” And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, approached Him and said to Him, Teacher, we desire You to do for us whatever we ask of You. And He replied to them, What do you desire Me to do for you? And they said to Him, Grant that we may sit , one on Your right hand, and one on Your left hand, in Your glory, (Majesty and Splendor). But Jesus said to them, You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink or be baptized with the baptism (of affliction) with which I am baptized? And they replied to Him, We are able. And Jesus told them, The cup that I drink you will drink, and you will be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized. But to sit at My right hand or at my My left hand is not Mine to give, but (it will be given to those) for whom it is ordained and prepared.” Mark 10:35-40 AMP
In the Greek there are two primary meanings of the word compete, or competition. One means strive or to out-do, the other relates to taking part (as an individual or team) in a competition. The first has a total focus on self – the other implies a desire for excellence to be the best, a leader, in a particular category. The latter could be a team with a business or athletic team, unified with a specific purpose. No stand-outs or rockstars, but a crew of souls rowing in the same direction to a rhythm that only they can hear.
In the above passage, the two disciples, James and John attempted to get the inside track on acquiring the most important real estate anywhere – the seats to the left and to the right of Christ Jesus. After all, isnt it always about location, location, location? What better location of power and authority could there be other than being seated in Heaven right next to Jesus Himself. Jesus informed James and John that these location decisions were not His to make but those of the Father. The Father is always the One that decides then orchestrates promotion, both then and now.
At times, I feel like I live in what must be the most competitive place on the earth. Where ‘for-no-reason’ competition abounds, including on the low end of the scale stomping the gas peddle when the light turns green to be first or racing below the yellow turning to red street light to be the last car through an intersection. These actions are irritating but the competition that I see among people is far more unsettling and a life disrupter of the highest order. A zero sum game with a goal that goes nowhere is to desire to be someone other than yourself. This seems to occur mostly in people (hate to say it but mostly women) that believe they have fallen short of a desired outcome for their life, or people going through a season of failure. There are a number of reasons why no one should succumb to the spirit of competition (envy).
It is the Holy Spirit that fashions and then enables specific gifts, skills and talents bestowed on each individual –
” All these (gifts, achievements, abilities) are inspired and brought to pass by one and the same (Holy) Spirit, Who apportions to each person individually (exactly) as He chooses. ” 1 Corinthians 12:11
Notice that the gifts, achievements and skills that one possesses are …. as He chooses. The Spirit of God Himself has designed each person with precision and in a way that He has desired them to be equipped and outfitted for life.
“And there are distinctive varieties of service and ministration, but it is the same Lord [ Who is served]. And there are distinctive varieties of operation (of working to accomplish things), but it is the same God Who inspires and energizes them all in all. But to each one is given the manifestation of the [ Holy] Spirit the (evidence, the spiritual illumination of the Spirit) for good and profit. ” 1 Corinthians 12:6-7
If the Spirit of God, the exact source and force of power that hovered over the earth to form it ‘In the Beginning, has fashioned each person with very specific skills and gifts that are placed there to benefit them for both good and profit, why would people not focus on perfecting their own gifts ?
For it is the Holy Spirit Who knows the specifics of God’s plan and purposes (Romans 8:27-28). He also is the One that determines your assignment (Acts 13:2-4). Spending times of intimacy in prayer, reading God’s Word and listening are the best ways to get to know His plans and what He wants for your life, through what He has given you. What is magnificent, is that the God that created the Universe even has a specific plan and purpose for each life. Remarkable!
Yet there is one more crucial element to understand about your plan, purposes and giftings. It is Jesus.
Because of the completed work based on Jesus’ sacrifice, every person that embraces Him as their Savior can look “unto Him” with expectation of finishing well and being a success in the eyes of God. Your victories are based on the knowledge of what Jesus did for you, over and above your own natural abilities and certainly over the natural abilities of others. The natural is important – these are how God has equipped you – however they are less than the supernatural transformation and breakthrough that will come when focused on Jesus.
God can and will place you into position to utilize your greatest gifts, skills and talents and can suddenly, even supernaturally open doors on your behalf.
These open doors are ‘doorways of grace‘ that cannot be forced but swing from their hinge in the perfect time and pre-ordained season to utilize your gifts for higher purposes. (At times ,this means in other geographic areas for the purposes of “special forces”.) Your personal experiences are also very beneficial in the decisions of plans and life purposes. Many people have lived through serious difficulties and the successful navigation of these unique experiences can be used to minister to many that are currently walking that road.
There is danger in the distraction of remaining mentally focused on a perceived competitor – always looking to the left and the right, overly concerned about the abilities of another. Striving to always be in competition is very counter productive and is guaranteed to steer a person off course – away from God’s desired direction. This will sound too simplistic but focus on Jesus and let everything in the periphery fade to black. Keep Jesus in the forefront and concentrate on what He has given you to do – this is the way to win your race. When people feel that they are not where they should be or experience failure, the spirit of competition can creep in and steal or derail God’s best, veering the unsuspecting off course. Envy, listed as one of the 7 deadly sins, is the root cause of the spirit of unhealthy competition. It is critical to remain vigilant against this spirit.
