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Living in Supernatural Joy

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Hope2When was the last time you doubled over with a side splitting bout of laughter and cried tears of joy? Chances are, it wasn’t recently, and if you’re thinking about the state of the economy, geopolitics or world affairs, you won’t be any time soon either. But if you’ve been demonstrably joyful recently, then I’m certainly jealous. When my younger brother and I would have tickling fights ‘way back in the day,’ my joyful expression and rib wrenching laughter could result in such pain that I wanted it to stop because my rib cage would ache so badly. (He wasn’t merciful at the time.)

Friend, the truth is we need to laugh more often and not just for giggles’ sake because there’s both a spiritual and physical reason for doing so. There’s indeed a joy within us believers that can lie dormant if we’re not careful. Some of us have forgotten how to access it and unfortunately our face bears witness to this. It’s time to reconnect with what God’s word says about joy and experience it once more for ourselves. Some theologians have tried to split joy into three categories: natural joy (gladness, contentment, satisfaction or cheerfulness), moral joy (peace, serenity) and spiritual joy (joy of faith, rejoicing of hope). There are clearly different reasons for expressing joy but the bottom line is, we need to experience it more!

Biblical Premise

Whilst most of us are familiar with the scripture, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: But a broken spirit drieth the bones” (Prov 17:22-KJV), other translations perhaps offer a better understanding in the modern vernacular. For example, “A rejoicing heart doeth good to the body” (YLT), “A joyful heart worketh an excellent cure” (RHM) and “A cheerful heart makes a quick recovery” (Knox). Undoubtedly, joy has an impact on our physical condition, but how far exactly does its influence extend? Can it really help us make a ‘quick recovery’? Could the medicinal benefits of a joyful heart be literal and corroborated by both the scientific and medical community? What’s interesting is that medical science is now validating what the Bible says about joy with laughter as its primary expression. Not that the Bible needs any validation whatsoever, but the findings are interesting nonetheless and I’d like to share some of them with you. After all God sits in the heavens and laughs, so why shouldn’t you (Ps 2:4, Ps 37:13, Ps 59:8)?

Jeanne Segal (Ph.D.) an emotional intelligence expert, author and mental health guru who’s studied the power of laughter down the years has found many benefits as follows:

Physical Benefits

  1. Boosts Immunity
  2. Lowers stress hormones
  3. Decreases pain
  4. Relaxes your muscles, burns calories
  5. Prevents heart disease

Mental Health Benefits

  1. Adds joy and zest to life
  2. Eases anxiety and tension
  3. Relieves stress
  4. Improves mood and mental functioning
  5. Enhances resilience, improves self-esteem

Social Benefits

  1. Strengthens relationships
  2. Attracts others to us, reduces loneliness
  3. Enhances teamwork
  4. Helps defuse conflict
  5. Promotes group bonding

Other keen researchers at the University of Maryland have discovered even more amazing benefits of ‘the giggles’ (listed below):

  1. Blood flow: Researchers at the University of Maryland studied the effects on blood vessels when people were shown either comedies or dramas. After the screening, the blood vessels of the group who watched the comedy behaved normally — expanding and contracting easily. But the blood vessels in people who watched the drama tended to tense up, restricting blood flow.
  2. Immune response: “Increased stress is associated with decreased immune system response,” says Robert Provine, professor of psychology and neuroscience. Some studies have shown that the ability to use humor may raise the level of infection-fighting antibodies in the body and boost the levels of immune cells, as well.
  3. Relaxation and sleep: The focus on the benefits of laughter really began with Norman Cousin’s memoir, Anatomy of an Illness. Cousins, who was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis, a painful spine condition, found that a diet of comedies, like Marx Brothers films and episodes of Candid Camera, helped him feel better. He said that ten minutes of laughter allowed him two hours of pain-free sleep.

Evidently joy has a profoundly beneficial impact on our physical bodies as the Bible attests and this hidden aspect of our soul condition goes largely undiagnosed in modern medicine. Some have called laughter the ‘voice of joy.’ If that’s true, we need to give more voice to it in our own lives by manifesting ‘the chuckles’ more frequently. This extensive scientific research reveals perhaps metaphorically that joy is seemingly the invisible or intangible ‘glue’ that keeps our physical body in a healthy state. Without experiencing joy regularly, we suffer needlessly and fail to take advantage of the numerous health benefits of laughter especially. It’s one thing to study ice cream but it’s another thing to taste it. Likewise it’s one thing to study joy and another to experience it. We need to experience joy on a continual basis and our lack thereof could be turning unbelievers away from us. The ungodly philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche candidly observed the general melancholic demeanor of the average Christian when he said, “The Christians would have to look ‘more saved’ if they hope to persuade me.” That’s something to chew on.

Union of Joy with our First Love

Remember the joyful euphoria you felt when you first got saved and knew you weren’t going to Hell? Remember the six-month honeymoon with the Lord when everything seemed to fall into your lap? This was no honeymoon, it was meant to last a lifetime. It’s a union of joy for life with our first love (Rev 2:4) and one that remains, not a brief fleeting romance all too easily forgotten. There is of course a joy to our accomplishments and joy that comes from our friends or family etc. but this is not the joy of which the Bible specifically speaks. Its’ context always surrounds our response to God’s Grace which is constant but the trouble is our focus can waver occasionally. This elusive ‘feeling’ of joy comes from our union with Christ because of our salvation; however, it can definitely wane if our focus shifts away from Christ because feelings follow action, not vice versa. If you put your mind on God (Isa 26:3) and thank Him for your many blessings, the ‘joy of the Lord’ will return swiftly! Yes, we have struggles, trials, temptations, persecutions, hardships and strife yet our joy should remain regardless. Our joy should abide within us despite these occurrences because the joy that Christ gave us is not dependent upon our circumstances but in spite of them (Jn 14:27). Joy is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22), and not a ‘conditional’ feeling at the mercy of life’s circumstances which are subject to perpetual change.

The Empowerment of Joy

What many people fail to realize is that joy was granted to us as a form of empowerment to overcome afflictions, as the scripture states, “And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost” (1 Thess 1:6). The plain hermeneutic of scripture reveals that we may experience joy regardless of our difficulties and this is a wonderful blessing if we get a hold of it! Joy also brings supernatural spiritual strength (Neh 8:10) to endure what may lie ahead. There’s no greater offence than to laugh in the face of our enemies and as far as we’re concerned, the devil is a whipped foe (Col 2:15). We need to laugh in his face more often as we’re the Triumphant Church, not a cowering one that seeks future victory because the victory is already in our possession! We have victory now as we’re seated in heavenly places in Christ (Eph 1:3, 20) but for some of us this needs to be transmitted to our face.

I cannot stress enough how much I want you to receive this message. The Lord’s been sharing with me recently the importance of holding onto my own joy and He corrected my general passivity or apathy toward retaining it, which was certainly not helping my life. I gave it away all too easily. Consequently I was harboring a wrong attitude, thinking if all my circumstances lined up just as I wanted, then and only then, would I feel joyful. This, my friend is ‘stinking thinking‘ and is not biblical. The joy of the Lord is accessible 24/7 whenever we focus on Christ via His word, praise, worship or giving thanks unto Him. It’s a matter of perspective and we choose our perspective each and every day. We choose daily whether we’re going to magnify God (Acts 10:46) or magnify the problems around us. A cursory scriptural exegesis of the seventeenth chapter of the Gospel of John reveals six core characteristics of the Christian life, with joy mentioned firstly along with holiness, truth, mission, unity and love (Jn 17:13-26). Joy is a trait highly esteemed by the Lord and we should guard it well for our own benediction because it’s one of the manifestations of the Holy Spirit that can sustain us, especially during difficult times.

