You’re standing on the balcony of your Father’s Palace, a King’s kid, and heir to your Father’s Kingdom. As your thoughts drift towards your Father you know that there has never been, and never will be, a King greater than Him. His fame truly precedes Him. He’s known by all as mighty in battle, excellent in guidance, Supreme Ruler over all things, and King of a Kingdom that will never come to an end. And yet He is the most humble person in the universe. A true King, who serves and leads His people with loyalty and incomparable compassion. A true King who’s always ready to help, to uplift, to comfort, and to encourage. You can recall how many battles you had to face, but through every test and trial your Father was next to you to lead you into victory.
Your heart is secure in the truth that your Father loves you with a passion. In His eyes you are perfect, even though at times you feel imperfect, weak and lost. You think of His merciful heart, His total acceptance of you, and you know that nothing will ever be able to stop Him from loving you. You think about His integrity and that you can always rely on Him to do exactly what He promised. He’s so fiercely committed to His Word, so unreservedly faithful. Never have you known anyone who honours His Word so much. Truly, He has never failed you.
Suddenly your thoughts drift back to the days when you were nothing but a captive in an enemy camp. For years your royal identity and legal inheritance had been kept from you. Then you remember how your King came to battle with the enemy, and how He gave His own life to purchase your freedom.
Myth? Fable? Fiction? Imaginary dream? No. This is your truth.
There will come a time in your life when you’ll realise exactly who God is, who you are, and what you came to do. And that is what Satan would like to stop, especially through his most dangerous tool – religion.
THE BIRTH OF A NEW CREATION
“Therefore, if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, behold, all things have become new.”
(2 Cor 5:17 NKJV)
How do you see yourself? Do you see the image of a successful self- made person, a victim of circumstance, a good religious person, or the reincarnation of a princess that used to live thousands of years ago? Who are you really?
See, God knows exactly who you are, and so does the devil. But, the devil is terribly afraid that you’ll finally wake up to discover the truth about yourself.
No, you’re not merely human. You’re much more than what meets the eye. When Jesus was raised from the dead a whole new creation came into existence. It was a new creation born not by the will of man but by the living Word of God (1 Pet 1:23; John 1:12-13)!
“And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.”
(1 Cor 15:49 NKJV)
Remember, you are a spiritual being who lives in a body and you possess a soul (1 Thess 5:23). The real you is your spirit. When sin entered this world, and death through sin, our spirits became disconnected from God, the Source of Life. It was the real you that took a fall when Adam sinned. It was the real you that lost your royal identity. It was the real you that became a prisoner of the kingdom of darkness. It was the real you that became subject to the law of sin and death. But in Christ God has set you free. Your heavenly identity has been restored. You are just as free and glorious as Adam was the day God created him.
Unfortunately, under the influence of the devil, we’ve been led to believe that our identity, or value as a person, relies on many natural factors.
What about colour? How many arguments and wars have been fought to keep people’s precious identity secure within the boundaries of race, culture, or colour? No, the colour of your skin doesn’t matter. God sees only one colour and that’s the blood of Jesus. Racial or ethnic hatred is a concept that came straight from the pit of hell.
What about money? Are your identity and value based upon your financial status? Are your identity and value based upon your social status, church denomination, religious group, or gang you belong to? Are your identity and value based upon your excellent education, intellect, impressive title, or lack of it? Are your identity and value based upon your looks, splendid accomplishments, or family inheritance? Are they based upon you being fat or thin, the labels that you wear, or people you associate with?
To put things in perspective: God doesn’t mind if you accomplish great things in life. He really doesn’t mind if you have titles, riches, or fame. He doesn’t mind if you increase your knowledge. He doesn’t mind if you use your wonderful brain. He doesn’t mind if you take care of your body and dress well. And you don’t need to deny cultural differences. However, the bottom line is that none of those things should define your true identity.
Some of us still don’t know who we are!
Listen, your heavenly identity transcends your natural identity. Look at it this way. Your natural identity may say, “I am Jack, of Spanish descent. Busy with my doctorate in physics. Married. Own a few expensive vehicles. Live in a spectacular mansion with superb breaker views”. Or, “I’m Sarah, a single mother. My family is riddled with poverty, alcoholism and sickness”. Or, “I’m Hannah, heir of a well-known global business. We don’t know the limits of our wealth”. Or, “I’m Peter, a devout religious person. I live a decent life. Actually I think I’m quite perfect. I don’t drink, smoke, sleep around, or beat my wife, and I work hard to provide for my family”.
Your heavenly identity will look beyond the natural and say, “I’m a beloved child of the only living God. I reflect my Father’s image. I’m forgiven and set free from the devil’s oppression. I’m crowned with glory, honour, majesty, and power. I’m anointed to rule and to overcome any challenge that comes my way. I’m an heir of God and supernaturally empowered to prosper in every area of my life”.
Can you see why God wants you to stop listening to the world system, incorrect religious theology, the opinions of people, or the lies of the devil trying to tell you who you are?
God doesn’t want you to conform into an image that this world tries to force on you. He wants you to transform into the new image or new identity that you, take a good look at the real you, and tell yourself every day what you have, what you can do, and who you are in Christ (James 1:23-25). Yes your earth-suit and your mind have in Christ (Rom 12:1). He wants you to educate your mind with His Word to discover what the new real you are all about!
So look at your spirit, the real you, and find out how God sees you. Use the Word of God as your mirror may need some adjustments to come into line with the real you, but see yourself the way God sees you and become absolutely secure in who you are in Him!
YOU HAVE A PROMISE OF LIFE
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
(John 10:10 NKJV)
“For whoever finds me, finds life.”
(Prov 8:35 NLT)
Jesus didn’t come to turn you into a boring, lifeless doll. He didn’t come to steal your joy. He didn’t come to kill your dreams. He didn’t come to introduce a new religion. He came to re-establish the Kingdom of God, and He came to give you life. He came to plug you back into the Source of Life. He came so that you can have unending, eternal, abundant life starting right here on this planet!
There’s something inside of us that rebels against death and decay, against lack and poverty, against sickness and disease, against confusion and turmoil. Somehow we know that we’re not supposed to put up with any of it. We spend trillions in the fight against sickness and disease. We fight to keep people healthy, or alive, as long as we can. We fight to keep this planet alive. We fight against poverty. We fight against injustice. We fight against abuse. We fight against oppression. We fight against inhumanity. We fight to save the animal kingdom. We fight to save the plant kingdom.
We go on retreats to find harmony, tranquillity, and peace within ourselves. We have consultants for everything under the sun, to help us find fulfilment in life. Some try to find the answer by bowing down to statues, or wooden images. Some try to cross over to get answers from the other side. Some burn incense. Some cling to crystals. Some talk to the stars. Some try to move the energy flow in their homes or offices or gardens into a positive force. We seem to search for the answer to freedom and life in everything!
And yet, we are not really winning all our wars. Some viruses win the battle, economies collapse, and marriages fall apart. Some people commit suicide, some never find peace, some never find fulfilment in life, and some never rise above circumstances that keep them imprisoned. Why?
When Adam fell, we fell from our position of power into a world where the law of sin and death began to dominate us. And nothing we could ever do in our own strength or wisdom could set us free from its wicked course It took the death of Jesus to set us free (Rom 8:2). Because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ we now have freedom and the promise of life.
Listen, Jesus came to bring life into every area of your existence that has the smell of death in it. He came so that you can have life in your spirit, life in your body, life in your mind, life in your marriage, life in your relationships, life in your family, life in your finances, and life in your dreams. He came so that you can enjoy your life to the full on this planet.
Of course religion will always try to place a damper on what Jesus came to give us. Some people will always try to reason away the simplicity of the truth. Satan will always try to keep us in captivity. He will not give up his hostages without a fight. But, don’t let anyone or anything stop you from laying hold of the promise of life!
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.”
(Rom 8:2 NKJV)
Imagine a life not crippled by worries or countless cares. Imagine a life free from the heavy burden of grief, guilt, or shame. Imagine a life not controlled by excessive reasoning, anger, or bitterness. Imagine a life not imprisoned by the opinions of people. Imagine a life not overpowered by negative circumstances. Imagine a life with real hope. Imagine a life filled with supernatural joy. Imagine a life with real peace in troubled times. Imagine a life with divine power to overcome evil. Imagine a life with eternal purpose. Imagine a life with great expectations. Imagine the life Jesus died for you to have, and live that life!
“Life itself was in him, and this life gives light to everyone. The light shines through the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.”
(John 1:4-5 NLT)
Christianity is not merely church membership, some or other “spiritual trip” or simply a hobby because people need something to believe in. Jesus came to give us life. He made it possible for us to live the God kind of life.
Those who haven’t yet received the Gift of Life operate only in the natural dimension or natural understanding of human life. They may experience a measure of prosperity in certain areas of their lives, they may look quite alive, happy, and sorted out, but the light on the inside is not switched on. It’s only when our spirits are reconnected with the Source of Life that we’ll find the answer to life, and life in abundance.
YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD IS RESTORED
“We need have no fear of someone who loves us perfectly; his perfect love for us eliminates all dread of what he might do to us. If we are afraid, it is for fear of what he might do to us, and shows that we are not fully convinced that he really loves us.”
(1 John 4:18 TLB)
After Adam’s fall he thought that God must surely hate him for what he did. With good reason! He betrayed God, sold the entire human race into brutal slavery, and caused the death of Jesus. But that problem was only in Adam’s mind. We were never the enemy of God, and never will be. When He lost us to the rule of Satan His heart was shattered, and since that day God was after one thing and one thing only: to get our hearts back.
Do you have any idea how much God loves you?