There is no reason to envy the abilities of others when the Father has something just as wonderful for you. The purpose of these skills, gifts and abilities that are knitted into the fabric of each person by the Holy Spirit is for the use for service of others. If you are properly engaged in serving others, there simply is not enough time to look at anything else. Serve well friends, serve well.
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The Distraction that Destroys A Destiny
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Related Article: The Assignment
John 14:17 AMP
“ The Spirit of Truth, Whom the world cannot receive (welcome, take to its heart), because it does not see Him or know and recognize Him. But you know and recognize Him, for He lives with you constantly and will be in you.”
In the Church today, there seems to be some confusion surrounding the role of the third person of the Trinity. Holy Spirit is not the Holy Beater, nor is He the Holy Chastiser – He is the Spirit of Jesus, Who raised Christ Jesus from the dead and Whom was released at Pentecost 50 days following the resurrection. In Acts, The Apostle Peter explains the how behind The Who:
Acts 2:38 – 39 AMP
“And Peter answered them, Repent (change your views and purpose to accept the will of God in your inner selves instead of rejecting it) and be baptized, every one of you, in the Name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of and release from your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise (of the Holy Spirit) is to and for you and your children, and to and for all that are far away, (even) to and for as many as the Lord our God invites and bids to come to Himself.”
The word ‘repent’ in Greek is described as Metanoia: to change course or direction. It does not suggest condemnation nor guilt which many modern churches teach. Jesus paid for guilt on the cross – Isaiah 53:5 ” ….. for He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities”. The Spirit of Jesus is a GIFT that is freely imparted through the acceptance of Christ. The Holy Spirit points us to answers held within Jesus. Jesus did not come to earth to condemn or judge, but only to save the lost. The reason people go to hell is not because of personal sin – Jesus has forgiven each of us. (1 John 2:1-2) People are condemned to hell because they do not accept Jesus as their payment for a sin debt they can never pay nor do they accept Him as their Lord and Savior.
John 15:26 AMP
“But when the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) comes, Whom I send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth Who comes (proceeds) from the Father, He (Himself) will testify regarding Me.”
There is a True North, or a “true Truth” that has been established on the earth by God the Father. This “True North” is available to all that hear the voice of the Shepherd and that will read God’s Word. The absolute truth of God’s laws and principles slice through clutter and confusion, clarifying difficult topics with application to all things past, present and future. God, in His mercy, also dispatches The Gift of His Spirit with periodic customized messages direct to our own spirit that bring clarity and truth to challenging circumstances, shining a light on the way forward. There is a reason that Jesus said that we should be glad that He was going away because something better was coming. The Cavalry has now truly come but you must get to know Him, spend time with Him and cultivate His presence.
So what is Truth ? Recently I had a discussion with someone that presented a narrative on circumstances of which I had observed at close range. What was true in his mind was 180 degrees from how I viewed the exact set of circumstances. He had crafted his own truth-narrative to cover for failures that he would not own. (We are all capable of espousing creative narratives to protect our egos and reputations.) To him, the facts he stated were unequivocally true – to me they were a ridiculous lie. It was pointless to challenge his story as it would only end in an argument and nothing I said would change his mind. I decided to pray that the Spirit of Truth would take care of the matter.
Another word for Truth is also “reality” – the Holy Spirit can be considered the Spirit of Reality, God’s kingdom reality – which is the only truth that matters. There is also a term called ‘universal truth’ which means what it says that a particular truth would be universally accepted by most people or a category of people (We’ll use Christians). For example: It is universally understood and accepted by all Christians that Jesus was conceived in the womb of Mary by the Holy Spirit, therefore bypassing the Adamic line of sin. Although we cannot ask Mary how this happened and discern for ourselves through first person testimony, we believe the Word of God and accept the account as being true. In the above illustration regarding the opposing narratives, there is no universal truth to which to refer and it comes down to character and perception. Fortunately, with the Spirit of Truth, we can always depend on the excellence of God’s character and His nature and trust that He is only delivering to us His “true Truth”.
John 16:13 AMP
But when He, the Spirit of Truth (the Truth-giving Spirit) comes, He will guide you into all the Truth (the whole truth, the full Truth). For he will not speak His own message (on His own authority); but He will tell whatever He hears (from the Father; He will give the message [on His own authority]; but He will tell whatever He hears (from the Father) and He will announce and declare to you the things that are to come (this will happen in the future). He will honor and glorify Me, because He will take care of (receive, draw upon) what is Mine and will reveal (disclose, transmit) it to you.
Pray for a strengthening of your personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. Ask Him to make Himself known and shown to you. Honor the Spirit and acknowledge Him when He confirms or discloses (transmits Spirit to spirit) information from God to you. He is doing it for your betterment and to glorify the work of Jesus. He truly is a Gift from the Father and paid for with the Blood of the Son.
