Heart on Fire – Hunger and Thirst!

Heart on Fire – Hunger and Thirst!

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Have you ever been hungry? Maybe its been a while since you last ate, and your stomach is grumbling. Your pizza from last night is long gone, and you forgot to eat breakfast. Rumble, rumble, it goes. And it’s all you can think about; you just can’t wait for lunch. You just can’t wait to test food again. Maybe you start imagining what you’re going to eat—what it will look like, what it will smell like, what it will taste like. You can almost taste it now. Maybe you’re going out to lunch at a favorite restaurant today and that is all that you can think about ordering your favorite meal. Your mouth even starts to water just thinking about it, and when you do eat it, it is delicious!!! The taste reminds you all over again why it’s your favorite, and even after you’re done, you know you’re going to have to eat it again—and soon!

The Bible says…

Psalm 34:8

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trust in Him!

The word taste is translated: Experience. “Oh, taste and see” you are literally saying: Try and experience, or try the flavor of the Lord because He is good.

You cannot see except by tasting for yourself; but if you taste you shall see, for this, like Jonathan’s honey, enlightens the eyes. “That the Lord is good.” You can only know this really and personally by experience. (1 Sam. 14)

The Lord asks us to “taste and see” that He is good. He wants us to hunger for Him and His presence more than we would hunger for anything else in this world. And just like your favorite food, when you get a little bit of Him, He knows that you’re just going to want more. Unlike the food we eat, there is never too much of God. We can never consume too much of Him, of His presence, of His goodness. We could taste of His love forever and ever, and we would never get enough.

How does revival come? It comes when men and women get desperate for God. Revival begins with spiritual hunger, when God’s people are no longer satisfied with man’s plan but they long for something more. Jesus told all hungry people to come to Him. He is attracted to hunger. 

Matthew 5:6

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

There are many people who are not hungry to go any deeper. They like having God in a box. They want just enough of Him to feel better and possibly be blessed but they do not long for a deeper walk. God cannot fill those people in the manner that He desires. His promise is to fill the hungry. He is placing a divine hunger on the inside of men and women who will begin to seek Him for something deeper than what they are walking in right now. That is revival hunger!

Hunger Defined – The discomfort, weakness, or pain caused by a prolonged lack of food; To have a strong desire or craving.

One of the greatest challenges in the church today is that we have lost our hunger for God! My desire is to stir up your hunger —that you would seek Him with all your heart!

There are many people in the Bible who wanted to know God more. Here are just a couple…

Phil. 3:10a KJV

That I may know him…

Phil. 3:10a, Amplified Classic

(For my determined purpose is) that I may know Him (that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His person more strongly).”

The Apostle Paul wrote this out of His determined focus on knowing Jesus more. He didn’t have Jesus in the flesh to get to know, but like us, he was a seeker and longed to taste and know and experience more of Christ.

Psalm 63:1-3 AMP

A Psalm of David; when he was in the wilderness of Judah.

O God, You are my God; with deepest longing I will seek You;

My soul [my life, my very self] thirsts for You, my flesh longs and sighs for You,

In a dry and weary land where there is no water.

So I have gazed upon You in the sanctuary,

To see Your power and Your glory.

Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,

My lips shall praise You.

David was a man after God’s own heart. He was hungry for God and to know Him deeper and to be in His presence. All throughout the Psalms David writes His heart of longing to be with God and that nothing satisfies his hunger or thirst but God. David wrote this when he was in the wilderness of Judah. 

Sometimes God allows us to go into the wilderness to cause us to hunger & thirst for Him! The wilderness is a lonesome place, a waste land, desert, desolate, solitary, a starving place.

There are times God allows us to be in the wilderness to get our attention. Sometimes our own choices places us in a place of spiritual starvation. Maybe you feel dry and famished? Maybe you are feeling all alone and not going anywhere. This may be your wilderness time. What are you going to do? Are you going to get bitter and mad that you are in a wilderness or are you going to seek food and water from the One who can only satisfy?

3 Things about Hunger and Thirst

  1. GOD ALONE CAN SATISFY OUR HUNGER AND THIRST.

John 7:37-38

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”

Are you hungry or thirsty for God? This verse is the answer. Go to Jesus and drink of Him. Spend time with Him in prayer and Bible reading. Worship Him 24/7, even when you are at work. Enter into the worship service on Sunday and drink from the fountain that never runs dry. (Fountains by Josh Baldwin)

John 6:35

“And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”

Jesus is the bread of life! In the natural bread sustains and nourishes and keeps us, so does Jesus. He is our daily bread, the air we breathe, the living water that quenches our thirst and satisfies. We no longer have to search for things in this world to sustain us spiritually. We have the best bread that has ever been made and that is Jesus Himself.

2. WE WON’T BE HUNGRY FOR GOD UNTIL WE TASTE HIS GOODNESS!

Ps. 34:8

“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!”

