Build Yourself Up!

“But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” (Jude 1:20-21).

It seems there are so many opportunities in this earthly existence to be “torn down.” It is hard to maintain a consistent attitude of optimism and faith in the middle of all the chaos and bad news that pummels us daily. The world is getting worse, the enemy feels nearer, and our flesh certainly doesn’t cooperate! If it’s not another “creak”, “crack” or ailment of the physical body, it’s the emotional and mental attack on our self-esteem and confidence in ourselves from many outside sources: peers, family, work, school, you name it. And it seems, at times, to be never ending.

So, what is the answer? As with all things, we look to the Word of God for our direction and understanding. The Bible tells us that King David “encouraged himself in the Lord” when being threatened with death by stoning. Paul said that he “thinks himself happy.” And lest we think that it’s all about just positive thinking, we can see that the Bible teaches us how we can “build ourselves up.” Let’s look at three things that we can utilize to encourage ourselves in the Lord:

In Acts 20:32, Paul says: “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.” The first thing we can utilize to build ourselves up is the WORD of God (called “the word of his grace” in the scripture above). It’s no secret that the Word of God builds us up. It is so important for all Christians, but especially newer Christians, to build a habit of reading, studying and memorizing the Word of God. People, before coming to God, filled their life with many activities that are not conducive to “building up”. These activites must be “replaced” with Spiritual things that will strengthen, encourage, and help us to grow in grace. Time spent daily in God’s Word is vital.

Our opening Scripture from Jude gives us insight into the next two things: FAITH and PRAYER. We must build ourselves up ON something – on faith! We are now learning to trust in God, not in ourselves. We don’t lean on our own understanding, but lean on God’s ways and God’s thoughts – which are much higher than ours. And let’s be honest, faith isn’t easy. Faith doesn’t make sense. Faith might seem a little radical. Just ask Peter – it is physically impossible, and against the laws of physics, to “walk” on the water. But Peter did it, by faith – and by keeping his eyes on Jesus! And don’t forget, we are taught in the Word that we “walk by faith, and not by sight.” If you are feeling the need to build yourself up, to encourage yourself in the Lord, try walking by faith – trust God again.

And finally, Jude teaches that building ourselves up can be accomplished by “praying in the Holy Ghost”. What does this mean? First of all, daily PRAYER is also vital to our spiritual existence. We must spend time each day talking with God, which includes (don’t forget!) listening as well! God desires a relationship with his children. Daily communication with Him builds up our spirit, as well as our understanding and clarity of His purpose in our lives. But what does it mean to pray in the Holy Ghost? It means that each day we should yield ourselves to the Lord in prayer until we speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gives utterence. Praying in the Spirit helps tremendously in building oursleves up. Feeling a little down? Get alone with God and pray until you are speaking in other tongues. Let the Lord intercede through you. Build yourself up by yielding yourself to God!

One final thought: the Bible says that “to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” Sometimes we allow guilt and condemnation to tear us down, because we know to do these things and don’t do them…so we feel that we’ve sinned. Make up your mind today, YOU have the power to build yourself up, to think yourself happy, to encourage yourself in the Lord, simply by doing what you know to do! Let us encourage one another, pray one for another, and build each other up! YOU CAN DO IT. God knows you can. I know you can. And YOU know you can. Be blessed.

Posted in Christianity, Hope, New Testament, Old Testament, Preaching, Religion, Salvation

The Importance of the Prayer Room

I found a wonderful article this week that I want to share with you. It was actually written in 1946, but it is amazing how relevant and true it remains today. It speaks of the importance of prayer in a Pentecostal service. Here it is:

What is the distinctive feature in a Pentecostal worship service? The answer, according to a 1946 Pentecostal Evangel article by P. S. Jones, is “the prominence given to the prayer room.”

Early Pentecostal churches usually dedicated a room to prayer, where earnest believers would intercede during the preaching service and where prayer would continue long after the benediction had been pronounced. Jones asserted, “Pentecostal prayer rooms are truly the power-houses of the assemblies. Everything else can be counted of secondary importance in the church’s program.”

