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

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

Revival Of Our Future

The title of this message seems to be almost an impossible statement. How can we revive something that has not happened yet? The truth is what we do today affects our future. How you handle your life today; emotions, actions, relationships, your attitudes and reactions, will flow into your tomorrow.

If you keep carrying dead thoughts of your life or how you perceive yourself, you will be carrying those images into your future. It will become who you are. I want to plant good seeds now so that in the future I will be harvesting a good crop.

Imagine carrying a dead corpse everywhere you go. Remember dead corpse smell terrible and attract flies and other kinds of insects. This is what happens when we carry our dead thoughts into our future. People see and smell our stench, and like insects invading a dead carcass, the enemy suffocates us with his lies and schemes and it brings even more decay and decomposing. We will end up settling for so much less then why we were created. God has a destiny for your life. Don’t allow your past or present mistakes to infest your future.

Not only can people see and smell our stench, but we are carrying something that will never benefit us. Dead things have no life. There is no advantage of bringing your past into your future. The past is just that; past! It is past away and you will never be able to relive that moment again. If you are constantly thinking about your past it would be like sitting on the ground right next to a dead body. It doesn’t speak to you. It doesn’t help you. It just reminds you of your fatal mistakes.

Don’t misunderstand me, we can learn from our past, just like we can learn from an autopsy of a dead body, but once we learn from it, discard the body and burry it once and for all. Trying to take something dead into our future will only bring frustration and magnify the lifeless carcass.

Psalm 42:2 (NLT)

“I thirst for God, for the living God.”

This verse expresses David’s thirst for God. He was young and strong, yet he knew only God could satisfy him. He had spent time in God’s presence playing his harp and tending sheep (the normal things of life for him). Spiritual thirst is as natural as physical thirst.

There are churches today that want revival but the people in the church seem to think that revival will suddenly appear and affect them. This is not how revival works. Revival happens by us doing our part. We have to eagerly pursue God. We need to develop a hunger for God on a daily basis.  We have to be thirsty for the living God. The Bible says that if we are thirsty we should come buy and eat. What it costs us is our action and our will. What it cost is giving up our control and allowing God to have His way.

Isaiah 55:1 – 3 (Amplified Bible)

“WAIT and listen, everyone who is thirsty! Come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Yes, come, buy [priceless, spiritual] wine and milk without money and without price [simply for the self-surrender that accepts the blessing]. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your earnings for what does not satisfy? [] Hearken diligently to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness [the profuseness of spiritual joy]. Incline your ear [submit and consent to the divine will] and come to Me; hear, and your soul will revive; and I will make an everlasting covenant or league with you, even the sure mercy (kindness, goodwill, and compassion) promised to David.”

I was traveling in 1993 and 1994 to churches all over the Pacific Northwest area of the United States ministering in Churches. Everywhere I went I saw this complacency and lack of thirst. It broke my heart. I felt I was experiencing just a touch of what God was feeling. I wrote a song that I ministered to the churches during that time and the words were taken directly from Isaiah 55:1 – 3. The very first time I sang that song a young man came to the alter while I was singing it. He wept and wept at the alter. He longed to receive the Living Water from God and he also ached to see others drink as well. The song is called; “Come Buy and drink!”

John 7:37 (NIV)

“Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.”

“… let him come to me and drink.” This takes action on our part. Again, revival doesn’t come to you, you go after revival!

Are you dehydrated in your heart, spirit, or emotions? 

It is time you get wet. It is time you dive into the Living Water and drink of God’s goodness and soak in His presence. God’s Living Water will not only take care of any dehydration as you drink it, but as you allow God to saturate your entire being you will be a “living well” yourself.

Others will smell, see, and taste this Living Water from you as Living Water never sits still. Living Water is just that…living! This water can’t help but affect those around you. They are watching your life and seeing your joy and passion and they will want to hang around you. They might not know why, yet they have a desire to talk to you and overall want to spend time with you. These are the affects of your time spent drinking and soaking in the Living Water!

We need to get rid of our dignity. 

It can prevent us from letting go of ourselves to experience something new in God. Who cares what people think of you. We should care more about what God thinks. He sees what truly is in our hearts and what we are thinking. We can’t hide anything from God. Why even try?

Our dignity can prevent us from experiencing more of God and it can prevent revival from coming in the future.

Do you have walls up that are preventing you from experiencing a revival in your heart? We need to see our humanity and His divinity and realize we are lost without Him. We need to get desperate for Him. Who are we to think we can survive without God in our lives, or maintain our life without giving God everything? This is a lie!

Are you tired of how your life is going today? What do you plan to do about it? What you change in your life today will benefit your future. Many people think their life will change by the Government, or by some rich uncle passing away and leaving them a load of money. When will they realize they are just wasting their life away? If you want change to happen in your life, if you want revival to come, do something about it! The first thing and the best thing we can do is pray for God to help bring change. Ask Him what your part is in changing your life. Don’t think you are too old or too young for change to come. Be determined to take the land that is rightfully yours. Caleb, at the age of 85 years old demanded, “Give me my mountain” (Joshua 14:12). That hill country was promised as an inheritance by God because Caleb “wholly followed the LORD God of Israel” (Joshua 14:14b).

Let’s follow hard after God!

Psalm 63:1-8 (KJV)

“ O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.” 

This is a Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah. He learned while in the wilderness how to follow hard after God by thirsting for water, it brought true meaning to thirsting after God.

God will always quench our thirst when we thirst and follow hard after Him. In these verses we can see that David learned how to worship God in the middle of a trial. He knew Who his source was. He remembered when he was laying in his bed who his help was. He praised God and meditated on Him “…When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.” The word; watches” (ashmûrâh)  is translated; “watch, a period of time,” and the primitive root (shâmar) means; “properly to hedge about (as with thorns), that is, guard; generally to protect, attend to, beware, be circumspect, take heed, keep, mark, look narrowly, observe, preserve, regard, reserve, save, sure, wait, watch.”