You’re the treasure of His heart. You’re constantly on His mind. There is absolutely nothing that can ever separate you from His love. Satan can’t, and all the forces of hell can’t. Not even sin, betrayal, and death could stand in the way.
“I don’t want your sacrifices– I want your love. I don’t want your offerings– I want you to know Me.”
(Hos 6:6 TLB)
All God wants more than anything else, is to have a personal relationship with you. He doesn’t want you to merely know something about Him, or to worship Him from a distance. He wants to have an intimate relationship with you.
Listen to the desire of His heart: I love you, more than you’ll ever know. I gave My life to set you free. Did that not prove My love for you? I’m not looking at your sin. I’m not looking at your mistakes. I’m looking at you as the treasure of My heart. I want you to get to know Me as your Saviour, your Provider, your Healer, your Peace, your Comforter and your Shepherd. I want to be there for you. I want you to know that I’ll always stand by you. I’ll never abandon you. I’ll never fail you. Difficult as it may seem to be, just learn to trust Me. Discover my never-failing compassion and love for you. Know that I will never condemn you. I love you, and I will never give you up!
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”
(Rev 3:20 NKJV)
God does not want a religious performance; He wants your heart. So open up your heart and receive the love of God. We cannot close our hearts to a love so perfect and loyal, and an understanding so wonderful and deep. Once His love touches our hearts all our defences will crumble, it will melt our hardened hearts like hot wax, and set us free. It will change everything about us. Forever.
God knows you. He knows exactly what you’re going through at this point in time. He knows all about the anguish of your soul. He knows every hope, dream and desire of your heart. He knows all the intimate details of your situation. He knows every wayward route you travelled. He knows your secret thoughts. He knows all about your fears. He knows your past, your present, and your future. He knows the battles you face. He knows how many times you’ve failed.
He knows all about your joys and sorrows. He knows your personality type. He knows your strengths and your flaws. He knows your tantrums and moods. He knows you at your worst and at your best. And He’s not moved by any of it.
God understands you completely, better than you do yourself. He knows exactly what needs to be done, or what needs to be changed, in order for you to develop your potential. He knows exactly how to build you up and not to break you down. He knows how to restore your hope. No person on earth will do for you what He has done, or will do for you. God is much more concerned about your life than all the people with good intentions on this earth put together.
He knows what a priceless gift you are! Do you know it?
Yes, but what if God doesn’t like me? Can He handle my anger, my fears, my insecurities, and my imperfections? Can He handle my heart? Can He forgive my betrayal? Yes, He can. This world may have turned you into a pretender, worst of all, a religious pretender, but God still has a firm grip on the real you. He’s looking beyond all your masks and He loves you, deeply and unconditionally!
Think about this: How many people really understand unconditional love? Most know conditional love. “I will love you if you perform. I will love you if you add something to my life. I will love you if you have money. I will love you if you don’t mess up. I will love you as long as it’s convenient for me to love you. I will love you if …” Many people know all too well the meaning of constant rejection, ridicule, condemnation, or manipulation. How many hearts are broken, hopeless, lonely, trampled upon and abused? How many hearts have never known a kind word, an honest smile, or a compassionate hand?
Many people act the way they do because their hearts have been wounded. And in an attempt to hide their pain they hide behind so many masks. Some use alcohol or drugs to medicate the pain. Some use anger or rebellion to medicate the pain. Some use arrogance to medicate the pain. And we’re so quick to judge at times.
IT’S YOUR HEART THAT MATTERS MOST
“He heals the brokenhearted. And binds up their wounds.”
(Ps 147:3 NKJV)
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those who are crushed in spirit.”
(Ps 34:18 NLT)
God knows the secrets of every heart. He knows the cause of every wound. He knows that whatever mask you wear can always be traced back to a wounded heart. And He knows the condition of your heart will affect everything else in your life (Prov 4:23). That’s why His number one desire is to take your heart and heal it.
Your heavenly Father knows that trying to live with a broken heart is almost like trying to look at life through a shattered window. You cannot see clearly with a broken heart. You cannot hear clearly with a broken heart. A broken heart will affect your views on life, your dreams, your decisions, your opinion about yourself, and even your opinion about God. A broken heart will make you do and say things that you never would’ve done with a healed heart. A broken heart will keep you imprisoned and away from the life God promised you.
We cannot be whole and fully alive with negative hearts, bitter hearts, proud hearts, fearful hearts, neglected hearts, confused hearts, denied hearts, unforgiving hearts, sorrowful hearts, broken hearts, hidden hearts, empty hearts, hardened hearts, or betrayed hearts. God knows we need whole hearts to live great lives.
PROTECT YOUR HEART
“Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do.”
(Prov 4:23 NLT)
Your heart is the centre of your life. Your perception of life is moulded by the condition of your heart. It can be negative, or positive. So protect your heart, no matter what the cost.
First of all – never allow the lies of the devil, negative circumstances, some people, or your past, to ever question the love God has for you. There is nothing that can ever separate you from the love of God (Rom 8:35-39). Listen, the devil is a relationship wrecker. That is what he did in the Garden of Eden. Of course he’ll do all he can to wreck your relationship with God. He’ll do all he can to get you to doubt the love God has for you. Just maybe he can get you to withdraw and to walk away. So don’t ever fall for that trap.
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the depth, width, and length of God’s love for you. Study His Word on His love for you until it becomes a living reality in your life. Believe in His love for you. Become absolutely confident in His love for you. Become strong in His love for you. Become rooted and grounded in His love for you. Allow the love of God, which will never fail you, to drive out all fear of judgement or condemnation from your heart. Remind yourself constantly that you’re surrounded by God’s love, protected by His love, and make a decision to live in nothing but His love!
THE HIGHEST COMMANDMENT IS LOVE
“Jesus replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ All the other commandments and all the other demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
(Matt 22:37-40 NLT)
God gave us a simple commandment in the New Testament: the commandment of love. When you go back to the Ten Commandments in the Old Testament, you’ll see they were really about the attitude of our hearts towards God and towards people (Ex 20:1-17). All Jesus did was to condense those commandments into a new commandment: Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, all of your soul, and all of your strength, and love people just as much as God loves you.
We have to understand that God is love. He governs His Kingdom through the law of love. Everything God does is motivated by love!
Think about this: Isn’t it Love that saved the world? Isn’t it Love that set us free? Isn’t it Love that forgave us? Isn’t it Love that blessed us? Isn’t it Love that showed us mercy and compassion? Isn’t it God’s love, flowing through us, that will still touch a lost and hurting world?
There is no greater power than the power of love!
Love will always overcome any addiction, any bondage, any pain, any hurt, any mistake, or any fear. If you truly want to live in the power of God, live in His love. The best thing you can ever offer this world is the love and compassion of your heavenly Father. His love will always overcome evil with good!
You know, this world won’t know that we’re children of the living God by how perfectly we recite scriptures, how good we look in white, or by how committed we are to religious traditions. They’ll know it by our love (John 13:35). If what we do is not motivated by love, and if our love for people is not real, how can we ever say that we love God (1 Cor 13:1-7; 1 John 3:17; Rom 12:9)?
“Don’t be selfish; don’t live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself. Don’t think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing. Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had.”
(Phil 2:3-5 NLT)
Isn’t it odd that believers can often be the most loveless, judgmental, bitter, or unforgiving people in this world? It should not be that way. Attitudes like that deeply grieve the heart of God. He cares very much about the way we treat people. He’s much more concerned about the way we treat people than about how religious we look. More than anything else, God wants us to represent His love to people.
As believers, we’ve received the supernatural ability to love all people with the same love that God loves us with (Rom 5:5). That love is a love that gives, a love that’s not jealous or selfish, a love that forgives, a love that forgets past hurts, a love that accepts, a love that is patient, a love that lifts up, a love that shows kindness and compassion, a love that never gives up, never loses faith, and endures through every circumstance (1 Cor 13:4- 7).
If we truly love people with the love of God we won’t think we know it all, or always try to be the most important person in the room. We’ll accept all people just as Jesus accepted us. We’ll treat all people with dignity and respect. We won’t show partiality. We’ll love our enemies, and we’ll bless those who persecute us. We’ll cover the sin of others and not expose it or announce it to the whole wide world. We’ll get busy with sin in our own lives before we get busy with sin in someone else’s life. We won’t gossip, slander, or condemn. We’ll get rid of strife. We won’t be envious or jealous. We’ll believe the best about people, we’ll hope the best for people, and we’ll love the best out of people – just as God loves us!
YOU ARE A CHILD OF THE MOST HIGH GOD
“But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.”
(John 1:12 NLT)
“So you should not be like cowering, fearful slaves.
You should be have instead as God’s very own children, adopted into his family–calling him ‘Father, dear Father.’”
(Rom 8:15 NLT)
Before His death Jesus was the only Son of God, but after His resurrection He became the firstborn of many more brothers and sisters to come (Rom 8:29). And somewhere in that many more, you fit in.
You’re a child of the living God. You’re not His enemy, an orphan, an outcast, or merely a slave. You belong to God. You’re a citizen of Heaven (Col 1:13). You’re part of God’s Royal Household, even though you’re still living on this planet (Eph 2:19). You were born into eternal royalty. You were born into eternal power and authority. You were born into eternal dominion. You were born into eternal wealth and riches. Listen, royal families in this world are a very dim copy of the one you belong to. Your heavenly Father is the real King of kings. True wealth and riches are in His House. He reigns with everlasting power and authority. And to His Kingdom alone there will be no end (Isa 9:6-7).
You have a heavenly Father who gave His life for you to have life. He is absolutely passionate and fiercely loyal about His relationship with you (Ex 34:14). He enjoys you immensely. You are the apple of His eye and surrounded by His favour for the rest of your life. He respects you and values you as His most precious possession. As a matter of fact, God loves you just as much as He loves Jesus (John 17:23)!