For further study: The Spirit of Truth | Reformed Bible Studies & Devotionals at Ligonier.org
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As I write this, it is the day after the 2020 election. As I watch the results roll in for the United States, my synapses are active and firing at high speed. I am going to slide out on a limb – sideways and slowly – and let you know what I am thinking about this crazy season in time. These observations are my own, based on experience and watching what is happening on the earth.
What first happens in the natural then happens in the spiritual. I have personally observed this a number of times, particularly while in transition. Everything breaks loose and it was my job to remain focused on the main thing: getting to the other side then setting up camp. I strongly believe the chaos surrounding the election and its results are a precursor to a very powerful spiritual event. God is cooking up something big….. really big. Chaos and confusion is the enemy’s attempt at derailing and distracting from God’s intent – it is the job of the President to get to the other side and re-establish his camp.
The United States is headed for a re-set. The Holy Spirit confirmed this to me in August, even using the term “re-set”. I confess I do not know what this will look like or how this will happen but only that it will. He is re-setting this nation in some important way. We will see how this takes shape by Him in the coming months but it will happen. November 1st, I heard Dutch Sheets deliver a powerful special message on the election. He confirmed this re-set. (I confess, I felt more confident about my own re-set word after hearing his. )
Please see Dutch Sheet’s Re-Set Proclamations from Church of His Presence – https://storage.snappages.site/3P6XPW/assets/files/2020ResetProclamations.pdf
Sheets went on to say that God must have the United States to accomplish His plans in the earth and He is determined to have it. He went on to explain how this nation was founded, and how from its inception was a Christian nation. The Chaplain on the 1607 expedition to Jamestown, Virginia, the Rev Robert Hunt, planted a cross on the soil at Cape Henry, VA after disembarking from the vessel.
“Raising his hands to heaven, Rev. Robert Hunt claimed the land for country and king and consecrated the continent to the glory of God. In covenantal language he declared, “…from these very shores the Gospel shall go forth to not only this New World, but the entire world.”
God has BIG plans – really big plans up ahead. Think harvest. One billion souls. Revival. Third Great Awakening. He wants us in place as His plan of action ushers in the end time harvest prior to the return of His Son. Can you see why we are experiencing such turmoil ? This nation is the lynchpin and the devil now has grasped the pin. Pulling it will result in one of his greatest achievements.
We are in for a fight. Although the fight appears to be over the office of the Presidency and control of the House and Senate (we focus on the person or the candidate) the fight is really for the control of the nation and the ability to have a free Church to move and be free to get this harvest in. The fight is over THE CHURCH. Satan does not want this harvest. He will pull out all the stops to derail this election. If the left wins, it will keep this Christian nation bound, its churches open to ridicule, dishonor, diminished credibility and limited power. The enemy would love nothing more than to see the Church in America dismantled and lose its authority.
Look what is happening to the Church in China. The CCP is blowing up churches, arresting parishioners who have now been forced underground, murdering pastors, burning bibles. Is this what the American church is in for in the coming years ? Although difficult to imagine, the answer is yes if we do not stand our ground.
Since last summer, I have been warning that we are in danger of Civil War or at least Civil Skirmishes that will systematically weaken our major cities. We have good reason to be concerned about rogue domestic terrorist groups enacting civil battles within our major cities. They have already been rioting with little to no pushback or restraint from city governments. There is also the subtle war that rages when democrats become mayors and governors, financially destroying these cities as they do not/ cannot create revenue – but only spend and raise taxes. Cities turn to decay and become rife with homelessness.
But back to the original Civil War – The American Civil War was fought from 1861 – 1865, its primary cause being that a confederation of states wanted to allow for African Americans to be bought and sold and used for labor in America. We know this as slavery. Slavery is and was very wrong. Highly destructive battles between the Confederacy and the Union armies were fought over strategic cities to destabilize and render them unproductive. Railroads were destroyed, bridges blown up, buildings and entire cities were burned to the ground – all towards the effort of crippling a city, rendering it helpless to protect its citizens or forward insurgency against the other side. We all have seen Gone with the Wind and the scenes of the burning of Atlanta, this heinous act compliments of General Sherman. The Civil War split the country in every way and is not something that we ever can experience again.
The end result of a win by the left will be the silencing of the Church. Their agenda will also include the destruction of currency and borders, the traumatizing of citizens, the dismantling of the economy through the destruction of small businesses which comprise 75% of the U.S. economy and much more. There is a systematic plan and the United States is the only nation standing in the way of releasing a New World Order. We can all see the beginnings of this process start to roll out. Shortage of coins. Flooding of borders from illegal immigrants. Shutting down of economy’s. Impending forced vaccinations. Closure of church’s. Its happening. We have a moral imperative to protect our democracy and allow God to leverage our nation for His purposes and for His glory all the way to the end.
We must pray and where possible, take peaceable, non-violent action. We are in a crucible. Yes, Jesus is on the throne and the righteous will not be forsaken but many men and women have fought and died for the rights that we enjoy today. It’s Ok to fight but do it right.