In Bible times there were four watches (Matthew 14:25, Luke 12:38). David could be referring to the watches in the temple, or he could be referring to the watches at night with the guards which guarded his palace. At this point, he no longer was in the palace but the wilderness. I am sure he is remembering being with the congregation and in the sanctuary praising God. He is remembering on his bed, which could have been a rock for his pillow and dirt for his bedding, yet he is meditating on God and his goodness. David didn’t wait for a revival to come to him. No! He birthed it from his heart as he realized meditating on God, and the things of God, is better than meditating on himself and wallowing in self-pity.  Remember he was running for his life from king Saul. He feared for his life. If David complained we sure would understand, yet this man of God decided to keep his focus on God, even in the night watches. Albert Barnes expresses this thought well in his notes on this verse:

“That is, when I lie down at night; when I compose myself to sleep. Nothing can be more proper than that our last thoughts, as we sink into quiet slumber, should be of God; of his being, his character, his mercy, his loving-kindness; of the dealings of his providence, and the manifestations of his grace toward us, during the day; and nothing is better suited to compose the mind to rest, and to induce quiet and gentle slumber, than the calmness of soul which arises from the idea of an Infinite God, and from confidence in him. Often when restless on our beds – when nothing else will lull the body to rest, the thought of God – the contemplation of his greatness, his mercy, and his love – the sweet sense of an assurance of his favor will soothe us, and cause us to sink into gentle repose. So it may be – so it will be – when we are about to sleep the long sleep of death, for then the most appropriate thoughts – the thoughts that will best prepare us for that long sleep – will be thoughts of God.”

“My soul followeth hard after thee…” (Psalm 63:8) is a revival statement! It implies action. I like how the Amplified Bible states this verse:

Psalm 63:8 (Amplified Bible)

“My whole being follows hard after You and clings closely to You; Your right hand upholds me.”

The word “hard” is translated dâbaq, which means: “properly to impinge, that is, cling or adhere; to catch by pursuit: abide, fast, cleave (fast together), follow close, be joined, keep, overtake, pursue hard, stick, take.”

All these are action words. We need to cling, pursue hard, adhere to and catch God. It is like two pieces of wood being glued together, inseparable! This is revival! It is not settling for the same thing over and over again. It is pressing in to touch God and not caring what the crowd will think (Luke 8:43 – 48).

Your future is bright. You can experience revival if you would start following hard after God today! Don’t let anything get in your way.

Love people into revival

Watching Jesus and his actions will show us how we are to respond to people. He loved them. He showed love when He healed the sick and raised the dead. He showed love when he wept when Lazarus was dead and raised him back to life. He moved with compassion to forgive the woman caught in adultery. He even loved the Roman soldiers who crucified Him with his statement, “Forgive them for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).

It was part of His character and makeup. People were drawn to this love.

I believe with all my heart that if we love people walls will come down and revival will come. I have seen this in action where ever I travel and minister. I go in and love on the people, treating them like my true brother or sister that they are. This automatically brings down any walls or preconceived ideas they may have. They see that I am real and a “safe” person to be around. No one will let down their guard if they think you don’t care about them. Love conquers all.

Have you ever experienced the love of God to the point you felt free to be yourself, free to love others with the love He has given you? Within ourselves we do not and cannot love others unconditionally. God’s love is indescribable and yet all powerful. What do you do with a love like this? You fall in love with Him even more. In doing so you will change your character. You will begin to exude God’s love to others.

Revival of our future starts today! Don’t put off tomorrow what you can do today. Let go of any dead corpse you are carrying from your past and reach for the new God has for you to revive your future. Your future awaits for a new beginning.

From one revivalist to another,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.krisbelfils.com

www.hopefellowshipspokane.com

Revival Of Our Past (Part 2)

Endure or bolt

Running away from our problems will never solve them. I am sure you have heard that saying several times in your life. Running away is the easy road out of a sticky situation. How many times have you bolted from something that you didn’t like?

Have you ever waited for something you really wanted and in the middle of the wait you decided it was taking too long and you bolted? Maybe you’ve gone through a hardship and decided to leave because you felt you didn’t need to deal with it. I know of several times in my life I’ve done just that. Waiting is a hard thing to do, especially when you don’t see any results of your waiting. Waiting requires endurance. Endurance shows our character. How do we respond in hardships? What is the first thing you do when you are tried or tested? Do you whine and complain about the situation you are in? Is the first thing in your heart anger towards God for letting the trial come?

Take a ring, or a small item like a pebble, and place it in one of your hands. Curve your fingers around it as if you were making a loose fist. You are the ring or pebble and God is your hand. Nothing comes to the ring/pebble without His hand allowing it to come. Often times we don’t understand why we have to go through hardship. We can find in the epistle of James some answers.

James 1:2 – 4 (HCSB)

“Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.”

How can we consider a trial a “joy?” In order to really understand these verses we have to look deeper than the first few words. We can see that trials test our faith. It would be one thing if God created us all to be robots walking around on this earth just doing the commands He programs in our memory. We wouldn’t need faith for that. God created us with our own free-will and this allows us to make choices. These choices can be good or bad.

God wants us to see and know what we believe. He wants us to call on Him for help and guidance. He wants us to see our need for Him. The more we need God, the more our faith builds up in us! In other words, when we call out to God in our need, and He answers, our faith is built up. Even when we wait for the answer, this builds our faith.

There is power in waiting. I like how the Bible in Basic English puts it:

Romans 5:3 – 5 (BBC)

“And not only so, but let us have joy in our troubles: in the knowledge that trouble gives us the power of waiting; And waiting gives experience; and experience, hope: And hope does not put to shame; because our hearts are full of the love of God through the Holy Spirit which is given to us.” 

The “power of waiting” is endurance. It is patience. Whenever we have to wait for something, we have to endure. Be it a little thing like waiting in line at a store, or a big thing like waiting for God to answer our prayers; it requires endurance.

We know that “good things come to those who wait.” I am not sure where that saying originated from, but it is true when it comes to endurance. We are given a reward for our endurance.

We can see in James 1:2 – 4 that the testing of our faith produces endurance. Endurance and patience are interchangeable. They are synonyms of each other. God wants us to become mature sons and daughters. He doesn’t want us to stay young in our thinking and in our reactions.

When we were just learning to walk and talk, the first thing out of our mouth was, “MINE!” Baby’s are born selfish. They cry when they need changing, they get angry when they don’t get fed on time. You always have to teach them how to share, play nicely with others, and to think of others more than themselves. This is in the natural and it is the same for the spiritual.

When we first become a Christian and ask Christ into our heart as Lord and Savior, we are babies. We have to learn how to walk in the Lord. We have to learn God’s will instead of our will. We have to learn endurance.

Endurance means (Strong’s #5281): “Constancy, perseverance, continuance, bearing up, patient endurance. It is the capacity to continue to bear up under difficult circumstances, not with a passive complacency, but with a hopeful fortitude that actively resists weariness, and defeat.”