You have a Father who won’t leave you if you fall. He won’t condemn you if you mess up. He won’t reject you if you’ve made the same mistake seventy times seven. He won’t mock you if you don’t know everything. He won’t stop loving you, even if you deny Him or drift away from Him. You have a Father who’ll always fight for you, always sustain you, always defend you, always support you, always encourage you, always deliver you from your enemies, and who’ll always be a very present help in your times of need. You have a Father who carries you in His arms daily. You have a Father who cares very much about what happens to you. He is constantly looking after your welfare, safety, and success!
You’re a child of God, but not only His child, you are also His friend. God is not an absentee Father. He wants to talk to you face to face as He did with Moses (Ex 33:11). He wants to discuss life and your future with you. He wants to teach and guide you into all truth, and show you great things to come. And, believe it or not, He wants to have fun with you!
YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY FORGIVEN
“I have swept away your sins like the morning mists. I have scattered your offences like the clouds. Oh, return to me, for I have paid the price to set you free.”
(Isa 44:22 NLT)
Jesus gave His life to set you free. As for your sins, God has no record of it (Col 2:13-15). There’s not a book in heaven with records of your sin. There’s not a label on your forehead that says “not good enough”, or “sinner beyond repair”. Your sins, past, present, and future, were not just covered up by the blood of slaughtered animals. By the blood of Jesus they were taken away and put out of sight, forever (Heb 10:4). You are standing before God as if you’ve never sinned!
Listen, God does not have a sin problem. He does not remember our sin (Isa 43:25). He dealt with that issue on the cross of Jesus Christ. According to God every person on this earth is forgiven.
“So if the Son sets you free, you will indeed be free.”
(John 8:36 NLT)
Sadly so many people are haunted by a shameful past that causes them to withdraw from an intimate relationship with Jesus. Well, do yourself a big favour. Forget your old identity. And forget your religious attempts to earn your forgiveness by following certain rules. Maybe you’ve been through this: I will pray more, I will give more, I will go to church more, I will read my Bible for three hours every day this week! Offering up our own sacrifices might make us feel better about ourselves for a while but it is useless to gain acceptance with God.
There is nothing you can do to earn God’s forgiveness. All you have to do is to receive it. According to God Joe the addict, Mary the prostitute, or Matthew the jailbird is dead. You’re a new person. You have no past. You are forgiven, whether you feel like it or not. You are accepted, whether you feel like it or not. The favour of God is upon you, whether you feel like it or not. God looks at you through the eyes of love, not through the eyes of condemnation. So forget your shame and guilt. Let it go. Settle it in your heart once and for all that God will never accuse or condemn you for something that He doesn’t even remember (Rom 8:33-34)!
WALK IN YOUR FREEDOM
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.”
(Rom 8:2 NKJV)
The power of sin over your life has been broken. You are a blood- washed child of God. You are free. You are no longer a slave. All you have to do is to start living as the free person that you are (Eph 4:22-24).
Of course living as the free person that you are in the eyes of God is a process. You have been a slave for so long that it will take some time to adjust your attitude and behaviour. And yes, you’ll fall a few times, but keep standing on what the Word of God says about you and soon the real you will begin to rule over the old you (John 8:31-32). If you fall don’t condemn yourself to death. God is a realist. He knows that we have the ability to make mistakes. He knows very well that you’re a work in progress. That’s why He provided a place of mercy – where you’ll find help in your time of need (Heb 4:16).
Just learn to be honest with God. If you mess up don’t always shift the blame. Tell your Father that you’re sorry for what you did, the foolish way you acted, or for the horrible things you said. See, the reason why God wants us to sort out inappropriate behaviour is because He knows the danger of a guilty conscience. He knows that guilt causes relationship barriers. He knows that guilt will cause you to feel unworthy to come into His presence, much less to ask Him for anything you need.
Thank God that the blood of Jesus still speaks forgiveness on our behalf (1 John 1:9). Never allow the devil, or some people, to tell you that it’s too late, that you’ve messed up one time to many, or that God has had it with you. The blood of Jesus will always stand in your defence (Ps 110:3). The Holy Spirit will always help you to overcome whatever it is that you have a major struggle with. And it does not matter how long you’ve been struggling, God can and will deliver you. There is absolutely no problem big enough to withstand His power (Rom 8:37-39). Your heavenly Father is totally committed to complete the good work that He started in you (Phil 1:6)!
To give you hope: Moses was a murderer. David was an adulterer. Abraham was liar. Rahab was a prostitute. Noah was a drunkard. Gideon was a coward. Paul was a self-righteous religious person who killed the followers of Jesus. Peter denied Christ. But God never gave up on them.
God forgave you; now forgive yourself!
Don’t rehearse your mistakes over and over again. All the “maybe I should not have done that” or “maybe I should have done that” is not going to help you. That obsession will keep you imprisoned and self-centred. Rather think about all the things that did change for the better in your life and thank God that you’re not how you used to be. Remember, change is a process. Never cancel yourself!
YOU TOO, MUST FORGIVE
“Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times? ‘No!’ Jesus replied, ‘seventy times seven!’”
(Matt 18:21-22 NLT)
God is faithful and just. His kindness endures forever. His compassion endures forever. He will always forgive you; seventy times seven, for the same sin (Luke 17:4).
Now how can we, who are daily recipients of God’s mercy and kindness, be unwilling to forgive, or to extend mercy and kindness? How can we file the wrongs done to us by people and never forget? How can we carry grudges or bitterness in our hearts for years? How can we always dig up the past to prove our points or to justify our hurts? Of course we can justify our reasons. But we’ll have to let it go. Failing to forgive always leads to a barrier in our fellowship with God. Un-forgiveness imprisons our hearts. Bitterness brings nothing but torment. It will keep us away from the blessed life God wants for us.
Listen, if you refuse to deal with strife, bitterness, resentment or hatred the devil will put a hook through your nose and lead you around like a slave (2 Tim 2:24-26). That is not a pleasant way to live. If you struggle to forgive someone admit your challenge to God and ask Him to help you to let it go. He will gladly free you from that horrid prison!
YOU HAVE RIGHT STANDING WITH GOD
“Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many people will be made right in God’s sight.”
(Rom 5:19 NLT)
Jesus took the punishment of your sin so that you can stand before God with not a single charge left against you. You’re standing before God with nothing to accuse or to condemn you for. You’re standing before God blameless, without a single fault (Col 1:20-23; 2 Cor 5:21). In other words, you have a position of good standing before your heavenly Father. You are right with Him!
You’re not on God’s personal hit list. You have peace with Him. You are His child, not His enemy. You have favour with God. As a matter of truth, you have the same favour before God as Jesus has right now. You have the same rights and privileges as Jesus in the House of God (Gal 4:7). In the eyes of God you and Jesus are on equal ground. He loves you just the same, He favours you just the same, and He wants to treat you just the same (Rom 8:17)!
On what basis can you be sure of this truth?
Jesus brought you into a position of good standing before God and gave that awesome privilege to you as a gift (Rom 5:17; Gal 2:16). Being right with God can never be accomplished by our moral or religious conduct. We are right with God because of the sacrifice of Jesus (Rom 10:3-4). That’s why you never have to crawl into the presence of God like a fearful slave. You don’t have to cringe away in guilt. You don’t have to wait until you feel good enough to earn a place in His presence. You can always come into the presence of your Father, the King, with confidence and boldness, not because you are so good, but because Jesus gave you a right to that position.
Of course Satan will do anything to get you to believe that you’ll never be good enough or right enough to stand in the presence of God. He’ll hold that old picture of a sinner in your face all the time and tell you, “This is who you are, you sinful little twit. God will never accept you. He will never love you. Look how many times you’ve failed. Maybe you should shape yourself up first before you dare talk to God.” As your accuser, Satan will accuse you constantly of many things, until you’re too bewildered and afraid to speak to God. He would like for you to believe that your right standing with God is totally linked to your good conduct, but it’s not, and never will be!
Well, whenever the devil’s accusations bombard your mind, remind yourself, “I have a blood-bought right to enter into the presence of my Father boldly and unashamedly. I have the same position of good standing before God as Jesus Christ. I am not approaching my Father in my own name, but in the Name of Jesus Christ. I know that whenever I speak to Him, He hears me. I will not allow the devil to make me feel bad or unworthy ever again.”
All God wants is for you to wake up to the truth that you have a position of good standing with Him, and to receive that gift with gladness. You don’t have to contact Him via other people. You have personal access to your King. And you’re not a poor old sinner in His eyes. You are glorious in His eyes!
God wants you to be bold and confident in His presence. He wants you to know that you have an open door to Him at all times. He wants you to know that He’s always willing to listen to you, and to answer your prayers. He wants you to know that you have awesome rights and privileges as His child. He wants you to know that you have ruling authority on this earth. He wants you to know all these things so that you can rule in this life with Him, as a child of the King (Rom 5:17).
YOU ARE HOLY
“(Y)ou who have been called by God to be His own holy people. He made you holy by means of Christ Jesus.”
(1 Cor 1:2 NLT)
True holiness has nothing to do with an outward appearance of religiosity. You’re not holy because you have a religious title, go to church, or wear a cross around your neck. What you eat or don’t eat, what you wear or don’t wear, religious traditions that you observe or don’t observe, or any self-denial rules that you follow cannot make you holy, or less holy (Col 2:23). You’re holy because Jesus made you holy. You are holy because you belong to God. You are holy because you are a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven, not a hostage in the kingdom of darkness. According to God you’re just as blameless, perfect and pure as Jesus Himself.