Joy is a gift that’s already been given to us and it’s our choice whether to give it away or not. Jesus said we’re not to ‘let’ our heart be troubled nor ‘let’ it be afraid (Jn 14:27). If our heart condition is fearful, it’s because we’ve not stewarded it correctly, as all the issues of life originate from our heart (Prov 4:23). There’s a resident joy and peace that accompanies our relationship with God the Father, His son Jesus Christ and the precious Holy Spirit. When we shift our focus or fellowship away from the Godhead, we become susceptible to losing our joy. I challenge you right now to search your own heart and let the ‘joy of the Lord’ come forth because it’s one of the many blessings of being in Christ Jesus. Unfortunately, many of us have unknowingly or carelessly let it go. We don’t want to let such an awesome gift go to waste because the Lord meant joy for our well-being and the Bible is replete with the topic. Seek the Lord today about possible ‘joy stealers’ in your life like unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, anger, selfishness, anxiety, and so forth. If you feel convicted about this teaching, ask Him to reveal to you where you’ve missed it.

We need to clear the log jam that’s preventing the ‘joy of the Lord’ from bubbling up within our hearts! Ask Him to reveal areas where your joy has been compromised or stolen and enter therein my friend to the deepest and most joyful of giggles! It’s time to release those feel good endorphins and enter into the ‘joy of the Lord’ once more!

Bibliography:

  1. Harrison, Bromiley & Henry, Wycliffe Dictionary of Theology (Hendrickson’s Publishers, Inc. Peabody, MA, 1999), 299.
  2. http://www.helpguide.org/articles/emotional-health/laughter-is-the-best-medicine.htm
  3. http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/give-your-body-boost-with-laughter?page=2

 

 

Pastor-Carl Senior Pastor Carl Joseph desires to see God move in power in the downtown Denver area. He is joined in the ministry by his wife, Amy. In his spare time, he rides his motorcycle and plays golf.

 

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How do I define “Hope”?

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Hope2What does the word “hope” mean to you? Most people think of it to mean “wishful thinking.” We use this word so casually, without thinking much about it. “I hope it doesn’t rain on Saturday”; “I hope I get a raise soon”; “I hope the Broncos make it to the playoffs.”
When we use this short, yet powerful word in this way, it dilutes its true meaning. I’m not suggesting we eliminate this particular usage, but I would like us to consider the deeper meaning of it: how God views it. As I was reflecting on God’s perspective on hope, I found something in God’s Word that stood out to me. In Psalms 42:5 and 42:11 and 43:5 the wording was almost identical.
 

Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him
For the help of His countenance.

I really started to think about how important God deems hope when our souls are in turmoil and everything seems to be caving in around us. Have you ever been there? Or maybe you’re there now. In the midst of our storms, when things are tumultuous, we are to put our hope in God, and praise Him. As our soul longs for His face to shine upon us, we are to praise Him. Praise Him? How can I praise God when I’m going through this? I can barely make it through the day, so how am I to praise God? Maybe you can relate to what Job says:

“What strength do I have, that I should still hope?
What prospects, that I should be patient?”
– (Job 6:11)

 

Desperate for God

There was a time in my life that I found myself desperate for God. My soul wasn’t just disquieted in me, it was screaming. God desired to bring healing to my heart for the years of abuse I endured growing up. Could I trust God to walk with me through the healing process? Could I put my hope in God and have faith that He was bringing wholeness to my heart? Even when I heard voices of doubt, I knew deep down that I still had hope. I knew I couldn’t put my hope in earthly things, but I trusted and put my full hope in Jehovah-Rapha, God my healer. With that seed of hope, and as I watered and cared for it with praise, my faith was strengthened. In worship and adoration I believed God’s Word:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
– Jeremiah 29:11

 

Worship the Creator

Worship and praise Him in song, in written and spoken words, in art, or just be still. It touches God’s heart when His children put their hope in Him and come to a place where they completely and totally surrender to Him.

So if this is a season of storms in your life right now, I want to encourage you to put your hope in God and praise Him.

 

Laurel Laurel Block is a native of Alaska but moved to Colorado in 1990. She brings a message of life and hope through God’s healing and redemptive work in her life to women’s groups, church congregations, and to those in youth detention centers.

The Power of Peace

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Peace2Friends, I want to tell you right now that without doubt the foremost condition of every Christian at all times should be peace. This peace is independent of circumstances. I can hear you say, “Wait a minute pastor, life has its demands and pressures; we can’t be in peace all the time?” Yes, my friend, we can because it supernaturally abides within us. Peace is a gift that Christ gave us and peace is also our umpire in decision making. The Apostle Paul wrote about this issue to the church at Colossae. This supernatural peace should rule and reign inside us.

 

15 And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts (deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state) to which as (members of Christ’s) one body you were also called (to live). And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always]” – Colossians 3:15 (AMP).

We should not however confuse this peace with a fleeting emotion that comes and goes; it is an abiding peace because it is not only a fruit of the Holy Spirit but an attribute of the Kingdom of God. In the book of Romans, the apostle Paul defines the kingdom of God and its attributes, “17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.“ – Romans 14:17.

 

Righteousness and Joy

Think of righteousness and joy as bookends with peace slotted in the middle. As we attain righteousness with God as a function of our salvation, we are then able to receive ‘abiding peace’ within our hearts and from that peace, joy bubbles forth. Our peace is despite the circumstances. It is not contingent upon outcomes because it’s a supernatural influence that comes from the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. I had recently gotten into the ‘molly grubs”, even though things seemed to be working out for good in my life, I had a heavy heart. I seemed to be in “endurance mode”, rather than appreciating the joy of life in the day to day. I had lost peace, and it was my fault, why? Because Jesus had already given peace to me, “27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” – (John 14:27).

Notice the onus is on us to steward the peace that Jesus bestowed; we are the ones who have the choice to let ourselves be ‘troubled’ or ‘afraid’. My old mentor, Ann Vincent would always say to me “If you’ve lost your peace, you’ve messed up somewhere”. She was a powerful woman of God who moved in a strong anointing that seemingly never waned. Her secret? Peace. She oozed peace every time I was with her. Ann demonstrated abundant peace in her life and she is a great example to us all. She also moved in the power of God. Peace and power go hand in hand; they are twins. If we get out of peace, we get into the ‘flesh’ and we lose faith in God’s power because faith works by love (Gal 5:6). Did you know that Jesus commanded the disciples to bring peace to the houses they visited? The presence of God brings peace and the disciples were paragons of peace, distributing it wherever they went, the scripture makes it clear, “And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you” – Matthew 10:13.