Ps. 119:103

“How sweet are Your words to my taste, Sweeter than honey to my mouth!”

1 Peter 2:1-3

“Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”

  • When you know how much God loves you, you will seek Him. We need a revelation of the Father’s heart of love for us.
  • Satan distorts our perception of who God is so we won’t seek after Him – this is a barrier to hunger that must be broken by God’s revelation!
  • Let Him love you—to transform you and wreck you for everything but His presence.

3. ONCE YOU’VE TASTED AND SEEN GOD’S GOODNESS YOU WANT MORE!

THOSE WHO HUNGER:  “God will fill them; and when he fills men with his fulness, they are full indeed.”  –C. H. Spurgeon

The verbs for hunger and thirst mean an intense desire, an ardent craving, and all-consuming pursuit. It is as though you are parched and nothing will stop you from getting to the water fountain to drink. Or, you are so hungry you will pursue food at all costs. It’s a desperate kind of hunger.

In a different context, to describe a person who is ambitious, passionate, and desperate to achieve or to succeed we will say “he’s hungry.” It is that same kind of passion and drive that should motivate the believer to pursue God.

Psalm 42:1 – 2 Amplified Bible

As the deer pants [longingly] for the water brooks,

So my soul pants [longingly] for You, O God.

My soul (my life, my inner self) thirsts for God, for the living God.

When will I come and see the face of God?

I love these verses. It gives a visual that is so clear. You can see the deer panting for water and it brings a question to ourselves; “Am I longing for the Living water like the thirsty deer is for the water brooks?”

Hunger and thirst are intense desires. It is that same intensity that we need in seeking God. Do you have that kind of desperation for a truly Christian lifestyle that changes us from the inside out so that we no longer seek the praise of men but causes us to seek God’s approval above everything else?

Appetites aren’t filled until you do something about it. It is one thing to intellectually say I am hungry and desire food. It is quite another to take the steps to satisfy your hunger and to quench your thirst. At some point you have to go eat or drink.

By the way, a loss of appetite is a sign of illness. Physically, we know something is wrong when we have no desire to eat. The same is true spiritually. When we no longer hunger and thirst for time alone with God through Bible reading and prayer, or aren’t committed to the worship of God, or fail to get alarmed over our sinful condition and the sin of the world, we see clear signs of spiritual sickness. When we no longer take the appropriate action of developing and deepening our relationship with God, a warning light – like on the dashboard of your car – needs to be illuminated, signaling that something is wrong. We need help.

The action we need to take is to go to the source – the bread of life.

When we are spiritually hungry we will come to the source of spiritual life – Jesus himself. Our real hunger is for God. Saint Augustine was right when he said: “O God, you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they find rest in you.”

Here is the problem; many people are going to the wrong places – pleasure, performance, or possessions; living on the junk food of another job, another marriage, another vacation; or thinking, “All I need to do is read the Bible every now and then, attend church and worship every once in a while, serve in ministry when I feel like it.” 

God says, “Why do you spend your money on junk food, your hard-earned cash on cotton candy? Listen to me, listen well: Eat only the best, fill yourself with only the finest” (Is. 55:2 The Message).

Many people today are looking for satisfaction in all the wrong places, trying to satisfy the craving of their hearts with junk of this world, or in the church and are spiritually malnourished. You need to come to Jesus – the source of life itself. You need to feed upon Him with balanced, daily diet of prayer and the study of God’s Word. You need to drink from His cup through life giving worship. You need to feast on His love and his grace, His forgiveness, and His power.

Matthew 5:6

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Are you hungering and thirsting for righteousness? Is it a continual pursuit? Are you coming back for more? I have discovered that hungering and thirsting for righteousness is like a narcotic. You get hooked. You become addicted. You need more. You keep coming back. Once you have encountered the living God nothing else satisfies. You want more and more of Him.

When you hunger and thirst after righteousness, when you want what God wants more than anything in the world, you will have it. You will be filled with Jesus himself!

There is power in hungering and thirsting after God and His ways. It sets you on the right path, it brings you to a close intimate relationship with God. It brings breakthrough and chains are broken that have captured you.

I close with this final thought. Jesus’ appeal is always personal. He never says, “Come and join the church” or “Come and be baptized” or “Come and give money.” He simply says, “Come unto me.” When Jesus says, “You will be filled,” He means “You will be filled with Jesus himself!”

If you are hungry, come and eat of the Bread of Life.

If you are thirsty, come and drink of the Water of Life.

If are weary and heavy-laden, come and find rest.

If you are guilty, come and be forgiven.

If you are far from God, come back home again.

Read Psalm 63:1 – 8 from The Passion Translation 

Psalm 84:2 Amplified Bible

My soul (my life, my inner self) longs for and greatly desires the courts of the Lord;

My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.

Psalm 107:9 Amplified Bible

For He satisfies the parched throat,

And fills the hungry appetite with what is good.

