Saturday, July 30, 2016

It Doesn't Matter, It's In The Past!

One of my favorite cartoon movies is the Lion King. When it was in the theaters, back in the 90's, I took my kids to see it like four times. My favorite scene in the movie is where Rafiki, the monkey, hits Simba, the Lion King, in the back of the head with a stick. Simba eclaims, "Ouch! What did you do that for?"

The monkey replies, "It doesn't matter it's in the past."

"But it hurts," cried Simba.

"Yes the past can hurt," replied the Rafiki.

The point that Rafiki was trying to teach Simba was the past can be hard to forget, but we must forget it if we want to move forward. Sometimes I think we could all learn a little lesson from that monkey.

Philippians 3:13-14 (NKJV)

13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

As human beings it is physically impossible, barring a miracle or a traumatic head injury, to “forget” the past.  So what is the Apostle Paul talking about?  How do we “forget” what is behind us.  How do we get beyond our past?
What is the past?  I looked it up.  In this case it is a noun.  One of the definitions I found said the past is an earlier period of a person’s life that is thought to be of a shameful nature.  This definition seems to fit what Paul is eluding to here.  Not every part of our pasts are shameful, but it’s only the shameful parts that hinder us from moving forward, and because they interfere with God's will for us, they need to be forgotten.  It’s the events in our lives where we’ve failed God that seem to be the hardest to get over.  They keep us from worshiping the Lord freely, they hinder our relationships with others.  The past can be a crippling force if we allow it to.
Another definition I found said, “The past is the period of time prior to speaking.”  The past is the period of time prior to the words that are coming out of your mouth right now.  Whew that’s powerful man!  Your past only has a hold on you if the words that are currently coming out of your mouth allows it to. 
If you keep focusing on what you have done, instead of focusing on what God can do, you’ll stay encumbered by the past.  Instead of living in a land of milk and honey, you’ll be stuck wandering in the dessert: compassing the mountain over and over again and never entering into the promise and blessing that God has for you today. You need to speak the only thing that can erase your past – The Name of Jesus!
Stop receiving the lies of your enemy.  Stop dwelling on your failure.  Paul tells us in Romans that basically the law was given to us to show us that we were incapable of receiving salvation by obeying a set of rules.  The purpose of the law was to show us we are weak and need God’s help.  So He sent Jesus.
In Colossians Paul writes:

"When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you[d] alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” (Colossians 2:13-15 NKJV)
God has taken everything that was against you and nailed it to the cross and then made a public spectacle of you enemy the devil.  I can picture the Lord coming up behind Satan with a bloody nail pierced hand grabbing him by the back of the neck, and taking the keys of hell from him, and then dragging him back and forth in front of his subjects so they could see their ruler had been conquered! Praise God our enemy is defeated!

God has made us alive in Christ. We are no longer what we once were, we are no longer a slave to sin, we no longer live under a death sentence, our past can longer hold us down, and we no longer have to accept the lies of the enemy. In the name of Jesus is the power to do what is physically impossible to do, I can do all things! It is the name of Jesus that brings about the miracle that allows us to "forget" what is behind us.

Since your past is the period up to the point of speaking – Speak the name of Jesus, forget what is behind you and live abundantly! In Jesus' name!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Beware, Satan is Price Shopping