According to Jones, the success of a ministry is proportionate to the prayer life of those involved in the ministry. The “urgent necessity” of every pastor, he wrote, “is to see that the prayer life of his people is maintained at white heat.”

Jones described how an active private prayer life is essential if Christians are to effectively engage in spiritual warfare. The “treasures of heaven,” he wrote, are often only gained by spending hours in “hot, animated, boiling-over prayer.”

What happens when a church neglects prayer? Jones warned, “When the thrill and throb of the Holy Ghost are lost through prayerlessness, all kinds of substitutes will be tried,” including social functions, entertaining preaching, and other amusements. He described these as mere “camouflages” that attempt to hide “the fact that the real thing has been lost.”
According to Jones, “Pentecost can very well do without the carnal decorations and the tinsel of this pleasure-crazed world, but it can never do without its prayer room, its prayer-loving pastor, and its prayer warriors.”

Wow. Almost prophetic, and still so true. Only through prayer do we see true revival and growth in our lives and in our church. The work of the Kingdom depends on our fulfillment of 2 Chronicles 7:14: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

Pray, church. Pray.

Posted in Christianity, Demonstration, Hope, New Testament, Old Testament, Preaching, Religion, Salvation

Can You Be Comforted?

The story of Joseph is one of my favorites. I suppose that I just appreciate his attitude through all the seemingly unfair things that he experienced, and especially his spirit and attitude toward his brothers when it was finally revealed to them who he was. He had the opportunity for revenge, but chose instead compassion and forgiveness (after having a little fun at their expense – but he even repented over that!). His words from Genesis 45:7-8 are so powerful: “And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God…” He chose to believe and know that it was God who had allowed all that he went through. It wasn’t really about him, it was about preserving God’s people through the famine that was coming. Folks, God knows! Do you trust Him that “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to HIS purpose?” You can.

But another aspect of this story of Joseph became illuminated to me this week during my Bible reading. When the brothers had sold Joseph into slavery and came back with his “coat of many colors” dipped in animals blood, they completely fooled their father, Jacob, into believing that Joseph was dead (quick note here: you DO reap what you sow. Remember that Jacob was a deceiver and supplanter before his encounter with the angel at Peniel. The deceiver was deceived. Be sure, your sin will find you out!). When this occurs, the Bible says this, in Genesis 37:35: “And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted; and he said, For I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning. Thus his father wept for him.”

What struck me is the fact that Jacob refused to be comforted. Comfort was available, his family was gathered around and willing to give it, he could have called on the Lord, who we know to be The Comforter – but he refused. He would not allow anything or anyone pull him out of his sorrow. He had made up his mind that he was going to mourn Joseph, and that is all there was to it! In fact, he made this statement: “I will go down into the grave unto my son mourning.” He had determined that this was something he would never get over, that he would carry for the rest of his life.

Here’s the trouble with that: Joseph wasn’t dead. Jacob refused to be comforted, commited himself to sorrow, putting on sackcloth and ashes and living in mourning, over something that wasn’t true! It makes me wonder how many times Satan has deceived us, lied to us, played mind-games with us, and caused us to be in despair and sorrow, only to discover that what we were so down about simply wasn’t true. It was a lie.

Here is my question today: will you allow yourself to be comforted? The Spirit of God is present in your life and in your circumstance to heal. To deliver. To comfort. In fact, Jesus taught us that the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, is also called the Spirit of truth (John 15:26). And the truth is this: you can make it! You can be healed. You can be faithful, not fearful. You can be an overcomer, and not be overwhelmed. Don’t believe the lie that you’re not good enough, strong enough, powerful enough, worthy enough. Face it, you’re not. But HE is! And He made you good, strong, powerful, and worthy! Can you be comforted? Let me hear a resounding AMEN! God bless you.