Let me give you some good news. In the kingdom of God, everything begins with a seeking heart! Salvation begins with a hungry heart. If you are tired of the life you’ve been living, you can make a new start.

Whatever you want in the spiritual realm, you can have if you want it badly enough. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Are you hungry? Are you thirsty? If you are, you can be filled. This is the promise of God to hungry hearts and thirsty souls.

Take time right now and allow your hunger and thirst for God bring you into His presence. Desire to know Him more. Allow God to fill you to overflowing with Who He is!

Your Sister in Christ,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.KrisBelfils.com

www.HopeFellowshipSpokane.com

www.KrisBelfils.WordPress.com 

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Revival: “Come Alive” (Valley of Dry Bones)

Revival: “Come Alive” (Valley of Dry Bones)

Valley of Dry BonesThere has always been a stirring in my spirit for more of God. When Jesus came into my life it was real and life changing. He took away hurt of an abusive step father and anguish of not having my real father in my life instantly. At the age of nine years old, when I asked Jesus into my heart, my life was never the same. Peace flooded my heart and courage to conquer my world came. I felt immediate significance in my life.

Because of the radical change that happened in my heart, I couldn’t help but tell others what Jesus did for me. I wanted to see others experience the same radical love I felt that day and every day of their life. My heart became awakened to a love I never felt before. A transforming love that flooded my very core.

From that epiphany moment on I had to have more of Jesus. It has been a craving in me ever since that amazing day. He burns in my belly. It’s a fire that can never be quenched. This is a revivalist. To see others revived in their relationship with God and that reviving becomes contagious and spreads to others.

The word “revival” often carries some baggage. It brings to mind an old-fashioned religious church service or tent meeting. But there is SO much more to revival than a church meeting! Revival is a completely renewed and transformed way of life! Once you experience personal revival in your own life, then you cannot help changing the world around you.

Wikipedia states Revival as: an increased spiritual interest or renewal in the life of a church congregation or society, with a local, national or global effect.

Noah Webster 1828 Dictionary defines revival this way:

REVI’VAL, n. [from revive.]

1. Return, recall or recovery to life from death or apparent death; as the revival of a drowned person.

2. Return or recall to activity from a state of languor; as the revival of spirits.

3. Recall, return or recovery from a state of neglect, oblivion, obscurity or depression; as the revival of letters or learning.

4. Renewed and more active attention to religion; an awakening of men to their spiritual concerns.

As of late, that burning in my spirit/belly has gotten stronger and stronger. It’s a fire that burns continuously and brightly in me. Throughout my life since I received Christ as my Lord and Savior, that fire is evident in my song writing, any position on a church staff, or any place I have spoken or ministered in song, or my books I have written, all are from a Revivalist’s burning heart to help others be healed and get close to God!
Jesus is looking for a church who still has their First Love burning strong in them.

Rev. 3:17 – 18 KJV
Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

The church of Laodicea had drifted away from their first love. They had become ensnared in prosperity, comfort, and easy living, much like the American Church in this day. They were preaching, having services, and living life as normal yet they had grown cold in their hearts. It is amazingly easy for people to start out serving God with humility and hunger, then end up blinded by complacency. This is what had happened to the Laodicean church. Their eyes were blinded to the deeper things of God.

Jesus told the Laodicean church to repent and return to their first love. Revival is always a move of repentance. As the revival fire of God falls upon churches and communities, people will return to their first love. In that process of return there is a great deliverance that takes place. God’s people are delivered from distraction, deception, and the lies of the enemy as their hearts are purified by holy fire. Jesus instructed the Laodicean church to anoint their eyes with eye salve. I believe that this is a clear instruction to get the prophetic vision and ministry restored to the House of God.

Maybe you feel like you are dead inside. Maybe you have dead areas in your life that you never thought could live again. You need a personal revival.

Ezekiel 37:1 – 14 NKJV
The Dry Bones Live
The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” So I answered, “O Lord God, You know.”
Again He said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! Thus says the Lord God to these bones: “Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live. I will put sinews on you and bring flesh upon you, cover you with skin and put breath in you; and you shall live. Then you shall know that I am the Lord.”’”
So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and suddenly a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to bone. Indeed, as I looked, the sinews and the flesh came upon them, and the skin covered them over; but there was no breath in them.
Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”’” So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.
Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They indeed say, ‘Our bones are dry, our hope is lost, and we ourselves are cut off!’ Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up from your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O My people, and brought you up from your graves. I will put My Spirit in you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken it and performed it,” says the Lord.’”

There are several ways to interpret this vision given to Ezekiel. Here are a few…

  1. It is a prophesy for the nation of Israel to be restored and strength to come back to her.
  2. It is a picture of the sinner coming alive in Christ and living a life of being a soldier for God in His regime.
  3. It is a prophetic prophesy/picture of those who have lost their first love of Christ coming alive when they looked like no life was in them.
  4. It is a powerful prophetic picture of having anything “dead in our life that God can bring to life again. He is the God of the impossible!

