 NLT

“Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.”

We see in this verse when we commit everything, all our ways, to the Lord and trust Him, He will help us. He will make us shine radiantly. Constantly committed to God. This brings success.

As the Israelites committed to obey the commands the Lord gave them, they were prosperous and succeeded. But when they broke their commitment and disobeyed, they were in bondage.

Where is your commitment level? It takes commitment after you walk through the open door God gives you to fulfill what that open door contains. It is easy to give up. Most people take the easy road when things get tough. When things don’t turn out how you expected do you decide to quit or find something else to do?

Laziness is an enemy of commitment. Letting your flesh win is not walking in the Spirit. Our flesh always takes the easy, lazy, most comfortable road. But that road never produces good results. When our flesh wins, we lose!

I saw an advertisement on the television the other day that shocked me. I actually thought it was a joke and was waiting for the punch line but it never came. This commercial was advertising a website about buying divorce insurance. This website states and I quote: “Over 50% of marriages will end in divorce. Insure that you are protected and lawyer bills are paid.” It also has a picture of a red paper heart with a woman ripping it in two. I couldn’t believe it. You are buying insurance saying, “I will get a divorce some day.” Where is the commitment in your marriage with that mindset? What is that?

Commitment! There is lack of commitment in marriages, church, jobs, friendships, family, beliefs and so much more. What happen to the days when people, even Christians, were faithful to their word? Where they showed up when they said they would? When they are committed even when it costs them something? This is integrity and it gives God a good name instead of a bad one.

When it comes to the work of God, your commitment will determine your promotion! God can not give you more when your commitment level where you are at is low. Don’t be deceived. When you are faithful with the little God has given you, He will then give you more. We don’t get a promotion when we are slackers. We get promoted because we show we are committed, faithful, good work ethics, responsible, and trustworthy. Is that you? If not, be determined to change and learn how to commit.

There was a time when my commitment level was low in many areas of my life. I would bolt when I didn’t like my circumstances. I would leave places when I felt I was treated unfairly. If I got tired of working at one place, I would look for another. When my friends didn’t agree with me I would stop being their friend. God showed me this and it grieved my heart. I saw my lack of commitment and also saw the consequences of it. Instead of believing everyone else was wrong, I had to look at truth and that I was wrong. Now, my commitment level has skyrocketed. Very seldom will you see me out sick or leave some place due to being upset. God showed me how to have a “bull-dog” grip on the things He wanted me to stick with. I am determined to stay committed and receive the promotion God has for me. I am determined to stay in agreement and reap the fruit of my long-suffering and endurance.

What about you? Where is your commitment level? If you leave or don’t finish what you started it is time you restart. Don’t decide to stop your participation all because it isn’t convenient or not fun any more. Decide you will finish what you started. Decide you are not a quitter. See where God takes you.

3.  Be Trustworthy.

Trustworthy means: “able to be relied on as honest or truthful.” Some synonyms are: reliable, dependable, honest, honorable, upright, truthful, ethical, virtuous, and unimpeachable.” An antonym is: “unreliable.”

Being trustworthy is so important. This effects your family, job, church, finances, reputation, and so much more. If you have in the past been a person who is not trustworthy it takes a while to build that trust in others again, especially if it was your behavior for many years.

Being trustworthy will keep and maintain you after you have walked through the open door. Don’t be a person that decides they are good after walking through the open door and then think you have arrived. No, that is just the beginning.

Remember my message of “What’s behind door #1, #2, or #103?” Many are called and few are chosen. Many are called to do great things but few will do great things, Why? Because few will take responsibility for the call. It doesn’t end with a call, that’s where the work starts. First comes the call, then comes the work, then comes the sacrifice, then comes the never giving up, and then comes the “going all the way through.” This requires commitment and being trustworthy.

Proverbs 11:13 ESV

“Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.”

Colossians 3:9-10 ESV

“Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.”

Slandering someone is not being trustworthy. Lying about anything is not being trustworthy.

Did you know that saying you will be somewhere and then not show up is a lie? You may not even give it a second thought but it is sin. This is a hard one because we can justify our actions away thinking it is no big deal if we don’t do what we said we would do. But in really it is a lie and we are expecting others to be okay with it. It shows your lack of integrity and character.

