Who is Your Father?

Arm in clouds copy

There is no one like the God of Jeshurun, who rides across the heavens to help you and on the clouds in His majesty.   Deut. 33:26 (NIV)

Family is God’s idea and He has created the family unit, complete with a father and a mother. When a family functions the way God intends it to function, the family is nurtured, healthy and fruitful.  Because we live in a fallen world, we don’t really see a perfect family model—other than, of course, God the Father, Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Most people who’ve had a bad childhood would say they are envious, even jealous of people who’ve had an amazing childhood.  If they’re truthful, they would say they even struggled with bitterness and rejection because of the way they were raised at some point in their lives (mainly by their fathers).  An intentionally present father in the home makes all the difference.  (I’m not excluding the importance of the mother).  Consequently, there is a father factor in nearly all social ills facing America today.

Statistics and numbers don’t lie—they paint a very real picture.  These are just a few of the many statistics for the United States:  85% of youth who are currently in prison grew up in a fatherless home.  39% of students from first through twelfth grades do not have a father in the home.  Children without a father are 4 times more likely to be living in poverty than children with a father.  1 in 3 children do not have access to their father.  It gets worse…Fatherless homes make up 57% African-American, 31%  Hispanic , and 20%  Caucasian/White households.  The U.S. Census Bureau reported in 2011, that 44% of children the homes headed by a single mother were living in poverty, while just 12% of children in married-couple families were living in poverty.  The National Center for Fathering states that 72% of Americans believe that a fatherless home is the most significant social problem and family problem that is facing our country.  The NCF also states that more than 20 million children live in a home without the physical presence of a father.  Millions more have dads who are physically present, but emotionally absent.  If it were classified as a disease, fatherlessness would be an epidemic worthy of attention as a national emergency.

Good and functional families produce amazing children, as dysfunctional families produce children who struggle with identity and values.  The opposite can be true, although rare.  The Bible says in Matt. 7:17, “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit nor can a bad tree produce good fruit.”  The problem is actually in the ROOT of the tree.  Luke 3:9 says “And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees,  Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”  What this scripture is NOT saying is a blanket statement that all the bad trees just need to be cut down and burned!  The Passion Translation says it like this:  Even now God’s axe of judgment is poised to chop down our barren tree right down to the roots!  The word root is a metaphor of offspring; progeny, a sprout, a shoot.  It’s what we produce; the offspring that comes out of our own hearts.  The axe of judgment is poised to cut it down, but what changes whether the tree (we) will survive or not is by our repentance.  God wants to change the root that produces the bad tree/fruit.  Repentance breaks open the heart and changes our attitudes toward God and others.  Repentance means: a change of mind.

One can only see the destructive behavior of someone who has been raised in a fatherless home, or in a society that tells them they’re not good enough because of their education or the color of their skin.  There have been centuries of abuse, hurt, and injustice.  This grieves God as it should every person who calls on the name of Jesus.  We, who belong to Christ, are all children of God our Father and part of His family.  If we have been born-again, our past and our upbringing does not define who we are as born-again believers.  Through Christ our path in life changes, starting with the fact that we now have the the most perfect and greatest Father in the universe and is carried out by our personal choices.  The Bible says we (Christians) are no longer of this world, but citizens of heaven.  We are saved from this world’s systems, but the truth is, we still live in it.  