The Body must emerge from the shadows of the marketplace to preach and teach the true word of God to a dark and misled world. This will take courageous acts as many believers have never “come out of the closet” but it is time to let other people hear the testimony of God’s power in your life. This nation needs to witness evidence of what it looks like to have heard and been transformed by the Good News. We must show up stabilized in the knowledge of what Christ Jesus has provided through His finished work, carrying oneself in peaceful strength, armed with the blood of Jesus and our testimony, and clothed in His robe of righteousness.
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Please visit http://www.churchofhispresence.org to watch the entirety of Dutch Sheets message delivered on November 1, 2020.
As we continue our study of Jesus in Prayer University it is important to understand this time of history, and factors that were influencing the culture and decisions of the day.
During the time of Jesus’ life, the Jewish people were looking for their Messiah, the saviour of their people, that would liberate from the grip of the cruel Roman empire and its Kings. This Messiah was frequently referenced in the Torah and spoken of by the Prophet Moses and the Prophet Isaiah. The Jewish Messiah was to be the One to save the nation of Israel and establish it in its rightful position in the world – restoring Israel to its former glory and prominence as in the days of King David and King Solomon. The Messiah would come from the line of King David.
Then there was the issue of the Jewish Law. Chief Priests and temple priests were experts and masters of the Rabbinical Law and were held in high esteem. The attributes of this law abiding Messiah for which the Jews were seeking was reinforced by the temple priests and their teachings. There were 613 laws required for adherence to proper Judaism – laws that pertained to most every aspect of life. We are all familiar with the “Big 10” but there were 603 lesser known laws of the day. These laws were burdensome and oppressive, making Jewish life unnecessarily challenging. Jesus came to fulfill the Law.
Jesus had grown up in Nazareth in a quiet, unassuming family, the son of a carpenter. At the age of 30 when Jesus was actively inviting men to become His disciples, He met and encouraged Phillip to “Come and see”. Philip then asked Nathanael to meet his friend Jesus who was from Nazareth. Nathanael stated, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth ?” (John 1:46) Jesus was seemingly a Man of no name from no where – certainly not a mighty political or military force or even perceived religious leader possessing qualities required to lead the nation of Israel out of bondage. Yet Jesus was the most powerful Man on the earth and no leader knew Him.
Jesus migrated quietly from city to city, “conquering” these cities through healing, delivering, prayer and teaching. He primarily taught through parables or stories illustrating truthful and righteous principles that He desired people to understand. As the Son of God, Jesus was a King and represented a powerful Kingdom. On earth, He had no authority to legislate or impose rules or laws. If people were instructed by law that they could not heal on a Sabbath day, the only way He could communicate that it was the Lord’s will was through demonstration, thereby raising the ire of the Rabbinic priests.
For 3 years, The Teacher taught openly in the temples, to large masses of people in the countryside, one on one to those in need and to the 12 disciples so they could spread His Good News. The only aggression was what emanated from city leaders that resisted His teachings. His disciples were flogged, beaten and imprisoned. Following Jesus’s crucifixion, they were all individually put to death, except John the Revelator, who was exiled to the Island of Patmos. There was no violence recorded for which they were involved with the exception of Peter slicing off the High Priest servant’s ear but Jesus’ immediately restored Malchus and rebuked Peter.
Jesus’ esteem and influence grew and grew as He taught the principles that God the Father instructed Him that would reveal His true heart. Without one military strategy or tactic or any political maneuvers – Jesus and the 12 humbly and without fanfare, walked, taught and saved thousands in their surrounding region, sparking a spiritual revolution that began a new way to consider God – a way that showed Him as a loving, caring Father, merciful and full of grace for His people.
Jesus’ lowly entrance on a donkey into Jerusalem must have confounded and enraged the priests even more as they heard the citizens yelling, “Hosanna ! Hosanna!” Hosanna means “Save us, Rescue Us, Deliver Us! “. Surely this could not be the Messiah that they have been waiting for, for centuries – coming in on a donkey ? What kind of liberator of a nation arrives to save on a donkey? And He is calling Himself the Son of God – how does He know to respond I AM ? This is heresy. We MUST get rid of Him – this is what the priests had to have been thinking.
And we surely know the rest of the story. Pontius Pilate gave the people a choice between Jesus and Barabbas and the priests were wildly yelling for Jesus to die. Pilate had Jesus severely flogged first, thinking that this would assuage the thirst for His death but it did not. What they could not know was that this was the plan from the beginning of time, and part of the final assignment. After Jesus was hung on the cross, He dismissed His own Spirit and announced to the world; “Tetelestai!” All is accomplished! The temple curtain tore from top to bottom signifying no more separation between God and man. And then they knew.
Christ Jesus, the true Messiah, as prophesied, came from the line of David. His father Joseph, was a descendant of King David however Jesus’ true bloodline, was the blood of deity; the blood of God. Jesus came to earth to fulfill God’s plan to redeem His people back to Himself. He is still today seen through the eyes of those that want Him, those eyes and hearts that are opened by His Spirit – the Spirit of Truth. If you have not prayed to receive Jesus as your Messiah, and personal Lord and Saviour – You can do so today.