Colossians tells us to not lie to one another. This is the old self before you knew Christ. We have put on the new because we are new creations after the image of our Creator. Is God trustworthy? Yes! Does He lie? No! Then that is what we should be doing as well. Be people of integrity and do what you say you will do and be where you say you will be.

Get ready for an exciting new year in 2014. There is no limit to what God will do in and through you. Be open! Be ready! Be trustworthy and committed!

4. Be Faithful.

Being faithful is being loyal, constant, and steadfast. Commitment, Trustworthy, and being faithful all go hand in hand. Do you see a theme here? This is what it takes to staying constant in your life and to keep on keeping on with what God has opened before you.

Faithfulness is doing the right thing when you are the only one doing the right thing! It doesn’t matter if someone else is unfaithful. Our job is to remain faithful in what God has given to us. Be faithful in your relationship with God. Don’t be an off and on again Christian. What a slap in the face of God to have a relationship with you when things are going well, but when things are tough, you close your heart and do your own thing.

If you see that you are an unfaithful person thank God for the people who have put up with you. It will take some time to build trust back in them once you decide you will stay faithful. It is okay. Be determined to remain faithful when you are trying to show others you are faithful.

During testing and trying times be determined to be faithful. Don’t give up on things. Don’t quit!

You may say, “Pastor Kris it is just too hard.” “I don’t understand why I have to go through this?” You need these hard years so you will grow. They are specifically designed for you because God is developing character. You only develop character when you refuse to run! We develop good character in the trials and uncomfortable places. Be determined to get your blessing out of what God is trying to teach you. You are in the Holy Ghost cooker! Get ready for the beautiful aroma of God’s character to shine in you as you yield to God’s Holy Spirit’s promptings to change.

You may say, “I just don’t have any joy so I think I will go somewhere else.” You cant run away from something and still not have any joy. You won’t have joy where you decide you want to bolt too. In other words, you are the common denominator in both places. Allow God to change you from the inside out. Give God your worries. Obey His word! A lot of our turmoil in our life is all because we don’t want to obey God’s word. Obedience brings blessing. There is joy in obedience. You will find peace when you obey God.

We all go through silent years of growth before God brings us to the open door of promotion. After Jesus’ birth, we don’t hear anything about Him until He was twelve years old. Then we don’t hear anything until he was thirty. Scriptures just tells us, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52) during those years.

Be faithful now and don’t give up!

Gal 6:9 NKJV

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”

Keep on keeping on! Tell yourself, “I will never give up!” Press through those testing and trying times! Everyone on the face of the earth has to learn this lesson.

Heb 6:11 NKJV

“And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end.”

5. Be humble.

Being humble means to not be proud, not thinking of yourself as better than other people. Once we walk through our open door, and we start advancing, pride can come to our heart. We start thinking we have gotten to where we are by ourself. We start having a twisted view of ourself.

Pride goes before a fall, and usually some character building times too. There are reasons why God doesn’t share everything that will happen in our life. He wants us to rely on Him when we make mistakes, and see our humanity compared to His deity. We are nothing without Him.

Why do you do what you do? What are your motives? We need to get our motives right. Do you do what you do to be seen by people? We have to have the mindset that if God isn’t in it, then we shouldn’t do it.You will flow with ease and with a smile, and you will have success if you will change your mindset.

You have no idea what God will do when your heart is purified of pride. Did you know that believing your success is all your doing is really “works of the flesh?” Thinking it was your bright idea instead of God’s. We can reason things out and think, “If I do this, this will happen.” Then we do exactly what we thought, succeed, and start to think we are better then someone who is struggling just to pay their bills each month.

I wonder how much we give up and miss all because we try to get some attention to ourselves? We miss out on what God would love to do for us if we would only trust Him and stay humble.

We have to remind ourselves daily that we are nothing without God! This helps us to not get full of ourselves. If we do, it is over. We will fall from that prideful throne.

Here are some scriptures on being humble:

2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV

“If my people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn form their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

Did you notice the “If – Then” statement? If we humble ourselves, then God will move. God will not move on our behalf if we are full of pride, full our ourselves. But if we humble our selves, God will always move. A broken and contrite heart God will never despise. He will never turn away from brokenness. Thank God for that!

So what does humility have to do with opening and walking through an open door? Humility will help you maintain your place in that new open door. Humility will sustain you and help you to handle success in the right way. Amen!