I want to focus on the the last two today. Truly we can apply this scripture to our own lives and see that our spirit needs to be revived. This is a prophetic picture of you and I and how easily it can be to fall away and lose our spiritual life by just being exposed to the world and its ways, and also how our own life’s experiences can isolate us and bleach out our strength and all looks dead. The resurrection power of Christ can raise the dead of:

-Relationships
-Finances
-Hope for a better future
-Our Health
-Dead dreams
-and so much more!

Proverbs 17:22 NKJV
A merry heart does good, like medicine,
But a broken spirit dries the bones.

Dry: Hebrew3001 Yaw-bashe: A primitive root; to be ashamed, confused or disappointed; also to dry up or wither: be ashamed, be confounded, dry, shame.

Dry Bones: Bleached by long exposure to the atmosphere.

Psalm 104:30 NKJV
You send forth Your Spirit, they are created;
And You renew the face of the earth.

rûach
Spirit: roo’-akh
From H7306; wind; by resemblance breath, that is, a sensible (or even violent) exhalation; figuratively life, anger, unsubstantiality; by extension a region of the sky; by resemblance spirit, but only of a rational being (including its expression and functions): – air, anger, blast, breath, X cool, courage, mind, X quarter, X side, spirit ([-ual]), tempest, X vain, ([whirl-]) wind (-y).

What Can Make Our Bones Dry?

1. Broken Spirit – to be overwhelmed with sorrow. It could also mean being wounded and never heal. To stay in that state of sorrow.

I am not referring to someone dying in your life and you are freshly grieving. We all need a time to grieve and mourn for our loss. It is a natural process that helps us let go of the dead and move on. What I am talking about is allowing that grief to be consuming years and years down the road, when we all should be moving on by then. Also I am talking about being hurt by someone or an event and we never get over it.

We have lost our joy. We have lost our peace. All we can see is what we lost or what happened to us. There is no life in that.

Allowing our hearts to be revived in God will give us JOY! God’s joy! Our “bones” are the very structure of our natural being. Without them, we would all be just a lump of tissue, blood, and flesh. To have a broken spirit is like taking our bones, our joy, away and we are left with feeling like we are just a blob of brokenness. This will dry up your bones quickly. Don’t let this be you! Quickly give your grief, hurt, and emotions to God and allow His healing to come. Don’t allow your bones to dry up!

Proverbs 17:22 NKJV
A merry heart does good, like medicine,
But a broken spirit dries the bones.

2. Ashamed – guilty or embarrassed of sin.

The enemy wants us to sin, then he wants us to feel guilty and ashamed of our sin the rest of our lives. If we do this, it will dry us up spiritually. We are not walking in God’s forgiveness which gives us strength and power.

Psalm 83:17 KJV
Let them be confounded and troubled for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish.

What this verse is actually saying, after learning about dry bones, is: Dry up the bones of my enemy and may they die!

Shame is a drying component. It saps our living water out of us! This is what the devil wants for each of us.

Psalm 31:17 KJV
Let me not be ashamed, O LORD; for I have called upon thee: oiler the wicked be ashamed, [and] let them be silent in the grave.

Failure/Failing – caught up in your own failures and never overcoming.

We can put our trust in God that He has forgiven us from any trespass, any iniquity, any sin and we are in right standing with Him when we repent and turn from it all. Don’t allow your passed mistakes to dictate who you are! You are a child of God! Your identity is in Christ.

3. Disappointments – Disappointed to the point all hope is gone.

Disappointments happen to us everyday. We put our expectations into something or someone, and when those expectations are not fulfilled, we become disappointed.

Romans 8:28 NKJV
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

1 Peter 5:7 (Amplified Bible)
“Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.”

We have to turn those disappointments over to God. They will eat us up from the inside out.

4. Confused or Confounded – you are following any “wind” that blows your way.

Acts 19:32 NKJV
Some therefore cried one thing and some another, for the assembly was confused, and most of them did not know why they had come together.

People are easily distracted by other doctrines and gods. We have to know what we believe and why we believe it! This will give you a good foundation and not be tossed to and fro with every wind of polices, practices, prophecies, and preaching.

When we are tossed by every wind that blows our way, it will dry up our spiritual bones to the point we don’t know what we believe. Confusion and be confounded and we will turn away from God.

Dehydration – away from the True Vine. Lack of water. No rain.

John 15:1- 6 NIV
The Vine and the Branches
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.

“…apart from Me you can do nothing.” We are not productive apart from God. We are not strong apart from God. We will wither and die if we are not abiding in the true Vine, Jesus Christ. Find time to spend with Him daily. Spend time with His Bride (fellowship). Talk to Him throughout your day. Keep the lines of communication open at all times. If not, we will get dehydrated apart from the Vine. This will cause us to dry out.