Posted in Uncategorized

Step Away From the Milk

The challenge for us as Christians is to continue to grow. It seems so easy to become stagnant and complacent, especially if we don’t feel a sense of our importance to the Kingdom and it’s furtherance. Know this: God has chosen US to spread the good news! The purpose of Jesus coming to earth was threefold: to “seek and save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10), that we might have “life, and that more abundantly” (John 10:10), and to “destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:Smilie: 8). As we align with the pupose of Jesus to seek the lost (evangelize), we must continue to grow in the “life more abundantly” (becoming disciples) that He came to give us.

The scripture speaks many times of this process of becoming. The Apostle Paul said that he longed to become “conformable unto his (Jesus) death” (Philippians 3:10), Jesus told his disciples that He would make them “to become” fishers of men (Mark 1:17) and Hebrews teaches us to “go on unto perfection (completion)” (Hebrews 6:1). And it does seem like an endless process at times! But, we can be confident of this very thing: that “he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). That is a promise!

There is also the temptation to remain as a child – simply going through life at the same level as you entered (spiritually), never maturing, never advancing. The apostle Peter speaks of our nourishment, at least initially, in Christ as being milk: “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:” (1 Peter 2:2). Notice the point of “milk”, though: “that ye may GROW thereby.” It’s not the intention of God that we require “milk” for the rest of our spiritual lives. We must get to the place that we can handle some meat!

Paul chides the Corinthian church by saying this, in 1 Corinthians 3:1-3: “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. For ye are yet carnal…” Wow. It seems very clear that those who can only handle milk are carnal. And the danger here is that the carnal mind is “enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Romans 8:7). The “milk-drinkers mentality” is in opposition to God. The writer of Hebrews reproves the Jerusalem church with these words: “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe” (Hebrews 5:12-13). No wonder the scripture instructs us to “Study to show (ourselves) approved unto God…” (2 Timothy 2:15). I want to be in the place that I can handle some meat, that I may be approved of God, and that I may teach to others!

It’s interesting that Jesus said, “my MEAT is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work” (John 4:34). Can it be that for us to do the will of God, and to complete the work He sent us to do, we must be meat-eaters? Let us “put away childish things” and grow beyond the milk. Step away from the milk – and enjoy the richness of the meat of the Word. Do His will. Finish His work. May the Lord bless you today!

Posted in Christianity, Demonstration, Hope, New Testament, Old Testament, Preaching, Religion, Salvation

Sitting Is Hazardous To Your Health!

The Los Angeles Times shared an article early this year entitled “Even for the active, a long sit shortens life and erodes health.” It starts out by saying: “Maybe those of us who sit for long hours in meetings, on phone calls, and tapping away at keyboards should be getting hazard pay. New research that distills the findings of 47 studies concludes that those of us who sit for long hours raise our average risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and early death.”

CNN posted an article just this week entitled: “Sitting will kill you, even if you exercise!” They say that “the studies showed sedentary behavior can lead to death from cardiovascular issues and cancer as well as cause chronic conditions such as Type 2 diabetes. Physical inactivity has been identified as the fourth-leading risk factor for death for people all around the world, according to the World Health Organization. Prolonged sitting, meaning sitting for eight to 12 hours or more a day, increased your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 90%.”

No wonder the scripture encourages us to “Fear ye not, STAND still, and see the salvation of the Lord” (Exodus 14:13), admonishes us to “withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to STAND” (Ephesians 6:13), and tells that we should “STAND fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” (Galatians 5:1). And when it comes to worship, we are told to “STAND UP and bless the Lord your God for ever and ever: and blessed be thy glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise” in Nehemiah 9:5.

Now, I understand that we can’t stand all the time. We can’t stand for the whole service. We can’t even stand for the whole sermon (although, I do!). But it seems like there is something that happens when we rise up from our place of relaxation, our place of complacency, our place of laziness (sorry!), our place of comfort. Worship requires effort – and it should! Hebrews 13:15 says, “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” Sacrifice, by it’s very definition, is going to cost you something. Worship is worth it. Praise pays. Our precious Savior deserves a STANDING OVATION once in a while. And a very good time to do that is when we gather together as a church to worship. Why not rise to the occasion, and let’s just see what God will do!

