Do not despair!

Yesterday as I was having my devotional time, I came upon this devotion that was a part of my reading for the day. It seemed to be so appropriate to so many of us that have been going through challenging times. I share this with the hopes that it will be an encouragement to your heart and a pathway to hold onto the hope that is necessary to move on to victory!

*I would have despired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord . . . . Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage. *(Psalm 27:13-14 NASB)

Do not despair!

Oh, how great the temptation is to despair at times! Our soul becomes depressed and dishearteded, and our faith staggers under the severe trials and testing that come into our lives, especially during times of bereavement and suffering. We may come to the place where we say, "I cannot bear this any longer. I am close to despair under these circumstances God has allowed. He tells me not to despair, but what am I supposed to do when I am at this point?"

What have you done in the past when you felt weak physically? You could not do anything. You ceased from doing. In your weakness, you leaned on the shoulder of a strong loved one. You leaned completely on someone else and rested, becoming still, and trusting in another's strength.

It is the same when you are tempted to despair under spiritual afflictions. Once you have come close to the point of despair, God' message is not, "Be strong and courageous" (Joshua 1:6), for He know that your strength and courage have run away. Instead, he says sweetly, "Be stil, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10).

Hudson Taylor was so weak and feeble in the last few moths of his life that he told a friend, "I am so weak I cannot write. I cannot read my Bible. I cannot even pray. All I can do is lie still in the arms of God as a little child, trusting Him." This wonderful man of God, who had great spiritual power, came to the point of physical suffering and weakness where all he could do was lie still and trust.

That is all God asks of you as His dear child. When you become weak through the fierce fires of affliction, do not try to "be strong." Just "be still,and know that [He is] God." And know that he will sustain you and bring you through the fire.

God reserves his best medicine for our times of deepest despair.

Be strong and take heart. Psalm 27:14

Be strong, He has not failed you In all the past, And will He go and leave you To sink at last? No, He said He will hide you Beneath His wing; And sweetly there in safety You then may sing. (selected)

Reimann, Jim; Cowman, L.B.E. (2008-09-09) Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (pp. 188-189). zondervan. kindle Edition.

Learn to Reign

Happy New Year to all of you! This is my first official blog and what better way to begin than to share a word that I believe is for our church and for the Body of Christ for this year. I was stirred by the Holy Spirit to call a fast and the Lord confirmed that through this devotional that I read shortly thereafter. I believe that it is a time for all believers to be in earnest about their walk with the Lord and to press in to become more what He wants us to be. We have proclaimed a 3-day fast for January 2-4, 2014. This is a totally volunteer fast, but one that I believe the Lord is calling us to as a church family. Feel free to share prayer requests with the church office on my extension and I will try and post those on the website so that we can be intercessing together over. Know that I love you and believe that God wants to do great things in our lives! May 2014 be the best yet!

LEARN TO REIGN

Let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. HEBREWS 13:15

Call My people to repentance. Call them to their knees for prayer and fasting, for confession and vigilance—for this is a strategic hour. The enemy is rejoicing already over his anticipated victories. You can disappoint him and thwart his evil designs if you lay hold of the throne of God in steadfast, believing prayer.

Yes, you must do even as the devil has done and anticipate your victories. You can do more than the enemy at this point. You can claim the victories in the Name of Jesus, and all that you claim in that all-powerful Name is sealed in Heaven before it comes to pass on earth.

The enemy is defeated, even before the actual battle. Lay hold of this, My people. This is not only a glorious truth in which to rejoice, but it is absolutely vital to your victory. How do troops go to battle in earthly warfare? Not without preparation, ample ammunition, and intensive training. I do not expect you to meet your adversary unequipped, unarmed, or undisciplined. Do not count on Me to deliver you by some kind of magic. I give you orders and you must obey; otherwise you will suffer intolerable defeat. You do not face light skirmishes in which you can look for easy victories.

I remind you that you are not contending with flesh and blood and matching wits with men; you are being ambushed and facing open attack from the very enemy of your souls, Satan himself. He is not out to torment. He is out to destroy; not to hurt you, but to crush you. Your strength is no match for him. You must learn how to lay claim to the throne of God. I have met him and won already as I hung on the cross. Now YOU must find the way of victory yourselves— each one individually—so that My victory already won can become a present victory in operation for you.