5. Busyness – Always being busy doing “good things” but never doing the “One Thing” of spending time in His presence.

I think busyness is one of the sneakiest schemes the enemy uses on us. Being busy makes you think you are productive and valuable. It makes you think you are getting things accomplished, and at times you are, but to what cost? Being busy for busyness sake is a trap.

Luke 10:38-42 ESV
Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

Matthew 11:28 ESV
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Romans 12:2 ESV
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Matthew 11:28-30 ESV
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

6. Isolation – Thinking your own way, or separating yourself from others.

It is long exposure to worldly atmospheres. As you do this, you will isolate yourself and become a law unto yourself. You will think the Bible is not true and decide to follow your own ideas. This will lead to death always. We have to rely on God and Abide in the Vine of Christ. Leave it up to our own thinking and we will lead ourselves astray. Doing this will dry us up spiritually. It is foolish! Be aware of this!

Psalm 14:1 NIV
The fool says in his heart, there is no God. They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.

Proverbs 18:1 ESV
Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.

Hebrews 10:25 ESV
Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Have you found yourself in a valley of Dry Bones? There is hope!

I prophecy to you:

Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! This is what the Sovereign LORD says to you: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD!

Get ready for a noise, a rattling sound, as your bones are coming together! Bone to bone. Tendons and flesh are now on you and you have beautiful skin covering your entire spiritual body in Jesus name!

I prophecy to the breath; This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come, breath from the four winds and breathe into these slain, that they may live!

You prophecy to yourself:
Now breath is entering into your spirit by the breath of God! You are alive! You are a mighty army!

I prophecy that your graves will open and you are up from them! You will possess your promised land! Then you will know God is real and He is LORD and He is the One who opened your graves. He has put His Spirit in you and you will live! You will be settled into your own land! Now you know the LORD has spoken, and He has done it!

Now I want you to Prophecy to all your dead graves and call forth the bones to come up and live….

-Friendships
-Marriages
-Finances
-Good Health – I am strong and full of life!
-Emotional healing
-Releasing of past hurts
-_____________________ (Name it!)

Take the time to breathe in New Life right now! Allow your Spirit to sore in this new found freedom of Life Jesus has given you!!!

 

Your Sister in Christ,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.krisbelfils.com

www.hopefellowshipspokane.com

Kris’ Facebook Page: 

Valley Of Dry Bones VideoValley of Dry Bones

Promises of Psalm 103

Promises of Psalm 103

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

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

Psalm 103 NLT

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

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

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

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

Promises of Psalm 103

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. He heals us.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. God knows we are weak and only dust.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your sister in Christ,

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

Unlocking the Power of God’s Promises

Unlocking the Power of God’s Promises

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

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

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

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

4 Ways God’s Promises encourage and strengthen you

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A similar promise is found…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trust God’s Promises

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your sister in Christ,

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

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus in 2016

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus in 2016

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus WPThis is a pivotal time. It is a transition time. A lot has happened in 2015. I am sure as you place a mental calendar in front of your mind’s eye you could tell me all kinds of things that happened in your life each month. Some good and some bad. Now we are in 2016. A new year.

This past year has been a journey for us all. For some the road has brought joy, for others pain. We look and see a broken world. As we gaze at all the craziness around us our hearts can feel uncertain. Fear of the unknown can set in. We can look at 2016 and feel anything but secure. We wonder if HOPE is losing. We have been talking about HOPE since the end of September. My heart was to get it in our spirit to the point no matter what we go through or what the future holds, we can face it with the Hope we have in God and His promises. As this new year begins, what do we do? We are to:

TURN OUR EYES UPON JESUS!

LOOK FULL IN HIS WONDERFUL FACE

AND THE THINGS OF EARTH WILL GROW STRANGELY DIM

IN THE LIGHT OF HIS GLORY AND GRACE

The author of “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus,” Lilias Trotter, wrote:  It is easy to find out whether our lives are focused, and if so, where the focus lies. Where do our thoughts settle when consciousness comes back in the morning? Where do they swing back when the pressure is off during the day? Dare to have it out with God, and ask Him to show you whether or not all is focused on Christ and His Glory. Turn your soul’s vision to Jesus, and look and look at Him, and a strange dimness will come over all that is apart from Him. – Lilias Trotter

We are embarking on a new year. Now is the time for New Beginnings. Now is the time to release all the bad that has happened in 2015 and let it go. Forgive who you need to forgive. Let go of events or circumstances that brought despair or destruction. Leave it in 2015. Leave it at Christ’s feet. Walk into 2016 strengthened by these things instead of allowing them to overtake you. This new year is a year of breakthrough and change. We are moving forward, holding God’s hand, and our heads up knowing we are not alone.