 

Anxiety: Abstract Fear or Apprehension

The Holy Spirit revealed to me that as time had passed, I had allowed anxiety to creep in. Anxiety is an interesting word because by definition it’s an abnormal feeling of fear or apprehension but not necessarily tied to anything specific. It can be hard to fight against because it’s a more generic ongoing condition that is felt. The problem is if we meditate on this feeling of dread or fear concerning the future we may start believing that something ‘bad’ is going to happen. The very fact that you meditate on this over and over could cause it to become a reality in your life. Living in regret or worrying about the future will always rob us from the ‘now’. What time is it? The time is ‘now’. The time is always now. “Now faith is” (Hebrews 11:1). Replaying the sorrows of yesterday and dreading what’s to come; will put you in a place of misery and misery my friend is not a place where Christians should be. Misery and fear have torment; that is Satan’s territory, get out of it immediately.

There is a fascinating statement that Christ made in Matthew 6:31, “31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?” Did you catch that? Jesus said you take a thought…by saying it. Once you start verbalizing what is in your mind, you are ‘taking the thought’. Not every thought is from the devil of course, we rationalize in our minds daily as we muse over decisions, but it is the penetrating or interjecting thought that is either from God or Satan. The easiest way to discern the thought’s origin is to compare it to the word of God. If it’s accusatory in nature or discouraging it’s not from God. Guard your mind! Satan is not in the encouragement business (1st Peter 5:8). So what do we do to restore peace? Firstly, we must cast our care, “Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully” – 1st Peter 5:7 (AMP). We need to get into the habit of saying, “I couldn’t care less, God is taking care of everything in my life and He is trustworthy!” Let go of your anxiety, cast your care, pray and thank Him for the answer, it’s that simple. This scripture sums it all up…“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” – Philippians 4:6 (NASB).

Friends, it’s time to get your peace back! What are you waiting for? Spend time with the Holy Spirit today and take back what the enemy has stolen. Peace is not something to look for, it’s always inside of you, it’s time to reconnect with the tranquility in your heart (that Christ won for you), cast your care and feel the peace of the Lord once again!

 

Pastor-Carl Senior Pastor Carl Joseph desires to see God move in power in the downtown Denver area. He is joined in the ministry by his wife, Amy. In his spare time, he rides his motorcycle and plays golf.

 

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I Saw the Light

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lightbulb2Have you ever tried to explain something to an individual and it seemed as though they’re just not getting it? You want them to understand what you’re trying to say and convey your message clearly. Eventually, as you give them more information, they start to see the whole picture and might even say something along the lines of, ‘Oh, I see what you’re saying’!  In this instance, you might say the “light bulb” finally came on for them! What happened here? What does it mean when someone says, ‘I can see it now’?

 

God’s Word Illuminates

God’s word gives us the answer to these questions.  In Proverbs 20:27 it says, “The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all the inner depths of his heart” (NKJV).  Other translations say it like this: “the spirit of man is the flashlight or candle of the Lord”. You see, God sheds light in an area so we can clearly see what He wants us to see.  He reveals things to our heart, or in other words our spirit.  God speaks to us today and wants to reveal or shed light on our future and the path we are to take in life.  Proverbs 4:18 says: “But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day” (NKJV). God is not trying to make it hard for us by hiding His plans for our future. In fact He is very excited to reveal them so we won’t miss it! He’s the one explaining things to us and waiting for the light to ‘come on’. How does God give us more information and light? He has revealed it in His word; we simply have to read it. Psalm 119:130 says: “the entrance of your word gives light; it gives understanding to the simple” (NKJV). This means the more we read God’s word, the brighter our lamp is going to get. Not only will we be able to see more clearly, but also what’s to come.

 

The Holy Spirit enlightens our understanding through our spirit-man

The apostle Paul prayed for believers’ in the New Testament that they would see with their spiritual eyes and be enlightened to know things by the spirit of God. In Ephesians 1:16-18 he said this: “16 I cease not giving thanks for you and making mention of you in my prayers: 17 I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. 18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know the hope of His calling” (KJV).  God is going to give us revelation by enlightening our understanding from within. The ‘eyes of our understanding’ is something we see deeply within our spirit, this is a knowing from our heart.  Now the word revelation in this verse simply means to ‘reveal’ or ‘uncover’ something.  Getting a revelation of something is basically seeing what was hidden from you that you didn’t see before, or something you may have been in the dark about.  God’s Holy Spirit living on the inside of us, is revealing and showing God’s plans, purposes and pursuits for our lives.  The Holy Spirit is lighting us up on the inside with spiritual wisdom and understanding so we can see the things He has for us to do in this lifetime.

 

God’s will for our lives is not mysterious

In times past, the Lord has given me a simple word that would change my direction in life and set me on the right course. It was as if He just suddenly turned on the light in an area and revealed to me what was not seen before.  He reveals his plans for us by simple turning on the light inside of us and illuminating things.  People will try to discourage you and say ‘you can’t hear from God’, or even know what God is doing, and we can’t figure out the mysterious will of God for our lives.  But 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 says: “eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.  But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit” (KJV).  Did you notice the last sentence? He has revealed them to us!  God is revealing His wisdom and plans our lives; we must listen and keep our spiritual eyes open to see what those plans are! Our eyes should see and our ears should hear what God has prepared for us because He loves us! This my friends, should not be a mysterious thing.

 

It’s time for your light bulb to turn on

Jesus, referring to the Holy Spirit said ‘He would show us things to come’, in John 16:13.  Friends, if you are stumbling around in a dark room right now, and can’t see where to go or know if you’re even on God’s path, simply flip on the light switch by reading God’s word. It will light up the inside of you and you’ll begin to clearly see what you didn’t before! By reading His word daily and listening to the Holy Spirit you will stay on God’s successful path for your life and He will provide illumination each and every step of the way.

 

Bobby-Wayne-2 Associate Pastor Bobby Wayne Musgrove is an ordained minister at the Denver House of Prayer. He is joined in the ministry by his wife, Bobbi Allison, and two children. In his spare time, he is a violinist and loves to hunt.

Trusting God and being patient for His best

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Do you trust God to deliver in the areas you have need? He most certainly is to be trusted! Sometimes circumstances make it seem like He didn’t come through on His promises (in your timing) or you were surprised by the way He answered. In this article, we will take a deep dive into trusting God without fear and believing for God’s best when we pray.

 

Managing Expectations

As a loving Father, He always has the son or daughter’s best interests at heart. The trouble is when we apply Mark 11:24 in our lives, sometimes we have ideas of how the answer to our prayer should come about. False expectations can result in wounding from the disappointment of not seeing your specific prayer come to pass fast enough or the way in which you expected. In this context, we must always approach God with a contrite heart in the practice of petition, expecting God’s best for us in any given situation and trusting He has our best interests covered.

God'sbest

 

“But I really want that house!”

A recent, classic example of this was when my wife and I believed the Lord for a house. We had saved enough for a down payment, our application was made and I had set my heart on a specific house I saw. I really believed God was going to let me have it. Well, the bottom line is this; the house I really wanted didn’t end up happening. I was set on the idea of the Lord giving us this house and I knew He was able to; I didn’t doubt it for one minute. I found myself most disappointed when the news broke about the house going to another couple. After getting quiet before the Lord, I remonstrated and made it clear I wasn’t a happy camper about this disappointing news. After some time, He spoke to me and asked, “What was wrong with that house?” I answered there was nothing wrong with it. (I wanted to move our stuff in it right away!) Again, he asked, “What’s wrong with that house?” After some time, He made it clear to me that there was plenty wrong with the house as it was not my heart’s desire (based on what I’d prayed for in the past.)