Do not cry to Me in the hour of crisis and distress as though I would extend some miracle in answer to prayer. Of course, I do answer prayer, and I can perform miracles and bring deliverance, but if I do this, I have only rescued one of My own out of trouble while you have won no victory at all! I want to teach you how to circumvent the enemy—to drive him out of the arena; how to subdue kingdoms and how to truly reign in the kingdom of heaven. I want you to experience Jerichos, not Ais. You must be overcomers if My work is to be accomplished. You are not qualified to be used for My purposes as long as you are being harassed by the enemy and I keep needing to rescue you from a constant parade of distressing predicaments.

You are more than conquerors, as the apostle Paul said, and it was by My Spirit that Paul was taught this (see Romans 8:37). Rise up, then, and lay claim to the power that is yours, because I am in you, and you are in Me, and as I was in the world, so are you. I was victorious, and you too may be victorious. I withstood every encounter with the devil, and you too can stand against him. I healed the sick and wrested tortured bodies out of the grip of evil forces, and you too can do the same.

Learn to reign, for I have made you to become kings and priests. I have intended that you should come into that place where you share My authority so I will be able to manifest My glory through you. This is My greatest joy—to lift you out of enemy territory and seat you in the heavens with Me. And where am I? At the right hand of the Father who sits upon the throne. He has invested in Me all power in heaven and earth and under the earth; and you are seated with Me, far above all principalities and powers. Through Me you have inherited all. And you can lay claim to that inheritance now because I have already died. Because I have already died, you can enter in now. You do not gain an inheritance when you die, but when the testator dies.

Take it, My people. It is yours now. It is yours because of Calvary. When you think of Calvary you think of My love; and this indeed is the tie—in between Calvary and this sharing of My throne life. I want you with Me. I want you seated beside Me because I want you near Me. Because I love you.

Where do you expect to see a queen? Beside the king. I have not spoken of you as a queen, but you are My Bride. A queen is subordinate to a king, and he reigns while she merely stands nearby. No, ours is a closer relationship, for I have vested you with authority also. You reign with Me if you recognize your privilege to do so, and if you move out in the power of the Spirit into that realm where I want you to live and move and, yes, to have your very being. For I would have a people who live in Me continually, not moving in and out of this place at will. I would have you live continually in the center of the kingdom of God, just as I have placed the Kingdom within the very center of your being. You bring this kingdom into operation in your own life by an act of faith, yes, by a constant attitude of faith.

In the last days, I will have a people through whom I can manifest My glory. There are works I must yet do through My body, the Church, which I could not possibly have accomplished through My own physical body in My earthly ministry. I am even now bringing this body together, uniting the individual members, breathing My breath into it, empowering it with gifts and ministries in order that through it I may do My work—so that when the time comes for Me to take the Church out of the world, I may be able to say again, “It is finished” (John 19:30).

Know that there are also sufferings yet to be accomplished in the body of the Church that I was not able to suffer on the cross. Did Paul not write that you fill up “what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ” (Colossians 1:24)? Be patient, hold steady through the days that lie ahead, and know that the trials and suffering are working toward a consuming glory.

Praise Me, O My people, praise Me. Praise Me out of a heart full of love. Praise Me for every blessing and every victory. Yes, praise Me when the most difficult thing to do is to praise. This is the victory that overcomes the world, even your faith, and praise is the voice of faith. It is faith rejoicing for victories claimed in advance. The song of praise is made of the very fabric of things hoped for. It becomes evidence of unseen things. It is the raw material in My hands from which I fashion your victories.

Give it to Me. Give Me much. Give to Me often. I dwell in the midst of the praises of My people. I dwell there because I am happiest there. As surely as you make Me happy with your praising, you will make the enemy most unhappy. He has no power whatsoever over a praising Christian. He cannot stand against a praising Church. This is the most powerful weapon you can use against him. So praise is like a two-edged sword: One side brings health to your own spirit while the other side cuts down the enemy.

Roberts, Frances J. (2009-08-15). Come Away My Beloved Updated (p. 171). Barbour Publishing, Inc.. Kindle Edition.