Monday, February 28, 2011

What Idol(s) are you stilll holdig onto in "Egypt"?

“…I will never leave thee nor forsake thee….”    Heb. 13:5

“Lord, I know You will never leave me nor forsake (abandon) me, but I am not sure I can pass the test of forsaking what I should forsake.”
I admire the decision of Moses, who “….forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king….”  (Heb. 11:27 KJV)
He forsook the spirit of Egypt, the wealth and the prestige of Egypt.  I am most fascinated by the fact that he did all this while still in the land of Egypt.
He lived in Egypt but Egypt did not live in him.
I have given up many things that did not count for the sake of Christianity.  I was happy to give up things that no longer had meaning to me.  It is so easy to sacrifice the things you no longer desire!
But Moses sacrificed Egypt for God’s sake while still surrounded by its charm and magnetism.
How hard it is to sacrifice for You, Lord, when I am surrounded by the things and people I love, along with wealth, popularity, position and power.
To see God past these things requires the eye of faith and to decide-------to choose God then is to forsake this world even as Jesus forsook it when He denied Satan’s offer to rule in his kingdom.
Lot was forced to abandon the riches of Sodom, while Moses gladly gave up Egypt.
“Lord, You will separate me from everything I cling to in “Egypt” but first You will ask me to do it voluntarily.  
You want me to love You enough and trust You enough to make it my choice.
  Holy Spirit, please help me be a voluntary forsaker and not a forced one.  I know it is Your desire to make me a man/woman of God, not a warmed over replica of this world.
Help me to forsake those things that offend You.    Empower me, Holy Spirit, to be obedient to the point of separating myself from the things of this world.”
What idol (s) are you still holding on to in “Egypt”?
Have you let go and trusted God to separate you from “Egypt”
“…I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.”   Phil. 1:6  Amp

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Do We Really Understand What the "Fear of God" Means???

Do we really understand what the “fear of God” means?   
Do we really grasp who He is?
I do not think so.   If we truly grasped who God is, we would have a true reverent fear of Him.   We would show it by our words and our actions.    We would live like it every day, not just Sunday morning!
We would not turn Him on and off like a water faucet.  Being in His presence would change us forever!
We would be so ‘wrecked’ if we were truly in His presence.   We would do just as the twenty-four elders, in Rev. 4, did …….”fell on their faces and worship Him!”   We would not allow anyone to change the service, take an offering, read announcements or disrupt His presence.  
 After all isn’t that why we attend church….. to worship the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords?
The Priests in the OT were afraid to enter into the Holy of holies for fear of dying in His presence, due to defilement/sin.    Yet we are taught we can waltz right into His presence without repenting because we were ‘coaxed’ into His presence by cheerleading……or what is called ‘worship’.     All we have to do is sing the same song over and over until we get an emotional feeling and then we can stop.  
Funny thing……the prophets of Baal did that while Elijah waited for them to ‘entice’ their god to show up.    No show…..false ……..fake god.   No matter how much they cried out, yelled and cut themselves……their god never showed up.
Elijah did not have to sing a chorus over and over until he got a few tears to believe he was within God’s hearing.   He just simply prayed a faith prayer and God showed up! 
Worship is great!  God loves to be worshipped.  In fact His word says, “He inhabits the praise of His people.”    Sin causes separation from God whereby sin is not in His presence which means defiled worship=no presence of God.
Pride means no repentance which equals=== no fear of God!    We are taught to walk boldly into His presence with personal sin and with corporate sin without first repenting. 
 Why should that be so shocking?   I have seen this in many churches.
The worst I have seen is when communion is taken and NO repentance is made, explained or offered.  Everyone is encouraged to take communion while the worship is designed to bring a few tears and deceive us into believing we are in God’s presence.  It is all staged to make it appear so ‘holy’.      
Today, church has become an emotion.  We leave church saying, ‘it was great,’ if we were moved to a few tears and a warm fuzzy feeling.   By the time we get home, the feeling is gone and we are back to our old self; NO CHANGE!
I challenge you to seek the real ‘secret place’ of His presence.   That is where you find Him and it is more than words can express.
We need to get past religious spirits and deception.
 Let’s seek His presence and settle for nothing less.
Jesus loves you!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

"Serve the king of Babylon and Live!"

If I am being stubborn about obedience or a sin, God may force me to take ‘the cure’.  The cure is described in Jer. 27:17, “Serve the king of Babylon and live!”   It is a strange message to hear.   We would expect to hear, “Serve the Lord and live!”   But, the right thing was wrong and the wrong thing was right.
There are times when God allows and even commands me to do what He has forbidden.  Rev. 22:11,  “He that is filthy, let him be filthy still…”    
 Is it because God is unholy?     No!   He urges that direction because He is holy.  He simply wants me to get my fill of sin so completely that the very thought of it nauseates me.
None of the prophets was able to convince Israel to leave their sins, yet seventy years in Babylon did what no prophet could do.   He sent them captive into the very center of idolatry, and they came out a cleansed nation after 70 years.
Must God go to such extremes with me?    Must I be submerged in sin in order to see its odiousness?  
Must I be forced into obedience and repentance?  
 “Lord, I pray that you will make me so sensitive to sin that its slightest presence will send me to my knees and make me run from those who are insensitive to sin.   Protect me from those around me who live in sin and have no desire to change.”
The distinguishing feature of any true disciple of Jesus is one who is very sensitive to sin.  The slightest sin should make me mourn, weep and agonize.  Lord, “please make me so sensitive to sin that when I am averse to sin it means the Holy Spirit is refining me to Your image, a new heart and the right spirit.”  (Psalm 51:10)
“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”   Heb. 12:1

