Saturday, May 28, 2016

Open Your Mouth And Shut The Devil Up!

Joshua 4:20-24

20 And those twelve stones which they took out of the Jordan, Joshua set up in Gilgal.  21 Then he spoke to the children of Israel, saying: “When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’  22 then you shall let your children know, saying, ‘Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry land’;  23 for the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed over,  24 that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.”
In the text it says that Joshua chose twelve men, one from each of the twleve tribes of Israel and commanded them to take every man a stone.  These stones were to become a memorial to the miraculous power of God that divided the Jordan and delivered the children of Israel. These stones were to be a reminder for all the ages of the power of God to deliver His children from circumstances when it appears to everyone that all hope is lost.  The stones were their testimony to the world.
Don’t ever think that your testimony isn’t important, according to the Word of God you are made an overcomer by the blood of Jesus and by the word of your testimony. (Revelation 12:11)

Romans 8:37
“Nay in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”
I am more than a conqueror: More because I didn’t just get delivered, I didn’t just get healed, I didn’t just make it through the Jordan waters: God gave me a testimony!  It is the blood of Jesus, coupled with the word of my testimony that makes me more than a conqueror!  I have become an overcomer! defines "Overcomer" as: 1. To get the better of in a conflict  2. to prevail over  3. To overpower or overwhelm   4. To gain the victory; win; conquer.