We serve a God of endings and beginnings. We cannot have a new beginning without something coming to an end. In this case, it’s 2015. Turning our eyes upon Jesus and looking into His wonderful face will protect our hearts from any despair or downheartedness. We need this! You and I need to protect our hearts from falling into any trap the enemy, satan, wants to use to bring disillusion and confusion.

Turning our eyes upon Jesus is a command in Scripture.

Hebrews 12:2a NKJV

looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith

Hebrews 12:2a Amplified Bible

[looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity],

The Bible tells us to look and to fix our eyes on Jesus. Make this be your New Year’s resolution for 2016. No matter what, you keep your eyes on Jesus. No matter how many bills you have to pay; Keep your eyes on Jesus! No matter all the things that can go wrong; Keep your eyes on Jesus! No matter what tries to distract you; Keep your eyes on Jesus. No matter how many disappointments you may encounter; Keep your eyes on Jesus. Know that []a disappointment can sometimes be a divine appointment in disguise! 

Our prayer should be:

Lord, I keep my eyes on You! I know you are good to me. I know You are watching over me. You are working all things for my good this past year and the year to come. I let go of my desires, or what I think should happen, and focus on You and Your desires. I want what You want. I will do what You want me to do. I just know I need you desperately, always in my life. I soak in Your love. I soak in Your goodness. 2016 is going to be an amazing year because You have brought it to me! Thank you for Your peace and assurance that I am standing on solid ground when I keep my eyes on You!

Delayed Gratification

As we turn our eyes upon Jesus and stay focused, it keeps us on the right path. Being on the right path and walking forward in all that God brings us to do, we will receive a gratifying reward.

There is the principle of delayed gratification. We can see this principle at work in our own lives. There are times when we must give up the good to obtain the best.

•If one of our resolutions is to lose weight, we give up certain foods so that we might lose weight.

•Students give up a night out with friends to study for final exams.

•A young man gives up dinner and a movie because he is saving to buy a new car.

There is sacrifice involved. One pleasure is sacrificed so that a higher one might be achieved. It is amazing what we can sacrifice or give up if we really want something or really want to do something. There is a higher level of delayed gratification that involves enduring pain to receive a reward.

This is why athletes lift weights at 6:00 a.m., while their friends are still in bed. They give up sleep, in order to win a championship.

This is why aspiring pianists practice for hours when they might be watching TV or playing video games. They put in the hours in the hope that some day they may play for thousands.

In all these things there is a pain involved, but it is pain endured for the sake of the joy that comes when the goal is reached.

What has your year been like? God spoke to me that this past year we have endured. We have given up much. We have sacrificed much. We have been faithful at Hope Fellowship. The Lord impressed on my heart that 2016 will be the year of reward…. the gratification of the sacrifices we have made.

I want to share personally in my life some sacrifices to allow you to see possibly in your life something similar and to know that this delayed gratification of not seeing the results we want right away will be worth it all when God brings His rewards with Him!

Personally: My family and I are here every Sunday and Friday nights serving you. All the surgeries, and all the health issues I endured in 2015. All the tears shed in 2015 for the lost, broken, and for Hope Fellowship. All the hours spent counseling, encouraging others, and training my staff. All the time spent in prayer for Hope Fellowship and those who attend. All the sermons prepared, and worship sets planned and played. All the studying and preparing. All the graphic design and computer work… God is bringing a reward, gratification, and transition into the new He has waiting in my life!

Now turn that onto you. What have you sacrificed this past year? What have you gone through and still kept your faith. What did you obey day in and day out that God required? Obedience brings blessing! God is telling you today that YOU WILL have much reward for your efforts. He sees all and is a rewarder to those who diligently seek Him.

Hebrews 11:6 Amplified Bible

But without faith it is impossible to [walk with God and] please Him, for whoever comes [near] to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He rewards those who [earnestly and diligently] seek Him.

Please don’t give up in doing good. We will receive a reward. People go to work to receive a reward in the form of a paycheck. There are so many examples of preparing and doing things, that in time, will produce something of value.

Galatians 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.

That is why keeping our eyes on Jesus throughout the year keeps our focus where it should be. This helps us to keep on keeping on in spite of our circumstances. It reminds us that God is fighting for us and our situation is not going unnoticed. God sees our situation and He is MIGHTY to save! He is in the “saving business!” It is His speciality.

It is amazing the benefits we receive when we turn our eyes upon Jesus and keep our gaze there. Distractions grow strangely dim, they can’t help it. Nothing compares to the light, the powerful love God pours into us when our focus turns to Him.

So, keep your eyes on Jesus. Don’t be distracted by the things of the world.

Keep running. Don’t look back. Fix your eyes on Jesus and run with all your might for the finish line. Rejoice in Who you are looking at.

T. E. Marsh wrote on the fullness that is in Christ Jesus.

This a paraphrase of what he wrote:

•In Christ there is full acceptance, therefore do not doubt Him.

•In Christ there is peace, therefore trust Him.

•In Christ there is life, therefore abide in Him.