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Religion of Compromise

I must avoid at all costs the religion of compromise.   God put this religion in proper focus when He said to Jeremiah, “Am I a God at hand….and not a God afar off?” Jer. 23:23   I must not have a schizophrenic faith in God.  I must not call to Him in trouble and then forget Him when all is well.
I find it easy to prosper as a Christian when I am totally surrendered to Christ.  The question is: ‘how do I behave when alone, when no one is around, at work, at home, on vacation, or on a trip?’   How much of my Christianity is simply conformity under social or family pressure?    Am I simply a chameleon, taking on the color of my surroundings without the necessary change of a true personal relationship with Christ?
God asks, “Can a man hide himself in secret places and I shall not see him?”  Jer. 23:24    I must not toy with God as the Israelites did, seeking Him only in danger and totally ignoring His claim upon them.   Israel’s idolatry was a symptom of the religion of compromise.   I too, will become idolatrous by pretending God has no eyes to see or ears to hear.
I must be characterized by a continual touching of Jesus by faith, and not by just an acquaintance with Him.   That means I need to know Him more than just head   knowledge, I must know Him with heart knowledge.  Compromise keeps Jesus away, but the touch of faith releases His almighty power in our lives.  Faith treats God as the ever present, my anchor and my hope.
“But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.”  1 Peter 3:15

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Part IV

Sadly, the Church has lost the fear of God.  They have become too comfortable and too familiar with the ‘feelings’ of being in His presence.  They are deceived by religious spirits in believing that they can walk into His presence with sin.  
The true fear of God will bring repentance, obedience and respect.  It will also remove compromise, arrogance, pride and sin.  
So many compare the presence of God to the membership of families and the privileges they have within the home.  They share how family members can walk right in the door without knocking and go right to the refrigerator without asking. It is considered a privilege of being a family member as opposed to a friend or stranger.
This is true of God that we have the privilege to enter in His presence but we can only do so without sin.   We can go into our family’s homes with sin but not in God’s presence.   Because we have likened this analogy to God it seems that we have become so confident that we have lost the true meaning of the fear of God.  
Jesus died to purchase the Church and present it blameless to God.  When the Church becomes polluted with sin, Jesus will remove that sin because He wants to keep the Church pure.   We often think of Jesus as the loving Savior, and He is, but when He judges, He is seen with eyes like a flame of fire and feet of burning bronze.   If the Church does not keep its ranks pure with discipline, then Christ will make it pure by removing the sin and/or person (s).
Do we have ears to hear Christ’s message to Thyatira? 
There are times that we all fall or make a mistake but we can repent and return back into a right relationship with God. 
Ask God a simple question, “How do You see my heart?”  Is there any hidden sin?
If so, repent and be restored into His presence. 
Those who have real faith will repent!  They will listen, act, and obey!
Jesus is coming……are you ready?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Part III

God does not tolerate sin.  Jesus will not tolerate a church married to the world.   That will bring a terrifying picture of judgment.
One of the most frightening passages in the Bible is found in Hebrews 10:26-31.
If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.  
Anyone who rejected the Law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.   How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?  
 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.”  It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. “

Christ will come in serious judgment.   God deals with sin even among His own people. He has provided an escape from sin’s power and penalty.  But if a person refuses the way of escape then they will be caught in God’s judgment on sin.  God may have to punish some people up to the point of losing their lives. (1Jn 5:16).   He may have to remove them because they have become a stumbling block to others.
Of the seven churches Christ addressed in Rev. 2 and 3, Thyatira was the only one He had commended for love.  Yet it had a serious sin problem.  The church had love, but it also had an abundance of sin.  The church did not have a sound doctrine. The balance that God demands of His Church is love and a sound doctrine.
If the church is going to be what Christ wants it to be, it must expose and eliminate sin.   Sin cannot be tolerated, hidden and compromised within the Church.  If it is allowed to remain then church will eventually die without God’s presence. 
The Bible is absolutely intolerant of sin in the Church.   It is also intolerant of sin in our lives.   If the Church is not pure, it does not have a message for the world.
Christ is talking to professing Christians who are living in sin.  If you call yourself a Christian but are married to the world, living in sin, harboring hidden sins, and defiling your covenant with God then repent before Christ judgment falls upon you or removes you. 
Christ wants a pure Church, a spotless Bride, without blemish or wrinkle. (Eph. 5:27)  It is possible or He would not have instructed us to be pure if it was impossible.  The Holy Spirit within us will empower us to overcome sin and temptation.
There is no place for worldliness or compromise in the Church. Sin must be dealt with in order for the revival of God’s presence to fall upon the Church once again.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Does The Church of Thyatira Exist Today? Yes! Part II