God is our true Father, who is perfect, kind, loving and gracious, plus every other positive adjective we can think of.   We, as His children, can approach the throne of grace with confidence that He will never stop loving us as a perfect father loves his child.  Since so many people don’t know what a perfect father is, we find it hard to relate to God as Father.  There are people who have had horrible fathers and can’t seem to relate to a loving Father we call God.  Unfortunately for them, God is feared as a harsh task master; coupled with the fact that He’s invisible to our earthly eyes. It would be great if we could actually see God with our physical eyes and talk face to face with Him. The Religious people in Jesus’ day thought that as well and said, “Show us the father”.  Jesus replied,  “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father.”  (John 14:8-9)

God would that all repent and be saved, He doesn’t want anyone to perish.  (2 Pet. 3:9) What is the deciding factor here, if not us?  If it’s God’s will to save everyone, why aren’t we all saved?  I truly believe that for every problem, God has a solution if we would turn to Him for the answer.  You may not be able to change everyone else in your life, but you can change your own life through the power of Christ’s shed blood.  Jesus has the answer, because He is the answer.   Every person has a destiny in this world—we all count.  God did not make you by mistake—He made you with intention and with a purpose.  It’s our job to find out what that purpose is.  It starts not by just accepting Jesus into your life, but by actually surrendering your life to Him.  Dying to yourself is the only way out of this fallen world.

Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of the Son he loves? Col. 1:13 (KJV)  I love how the The Passion Translation states this verse: “He has rescued us completely from the tyrannical rule of darkness and has translated us into the kingdom realm of His beloved Son.”

We were born into a fallen world—it has problems.  Satan is the prince of the power of the air.  He had gained legal right to usurp this world’s order…only until we are born again and find out who and whose we really are!  All authority has been given to Jesus and we (believers) are IN HIM. (Phil. 2:10, Luke 9:1, 2 Cor. 10:8,  If all authority has been given to Christ, that means the devil has none!

How many people in hell are forgiven?  The answer is; all of them!  Christ died for the sins of the whole world.  We are the ones who choose to believe on Jesus or not.  God leaves the decision up to us. Mankind has always been accountable for his own choices and actions.

My whole point is that God wants us to be reconciled to Him as our Father.  Romans 5:10 says, “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”  It’s the great exchange—your life for His life.  Your subjected truth to His objective truth.  It all starts with God as Father.  God did not create us to be lost, orphaned and confused of our identity and purpose.  Be reconciled to God through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.  Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life; no man comes unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)

It’s All About Perspective

Brandon 08

Recently, the Lord showed me how I had been offended in the past at many things in my life.  It’s true that I’ve been hurt by people and circumstances that I really had no control over.  I’ve especially been deeply hurt by people and leaders of the Church.  I knew what the Lord was saying was true because I’ve heard the rhetoric in my heart and mind before, but never really applied it to my life or connected the dots within myself.  Why hadn’t I seen this about myself before now?  Perhaps I wasn’t ready.  No doubt, this shelter-in-place order has brought about a lot of self-realization.  We’ve slowed down—listening to our hearts and our thoughts has been easier during this time.  (God uses all things for our good.)

Realizing the truth that I was carrying offense at things, people and situations, I consequently ended up doing a spiritual social-distancing without even noticing it.  I became more of an observer in life, and without realizing it, I found myself staying 6 feet away from people because I didn’t want to be hurt or disappointed again.  Fear of people, fear of failing and fear of rejection was at the core of my decisions to distance myself.

We do a spiritual social-distancing because we don’t want to catch the opinions of others, thus being infected with something bad to have to deal with.  Being offended literally builds a fence around us personally.  We smile on the outside like it doesn’t really effect us, but on the inside we are retreating into ourselves because of some sort of internal pain or a lack of knowing how to process what we are feeling.  We close the door to people, things, teachings, opinions, and situations because our trust level has been compromised.  We don’t want to get in close contact with what people carry because we have no immune system.  We then take on a victim mentality that says, “if they wouldn’t have said that or done that to me—if this didn’t happen to me, I wouldn’t be in the place I’m in right now.”  It becomes their fault—we have given up all responsibility to steward our own lives.  Again, some of us have no spiritual immune system. 