I was selling myself short when I compared this house to the list of my heart’s desire, and there were several items missing off the list! To cut a long story short, I came to my senses and let it go knowing that God had a better plan. The point is that we can compromise God’s perfect choice for us by settling for what is ‘good.’ Someone once said that “Good is the enemy of best,” and that is very valuable insight. We have to be patient AND trust God in order for his perfect choice to manifest. That, my friends, is the difficult part as we can get antsy in the waiting period prior to the manifestation of what we’ve prayed for. The scripture clearly states that it was through “faith and patience” that Abraham inherited the promise, not through faith alone (Hebrews 6:12-13).

Only three weeks later, the Lord opened up an opportunity to purchase an incredible home that fulfilled literally every desire of our hearts (and then some). We had distinct favor in the purchasing process with the seller, lender and so on. God made it clear that this was His perfect choice for us and His choice far surpassed the house I was originally hung up on. I have total peace today as I write this article in the home that God prepared for us! He is such an awesome, majestic, kind and wonderful God! He knows what’s best for us even when we don’t. Remember, the Father always has our best interests at heart and knows His children intimately.

 

The Choice between the Good, Acceptable and Perfect Will

The Bible talks of the good, acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2). We should always want God’s perfect will for our lives in every area as He knows what’s best for us! The right kind of prayer is to allow Him to do His perfect will in every area of our life where a decision is needed. Sometimes we proceed presumptively and settle for His acceptable will but we should not be hasty and always seek Him (and wait) for His best. The key is not being frustrated as God’s perfect will involves what’s best for all involved from His perspective, not just from yours.

 

Seven Steps to Petitioning God
  1. Trust in the Father’s goodness knowing He will provide for you (Romans 12:3, Philippians 4:19, James 1:17).
  2. Meditate on the scriptures that pertain specifically to what you’re believing for and have scriptures to back it up (Romans 10:17, Jeremiah 29:11, Joshua 1:8).
  3. Build up your faith in your area of need (Hebrews 11:6, Jude 1:20).
  4. Check your heart for sin issues or condemnation (1st John 1:9), and make sure you are confident when you pray (1st John 5:14-16).
  5. Come boldly to the throne of Grace (Hebrews 4:16).
  6. Expect to receive your answer when you pray (Mark 11:24) not in the sweet by and by.
  7. Continually thank the Father for what He has already granted you until you see the manifestation (Hebrews 11:1, Philippians 4:6).

Let’s say you have a need for a motor vehicle, and you want a specific vehicle, color, speed, and engine. That is what you’ve set your heart on; can God provide for this? Certainly He can. The best way to pray however is like this:

Lord, you know I have a need for a motor vehicle, and you know my heart better than anyone. This is the kind of vehicle I would like (description)….but I want your perfect choice for me. Your word says that you will meet my needs in Philippians 4:19, so right now I believe I receive your perfect will for a vehicle, in Jesus name and I will continue to thank you until the day it manifests, amen.

 

Confidence is Key

When you pray this way, you can be confident that God’s perfect choice for you will be manifest in His timing and His way. The how and the when is up to Him, not you. He knows deep down what you really like and your personal taste. You might be praying for one specific thing, but God has something better lined up and when you pray His perfect will, you keep the door open for Him to move in a way that surpasses even your highest expectations. In conjunction with this, I would ask you to read my article entitled, “Praying Outside of God’s Promises“ which covers the many facets of prayer and why we sometimes fail to receive.

It’s time to be real; we are not practicing some esoteric faith understood by a select few but an exoteric one. We are in the real world, with real problems and real issues which is why it’s paramount that we know how to pray for God’s best, being confident that we receive and having the patience to see it manifest. I am excited to hear of your testimonies in the coming months concerning God’s perfect choice in prayer for you!

 

Pastor-Carl Senior Pastor Carl Joseph desires to see God move in power in the downtown Denver area. He is joined in the ministry by his wife, Amy. In his spare time, he rides his motorcycle and plays golf.

 

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The Contention for Authority

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contentionauthorityToday, I would like to talk about a very important topic surrounding whether or not God can be limited in our lives or more precisely whether or not God can be limited by our lack of prayers. Firstly, I want to start out by saying that God is a just God and although this may be a conspicuous point to make, I think we need to review this attribute in light of prayer. If God is just, which He is (Psalm 7:9, Romans 3:4, Psalm 25:8), then by definition, He is a gentleman and a gentleman does not override anyone’s will. Satan in contrast is a usurper and subjugator, seeking to gain authority by any means necessary for the purpose of domination, manipulation and intimidation. It is a foolish thing to know that help is available yet deny that help, but in the Bible there is a principle of asking that is paramount: asking, seeking, knocking that your joy may be full (Matthew 7:7-8, Luke 11:9-10, John 16:24). There is an onus on us to pursue and ask for assistance from our Heavenly Father.

The Ramifications of Our Decisions

If God were to move on our behalf without our asking He might be moving against our will in that area. Hence the dilemma of a loving and just God, wanting what’s best for His children but restricted if they are unwilling to ask or believe He can move in their lives. Pride is often the culprit for not asking. We sometimes say: “Its okay God, I think I can handle this one on my own” much to our detriment. It was this thinking that caused serious contention in the family of Abram the patriarch. Sarai decided she had to “make something happen” outside of God’s timing and volunteered Hagar into Abram’s bed chamber (Genesis 16:1) for the purpose of producing a child to extend the lineage. The rest is history. Because of Sarai and Abram’s decision, the lineage of two warring tribes in the Middle East was set in motion. These opposing seeds have become a huge source of conflict: Arab vs. Jew, Islam vs. Judaism and so on. Yes, friends, our untimely and disobedient decisions can have major repercussions, but God is so merciful that He blessed Ishmael (Genesis 17:20) despite his birth being caused by Sarai and Abram’s disobedience.

 

Authority Handed over to Darkness

Adam was granted dominion over the earth within the boundaries that God gave (Genesis 1:26). One of the definitions of ‘dominion’ in Merriam Webster’s dictionary is ‘supreme sovereignty’ or ‘the power to rule.’ In Genesis 3:6, when man sinned, he relinquished this authority to Satan. To speak plainly, that’s why we have bad things occurring in the world. God owns the world (Psalm 50:10), but Satan has the lease until it runs out upon commencement of Christ’s Millennial reign. Until then we have a clandestine angel gone ‘rogue’ with vast spiritual forces at his disposal influencing mankind. Simultaneously, man himself is predisposed to evil due to his inherent fallen nature. This is the multidimensional sin war in which we find ourselves comprised of the flesh, the devil, and demon forces. Remember, God gave the Israelites the Promised Land but they still had to drive out the people from the land and subdue it (Deuteronomy 2:24, Deuteronomy 10:11, Joshua 8:1, Joshua 10:42). By faith the land was theirs but they still needed to apply corresponding action to ‘take’ the land. Satan doesn’t relinquish authority in someone’s life until he is opposed by the action of a greater authority. That greater authority is the “name of Jesus” (Philippians 2:9) and we believers have been given the awesome privilege of using that name (Mark 16:17-18).

Satan is mentioned in Scripture as being the ‘prince of this world’ (John 16:11), the ‘prince of the power of the air’ (Ephesians 2:2) and ‘god of this world’ (II Corinthians 4:4) (little ‘g’). The words ‘prince’ and ‘god’ are synonymous with rulership and authority. The Apostle John mentions the current state of the world in which we live (post cross):

“We know [positively] that we are of God, and the whole world [around us] is under the power of the evil one (Amplified version).” – 1st John 5:19.