In the Bible, leaven is used symbolically of sin.
A small amount of leaven or yeast spreads throughout the whole dough, causing it to puff up.   (1Cor. 5:6)
The Bible is stating that it does not take a big sin or a lot of sin to corrupt us. When we allow even a small amount of sin in our lives, it has the ability to spread.  We deceive ourselves into believing that a little sin is acceptable and we are in control.
Satan then has us right where he wants us; deceived.   The moment we feel we are in control, sin can easily take control over us. 
The truth is sin separates us from God.  It causes us to become “puffed up” in pride just like the dough is puffed up with yeast.
Not only can a little sin contaminate our lives, but it will also affect those around us.    Our sin has a way of contaminating our families, relationships and defiling our churches.  
Ezekiel 18:2 says, “The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge?”    That ‘little’ sin you are hiding may destroy the lives of your children, relationships, and will bring spiritual death between you and God.
That sin you are hiding could also, hold back the growth of your church.  If each person attending church has a little sin hidden in their heart, how much sin is that corporately?   Could it be enough to stop the move of God due to defilement in His presence?   Is it possible that a little sin could move us from the Holy of holies into the outer----outer court?
Here’s the good news; God always gives us an opportunity to repent.  He gave Jezebel an opportunity to repent, but she refused, she was unwilling to repent.
And so the judgment must come.  The impact of that judgment is given in vs 23; “Then all the churches will know that I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds.” Rev. 2:23 b
The result of judgment and discipline within the church is that the church is purified, strengthened and renewed. 
Churches will soon come to understand that our Lord says that He searches the hearts and minds.   Hearts are viewed as the source of choices, the decisions we make, our will in motion.
When we see Him acting in judgment, we will realize that our feelings and choices were important, and that each one of us will be held accountable for our choices.  No one else can be blamed for the decisions……the choices that we have made.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Does The Church of Thyatira Exist Today? Yes! Part I

Does the church of Thyatira exist today?     Yes!

One of the things that the Lord found offensive in this church is that she tolerates evil/false teachers and their teaching.  Thyatira had an unhealthy tolerance of those who professed to be teachers of God but were not.   Unconsecrated leaders of the church encouraged the adoration of idols, images and have eased defiled worship into the church.
Christ’s message to the Christians at Thyatira is a warning that they are in grave spiritual danger.   How can this be when they have grown in love and faith and service and endurance?   The danger is not coming from outside the church but rather from the inside of the church.   The church is tolerating the presence of a false prophetess and her disciples (Rev. 2:20).  The influence of this bad tree and its bad fruit is compromising their relationship with Christ.  
We all understand the threat imposed by wolves in sheep’s clothing.
A true prophet has authority because their words come from God either through direct revelation or from the Word of God.  A false prophet has mislaid authority which does not come from God.
Like an apple with a worm in it.   The church of Thyatira looked good on the outside, but inside it was rotten.  We often look at other churches and say, “God is really doing something in their midst, they are kind and loving and people are flocking to their church.”   But you cannot judge a book by its cover. 
Thyatira was a thriving church, filled with love and faithfulness, but they are rotten on the inside because they were following wrong doctrine.
What was wrong with this doctrine the prophetess was teaching?  In Rev. 2:20 it states that it led the people to practice fornication and eat food sacrificed to idols.   Both of these practices are clearly forbidden in the Word of God. 
Jesus called this false prophetess, Jezebel.   He paralleled her to Jezebel in the OT who was married to King Ahab.  When she became queen she first turned her husband’s heart to worship Baal and then the hearts of Israel was turned to idol worship.
Both Jezebels succeeded in corrupting God’s people by marrying the Church to the world and brought in paganism, which resulted in immorality and idolatry.
Jezebel replaced God’s word given through His anointed prophets with a counterfeit one given by her prophets of Baal and Asherah.   She sought to replace the worship of God completely with the worship of other gods and reintroduced idol worship to the people of Israel.
How can we tell whether a teaching or doctrine is from God or a Jezebel?
Jezebel doctrines teach that something evil can be good.  Examples would be compromising our relationship with God to live as part of the world.  Accepting homosexual marriage as okay or seeking material possession is a sign of God’s blessings.  Whatever goes against God’s Word or takes His place in our lives is a false doctrine.
The doctrine of Jezebel hates God’s true Word.   They would rather experience God rather than study His Word.   They are unmoved by God’s true prophets.
Ahab hated God’s faithful prophet, Micaiah.  In 1 Kings 22:8 he said, “I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad.”  Jezebel prophets prophesy only good things: peace and prosperity (Jer. 23:14-17). They never prophesy judgment.  To them it is unbalanced and wrong.
Another way to identity a wrong doctrine by Jezebel is that they deceive people into believing they are completely right.  They cannot see the deception at all.  It is like members of other cults or religions, where they sincerely believe they are right. 
Jezebel is corrupting God’s Word by teaching that Christians are to seek after signs, wonders and miracles.   They teach us to always be seeking something from God rather than just being satisfied to be in His presence….just because!
False teachers are always preaching about seeking God for healing, miracles, revival, signs and wonders.  They usually brag about their gifting and miss the fact they are no longer operating in their anointing.  The ‘signs, wonders, miracles and revival is all ‘MAN MADE’.   It is an emotion!!!!   People are so hungry for change and to see a sign from God that they fall into an emotional state and accept that to be God’s presence when it was just a feeling……emotions.    The ‘healings’ soon vanish and the pain or sickness returns.  Some may say it is due to the lack of faith on the part of the receiver, granted that can be true, but a true healing from God will sustain.   The healings that we find in the NT when Jesus healed other’s, was complete and sustained.   His Word is powerful and does not return void nor does it falls to the ground and die. ( Isa. 55:11)
Signs and wonders will not happen in a church where sin abides.  God cannot be in the presence of sin. Also God will not reward us with His presence so we can go on living in sin.   He does not reward us for bad behavior.  There are consequences for our sins.
The only way to tell what is truth is to read and know God’s Word.  All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that each person of God may be equipped for every good work. (2 Tim. 3:16)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Pride Part II