On the other hand, I’m not saying we need to subject ourselves to everyone and everything.  Even Jesus did not entrust Himself to people because He knew and understood the fickleness of human nature and He knew what was in man—in their hearts. (John 2:23-25)  Discernment of the Spirit is desperately needed in our lives.  That’s why it’s a gift of the Holy Spirit.  God gave us these gifts because He knew how vital they would be to maneuver through our spiritual lives.  Also, even though our discernment is most likely correct, it’s what we do with it and how we process the discernment that makes all the difference.  We need God’s perspective of the discernment we are sensing.  Are we responding to Holy Spirit or are we simply reacting to what we see or feel out of our own carnal minds?  The best way to process discernment is by asking the Lord if what we are discerning is from Him and how does He want us to proceed with it.  When our perspective of something is in-line with God’s perspective—God just might surprise us with the answers of how we are to respond. 

Revival is for the Body of Christ—the Believers, and it starts within our own hearts as individuals before it can become a corporate revival.  Revival is like many little fires coming together to make one big fire.  It sparks something in our own heart.  It quickly jumps to another person as the Spirit is able to ignite that spark into a flame.  We need one another to sustain a revival.  True revival is spread to others and is meant to be done in a group or a community of people.  When you have logs burning in a campfire and you remove one of the burning logs to the outside, it will soon grow cold and go out.  We need to get close enough to the flame (to one another) to catch fire and keep burning.  This is an intentional act on our part. (i.e. putting yourself out there to catch what is being carried.)  However if we go around offended at what we observe, we can completely miss what God has for us.

On the outside, revival may look like something you really wouldn’t choose to be a part of or associated with.  We need to allow ourselves to get close enough to catch what other people carry.  What do other people carry that we personally need?  Oh sure, we can play it safe and stay at a distance but that won’t get us to a true sustaining revival.  True revival is caught like a virus and we need to get close enough to be infected with what God is doing.  We cannot be offended or else we won’t allow ourselves to come close.  Revival looks messy. We need to jump in with our whole heart and let God sift things out for us personally without being offended or caring what other people think of us.  

God wants to birth something in us.  When a woman is in childbirth, she could care less what other people think of her in the process of giving birth.  She doesn’t care what her hair or her make-up looks like.  She doesn’t care if her house is clean or her laundry is done.  She cares only about giving birth to her baby.  She is focused on that ONE THING and no one better get in her way!

We need to catch this kind of ‘virus’!  The One Thing—The Main Thing that matters is to give birth to a personal revival in our own lives by being around a corporate revival (other believers) that infects us with what God wants us to catch and burn with. This is a lifelong make-it-personal revival because we need to intentionally put ourselves back into the fire to burn hot and not go out.  We won’t get there if we are worried about what other people think of us or if we are offended by anyone or anything else.   We need to get God’s perspective and repent of our own.   Selah.

Identity Theft

Brandon 01

A prevalent atrocity in our culture today is the issue of stolen identity.  If you’ve ever fallen victim to this fraudulent evil, you have felt the personal violation of this crime. An entire industry has been created to fight for our personal identities. Statistics say there is a new victim of identity theft every 2 seconds in the U. S., amounting to over 16.8 billion dollars in 2017.

I believe what happens in the natural is an indicator of what’s happening in the spiritual. Every person on the planet has fallen victim of their true identity because of the fall of mankind.  We were created in the image and likeness of God, which speaks of His nature and who He is.

God is our true Father and we are His children. Not long after birth, we begin to lose the innocence of who we were created to be. We have fallen victim to identity theft in that we forget who we are and whose we are.

Christ died for the sins of the whole world to reconcile us back to the Father. We have been forgiven because of the blood of Jesus on the cross. Regrettably heartbreaking, many people will die not knowing they are forgiven. Hell is populated with forgiven people because they simply did not receive the free gift of salvation from the only One who has the power to offer it.

Orphaned and lost, mankind wanders the earth not knowing that God is their true Father. Their identity has been stolen from them and their eyes have been blinded to the Truth. Even some who have received Jesus as their Savior, so often fight spiritual battles by not believing the whole truth of who they really are. They spend their lives trying to earn God’s love and acceptance – thinking their performance has to be just right so they won’t lose God’s love and acceptance.