 

The Ruler of the Kingdoms of this World

Let’s look at the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. In Matthew chapter 4 and Luke chapter 4, the Bible says that Satan took Jesus up to a high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of this world in a moment of time, let’s read it together….

And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.7 If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.” Luke 4:5-7 (KJV)

The devil said that he’d give Jesus the authority to reign over the kingdoms of this world. So clearly, satan is listed as the ruler of kingdoms of this world and John’s Epistle confirms his status. You might say, “yeah, but the devil can’t be trusted. He’s a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44)!” That’s true; however, the bible clearly states that Christ was tempted three times in the wilderness and in order for it to be a true temptation, satan told the truth in this instance and he really did have the authority to give Christ the ‘kingdoms of the world’ as they were already delivered unto him.

Did you also notice that Jesus did not dispute what satan said? If it was a lie, I’m pretty sure Jesus would have rebuked him, but he did not. So clearly if Satan did not have the authority and power of the kingdoms then it wouldn’t have been a true temptation, and it was! In Luke 4:2, the Bible states that Jesus was tempted for forty days by the devil, so this ‘transfer of authority’ temptation was indeed genuine.

 

Sovereignty: Approval vs. Allowance

People say that God is sovereign: which is true. Yes, because His word says so, but He is sovereign over His kingdom, not sovereign over the earth. The lease has been transferred from man to a rogue angel ‘Lucifer.’ The salient point is this: God does not approve of everything that He allows. Does God approve of murder? No. Does He allow it? Yes. Does God approve of abortion? No. Does He allow it? Yes. Does God approve of theft and abuse? No. Does He allow it? Yes. Does He approve of accidents in the earth that randomly kill people? No. Remember that the earth is still cursed and although we have been redeemed from the ‘curse of the law’ (Galatians 3:13), we have not been redeemed from the ‘curse of the earth’ (Genesis 3:17-18) until the lease expires (shortly). Remember: the consequence of sin is death (Romans 6:23). Never forget, that in any kind of spiritual warfare, satan only has the authority that you give him through purposeful sin or disobedience. You may however be predisposed to certain addictions or weaknesses in your life through generational sin that has not been dealt with or addressed through the blood. The onus is on us to not only deny sin but break these curses and live free from condemnation. When human beings choose death rather than life, they impact not only themselves but the lives of others (Deuteronomy 28).

Until the thousand year millennial reign of Christ, God does not have full sovereignty over this earth. In his present priestly office, Jesus sits until his enemies are made his footstool (Hebrews 10:13) and we the church are influencing humanity for God’s Kingdom and subduing Christ’s enemies in the meantime. In the Millennial reign of Christ, God will have total rule and reign over the earth, every man will be redeemed; sin set aside and satanic forces will not be able to tempt us (Revelation 2:20). But for now, whilst Satan rules this earth: sickness, disease, child abuse, molestation, murders, rape, crime, sex trafficking, pornography, slavery to name a few… The heinous sins of this world are still in existence (much to God’s disdain) with no sign of abating. Just listen to the evening news and you will know who is ruling this earth and the airwaves through which the news is sent. This is the reason that in the 20th century alone, governments around the world were responsible for killing 262 million people worldwide. The University of Hawaii, who were responsible for the study, called it “Democide” or mass genocide. Did Hitler or Pol Pot or Stalin or Lenin start out as evil men or did they yield their will to evil forces, enabling the mass slaughter of so many innocents? I think you know the answer. This is why we are admonished to pray for those in authority that we may lead a peaceable life (1st Timothy 2:1-4).

 

Exercising Our Authority

We as believers in Christ have authority over Satan (Luke 10:19, 1st John 4:4, Colossians 1:13) and clearly this is revealed in Scripture but it needs to be exercised! Demons are not expelled unless the command is given. We don’t compromise or negotiate with the forces of evil; we must oppose them through prayer, the blood of Jesus, the name of Jesus, the armor of God and the word of God. Edmund Burke, an Irish political philosopher and statesman of the 18th century, once said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” The author S. Douglas Woodward also quipped, “Any society that denies evil stands ready to enthrone it.” These men were motivated to confront evil, and we the church should be ever ready to do so. We don’t go looking for spiritual fights, but we know how to use our bestowed authority and power when we need to.

When it comes to the church even Jesus said that we should ask the Father to send laborers into the harvest (Mathew 9:38). Clearly, it wasn’t happening by default, and we still needed to petition the Father. We need to break free of the shackles of apathy right now and rightfully claim the ‘Zoe’ life that Christ provided for us (John 10:10). It is a dangerous thing for Christ to give his glorious church so much authority and for us not to use it. What a predicament he must be in! What a gamble Jesus took on us, the church! We are responsible for enforcing his authority on this earth.

Friends, when two Kingdoms collide there is conflict. Don’t be afraid of the conflict as we’re on the winning side! I challenge you today to obey the Holy Spirit and ask Him where Satan has propagated his deleterious agenda into your life. It’s time to command him to leave through forceful expulsion in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth! Don’t ‘put up’ with works of darkness any longer, and let the Lord reveal to you if you’ve lost ground through repetitive sinful decisions as now is the time to reclaim it!

Pastor-Carl Senior Pastor Carl Joseph desires to see God move in power in the downtown Denver area. He is joined in the ministry by his wife, Amy. In his spare time, he rides his motorcycle and plays golf.

Praying Outside of God’s Promises

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PrayermanThe title of this article might raise a few eyebrows as many will say God cannot be limited in any capacity. Yet in the context of His written word, He is only obligated to do what He has promised in totality. Particular emphasis should be placed on the New Testament promises in this dispensation of Grace, especially those mentioned in the Epistles. For a succinct list of major promises already in our possession, please see our What We Believe section for a page entitled “Your Bountiful Inheritance.

 

Is it possible that you can pray beyond God’s ability? Doesn’t the bible say that “all things are possible to him that believes” (Mark 9:23)? Yet, we know that in the context of scripture all things are possible to him that believes — within certain guidelines, limitations and boundaries that are clearly laid out by the Lord in His Logos. I can’t believe for 6000 camels to be balanced perfectly on the end of my nose before 6 o’clock tomorrow night as that is not promised in His word! I purposely make a bizarre statement here to prove a point; stand on His promises not your presumptions. If He promised it, it’s yours!

 

A promise to prosper

As long as we follow His statues and obey His instructions, we will prosper in due season despite trials, temptations and sufferings which come on this earth as a result of the fall of man. We have been redeemed from the curse of the law (Galatians 3:13) but the curses in the earth are still prevalent (Genesis 3:14-21). Certain limitations are set by Him for our benefit or protection and for others, which is an act of His mercy and long-suffering towards us. Not all prayers keep God’s uppermost, nor do they seek His Kingdom first (Matthew 6:33). With hindsight, there are some prayers down the years that we’re glad were never answered!