Why is Satan so bent on keeping your mouth shut?  Because our testimony makes us dangerous and because our testimony makes us a threat to hell.  You see it’s not just what you made it through that makes you a threat to hell, it is the power of God that brought you through it all.  Your personal victory benefits no one except you, until you open your mouth and declare the faithfulness and the mercy of God that delivered you and set you free.  Then your testimony becomes a weapon, it becomes a sword in your hand, it becomes an instrument of power to set the captive free, and it becomes a lifeline to someone who is sinking.
So many of Gods people have been shamed by the devil into hiding their testimony.  He tells them. "if they know who you really are, they will reject you."  But I have found that nothing is further from the truth.  Satan wants you to be silent because he knows the power of your testimony.  
Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”
Satan wants us to keep our mouths shut because he knows your testimony has the power to bring life.  He knows it can give hope to the hopeless, he knows it can give joy and peace to those who are tormented daily by their failures, and he knows it will bring restoration and deliverance to those who are trapped in the chains of a backslider! 
It is my story!  it was my heartbreak, it was my confusion and fear, it was my fall, it was real, it was hot, and it hurt.  There were times I felt like I wasn’t going to make it, times I felt like I was going to lose my mind, and times I felt like I was going to die.  But I am here today and I made it!  My mistakes didn’t kill me, I was bitten but I didn’t die, the alcohol and drugs didn’t kill me, the sickness didn’t kill me, the motorcycle wreck didn’t kill me, my marriage survived, and I found my way back to God.
My ministry was destroyed, my character was destroyed, but it didn’t kill me. I walked through the valley of the shadow of death, but I’m still alive.  I walked through the fiery furnace but I didn’t burn up.  I waded through deep waters but I didn’t drown.  I heard Satan whisper time and time again, “I’m going to kill you.”
But I’m still here, healed, delivered, set free, and preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ once again!  I’ve got a testimony! 
For years I fought hell every day and there were times when I felt like giving up, there were times when I felt like I wouldn’t make it, there were people who said I wouldn’t make it, and there were people who had written me off.  But Jesus gave me a testimony, He raised me up, He healed me and He delivered me from the mouth of the lion!
I should be dead…
·         But God has healed me.
·         But God has delivered me.
·         But God has promoted me.
·         But God has protected me.
·         But God has anointed me.
Has anybody got a testimony?  The three Hebrew children had a great miracle when God delivered them from the fiery furnace. But the most valuable thing that they received that day was not the miracle, it was the testimony.  Because the miracle was theirs alone and only benefited them, it was just for that day and for that problem, but their testimony is still bringing hope to the hopeless, it’s still bringing strength to the weak, healing to the sick, and deliverance to the captive.  We overcome today by the blood of the lamb, and by the word of our testimony.
I believe now that somebody is going to be delivered because of my testimony, to be healed because of my testimony, and somebody is going to receive boldness and strength to try again because of my testimony.  Somebody who was going to quit the ministry is going to stay, somebody who was on the verge of a nervous breakdown is going to find peace, and somebody who was ready to quit on life is going to keep on living because of my testimony.
No wonder the devil is trying so hard to kill us, no wonder we’ve been going through the fiery furnace. He wants to shut us up; he wants to kill our testimony.
Psalm 9:13-14
David tells how God lifted him up from the gates of death, so that he could testify to the people of his deliverance, and tell how what the enemy sent to destroy him, backfired in the enemies face and destroyed them.
God is going to make the devils plan backfire in his face, if you will hold on God will deliver you and he will put the enemy's sword in your hand and you will cut off your enemy's head with his own sword and God will give you a testimony.
You need to know that there is…
·         No miracle without a problem
·         No victory without a battle
·         No crown without a cross
·         No resurrection without a death
·         And no testimony without a test
Somebody reading this today is going through the fire right now.  You’re in the fight of your life, for your life. You’re walking through the valley of the shadow of death.  You’re being attacked physically, spiritually, and financially.  Your family is under attack, your marriage is being attacked, your ministry is being attacked, it seems like all hell has been unleashed against you.  But the Lord told me to tell you, “You’re going to make it!  You’re not going under, you’re going over!  You’re not going to burn up in the fire, but you’re coming out with victory and you’re coming out with a testimony that will shake hell, and will break down walls and set captives free.”
When the children of Israel crossed the Jordan River, they set up two pillars.  One was in the middle of Jordan and one was on the other side of Jordan.  The first one in the middle of Jordan was a midway praise, “I’m going through it praise.”
I’m going through sickness, but I’m going to praise him anyway.  I’m going through a divorce, but I’m going to praise him anyway.  I’m going through financial problems, they’re threatening to foreclose on my house, but I’m going to praise him anyway.  I’m going through it with my children, they’re on drugs, they’re rebellious and hateful, but I’m going to praise him anyway.  You may be in the darkest times of your life, but give God praise.
Paul and Silas were beaten, and humiliated publicly, and they were bound and cast into the inner prison.  They could have murmured and complained, they could have been angry and bitter, or they could have slipped over into self-pity, but they didn’t.  The Word of God says that at midnight, Paul and Silas began to pray and sing praises unto God, and God shook that prison off of its foundation, shook the doors off their hinges, and broke the shackles off of every prisoner.
I just want to tell somebody, God works the night shift.  You may not see it, but He’s working.  You may not feel it, but He’s working.  He doth work!  He’s working on the left hand and He’s working on the right hand and when He gets through with what He’s doing, He’s going to flip the light on and you’re going to see what’s He’s been working on in the dark.
When the children of Israel got to the other side of the Jordan: Joshua said, now take those stones that you carried out of the Jordan River and build a pillar here. This is your Thank God I made it Praise.  This is your thank God I made it testimony.
Is there anybody who has a thank God I made it Praise? A thank God I made it testimony?  Is there anybody who knows it’s a miracle you’re still here?
Psalm 119:92 Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in mine affliction.
Psalm 40:2, 3 He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.  And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.
David said: I was stuck in a horrible pit, I was sinking into the miry clay, all joy and all peace was fading from view, it looked like I was going to die, it looked like I would never be happy again, It looked like the devil had won, but God reached down into that horrible pit and he pulled me out of that miry clay, and he set my feet upon the rock, and he gave me back my joy, and he gave me back my peace and he gave me back my song,
What David was saying is that God has given me a testimony and when people hear my testimony they will honor God and put their trust in him for their own deliverance, and their own miracle.
Do you have a testimony?
Do you have a midnight praise?
Do you have a thank God I made it praise?
Does anybody know how to give God Praise?
Then open your mouth and give God praise, and tell the devil he’s a liar, and tell the devil he’s a loser.  Tell the devil your God is greater than divorce, your God is greater than cancer and heart trouble, Your God is greater than sugar diabetes and high blood pressure. Your God is greater than arthritis, and deafness and cataracts.  SCREAM IT IN THE DEVIL’S FACE!
My God is greater than drug addiction, He’s greater than homosexuality, He’s greater than perversion.
Now testify…
·         I was sick but God healed me.
·         I was lost but Jesus found me
·         I was bound by drugs and alcohol but God delivered me
·         I was oppressed by a spirit of fear but God set me free
·         I was about to lose my marriage but God brought restoration
·         I was about to lose my mind but God stepped in and spoke peace
There’s power in your testimony!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Our Enemy Has No Arms

Acts 1:8

“...and you will receive power when the Holy Ghost has come upon you to be my witnesses…”

Contrary to popular belief, God is not  distant.  The Lord has made His presence known to man throughout history.  Before man's fall, God actually walked in the garden and conversed with Adam face to face.  In the book of Exodus He appeared to Moses in a burning bush, He manifested himself as a pillar of fire and a cloud, and prior to becoming flesh and dwelling among us the "Son of Man" appeared in the flames with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the book of Daniel.