“And whatever you do or say, let it be as a representative of the Lord Jesus, all the while giving thanks through him to God the Father.”
(Col 3:17 NLT)
So, live as a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven. You don’t have to follow the devil’s path to destruction. Separate yourself from the works of darkness (Eph 5:8-11). You don’t have to bow down to all the pressures of this world. You don’t have to compromise on your beliefs to fit in with the views and opinions of this world. You don’t have to sell out your heart to fit in with the crowd. You don’t have to give in to every carnal temptation that comes your way. You don’t have to live a low life!
Just like Daniel’s three friends, you’ll have to make a quality decision to live for God, not in a legalistic way, but because of a heart sold out to God (Dan 3:8-12). Live as the pure person that you are in the eyes of God (1 Pet 1:15). Let the world see that you truly belong to God. Let your words, your thoughts, and your actions show reverence, respect and honour for your King. Choose to become more and more like Jesus in all you say, do, and think. That is practical holiness!
Listen, if we mess around in darkness it will steal our boldness to operate in the power and authority invested in us. Now God knows that, and so does the devil. That’s why Satan will always look for an opportunity to trap you so that he can destroy your confidence in God and sap your spiritual strength.
“Have you lost your senses? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?”
(Gal 3:3 NLT)
To live a holy life begins with a decision, but it’s a lifelong commitment. It’s not always an easy road, and you cannot do it on your own. You need a Helper.
So ask the Holy Spirit to help you (Gal 3:3). He will give you the power to live a holy life separated unto God. If you commit your life to Him He will produce the fruit of His holy nature through you (Gal 5:22-25). He will address issues in your life that you need to change and give you the power to do that.
“The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.”
(Rom 13:12 NKJV)
The world is waiting for the children of God to act like children of the King, and to bring them into the light of God’s love. That’s why God needs us to live holy lives, separated unto Him. He needs surrendered hearts through which His power, love, and compassion can flow unhindered to touch people in need.
YOU REFLECT THE IMAGE OF GOD
“You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in God’s likeness– righteous, holy, and true.”
(Eph 4:24 NLT)
“(B)ecause as He is, so are we in this world.”
(1 John 4:17 NKJV)
You were created in the image and likeness of God. As He is, so are you in this world.
God revealed Himself to the world through Jesus. In the same way, He would like to reveal Himself to the world through you (Gal 1:16). Remember you’re in this world, but you’re not of this world (John 17:16).
God wants you to represent His holiness (1 Pet 1:14-15). He wants you to represent His character and nature (Gal 5:22-23). He wants you to represent His power and authority (Luke 10:19). He wants you to represent His love, kindness, mercy and compassion (John 13:35). He wants you to represent His glory and goodness (John 17:22). He wants you to represent His generosity (John 3:16). And He wants you to establish and to expand His Kingdom’s rule upon this earth (Matt 6:10).
Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God (Col 1:15-17). He gave us a perfect example of how we should represent God on this earth (1 John 2:6). Jesus was meek, but He was not weak. He knew where He came from, He knew who He was, and He knew what He came to do. He was bold and focused on His mission. He was not afraid to oppose the false piety of the religious leaders of that day. He was not intimidated by the opinions of people. He came to rule, not to surrender to defeat. He took authority over the works of the devil. He healed the sick, raised the dead, and drove out demons. He comforted sorrowful spirits. He helped the poor and the needy. He forgave, never condemned. He showed acceptance, mercy and compassion, never judgment.
You should be able to say, as Jesus did, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father!” (John 14:9 NLT).
Isn’t that blasphemy?
No, the only representation of God that some people will ever get on this earth is the one you represent. People cannot see God, they cannot see Jesus, they cannot see the Holy Spirit – but they can see you.
We often claim to be Christians, but how many of us are truly like Jesus? How many people in this world still think that God is nothing but legalistic, critical, angry, unforgiving, judgmental, loveless, showing favouritism to some people, never keeping His Word, and not really caring very much? And where did they get that idea?
We should not misrepresent the character of our heavenly Father. People don’t need flaky imitations, or a watered-down Christianity. They need to see the image of the living Christ in us.
YOU ARE HEALED AND WHOLE
“And a vast crowd brought Him their lame, blind, maimed, and those who could not speak, and many others, and laid them before Jesus, and He healed them all. What a spectacle it was! Those who hadn’t been able to say a word before were talking excitedly, and those with missing arms and legs had new ones; the crippled were walking and jumping around, and those who had been blind were gazing about them!
The crowds just marvelled, and praised the God of Israel.”
(Matt 15:30-31 TLB)
Are you deaf, blind, crippled, mute, deformed, paralysed, or disabled? Do you have a genetic disorder, a mental disorder, a rare disease, or chronic illness? Do you still think, or have you been taught, that your condition is God’s will for you?
No. That is not the will of your loving heavenly Father.
It’s so easy to say that God doesn’t make mistakes, therefore, He had a purpose in making me a cripple or whatever. Yes, God does not make mistakes. When He looked at everything He made, including you, He saw that it was very good. When God saw you in your mother’s womb He had perfection in mind. He had absolutely nothing missing, nothing broken, wholeness and completeness in mind (Ps 139:13-16).
Well, what happened then?
Sin came into this world and death through sin. But in Christ we’ve been set free from the curse of sin. Jesus delivered us from every deformity, abnormality, disability, sickness, or disease we can think of. He delivered us from curses not even mentioned in the Bible (Deut 28:61).
“This fulfilled the word of the Lord through Isaiah, who said, ‘He took our sicknesses and removed our diseases.’”
(Matt 8:17 NLT)
It really doesn’t matter what challenge you face, in Christ you have a promise of vigorous health. You don’t ever have to settle for something that does not fit God’s picture of perfect health and wholeness for you. You don’t ever have to wait for heaven to be healed or whole. If you need healing, or if there’s something missing or broken in your life, all you need to do is to believe what Jesus did for you and to receive your healing by faith!
“I weep for the hurt of my people. I am stunned and silent, mute with grief. Is there no medicine in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why is there no healing for the wounds of my people?”
(Jer 8:21-22 NLT)
Jesus healed all who reached out to Him. He never turned people away. Do you know why? Because of His great love and compassion. Go through the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John and see for yourself. So why will Jesus turn you away, or tell you to wait until heaven? Why will you be the odd one out? Is His gift of healing only for special favourites who are living perfect lives? No! It’s for all who believe His Word (Gal 3:5). We don’t ever have to doubt the willingness of God to heal us or to make us whole. He already showed His willingness and compassion on the cross of Christ!
Isn’t it sad that some say that we’re past the age of healing and miracles? But isn’t God the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow? The real question is whose report are you going to believe? The good report of what Jesus did for you at the cross, or the unbelief or negative opinions of some people?
Because of ignorance some people accept some or other fate as their lot in life. Their grandfather died of a heart attack, their father died of a heart attack, and they’re probably next in line. Some still believe that if we reach a certain age we have to accept certain problems or diseases. Some still believe that the only way we can die is through sickness, a disease, or a tragedy.
No, we don’t have to be evicted from our bodies by a killer virus or a horrible accident. That’s not God’s will or predestined plan for us to leave this world. The preferable way to “die” is simply to give up our spirits at the right time (when we are satisfied with life) and go to heaven. How did we ever get this wicked idea that God probably decided that we’ll have a great life until a certain age when suddenly we’ll be killed in a horrible accident, or a terminal disease will torment our bodies with unbearable pain until we finally die? Somehow a sick lie has wormed its way into our hearts.
And yes, we’ll grow old, but we don’t have to be sick and old. We’re supposed to leave this world in a blaze of glory. And remember, if you’re a new creation in Christ all generational or bloodline curses have lost their rule over your life. Your new bloodline is in Christ. Any curse that has been tormenting your family for generations can stop with you. The only deliverance you need is to step over into your personal freedom by faith!
PROMISE OF A LONG, PROSPEROUS LIFE
“You will live to a good old age. You will not be harvested until the proper time.”
(Job 5:26 NLT)
God promised you a long, prosperous life (Gen 6:3; Ps 91:16). You don’t have to die before your time (Eccl 7:17).
Of course there are people who die before their time, but instead of looking for a thousand explanations rather choose to believe the promise of God and expect it to become a reality in your life. We cannot put our faith in the opinions or experiences of people. We have to put our faith in the Word of God. And God said a long prosperous life is His will for us!
“In the thirty-ninth year of his reign, Asa developed a serious foot disease. Even when the disease became life threatening, he did not seek the LORD’s help but sought help only from his physicians. So he died.”
(2 Chron 16:12-13 NLT)
This is not an example to discredit any part of the medical profession in any way. And this is not to suggest that you should not consult a doctor, or throw away your medication. Use your medication with your faith in God!
Science is not of the devil and medical professionals are not demon- possessed. Most of them have the burning desire to help people and God is doing tremendous healings and miracles through the hands of people – saved or unsaved. God will always give them the wisdom and the ability to help His people. Besides, if it were not for them, many people would live in constant pain, or would’ve left this earth completely prematurely.
The challenge we face today is that often science has the ability to help people but people don’t have money to pay for help. Or they have money but there is not currently a medical solution for their challenge. So, isn’t it good to know that God is still your Healer (Ex 15:26)? Isn’t it good to know that nothing is impossible for Him (Luke 1:37)?
If you’re facing a challenge in your physical body, spend time with God and get wisdom from Him about your situation. Maybe He wants someone to agree with you in prayer, maybe He wants you to simplify your life, to get more sleep, to exercise, to consult a doctor, to go for an operation, or to forgive. Maybe He wants you to only stand on His Word.