Lord Jesus, please forgive me for my sins. I repent and turn from my sins and with your help, I will overcome them. You exchanged my sins for Your righteousness, and paid a debt on my behalf to God that I could never pay. I acknowledge that You are the Son of God and I receive You now as my Lord and Saviour. Amen
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“In the beginning was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself. He was present originally with God. All things were made and came into existence through Him; and without Him was not even one thing made that has come into being.” John 1:1-3 AMP
Words have Power. With no access to devices, medications, or advanced technology equipment, while moving from city to city, Jesus as The Word used His words to communicate a release of healing into the infirmed, the possessed and the diseased. The Greek word “Logos’ (lo-gaas) is translated ‘word, speech, principle or thought’. In Greek philosophy it is also translated into ‘the mind of God’ or ‘divine reason’.
“And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the Good News (the Gospel) of the kingdom and curing all kinds of diseases and every weakness and infirmity.” Matthew 9:35 AMP
Christ came to earth to reveal the will of the Father. It is interesting to note that two thirds of Jesus’ ministry involved healing. It was the perfect will of God for His Son to heal. When praying for healing, that oft used qualifying prayer phrase, “If it be thy will” can only be met with an emphatic “Yes!”
When learning to pray like Jesus – it is imperative to know the Word of God. Aside from the blood of Jesus and the Name of Jesus – the Word of God is power packed and the required dunamis or dynamite needed to move out negative circumstances and redeem, deliver, and heal. To pray effectively for oneself or for other’s in healing – there must be agreement with the Word of God.
The first mention of the word “prayer” was in relationship to healing when Abraham prayed to God on behalf of Abimelech, King of the Philistines so that God would forgive Abimelech for taking Sarah. His words, spoken in faith to God, produced a powerful result.
“So Abraham prayed to God and God healed Abimelech and his wife and his female slaves, and they bore children, For the Lord had closed fast the wombs of all in Abimelech’s household because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.” Genesis 20: 17-18 AMP
We have no record of the actual words in Abraham’s prayer for Abimelech but Abraham operating as Priest released Abimelech of sin thereby restoring his entire household.
It is widely accepted by Christians that nothing occurs on the earth unless it is prayed into action by a Believer. God as Jehovah Rapha, is the God Who heals. It is in this knowledge of His desire and willingness to heal by covenant that we can pray boldly, and speak aloud with confident expectation. It is because of the eternal sacrifice of Jesus Christ Who defeated, death, hell and the grave – the One whom took lashes on His Body for our healing, and thereby allowing access to His Name. He has enabled us to take authority and dominion over every sickness, disease, infirmity, even accidents: “and with the stripes that wounded Him we are healed and made whole”. Isaiah 54:5 AMP
There is power in every word of God.
“He sent forth His Word and heals them and rescues them from the pit and destruction. ” Psalm 107:20 AMP
It is important to note that there is a difference between power and authority. Power is the ability to exercise one’s will in the way needed to impact a situation and authority is exercised by someone holding a position or title. There is a legitimacy or at least perceived influence by a person that holds authority. Because of the sacrifice of Christ Jesus, we have both power (dunamis) and authority to influence and alter negative behaviors, patterns and circumstances in order to bring heaven to earth. We use prayer and the Word of God to accomplish His will upon the earth.
Lucas Pols, a contributor to Forbes, describes secular servant-led authority this way – “Authority is about who you are as a person, your character how you interact with others and the influence and empathy you build with people.” While this is accurate, one has a God-given authority that comes with power; ratified by the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus who was raised from the dead by the very Spirit that now lives in you.
“Behold! I have given you authority and power to trample upon snakes and scorpions, and (physical and mental strength and ability) over all the power that the enemy (possesses); and nothing shall in any way harm you.” Luke 10:19 AMP
It is important to highlight that all confidence and power must be placed in the authority of God, Jesus and God’s Word and not in the actual pray-er. The Word of God is oiled with the Spirit of God and referred to as “the Sword of the Spirit” in Ephesians 6:17 AMP “And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God.”
Luke 10 continues – “Nevertheless do not rejoice at this that the spirits are subject to you but rejoice that your names are enrolled in heaven.” This confirms that we do have power over the spirits of the earth including virus’. To be specific, the Covid-19 virus is a spirit of infirmity. Virus’ have an intelligence. Covid seeks to aggressively insert itself into cells in order to explode in growth and then mutate, thereby causing “infirmity”. In scripture “weakness and infirmity” are almost always used together. When praying for someone with Covid 19, pray in the authority that Christ has given you to dismantle and decree that this spirit of infirmity and all associated weakness must leave in Jesus’ Name.