Acts 2:17-19
“‘In the last days I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.  Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.  I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke.” 
And now He has chosen to pour His Spirit into "jars of clay" and to use us to manifest his power to the world.  We were created for the power of God!  We have been born again of the Holy Spirit!  We are filled with the Spirit, led by the spirit, taught by the spirit, kept by the spirit, baptized in the Holy Ghost and empowered by the Spirit.
There are only two powers in the earth, the Power of God and the Power of Satan.  There is nothing in between.  We are in a struggle between good and evil, light and darkness, and between love and hate.  The Word makes it very clear that a person cannot serve two masters.  You are either in God’s Kingdom or you are in Satan’s Kingdom, there is no middle ground.  You cannot claim you live in Gods kingdom and derive your pleasure and your enjoyment from the kingdom of God's enemy. (I Corinthians 10:21; I John 1:6; Ephesians 5:11)
As a child of God you have a divine call on your life: Matthew 5:14, “you are the salt of the earth.”
Salt has healing properties, it preserves, it seasons, and it creates a thirst.  The manifestation of Christ’s Holy Spirit in you causes your life to be a channel of healing and comfort, a seasoning and preserving influence, and it makes your life exciting and joyous.
“You are the Light of the world.” His Holy Spirit causes your life to be a beacon in the night. Your life, your words, your attitude, become a light to those who are in darkness. Now is not the time for indifference. Now is not the time to stand by and watch as the enemy of God destroys lives.
I heard a story once of a man who was found at the beach throwing star fish back into the ocean, the tide had washed them up onto the beach, and they were dying.  Some teenagers came by and saw what he was trying to accomplish and they shouted, “You’re wasting your time, you’ll never make a difference, there are too many here to save!”
As the man lifted another star fish and threw him back into the ocean he said with a smile, “it made a difference to that one.”
Satan’s best friend is the lukewarm Christian, they’re a false representation of Jesus, and they drive people away from Christ rather than draw them to him.
There is nothing that Satan fears more than to see God’s people on fire for Jesus.  There is nothing Satan desires more than to see the energy of God’s children perverted in the pursuit of natural earthly, carnal and selfish desires, or wasted wrapped up in an attitude of indifference.
God wants to set your life on fire, He wants to fill you with His power, He wants to release you in fields that are ripe for harvest, to give you power to be a witness, to use you to break the chains and set free those in bondage to addictions, and to lay your hands on the sick and see them healed.  He wants to fill you with the Holy Ghost!
You were created for power!
There is only one answer for the brokenness of this world, and it cannot be found in anything other than the Power of God, and that power can only come from the infilling of His Holy Spirit!
"All authority in Heaven and Earth has been given Me" - Matthew 28:18

"Behold I give you power to tread upon serpents and scorpions and and over all the power of the enemy, nothing by any means shall hurt you" - Luke 10:19

"Having disarmed principalities and powers He made a public spectacle of them triumphing over them by the cross" - Colossians 2:15

"You shall receive power when the Holy Ghost is come upon you. And you shall be my witnesses"  - Acts 1:8

Why do we cower? Why do we shrink back? Why do we fear? We fight an enemy who has been disarmed!  Our enemy has no arms!  He cannot touch us!  He cannot harm us!  We have all the authority and all the power!  We can advance on his kingdom and his weapons are useless against us!  It's time to advance on the kingdom of Satan and take back what he has stolen from us!  In Jesus name I declare to you today, I will not fear an enemy who cannot touch me unless I allow him to, and I say not today devil, not tomorrow, and never again!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

I'm Going Over!