Whatever God tells you to do, just do it. Release your faith and work with Him. If you do the possible, God will do the impossible. You can trust Him with your life!
YOU ARE FINANCIALLY COVERED
“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.”
(2 Cor 9:8 NKJV)
We can have heated discussions about the Bible and money until we run out of breath, but common sense tells us that poverty is not a blessing. How can it be? Look at all the countries, or many individuals, who are straining under the curse of poverty. That is not God’s will for us. Jesus redeemed our lives from the curse, including the curse of poverty.
We have to wake up to the truth that poverty does not represent the glory of the Kingdom of God. Poverty imprisons people. It’s not comfortable to be drowned in debt. You cannot do much if don’t have enough. Yes, Jesus said we’ll have the poor with us always, but He also made a way out of poverty and lack for whosoever chooses to believe and receive His Word (Isa 48:17).
Being financially blessed is one of our covenant promises (Deut 28:1- 14). God does not want us broke. He wants us to prosper financially. He wants us to have more than enough to meet all our needs, and more, so that we can be a blessing to others as well (Gen 12:1-3). All God wants is for us to remember Him when our wealth increases (Deut 8:18). Knowing that God is the One who gave us the power to prosper we should be the most generous givers in the world. Honouring God by giving our tithes and freewill offerings into His Kingdom should really not be an issue of debate (Mal 3:8-12). We don’t just give to get. We tithe and give because we bless and honour God as our Source and Provider (Deut 26:1-11)!
“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
(Matt 6:24 NLT)
Now, as believers, we should always guard our hearts against the love of money, not against having money, against the love of money (1 Tim 6:10).
Greed is a merciless master and can enslave the poor, the middle-class, or the rich. See, according to the world system money equals power but really, according to God’s system, money is the lowest form of power there is. Now why would we bow down to such a god? Why will we allow money to become the centre of our lives? No, we can never allow money to become our god – the god that we pursue above all else, the god that we love more than anything else, the god that we trust, the god that empowers us, the god that rules our time, the god that determines our identity, or the god who directs our steps (Rev 3:17-18). We have one God, and His name is not money.
You know, the financial system of the world is not beyond imperfections. Things can go wrong. Markets crash. Economies collapse. Inflation can fly through the roof. People get retrenched. Interest rates go up and down. People can be extremely wealthy today and lose all their money overnight. But God is not restricted by all the uncertainties and fluctuations of the world’s system. Money is not even an issue in His mind! Listen, if you understand your spiritual wealth in Christ you’ll never have a problem trusting God with your financial needs on this planet! Our King will always provide whatever we need if we put the issues of His Kingdom as first priority in our lives (Matt 6:33). All God wants of us is not to become proud, or greedy, or selfish, but to be wise stewards of the finances that He channels to us!
“I will bless you and make you famous, and I will make you a blessing to others.”
(Gen 12:2 NLT)
Now we often hear people say that getting somewhere in life depends on who you know and not what you know. Well, you know God! You don’t have to sweet-talk, bribe, flatter, cheat, or sleep your way into financial prosperity. God is the one who will bless you. Your heavenly Father is constantly looking after your welfare. Just learn to trust Him.
God can re-establish a business that seemed hopelessly gone. He can give you interesting new ideas. He can create a job especially for you. He can get you that promotion when everybody said it was impossible. He can give you favour with people. He can cause your business to expand supernaturally when those around you are going down. He alone can sustain you through difficult times. He alone can prosper you during times of famine or severe recession.
Although we have a promise of wealth and riches, we should keep in mind that this world is not impressed with our impressive bank accounts, big houses, fancy cars, or expensive jewellery. What will impress and change this world is if they look at believers and see transformed lives by the power of God. What will get their attention is seeing the answers, freedom, hope, peace, and joy that we have in Christ. What will capture their hearts is seeing that there is a God, that He is alive, that He answers prayer, that He can do the impossible, and that He loves us all so very much.
YOU ARE UNDER DIVINE PROTECTION
“No weapon formed against you shall prosper.”
(Isa 54:17 NKJV)
What guarantees our protection?
Is it security agencies, security estates, military troops, bodyguards, or moving to another country? Yes, we have to use our common sense and do the possible, but we’re not merely in need of protection against mortal flesh. We’re entangled in a spiritual war (Eph 6:12). There’s an enemy out there that will try to come against your health, your finances, your peace of mind, your marriage, your business, or your dream and you cannot outwit him by natural means. So thank God that He offers you protection that supernaturally covers your health, your family, marriage, animals, assets, finances – everything!
If you make the Lord your God your place of safety no wicked plot of the devil against you will succeed in its mission (Isa 54:17). God personally watches over you (Isa 40:27-28). The power of His love protects you like a shining shield (Ps 5:12). You have a bodyguard that’s not of this world. God’s mighty angels stand guard over you (Ps 91:11-12). You’re clearly not out there on your own, so why live in fear, or surrender fatalistically to the course of life?
“For I am overwhelmed, and you alone know the way I should turn. Wherever I go, my enemies have set traps for me.”
(Ps 142:3 NLT)
Many people do live in fear, not knowing whether they’ll be robbed, attacked, bombed, or suffer some or other mishap. What next, where next or who next, are the questions of the day. Some people say that your little line is drawn, no matter what you do, or how much you pray. Well, what matters is not what people say but what God says.
“Whenever we are faced with any calamity such as war, disease, or famine, we can come to stand in your presence before this Temple where your name is honoured.We can cry out to you to save us,and you will hear us and rescue us.”
(2 Chron 20:9 NLT)
Trust God. Believe that He promised you safety and protection and act on what He said. Receive His offer of divine protection and declare His promises over your life. You don’t live by fate or fear but by the Word of God. Satan may try to kill, steal and destroy but He can’t override the Word of God.
Your heavenly Father will always deliver you in times of trouble. He will keep you alive in the middle of your worst storm. He will always warn you of upcoming danger and show you the way out. In the days we’re living in we better know in whom we can trust boldly and confidently!
YOU HAVE POWER AND AUTHORITY
“Then, when he has conquered all things, the Son will present himself to God, so that God, who gave his Son authority over all things, will be utterly supreme over everything everywhere.”
(1 Cor 15:28 NLT)
“Behold I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
(Luke 10:19 NKJV)
When God raised Jesus from the dead He raised us up together with Jesus and restored us to our position of authority (Eph 2:6). According to God we are seated with Jesus, “Far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else in this world or in the world to come” (Eph 1:21 NLT). Remember God’s command to Adam (Gen 1:26)? His original command didn’t change. The authority to rule on earth is still our responsibility. We are still here to establish His Kingdom on earth, as it is in heaven.
How? God’s Kingdom comes through inward transformation, not outward change. You know, the world system is desperately trying to change whatever is wrong with society through various methods but those changes never really accomplish their goal. To simply try and change the behaviour of people cannot be compared to a change in the true nature of people. Only God can do that. Only He has the power to transform a fallen sinful nature into a new creation. That is why the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only power that can set people free. Nothing else can.
God is interested in touching the hearts of people, to heal their wounds, and to set them free from the bondage and oppression of an enemy that’s not from this world. And through those, who have been set free, He will bring justice to other captives as well (Luke 17:20-21).
“For the LORD is God, and he created the heavens and the earth and put everything in place. He made the world a place to be lived in, not to be a place of empty chaos.”
(Isa 45:18 NLT)
Let’s look at God’s will in heaven.
Will we find chaos there? Will we find sickness or disease there? Will we find poverty or lack there? Will we find fear, depression, or oppression there? Will we find shame or condemnation there? Will we find cruelty there? Will we find ethnic hatred or racism there? Will we find bitterness or strife there? Will we find abuse there? No. So why do we settle for it on earth?
We cannot say heaven is heaven and things are very different on earth. God plainly stated that He wants His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matt 6:10). Jesus demonstrated God’s will to us by taking authority over the works of the devil, and He commissioned us to do the same (John 20:21). We don’t have to live as slaves burdened down by the rules, pressures, worries, or cares of a broken world. We don’t have to take a back seat; still saying whatever will be, will be. We are part of a different Kingdom!
“For the LORD is our judge, our lawgiver, and our king.He will care for us and save us.”
(Isa 33:22 NLT)
Our King has judged in our favour. Knowing that we have right standing with God brings peace and joy into our lives (Rom 14:17). His hand of blessing is upon us. When we run into danger, trouble, ridicule, or persecution He will protect and vindicate us. He is our place of safety (Ps 31:7-8). He will bring justice, and right the wrongs done to His people. The law that He gave us to obey is to keep the commandment of love. As our King He made an oath to take care of us and to save us from all evil while we’re living on this planet. Now as far as our earthy governments are concerned God expects of us to pray for them (1 Tim 2:1-2), to live as good citizens, to pay our taxes, and to respect all authority, unless they violate His Word (Rom 13:1-6).
As His representative on earth God has given you power and authority in the Name of Jesus Christ to enforce the devil’s defeat. You have the right to use the Name that defeated all the forces of hell. You have the right to use the Name that secured our freedom and victory!
If you declare the decree of your King in the Name of Jesus Christ holy angels stand to attention and demons tremble in fear. They all listen in anticipation to hear what command is going to come forth following that Name. They all know that your words are backed by great power (Eccl 8:4). Holy angels will act on your command and see to it that whatever you commanded shall come to pass (Heb 1:14; Ps 103:20). Satan and his demons will flee at that command because their defeat will be enforced (James 4:7). “Father, in the Name of Jesus Christ I declare that this mountain is coming down in my life, and that mountain will come down!
Father, in the Name of Jesus Christ I declare that my family is saved, and your family shall be saved.”