Hebrew 10:36 (NKJV)

“For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.”

There is always a reward for enduring. I teach guitar to many students. The biggest complaint is that it is hard work to play the guitar. They have to practice throughout the week to be able to come back to me and have a lesson to progress into the next lesson and eventually to be a good guitarist. Some of my students were expecting to just pick up the guitar and be able to play. This never happens. A great guitarist has many many years of practice behind them and it shows with the reward of playing the guitar well. This is a small example of endurance, but I think you get the idea.

What are you going through right now? Do you have what it takes to endure?

We have to remember it is not what we go through, but how we go through it. Often I find myself in a circumstance I hate being in. Ultimately, my character, and what I am really made of, comes to the surface.

God wants you to see your character and respond accordingly. We have to remember who we are in Christ. We are warriors! We are over comers! We have resources to grab a hold of inside of us to help us stand as we go through the fire. But just think of the silver that is coming out in the middle of this refining fire process in your life! God gives you grace to endure. Endurance is staying even under pressure. Endurance is the ability or power to bear prolonged exertion, pain, or hardship. It is the active, energetic resistance to defeat that allows calm and brave endurance. This will bring spiritual maturity, and we won’t bolt again!

I have a bracelet that says, “Endurance” on it and I wear it whenever I need to remind myself to endure and not bolt. Find something you can do to remind yourself to “keep on keeping on” when the going gets hard. We are over-comers and we will endure and become mature, lacking nothing in Christ!

Conclusion

Jacob learned the hard way that bolting is not the answer. But he did confront his past and reconciled with Laban and Esau. In essence, Jacob’s past experienced revival and reconciliation.

What events in your past do you need to confront? Allow God to show you areas that you need to look at. Not to make you feel bad about yourself, but to deal with it once and for all. Don’t let your past overcome you, but you overcome your past as Christ is standing right with you every step of the way.

I remember teaching on this subject at a ladies Bible study. There was a lady there who became upset over the subject. She didn’t think it was of God to have to go back to something in her past to move forward. In fact, she was downright vocal during the class. All her words were negative about the subject I taught. She expressed that I was wrong and teaching wrong ideas. To be honest, I was a little taken back by her actions and reactions. But realizing now that her violent reaction was a sign that there were things in her past that needed to be confronted and her flesh was acting out. It let me know that I was right on target in teaching about confrontation of our past.

Jesus brought revival to Peter’s past. Peter denied Jesus three different times before the rooster crowed. In other words, Peter was faced with telling the truth of his connection with Jesus three different times before the next morning. All three times Peter denied even knowing Jesus, when earlier Peter said Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God (Matthew 16:16). Also Peter said if he had to die with Jesus he would, instead of denying him (Matthew 26:35). After Jesus was crucified and buried Peter decided to go back to his original occupation of fishing and Thomas, Nathanael, the sons of Zebedee, and a couple of other disciples went with him. They went out and fished all night but didn’t catch anything. Jesus came and stood on the shore and told them to “cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some” (John 21:6). So they did and they were unable to bring in their nets because of so many fish. John said it was Jesus and Peter plunged into the water to be with Him. The disciples came to shore and brought up the fish. Jesus asked for them to bring some of the fish and come and eat breakfast with Him.

John 21:15 – 17 (NKJV)

“So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.” He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” and he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.””

Now this is a scene of restoration and confrontation all at the same time. Jesus asked, “Do you love Me?” He could have asked so many questions that would have been acceptable like, “Why did you deny me?” or “Do you fear me?” He asked Peter of his love and devotion to Him.

Peter was repentant in his answers as he cried out the words, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” Jesus restores Peter right in front of the company of the other disciples.

Jesus was raising Peter up to be their leader and to feed His sheep. He didn’t and couldn’t entrust this position to someone who didn’t love Him. Jesus is so careful to not give His flock over to just anyone, but only to those who truly love Him. For when we, as ministers, love Jesus with our whole heart, we will tend His flock with care.

Ministers who don’t love Jesus won’t have a passion to see souls saved. They won’t stay in the ministry when it gets hard except for those who truly love Christ.  Jesus asked Peter three times if He loved Him. The same amount of times Peter denied Him. This was total and complete restoration from his past mistakes. It was as if Jesus was reaching into Peter’s past and taking the heart that was dead because of sin, and pumped life back into it again. Love will conquer all. Jesus’ love will make things brand new again.

Jesus didn’t leave Peter in his sad condition. It was Jesus agenda to raise him up in front of his peers and place him into leadership again. This is His desire for you and me too. He died on the cross for the sins we committed and He died on the cross for the sins committed against us. What He did is complete. This covers anything in our past that doesn’t bring life to us.

There is a revival of our past that Christ wants to bring to us. Even though it is painful or it might cost us something, it is well worth the revisiting.

Revival of your past may include:

 1.  Regrets

Everyone of us have regrets from our past. Worrying about our past is wasted energy. You can’t change your past, but you can change your present and future. If I try, I can think of many regrets. You have to find a place to make peace with what you did or what what you didn’t do. Remember that it doesn’t define who you are. Our past doesn’t have to devine us if we have a determination to make different choices and a different mindset then before.

2 Corinthians 5:2 (Amplified Bible)

“Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!”

2.  Mistakes

No body is perfect, not even you. We all make mistakes. We are all imperfect. Making mistakes is part of life. That is why Jesus went to the cross; to save us from our sin and past mistakes. Lay your mistakes down at Christ’s feet as an offering. It is what is in your hand. It is what you are aching over. Offering it us to Jesus is the only thing you can do. He has a way of taking our mistakes and regrets and making something new from them. He makes beauty from ashes, even from ashes that was set on fire from your own match!

Isaiah 61:3 (NKJV)

“To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

It is all for God’s glory the changes He makes in you and I! We are His masterpieces and He is proud of His creation.

3.  Guilt

Once we have asked for forgiveness of the wrong we have done, and mean it, God forgives us. The enemy is the one who puts guilt on us. First he entices us to make bad choices and then, once we do, the enemy will try to put guilt on us. Either way it is torment. Don’t fall for this!

We are all guilty of sin. We are born into a fallen, sinful world. We are sinful by nature. Knowing we don’t have to live this way because of what Jesus did on the cross frees us. He took our place even though we were the ones who are guilty. Releasing the guilt and forgiving yourself brings freedom to your spirit.