 
Please note that food and raiment are a given and our ‘needs’ are always met, this is clear in scripture (Matthew 6:30-33, 1st Timothy 6:8 & Philippians 4:19). The following discussion revolves around our ‘wants’ and the ‘desires of our heart’. God will never withhold any needs from His children as He is more loving than any earthly parent who also desires to meet his child’s needs (Luke 11:13). The following nine points are excerpts from teachings by Dr. Roy Hicks of whom Brother Kenneth E. Hagin called, “the greatest bible teacher he had ever known”. God has answered every prayer that’s ever been prayed providing all of the following have been accounted for:

 

Nine reasons why the answer to your prayer has not yet manifested

  1. You ask amiss (James 4:3) – Your relationship with the Father is not strong enough to sustain what you are asking for. You are asking with a selfish motive that does not fit God’s divine purpose and plan for your life. God will only answer prayer that is in the best interests of all those concerned according to His will as He is the perfect judge seeing both the future and the past. To grant you this selfish desire would be to your detriment in the long run.
  2. Pride (James 4:6) – Pride comes before the fall (Proverbs 16:18) and your success may hinder your relationship with the Father if you lack the maturity to handle it, in fact it was in times of affluence (not hardship), that the Jews in the Old Testament moved away from God and his ideals (apostasy). Pride is the reason for Lucifer’s fall (Ezekiel 28:17) and we all need to keep our pride level in check. God resists the proud (James 4:6) and much is written in scripture to warn us against pride.
  3. Your petition is out of God’s perfect will for your life – or against His documented will in His word. Are you asking God to move your mountain but at the same time building one? Some wisdom is required to remove detrimental habits in our lives. Remember mountain-moving faith requires that we walk in forgiveness otherwise it will be vain and futile (Mark 11:25). Are you trying to write Chapter 6 in your destiny when God wants you to finish chapter 2 first? There is a time and season for all things (Ecclesiastes 3:1). Taking on responsibilities when we’re not mature enough to handle them is a sure path to frustration and wounding. There is a perfect, good and acceptable will of God (Romans 12:2) and we should always seek His perfect will first and foremost. However if we press and press, He will ‘allow’ the acceptable which is not His first choice for you. God does not approve of everything that He allows as He respects your free will to choose, good or evil (1st Samuel 8:6).
  4. Timing – Although it may be His desire to grant your petition, It isn’t God’s time for it to be manifest, although at some point in the future when you’re ready, God will grant your petition (Galatians 6:9). Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength (Isaiah 40:31, Psalm 31:14-15). Consider the prayer answered now but the manifestation is in His timing and the way in which it manifests is up to Him too.
  5. If God answered you in this particular situation, He would be showing partiality, – which goes against His nature as He is not a ‘respecter of persons‘ (Acts 10:34) meaning what He has done for one person He will do for another as long as that person is willing to believe. Praying for sports events is a classic example; God sits on His throne and says, “May the best team win!” God is equitable to all His children.
  6. You simply don’t believe what you are praying for – The scripture informs us that at the time of prayer, if we believe those things that we are praying for, then you shall have them (them what? them things you prayed for – Mark 11:24). We should not pray to God for things we don’t believe He can do for us. Simply, if we don’t believe at the time of prayer, then we will not receive. A better way is to meditate on God’s word in the area you’re believing for (i.e. finances, health etc.) build up your faith and then pray when you’re ready to believe. Better to build up your faith level (Romans 10:17) to the point where you can conceive in your heart the promise and then pray in faith, as the prayer of faith is always answered (James 5:15).
  7. Unforgiveness – Gods ability to work on your behalf is a function of your ability to walk in forgiveness (up to 490 times in one day; Matt 18:22). Symptoms of sickness (mental and physical) many times in the body (but not always) can be traced to a root of unforgivness that has not been dealt with (Mark 11:25, James 5:14, 1 John 5:16).
  8. Not walking in love – Love is a command not a suggestion; it is expected from God and faith itself works by love (Galatians 5:6). Therefore our prayers can be severely hindered by a lack of love in our relationships (Matthew 5:22-26). Not walking in love towards your spouse can also hinder your prayers (1st Peter 3:7).
  9. Lack of Maturity – You are not mature enough to handle the blessings and responsibilities that come with your specific petition. (God is protecting you because He knows what you can or cannot handle.) The age and mental capacity of a child will dictate the father’s ability to communicate to and grant requests from his son or daughter. The father would not give a loaded gun to a 7 yr. old because of the immediate danger caused by the child’s incapacity to handle such a request, likewise your spiritual capacity or maturity is an indicator of how much God himself will allow you to steward at this time. God knows your maturity level and exactly what you’re capable of handling. Perhaps the Lord dislikes spoiled brats as much as we do…lol.

 

God’s two greatest gifts to mankind

The two greatest gifts God gave to man are choice and time. God lets us choose every day and He lets us use our allocated time to worship, pray and serve Him or downright disobey Him if we choose to. God will resist selfish prayers; He is reluctant to answer them even though we may not deem them to be selfish. We must search our hearts. Any prayer stemming from the wrong motive should not be answered in our best interests, because it promotes the wrong use of His will. We understand His will for our lives primarily through His written word and the witness in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. By letting ‘peace be the umpire’ and ‘ruling and reigning in our hearts’, we can make the best decisions (Colossians 3:15).

 

God reluctantly allowed Israel to have Kings instead of Judges to His disdain (1st Samuel 8). They rejected His will and chose theirs instead. God warned them of their impending sorrow as a result of their choice but He allowed them to choose wrongly and respected their decision. We must all make wise choices in life regarding marriage, job situations, large purchases etc. in alignment with His perfect will. Once again, God does not approve of everything that He allows on this earth as He respects man’s free will to choose good or evil. We can choose the wrong path if we want to and Abraham and Sarah’s decision to give birth to Ishmael through surrogate mother Hagar is a great example of that. We need to be patient to allow God to work His perfect will in our lives! Don’t feel pressured to act out of God’s timing.

 

Trust is the key

Lastly, when we petition God for something, we are not to ask how He will do it, but to trust Him in the manner in which He will answer our prayers (Proverbs 3:5-6). We are to fully trust the outcome to Him and not manage or manipulate circumstances in our favor as that is a sign of distrust. If you are in a pickle, ask the Lord for wisdom and He will grant it to you (James 1:5). We’re not saying decision making is easy and it can take time to mull over decisions before a clear path of peace is revealed to us, but we should seek the Lord in all things and trust the outcome to Him in His perfect timing. Don’t give up on your petitions; hold fast to His promises!

 

Bibliography- “Praying Beyond God’s Ability: the Enigma (Mystery) of Unanswered Prayer” – Dr. Roy H. Hicks – Jan 1, 1982 (Harrison House, Inc., Tulsa, Oklahoma).
 
 

God or Science?

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EyeglassThe obvious response from a Christian worldview is why does it have to be one or the other? Why not both? The Bible has never contradicted science, as scientists make new discoveries, previously perceived contradictions are rectified or corrected. Up until 1801 and the first proposal of the concept of ‘evolution’ by Jean Baptiste Lamarck, man believed in God or nothing, and for thousands of years this was the case. There is of course no proof whatsoever of macro-evolution, ‘particle to person’ or ‘Hominid to Homo-Sapien,’ despite many who will tell you otherwise (please see my article, “18 reasons why evolution is a lie). Don’t believe the lies!