We have no idea what’s going on around us in the spiritual dimension, do we? To the Name of Jesus Christ every other name shall bow its knee (Phil 2:9-11). To the Name of Jesus Christ the name of evil shall bow its knee, the name of your sickness shall bow its knee; the name of your lack shall bow its knee; the name of your addiction shall bow its knee, the name of your fear shall bow its knee, and the name of any demon shall bow its knee!
You’re not supposed to fight for victory; you’re supposed to rule in this life from a position of victory. Of course the enemy will try to come against you with fear, doubt, or unbelief but he’ll turn and run when you point the Word of God at him in the Name of Jesus Christ (Ps 21:1-12).
Every battle won, every victory over the works of the devil, every lie that has been shattered, every enemy-occupied territory that has been repossessed, every broken heart that has been healed, every prisoner that has been set free from the curse, every soul that has been saved from hell, and every dream that became a reality came as a result of people exercising their authority in the Name of Jesus Christ to see that God’s Kingdom shall be established upon this earth, as it is in heaven!
WHY DO WE TOLERATE STUFF?
“Soon all your captives will be released!
Imprisonment, starvation, and death will not be your fate!”
(Isa 51:14 NLT)
Since our kingship and royal identity have been restored to us and we do have the right to rule in this life, then why are some believers still living a life that somehow seems no different to the life they had before they became born again?
Why do we tolerate situations that are not the will of God for us? At times we might get irritated but after a while we somehow accept things again. “Oh well, my marriage is bad but I can live with this situation for another few years. My health is not great but the pain is bearable. My finances are never enough but I survived this long. I’ve been depressed for twenty years so another twenty won’t be that bad to cope with.”
Completely blindfolded by the devil, some of us are still being robbed of our finances, enslaved by guilt or shame, or trapped by sickness or disease. And Jesus weeps. If people just knew on what their peace depends!
Listen, the devil has no right to steal anything that rightfully belongs to you. He has no right to come into your territory to steal your joy, peace, hope, faith or love. He has no right to destroy your health, finances, or marriage. He has no right to kill your dreams, or to kill you prematurely. Don’t tolerate that thief. In Christ you’re the one with the final say!
Remember Adam? He didn’t use his authority, went for a fall, and was left at the mercy of his enemy. The sad reality is that Adam could’ve used his authority to protect this world, which was placed under his care. But no, Adam kept quiet. And when things took a bad turn, what happened? Eve shifted the blame onto the snake and Adam shifted the blame onto God (Gen 3:11-13).
Blame is somehow still the name of the game. When things go wrong we’re quick to blame the government, the economy, our parents, husbands, wives or friends. Or we blame Satan and his demons, or worse, we still blame God.
STAND YOUR GROUND
“For they have come to throw us out of your land, which you gave us as an inheritance.”
(2 Chron 20:11 NLT)
As long as we’re living on this planet opposition will not be an option. Satan will do all he can to either keep you from the life God promised you in Christ, or to throw you out of it.
You have no option but to stand up in your ruling authority and fight the good fight of faith to take and to keep the life Jesus died for you to have (Matt 11:12). You’ll have to press into the Kingdom of God with focus and determination (Luke 16:16). You’ll have to deliberately take back your healing, your deliverance, your freedom, your peace, your marriage, or your business. You’ll have to become aggressive about the promises of God in the sense that you’re not going to settle for anything less than what Jesus died for you to have. You’ll have to become forceful in your pursuit of God’s promises. You’ll have to become relentless in your walk of faith. You’ll have to develop a fighting spirit that will stand firm against all opposition until you see what God promised you. You cannot sink back with an attitude of whatever will be, will be!
Just keep this in mind: We can never resist the devil in our own strength (Acts 19:13-16). Classes that teach people how to drive out demons will not help them at all if they don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus. “Holy tools” such as crosses, Bibles, or bottles of holy water do not intimidate the devil. He’s not threatened by our religious mumbo-jumbo.
He is, however, threatened by people who know Jesus, and the power invested in His Name.
Satan knows very well that the Christ living in us is far more powerful than he can ever hope to be (1 John 4:4). He knows very well that his rule lies broken and shattered (Jer 51:23). If we submit ourselves to the rule of God and resist the devil by standing our ground on the Word of God he will run away from us, in terror (James 4:7).
GOD IS WITH YOU
“But this precious treasure – this light and power that now shine within us – is held in perishable containers, that is, in our weak bodies. So everyone can see that our glorious power is from God and is not our own.”
(2 Cor 4:7 NLT)
As a child of God you’ve received the most precious gift in the entire universe – the gift of the Holy Spirit. God made a promise to you that the same Holy Spirit who lived in Jesus shall come to live in you (Acts 2:38-
39) Just like Jesus, your body has become the house of the Spirit of God upon this earth (1 Cor 3:16)!
There’s something different about you when the Holy Spirit of God is present in your life. You’ll see it, and people will see it. Not everyone will be able to explain it but they’ll sense a difference in your heart, a difference in your nature, a difference in your words, a difference in your attitude, a difference in your work, a difference in your relationships, a difference in how you handle and overcome challenges, and a difference in your relationship with God.
“And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever.”
(John 14:16 NKJV)
Isn’t it good to know that you have a God involved in your life, and not a God distant and out of reach? Isn’t it good to know that you don’t have to struggle and strain through life all on your own?
The Holy Spirit within you will give you strength when you’re weak. He will encourage you through difficult seasons. He will comfort you when you’re down and out. He will redirect your focus when you seem confused and lost in life. He will give you wisdom, understanding, and insight when you don’t know what to do. He will give you a word in season to anchor you in times of trouble. He will help you to live a holy life, separated unto God.
The Holy Spirit will help you to see who Jesus is and all that He has done for you (1 Cor 2:9-12). He will help you to live as a citizen of Heaven. He will help you to receive your heavenly inheritance. He will help you to live by faith. He will help you to pray. He will help you to worship God in spirit and in truth. He will help you to endure to the end. He will help you to understand the Word of God with spiritual understanding, and to draw from it the life it offers. He will help you to transform into the image of Jesus Christ. He will help you to be a bold witness for Jesus.
“And the Spirit of the Lord will rest upon him – the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.”
(Isa 11:2 NLT)
You don’t have to stare into space hoping to find the answers to your questions somewhere out there. The Holy Spirit will show you things to come in your life (John 16:13). He will give you practical advice on how to raise your children, how to have a great marriage, how to run your business, how to make wise financial decisions, or how to take care of your health. You can discuss the smallest detail of life with Him. The Holy Spirit is indeed your ultimate Life Coach!
Once we get to know the Holy Spirit, and once we’ve experienced the joy of being in His presence, we’ll realise that He is indeed the Gift above all gifts! We’ll discover that nothing in life compares to the privilege of knowing Him
If you know Him you’ll have life everlasting (John 17:3). If you know Him you’ll be strong and do great exploits of faith (Dan 11:32). If you know Him you’ll have peace that astounds this distressed world (Isa 26:3). If you know Him you’ll have understanding, wisdom and insight that puzzle the bright minds of this world (Ps 119:98-99)!
“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.”
(Rom 8:14 NLT)
We certainly don’t need direction from astrologers, stargazers, psychics or hypnotists. We don’t have to contact the dead or cross over to some other side (Isa 47:13-14). Our God will lead and guide us by His Spirit. That’s why our ears should always be open to hear what the Spirit is saying (Matt 11:15). Don’t listen to what the world is saying; listen to what the Spirit is saying! So often we miss out on something wonderful or vital that the Holy Spirit wanted to share with us only because we’re too busy for Him.
You know, the more time we spend with the Holy Spirit the less time we’ll waste by trying to get everything done in our own strength, willpower, or ability. The more we listen to the Holy Spirit, and the quicker we obey Him, the quicker we’ll move forward. The sooner we discover that the Holy Spirit really guides our steps the less we’ll run to everyone else for direction!
YOU ARE EMPOWERED FOR SERVICE
“But when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power and will tell people about me everywhere.”
(Acts 1:8 NLT)
“And the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil.”
(Isa 10:27 NKJV)
The gospel of the Kingdom of God is not a message of words; it’s a message of power (1 Cor 4:20)!
To be a witness for Jesus and to establish the Kingdom of God upon this earth is not about our personal ability. Anything that we attempt in our own strength, no matter how sincere we are, is a waste of time.
Trying to overcome the works of the devil our way, won’t work. Presenting eloquent teachings without the life-giving touch of God upon His Word won’t touch the hearts of people. Our knowledge about the Word may inspire, or condemn people for a while but without the living power of God upon His Word it won’t set them free. A wonderful personality won’t cut it either. Doing what God called us to do our way, won’t work. Just like Jesus, we need to rely on the power and presence of the Holy Spirit to fulfil the call of God (John 14:10)!
JESUS, OUR PERFECT EXAMPLE
“(H)ow God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.”
(Acts 10:38 NKJV)
“Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.”
(John 14:10 NKJV)
Jesus began His public ministry after He was baptised with the Holy Spirit and with power (Luke 3:21-22). He ministered on this earth as the Son of Man, anointed and empowered by the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:18-19). It was the Anointing that gave Jesus the power and ability to heal the sick, to raise the dead, to cast out demons, to multiply the bread and fish, and to calm the raging storms. It was the Anointing that enabled Jesus to establish the Kingdom of God upon this earth. Now Jesus said, “As the Father has sent me, so I sent you” (John 20:21 NLT).