The truth of your identity is found in Jesus Christ.

The Bible says if you are in Christ, you are a brand new creation, (2 Cor. 5:17) Your spirit and His are now one (1 Cor. 6:17) – like pouring 2 glasses of water into one pitcher. We don’t need to wrestle with our identity. We are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. (1 Cor.1:30.  In Him we live and move and have our being. (Acts 17:28).  It’s no longer I that lives, but Christ who lives in me. (Gal. 2:20). We are not justified by our works, but by faith in Jesus. (Gal. 2:6).

Let this understanding of the truth sink in deeply. Know that He is also working on your soul (mind, will and emotions), which is in a continual process of being conformed to the image of Jesus. But your spirit man is perfect in Christ. By one offering, He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. (Heb. 10:14.)

He not only took our sins, He became sin in our place. His body was also broken for our bodies. Healing as well as eternal life is available to us through the cross of Christ.

We are saved, healed and delivered through the cross by the sacrificial shed blood of Jesus Christ. Our identity of who we really are in Him must be realized in order to walk in the fullness of God and the incredible inheritance He has provided for us.

Identify with Jesus.

Lord, thank you that Your crucifixion was my crucifixion – Your death was my death – Your burial was my burial – Your resurrection was my resurrection – Your victory is my victory. My true identity is that I am a child of God, my Father, and He loves me extravagantly without reservation!

And to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Eph. 3:19)

Just say Yes

Coy fish

Then He (Jesus) said to them, “The harvest is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” Luke 10:2

I walked by a pond in a garden that I was told had fish in it. I looked but couldn’t see any at first, so I threw some small pieces of bread into the water. Within minutes I was looking at a shoreline full of Koi – very hungry Koi!

I was so taken by these fish – I fed them everything I had. The Lord began to speak to me that these fish are like people; If you feed them, they will come to Me.  I thought, what do I have to feed people? I heard Him say, “Give them what you have”.

Jesus said in John 6:35, I am the bread of life: he that comes to me shall never hunger; and he that believes on me shall never thirst.

We have Jesus and can give Him as the bread of life! Even if people don’t want ‘the man’ Jesus yet, they’ll take His peace, His love, encouragement, hope, comfort and anything else we have of Him to give them. Even the smallest gesture – a kind word, a glass of water or maybe just a heartfelt smile and saying hello. We don’t know what someone may need at the moment, just give them what you have. Maybe it’s meeting their needs on a larger scale, giving them money or a car or clothes or furniture. Whatever you give, it will be given back to you – pressed down and running over. In what measure you give, it will be given back to you again.

To reach a lost and dying world we must say Yes to God. We may fall short in our abilities, but God doesn’t call us to be His disciples on the earth because of our abilities. He responds to our Yesour availability to Him and equips us as we go. He doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called. I call it ‘on-the-job-training’. We don’t have to have perfect character first because God will always be working on that part of us, just begin to share with people who Jesus is and what God has given you – He’ll take it from there.

If you are a Christian, you have all you need! By receiving more and more of the love, the grace, the blessings of the Father, we will naturally spill over and give it out to others. We are the light of the world, we are the salt of the earth. Jesus is in you in the form of the Holy Spirit. Step out in faith, get free from the fear of man and give out what you have to the hungry, lost souls right where you are. The need is great – the laborers are few. We’ve all been given the ministry of reconciliation.

For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. John 6:33

Just say Yes to Him. Let God turn your Yes into an Amen! He sees and supernaturally uses everything we give out in His name – even if it’s planting one little seed in someone’s life. One plants, one waters, but it is God who gives the increase (1 Cor. 3). He will increase us and reward us for stepping out in faith, which is called fruit that abounds to our account.

By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.  John 15:8.

You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. John 15:16.