Jeremiah 33:8 (Amplified)

“And I will cleanse them from all the guilt and iniquity by which they have sinned against Me, and I will forgive all their guilt and iniquities by which they have sinned and rebelled against Me.”

4.  Shame

Shame is a heavy heavy burden to carry with you everywhere you go. I know as I have experienced it in my life. Shame can be very painful and stressful. It torments us and seeps into every pore of our being to the point you feel your aroma is exuding shame.

Shame can come with those sins we are ashamed of. Sins we would never want anyone to know we committed. Shame can come from an adult figure who might have said to you; “Shame on you!” We can feel shame over a choice or something we have said.

Shame locks us in a prison cell. But the truth is we have the key to unlock the cell door and let ourselves out. Listening to good counsel and heeding what the Bible tells us to do will unlock our shameful prison. When the enemy tries to put that shame back on you, you tell Him you are forgiven and a new creation (2 Cor. 5:2). Remind yourself that Christ took all your shame on the cross and it was crucified there. It is finished!

Proverbs 13:18 (Amplified)

“Poverty and shame come to him who refuses instruction and correction, but he who heeds reproof is honored.”

Isaiah 54:4 (NKJV)

“Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; For you will forget the shame of your youth, and will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore.”

Isaiah 61:7 (NKJV)

“Instead of your shame you shall have double honor, and instead of confusion they shall rejoice in their portion. Therefore in their land they shall possess double; Everlasting joy shall be theirs.”

5.  Disappointments

We all experience disappointments in our life. It is what we do with those disappointments that shows our character. Are you rehashing your disappointments and thinking about what could have been? We have to place them in God’s hands.

I am sure Joseph was “disappointed” when his brothers sold him into slavery. If it were me I would have been deeply hurt and probably would have experienced un-forgiveness. Yet, God was with Joseph in every step of his life. God was with him in the pit. God was with him in Potpher’s house. God was with him in prison, and ultimately God was with him when he went to the palace.

Put your expectations in God and not man. Man will let us down always, but God never will. He has the perfect plan for our lives. He can turn a trial into a triumph you just wait and see. A disappointment can be a blessing in disguise. It could change your viewpoint or mindset over something. Our disappointments can be re-appointments as we place them in God’s hands.

So what about you? Is there anything in your past that you are having a hard time getting over? Now is the time to release, forgive, and be revived in your past so you can press forward to what God has waiting for you. No more road blocks to your destiny. Freedom to be yourself and to experience all that God has for you!

Your sister in Christ,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.krisbelfils.com,

www.hopefellowshipspokane.com

Revival Of Our Past (Part 1)

What do you think of when you think of your past? Do you have fond memories or do you cringe when you think about the events? Either way, God wants to bring revival and abundant life out of, or maybe even in spite of, our past.

This might sound crazy or illogical yet, I have seen and even experienced revival of my past. God has taken me back a few times to re-visit events or choices in my past to finally overcome them, and in reality, to finally overcome myself. I would struggle or trip over my past failures and mistakes time and again. I would beat myself up with words and thoughts of how I could have done things differently. My regrets were huge and I didn’t see anyway of escaping them. Often the shame of my bad choices would consume me and overtake me in such a way of paralyzing me spiritually and ministerially.

I remember a time in my life where God was showing me areas of my past that He wanted to breath life into. Areas I thought were dead and forever unchangeable somehow God has resurrected His beauty and breathed His very life into. God wants to do this in your life too.

Sometimes God has us go back to go forward. 

I have been pondering this idea for some time now. I believe God sometimes has us go back to an issue or event in our life and deal with it so we can move on in Him. He wants to bring healing in that area.

I remember a bike ride I took on my mountain bike. I hadn’t ridden my bike for a long time, and wanted to do some physical fitness. I took a route that my husband takes all the time on his road bike. As I went on this ride I quickly realized I was out of shape. There were several big hills that I had to get up and after each one I had to stop and get off my bike and rest. After riding for a half hour I wanted to go home, but didn’t want to take the same route back as I knew I would have to go up more big hills and my body was so tired. I thought “There has to be a short cut across the river to my house.” I asked some bike riders if there was a trail that would take me down to the walking bridge to cross the river. One of them pointed to a trail and said, “We just came from that trail. It will take you to the bridge, but it is a hard trail.” I said, “Thanks!” and continued down the trail they showed me. When I started riding on the trail it was very bumpy and filled with boulders, stumps, and roots of trees. Bumping along I fell off the trail three times as it was steep. I kept saying to my self, “This is better than riding up those steep hills!” So I continued down the trail. Soon I came to a Y in the road. I didn’t know if I should go left or right. The left road went upwards away from the river a little, but I thought it would lead me to the walking bridge. The right road went down to the river and I thought it would be too close to the river and be at the water’s edge. So I chose the left road. The more I went on this road the more I realized it was taking me totally away from the river and leading me up the mountain instead. After riding on the road for about a mile I said to my self, “I’ll have to go back to go forward!” Instantly I knew God was speaking to me, but didn’t know exactly what that meant. Eventually I arrived back at the Y and took the road on the right instead. This path took me over even a harder path, but eventually it took me to the walking bridge. Even after I crossed the bridge, I had to ride my bike for about another forty-five minutes to get home. My ride was a total of three hours. Which I call that ride, “The ride from Hell!” Still, I pondered the thought, “I have to go back to go forward.” Lord, what does this mean? What area in my life do I have to go back and deal with to go forward?

God began to show me several areas in my life that I needed to confront and deal with so I could go forward with what God has called me to do. There are many examples in the Bible of people who had to go back to go forward. One big example in the Bible is Jacob (Genesis 27 – 33).

Major events in Jacob’s life

Jacob and Esau were twins, and while they were in their mother’s womb, they struggled together within her. She didn’t understand so she asked God and He said, “Two nations are in your womb, two peoples shall be separated from your body; One people shall be stronger than the other, and the older shall serve the younger” (Gen. 25:23). Esau was born first and he came out red like a hairy garment all over. Esau means hairy. Then Jacob came out and took the heel of Esau. Jacob’s name means supplanter or Deceitful.One who takes the heel. Esau was a skillful hunter and Jacob was a mild man, dwelling in tents. Isaac loved Esau more than Jacob (Gen. 25:28a), and Rebekah loved Jacob (Gen. 25:28b).

Genesis 25:29 – 34 (NKJV)

“Now Jacob cooked a stew; and Esau came in from the field, and he was weary. And Esau said to Jacob, “Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary.” Therefore his name was called Edom (Red). But Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright as of this day.” And Esau said, “Look, I am about to die; so what is this birthright to me?” Then Jacob said, “Swear to me as of this day.” So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. And Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils; then he ate and drank, arose, and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.”