Just like Jesus, the Spirit of the Lord is upon us (Luke 4:18-19). According to God we are filled with His presence and burden-removing, yoke-destroying power (Eph 3:20). In Christ we have received an anointing to heal the sick, to raise the dead, to cast out devils, and to preach the Good News of the Kingdom of God with signs and wonders following. We have received awesome gifts through which the Holy Spirit can demonstrate His love, compassion, power and wisdom to a wounded world (1 Cor 12:6-11). We cannot hide what we have. We should expect the anointing to work through us just as it did through Jesus. People need to see the glory of God. We should live our lives in demonstration of the Holy Spirit and of His power – just like Jesus did (1 Cor 2:4-5). Just like Jesus, we are agents of life, not of death (John 7:37-39). Just like Jesus, we are agents of salvation, not of religion (Ps 132:9).
The only reason why the early church had such a great impact on this world was because of the Anointing, or the presence and power of the Holy Spirit upon it (Zech 4:6). The disciples knew it was all about the Anointing because they saw the results in the life and ministry of Jesus, the Anointed One. They simply followed His example, went into the world as “Christ- ians” (or as little anointed ones), and performed many signs and wonders in the name of Jesus Christ (Acts 5:12).
“And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues, they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
(Mark 16:17-18 NKJV)
“And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people.”
(Acts 6:8 NKJV)
This world is not impressed by our doctrinal debates. People are not impressed by our knowledge about Jesus. Most people have had enough of religious debates, formalism, ancient traditions, sweet words, or sad songs with no real power to give them freedom, hope, answers, or life. What people need is a touch from God. They need an encounter with the living God!
If we wake up to the truth that our bodies are the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit here on earth and we release Him to do His work through us, we’ll see an explosion of conversions, signs, wonders, and miracles. The power and the presence of the Holy Spirit will still destroy every chain that keeps people enslaved and imprisoned. He will still give light to those who are trapped in total darkness. He will still transform the lives of people. He will still draw the hearts of people back to their heavenly Father. He will still bring a word in season to encourage, correct, or to guide. He will still bring life where there is confusion, barrenness or death.
Listen, God never changed. His plan never changed. His glory never changed. His Word never changed. His promises never changed. His power never changed. His love never changed. His compassion never changed. His voice never became silent. His guidance never stopped. But somewhere along the line we lost track of how we as believers should operate on this earth.
If we want to turn our world around for Jesus, as the first disciples did, we need to release the power and presence of God through us. We are not waiting for God. He is waiting for us. We should get on with His plan, preach the gospel, and God will confirm His Word with signs and wonders!
YOU ARE MORE THAN A CONQUEROR
“(I)n all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
(Rom 8:37 NKJV)
In Christ you are glorious. In Him you are more than a conqueror. In Him you are pre-destined to live a victorious life!
It really doesn’t matter what your current situation is, how low you feel, or how hopeless your dilemma is. God made you to win. He made you to live in victory. Your life cannot be shaped by the ups and downs of this world. This world is not your reality. The reality of your life is what the Word of God says about your life.
“For in Christ, the fullness of God lives in a human body.”
(Col 2:9 NLT)
The Creator of all things is living within you. You don’t need to pray His power down from heaven. You don’t have to storm the gates of heaven to get God’s attention. God is not a million miles away somewhere in space. He is with you (1 Cor 6:17)!
God, in all His power, wisdom, majesty, honour, authority and glory, is living within you. All the power you need, all the deliverance you need, all the healing you need, all the protection you need, all the wisdom you need, all the comfort you need, all the provision you need, and all the love you need are already within you. You and God – as one! So who or what can really come up against you?
You have no reason to give up. Yes, people might’ve left you behind for dead. Circumstances might’ve left you behind for dead. Everything in your life might indicate that you’re going down fast but – you were born to conquer. Don’t give up your trust in God. He will never relax His grip on you. He will never stop believing in you. God will always maintain your hope, inspire you to endure, and stand by you to strengthen you. He has more faith in you than you have in yourself. He knows you can make it!
“Put on your sword, O mighty warrior! You are so glorious, so majestic! In your majesty, ride out to victory … Go forth to perform awe-inspiring deeds!”
(Ps 45:3-4 NLT)
There are dreams out there waiting for you to make them a reality. There’s a wonderful world out there waiting for you to be explored. There are problems and challenges waiting for you to find the solution to. And there are people out there who need you to fight for them. So stand up in the strength and might of your God and go out there to perform awe- inspiring deeds.
YOU ARE BLESSED
“The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.”
(Rom 8:16-17 NKJV)
Many of us received an inheritance from our parents. Many did not. Many don’t even have parents to inherit from. Many of us had an inheritance, but blew it, or when we came to Jesus Christ our family disowned us. Well, none of that should matter. In Christ you’ve received the best inheritance in the universe. You’ve inherited the blessing of God. You are empowered by God to prosper in every area of your life.
Before the creation of this world God had already made up His mind to bless you (Eph 1:3). You had nothing to do with it. When Adam messed up God did not cancel His plan to bless us. He simply continued His plan by making a promise to Abraham and his Seed that His blessing will be restored to us (Gal 3:13-18, 29). The Seed pointed to Jesus. When you accept Jesus into your life you immediately receive the blessing again. The same blessing that empowered Adam and Abraham and Jesus to prosper belongs to you.
No, the devil cannot curse you. His demons cannot. Satanists cannot. Witches cannot. And people cannot curse you. In Christ you are blessed, and no one can curse what God has blessed (Num 22:12)!
The question that confuses some people is: When will you live in the blessing of God? Now in this life, or one day in heaven?
It’s quite simple. If you are the beneficiary of someone’s will, when will you possess your inheritance? When you die, or when the person who wrote the will passes away?
Usually, when someone leaves a will (a list of things to be given away) that will only goes into effect after the death of the person who wrote the will (Heb 9:16-17). Likewise with Jesus! When He died His blood was sprinkled on the mercy seat in heaven as proof of His death. Because of the death of Jesus you are a legal heir of God, and a joint heir with Jesus. That simply means that everything that belongs to God belongs to you as well (Gal 4:7). And, as an heir, you have a legal right to receive your heavenly inheritance right now (2 Pet 1:3-4).
Sometimes we are so preoccupied with life in heaven, or so caught up in our troubles, that we forget the promise of a blessed life that we have right now. God wants us to experience days of heaven upon this earth (Deut 11:21).
As far as God is concerned we can be just as healed and whole here on earth as a taste of heaven. We can be just as prosperous in all things here on earth as a taste of heaven. Listen, we cannot use the glory of heaven as an excuse for defeat on earth. If we’re not able to tell this generation about our victories through the hand of God, how will they ever know that our God is alive and real?
KNOW THE WILL OF GOD
“Therefore do not be unwise,but understand what the will of the Lord is.”
(Eph 5:17 NKJV)
“(T)hat you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.”
(Col 1:9 NKJV)
God is not keeping His will a secret. His will is clearly revealed in His Word. That’s why God wants you to be filled with the knowledge of His Word in all wisdom and spiritual understanding!
Your Bible is not a book filled with interesting stories that offers hours of debate on whether the whale really swallowed Jonah or not. Or whether it was a whale or not. It’s not about keeping religious traditions or else the wrath of God will blast you to hell. It’s not a manual on whether Christians should have long hair, short hair, or no hair. Those are the little distractions we get caught up in if we push Jesus to the side, or if we try to understand the Word of God, not in spiritual understanding, but through our own human intellect and reason.
God’s Word is His covenant with you. His Word is His last will and testament for you; signed and sealed in the blood of Jesus. That testament will tell you exactly what God’s will is for your life. It will tell you exactly who you are in Christ, exactly what you can have in Christ, and exactly what you can do in Christ. It will show you exactly what a blessed life is all about.
Your heavenly Father drew up an everlasting contract with you that includes divine peace, restoration, deliverance, protection, preservation, forgiveness, healing, prosperity and wholeness for your spirit, soul and body. You can also call it the benefits of your salvation or the benefits of the blessing (Ps 103:1-5). Remember, this salvation is not a reward for the good things you’ve done, it’s a gift that you receive in Christ (Eph 2:9).
According to your contract you have a promise of eternal life. You are free from the burden of guilt, shame, or condemnation. The power of sin over your life has been broken. You are holy. You have peace with God. Your relationship with God is restored. You have power and authority in the name of Jesus Christ. You are a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven. You have a promise to be filled with the Spirit of God, to be led by the Spirit, and to be guided into all truth. You are a child of God. You have a promise of healing, financial prosperity, and divine protection. You can confidently trust God for a house, a baby, a spouse, the salvation of your family, restoration of your marriage, a job, a kidney, an arm or a leg, because the promises of God are always equal to the need.
All you have to do is to know what’s written in God’s will, to receive His Word with childlike faith, and to release His blessing upon your life!
THE ANSWER IS “YES!”
“For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in him.That is why we say ‘Amen’ when we give glory to GodthroughChrist.”
(2 Cor 1:20 NLT)
God has only one answer to all the promises in His Word: Yes. Not maybe, and not no. Why yes?
If God already promised you something, why would He now say maybe you can have it, or no, you can’t have it? Listen, the decision to bless you has been made. All of God’s promises to you have been fulfilled in Jesus Christ. God will never change His mind about what He said (1 Sam 15:29).
The challenge is that we often put God’s promises in little categories of yes, maybe, or no. Or what might happen is that we start off with a yes, and be excited about it, but after some time of delay we become discouraged and then the yes begins to look like a maybe. Later we might just give up and say that God said no. And so we justify ourselves for giving up on the promises of God. Why? Didn’t Jesus tell us that we must continue to pray and never lose heart until we see the expected end of our faith (Luke 18:1- 8)?