Judges 16:4-5
“And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the Valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah. And the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and said unto her, Entice him, and see wherein his great strength lieth, and by what means we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to afflict him: and we will give thee every one of us eleven hundred pieces of silver."
The Valley of Sorek is where the spies had brought a bunch of grapes from as an example of the fruit that was in the land of Canaan.  Because it was a valley filled with many vineyards, it became known for having the best wine. This is where Samson would head to whenever he desired refreshment or wanted pleasure.
If we are not careful, we can allow the blessings that God provides for us to become a curse and they will lead us into sin. How can that happen?
Proverbs 20:1
“Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise."
The wine in this passage is not just referring to the drinking of “adult beverages” as they are called today, but it is also speaks of anything in life that can become intoxicating to the point that it has the power to change your way of thinking and your way of acting.
I’ve seen people lose their inhibitions in many ways. Some lose it in their manner of speaking and use profanity, some lose their inhibitions in their manner of dress, and some lose their inhibitions towards honesty and become liars and thieves.
1 Peter 5:8(NKJV)
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because[a] your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 
We must be aware at all times of this fact, the devil is looking for your price. He is seeking buy your loyalty. If he can, he will find a way to give you what you want, and offer you a deal for your soul.
What’s your price?  What does the devil have to put in front of you to make you do his will?  Is it a title behind your name? Is it a house? Is it a man or a woman?What will it take to get you to sell out? What does Satan have to offer you to get you to forget righteousness, even for a moment?
Samson’s price was sexual pleasure and the intoxication of alcohol. Are you willing to sell for that, or even less?  I did, even when I thought it couldn’t happen to me, I did. That compromise nearly cost me everything including my soul.  I, just like Samson, decided to depend upon my own limited wisdom and strength and that is the recipe that put me on Satan’s menu!
One thing that really strikes me is that Samson didn’t go into this temptation blindly. Delilah was honest with him right from the start. She didn’t hide her true intentions. Samson chose to ignore them. He knew exactly what was at stake, and he still decided to play with fire. He thought that he was stronger than anything that could be used against him. He presumed upon the grace and power of God.
The Word says that when we return to our sinful ways after knowing the Lord, it is like a dog returning to it's vomit. I am convinced that every believer that returns to their vomit, knows exactly what they are doing.  The Holy Spirit is constantly speaking to them, drawing them to turn around, and yet they continue on. Every time they sin, I know that God speaks to their heart and presses them with feelings of condemnation, and yet they continue to travel on down the road to death.
From the day that I came to know the Lord, i cannot recall a single instance when I fell, that I didn’t know what I was doing. The Holy Ghost was always there speaking to me, warning me, and calling me to repent and turn back to God. Most of the time I listened, but eventually just like Samson, I ignored the voice of God, and did what I wanted to, thinking that I could control it and that I could stop whenever I wanted to, I was mistaken.
That’s the way every alcoholic thinks. That’s the way every drug addict thinks. That’s the way every habitual sinner thinks. They all think that they can beat it, even when it’s obvious to rest of the world that they are hooked.
One major step in Samson’s downfall was something that most people really don’t catch in this story. It was the fact that he began to lie continuously. He couldn’t tell the truth and be friends with the world, so his whole life became a lie.
That is the entrance to the road that leads to destruction, it begins by playing around with the world and flirting with sin, but pretty soon you have to lie just to maintain the appearance of Christianity. You lie about being caught in sin, then you lie and make pitiful excuses when your sin becomes evident. You lie about everything, and eventually you begin to believe and accept your own lies. No matter how we try to disguise our sin; no matter how we try to excuse it, and no matter how much we try to explain it away, sin is still sin, and sin brings death. There’s no escaping that fact, no matter how much we try to manipulate things.
The first bondage that Samson flirted with was something he knew he could beat. “Just tie me up with a few green branches off of a tree.”