Testimony (short version): While in Brazil, our group of 5 women went to a hospital to pray for children in the ICU. There was a grandmother there whose grandchild was born prematurely and was addicted to heroine. The mother had left, so this grandmother was left alone to watch her little granddaughter struggle for her life. We prayed for the baby and then we prayed for the grandmother, who was devastated to say the least. As we prayed for her, we realized that she didn’t know Jesus, so we asked her if she wanted to receive Him into her life. She said “no, I’m not ready. I really don’t believe.” She then shared with us how hard it was on her financially to come to the hospital to be with her granddaughter. She was very poor and had to travel a long distance by bus to and from the hospital. We were still praying when all of the sudden, a few of us turned around (at the same time without a word) and got money out of our purses. As we filled this grandmother’s hands with money, she began to weep. This wasn’t a small amount of money for this little Brazilian woman – it was more than she made in a year! As she continued to weep, we heard her say, “I want this Jesus you are talking about.” We prayed with her and she received Jesus. Because of the supernatural move of God on her life to supply an incredible need – she was convinced that God is real!

Give God your YES! This is what we are born-again to do and to be… we are Christ-ians. He meets all our needs.

 

Authority

raindrops in water

Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Matt. 6:10

It’s not so much that God is ‘sovereign’ or ‘in control’ – but that He has all authority and He has given all authority to Jesus. We, as Christians, are Christ’s body. We are ‘in Him’. Jesus has given His church (His body/His bride), this authority to rule on the earth through Him – to bring heaven to earth!

We are to use our delegated authority in this world/this realm to bring about on earth what is already in heaven. Not to command or determine the lives, ways and paths of man, but to command and determine what the spiritual forces are to be surrounding man (ourselves). We are to cast down evil and darkness so the Kingdom of God can be established on the earth and in one’s life and circumstances. We are the light of the earth – light bearers.

This is truly ruling and reigning with Christ to establish the Kingdom of God upon the earth. We do this by our words.

By our choices, we determine and rule by the words that proceed from our mouths. Our words are weapons that push back darkness and bring in the light.  The soul’s only power is the power to chose and the power of the word spoken out of the heart (our beliefs). This is why it is so important to have the knowledge, understanding, wisdom and will of God. We find these in His Word. We align our heart and our will to Him/His Word and speak accordingly.

(Photo by Brandon Cole)

Even Jesus Has Scars

May '09 636

 

A wound hurts and weeps until it is healed. A scar is a healed wound that no longer hurts when you touch it. Jesus still bears the scars of His wounds. However, He is not on the cross anymore, He has risen victoriously over all! The Father has put everything under His feet. He is ruling from a place beyond the cross now – we must follow Him to that place because we are to rule and reign with Him.

2 Tim. 2:12 says that ‘if we suffer (endure), we shall also reign with Him.’  Have you suffered or endured anything for Christ? Have you been through the fire? Do you bare scars from this life for His sake? Allow Jesus to heals your wounds and make them into scars for His glory.

Rev. 5:10 says God has ‘made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.’

This not only speaks of the Millennium – but now in this life as we live in Christ.

He birthed His Church (Ekklesia; the called out ones) upon the cross when blood and water poured out of His side. We are His body, His bride, His church. He is coming back for a church-bride that is spotless and without wrinkle (Eph. 5:27).

Allow Him to show you how He now sees you as His church – His bride as you surrender your life completely to Him. As we give Him our availability, He gives us His ability, for “In Him we live and move and have our being.” Acts 17:28.

We are victorious and overcomers in this life, not only because of what Jesus did on the cross – but because of who He is now. “As He is, so are we on this earth”. 1 John 4:17.

Pathway of Revival

military-cargo-plane-takeoff-586732__480

Revival and encounters with God come primarily through our hunger and our invitation. We are asking for more of Him – for more of His Spirit to be poured out upon us personally.