One of the characteristics of the sin of pride is that it deceives the heart, as stated in Obadiah 3; “The pride of the heart hath deceived thee….”

Another characteristic of the sin of pride is that it keeps people from seeking God, as we referenced in Ps 10:4; “The wicked, through pride of his countenance, will not seek after God; God is not in his thoughts.”   This sin of pride keeps you from seeking after God because you are self-sufficient.  You go about seeking to establish your own righteousness and have never submitted yourself to the righteousness of God.    Therefore being self-sufficient, self-satisfied and self-righteous, you see no need of seeking God, not knowing what Rev. 3:17 says, that you are spiritually wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked.
Another characteristic of the sin of pride is that it exalts itself against the knowledge of God. (2 Cor. 10:5)    In “your” pride you exalt yourself above the knowledge of God and depart from the basic principles of truth and fall into a state of confusion.  What makes it worse is that “your” pride rejects the one thing that will make it right with God again, which is submitting to the authority of God’s Word and listening to His voice where He tells ‘you’ to humble yourselves before Him and seek His face in righteousness.
Pride can blind ‘you’ to God’s requirements that we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart, and with all our soul, and with all our strength and with all our mind; and we are to love our neighbors as ourselves.
The Bible speaks of another type of prideful sin; it is the pride of position.  Examples: Pharaoh, King of Egypt   Exodus 5:2, He said to Moses, “Who is the Lord that I should obey His voice?”       
Daniel 4, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.  His heart was filled with pride and was removed from his kingly throne.
Pride of position keeps people from Christ.  Unsaved preachers in their pulpits, blinded by pride of position will not admit before God they are sinners.  People in and out of the church will not take their place before God as sinners because of their positions.  Remember, God resists the proud….
God will bring down those who have a heart contaminated with the sin of pride.  
 Hopefully, we have learned a little more about these “three friends: Strife---Envy----Pride” who cause separation between us and God.
They will also bring destruction, death and division in our lives. 
We must seek God to find out how He sees the “soil” of our hearts.  
Do our roots run deep revealing that we are rooted and grounded in Christ?   Or are our roots shallow and unstable making us double minded, being tossed to and fro?
As we live in these “Last Days,” may we humble ourselves continually in the presence of the Holy Spirit.  When tempted to be arrogant or boastful, may we yield ourselves to His control, refusing to give into the temptation of selfishness.
Only then will He be able to empower us to overcome the deadly sin of pride.
 “He shall be like a tree
         Planted by the rivers of water,
         That brings forth its fruit in its season,
         Whose leaf also shall not wither;
         And whatever he does shall prosper.”   Psalm 1:3

Friday, February 18, 2011

Pride - Part I

Sinful pride is an inflated self-esteem and superior attitude that treats God and others with rudeness and disrespect.   Pride seeks personal glory, praise and applause from others and becomes distressed and angry when the praise is lacking or withheld.   Sinful pride refuses to submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ over one’s life.
Pride, haughtiness, arrogance, conceit, inordinate self-esteem, vanity and selfishness are as common as the air we breathe.   The sin of pride is responsible for so much of the confusion, sorrow, heartache, and tragedy in our world today.
Pride leads the list of the seven deadly sins that are fatal to spiritual progress, which are: pride, covetousness, lust anger, gluttony, envy and slothfulness.   
The scriptures also give pride the place of preeminence in these verses found in Prov. 6:16-19; “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.”
Yes, pride is a sin, a wicked sin.  “God resist the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”  James 4:6
Also, God’s Word describes pride as being the source of contention among people: “Only by pride comes contention…….He that is of a proud heart stirs up strife…” Prov. 13:10, 28:25
We must understand and receive God’s Word, He hates the proud in heart, they are an abomination to Him.  Every proud person will be brought down.   
The scriptures not only abound with references which show the Lord’s hatred of this sin, but they also describe a proud, haughty, conceited, vain, boastful person as being a child of Satan.  
Why?   Because when Satan was in heaven as the highest created being in the universe, known as Lucifer, the head angel, worshipper, his heart was lifted up in pride and he fell to become Satan, the deceiver.   Ever since that moment of haughtiness when Satan’s heart was lifted up with pride, he has sought to deceive angels and men with the same form of iniquity.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

What Is That Abominable Sin? Pride!

“But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”  Rev. 21:8  NKJV

The Bible says there is a sin that precedes all the above, so abhorrent and vile, that all guilty of such a sin begin to fall deeper and deeper into all the other sins.

