Not the Speech, But the Power – Daily Devotion for Thursday June 29th 2017

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Not the Speech, But the Power

Daily Devotional for June 29th

But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power. For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.  1 Corinthian 4:19-20

Although some children of God may not be unaware of this great truth, there are things that restrict the power of God from moving in our lives. Sin reigning in you will cause power of God to be restricted until repentance of that particular sin is repented of and cleansed.  Also, if you trust in something other than Jesus Christ for any particular circumstance, then the power of God is blocked from you.  The power of God also cannot flow through any other preaching other than the gospel of Christ. 

In this particular verse, pride can and will block the power of God from moving in your life. Paul mentioned that the power of God moving or not moving within a person would prove to him whether the people were lifted up in pride (puffed up) or not.  He declared that he would know if the people had pride in their hearts by whether the power of God was present in their life. 

We live in a day when people are being deceived because we all to often accept the speech of people instead of looking for the witness of the Holy Spirit. As mentioned before, we must learn to know people in the Spirit.  Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would guide us into all truth.  Many false preachers and teachers are leading multitudes in the wrong direction simply because we follow their speech and not the power that should be present within their speech.

Discernment is so needed in your life today. It will keep you from being misled.  One of the ways we can know the voice of the Lord is whether the Spirit of God is present or not.  If you have been saved, then you already know His Spirit.  The kingdom of God is not in word only, but in power.  The preaching and witnessing of God should never be without the power of God.  This is the authenticity of Christ’s gospel.  This is the seal that sets God’s word apart from every other religion.  Jesus will always confirm His word, His people, His works in the world.  From today onward, seek to know the spirit of them that labor among you and not simple the words.  This will become a great guide for us to walk in truth.

Spiritual Shadow Boxing – Daily Devotion for Tuesday June 27th 2017

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Spiritual Shadow Boxing

Daily Devotional for June 27th

And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: 1 Corinthians 9:25-26

If you’ve ever noticed, every boxer train themselves in a certain way. They either stand in front of a mirror or in a gym and mimic fighting an imaginary opponent.  The boxer will move around while swinging his arms as if he is punching someone who in reality is not there.  It’s called shadow boxing.  It is an attempt to envelope yourself in the atmosphere of fighting before you ever get in a real fight.  The idea is to be prepared for battle.

In this scripture, Paul has already dealt with running with the idea to obtain. When you enter a race, you do not enter it unless you intend to win!  Similarly, what did Paul mean when he said “so fight I, not as one that beateth the air?”  We do not fight in this battle swinging wild punches in the air.  You must learn to make every punch count; and we can do just that if we wage war the way that God has instructed us.

If Satan is battling within your family, then you have the right and responsibility to fight! The bible instructs us to “resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”  James 4:7.  You do not have to bow down to his demands.  Some have been enduring afflictions within you with discouragement and depression.  Both of these things are spiritual attacks!  As a son or daughter of God, you have authority in the name of Jesus to resist these things!  Satan cannot stay when you resist him in Jesus’ name.

You must realize that there is a certain approach to battling the enemy. We cannot expect to throw punches that will not hit their targets.  This will only wear you down.  It will also cause the enemy to have an easier time defeating you.  Are you shadow boxing with the enemy?  If you’re not winning battles then it’s possible your way of fighting isn’t correct.  Paul did not fight as one that beat the air.  Paul made every lick count!  You and I can do the same!  Paul revealed to Timothy that God would deliver him from every evil work.  He also said in Romans that God would bruise Satan under your feet shortly.  Romans 16:20  Not only is Satan under the feet of Jesus; he should also be under your feet!  Jesus has won for us so great a victory!  We don’t have to keep shadow boxing when we can learn to fight and land every punch we swing! 

Anointing for Service – Daily Devotion for Monday June 26th 2017

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Anointing for Service

Daily Devotional for June 26th

And he sent, and brought him (David) in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he. Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah. 1 Samuel 16:12-13

When the Lord calls you into His service, there is nothing beside it could be more honorable or humbling. The idea that God would choose us to do anything for Him is amazing!  The most ironic thing about God’s calling on someone’s life is the fact that God does not call those who have self ability, but those with inabilities. 

God does not choose men and women in the same fashion as the world does. The reason is because the Spirit of God always works through your weakness.  Moses responded to God’s will with his own weakness of not being the best speaker.  This was exactly what God was looking for!  Do you realize that your weakness and inability is perfect for the power of God to work in and through you?  God cannot get glory out of a person who will not lean on Him! 