John the Baptist proclaimed to ‘make a way’ for the Lord. Mark 1:3 says, “the voice of one crying in the wilderness. Prepare the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.” In John 1:23 he said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness. Make straight the way of the Lord,” The Passion Translation says, to make a clear path in your hearts – to prepare your hearts.

Certainly, those who want more of an intimate personal relationship with God, will naturally cry out for a corporate outpouring because this is the heart of God – to encompass the whole world.

So first, there must be a personal hunger-pathway for Him to ‘travel down’ to release His Spirit for revival and outpouring. We must individually prepare our hearts to receive before He can pour out corporately. (The individual makes up the corporate, not the corporate making the individual. We are individual members of His body. Without individual members, there would be no body.)

Picture an airplane trying to land without a landing strip to land on – we are not to be spectators just watching the plane trying to land without a landing place. No! We need to clear a place of ruts, bumps and holes making it a smooth, straight place to land. We are making a way for God to pour out His Spirit on and in us. Preparing the way is through our personal hunger, repentance, circumcision of heart and anticipation of Him.

The plane is circling – make a landing strip in your own heart!

For true Holy Spirit revival to come, we must individually become conduits of God’s Spirit to ‘land’ in other people’s hearts as well. This outpouring is transferred by impartation of the Holy Spirit from one who has it to one who doesn’t yet have it. God isn’t going to crash-land the plane and cause casualties. He uses us, the ones who have the fire and the passion and the anointing to provide a ‘landing strip’ for others to receive His presence and His power.

Through our Spirit-lead words, testimonies and sharing of the gospel, God demonstrates His power and anointing by opening their hearts and minds. As Scott McNamara, (Jesus at The Door Ministry) states, “We share – He shakes!”

Revival Rain doesn’t just fall out of the sky. The rain clouds are seeded with prophecy and prayer, sometimes for years before we see results. However, what hastens and proceeds any great move of God is a passionate hunger and thirst in His people crying out for MORE!

Paul’s Prayer to the Ephesians

Lake Galilee

(Taken from Eph.1:17-23 The Passion Translation and personalized)

17Father of glory, I pray to you, the God of my Lord Jesus Christ, that You impart to me the riches of the spirit of wisdom and the spirit of revelation and discovery, to know you, God, through my deepening intimacy with You.

18I pray that Your light will illuminate the eyes of my imagination and innermost heart, flooding me with light until I experience the full revelation of the hope of Your calling (to which You are calling me), that is, the wealth of your glorious inheritances that You find in us, Your holy ones!

19I pray that I will continually experience the immeasurable greatness of Your power, God, made available to me through faith. Then my life will be an advertisement of Your immense power as it works through me!

 20This mighty power was released when You, God, raised Christ from the dead and exalted Him (seated and enthroned Him) to the place of highest honor and supreme authority in the heavenly realm.

21And now, Jesus is exalted as first above every ruler, authority, government and realm of power in existence! He is gloriously enthroned over every name that is ever praised, not only in this age, but in the age that is coming.

22And Jesus alone is the leader and source of everything needed in the church. God, you have put everything beneath the authority of Jesus’s feet and You have given Him the highest rank above all others.

23And now we, His church, are His body on the earth. We are filled and completed by Christ and we also fill and complete Him!

 

Walk It Out

walking on the wall copy

And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.  Col 3:17

Only the things we do for Jesus really matter in this life. That’s why whatever we do, we need to do everything as if we are doing it to Him and for Him.

He is saying, “Live your life by faith in Me. Whatever you do and wherever you go – see yourself as never separate from Me. I am in you – wherever you walk. Cast down fear and condemnation. Step out in faith, not by sight or emotions. Fear and condemnation will flee as you humbly rely on Me. As you do this, you will find the courage to step out. As your fears are defeated within you – you will see the giants defeated all around you.”