When the day came for Isaac to give his blessing to Esau (customary for the older to receive), he asked Esau to go out and hunt game and make a meal for him and then he was to bless Esau. Rebekah overheard Isaac speaking to Esau and told Jacob. Rebekah sent Jacob out to get the choice goats and made some food and gave it to Jacob to give to his father. He also put on Esau’s clothes and the skin’s of the kids of the goats. He tricked his father in giving Esau’s blessing to him. When Esau came in with the prepared food it was too late as Isaac already blessed Jacob. This made Esau very mad and he vowed that after his father’s passing he would go and kill Jacob. Finding this out, Rebekah sent Jacob away to Laban’s house. Jacob fled, he ran for fear of his life.

Arriving at Laban’s house, Jacob meets Rachel and falls in love with her. He has to work seven years for Laban to get her. Jacob fulfills his commitment and is tricked into marrying Rachel’s older sister, Leah. When Jacob finds this out he confronts Laban and Laban says to fulfill his week with Leah and then he would give Rachel to Jacob for another seven years of work. Jacob agrees and finishes the seven additional years and then works six more years for livestock. Jacob works a total of 20 years for Laban.

When it was time for Jacob to receive all that was promised to him he runs and takes his wives and children and livestock with him. Jacob had a way of running from his problems. He ran from the wrath of his brother, and now he runs from Laban.  But we will never conquer what we don’t confront. Eventually we will have to confront our past to overcome it or it will overcome us. This is the case with Jacob. He flees and has a three day head start, but Laban eventually finds him and confronts him. Ultimately Laban was deceitful in his dealings with Jacob and Jacob fled with everything Laban loved and worked for. The two make a covenant to cause no harm to each other.

After leaving Laban, Jacob went on his way to his homeland. Jacob knew he was going to have to confront his brother Esau. He sent messengers to tell Esau that Jacob has been with Laban and stayed until now. I have oxen, donkeys, flocks, and male and female servants; and was asking for Esau’s favor. The messengers reported back to Jacob that Esau had four hundred men and were coming his way. Jacob was afraid. He thought his brother was going to destroy all that Jacob worked for over the mistake he made in the past of robbing his brother of his birthright and father’s blessing.

Jacob divided the people that were with him, and the flocks and herds and camels into two groups. He said, “If Esau comes to the one company and attacks it, then the other company which is left will escape” (Genesis 32:8).

Jacob cried out to God for help and protection and favor. He took what he had in his hand to offer to his brother for reconciliation.

Genesis 32:14 – 15, 21 (NKJV)

“Two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, thirty mild camels with their colts, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten foals… So the present went on over before him, but he himself lodged that night in the camp.”

Jacob sent the gift to his brother and sent his wives and children over the brook and Jacob was left alone for the night.

Do You Limp?

Genesis 32:24 – 31 (NKJV)

“Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him. And He said, “Let Me go, for the day breaks.” But he said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me!” So He said to him, “What is your name? He said, “Jacob.” And he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.” Then Jacob asked, saying, “Tell me Your name, I pray.” And He said, “Why is it that you ask about My name?” And He blessed him there. So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: “For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” Just as he crossed over Penuel the sun rose on him, and he limped on his hip.”

Truthfully, I have a hard time trusting people who haven’t developed a “limp.” People who don’t “limp” are usually weak, and fearful over little things. They don’t know what it means to perservere. Why? Because they give up too quickly.

Limping people show they’ve pressed through a struggle for a blessing. Their limp shows  up whereever they go. They walked through a fight or a struggle, even with God, to come out the other side victorious.

You can spot “limpers” everywhere you go. They are the ones who are tenacious in dealing with things that come up in their life. They are those who have faith and know who they are in Christ. They are those who know what it is like to lack and know what it is to receive. Those who have a spiritual limp have wrestled with God over things and come out stronger, better, and forever changed over it. They are people who say, “I am pressing, pushing through this in Jesus Name!” They don’t allow their circumstance to win, but cry out to God for help and a blessing!

Jacob made peace with his past

Right after that Esau came. Jacob bowed to Esau seven times. “But Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept” (Genesis 33:4).

God granted favor with his brother in spite of Jacob’s deceitful past. This confrontation changed the stigma of Jacob’s past. Now, he and his brother reconciled as Esau received the gifts Jacob offered to him.

Genesis 33:11 (NKJV)

“Please, take my blessing that is brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough. So he urged him, and he took it.”

Jacob’s Critical Confrontation:

1.  God had Jacob go back to face his relationship with his brother Esau before he could move on.

2. He finished or completed what he had to do (Gen. 32:4 “I have dwelt with Laban and stayed there until now.”).

3. He had to face his fear of seeing his brother again (400 men with him – Gen. 32:6). Jacob was afraid of Esau but knew the confrontation had to take place.

4. He had to pray (Gen. 32:11).

5. He asked for favor from his brother (Jacob humbled himself).

6. It cost Jacob what was in his hand (Gen. 32:13 “…and took what came to his hand as a present for Esau his brother…”)

The word “hand” or yawd (Hebrew for hand), which is a primitive word means; “a hand (the open one indicating power, means, direction, etc.).”

If you let go of what is in your hand, God will let go of what is in His hand and give it to you. What are you hanging onto? What is so important that you can’t let go of it? When you let go, God will multiply it beyond what you could ever think it could be.

Think of the boy with the loaves and two fishes. See how it was multiplied thousands and thousands of times over. If the boy wouldn’t have given what he had, then it never would have been multiplied to feed thousands.

Give what you have in your hand. Don’t hang onto it. It might look good to you and you want to keep it, but God cannot multiply it for His glory until you let go of it. It is not yours in the first place, God gave it to you.