Sounds like we need to UNGLUE from the PEW! Sitting can be hazardous to your health – let us STAND AND SEE THE SALVATION OF THE LORD! God bless you.

Posted in Uncategorized

A Renewed Mind

It seems so easy at times to let our minds drift toward the negative. Some folks, I suppose, are more inclined to think that way, your basic “glass half empty” kind of people. And especially living in the world we live in, which seems to be slanted toward the negative, anyway. Anybody ever notice that it’s always “partly cloudy, with a chance of rain”? Almost never, “mostly sunny, with a great chance of being a wonderful day”! I am normally a “glass half full” type of guy, but even I find myself, at times, in a place that David was when he had to “encourage himself in the Lord” (1 Samuel 30:6).

The Lord helped me realize this the other day during my daily Bible reading. The scripture I read was Psalms 119:98: “Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me.” When I first read this, I thought, “yeah, you’re right, my enemies are ever with me, just like it says!” But upon reading it again, I realized that I was reading it wrong. The Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown commentary says this: ” ‘they are ever with me‘–The Hebrew is, rather singular, ‘it is ever with me‘; the commandments forming ONE complete whole, Thy law.” Do you see it? What is “ever with us”, according to this verse, is not our enemies, but “His commandments”, or “His Law”. Wow. That makes a difference!

How many times, because we’ve allowed our mind to drift toward “negative thinking”, do we miss the real promises of God found in scripture? Looking closer at this verse, there are actually two promises: first, that God’s law (His word) is ever with us. Secondly, this law has made us wiser than our enemies! My mind had focused on “enemies”, when in reality, that word is the least important on the verse. The most important thing are the promises of God contained therein. It doesn’t matter, the strategies of the enemy against you, you are wiser! It doesn’t matter, the plans the enemy has to make you fall, you are wiser! What a promise. And I nearly missed it.

No wonder the scripture admonishes us to “gird up the loins of our mind” (1 Peter 1:3), and to be “renewed in the spirit of our mind” (Ephesians 4:23). In fact, Romans 12:2 teaches us that we can actually be “transformed by the renewing of our mind“, helping us to “not be confirmed to this world.” So important is this renewing and protection of the mind, that God gives us armour to help protect it, aptly named the “helmet of salvation” (Ephesians 6:17). And the tie-in is easy to see: your very salvation may depend on you keeping your mind renewed.

A renewed mind: don’t leave home without it!

Posted in Christianity, Demonstration, Hope, New Testament, Old Testament, Preaching, Religion, Salvation

Divine Appointments

We live busy lives. It seems that we are busier than ever before, with our job, our family, our church, our school, whatever it is. I’ve learned through the years the necessity of a “schedule”, to try to organize and prioritize all that we have going on. Appointments need to be scheduled, planned for, and reminders given, lest we forget something really important (like your spouses birthday, for example!). But we must remember the barrenness of busy-ness. Don’t just have a full schedule, live a full life. Make sure your make “appointments” for the eternal, necessary things of life. Things that have lasting, eternal value: prayer, daily Bible reading, fasting, outreach, discipleship. And know that you have some divine appointments that you must not be too busy to miss.

You have an appointment with the miraculous. Jesus is preparing to enter your life in a way you’ve never dreamed of. Luke 7:11-15 tells of a wonderful, divine appointment that a widow woman had: “And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people. Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother.” Can you imagine? Having an appointment with the coroner, with the graveyard, only to have the Savior intervene and turn it into the best party ever? She couldn’t have imagined the appointment she had with the miraculous that day…but Jesus knew. And Jesus knows what He is about to do in your life – you can expect your appointment with the miraculous!