God sent the prophet Samuel to Jesse’s house to anoint a new man to be king over Israel. All of Jesse’s sons passed before Samuel but God said no to each one.  After Samuel enquired if these were all of Jesse’s sons, Jesse then sent to fetch his youngest son David who was tending his sheep.  Although it had been hid from everyone else, God had a plan for young David; and that was God’s will for Him to be king!

When God chooses you, He anoints you! This means that the Lord will equip and empower you to perform the call He has on your life!  The anointing will cause you to stand boldly before giants without fear!  The Spirit of God will move mightily in your life to accomplish, not your will, but the will of God.  You cannot overestimate God’s purpose for you!  God has chosen you for a purpose and will anoint you to fulfill that purpose!  All God asks is that we be willing to step into God’s purpose and trust in His strength.

Through David’s life, God removed from the entire earth every last giant! Goliath and his brothers all fell during David’s reign in Israel!  You may not realize it, but God’s plan is so much greater than you can fathom.  In this generation, God is calling men and women to be giant killers!  The armies of Hell cannot stand against a man or woman anointed of God!  The reason is because that anointed person is allowing the power of God to move through them to effect God’s purpose in the world!  Will you surrender to God’s will today?  God will anoint you, equipping you with His Spirit to accomplish His purpose in the world!

Determined to Wage War – Daily Devotion for Friday June 23rd 2017

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Determined to Wage War

Daily Devotional for June 23rd

 And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle.  And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause? 1 Samuel 17:28-29

The majority of the time the church sees itself as sheep because we are following Jesus the chief shepherd. We are programmed to think that we cannot be effective in the world in this generation.  We look at our selves with such limits that there would be no possible way that God could or would use us to change the world.  These thoughts come from the world, but the bible speaks a different truth.  Satan would love to keep the church, his greatest opposition, brainwashed with such thoughts.

On the contrary, the church is literally the strongest military on earth. The sad thing is, very few Christians in the kingdom of God realize it!  We seldom view ourselves as military people!  The entire unsaved world cannot fight Satan because they are shackled in his chains.  If there is going to be warfare waged for the lost and enslaved, the church is going to have to do it!  We must enter the fight!  We must engage the enemy!  We are the only people in the entire world who can fight.

David was not a military man but found himself having to enter the battle against Goliath and the Philistines. David was a sheep herder.  He had not been trained in battle, but saw the need to fight one day against a giant, and he did just that!  You may not see yourself as a military person, but must eventually come to the realization that you have to battle on the front lines for people. God expects us to enter the fight.  God has given unto you weapons that are mighty enough to pull down every stronghold Satan has!

The devil wants you to see him as so great of a force that nothing could dare stop him. His intentions are to cripple you so much with fear that you lose hope to fight!  As children of God, we should never be afraid of Satan.  God has given the church such a victory that not only is Satan under Jesus’ feet, he is also under the church’s feet.  Our relationship with God, we are indeed sheep, but to Satan, the church is and forever will be an Army!  Be strong, courageous!  God is on your side!  He will give you the victory!  Win your family to Christ!  Your only determination should be to wage warfare for your people. 

Beware of Burnout – Daily Devotion for Thursday June 22nd 2017

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Beware of Burnout

Daily Devotional for June 22nd

Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. Romans 12:6-8

Out of all the causes of failure in the life of a Christian, one of the greatest is ministry burnout. You may have already experienced it at some point.  It affects all of those who have surrendered to the calling that God has placed on their life.  More often than not, pastors, preachers, or bible teachers dive into their calling head first, only to leave the ministry due to burnout.  Some even walk away from God all together. 

What are some signs of ministry burnout? For one, when you feel yourself wearing down spiritually.  When your desire to pray erodes, when bible study becomes a chore instead of a delight, when the desire to witness for God declines; when you have lost your spiritual energy to minister, etc.  If these characteristics are present in your life, then you could be facing burnout. 

What are some causes of ministry burnout? Many people are so caught up in ministries that are good in themselves, but it may not be the direction God wants you to minister in.  Do you realize that God will empower you for the task He desires you to accomplish?  However, many people burn out simply because they try to work in ministries that God hasn’t assigned them to.  Therefore, the power of God will not empower them to fulfill it.  You must understand that God does not empower you to do someone else’s calling.  Only do what God asks you to do; nothing more. 