6. Be Bold.

What? You just told us to be humble, now you are telling us to be bold? Yes I am. We can maintain humility and still be bold at the same time. The key is to be bold in Jesus and who you are in Christ! Realizing you are nothing without Him, but you are everything with Him.

We can have a zeal for God and meekness or humility for self. Jesus was humble but when it came to God and the things of God, He was bold like a lion.

Being bold in the face of fears is what we need. We need to be bold and strong knowing God is always with us. Don’t allow your fear of the open door prevent you from walking through it and keeping it. We are children of the King! We are King’s kids. We take the land that is before us for God’s glory and for His Kingdom!

Walk in the boldness of the Spirit. Walk in the gifts God has given you. As they unlock the door, you boldly do what God has called you to do. If we are timid instead of being bold at this point, we will give the land back to the enemy. We will not be victorious. We will give up.

Ask God to help see yourself through His eyes and not your own. He sees a mighty warrior! He sees the battle won. He sees a successful son or daughter following His Word and His example.

2 Corinthians 3:12 ESV

“Since we have such a hope, we are very bold,”

Having hope gives you boldness. We have the best hope ever as a Christian. Stand strong in your belief. Now is the time to tell others of Jesus’ saving power. Today is the day of salvation, Amen!

God’s Holy Spirit gives us boldness!

Acts 4:31 ESV

“And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.”

We are a Spirit-Filled church! Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you to overflowing to empower you to walk in boldness. The Holy Spirit takes our timidity away and infuses us with His presence and power. Let’s walk in this boldness everyday! Don’t be intimidated by the enemy. Sometimes we have to get out of our own way and allow God’s presence to abide in us. Once we do, we will see things from a different perspective. We will see things from God’s view. We will want to advance His Kingdom and speak forth His Word with boldness.

Allow His presence to infill you and walk in God’s boldness to open the doors and walk in the new God has for you. You were designed to communicate the Word of God to your world! Life and death are in the power of the tongue. Speak life with the boldness God wants you to walk in.

7. Be Tenacious

Tenacious: “tending to keep a firm hold of something; clinging or adhering closely.” (Webster Dictionary) Another word to describe tenacious is relentless. 

We have to be tenacious with our faith and believing for good things. If God has told you of a promise and it hasn’t come to pass yet, be tenacious and keep believing. Don’t get robbed of a blessing by letting go of your dreams God gave you.

There are several examples in the Bible of tenacious people and the reward of their tenacity.

Elisha was determined to receive a double portion from Elijah. He was promised if he sees him being taken up he will be given a double portion of Elijah’s spirit to be upon him. Many times Elijah told Elisha to stay while he would go further, but Elisha would not. He was tenacious to receive the double portion anointing and he did (2 Kings 2:1 – 15).

In Matthew 15:21-28, we read of a mother who begged Jesus for help. Initially, He refuses her, yet she continues pleading for her daughter.

Matthew 15:21 – 28 NIV

“Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.” Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.” “Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”

Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.”

Her tenacious faith turned Christ’s heart toward her and her child, granting what the woman requested.

The parable of the persistent widow’s story as accounted in Luke 18:1-5 illustrates how we are to be tenacious.

Luke 18:1 – 5 NLT

“One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up. “There was a judge in a certain city,” he said, “who neither feared God nor cared about people. A widow of that city came to him repeatedly, saying, ‘Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy.’ The judge ignored her for a while, but finally he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or care about people, but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!’”

Even as the authority (the judge) stood against her, she never let go of her hope. Be tenacious.

Samuel’s mother Hannah probably couldn’t have guessed that she’d bear a child, let alone one of the more influential prophets of the day. The despair she felt because of her physical barrenness could have crippled her faith. But, she continued to weep and pray for her miracle.

I Samuel 1:11-17 NIV

“And she made a vow, saying, “O LORD Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.” As she kept on praying to the LORD, Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk and said to her, “How long will you keep on getting drunk? Get rid of your wine.” “Not so, my lord,” Hannah replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the LORD. Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.” Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.” 

This is the year of the Open Door. Be determined to unlock and walk through any door God brings before you by using your natural gifts with the manifestations and the fruit of the Spirit. Be committed, trustworthy, and faithful all the days of your life. Stay humble as you experience success in this open door and be bold in your faith and tenacious to never give up. You will fulfill your destiny as you lean and trust in the Lord every step of the way.

Your sister in Christ,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.KrisBelfils.com

www.HopeFellowshipSpokane.com

www.KrisBelfils.wordpress.com