Just offer me a little bit of sin. I’ll take it, and then I’ll easily leave it and get back to God. Just offer me a little more of anything, a little bit of anything taken in moderation won’t hurt me. I can drink a beer once in a while and it won’t hurt me. I can smoke a joint once a month. It won’t kill me.
Listen to me very carefully, it has nothing to do with the amount of sin you commit. It has nothing to do with how much you get or how often you get it, the real problem is a problem within your heart. It’s wasn’t right with God to begin with or you wouldn’t have desired whatever it was that Satan wagged in front of you.  Only hungry fish hit the bait.  If your heart is filled with the Spirit of God it won’t desire the things of the world.
Samson managed to break free that time, but Satan, and Delilah were not finished yet. The plans for Samson’s demise had been laid and nothing would stop the enemies of his soul from bringing him to destruction and absolute bondage. Let that be a lesson for all of us. Satan isn’t satisfied with you sinning once and then breaking free and coming back to God. He won’t stop until you’ve lost it all for good.
Now the temptation becomes a little harder. Samson fell the first time. What do you think will happen this time since he has already become fascinated with Delilah?
Just like Delilah, the worldly crowd, and the voice of Satan, will become even more enticing. The world will begin to draw you even stronger into their ways of sin. Satan will offer you even more if you will only take another sip and taste just a little bit more. He will begin to tell you that you’ve already failed once and got away with it, so why not do it again, and again, and again. No one will ever know. Satan, like Delilah, just keeps drawing you into his web of lies.
Still, even though he knew beyond any doubt now what Delilah’s real objective was, Samson just knew that he could overcome her tricks and still stay close to God, so he played her game, on her turf, just a little bit more.
In Samson’s mind, he was making a mockery of Delilah’s trickery, and the Philistine’s plans. But what he didn’t realize was that Satan was really making a fool out of him. What could not be bound on the outside by new ropes was already bound on the inside by sin in his heart.
One more time Samson laughed as he walked away a free man. God was still on his side. He was still strong in the Lord. Sure he played around with sin, but he still had the “power”. He still felt the “Spirit” in his life. I wonder if he might have kept saying the words over and again, “greater is He that is in me than these people in the world who are trying to trick me.” He was still counting on past experiences but it had been a long time since he had truly heard the voice of God.
Now, with each passing temptation and each flirtation with sin, Samson is getting a little deeper in, and closer to the point of no return. Child of God, it may look like you are still strong, still winning, still a part of the Body of Christ, but be sure your sin will find you out. And when the day comes that the secret sins in your life have become strong enough, you will no longer hear or feel the Lord in your life.
Samson went one step too far, just one time too many playing with sin, and just one time too many to the gates of temptation. This time he didn’t come back in victory.  The sad thing is that he was so blinded, so deceived and so in love with the world that he never even realized that God had left him. That’s where nearly all backsliders are today. Sadly there are many who don’t realize that God’s Holy Spirit has left them.
All over America, there are powerless churches, with powerless preachers, preaching powerless messages, to powerless people.  They have compromised too many times and the Spirit of God has left them. When it comes time to shake loose from the bondage of this world, they will realize suddenly, how far from God they have gone. The same holds true for many who are in a backslidden condition right now. Many will be “left behind” while sitting on the pew when Jesus comes again.
Notice now that the bondage that held Samson were green limbs, new ropes, or braided hair, they were now bonds of brass. Brass is a symbol of judgment in a number of places throughout God's Word.
In Samson’s life, and in the life of all sinners, the brass fetters that hold them in prison are the judgment of God for the sin in their lives. Samson couldn’t break these fetters because God wasn’t with him there in his sin. Neither will you have the power on your own to break free from the sin that binds you once it has you in its shackles.
The wonderful thing about this story is that God still had plans for Samson even though he had failed so miserably.  Even in the prisons of sin, bound by the chains of sin, there is still hope, if we will allow the Holy Spirit to draw us back again.
As Samson’s hair began to grow, symbolizing his coming back to the place of his consecration and promises to God, so did the hope of deliverance.  Though he could not see with his natural eyes, Samson could see things more clearly now, than ever before, and he knew that God was his only hope.
I made it back from my bondage as well.  In the depths of the circumstances that I had created for myself, in the middle of the storm that I had no business going out in, I was able to find a piece of wreckage to hold on to.  Thank God!  I made it back to the shore of His love where I found Him waiting with grace and mercy.
I hope and pray that I will never forget that lesson. I hope that I never have to go to those depths again, before I turn back. 
If you will just turn back to God, lay your life on the altar of God, and repent of your sin, and allow God to come back and clean out your heart, then you too can see the victory one more time.

"Repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost" - Acts 2:38

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Consume Me Lord

Hebrews 12:29
“For our God is a consuming fire.”

God is never finished with us. As long as there are things in our life that need to be left on the altar, His fire will continue to consume them. The Lord never reaches a point where He says you’re holy enough, spiritual, enough, disciplined enough, cleansed and purified enough, and so my fire is finished in your life.