•In Christ there is blessing, therefore delight in Him.

•In Christ there is light, therefore follow Him.

•In Christ there is power, therefore wait on Him.

•In Christ there is all truth, therefore learn from Him.

•In Christ there is grace, therefore receive from Him.

•In Christ there is joy, therefore rejoice in Him.

•In Christ there is unlimited wealth, therefore depend on Him.

•In Christ there is strength, therefore lean on Him.

This is Who you are looking at! All these attributes and so much more. This is real hope for the new year. Everything we need, we have in Christ.

He has all the hope, all the love, all the acceptance, all the grace, all the power, all the strength, all the wisdom, all the patience, all the guidance, all the encouragement, all the joy, all the endurance, all the gentleness, all the forgiveness, all the determination, all the strength, and all the blessing that we need.

The Lord Jesus has already run the race for you. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, and we will run well. Keep your eye on the prize, Jesus, in 2016 and beyond.

Today, if you haven’t placed your gaze upon Jesus, now is the time. Set yourself up to look in the right direction. There is no better place to stare at then in the light of His glory and grace!

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.KrisBelfils.com

www.HopeFellowshipSpokane.com

www.KrisBelfils.WordPress.com

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

2014 – Year Of The Open Door

2014 - Year Of The Open DoorWe have just entered the threshold of 2014. A new year. A new beginning. But this new year is different from other years that have just begun. This new year will be full of open doors of opportunity for the church and for your individual life.

I have spoken on Doors of Distraction first because that is usually what happens. Too many distractions can prevent us from walking through the right doors and fulfilling our purpose. It is interesting how many people miss what God wants to do in and through them all because they get distracted with unnecessary things in their life.

I sense a fire in my spirit about this. We have to be committed and focused this year, more then any other year or we will miss opportunities that will bring out our full potential. Often people don’t think they have very much potential and never look beyond their abilities. In order for us to obtain the new, we have to look beyond where we are and have the courage and commitment to step out into the new door of opportunity available to us.

1 Corinthians 16:9 ESV

“For a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.”

I have used this verse for every message in this “Doors” series. I want you to get it in your spirit. The open door is wide with possibilities. The sky is the limit!

Do you have a door of opportunity available to you? Yes you do! But you say, how? I don’t see it? That is the first and biggest issue you need to overcome. Many times the open door comes with adversaries.

I think we think opportunities will be so good and so amazing there won’t be any strife or hardship. Wrong! We will have to conquer the giants in the land. We will have to face our fears. We will have to let go of our past all in order to walk through the threshold of the new open door that awaits us.

There may be even people who oppose what you believe you are suppose to do for God.

God’s Word translation for 1 Cor. 16:9 states: “I have a great opportunity to do effective work here, although there are many people who oppose me.”

You will experience opposition when God opens a door of opportunity to you. It is a given. Many adversaries.

Adversaries means: “antikeimai (an-tik’-i-mahee) From G473 and G2749; to lie opposite, that is, be adverse to: – adversary, be contrary, oppose.”

There will be people who will be in contrary with you. They will say the exact opposite of what you are believing. They won’t be encouragers. People will question if you heard God or not. They will question your motives. They might speak lies about you and you have to deal with other people believing those lies. They may even think you are arrogant, but keep your focus on the open door and that God has called you to this threshold.

Do you have some people in your life who always oppose you? Maybe you have even walked through the threshold of your open door of opportunity and they are right there being a naysayer.  Remember that naysayers come when you least expect it and from the least likely source.

I have experienced many naysayers in my life. People who were once for me and for what God was doing in and through me and then something changed in them. Be it a small mindset of how they viewed me or what God wanted to do, or even jealously, still they changed and started to oppose the move of God in my life.

Rejection! It hurts, especially when it comes from someone who was a close friend or relative. What will you do with rejection? There has to come a time in your life where you separate how you feel from what you are called to do. What I mean is if we allow our emotions to rule us during times of opposition we will forfeit victory.

Our emotions will lead us down a rabbit trail. Emotions are fickle. They are real and can overpower your ability to act or take action. Many times I have to push down my hurt or anger so I can accomplish what God required of me. If we don’t conquer our emotions, especially when it comes to opposition, we won’t walk through the door of opportunity, let alone fulfill and accomplish what the open door contained.

Let’s look at that verse in the Modern King James Version.

1 Cor. 16:9 MKJV

“For a great and effective door opened to me, and many are opposing.”

“For a great and effective door opened…” It wasn’t just a simple door or a small door, or a door that won’t have an effect. It was a great and effective door presented to Paul. When presented with such a huge opportunity to preach the gospel, Paul was eager to stay, but he also saw there were many people opposing it, especially coming from the religious leaders of his day.

Interesting the opposition opposed something godly. They opposed anything that had to do with the gospel of Jesus Christ. We shouldn’t find it strange when people oppose our reaching out to others for Christ, especially when that opposition can come from people within the church.