Luke 8:22-25

One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.  “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.  In fear and amazement, they asked one another, “Who is this?  He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”

 In this passage is the promise of God’s presence, “Let us go,” Jesus said.  In another passage of scripture Jesus had told them He would never leave them or forsake them.  In fact, He promised them that he would go with them to the very ends of the earth.  And so they hopped in the boat eagerly, and willingly.  They pushed out from the shore with Jesus in the boat, their fellowship was sweet.  It was all good, the weather was calm, the skies were blue, and the fellowship would have been incredible (After all they were with Jesus).  Everything seemed to be perfect for a day of smooth sailing.  Then Jesus decided to take a nap.

This is just like it is with us when everything is going good in our lives.  The Holy Spirit never sleeps, but it is possible for His presence to become so unimportant to us, we all face the danger of treating the privilege of being spirit filled lightly, and if we are not careful the power of His presence can become dormant in our lives.  I know, I am speaking from experience.

Notice that when we forget the importance of having His presence with us, and the storms come, fear replaces power.  One of the first lessons we need to learn is that storms are a part of life. We are not going to get through this life without having to ride out some storms.  For those who do not have the privilege of His presence fear is the natural response, its human nature.  But those who have access to the throne room of God should respond to storms with power, with a supernatural manifestation of the Holy Spirit, and faith should replace fear.  This is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith: But there is no faith without God’s Holy Spirit.

How do we keep His presence fresh in our lives?  We have got to be in the Word daily.  It is one thing to admire the Word of God, to appreciate the Word of God, and even mentally assent to its validity, but it is another thing entirely when the Word of God is the only thing that stands between you and destruction.

Isa 53:1 KJV - Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?

In every situation there are two reports, man’s report and God’s report.

It’s sad that many times, the Word doesn’t become important to us until it’s a matter of life or death, or you’re faced with losing your home, or your marriage is on the rocks.  Storms come to everyone, no one is exempt from the storm.  The Word says that it rains on the just and the unjust alike.  The only question is how will you face them?  Everything depends on your attitude toward the Word of God.  Jesus said, “My mother and my brethren are they who hear the Word and do it.”

The lesson Jesus would have us all learn is, the Word works, but you have to work it.  The disciples had seen Jesus, the living Word, heal the sick, raise the dead, and cast out devils.  But this day Jesus wanted them to learn how to do the work of the Word for themselves.  To do the work the Word is to live beyond the dictates of circumstances, to work the Word is to act like you believe God’s report instead of man’s report.  To act like you believe that God told the truth even when it looks like He didn’t.  Working the word does not mean that we ignore the circumstances, it just means that we look beyond them and see His promises.  Even if it looks like everything in the world is against us we simply claim the promises of His Word and live as though we have already received them (The substance of things hoped for).

Let us go over to the other side.  If they had been working the Word, when the storm came they would have just lifted their hands and their voices to praise God and claimed His promise that they were going to the other side.  Jesus said we’re going over and it’s settled, so the storm can either get out of the way, or we’ll just go through it, but one things settled: We’re going to the other side because He said so.

Today we need to practice His presence, to stir up His Word in our hearts, we need to read the Word, to confess the Word, and to praise God in our storms according to His Word.

Jesus arose and rebuked the wind and raging water and they ceased and there was a great calm.  And then He asked them, “Where is your faith?”  What Jesus was saying essentially was: I told you we were going over to the other side, you had everything you needed to deal with anything that got in your way.  You had the privilege of my presence and you had my Word. If you had really believed me, you would have rebuked that storm yourself.

How about you, where is your faith?  Is it in the weather?  Is it in a man-made boat?  Is it in your ability to navigate the storm?  Is it in the people in the boat with you?  Or is it in God?

Those who believe the Word are peculiar to the world, while the world is crying about “going under”, we are praising about “going over.”  Our destination is determined, but we must be determined to reach our destination.  I have decided, I will “go over to the other side.”

Friday, May 6, 2016

Your Disaster Doesn't Determine Your Destiny!

Philippians 1:3-6
“3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

I have been going through a difficult time the last two weeks, there was a shake-up in our ministry.  We lost a very important person suddenly, when they decided they wanted to quit.  I have been mourning the loss, trying to figure out why it happened, and trying to make sense of the whole deal.  But God showed me something that I felt I needed to share with all of my friends.

Regardless of what you are currently facing or what situation you may find yourself in, the truth is your greatest days are in front of you. You’re not a finished product!  You have not yet reached your potential!  The work that the Lord has started in you, if you do not grow weary and quit, He will bring to fruition!