You have an appointment with your calling. Each of us is called and commissioned to fulfill the purpose of God in our lives, and none of us are called to do the very same thing. We all have our talents, our areas of expertise, our place in the Body of Christ. The scripture that comes to mind is found in 1 Kings 17:9, in which The Lord is speaking to Elijah: “Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.” Did you catch it? God had commanded (meaning, appointed) a widow woman to sustain the prophet. She had no idea the miraculous provision that was about to visit her household, but it happened because she obeyed the Word of the Lord. You answer your divine appointment to service in the Kingdom, and watch your household be blessed. Seems like Jesus taught that same principle in Matthew 6:33: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

One of the more obvious appointments we have is found in Hebrews 9:27: “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:“. We all have a divine appointment with death. The death rate for human beings is right at 100%. And yet we spend most of our time as if this is not a concern. Folks, we do have an appointment with the eternal. Are you ready? An old song says, “Have you made your reservation?” This is one reservation that you cannot cancel! You’d better put this on your calendar. You do have an appointment with Jesus. Will you say yes?

Posted in Christianity, Demonstration, Hope, New Testament, Old Testament, Preaching, Religion, Salvation

You Are Mighty!

Psalms 29:1-2: Give unto the Lord, O ye mighty, give unto the Lord glory and strength. Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.

If you remember last Sunday morning’s message, we talked about who is called and qualified to give God glory and strength – the mighty (according to Psalms 29:1, quoted above). The encouraging thing is that being mighty is not a requirement for God to call you – in fact, it’s just the opposite, according to 1 Corinthians 1:26-27: “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.” God will call you, and then make you mighty, through the power of His Spirit! This will confound the “wise” of this world, and sometimes can confound us – how can God really use me? Only because of His grace, truth and power. As a matter of fact, many in Scripture that are referred to as “mighty” actually had issues of their own.

Acts 7:22 says that Moses “was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds.” But we know that Moses had an issue with his temper! So much so, that he lost his temper with God’s people because of their unbelief, and smote the rock instead of speaking to the rock, as instructed by God. And because of this, he was not allowed to go into the promised land with them when they finally crossed over. However, Moses is still revered as one of the greatest leaders ever, and God used him in miraculous ways to show His power, as well as to bring out His people from bondage. God can use us, even through our weaknesses, because it’s not about our might or power anyway – it’s because of His.

Another example is found in Acts 18:24: “And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.” Apollos was a great speaker, and “mighty” in the scriptures. However, he did not have all of the truth, evidenced by verse 26, which says “And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.” The thing that strikes me about Apollos is that, although he was mighty in the scriptures, he was still teachable. He was open to Aquila and Priscilla expounding to him the “way of God more perfectly (or completely)”, because, like the men in Acts 19, he was only preaching what he knew, which was the baptism of John (vs 25). God can make us mighty if we are willing, and teachable.

And of course we remember the story of Gideon in Judges 6, when the angel of The Lord appears to him and says, “The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valor” (Judges 6:12). This was, of course, before Gideon had proved himself mighty in battle. The Lord sees who we are, and who He desires to make us, before it ever happens! Let me encourage you today – in spite of your issues, in spite of your weaknesses, in spite of what the enemy says: YOU ARE MIGHTY!

Posted in Christianity, Demonstration, Hope, New Testament, Old Testament, Preaching, Religion, Salvation

A Certain Sound

In my scripture reading this week, a passage from Ezekiel caught my attention. It’s found in Ezekiel 13:14-15: “So will I break down the wall that ye have daubed with untempered morter, and bring it down to the ground, so that the foundation thereof shall be discovered, and it shall fall, and ye shall be consumed in the midst thereof: and ye shall know that I am the Lord. 15 Thus will I accomplish my wrath upon the wall, and upon them that have daubed it with untempered morter, and will say unto you, The wall is no more, neither they that daubed it.”

The Lord, through Ezekiel, is speaking against the prophets of Israel that prophesy falsely. That is, they follow “out of their own hearts, follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!” (Ezekiel 13:2-3). The passage goes on to say that the wall, built with “untempered morter,” will fall, and the foundation be discovered. Now, the foundation being discovered is not a bad thing, as long as it is the foundation built on the “apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Ephesians 2:20). And I would submit to you that it would do us well to rediscover this foundation in 2014, and make sure our life, our family and our ministry is built on it! But the point of this scripture is not that the foundation was discovered, but rather that the wall was built incorrectly, and fell. And not just fell, but God is the one that actually caused it to fall! Verse 15 says that God will accomplish His wrath upon the wall itself, and upon them that daubed it with untempered morter.