What is that abominable sin?     Pride.

“All that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.”  I John 2:16

“Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”  Prov 16:18

When a heart of pride lifts itself up a life is destroyed.   The pride of a haughty spirit always sets a person up for a great fall into “the sin which doth so easily beset us”.  (Heb. 12:1)   From there, it is downward and unless checked through genuine repentance, it carries such a self deluded arrogant deceived sinner all the way into the pit of the lowest hell. 

“Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honor is humility.” Prov. 18:12

The pollution of the heart called pride, leads to hell, according to the psalmists in Ps 86:13; “For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest of hell.”

“The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.” (Ps 10:4)  Such is the state of the inner soul of the pride of man.  The sin of pride always goes before the most loathsome of sins.

“For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips let them even be taken in their pride: and for cursing and lying which they speak.”  Ps 59:12

Pride is a precursor to every kind of wickedness known to man.  The sin of pride is at the forefront of every other sin.

The sin of pride is the sin of sins.  It was this sin, which transformed Lucifer, an anointed cherub of God, into Satan, the devil, the father of lies, the one for whom Hell itself was created.  We are warned to guard our hearts against pride lest we too “fall into the same condemnation as the devil.”

The sin of pride is a preoccupation of with self and it reveals itself in selfish motives, an exaggerated ego, a low opinion of others and disrespect for God.  It can lead to other sins against God.

We fight pride by humbling ourselves before God in prayer, asking Him to reveal the pride hidden in our hearts, acknowledging and repenting of pride when we see it in ourselves.

“To fear the LORD is to hate evil;
   I hate pride and arrogance,
   evil behavior and perverse speech. “   Prov 8:13 NIV

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tuesday 2/15/11

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” 1 Cor. 13:4-5

At the very center of envy is an excessive desire.  It is an attitude of the heart; a motive deep within the inner man.

We all have the tendency to be envious as part of our sin nature.

Envy is stirred up by comparing what we want but do not have with what others have.

The distinguishing feature of envy is the personal comparative aspect with others.  I am envious when I dislike someone because he/she has what I want but lack in some comparative way.
The root and source of envy is pride.  It is because a person’s heart has a burning desire to be superior to all others.

Envy is an internal attitude that underlies many external evil acts.

It will manifest through attitudes of malice and bitterness and various actions that overflow in tearing others down.

Envy is not only hateful in itself but it brings great discomfort to the envious person.  Proverbs 14:30 says, “….envy rots the bones…”  it is like a powerful cancer eating away on your vital organs.  Envy is offensive and full of corruption.

At the heart of all those who envy another is laziness.  Whether it be spiritual or physical laziness the outcome is the same as envy enters the soul and steals it away from God.

The person who allows envy to eat away at its centre is driven by sheer laziness in that the very thing they envy they can also attain if they open their hearts and allow God to penetrate into their very depths.

 This calls for self sacrifice, something that the envious person does not wish to do.  It requires hard work as we allow God to weed our souls from every form of selfishness and offenses.
When we allow a spirit of envy to enter our hearts we immediately close off and thwarted any attempts by the Holy Spirit to fill us.

The envious heart is one of denying God His proper place to remain the center of our hearts.

 The person who is full of envy has replaced God with an inordinate love of themselves over all others.

This leads to an unhealthy and ultimately disastrous spiritual life as the focus of the envious soul remains fixed on itself and what others think of them. They become carnal and there is confusion and every evil work.

1 Cor. 3:3 says it so clearly, “For as long as there are envying and jealousy among you, are you not unspiritual and of the flesh, behaving yourselves…like mere (unchanged) men?” Amp

The moment we let envy and strife in the door of our lives, we begin to live like people out there in the world.  We become like the natural, unsaved men in this scripture---fearful, powerless and defeated---instead of like supernatural, born again, Spirit filled people of God.

Jesus is coming any moment and we don’t want Him to find us spiritually sick and weak, living lives that have been poisoned by envy and strife.

The antidote to envy and strife is love in its purist form.

So let’s have Jesus find us full of love, faith and walking in victory.

Monday, February 14, 2011

So How Does Envy Enter Into Our Lives???

“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.   Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.  But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.”  Romans 13:12-14 NKJV

Envy is actually the devil’s poison, designed to turn love into hate and to immobilize faith in your life.

It is an experience we have all shared at one time or another.  It is so common that most people think it is no big deal.  They tend to see it as a harmless emotion.

Actually, envy is ‘natural’.  It is part of what the Bible calls the ‘natural’ or carnal’ mind. 
 It’s a mind programmed by the devil to be in direct opposition of God.   The Word also refers to it as ‘the flesh.’
Envy is listed as ‘works of the flesh’,  in Gal. 5:19-21, along with many fleshly companions: adultery, fornications, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, wrath, strife, envying, murders, drunkenness, impurity, selfishness, fits of rage….whereby the Word states that those who practices these fleshly ‘emotions’ will NOT inherit the kingdom of God.

Most believers would never purposely engage in any of those fleshly emotions.  So how does envy enter into our lives?

Envy means: ‘a feeling of discontent and ill will because of another’s advantage, possessions or success.’