God’s desire for His fire in our lives is not just to touch us, no, no, no! He wants to consume us! God wants to purify us through the sanctifying work of the Holy Ghost. He wants to make us holy, just as He is holy. He wants our lives to experience a Holy Ghost invasion!

Hebrews 1:7 – “And of the angels he saith, Who maketh His angels’ spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.”

Notice carefully the wording here. We are not just called to be ministers on fire, but ministers of the fire.

1 Peter 4:10 – “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”

Minister and steward are basically the same thing. Both are called to manage and oversee the goods of another, to be responsible for distributing to, and serving the needs of others. God has made us stewards and ministers of His fire. His anointing is not placed on us simply so that we will be on fire for Him, but so that we might become distribution centers from which his fire is released into the lives of others.

God and Fire are inseparable. Fire has always been a symbol of the divine presence and power of God.

Exodus 40:38 KJV – “For the cloud of the LORD was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.”

There should be a three-fold operation of the fire of God in our lives: First the fire of God is given to you, second the fire of God begins to work in you and to consume you, and then finally the fire of God begins to flow through you and overflows into the lives of others.

John 7:38-39a – “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive:”

Anyone can see the fire but it’s not the fire you see that changes your life, it’s the fire you receive. I grew up Pentecostal and I saw many people baptized in the Holy Ghost, I seen the gifts of the spirit in operation, Sunday, after Sunday. I went to Christian University founded by a Pentecostal denomination. I was taught about the infilling of the Holy Ghost and the gifts, but I never sought this experience for myself. I followed a strict system of do’s and don’ts, but after 20 years in the ministry I fell to drug addiction and alcoholism.   Why? Because moral systems by themselves lack the power to restrain sinful indulgence. Opening of your heart to the inward sanctifying, cleansing, purging fire of God’s presence through the baptism of the Holy Ghost is the only thing that makes you a vessel that is fit to carry the anointing.

It’s not what we say about God that has the power to change lives, it’s the quantity and quality of the presence and character of God that is manifested through us. There has to be a Holy Ghost invasion, before there can be a Holy Ghost powered persuasion!

1 Corinthians 2: 4-5 – “And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”

The fire of God wants to come into your life and make you ministers of fire.

Isaiah 4:4-5 – “When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning. And the LORD will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defense.”

First the fire to you, and second the fire in you; purging, cleansing, sanctifying, burning up the clutter, the excesses, the selfishness, the sin, habits, addictions, attitudes. God’s fire, the Holy Ghost, works in us to sanctify us and make us worthy vessels to carry the fire to others.

Then the fire through you!  You become that cleansed and purified vessel that the fire can flow through to others.

Many people don’t mind being touched by the fire, as long as they can contain it, or as long as it is controllable. As long as they determine its heat and intensity. But God will never be satisfied just to touch you, he wants to consume you: body, mind, soul, and spirit, the Lord wants it all!

One of the best bible illustrations of this truth is the Foxes on Fire in the book of Judges 15:4-5. Sampson catches three-hundred foxes and sends them out by two’s into the philistine’s fields; the kicker is they have a fire between their tails. At the risk of offending some animal activist, I am sure the fire did not simply give off a pleasant glow as they ran through the philistine’s fields. No my friends, these foxes were on fire! These foxes were changed by the fire, because these foxes were consumed by the fire. When the fire hit the fur these foxes had a mission, their mission was go into all the world and spread the fire. The fire changed them, they were never the same again.

If there was ever a time when the church needed a fresh fire, it’s today. We need to be touched by the fire of the Holy Ghost. We need to allow that fire to consume everything in our lives that hinders the anointing of the Holy Spirit. We need our heads anointed with oil until our cups are running over and that anointing is touching the lives of those around us. We need Holy Ghost revival to consume us, before it will ever wash over our world.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Best For Last

Joel 2:23 Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first [month].

Everything about God is progressive, he is always moving forward, he is always building, he is always outdoing himself.