What is the remedy for ministry burnout? Paul said here that we have been given grace for the gifts that God has chosen that we fulfill.  The grace of God is the power of God to fulfill the tasks that God has asked you to accomplish.  We must wait on our ministering; meaning, we must wait for God to give us His power to fulfill His will for our ministry.  Tragically, many people go on without the help of the Holy Spirit to empower them.  Once you go on without God’s help, then burnout is imminent.  It’s the same as a person rowing a boat at sea when they could be using the power of the wind to drive them.  It’s only a matter of time before your strength is gone and you cannot continue at all.

If you’re burned out, then it could be a sign you are either in a ministry God has not empowered you for, or you haven’t waited for the Holy Spirit’s power to help you. There are many people who need to be reached with this gospel, but the laborers are few.  Don’t accept a responsibility just because the seat is vacated.  Don’t try to perform someone else’s calling.  Seek God’s will for your own life and fulfill it.

Discouragement Can’t Remain – Daily Devotion for Tuesday June 20th 2017

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Discouragement Can’t Remain

Daily Devotional for June 20th

Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10

If we are all completely honest, we can all admit there are times when we become very discouraged as a child of God. Discouragement can come from a variety of places.  When you’ve prayed about a certain situation and it has not yet come to fruition, we can become discouraged and frustrated.  When you’re trying with all of your might to live committed to God and the world misunderstands you, criticizes you, or persecutes you, you can become discouraged.

When discouragement sets in on you, your spiritual life is affected. Your prayer life will be attacked.  If Satan can get your eyes distracted from the Lord, then discouragement is on its way to you.  God has revealed to those who serve Him that discouragement will come.  You can expect it!  It doesn’t come from God though; it comes from Hell. Although we may not be able to prevent discouragement from settling on us at times, there is a remedy for it; and that is, God Himself will strengthen you. 

David faced many hard times in his life. Most of them came simply due to the fact that He chose to life for God.  Do you realize that Satan seeks those who are walking in victory in Jesus?  If you are a committed Christian, then Satan will try his best to buffet you.  But we have strong consolation though.  David said in Psalm 3:3 But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. When discouragement sets in on you, God will lift your head friend.  Although you may not be able to receive encouragement from anywhere else, God will encourage you! 

If you are in a time of discouragement in your life today, then spend some time just sharing your heart with the Lord. Peter said Casting all your care upon Him, for he careth for you. 1 Peter 5:7.  God told Isaiah that He Himself would strengthen him.  God Himself will help you!  He will uphold you!  Discouragement may come, but it cannot remain.  It cannot continue!  In God’s presence is fullness of Joy!  Fall down before Him pouring the depths of your heart out to Him! He will strengthen and encourage!

Satan’s Greatest Chain – Daily Devotion for Monday June 19th 2017

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Satan’s Greatest Chain

Daily Devotional for June 19th

Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands? He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.  Mark 7:5-7

Darkness is an awful thing in the physical sense. As bad as that is, blindness is worse.  Deception is worse still.  Spiritual deception is the worst of all!  The world today is lost in spiritual darkness for the most part.  Satan does not care what color chain he places on you, as long as you are bound.  Some wear chains of alcohol while others wear chains of drugs.  Some have chains of adultery while others adorn chains of pornography.  These types of bondages are fleshly lusts for the most part.  The list is inexhaustible! 

Satan’s greatest chain, however, is religion. The most effective thing about this bondage is that it does not appear to be bondage.  The greatest majority of drug users could eventually face the fact that they have a problem with drugs, but people who are enslaved in religion actually believe they are okay.  Do you have a relationship with Jesus Christ, or are you going through religious motions?  Is the Christian life a great reality to you, or are you unsatisfied?

The Pharisees had a problem with Jesus’ disciples because they were not involved in the same religious activities as they were. Do you realize that religion will tie you down to rules that will actually bring you into a greater bondage?  Jesus promised abundant life to everyone who would follow Him.  Most people today cannot enjoy the freedom of genuine Christian living because man has indoctrinated them with religious rules to follow.

In order to walk in freedom and liberty in Christ, we cannot be entangled in the traditions that religion attempts to place on us. God intended for you to serve Him with joy.  This life is not intended to bind you; it’s actually intended to set you free.  Paul would tell the Galatians to stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free. Galatians 5:1.  Empty religion is Satan’s greatest chain.  Many have been deceived by it.  But when we get back to living for Christ and keeping our relationship with Him at the forefront of us, then empty religious things will become insignificant.  Examine your spiritual life today.  Are you walking in liberty; or have you become bound by religion?  Don’t allow the enemy to chain you with religion; his greatest bondage.