There is a story of a little girl who saved up her money to buy a fake pearl necklace. When she had saved up the money she joyfully went and purchased her necklace. That night, when her Daddy was tucking her into bed, she showed it to him with pride and joy. He looked and smiled at the necklace and asked, “Baby, will you give me the necklace?” The little girl was surprised that her Daddy wanted her necklace. She sadly said, “No, Daddy, I love this necklace.” Her Daddy gave her a kiss and said, “Good night honey, I love you!” and left her to go to sleep. The next day she wore her necklace and showed all her friends. She was so proud of it and all the little girls wanted one just like hers. That night, when her Daddy tucked her into bed he asked, “Baby, will you give me your new necklace?” She was devastated. Why did he asked for it again? He could have asked for anything else and she would have gladly gave it to him. She had say no, and was very sad he asked. Her Daddy loved on her and gave her a kiss and left her to go to sleep. When she woke up, all she could think about was her Daddy and how he wanted her necklace. She loved her Daddy more then her new necklace so she decided that if her Daddy asked her that night for it, she would give it to him. Sure enough, that night her Daddy tucked her into bed and asked her for her necklace. Immediately she took it off and gave it to her Daddy. She said, “I love you more then my new necklace.” As soon as she gave it to him, he pulled out from his pocket a real pearl necklace that he had for her all along and gave it to her.

Often God asks for what is in our hand. It may be our “precious” that we care about so deeply. Maybe a job, or ministry, or anything that we cherish. When He asks us for our “precious” He always has something better in store for us if we just are willing to give what is in our hand.

God never asks us to give away anything He hasn’t already given us.

Joyce Meyer

There was a cost for Jacob to go back in order to go forward. He wanted to give his brother a present. The gift went before Jacob preparing the way.

7. Esau ran and embraced Jacob. What Jacob feared turned into favor and forgiveness.

8. Once Jacob faced his relationship with his twin brother Esau, it was resolved and he never had to face that issue again.

Jacob was brave and decided to confront his past once and for all. The fruit of Jacob’s prayer, and all the preparation was the favor from his brother.

It is interesting that Jacob wrestles with God before he confronts his past with Esau. Whenever we have to confront something we don’t want to confront, we wrestle with it. God might ask us to look at something in our past and confront it. Our flesh will cry out in pain to flee. Human nature wants to leave it alone because it might be too painful to bear looking at again. Often we wrestle alone and have to get to the end of ourselves to give God control.

Maybe we are afraid of facing our past? Maybe we are bitter or unforgiving towards someone for what they’ve done to us. It could be we have done something we regret and have not forgiven ourselves. All these situations we bring into our adult lives and they make us who we are today. Yet, if we want to live an abundant life we might have to go back and deal with them to go forward to obtain our promised land the Lord has for us. Jacob is a wonderful example of this.

Issues with people, events, or circumstances need to be dealt with. If they are not, they will eventually start stinking in our lives and other people will start to notice the stench in us. They become a dead corpse. The good news is that when we decide to confront our past, God is always there with us. He is ministering to us as we turn the issue over to Him. God sees your heart and knows your motives. We are blessed when we obey His prompting and much good comes from obedience.

Write down on a separate sheet of paper any issue from your past that is unresolved, then take them to God in prayer and ask Him to help you resolve them. This takes courage!

For the rest of “Revival Of Our Past” go to Part 2.

Blessings,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.krisbelfils.com

www.hopefellowshipspokane.com 

A Cry For Revival Series: “Revival of Our Spirit!”

The spirit of a person is interesting to look at. It deals with the inner make up of the person. How they think and function on the inside comes out as action, speech, reaction, etc., on the outside.

What we feed our spirit will eventually come out. We need to take inventory of what is inside of us. Are you fighting with feelings of insecurity or inferiority? Do you feed your spirit with good things or bad? What are you telling yourself on a regular basis? We have to learn to feed our spirit with good things and to spend time with God. Whom ever or whatever  you spend the most time with, that is whom or what you will become.

“Take inventory of who you hang around and what you involve yourself with. This is what you will become.”

Pastor Kris Belfils

Now to apply this thought to revival, we have to remember that dwelling with Christ brings intimacy and power. It brings satisfaction and contentment. Intimacy with Christ brings boldness and life to us.

Romans 8:11 (NKJV) “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” 

The same spirit that raised Jesus from the grave dwells in, lives in, and inhabits us. When you think about that, wow, it brings a whole new look at intimacy with God. I will do everything possible to have and keep a close relationship with God. My relationship with Him is a precious thing, it is my life! Our thinking can produce life or death. I was writing in my journal the other day and here is what I wrote:

“I sense a revival in my spirit, a turning from thinking dead thoughts to thoughts that produce life. Breathe new life into every area of me, Lord. Create and resurrect new thinking in my spirit. I throw away all the old thinking that only brought death. I decree new life! I decree hope and your promises! You are my Resurrection power. The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in me!”

Keeping and maintaining a close relationship with God will change our way of thinking. We can bring death in our life by thinking thoughts that produce death. Our actions can bring death, not only to us, but to our friends and family, church body, co-workers, and more. Let me give you an example:

Gossip and Misunderstandings

We can “perceive” something was said by someone, or something was done by someone, and believe it to be truth. Once we believe the lie as truth, we act upon it and might even gossip to other people about what we thought was said. Then, the person we gossiped to tells someone one else, and in turn they tell someone else. It can go around a church like wild fire and hurt someone’s reputation in just a short amount of time. This blocks the Holy Spirit from moving in hearts. This also blocks any leader from ministering to people within the church if the church is believing a lie about them as a leader.

We need God to revive our spirits so we don’t look through the tainted glasses of gossip and misunderstanding. Always go to the source and find out if the information that was said is true. Better yet, don’t even believe for a minute the gossip in the first place. Gossip will prevent revival from coming in your life and in the body of Christ. God hates sin, and gossip is sin!

Remember that sin separates us from God. We need to be a people who are quick to repent and to make things right with those we hurt. We can’t go around causing hurts and cutsin other people’s lives and not expect any consequences to happen in our own life. Remember how we judge will be measured back to us.

Matthew 7:1 – 2 (NKJV) “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.”

I like how the Amplified Bible states these verses:

Matthew 7:1 – 2 (Amplified Bible) “DO NOT judge and criticize and condemn others, so that you may not be judged and criticized and condemned yourselves. For just as you judge and criticize and condemn others, you will be judged and criticized and condemned, and in accordance with the measure you [use to] deal out to others, it will be dealt out again to you.”

Think about what you have been talking to others about lately. Has it been edifying to your spirit and to those that are listening? What have you been watching on the television or movies? What have you been listening to on the radio? Personally, I am very protective of what I watch and listen to as I know it can affect me in a positive or negative way. If you are longing to be revived but keep feeding your spirit with things that don’t edify you, it will eventually dry up your spirit and you will become indifferent to the things of God. You won’t become revived, quit the opposite, your spirit will start to die. Allow God to revive your spirit and your love for Him will grow more and more.