 

Created in the image of God

The pantheon of Greek and Roman ‘gods’ are evidence enough that man has sense to realize he was formed in the image of God or ‘gods.’ In nearly every record of anthropology, there is an inherent belief in two things: 1. that we descended from God or gods and 2. at one time in the archaic past, a great flood covered the earth (Genesis 7:6-10). Even the secular Mesopotamian poem, “The Epic of Gilgamesh” which is one of the most ancient written texts (Sumerian), describes a universal flood and has close parallels with the creation story in the Garden of Eden. Amazingly, indigenous peoples, who have never cross communicated, all held these beliefs passed on from their forefathers. This reinforces the fact of a universal and catastrophic deluge that is prevalent throughout compartmentalized history. The sacrifice of animals for the remission and reproach of sin is also universal. The feeling that man may be able to purge himself from wrongdoing by the shedding of blood is ubiquitous in civilizations. All these facets have truth to them. If we look at the biographies of some of the most world renowned scientists down the years, they were Christians or God believers; clearly their thinking wasn’t marred by their so called, ‘primitive bible beliefs.’ In fact, I would contend that the brightest and best scientists have always been those who believed in God e.g. Sir Isaac Newton, Robert Boyle, William Thomas Kelvin, Blaise Pascal, Sir Francis Bacon, Nicholas Copernicus, Michael Faraday, Max Planck, Albert Einstein and the list goes on. It’s hard to quibble with a list like this as these men arguably represent the paragon of scientific minds.

 

Legal separation from divine origin

The difficulty today is that since June 25, 1962 when the Supreme Court ruled wrongly to oust prayer from public schools, God’s permissive influence has waned.  The school system in this nation has become radically secularized over the past half century. This is the case in Europe also, where the European Union rulings from Brussels, Belgium have statutes and governances having no mention of divine origin or moral compass with regard to any ruling deity. The ultimate authority is the state, not God. Our leaders today are a generation of children raised in a secular education system that only teaches one side of the story. To be objective, one needs to teach both evolution and creation and let the child decide. However, with over five decades of biased secular teaching, if we approach some of these students with the concept that our world was created, we are laughed to scorn, with statements like, “didn’t you know that evolution is fact?”, “Is religion your opiate or crutch?”, “only simpletons believe in a God” etc. I have news for you. Just because it is written in a textbook, doesn’t mean it is fact. A careful amalgamation of disconnected hypotheses framed to appear as interlinked, does not constitute fact. We are in danger of losing generations as they fiercely regurgitate what they have been ‘taught’ in a partisan system that teaches half-truths posing as fact. This, friend, is a sardonic agenda by the evil one (satan) to keep our children in darkness as a result of the spiritual vacuum created when God was removed from public schools. However, it is no laughing matter as millions of souls are at stake. This is my first of a series of articles in which I list biblical mention of various scientific fields and known laws as follows:

  1. Astronomy – Since ancient times man has counted the stars. Ptolemy counted 1056, Tycho Brahe cataloged 777 and Johannes Kepler counted 1005. Yet the Bible said that ”the host of heaven cannot be numbered” (Jeremiah 33:22), while also comparing ”the sand which is upon the seashore” to “the stars of heaven” in multitude (Genesis 22:17).  Before the invention of the modern telescope, this must have seemed like a serious scientific mistake in the Bible. Now, however, it must be recognized as a supernatural scientific insight. Astronomers now estimate that there are at least 1026 stars (that is, a hundred-million-billion-billion stars) which reflect the same order of magnitude as the number of grains of sand on earth. Truly, the stars cannot be numbered. Scientists have also identified that each star is unique; this is also referenced in scripture, “One star differeth from another star in glory“(1 Corinthians 15:41).
  2. Solar System – Psalm 19 makes mention of our solar system. Speaking of the sun, the Psalmist mentions, “His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof” (Psalm 19:6).
  3. The Earth Is A Sphere – Better known as Geophysics, this field had always assumed the Bible teaches the earth is flat; nothing could be further from the truth. Isaiah 40:22 states, “It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth”. The word translated ‘circle’ is the Hebrew khug, a more exact connotation of which is ‘sphericity’ or ‘roundness.’
  4. Dark Matter – Science mentions the universe is comprised of a quantity called ‘dark matter’, i.e. a large part of the total mass of the universe is hidden to us. Its existence can only be inferred from gravitational effects or radiation. Interestingly, this concept is alluded to in Job 26:7, “God ….hangeth the earth upon nothing.” That ’nothing’ supports 5.972 sextillion metric tons, which you guessed it, is the weight of planet earth.  Even today no one really knows what gravity is or how it works. This mysterious force of gravity keeps the earth connected to the sun, 93 million miles away. There is no better explanation, ‘the earth hangs upon nothing.”
  5. Hydrology – the field of hydrology (science of water) is one with many biblical accounts because of the major importance of water in the life of mankind. The water cycle and its accompanying global atmospheric circulation have only been demonstrated scientifically in recent years, but they were set forth in the Bible ages ago. Ecclesiastes 1:6-7, set down by King Solomon three thousand years ago, describes it in great detail, “The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.7 All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.” Solomon describes a succinct yet comprehensive outline of the water cycle on earth; no wonder great wisdom is attributed to him. Elihu also mentions the hydrological cycle in Job 36:27-29, “For he maketh small the drops of water: they pour down rain according to the vapour thereof:Which the clouds do drop and distil upon man abundantly. Also can any understand the spreadings of the clouds, or the noise of his tabernacle?”
  6. Hemodynamics – Leviticus 17:11 and a number of other scripture verses concerning the preeminent importance of blood in the biological mechanism, was written thousands of years in advance of the discovery of the circulation of blood by William Harvey in 1616. The bible states clearly that literally, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood.” Blood composition can greatly impact health. Continuance of life is now known to depend upon the supply of oxygen, water and food cells of the body. This essential function is accomplished in a marvelous manner by the blood as it circulates constantly throughout the body year after year.  The blood which is the channel of life can also become the carrier of disease and infection through the body when they gain the upper hand in the system. The Word of God was scientifically accurate in this great biological truth long before scientists discovered and elaborated it. How great is our God!

 

Bibliography

Science and the Bible” – Henry M. Morris (Moody Press- 1986 Revised Edition)

Famous Scientists who believed in God”- http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/sciencefaith.html

50 years Without Official School Prayer”- http://www.christianpost.com/news/50-years-without-official-school-prayer-76945/

Early Concepts of Evolution: Jean Baptiste Lamarck” – http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/history_09

The Epic of Gilgameshhttp://www.ancienttexts.org/library/mesopotamian/gilgamesh

 

Pastor-Carl Senior Pastor Carl Joseph desires to see God move in power in the downtown Denver area. He is joined in the ministry by his wife, Amy. In his spare time, he rides his motorcycle and plays golf.

 

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All Things Are Possible

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As Christians, we should allow our beliefs to govern our lives including what we think, say, and do. As the Rev. Doug Jones once taught me, this is known as our ‘belief system.’ Believing is a choice and acting on what you believe is called faith. Down the years, I have observed that a person can believe in something, but not be in faith. Let me give you an example: If I asked someone, “do you believe that if you would eat certain foods, exercise on a regular basis and avoid sugar for six weeks, you would lose weight?” This person would respond with an emphatic, “Yes, of course I believe that!” This individual could be completely persuaded and even start to tell others about how they believe, but until they actually begin to act on this belief, it will not produce results in their life.