The enemy will bring division. He will use Christian against Christian. Be aware of this. Don’t fall into this trap. Realize your fellow Christian is on your team and don’t oppose them, but work with them to build the Kingdom of God. Too many times Christians get off track and decide their fellow Christian is the enemy. This is a lie! I don’t know how many times people have come against me, their Pastor, because they think I am ignorant of their matters or that they know better. This is rebellion. If you oppose someone who is your authority, you are in rebellion.

Repent and stay under the authority God has placed in your life. They are your covering that God has placed you under for your protection. Don’t fight it!!! Don’t give your authority figure a hard time with your rebellion. They have a heavy enough load to carry and don’t need you to dump more heaviness onto them by your rebellious attitude.

Galatians 6:10 KJV

“As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”

Do good to your fellow Christian. Do good to your pastor and leaders. It will go well for you if you do. People are not your enemy. Fellow Christians are not your enemy. Learn to discern why you oppose another Christian. If the answer is fleshly, be real with yourself and stop the opposition. If someone opposes you who is in the faith, don’t start a fight with them, just trust God that He will complete what He started in both of you.

When you experience opposition don’t be intimidated. Be determined to walk through the “great effective door” in all the authority God has given you.

The word Door in this verse is an abundant opportunity for usefulness. The word “door” is used to show an occasion or an opportunity for doing something, anything of great effect. Again a door is the means by which we have entrance or access; and because the door is open, it means access is available right now! The opportunity is now!

Never ask God to open a door and then remain where you are. When God opens up an opportunity before you, and you know it is God as it lines up with His Word, take steps to walk through it and don’t hesitate. To hesitate is to take steps backward. To hesitate is to say, “I don’t know if I should do this.” Don’t allow the open door opportunity to pass you by all because you were scared or intimidated. Turn all that around and use it for your leverage to press in and to walk through the great open door before you.

Eph. 5:15 – 16 NIV

“Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”

So be careful how you live. Be wise in how you live. Make the most of your life by making the most of every opportunity placed before you. God didn’t just create you to live and then to die. The in-between part is where we will be held accountable. I don’t know about you but I want God to say to me when my time is done on this earth; “Well done thou good and faithful servant, enter into my rest!”

God has throughout history opened doors of opportunity to His people. I did not become the Pastor of Hope Fellowship because I was smart, or because of the degrees behind my name, or because someone voted me in. I became the Pastor of Hope Fellowship because God graciously opened the door and appointed me. He ordained me to become the Pastor. That is what Jeremiah 3:15 states: “And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.” If that’s not good enough for you, it was God opening the door to salvation by sending His only begotten Son to take away the sins of the world. We were not good enough, smart enough, rich enough, nor righteous enough. Yes my brothers and sisters, great things happen when God opens a door for you!

A door of opportunity is a chance to do something greater then yourself. How awesome is that? God has mandated this opportunity for you.

God is into opening doors for His people. He did it for the Apostle Paul, and He will do it for you. Remember 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. 2014 is a year of  the open door. What will you do with the opportunities God brings your way?

Paul asked that God would open the door.

Colossians 4:3

“And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.”

Again, never ask God to open a door and then remain where you are. Walk through the opportunity and watch what God does!

Did you know that God promises to open doors!

Matthew 7:7 – 8

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”

Are you knockin’? He will open the doors of provision. Doors of reconciliation. Doors of the second chance. Doors of salvation of souls. Doors of prosperity. Open doors for deliverance and breakthroughs! Open doors for revival.

In Acts 16 Paul and Silas being locked away deep in prison with chains after healing the demon possessed woman. We may say, “Why do I have to suffer? What did I do wrong?” Listen the enemy just wants to hate on the Children of God. You will come out in victory! Amen!

Acts 16:26 KJV

“And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.”

Earthquake opened the doors. Sometimes the open door comes from a shaking in our life! Are you ready? Praise God for the shaking!

We will have challenges. We will have adversaries. We will have people oppose us. Just get your praise on like Paul and Silas did!

Rev. 3:8 KJV

“I know they works: behold, I set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it:”

We are going to go through these doors.  

Pray this prayer with me:

“Come Holy Spirit! I receive your anointing for this new year. I thank you for every open door you have placed before me! I will walk through the door. I will obtain what you have for me. You are bringing deliverance, healing, provision, reconciliation, and anything that I am lacking; you will provide. Adversaries will be defeated. You are making me be the head, and not the tail! Above only, and not beneath! Thank you for Your blessings Lord! Thank you for good health! Thank you for healing my body, my mind, and my spirit in Jesus name!”

Get ready! Get ready! Get Ready! Great open doors God will bring to you this year and be determined to walk through and fulfill what God has brought to you in Jesus Name!

Your sister,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.KrisBelfils.com

www.HopeFellowshipSpokane.com

www.KrisBelfils.wordpress.com