Revival of our spirit will affect all areas of our life!

It is easy to get caught in the mundane of life. We lose our first love of God and start going through the motions instead of living life abundantly (John 10:10), especially if you have been a Christian for many years. Remember this can be a trap of the enemy to prevent you from becoming all God created you to be. Don’t settle for less than what God’s word promises. Get a promise book out and read the topics that concern you. Allow God’s word to penetrate your spirit and sink in until you start believing it.

When you see a person who is dying and people are trying to resuscitate them, their body is lifeless. But when that person is resuscitated they start to move. They start to talk, they start to possibly get up and walk. This is what happens with our spirit. God is trying to resuscitate us. He knows what we need to come alive again.  Don’t settle for the “should of” and “Could of.” I should of written that book I was thinking about! I could of made something of my life but I became discouraged, or just was lazy. I should of married that person I fell in love with. I could of shown more love to my family and children. I should have applied for that job I’ve always wanted. I could of started my own business but I was too afraid.

Become alive and live your life! You are the only person who can enjoy your life. No one else can enjoy it, only you. Stop blaming circumstances or people for what you lack. Allow your spirit to be revived and watch how your entire life will change. It doesn’t matter how old or young you are. God created you! Therefore you have a purpose on this earth. Plan to fulfill that purpose!

Job 32:8 (NKJV) “But there is a spirit in man, And the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding.”

The word spirit in this verse means: “Wind, breath, life, anger, air, blast, courage, mind, to blow, breathe, to smell, touch, make of quick understanding (the primative root).” Often our spirit has a lack of courage and is fearful to deal with things that are troubling to us. We might not even see areas in us that need change. It is like the “elephant in the living room” syndrome. Everyone else can see it but we can’t. Either we are choosing to ignore it or we are in denial.

The Elephant In Your Living Room

Elements To Courage

I took my daughters to school and both of them didn’t want to go. It was Monday, and Monday is the hardest day of the week after having two days off for the weekend. My daughters have always wanted to be with my husband and I instead of going. I can understand as I was the same way when I was younger. I would rather do anything instead of go to school. As I was saying, “Good bye” to them, I spoke out, “Be brave, and be strong and courageous!” I started to think about those words and what I was going through in my own life. Recently I have been facing my fears and walking through things I have avoided for years. God has been telling me to be “strong and courageous” (Joshua 1:6) as I face my giants and obstacles that come my way to get to the Promised Land. Fear of the unknown, fear of my past, fear of man, fear of failure, and even the fear that I missed the Promised Land altogether.

Being courageous is not an easy thing to do, especially when it has been marks of your character to run and bolt under pressure. The word courageous means: possessing or displaying courage; able to face and deal with danger or fear without flinching.

The word courage means: “The quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc, without fear, and with self-possession, confidence, resolution; bravery.”

There are times when I do feel courageous and I face my fears, other times I shrink back and find a place of refuge. I believe God knows and sees this. He knows when I am weak or vulnerable. I also believe God will bring about encouragement somehow. It might be a passage of scripture you read that blesses you and gives you strength to continue. It might be a friend or loved one saying or doing something for you. It might be the Holy Spirit speaking to your heart in such a way that you realize you can keep going under fire.

There are several elements to courage that are always there. Courage is part of our spirit. When we follow through with what we need to do, even though we don’t want to do it, we will see all these elements come to pass.

ELEMENTS TO COURAGE

1. Courage takes boldness – Face your fearsFear, in it self, can rule us and paralyze us if we let it. Fear of the unknown is overwhelming if we allow the thoughts to take over our minds. One thing I have found to combat fear in my life is to remind myself of God’s faithfulness. I remember situations in my past that God has brought me through and I tell myself that He will bring me through this too.

We must remember that retreating from our fears only brings weakness. It also multiplies the fear in our minds and it becomes even bigger than reality. I know as I have done it in my life. Then, instead of facing something small and manageable, we face a puffed up illusion of the fear. This can only bring torment and pain. This is the enemies work. We have to recognize it for what it is. God is not a God of fear. He is a God of courage. So, if you face any fears in your life, realize God wants you to have courage. Pray and ask God what you should do. Should you confront the fear? Should you wait? Should you just let the fear go and trust God for the outcome?

This week I have had to look at some “scary” fears in my life. As I looked at them, I let them overwhelm me and I began to retreat and want to give up. Courage was not in me at all. This is rather hard to tell you as I have a fear of people thinking I am not a strong woman of God, or weak in the face of fear. But as I started to retreat, I turned around and looked at the fear. It became even bigger to me. I stopped and walked right up to it and saw it finally for what it was; fiction. Fear is fiction, at least the fear I was facing. It was not reality. I had allowed the fear of man, and fear of my past, to paralyze and prevent me from moving on with my life, and with ministry.

One of my fears is not measuring up to other people. I have always felt “less than” others. This fear has blown up so big in my life. I was shocked at the size I had allowed it to get. My insecurities and weaknesses were so huge in my mind that they seemed insurmountable. But the only way I will overcome them is to face them and push myself towards them. I am determined to not be in bondage to my fears. We all have them; it is how we deal with them that really determine what we will do in life. So I have made a determination in my heart to walk towards my fears instead of retreating or finding a place to hide.

A close friend pointed out some of my fears to me. It was like the big “elephant in the living room” syndrome. Everyone sees you have a big elephant in your living room, as matter of fact it is taking up all the extra space for anyone to sit down and fellowship with you. Yet, you have no clue that the elephant is there. I can imagine a comedy skit of a big elephant in the living room and people are sitting down on the couches or chairs trying to drink a cup of coffee and fellowship with you, but the elephant is so big that it is sitting in everyone’s lap. Still you don’t even acknowledge it being there and you try to strike up a conversation with people. Everyone else sees the elephant and knows what needs to be done, but you are totally ignoring the obvious.

It takes courage to face our elephants. 

2. Courage knows God is always there – Realize you are not aloneOften times we think we have to face our fears alone. That makes our fears even worse. We think we are the only one there to figure out what to do. We have to realize we are never alone, we always have God there. He is constantly speaking to our heart words of help, direction, encouragement, and peace. We just have to tune our spiritual ears into His frequency.