John 2:1-10:
On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”
4 “Woman,[a] why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”
5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
6 Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.
7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.
8 Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”
They did so, 9 and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”

Jesus Miracle ministry begins with a miracle that seemed like it was no big deal, it was no life and death situation, but it quickly progressed to opening blind eyes, making the lame to walk, casting out devils, feeding the multitudes.

Haggai 2:9 The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts.

The word impossible was not a part of Jesus’ vocabulary.

Matthew 19:26 But Jesus beheld [them], and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

Mark 9:23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things [are] possible to him that believeth.

We look and we see impossible conditions: darkness, confusion, hopelessness, perversion, corruption, and we view them as impossible, but Jesus looks and he sees a perfect opportunity for a miracle, a perfect backdrop for a display of His glory. Many times what looks like a breakdown, is just a setup for a breakthrough.

No wine at the wedding: Embarrassing, the reputation of the groom was at stake. The people wanted wine, but there was no more wine in their cups, in the pitchers, or in the kitchen. There was a need, a desire, and an impossible situation. Then Jesus takes the case.

In Mark 5:23 Then there was the case of Jairus the ruler of the synagogue, whose little girl was at the point of death: Jesus heads for Jairus home to heal her. A messenger interrupts them, “trouble the master no longer, thy daughter is dead.”

Now the stage is set: The devil plays the guilt trip - why didn’t I come sooner, why did I let my pride stand in the way, I should have listened to my wife. Greif begins to take its grip on his mind - My baby girl is dead, only 12 yrs. Old. Then Anger tries to poison his mind - she might have made it if that woman hadn’t stopped Jesus, now she’s healed and my daughters dead. And despair tries to steal his future - He was my last hope: I heard how he turned the water into wine, and healed the nobleman’s son and delivered the demoniac, but my daughter is not sick, nor demonized she is dead.

Then Jesus Words penetrate his thoughts, “Fear not only believe.”

The house is filled with mourning, weeping and wailing, death is hanging in the air. Man sees darkness, hopelessness, grief, sorrow, pain. Jesus sees the perfect backdrop for a manifestation of the glory of God:

“Little girl I say unto thee arise!”

What a mighty God!

Some might say, “We have seen him turn water into wine, feed multitudes, give sight to the blind, walk on water, cast out devils and raise the dead. Surely we have seen him at his best, surely we have seen the greatest manifestation of his power and glory.”

No He’s bigger than that! The best is yet to come! Tell the devil, you ain’t seen nothing yet!

One day, news came to Jesus: “He whom thou lovest is sick.”

Upon his arrival Lazarus has been dead four days. The stone has been rolled in front of the tomb. The stone speaks of finality of the situation: it’s over, it’s beyond help, the condition is incurable, and the problem is irreversible.

If you would have come earlier, you could have healed him, we believe you could have kept him from dying, but now it’s over. Isn’t it amazing how we limit God. You can do this but not that, You have the power to stop something from happening, but you can’t turn it around. My friend that’s where we’re wrong, this whole Bible, from the front to the back, is a book about turnarounds.

The sisters said, “Your too late.”

Jesus said, “Take away the stone! Lazarus come forth! Loose him and let him go!”

We are seeing today a society that is out of control. America is no longer a Christian nation. Every day, we are hearing of how God is being rejected and removed from our schools, our Holidays, and our churches. Christmas is a time for parades, and celebrations, but Christ is left out. Easter is a time for egg hunts, and rabbits, and dinners, and parties; but the resurrection is forgotten!

We are seeing the spirit of perversion and worldliness, not just creeping into our churches and hiding in our pews, but filling our pulpits and preaching their perverted self-serving gospel that is leading people into lust, and covetousness and greed.

Jeremiah spoke of a similar time in Israel’s history:

Jeremiah 5:31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love [to have it] so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?

Another scripture clearly defines the spirit of this generation:

Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

We don’t have to search far to be able to see and hear what’s happening in the world. We can see how terrible it has become, we can get depressed, go into hiding, cover our heads, and say it’s hopeless. Or we can look in the Word of God and see that our best days are ahead of us. Devil you ain’t seen nothin’ yet! God is just getting wound up.

