Do you ever feel like you're just checking off your to-do list? I know that I did for much of my life, and it made me totally miserable. I frustrated myself trying to do lots of good things in hopes that I might feel better about myself, but it was never a permanent solution. We all have a deep need to feel alright about ourselves. And we can spend a lot of time and energy trying to do things that make us feel like we're okay—okay with ourselves, with others and even with God. But we don't need to wear ourselves out trying to be right with God through our own effort. The truth is we can't make our lives right on our own—we need God.
Last week was tough. One of my best friends, Doug, died unexpectedly, and the tragedy shook me to the core. Doug's death also shook my friend Jeff, a pastor who looked up to Doug as a mentor. Before and after the funeral, Jeff and I cried together. We shared our memories of Doug and processed our feelings as honestly as possible. At one point Jeff admitted that the loss made him want to run away and hide. He was halfway joking when he said: "I'd like to just move to the beach and forget everything." I knew he wasn't serious.
There is tremendous power in believing. Jesus said, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel." (Mark 1:15) God doesn't just tell us to believe, but His Word explains specifically what and how we are to believe. Mark 9 records the story of a young boy with an evil spirit who was brought to Jesus. After describing his son's condition, the boy's father said, "…if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us." (Mark 9:22) Notice he said "if" you can do anything. His knowledge of Christ's abilities limited his belief.
Some trust in their own righteousness whether they are doing enough for The Kingdom, but God wants us to take off the filthy rags of our own self-righteousness to put on the royal robe of His righteousness that He is giving us. Yes, we are royalty when we walk in His Will and Ways. Even when we die to our own will, enabling His will to be done, we are releasing garments of death to put on garments of resurrection power, His light and glory. Jesus wants to live His Life through us — but all we must do is disrobe who we are, to put on who He is.
The word "agent" is defined as "a person who acts on behalf of another person or group" and "a person or thing that takes an active role or produces a specified effect" (such as an agent of change). There are agents representing two different kingdoms at work in this world. Whether we realize it or not, there is constant conflict between the kingdom of God and Satan's kingdom, and we are caught in the middle. We may not see the actual spiritual forces battling and competing for the lives of people, but we can see the results. And it is becoming more and more apparent that the forces of evil are controlling more and more people who are yielding to darkness.
Beginning on July 31,2023, I began hearing the Holy Spirit say the word, "reprieve." I knew that it was being spoken in regard to the nation's economy and state of being, as well. I also heard Him say, "Time to catch your breath." From that point on I've been hearing the word reprieve spoken gently into my spiritual hearing. Righteous - acting in accord with divine or moral law: free from guilt or sin: morally right or justifiable (as in a righteous decision) b: arising from an outraged sense of justice or morality (as in righteous indignation)
We've heard it said so many times that we immediately make an automatic reply. We say, 'all the time' whenever we hear 'God is good.' So, let's don't differentiate: the God who is good does good work. He is attributed with "every good gift and every perfect gift" (Ja.1:17). There is nothing like a fresh communiqué from God. Call it what you will: He has many ways to release Himself to you. A revelation of the Word (or a rhema). A prophetic word that gets inside of you that neither dissipates nor allows you to hold to previous perspectives.
Many of you are about to embark on the most exciting journey of your lifetime. You've been asking the Lord for personal direction for yourself, your family, and your ministry, but you still have no clue which way to go. I have an awesome word for you today, and if you receive it, and run with it, it could change the trajectory of your life. The Lord showed me different scenarios of four groups of believers who were asking the Lord for direction, wisdom, and discernment.
A heart at peace gives life to the body. Proverbs 14:30 NIV The best way to know if you are embroiled in the things of the world is to be objective and ask yourself this: "Is my heart troubled?" I believe that the number one killer in the modern world is stress. Medical doctors in my church have told me that if a patient has high blood pressure, they can advise the patient to cut down on sodium. They can also advise their patients to cut down on other excesses such as sugar or cholesterol. But as doctors, there is one thing that they cannot control in their patients, and that is their patients' stress levels.
Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel." Mark 1:14-15 It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. Hebrews 9:27-28