You may be in the midst of the greatest battle you have ever faced.  Hell may have launched an all-out assault on you, maybe you are in the middle of a trial, an affliction, or a setback, and you cannot see any way out; I have good news for you!  Your Destiny is greater than this disaster!

Hell doesn’t have enough devils and you don’t have enough enemies to keep God’s purpose for your life from being fulfilled!  Satan does not determine the outcome of your life!  You don’t belong to the devil; you belong to God.  Just like the Satan could not keep Jesus in the grave, he can’t keep you in the trial, the setback, or the affliction that you are in right now. Your Destiny is greater than your disaster!

Acts 2:24

“But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.” (NIV)

Peter said, “It was impossible for death to hold Him.” Jesus did not have enough enemies. The Roman soldiers did not have enough power; even Satan himself could not stop the resurrection. Jesus was destined to go into the grave and He was destined to come out!  Jesus knew that He would be crucified but He also knew after the crucifixion there would be a resurrection. He knew that the cross was not the end but only the beginning.

Listen to me!  Every single one of us will encounter setbacks as we serve God.  It’s the nature of the life that seeks to be a threat to hell by attacking the strongholds of the devil.  But a setback doesn’t mean it’s over.  A setback is positioning you for a comeback!  A door shut means a door is about to open.  An ending only means that there is getting ready to be a new beginning.  The road to destiny in Christ always consists of endings and beginnings, setbacks, and comebacks. If you are experiencing a great setback at the present time, get ready to experience a great come back!  Your Destiny is greater than your disaster!

Job experienced great loss, but in the end the Lord blessed him with twice as much as he had before. His latter end was greater than his beginning.  Job’s destiny was greater than his disaster!

God will bring you out of this trial, this affliction, or this setback you are experiencing.  God brought Joseph out of the pit! He brought Israel out of Egypt! He brought Daniel out of the lion’s den and the three Hebrew children out of the fire!  Their Destiny was greater than their disaster, and so is yours!

No storm is made to last forever, neither should your trial, affliction, or setback. You shouldn’t be fighting the same battle today that you were fighting last year.

Romans 8:37

“37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

In how many things do we conquer?  All things!  I know it’s hard to understand. I know in the natural you cannot figure it out, but the truth is; God will take what looks like a curse and turn it into a blessing! He will take what the enemy meant for evil and turn it to your good. Regardless of what you may be going through, regardless of what you are facing, you have the promise that: “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” - Romans 8:28

If we stay faithful in the hard times God will turn our adversity into advancements, our disappointments into appointments, and our opposition into opportunity.  Your Destiny is greater than your disaster!

There is no pit deep enough, no fire hot enough, no storm powerful enough, and no chain strong enough!  Nothing in all creation can separate us from God’s love or our God given Destiny!  We were created to be victors!  We were made to win!  Our Destiny is greater than our disasters!

Listen to what I’m trying to tell you: Hell is not fighting you because of who you now are, where you are now, or what you have now, Hell is fighting you because of who you are about to become, where you are about to go, and what you are about to have. Hell is afraid of your Destiny in Jesus.

You are not going through what you are going through because you have failed God. You are going through what you are going through because of something called “Destiny.”  And this is an important truth you need to hold onto: the people around you that are not going though anything, are the people that are not going anywhere.

If David hadn’t been destined to be king, he wouldn’t have had to run from Saul for thirteen years. If Joseph hadn’t had the promise of the palace he would have never had to go into the pit and then into prison.  If Daniel hadn’t been destined for favor with the king, he would never have been in a lion’s den.

But just like these trials could not hinder these great men of God from fulfilling their destiny, the trial, the affliction, or the setback that you are experiencing can’t stop you from fulfilling your destiny.  Your Destiny is greater than your disaster!

Your future is better than your past. Satan knows if he can keep you in your past that you will never move into your future. That’s why he is spending so much time talking about yesterday. Did you ever notice he never whispers in your ear about your tomorrow?  God will always lead you to forget the past and focus on what is ahead.

Don’t build your future around your past. Focus on your tomorrow and not your yesterday. Talk about your future and not your past. Don’t dwell on where you were yesterday; dwell on where you are today, and where you are about to go. It’s your future, your destiny, that Satan wants to keep you from entering into.  Why?  Because he knows, your Destiny is greater than your disasters!