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“But when the goodness and loving-kindness of God our Saviour appeared to man (as Man), He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but because of His own pity and mercy, by the (cleansing) [bath] of the new birth and renewing of the Holy Spirit, Which poured out so richly upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. [ And He did it in order ] that we might be justified by His grace (by His favor, wholly undeserved ). and that we might become heirs of eternal life according to our hope.” Titus 3:4 -7 AMP
Jesus, Who was with the Father from the beginning, (John 1: 1-3) was sent to earth to save all mankind through the bringing forth of the knowledge of the immutable love of God, the importance of the turning away from sin and the understanding that His own sacrifice would pay a sin debt for which no person could ever personally pay.
Most hearing the Gospel message are aware that Jesus made a way for their salvation, allowing them to spend life eternally with God the Father. Most are unaware that the word ‘salvation’ has more benefit than re-birth and a punched ticket through the Pearly Gates. (Revelation 22:21) To refer to someone that has accepted Jesus as Saviour as being “saved” is in fact accurate. A “saved person” receives the added special bonuses of deliverance from danger, access to the pathway of restoration, deliverance from shame for wrong decisions, divine healing and wholeness, and the right to possess a strong, stable (sound) mind.
A good working definition of Salvation: material and temporal deliverance from danger and apprehension; pardon, preservation, restoration, healing, wholeness and soundness.
In fact, until one requires, yes really needs a Saviour to pull their personal wagon from out of a ditch, then and only then can the fullness of the word SALVATION by a loving Saviour be fully appreciated by a “Save-ee”. The word salvation in the Greek is ‘Sozo’ which also means to heal, to rescue or save, to deliver. Jesus has become our Savior by paying our debt of sin to God, by becoming our righteousness so that a perfect God could look upon us, hear our prayers and be gracious to us, thereby Jesus removed all separation between mankind and God. No study on prayer and how to pray would be complete without the full embrace of Jesus in His role as Savior.
“And [besides] we ourselves have seen (have deliberately and steadfastly contemplated) and bear witness that the Father has sent the Son (as the) Saviour of the world. Anyone who confesses (acknowledges, owns) that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides (lives, makes His home) in him and he (abides, lives makes his home) in God.” 1 John 4:14 AMP
Just as Jesus exhorted His followers to “eat His flesh and drink His blood” to be saved (John 6:56), a person that is His follower must be willing to confess that Jesus is the only Son of God and that it was only His broken body and spilt blood that paid for their debt of sin and nothing they accomplished in their own strength.
“So when the Samaritans arrived, they asked Him to remain with them, and He did stay there two days. Then many more believed in and adhered to and relied on Him because of His personal message. And they told the woman, Now we no longer believe (trust, have faith) just because of what you said; for we have heard Him ourselves (personally) and we know that He truly is the Savior of the world, the Christ.” John 4:40-42 AMP
Although we are not told what Jesus said in those two days while with the Samaritans, we know that His words were compelling enough to persuade them that He was truly the Son of God. The word ‘Christ’ means Anointed One. Jesus used His anointing to heal, and to teach, and deliver. Two-thirds of Jesus recorded actions while on earth were of healing. He traveled from town to town, breaking off yokes of physical and mental illness and even raising the dead. (See Lazarus: John 11: 38-44) Jesus was a Healing Machine.
It was through these healing miracles that were witnessed and testified that spread the Good News that the true Son of God was “in the house”. But it was His own personal raised from the dead story that solidified His place as the Son of God in the minds of the Apostles and His inner circle. These first hand witnesses became messengers that took Jesus’s actions far and wide, even at the expense of their own personal safety and eventual horrific deaths. The only Apostle not murdered, the Apostle John, was exiled to the island of Patmos where he was left alone to die. It was on Patmos that he wrote 1 John as well as the Book of the Revelation.
” I, Jesus, have sent my messenger angel to you to witness and to give you assurance of these things for the churches (assemblies). I am the Root (the Source) and the Offspring of David, the radiant and brilliant Morning Star (Isa. 11:1,10 AMP)
The Holy Spirit and the bride (the true Christians) say Come! And let him who is listening say, Come! And let everyone come who is thirsty and whoever earnestly desires to do it, let him come, take, appropriate and drink from the water of Life without cost.” (Revelation 22: 16 AMP)
Oh what a Savior!
Jesus as Savior
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Facebook: Tracy Gatewood Sacred Ramblings
Author: Doorways of Grace: My Uncommon Journey to Healing, Wholeness and Meeting Jesus
For the past few months I have had this unsettled feeling in my spirit that comes as part and parcel when I embark on the process of transition. I am feeling that it is time for a change, a move, a desire to go to something else.
One day this week as I was waking up in bed, and just as the sun was beginning to rise up and claim the morning, I began to ponder these unsettled feelings. As my mind began to track back through this decade and then rewind through previous decades, I noticed something interesting, well at least interesting to me. Since growing into adulthood, with every single change in a decade, I have moved to another city, and typically to another state. I have undergone many of my life’s most profound seasons of change while journeying through the ‘9’ and into the ‘0’ . 1) From an Alabama high school senior to Virginia-bound college freshman, 2) a career upgrade requiring a move from Alabama to Atlanta, 3) freshly single and broken in Atlanta to single yet still alive returning back to Alabama, 4) then 10 years later single and broken again (not marriage related!) and still in Alabama with a return to my hometown, and now this new decade (still single ha!) but strong, self employed and now stabilized in a foundation built upon Christ Jesus.