The devil may that think he’s winning, but he’s thought that before:

When he had all the children killed by pharaoh to try to keep Gods promise from being fulfilled, but God put his promise in Pharaohs house, and let him raise him.

When the children of Israel were trapped at the red sea entangled in the wilderness, the Egyptian army behind them. But God turned the red sea into a highway!

When the three Hebrew children were thrown into the fire bound, and the enemy turned up the heat, they praised God and their bindings were destroyed by the fire, but they were unharmed!

Yes, the devil is working hard, and yes we see the evil and the wickedness and the perversion, but don’t switch off your faith just yet: God is up to something big! “You sir, have saved the best for last!”

Let the devil paint the darkest, saddest, most perverse and corrupt picture of hopelessness, despair, and sin that he has ever painted. And God will turn it into a back drop for the greatest display of His glory this world has ever seen!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

I've Got A Made-Up Mind

I Kings 18:21
“And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, ‘How long halt ye between two opinions?’ if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.”

In a world that is filled with instability, where it seems as if there is no sure foundation, it is comforting to know that there is a foundation of truth and a way of life that is eternally fixed and unmovable; Jesus is that foundation. It is calming to me to know that Jesus is alive and that through the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, He lives in me. My God is a living God and He will never leave me or forsake me. But I must remain true to Him as well.

In this life there is no sure foundation outside of Christ. The Word of God tells us that in the last days, everything that can be shaken will be shaken. The “everything” that will be shaken includes our faith, if it can be because it is weak. I have come to understand that a sure foundation in Christ is obtained only when we have a made up mind in advance, that no matter what happens, we will follow Jesus. When you are committed, sold out, and your mind is centered upon the work of the Lord, you will possess a stronger foundation than those who can’t decide whether they want to live for Jesus or for themselves.

James 1:8 - "A double minded man is unstable in all his ways."

I don’t know about you, but I have you seen a lot of unstable people lately, and most of them are or were running for president.  I have seen people who are running like a hamster in a cage; they run and run but they never really seem to go anywhere and they never finish anything. Are you one of those yourself?

Maybe it seems that you have circumstances that arise and continually draw you off the right path because you possess an unstable mind. Shall I go or stay, turn or go straight, listen or talk, stop or go? So many decisions and so little power to decide! No wonder we are a nation of schizophrenics! We have to have split personalities, one side of us to go in one direction while the other half goes the other direction. In the history of the church, there has never been a time of more confusion and indecision.

Life contains many choices, each one with a list of positives and negatives attached to them and many of them have eternal consequences. Many people, to keep from making the wrong decision, don’t make any decisions at all. They live their life in limbo, which in turn is actually the wrong decision. Are you confused yet? Have you already decided that this message is too weird, or too confusing for you? Please continue reading, there is a method in this madness.

I’m attempting to make the point to you that all of us live lives of indecision and confusion.
But there is one single decision that is so all encompassing and so great in its scope that it can settle every other confused place in your life! That decision is to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior and surrender your life to Him! I am not talking about mental assent to His existence, I am talking about true repentance. I am talking about turning away from your sin, being washed in the waters of baptism in Jesus’ name for the remission of sin, and being filled with the Holy Ghost.

Acts 2:38
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

I am talking about an altar of sacrifice: where you lay down your will in exchange for His, where you die to self and through the Resurrecting Power of the Holy Ghost, where you find power to stop walking according to the flesh and to live for Him, this is the only place where the unstable man can find real stability.

Some “Christians” go about in a state of indecision concerning the Lord. They have very little real commitment and any little disruption can derail their faith because they have never made a real decision to do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes to serve God. I want to make clear what I am saying: you will never be able to do great things for the Lord, “these signs” will never follow you, until you get rid of that double minded attitude and make up your mind once and for all that Jesus is your Lord and that your purpose in this life is to serve Him.