Envy can sneak in unannounced.  It is something the devil tries to pressure you into receiving.

He uses envy and strife to interrupt the flow of love in your life.  The minute love is disrupted, your faith stops working too, because faith works by love. (Gal. 5:6)

Many believers don’t understand God’s principle of love. So they struggle with strife, envy, offenses and unforgiveness with others, all the while their faith is not producing results.

In order to walk in the power and blessings of God, you cannot allow envy or strife in your life.
James 3:16 confirms this as truth to us, “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” (KJV)

In other words, envy and strife gives an open door for Satan to enter into your life.

Envy is sin.  It is the opposite of love. It is of Satan and if we let it stay in our lives, it won’t be long until we yield to the evil spirit that governs it.

There are many examples of envy in the Bible, here’s a few:

Psalm 106, “Dathan envied Moses and Aaron. He was swallowed up by the earth.

Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers.

Haman envied Mordecai in the book of Esther.

Cain killed his brother, Abel, because he was envious that his brother had God’s approval and he didn’t.

As believers we are not sinless.  In Rom. 7:17-18 Paul says, “As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.  I know that nothing good lives in my, that is my sinful nature.”
It is good to be aware that sin can still dwell in believers and thus even believers are not without jealousy, envy and strife.

Unless we care for the ‘garden’ of our heart by walking in the Spirit and obeying God’s word, we can manifest these works of the flesh at any moment, just as an untended garden brings forth weeds.

“Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. 

 Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip.  They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents.  They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy.  

They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.”  Rom. 1:28-32  NLT

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Three "Friends" That Can Cause Separation From God: Strife, Envy and Pride

The three ‘friends’ that can cause separation from God and your friends and your family are strife, envy and pride.
They can cause destruction in our lives and bring about spiritual death.
The seeds planted in the soil of our hearts will either produce fruit that brings glory to our King or separation by the sins of these ‘friends’.
Forgiveness is a great fertilizer!  
When we harbor unforgiveness we open the door for Satan to gain control of our emotions and attitudes.  
Unforgiveness will unlock the door for more ‘friends’ to inhabit our heart, which will produce hardness within us.   The results will be frustration, disobedience, rebellion, anger, bitterness, hatred, self pity, strife, jealousy, envy…just to name a few.
We each hold the key to unlock the door of our hearts for Jesus to reign.  It is our choice.
Sometimes when we battle our emotions we should step back and ask ourselves why we don’t want to forgive or why are we envious?
Is our pride more important than forgiving others? 
The big question; is your pride more important to you than Jesus?    If no, then we do we have such an issue with it?
Is your pride standing between you and your destiny?
Who are so angry at that you are willing to miss heaven?
Pride is a deadly poison!  It is Satan’s poison that he uses to kill and destroy our spiritual life.
“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.”  Matt. 16:24 NLT

Jesus is the antidote!  If we truly walk in love we will forgive, step out of selfishness, anger, jealousy and etc.   When we truly have a heart change it is evident in our expressions, our words, our actions and our life. 
  “Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are—face-to-face!  They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone.
And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete.  We're free of it!  All of us!  Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face.  And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.”      2 Cor. 3:16-18  The Message Bible

Friday, February 11, 2011

Four Types of Soil: Which Soil Describes You???

Mark 4 enlightens us with four types of soil, which represents four types of hearts.
We know that the condition of a person’s heart determines how fruitful the Word of God will be in their life.
The first soil the seed was sown in was hard, unable to be penetrated…”immediately Satan comes and takes away the word (seed) which was sown in them.” vs 15
The second soil is called ‘rocky ground’.  A person receives the Word for a short time, but when they become ‘stressed’, or when things get hard and we begin to question God through our doubt and unbelief, the Word soon withers away.
There was NO root.  No depth to the Word inside of them.  Quitting becomes too easy.
The third soil had thorns that choked out the Word.  The cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and selfish desires choked the Word.
The fourth soil was good soil! The Word was heard and accepted.  Fruit is produced in this type of soil.
We all have a choice to either live with blessings or cursing; Duet. 28.   The choice is ours on whether or not we choose life or death, right or wrong, peace or strife.
God gave us a free will to make these choices in our life.  
We cannot allow Satan to steal the Word from us which would bring a spiritual death.
We must be aware that through either ignorance, unbelief, rebellion and/or disobedience we open the door to the evil one in our lives.
We have the free will to either obey or disobey.
I like this quote by John Bevere, “..willingness deals with your attitude. Your heart has to be in your obedience.”
If you have the Lord’s Word in your heart, you have the desire, the willingness in your heart to obey His Word.
Which soil describes you?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Stay Rooted and Grounded in God's Love!!!