This week, I was reading a book on the life of King David. One of the chapters went to great lengths to show the process that David went through before God opened the door for him to become King. Even (and especially after) David became Israel’s second King, he continued to experience trial after trial. He was trained through so many trials that when he encountered his most serious they did not consume. We all know that David was by no means perfect but undeniably a great leader possessing a connection to God as His Beloved, that was and may still be unmatched. Only God knows this but throughout the process, David strengthened himself in the Lord and no other. This is a great lesson for all of us.
As I move through life, I see there are no shortcuts; neither in business nor in ministry nor apparently as David’s life illustrates, in kingdom management. Its all process, process, process. My life compared to King David, although not without some steep almost vertical degrees of difficulty, has been by comparison, simple. David got an early start as a giant killer and in doing so got an early leg up to be groomed for a great destiny. Despite being raised in the church, I was a late bloomer to Jesus and to the understanding of true faith. How I wish I had not lost those precious years circling in the weeds of life, unaware that there was a divine GPS to guide me along a righteous path but again I say – it’s a process, and don’t let anyone convince you differently. There is no microwave growth in Christianity – its water, son-light and roots growing deeper and deeper and deeper into the verdant soil of the Divine.
I have noticed that doors, particularly meaningful spiritual doors, swing open on just one or two hinges. These doors cannot be pushed, kicked or broken down – these doors swing wide with no known pressure. Again reflecting on David, he was thought the least of Jesse’s sons and was not even presented to Samuel. David was out in the field, diligently doing his job, minding the sheep and BOOM – a life changing encounter came out of nowhere, an encounter undeniably from the hand of God.
And the word of the Lord came to Nathan (the prophet) saying –
11 Samuel 7:8-9 So now say this to my servant David, “Thus says the Lord of hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, to be prince over My people. And I was with you where you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make you a great name like that of the great men of the earth.”
Some of the most important opportunities that have come my way, those of which I can take no credit, have emerged from out of the blue. These “doorways of grace” glided open easily with no striving, occurring only in their proper time and season. There was no planning, foresight or known cause for God’s invisible, provident breath to blow these doors of opportunity open wide. But there is something of importance to note: When these doors swing open we must be ready to move as they are on a hinge that snaps back and will slam like that old wood frame screen door on your grandmothers house. Whap! I can still hear that door slamming closed on a few opportunities that I did not walk through due to fear, self doubt and over thinking but because of the goodly nature of God – I, like you, can rest in His second chances.
Not typically associated with “fun”, the process of being in the process is certainly punctuated with times of enjoyment but rarely would anyone describe the work involved as “fun”. “Fun” relates to entertainment – if being constantly entertained is what it took to become great then one would not have to journey through “a process” to arrive. Entertainment is typically reserved for endeavors that engage the soul on a surface level but never engage with the spirit – as it takes The Spirit to successfully navigate The Process. Are you still with me ?
As I write this on the first day of the year and even a new decade, I remain expectant of what and where the process will take both you and me. As we look backward to 2010 and consider where we have come – remain encouraged. I am not where I wish to be but definitely have made significant progress in the 10 years spent (some would consider) in this wilderness, a place where I never desired to grow content or become familiar. When I look in the mirror I am reminded that although “my youth is being renewed as the eagles” those eagles are definitely older eagles – I’m no eaglet! But God has given me a greater peace for the process. Perhaps this is to become my desire for 2020 that I wish for you and for me: Peace.
Happy New Year!
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Related article: My Journey with Jesus Part Two http://wp.me/p1zoxs-gR
Tracy Gatewood is the author of Doorways of Grace: My Uncommon Journey to Healing, Wholeness and Meeting Jesus (2015)
Soundcloud: Tracy Gatewood
At the age of 51, my life started completely over in every conceivable way; new city, career seeker, little to no financial resources, no church home and no relationships. My 20 year marketing career had taken a vertical death spiral following a coup attempt by a disgruntled assistant who trashed me behind my back almost from the point of hiring. (FYI: The quiet ones, and the flatterers are always the most dangerous. ). After being terminated from a very public position, my career spun into a nose dive and stayed there from the ages of 48 – 50. The Lord started closing every door, I believe, to “encourage” me to follow His leading of returning me to a place that I very much did not want to go. At the age of 50, I relented, returning to my home town confused, desperate, angry (very) hopeless, broke and near the point of nervous collapse.
A few years before this traumatic season, I had earned my real estate license but held it in inactive status considering to use it “one day”. Establishing a commercial real estate career can become an expensive proposition. That “one day” came when a family friend called 10 months after I had returned home, still unemployed, nor knowing where to turn. This family friend, graciously and innocently threw a lifeline to a drowning person that was going under for the third time. ” Tracy, this is Carl, don’t you have your real estate license?” “Yes” I said neglecting to mention that it was inactive and that I had never transacted one piece of property ever. “Well, my #@%** restaurant tenant moved out in the middle of the night”, he explained “and I need someone to market my building and find me a new tenant as soon as possible.” I agreed to meet with him then quickly placed a call to inquire of what was needed to activate my license. Gunning it over to a local broker’s office the same day, I explained to the owner that I was in need of a desk, a phone and a place to hang my license asap. He gave me a private office, a laptop computer and paid for my first year of dues, nothing for which I had asked but glad to receive. I was so poor five hundred dollars was more than I had to spare.