When your mind is made up, there will never be a question whether we will be in church or not. There will never be a time when we will let our ministry, or our calling suffer from inattention. There will never be a time when someone else will have to fill in for us because we aren’t on our post. This is the Lord’s Army! When He calls the roll from the “Book of Life”, you can’t afford to be AWOL! The penalty is eternal separation and a dishonorable discharge!

Double-minded people are people that you can never really count on. They talk big but do very little that is lasting. In I Kings, Israel was in this condition during the reign of King Ahab. The people had lived in confusion and delusion brought on by their courtship and marriage to idolatry. After several years the showdown was to finally come at a place called Mount Carmel.

1 Kings 18:20-21
"So Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together unto mount Carmel. And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, how long halt ye between two opinions? If the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word."

Elijah wasn’t on Mount Carmel that day to play games. His mind was made up. There was no doubt that Elijah was trusting in God and would do whatever it took to overcome the enemy. His confidence was in the eternal God with whom there is no variables or shadow of turning. Elijah knew God, and was there on that mountain because he had decided to obey God in all that he did.

450 Prophets of Baal showed up that day to challenge Elijah to a showdown. It would be a “fight to the death”. Before the day was done either Elijah or those 450 prophets would be dead and Elijah wasn’t planning his funeral. King Ahab, the wicked King of Israel who was married to Jezebel, the most wicked queen in Israel’s history, had called all of the Children of Israel to witness the contest between Elijah’s God and Baal.

As Elijah looked out over Israel he saw a people who had wandered far from God. They had become so entangled with idolatry that they could no longer decide who the real god was so they worshiped them all. Satan loves indecision and the confusion it brings. If he can keep us guessing, he can fool us into following the wrong path.

The amazing thing to me is that when Elijah asked, “Who is on the Lord’s side”, no one spoke up for God. Maybe they were afraid. Maybe Baal’s prophets intimidated them. or maybe they just couldn’t make up their minds quick enough.

Before the day was done, the Lord God of Heaven, Jesus is His name, the great I AM, had answered by fire while the prophets of Baal got the silent treatment from their god of stone and metal. The Living God sent a fire out of Heaven that burned the sacrifice, the wet wood, the stones, the hundreds of gallons of water in and around the trenches and even burned the dry sand around the altar.
Our God is a Consuming Fire and He knows how to answer in a way that will turn people back to Him. Israel’s confusion came to an end that day on the mountain. They turned back to God and destroyed the idols and the prophets of Baal.

That is what true repentance is all about. Get rid of the old nature of sin and turn back to worshiping God. Sell out to Him completely and prove Him!

I want to ask you today, what does God have to do to get you to make up your mind once and for all? He has already sent Jesus to purchase our salvation. He performed miracles, signs and wonders before our very eyes! He has given us His written Word! He has washed our sin away and bestowed upon us His righteousness! He has promised an eternal reward in Heaven! God has done everything He can do help us make up our mind to follow Him.

And what do we do about it? We skip church, we forget to pray, we forget to read the Bible, we refuse to clean up our language, we fail to witness to the lost, we refuse to step up and volunteer to work in His kingdom, and then we wonder why we aren’t being used by God like someone else.

We need to develop the same attitude and commitment that Joshua had in Joshua 24:15, "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."

Would that every Christian would have the same made up mind that Joshua had concerning the Lord.

There was no question in his mind what his job and calling was.

That man or woman who is double-minded will face the decisions to: will I study the Word or watch TV? Should I go to the lake or mall or go to church? Will I pray or get some extra sleep? Will I go to revival service or lay about at home?

I think it’s time to make up our mind just what we want to do about Jesus. Only when you have a made up mind can you become stable and accountable in all your ways. Only after you have proven faithful and dependable in your calling will God allow your ministry to increase.

I don’t know about you, but I've got a made up mind! I have decided to follow Jesus!  I am no longer stuck between two opinions. He is the God that showed up when I called out for help! He consumed my sacrifice and has given me a new life! He filled me with the Holy Ghost and I have the power to overcome my circumstances. He died for me, so I have determined to live for Him, no matter what comes my way!