There are three ‘friends’ that can cause separation between you and God, family members, friends and/or your job.
They can cause destruction, division and death.   They bring other ‘friends’ with them once they settle in our lives.   A few of their ‘friends’ are:  unforgiveness, bitterness, hatred, lies, deceit, sickness, selfishness, pride, anger, disobedience,  fear, control and manipulation.
In Mark 4 we learn that Satan will come to “immediately” steal the word that was sown in our hearts.
Satan will always find someone to irritate or provoke us until we step into strife.  The Greek translation for ‘devil’ is, “a constant irritating, poking, pressing, or pecking away at something in order to penetrate and get entrance into it.”
That describes Satan and how relentless he is!  He goes after the word/seed in your heart by poking at you through someone’s words or actions.   He harasses you with the thoughtless or irritating behavior of others.
He tries to provoke you into reacting so you will violate the commandment of love because when you do that, he gains entrance into your life. 
Strife implies a struggle for superiority, pushing to get a position.  Strife arises from fear that somebody is going to take advantage of you.
Most Believers who have any spiritual maturity at all know better than to consciously engage in that kind of discord.
Paul writes in 1 Cor. 3:1-3 to the Believers that strife has kept them immature and carnal (worldly). 
Strife will deaden your spiritual senses.   It will also keep you from hearing from God.
Those in strife and opposition to others are in captivity to Satan.  We can get into strife over an offense or when someone doesn’t treat us the way we expect them to.   Strife is one of the ways Satan keeps us in bondage and without realizing it we are now serving him. He will use us as an instrument to strike out and hurt others.
We keep strife out of our hearts by acting on our love for the Lord.  The more you practice obeying the commandment of love, the more rooted and grounded in love you will become. 
We need to guard our hearts and keep putting the word of God in it consistently.
You can live a life of joy, peace and love in Jesus!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Are You Willing To Risk Heaven Over Bitterness??? Part II

Bitterness produces negative faith which causes us to be double-minded, wavering, tossed to and fro.
It is the expectation that things will go wrong!
“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamour and slander be put away from you along with malice. And be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”    Eph. 4:31-32
Unforgiveness births bitterness!
Failure to obey the law of love will separate you from Christ.   Bitterness will separate you from Jesus.  He is love ….bitterness is hatred.
The key word in vs 32 (above) is as. The word AS means equal to.
We are told to forgive just AS God has forgiven you.   Luke 6:38 says, “for by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”
Just AS….. God will forgive you as you forgive others.  I guess that means if I don’t forgive others………He will not forgive me just as I will not forgive others.
I think these two scriptures can be summed up like this: “Jesus is asking you/me, “how do you want me to forgive you, the same way you forgive others?”
Kind of like what we wrote about a couple of days ago….how we treat others…is that the way we want to be treated?   Would we want Jesus to treat us as rudely as we treat our friends or family?   
The scripture reads……”just as….”     Equally to…….
To me that is powerful! 
Jesus watches us to see how we love, how we treat others and how we forgive them.  Then He can see how we want to be forgiven, loved and treated. 
We set the standard of measure!
You are the only one who can stop your bitterness, negative attitude and selfishness.
Love can drive out the root of bitterness.   Love will destroy the root of bitterness.
Love will remove selfishness, offense, and unforgiveness.   It is a choice you make!
Your future is held by your choices.  
Are we rooted and grounded in love! 
In the winter a tree will dig its roots deeply into the earth to gain nourishment and receive restoration from a season of producing fruit.
A tree stretches its roots deep down into the earth and begins a cycle of preservation.  During the winter the sap flows in the roots up through the trunk and out to the branches.
Life is being given at the base level.  Sap feeds a tree at the root level.
For Believers the Holy Spirit feeds us through our spirit when nothing seems to be going right in our lives.
The Holy Spirit enriches us on the inside, the area no one sees.  We must be patient and have faith in God’s word.  He will nourish us through His word.
God is faithful to perform His word and it will not return void.
When you act on the word of God you use your hope to tap into faith.
We must dig our roots deep into God and concentrate on the business of preservation and restoration, not only for ourselves but for those around us as well.
Jesus loves me!  

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Are You Willing to Risk Heaven Over Bitterness???

“…he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither; and whatever he does, he prospers.” Psalm 1:3

We can all be like a tree that is firmly planted, well watered, produce fruit and prosper. 

Tree roots reach deep into an unending moisture supply.    As Christians, we are planted along a river bank.   God is our unending source of energy, power and divine moisture.  We have a choice in life to become rooted and grounded in the love of God or to contaminate our supply.  

A root of bitterness can damage our growth in Christ.  Our tree will become barren and will eventually die.

Bitterness settles in when the circumstances in our life contaminates our heart.  We cannot control the circumstances that come our way, but we can control our attitude towards them.   We can control our reactions to the trials we encounter.

A lot of people allow their past to control and contaminate their future.  The bitterness sets in and their future will not be any better than their past.
Bitterness pollutes your future.

Bitterness will birth a negative attitude, cynicism, jealousy, hatred and anger, just to name a few.  Heb. 12:15 says, “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble and by it many be defiled.”  Bitterness causes offense and wounds!    Bitterness does affect those around us.
Some people try to cover up their negative, bitter attitude with being overly kind.  We have all seen trees with their roots exposed above the ground.  The root of bitterness will surface and you will be exposed.

Rom. 3:13-18 explains the depth of bitterness, and one way it is exposed:
“…their throat is an open grave with their tongues they keep deceiving, the poison of asps is under their lips; whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness; their feet are swift to shed blood. Destruction and misery are in their path, and the path of peace have they not known.  There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

An asp is a small snake that is very poisonous—deadly.  
A bitter person, who claims to know Jesus, is aware of God’s word but they lack the fear---reverence of God to stop or change.   They feel their pain and anger is more important than God.  They don’t even see that they are in disobedience to His word because their thoughts are consumed with them. 
They have deceived themselves into believing God has forgiven them for their sins so they are justified to hold a grudge or harbor unforgiveness.
Their bitterness controls them, not God’s word.