A silly example, but think about this: If your rich uncle blessed you with an awesome inheritance, will you argue yourself out of his last will and testament? Will you allow people’s opinions or lack of belief to let you back down from what your uncle promised you? No! Will you listen to the devil when he tells you that you might as well give up, your uncle didn’t really mean what he said? Will you listen to him if he tells you that the testament is old and outdated and not applicable in this day or age any longer? You certainly won’t allow that lying voice to tell you that what you read is not true, or outdated, or not applicable to you. The last voice you will listen to is the voice of the devil. Now why do we do that when it comes to our blood-bought heavenly inheritance? Good question.
You are blessed. You might not look blessed right now but you are. It pleases God to see you prosper physically, mentally, financially, emotionally, socially and spiritually (3 John 1:2). God’s not pleased when you suffer. Why should He be? Has He not done all He could to set you free from a cursed life? Did He not say that it’s His good pleasure to give you the benefits of His Kingdom (Luke 12:32)?
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”
(Hosea 4:6 NKJV)
“Satan, the god of this evil world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe, so they are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News that is shining upon them. They don’t understand the message we preach about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.” (2 Cor 4:4 NLT)
See, people are not really destroyed by demons, sickness, poverty, addictions or any other part of the curse. Those things were destroyed on the cross of Christ. People are being destroyed because they do not know the Word of God, or they lack a spiritual revelation of God’s Word.
Well, if you don’t make a diligent effort to get to know the decrees of your King yourself, how can you confidently claim what rightfully belongs to you through the sacrifice of Christ? We cannot afford to treat the Word of God lightly. We cannot afford to neglect such a great salvation (Heb 2:1). To suffer because of ignorance is a foolish way to suffer.
Now most of us are drowned in knowledge, but what do we do with our knowledge? We might know the Word of God back to front but if we don’t have a revelation of that Word and prove it, what’s the use?
If you want to experience the blessed life Jesus came to give you, settle His will in your heart and choose to prove His Word in your life (2 Pet 1:5). You don’t ever have to live a life beneath the privileges of God!
SETTLE THE WILL OF GOD IN YOUR HEART
“O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
(Matt 26:39 NKJV)
This prayer has nothing to do with whether God’s promises are yours to claim or not. You have to settle this in your heart: All of God’s promises are His will for you. He has given it to you as a gift!
Jesus prayed this particular prayer of consecration and submission because, at some point, it was difficult for Him to be focused on His mission. His soul was crushed with grief. He was in anguish and deep distress. He did not know if He had the strength, or the will, to complete the plan. But He denied His own will, for the sake of the Kingdom of God (Matt 26:36-39). Jesus knew that if He decided to quit He was not going to quit alone. He was going to quit on all of us. We can only imagine the horrific consequences!
While Jesus was living on this earth He always carried out the perfect will of His Father. Everywhere He went He blessed people. He healed the sick, raised the dead, forgave the sinners, drove out demons, and set free all those who were oppressed by the devil (Acts 10:38).
So, what this prayer means is that we’ve decided to consecrate and dedicate our lives to the cause of God and will not live selfish lives. We’ve chosen to use our gifts to glorify God and not ourselves. We’ve chosen to lay down our lives for our friends, families, and people – to reconcile them to God. If God asks us to move in a certain direction, we will. If He asks us to pray more, we will. If He asks us to forgive, we will. If He asks us to walk in love, we will. If He asks us to lay hands on the sick, we will. If He asks us to encourage someone, we will.
These things will not always suit us but nevertheless, not our will, let God’s will be done for the sake of His Kingdom.
CELEBRATE THE WILL OF GOD IN YOUR LIFE!
“When we bless the cup at the Lord’s Table, aren’t we sharing in the benefits of the blood of Christ? And when we break the loaf of bread, aren’t we sharing in the benefits of the body of Christ?”
(1 Cor 10:16 NLT)
It’s good to celebrate the will of God in your life. It’s good to celebrate the sacrifice of Jesus, His victory over the works of the devil, and the blessed life that we now have in Him.
Most of us have witnessed liberation struggles throughout this world. And most of us have witnessed the immense personal sacrifices of the freedom fighters. Many were tortured. Many were killed. Many spent years in prison. Many gave up their homes, their families, their jobs, their reputations, and all comfort to fight for a just cause. But, we have also witnessed the careless attitude of the next generation, those who were born into freedom. It’s so easy to forget the noble words of a freedom charter. It’s so easy to settle into the mere comforts of life. It’s so easy to become concerned primarily about our own prosperity and issues in life.
The same can happen to the sacrifice of Christ. We should often remember His sacrifice lest we forget why His precious blood was shed.
See, Holy Communion is not a religious ritual. It’s a meal of remembrance (1 Cor 11:24-26). As often as we take communion we can remind ourselves of our eternal covenant with God, sealed in the blood of Jesus Christ (2 Sam 23:5). We can remind ourselves of the benefits of our freedom charter (Ps 103:1-5). We can remind ourselves that our God is great and mighty, that He is compassionate, faithful and just, that He is on our side, and that He will never fail to honour His Word in our lives.
As often as we take communion we can remind ourselves that the sacrifice of Christ was not in vain and that we will continue His just cause to bring others into the knowledge of true freedom.
THE GRACE OF GOD IN CHRIST
“But now we have been released from the law, for we died with Christ, and we are no longer captive to its power. Now we can really serve God, not in the old way by obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way, by the Spirit.”
(Rom 7:6 NLT)
“For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
(John 1:17 NKJV)
We’re living in a new covenant of grace. God is full of compassion towards us. He is kind and merciful towards us. His favour is upon us. We’re no longer living in a covenant of judgment. God will always deal with us according to His mercy and grace (Rom 6:14; Ps 103:10-12)!
Jesus accomplished for us everything that we could never accomplish through our own splendid efforts. We’re forgiven, delivered, healed, holy, and blessed, not because we are so perfect, but because the sacrifice of Jesus Christ was absolutely perfect. All we have to do is to believe the Good News, to receive the grace of God, and to apply the benefits of the sacrifice of Jesus in our lives by faith.
You know, sometimes we act like little circus poodles jumping through hoops thinking that if we do it well enough then maybe God will give us a treat. No. All that we are, all that we have, and all that we can do, is a result of what Jesus had done for us (1 Cor 15:10). If it was possible to earn anything that Jesus died for us to have, simply by our own efforts, then the suffering and death of Jesus was totally unnecessary, wasn’t it (Gal 2:21; 5:1-4)?
“(F)or it was through reading the Scripture that I came to realize that I could never find God’s favor by trying – and failing – to obey the laws. I came to realize that acceptance with God comes by believing in Christ.”
(Gal 2:19 TLB)
Some people still get confused because they cling to certain Old Testament laws as the final decree of God. And so they get off balance, fall into ditches, and live under totally unnecessary laws. Of course grace does not give us the right to live lawless lives; our lives should bear the fruit of true transformation (Titus 2:11-12). It simply means that our age-old search for true freedom can only be found in the person of Jesus Christ, not by keeping religious laws (Rom 10:4).
We should interpret Old Testament scriptures in the light of the cross of Jesus Christ. The cross either confirms what God had said in the Old Testament, or it will cancel it.
Some questions: Can you marry a person of a different colour? Doesn’t matter. In Christ there is no colour. If you can work through your cultural differences, go ahead. Should we dress a certain way to please God? Does it matter what you wear if your heart is not right with God? Should we eat meat or not? Doesn’t matter. It’s not what goes into your stomach that will defile you, but what comes out of your heart.
“Now, the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, he gives freedom.”
(2 Cor 3:17 NLT)
The life you now live, you live by faith in Jesus Christ who loved you and gave His life for you. It’s the life of faith that pleases God (Gal 2:20).
Keeping religious laws or following man-made traditions could never, and still can’t, produce true life. It could never produce faith, hope, love, peace, joy, freedom, holiness, righteousness, obedience, transformed hearts or transformed lives. It’s the Spirit that gives life; our own human efforts profit us nothing (John 6:63).
It’s by the Spirit of God that our lives will be transformed into the image of Christ. It’s by His Spirit that we’ll overcome evil with good. It’s by His Spirit that we can love people with the God kind of love. And it’s by His Spirit that we’ll continue to do the works of Jesus. The Spirit of God will teach, guide, and correct us in all things, and lead us into all truth, through a personal relationship with Him (1 John 2:27).
Some advice: The Holy Spirit may have led you to do something. That doesn’t mean that whatever God told you to do has to become a law for everyone else. Say, for instance, the Spirit of God prompted you to get up before daybreak to pray. If that’s your conviction, don’t judge others if they don’t have that same conviction. They’re not less spiritual because they pray at night. If you’ve kicked some habits or bad attitudes, don’t condemn others who aren’t on “your level”. If the Holy Spirit prompted you to eat grapes for a while it does not mean that everybody you know should change their diets.
Stick to your personal conviction and allow the Holy Spirit to teach and guide other people through their personal relationship with Him. God knows best of all how to sort out His children (Rom 14)!
ENTER INTO THE REST OF FAITH
“I ask you again, does God give you the Holy Spirit and work miracles among you because you obey the law of Moses? Of course not! It is because you believe the message you heard about Christ.”
(Gal 3:5 NLT)
People who know the grace of God are at peace. They know that their only work is to believe in Jesus (John 6:28-29). Look at what Jesus says, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light” (Matt 11:28). People who’re still caught up in the traditions of men never enter into that rest. They’re too busy trying to earn God’s acceptance.
Isn’t it sad to see how religion can put a terrible yoke of bondage upon free people? We are right next to a River of Living Water, but how many are still dying of thirst?
“You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.”
(Gal 5:4 NKJV)
Jesus has set you free from performance-based Christianity. Don’t fall from that grace by trying to earn God’s favour. And don’t let people cause you to fall from grace by complicating the simplicity of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Be firm and secure in the grace of God. And grow in His grace. Always!