Nine months later, Carl and his new premier tenant, executed my first lease transaction for his 5000 SF corner landmark downtown property. A divine grace door had opened for me through Carl providing a clear path for provision because God had placed me on Carl’s mind and connected all the other necessary dots. The process of securing the tenant was not simple, and entailed hard work. The money did not fall from the sky but the opportunity presented itself, the door swung wide, and I was offered a choice to walk through its frame.
Later in that same year, the Holy Spirit gave me a hot tip regarding a 5 AC corner parcel with an obsolete shopping center, strategically located 3 blocks from an SEC University stadium. Eighteen months later that property was under contract and closed for $5.1 million, at that time, the highest price paid per acre for any parcel in the city. That was my first sale. The broker that gave me the initial opportunity made $40,000 on that one deal for doing no more than investing in me.
It would be glorious to be able to say that every year has been just like these – and that year over year my production increased to such enormous heights that I would never have a financial concern for the rest of my life. Seven years later after walking through the door of real estate – I have had highs and lows. My rags story is transforming into financial stability and prosperity while allowing me to give to non profit causes at higher and higher levels which brings me great joy. But the greatest highlight of this journey is what I am gaining in knowledge of the rich treasuries of the grace of God and of Jesus. I am witnessing through my own personal experience the meaning of His salvation.
Salvation means “material and temporal deliverance from danger and apprehension, preservation, pardon, restoration, healing, wholeness and soundness“. Coming out of trouble is part of the package guaranteed to us by being in God’s Kingdom and belonging to Him. He has delivered me from ‘material and temporal danger’ and accomplished everything else on this list. I can tell you with certainty it was Him and not me doing the delivering. If you have never had a need to be brought out of trouble, I feel sorry for you because it means you have never experienced the full power of His delivering hand of salvation. The great news is that we can all look at Him with expectancy for something good to come our way, even despite our mistakes. And I have made my share.
For a number of wasted years, I lived in a confused emotional stew, swirling in extreme levels of condemnation, fear, anger and unforgiveness that kept me bound and broken. I was so messed up and discouraged that I was working very little – if at all. This was a mistake. We are all to be working. God needs us to move out in a direction, and as we set out, He swings in as The Rudder, turning us in His direction but first we have to get in the water and set sail. We have to move.
No doubt, I missed a number of life preservers tossed out in my direction by having no confidence in the basic truth of TRUST. I continued to look inward finding more confidence in myself instead of outward or better still upward, without expecting that God was going to work all of this to my good. Looking inward in prolonged introspection is self righteousness – a sinful action that dispossesses God from His rightful place in life and is based in pure pride. God loves our full dependence upon Him, where we are fully yielded and waiting expectantly for His best. This is the position of Abba and Heavenly Daddy – a Father God with arms wide open to heal and love us unconditionally.
It was only when I learned to focus on Jesus and His finished work and to stop allowing my thoughts to turn inward is when I began to claw my way out of the fog. When my outward confessions began to align with the truth of God’s word – I am the righteousness of God by my faith in Christ Jesus and in His blood and seated in heavenly places with Christ at the Father’s right hand – did the fear and condemnation begin to break apart and dissipate and my mind become clear from the fog. I began to acknowledge and embrace that my provision would definitely come because I Am In JESUS and that every good thing flows from and by the hand of God.
When I lean in and focus on Jesus – He brings clients to me in supernatural ways, He opens doors of favor (which is another word for grace) It is difficult to articulate but activity just begins to happen. At times there is nothing that I am doing, no striving, but an effortless flow that is coming straight from the throne of God.
It has been seven years since I walked through the career door of real estate brokerage. The Hebrew number of completion and perfection is seven. My craft, like me, is still being perfected but after completing my first seven years working for other brokerages, last week, I decided to set sail and work for my own. If you had asked me 10 years ago or even 7 if I believed restoration was possible I would have said probably not or possibly even given a resounding ‘no’! But yes it is – it most certainly is – through the merciful heart of a loving Father that loves to deliver His salvation.
My personal story may not mean anything to anyone but me but it is my hope that in reading or sharing it will encourage someone that needs to understand this same power of which He so freely gives.
“May He [God] grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the (Holy) Spirit [Himself ] – indwelling your innermost being and personality ….. that you may be filled (through all your being) unto all the fullness of God [that is] may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become wholly filled and flooded with God Himself.
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Twitter: Tracy L Gatewood
Facebook: Tracy Gatewood Sacred Ramblings
Author: Doorways of Grace: My Uncommon Journey to Healing, Wholeness and