This word “untempered” is interesting. It is the Hebrew word tapel, and is an unused root meaning to “smear or plaster,” but figuratively, it means “frivolity” or “uncertain.” Wow. It seems that God takes what His prophets (and, His people!) speak pretty seriously. The bricks and blocks of truth that make up the walls of the Kingdom cannot be firmly and permanently held together by just smearing any old words or doctrine on them! This message of salvation, healing, restoration and deliverance is not to be taken lightly, or frivolously. And I’m also reminded of 1 Corinthians 14:8, which says, “For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?” In the battle against the devil, the world and the flesh, we must utter a certain sound of the truth of God’s word! That is the only thing that will secure the wall and ensure it will stand against the storms of life. And don’t forget, if the wall is built with frivilous or uncertain words, those that come from within ourselves and not from God’s Spirit, God Himself will tear the wall down.

How important is it, when we teach, preach, or simply share the Word of God, to be led by His Spirit and not by our own heart or flesh. How vital it is to not speak frivolously or uncertainly when we share the good news. We have a message! I submit to you, that we have THE message! We must speak the certain sound of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the clarion call to battle, and the promise of His coming! The certain sound is what causes the wall to stand firm on God’s foundation.

Posted in Christianity, Hope, Old Testament, Preaching, Religion, Salvation, Uncategorized

Are You His Delight?

The twenty-second chapter of 2 Samuel records a song of praise that David sings to The Lord, because he was delivered out of the hand of King Saul and his other enemies: 2 Samuel 22:20: “He brought me forth also into a large place: he delivered me, because he delighted in me.” The second part of that verse really captured my attention: “he delivered me, because he delighted in me.” None of us deserves God’s deliverance. It’s not like you can earn it by being good, or by being holy. He offers it because He loves us. Unconditionally. But the next two verses also have merit: “The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness: according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me. For I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God” (2 Samuel 22:21-22).

I think the key can be found in the first part of verse 20: “He brought me forth also into a large place.” What does this mean? The Hebrew for “large place” (merhab) means “enlargement, either literally (an open space) or figuratively (liberty).” God gives us, quite literally (as our opportunity for deliverance), a large open space, with the liberty to fill it with whatever we desire. The law of “sowing and reaping” comes into play here, for if you fill your “open space” with the things of God, the things of the Spirit, than you will reap the things of the Spirit: healing, deliverance, blessing, favor, etc. In contrast, if you fill your open space with the things of the flesh, or the things of the world, you will reap accordingly. Psalms 37:4 says, “Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” If you delight yourself in Him, He will delight Himself in you. And a natural result of Him delighting in you is, that you will be delivered. Perhaps what He is saying is that we will be delivered from ourselves, our will, and that the desires of our heart will match what God desires for us as well.

Bro. Paul Mooney wrote an interesting article in the latest issue of IBC Perspectives about what he calls “multipliers.” Basically, whatever you allow in your “open space” (and be careful, because God allows you the liberty to put in there whatever you want!) will become subject to internal or external forces that will magnify what is there in the first place. He says, “If hatred exists, for example, it may be multiplied in its intensity by negative outside forces. If racial prejudices are in one’s heart, they likely will be fanned and multiplied by certain multipliers that appeal to that specific evil.” The good news is, this principle also applies in a good way: If love and compassion exist, they can also be multiplied by the external things: a lost soul, or someone that needs deliverance. And I believe our love for worship and fellowship is multiplied each time we gather together in church, thus again emphasizing our great need to “not forsake the assembling of ourselves to together…and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25).

I need to be delivered. Every day, all day. But perhaps more than that, I need to be a delight to The Lord. Let us, as the song says, “fill our way, everyday, with love.” Let it be said of us, as the people of God, that He delivered us…because He delighted in us. Are you His delight?

Posted in Christianity, Demonstration, Hope, New Testament, Old Testament, Preaching, Religion, Salvation