Believing is trusting God’s word and being convinced that it’s true. Faith is corresponding action and acting on what you believe. You can believe in something but not have faith to go along with it. It is imperative that we start acting on God’s word, not just believe it, “for even the demons believe and tremble” (James 2:19). In Hebrews 11:6 it says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” You could say it like this, ‘faith is required’. Faith is the currency of the Kingdom and it’s how things move. That’s how God chooses to reveal Himself to us, through His word, the Holy Spirit and faith. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” God wants us to act on what He said, because faith is choosing to believe and trusting in Him. When you trust someone, you don’t waiver or vacillate about what they said. For instance, if my wife told me to meet her for lunch and gave me the time and date, I wouldn’t analyze or worry whether she’d turn up or not, I’d simply act on what she said. This is because I trust her one hundred percent and have no reason to doubt her word. God is to be trusted so much more than any woman or man on this earth! This is the personification of faith, trusting the person’s word and acting on it. God loves it when we become doers of His word and not just hearers only (James 1:22).

allthingspossibleGod has placed the responsibility for believing in our hands. You see, it’s not what God’s able to do; He can do anything. It’s what you’re able to believe God can do for you. In the book of Mark, Jesus came across a man whose son was possessed by an unclean spirit and the man cried out to Jesus saying, “If you can do anything, do it. Have a heart and help us!” (Mark 9:22 -The Message). Of all the things Jesus could have said, he replied with this, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Jesus focused on the man’s faith and what he believed for, putting put it right back in his lap. It wasn’t that Jesus didn’t have compassion or didn’t want to help; Jesus wanted him to release his faith and trust Him. All through the Gospels, Jesus told people that their “faith had made them whole” (Luke 17:19) or, “your faith has made you well” (Mark 5:34) or “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well” (Luke 18:42). Our faith taps into the power of God. When God sees an individual believing and trusting Him regardless of the situation, He moves on their behalf. But we must not doubt or waiver when we come to the Lord in prayer (James 1:5-8). God wants us to believe we receive when we pray and stand on His word (Mark 11:24).

Now faith is a matter of the heart, and having confidence in God and His promises will give you rest. Having confidence in God and His promises dissipates any doubt in your heart. Doubt is when we reason things out and start to second guess His word. Doubt is not being sure God will do something as you have no knowledge about what He said concerning the matter or you are not convinced in your heart. Unbelief in contrast, is knowing what He said but choosing not to believe or struggling to believe He can do it for you. You cannot believe further than you have knowledge and when it comes to being a Bible believer, you cannot believe God for something unless you have knowledge of His promises in the Holy Scriptures.

I like what Brother Kenneth E. Hagin said: “you can have faith in your heart and doubt in your head and still get the victory.” This is true of the man whose son was demonized, because he came to Jesus expecting a miracle, but doubted. In the story, the father of the child cried out to Jesus and said with tears, ‘Lord I believe, help my unbelief’ (Mark 9:24). This contrasting statement showed that he believed in his heart that Jesus could deliver his son but he wavered in unbelief that Jesus would do it for him. It is ok to express this if it arises but go back to the word immediately, dissipate the doubt in your heart and choose to believe God’s promises are applicable for you. The man believed Jesus had the power and authority to perform his son’s deliverance (or was capable) but the crux of the matter was whether he would do it for him. Choose to believe all of Gods promises and that He will do it for you!

What do you believe God for today friend? Are you expecting His word to work in your life? Remember, it’s the one who believes, who will see the impossible, because all things are possible to that individual!

 

Bobby-Wayne-2 Associate Pastor Bobby Wayne Musgrove is an ordained minister at the Denver House of Prayer. He is joined in the ministry by his wife, Bobbi Allison, and two children. In his spare time, he is a violinist and loves to hunt.

The Effectual Prayer of a Righteous and Confident Believer

prayerladyimageFriends, many times we are defeated in our minds before we embark upon prayer with our Heavenly Father. We have to realize we are not ‘unworthy’ or a ‘weak worm of the dust’, praying to a God who might be too busy or capricious to hear us. No friends because of what Christ did on the cross and due to his blood sacrifice, resurrection and ascendancy, we are now the righteousness of God. Jesus who lived a godly and sinless life on the earth was righteous, so that his righteousness became your righteousness (1 Cor 1:30)! Our standing with God is secure! We are positioned as if we’ve never sinned! Think about that for a moment.

 

Be confident before your Father

We don’t need to have an inferiority complex but can approach the throne of God with confidence. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). The author of Hebrews makes it explicit; we are to boldly approach the Father, secure in what Jesus did for us and expecting the Father’s help in our time of need. I realize it is encouraging to recall the miraculous exploits of the men and women of God in the Old Testament, but realize that none of them were in the lofty position we are today, as we are seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, at the right hand of the Father (Ephesians 2:6).

People often think of Elijah as the man who called fire down from heaven against the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:38) and the time he ran faster than a chariot (1 Kings 18:46). However Elijah was a man with flesh and blood, he was subject to discouragement and emotions as we are. He still had to listen to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit as we do (1 Kings 19:11-13). There was a time when he was so discouraged he asked God to kill him (1 Kings 19:4). This is even after he saw signs and wonders from heaven and saw God move in powerful ways. This is no criticism of Elijah whatsoever, other than to prove the point that he was a man anointed by the Holy Spirit as we are and we have a better covenant than he did. The Apostle James called his prayers ‘effectual and righteous’, yet he was not perfect and neither are we. This should encourage us that the Father in Heaven is ready to answer our prayers as they meet the conditions of faith, as set forth in God’s word. Our prayers are not received because of our exploits but because of the exploits of the Son of God (Ephesians 1:3, Ephesians 1:20, Ephesians 2:6). He ever makes intercession for us (Romans 8:34)! Let’s read it together.

 

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.17 Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit” (James 5:16-20).

 

Praying from a place of privilege

If God answered Elijah’s prayers with dynamic results, he will answer your prayer of faith also. Remember, you are a joint-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17), Elijah never had that standing. He would be envious today of your standing with Jesus. We are joint heirs so we receive the title and rank of another, which is the rank of ‘righteous’ in the eyes of God, which Jesus deserved for living a sinless life. He then conveyed this rank to us as we are joined to Him (being in Christ). Oh what privileges and benefits we have in Christ Jesus!

Along this line, some people struggle with prayer because their hearts condemn them resulting from some unresolved issue with the Lord. ”Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight” (I John 3:21). Get right with Him today, release your sin (if needed) and receive His forgiveness and times of refreshing. Your confidence will return immediately, so will your expectation.

Check this out…And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him” (I John 5:12-16). If it’s in His word, it’s for us!

 

There are no favorites in the Kingdom

Some people think, “well, if I can only get in agreement with brother so-and-so and pray with him, God will hear and answer my prayer because he’s tight with the Lord.” Many people mistakenly think that others are in better standing than they are, but friends, the truth is you are in just as good standing with the Lord as anyone else! Your authority and rights are no more or less than the next Christian. Now others may have learned and experienced God’s provision through time but that’s only because they’ve practiced their faith, not because they’re in a better position than you.

Start afresh today, realize your standing with Christ is as good as the next brother or sister and expect God to move on your behalf today if you have prayed the prayer of faith (James 5:16).
 

Pastor-Carl Senior Pastor Carl Joseph desires to see God move in power in the downtown Denver area. He is joined in the ministry by his wife, Amy. In his spare time, he rides his motorcycle and plays golf.