We are full of faith in our prayer closets and see ourselves as God sees us (at least we should be this way and see ourselves as He sees us). Now we just need to walk out (experience) what He has prepared for us this day. God is with us and in us – always. We need to experience and realize His presence in the fray, in the battle – where the soles of our shoes touch the road we walk on. It’s the path He has for us since He’s tailor-made each day for us to experience more of Him and His overcoming power working in us.

I hear Him saying, “Learn from Me. Follow Me. See the victories and blessings I have prepared for you – to strengthen your faith and to experience My power and glory in your life.”

We grow in the difficult times more than in the easy times. Don’t be afraid of the storms of life. God will use them to strengthen you and show you His love, grace, goodness, faithfulness and all that He is.

Yes, come out of your closet! It’s time walk out what He’s given you – bold faith, confidence and an unrelenting trust in His ability. He simply asks for our availability and to keep our eyes on Him and fear not.

Say it out loud when you are afraid or doubt: “I trust You Jesus!” Don’t let your need to understand everything distract you from His presence. The Holy Spirit is your resident tutor, so exert your will to trust Him! The path you are on may not be of your choosing, but know that it is His way for you, to bring you into a closer relationship with Him.

 

Tell me again…

Arm in clouds copy

Sing to God, sing praises to His name; Extol Him who rides on the clouds, by His name YAH, and rejoice before Him.  Psalm 68:4

Jesus came not only save us from sin and eternal death, but to save us from ourselves (our fallen nature)  – here now, on this earth. He came to destroy the works of the Devil so He could give us His abundant life – just as He designed us to live in from the beginning. He came to redeem our worth and value as God’s created ones and to literally erase our fallen state with Jesus’ shed blood – we are restored back to God. We are no longer guilty, condemned or carry shame because of who we were before Jesus saved us and made us into brand new creatures!

When we receive Jesus, our spirit-man is made perfect in Him, however, our souls (mind, will and emotions) are to be conformed/transformed into the image of Jesus – not the image of your pastor, spouse, friends or teachers. Satan wants to deceive you into thinking there is ‘another way’ or ‘in addition to’ what the Word of God says. That is deception. With the simplicity of a child, we are to believe His Word.

Satan’s not after us personally, he’s after the Light of God that we carry. He could care less about you. He’s out to squelch God’s Light and Life in you so you won’t be affective for the Kingdom of God. He doesn’t want you to produce any fruit in your life. He wants to put a lid on your light and malign your way of the truth.

We are carriers of the Kingdom of God since His Kingdom is within us, the Devil just doesn’t want you to know that. The Devil already knows who you are in Christ – he just doesn’t want you to find out your true identity. The Devil already knows he is a defeated foe, he just doesn’t want to you to find that out. The Devil already knows he doesn’t have authority over your life, he just doesn’t want you to find out. The Devil already knows that in Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, we were given ALL things that pertain to life and godliness – he just doesn’t want you to know that.

We are no match for the Devil – However, the Devil is no match for God. Satan is not the antithesis or opposite of God and we need to stop treating (and reacting to) him like he is.

Jesus has overcome. We are IN Christ. It is no longer I who lives, but Christ who lives IN me. We are to be found IN Him. The promises of God are yes and amen IN Christ. The enemy is under our feet IN Christ. This is not a mental ascent, but a spiritual reality. How then, can we realize this truth? We do this by faith and by dying to self – the old (and dead) man of the flesh. We are to be conformed into the image of Christ. Jesus was the express image of the Father and we are to be conformed into that same image.

Just as Jesus gave up His life for us – we need to give up our self-life for Him. We do this by surrendering our all to Him. Let your heavenly Father actually ‘Father’ you. Sit on His lap and learn from Him. Spend time with Him each day and get to know Him. It’s by our relationship with Him that we live out our faith in this world. Fear is defeated within you by your relationship with Him – this is where the giants in your life are defeated. As you hide in Him, you will find the courage to step out in faith and see your victories.

In Christ alone are all my remedies – For His Blood has washed away by enemies.

For by one offering, He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.  Heb. 10:14