What have you sacrificed because you refuse to let go of your bitterness?
What price are you willing to pay to hold on to unforgiveness, anger, jealousy and hatred?
Are you willing to risk heaven over bitterness?
Is it possible to get left behind due to the sin of bitterness, unforgiveness, hatred, jealousy, anger, control, manipulation?  
 How much sin would it take to get left behind?
Remember, there is NO sin in God nor is there sin in His presence.
“Create in me a pure heart, O God,
   and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”  Psalm 51:10

Monday, February 7, 2011

How does God see us: As A Tree Firmly Rooted or Shallow Roots???

BLESSED (HAPPY, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable) is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly [following their advice, their plans and purposes], nor stands [submissive and inactive] in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down [to relax and rest] where the scornful [and the mockers] gather.
    But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord, and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night.
    And he shall be like a tree firmly planted [and tended] by the streams of water, ready to bring forth its fruit in its season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither; and everything he does shall prosper [and come to maturity].
    Not so the wicked [those disobedient and living without God are not so]. But they are like the chaff [worthless, dead, without substance] which the wind drives away.
    Therefore the wicked [those disobedient and living without God] shall not stand [justified] in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous [those who are upright and in right standing with God].
    For the Lord knows and is fully acquainted with the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly [those living outside God's will] shall perish (end in ruin and come to nought).”   Psalm 1  Amp.

We all need to be rooted and grounded in God’s word.  
Is your soil nourishing or contaminated?   The results will reveal fruit or barrenness.
A root is part of a tree or plant.  Roots are usually underground and they are used to anchor the tree.  Also, roots are used to draw water and nutrients from the soil.
It is the ‘life line’ so to speak for a tree.  If the roots are planted deep enough the tree can withstand the high winds of a storm.
The roots feed the tree!
The roots anchor the tree!
Webster defines a root as: “a part of a plant, a supporting or essential part to pull up the roots; destroys completely.”
Let’s all ask God how He sees us: “as a tree firmly rooted or shallow roots?”
Be ready …….you might be tested which will reveal the depth of your roots or the lack of.   
How about the type of soil we have planted ourselves in?  Is it cultivated so we produce fruit or is it contaminated by sin?
We can all read the word and not be changed.   Remember the parable Jesus used about the sower and the seed?   (Matt 13: 1-23)  
Change will come when we allow the “washing of the word.”   It is one thing to hear the Word and it is another to live the word.    
Jesus loves me!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Jezebel …….. Final Word

  “You rescue the humble,
      but your eyes watch the proud and humiliate them.”
                                2 Samuel 22:28      (New Living Translation)
Pride goes before destruction,
      and haughtiness before a fall.”   Prov. 16:18  NLT

Humility requires us to live in the ‘raw’.  
Humility means vulnerability!
Jezebel flees at the thought of humility.  They may try to convince others they are humble.  But they demand attention.   When they walk in the room, all eyes must be upon them.
Their actions speak louder than their words!
They would never put themselves in a place of humility.  Jezebel defines humility as being debased.
Jezebel is too selfish to be humble!  They are takers.  They take and take and take some more, never thinking of giving back.
They like to tell everyone and pretend that they are servants, but they rarely find the time to serve others.  They come first.   Funny thing, if Jezebel does serve someone they have to tell everyone, to make sure they get the credit and attention.
Life for Jezebel is consumed by their wants, their desires, and their needs.
“…. no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love.
  ……. Love cares more for others than for self.
   Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
   Love doesn't strut,
   Doesn't have a swelled head,
   Doesn't force itself on others,
   Isn't always "me first,"
   Doesn't fly off the handle……..”    1 Cor. 13:4-5  The Message Bible
God’s word says we are to ‘love others as we love ourselves…”  (Rom. 13:9)
Many people who have been hurt by Jezebel learn how to live in a guarded life.  Walls are built as a shield from future hurts.
When an injured victim tries to break free and is hurt again they can build a wall very quickly.   The OT prophet Nehemiah could have rebuilt the wall quicker with these hurting people.
Selfish people are so self-centered that they don’t stop to think about what they can do for others.   It is always an afterthought.
Sadly, Jezebel never stops to think of loving others as they want to be loved, or treating others the way they want to be treated. 
They have a one track mind: ME   MYSELF  and   I!
We all know the golden rule:  do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’  
Jezebel can become so captured by the spirit of pride along with a taste of power and position that repentance is very difficult.
In fact, the more mature the Jezebel personality the greater the chances increase, they will not repent.
Pray for those who hurt you.
Be kind and love them.   Most of all forgive them!
As the disciples were instructed by Jesus, so should we do the same, ‘…shake the dust from your feet and keep walking..”
Don’t allow Jezebel to fence you in behind a wall.   Break down the walls, keep your focus on Jesus and KEEP WALKING!

“… if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.”  2 Chronicles 7:14  (New Living Translation)