1 Samuel 12:22  “For the LORD will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake: because it hath pleased the LORD to make you his people.” Hebrews 13:5- 6 “Your life should be free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for He Himself has said, I will never leave you or forsake you. Therefore, we may boldly say: The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”

God’s love can envelop us to overcome our fears. He is not expecting you to be strong and courageous without him. Our loving Lord will shower us with the confidence of His love to walk and face what we need to face. In His love we are transformed and changed. We see things from a different perspective. The perspective is from His loving arms looking out to the situation. Everything seems smaller and easily attainable and manageable from His arms. Let us remember that perfect love drives out fear.

1 John 4:18 states “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”

God’s love for us is perfect. His love drives our fear away if we receive it. We know fear is not of God strictly because fear torments us. God is a God of love, not torment.

1 John 4:18 (Message) “There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life–fear of death, fear of judgment–is one not yet fully formed in love.” 

God is calling his people to be strong under fire. So many times we want the easy road out. We would rather find a more comfortable path to take in life then to walk through a rough trial. But if we walk through what is in front of us we will be stronger for it. We will receive a wonderful reward for endurance.

Joshua 1:6a “Be strong and courageous…” 

 3. Courage takes risks – Step out beyond what you know

Usually when you have to confront something, it takes an element of risk into the unknown. Joshua visited the Promised Land earlier under Moses leadership, and knew what was in the land he had to confront. Did he know how they were going to overcome the giants? No! But he did know God was with him and He was willing to face what was ahead in the security of knowing God was for him, and not against him.

The element of risk is challenging. What is your character? Do you cringe at the thought of risking something? If there is risk involved, it does mean you will have to let go of something to reach for something new.

The definition of the word, “risk” is, “the exposure to the chance of injury or loss,” so there will be a loss of some sort. The loss here is the loss of fear! It is worth the risk of stepping out in courage to confront fear. The more and more we step out and confront the fear, the easier and less threatening it becomes in our lives. The risk to the exposure of injury is always a threat. That is why we retreat when we see fear. We don’t want to get hurt. Our flesh will scream at us and yell, STOP AND TURN AROUND,” while our head and our heart is saying, “KEEP PRESSING FORWARD!” We really don’t have a choice when it comes to living life and enduring from day to day. If we stop, we will digress or self-destruct. There is nothing healthy about that. No, the only choice we have is to keep going and to press in to any fear and meet it head on to over come it.

4. Courage takes resilience – Enduring when you want to  give up

Resilience is “the power or ability to return to the original form or position after being bent, compressed, or stretched; elasticity. It is the ability to recover from illness, depression, adversity, or the like; buoyancy.”Courage takes resilience. It is a knowing that as you are walking in the face of your fears, you will be ok. It is continuing to move forward even though you see potential hazards around you. Remember that God is always with us,

Isaiah 42:3 He will not break a bruised reed, and He will not put out a smoldering wick; He will faithfully bring justice.”

God will not allow you to be bent to the place of breaking. He is with you and has His eye on you constantly. That’s His character. He knows what you can endure, which is more than what you think you can endure. Resilience is good as it brings healthy growth.

I heard about an environment scientists were trying to create in the desert. They created a dome structure that would grow all sorts of plants and trees. They would plant all types of wildlife. But as the trees would grow, they started to bend back towards the ground. The scientists were baffled over this. They gave the trees proper care, nourishment, and sunlight, but they still would grow straight for awhile, and then bend towards the ground. Finally one of the scientists realized there was no wind. The trees needed wind to face resistance to make them grow strong under pressure.

This is exactly what happens with us. We need the winds of adversity to make us grow under pressure. If we never faced anything that was challenging, we would never know what it was like to overcome.

James 1:12   “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”

I want to be one who bounces back under pressure. I want to find myself strong after facing my fears.

5. Courage takes action – Step out; make a move!

Faith takes action. It is one thing to believe God will bring you to your promised land, and it is another to never step one foot towards that promise. We cannot expect to advance and take the land if we stay in one place. God is waiting for you to step out. The fear of stepping in the wrong direction is bondage. If you never step, you will never obtain. I believe if you step in the wrong direction, God will lovingly correct you if your heart is to do His will and to please Him. Stand in the confidence of Who’s you are. Step out in faith believing God will move after you move. Just like the Priests who had to step into the water with the Ark of the Covenant, once they took a step, the waters began to part. Before they took the step, the waters never moved (Joshua 3).

Hebrews 10:35 – 39 (HCSB) “So don’t throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you need endurance, so that after you have done God’s will, you may receive what was promised. For in yet a very little while, the coming One will come and not delay. But My righteous one will live by faith; and if he draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not those who draw back and are destroyed, but those who have faith and obtain life.” 

Take a step towards your fears

Retreating is the opposite of taking a step forward towards your fears. Let’s take a step forward in getting rid of the elephant in our living room and riviving our spirit! What does a step forward look like? 

  1. It can come in the form of casting down imaginations that try and exalt themselves above the knowledge of God in your heart (2 Cor. 10:5).
  2. It is bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
  3. Another form of stepping towards your fears can be doing the exact opposite of what your flesh tells you.

If you are afraid of man and what they think of you, then you need to function and walk where you think people are having a problem with you, and love them unconditionally. How about facing the very person that hurt you in your past and give them forgiveness? I have done this in my past and it has freed me from tons of bondage fear brought.

One of the biggest things we can do is confront the enemy and cast him down. We have let him have a stronghold for too long and it’s time for us to take our authority and command him to leave us.

Courage is a wonderful character trait if we let it be complete in us. Courage is nothing if we don’t act upon it. It takes boldness to face our fears. We can never overcome anything in our life if we don’t confront it and look at it for what it is.

Why allow the elephant to live in your living room any longer? It doesn’t belong there in the first place. Fiction will puff itself up and that is exactly what fear does. Remember you are not alone. God always sees and is constantly watching over you. You can walk through this with confidence.

Don’t get discouraged at what you see, but be encouraged as you step into the unknown.

If we want to experience more of God we have to step where we haven’t been before. Be resilient! Endure even when you want to stop, or retreat. I am sure you can think of some action you need to take to move towards your fears with courage. Ask God to show you what you need to do. Be brave! Don’t be afraid. Allow your spirit to be revived as you step out in courage to conquer what you finally need to conquer in your life.

Take your promise land. Will the land come to you? No, land doesn’t walk! You have to take the steps to obtain it. As courage is being developed in your spirit it brings revival. Your spirit is renewed and you can finally conquer what has been tormenting you for all these years. Take care of your spirit. It is who you are.

Your courageous sister in Christ,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.krisbelfils.com

www.hopefellowshipspokane.com

www.krisbelfils.wordpress.com