If you spend time in a church that God has ordained and is building, you will hear the word vision. The word vision can be misleading if you define it with our language, which is English. Vision according to the Word of God is a divine revelation, it is God imparting His plan to a man, a ministry, or a church. Many ministries and churches operate without a vision, they hold fast to the traditions they have learned.
Proverbs 29:18 If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves.
Vision guides, ambition drives; a vision will always change things. A vision looks like a blueprint to a man building a house. Unless a man build a house according to the vision, he who labors, labors in vain. When God gives a man a vision, He will send the people to staff that vision, they have gifts that will help to implement the vision. I have met and known a lot of men who started a ministry but after a time they fizzled because they were not given a vision. Others had great difficulty because they did not stay with their vision, they decided to go a different direction, but God didn’t go with them.
Acts 9:15 The Lord said to Ananias, do what I ask, for Paul is a chosen vessel to Me, he will bear My Name to the gentiles.
The Lord had a vision, an assignment for Paul before he was ever converted. After Paul was saved and filled with the Holy Ghost he was sent to preach the gospel to the dogs, the non-Jewish folks. He was met with opposition from the apostles, the Jews and the Romans, of which he was one, but because he was under assignment God met all of his needs and protected him from the death his adversaries wanted to give him.
Psalm 5:12 The Lord will bless the righteous, He shall crown him with favor as with a shield.
The devil and his bunch could not stop Paul, they couldn’t even kill him until he was ready to depart. When a man is given a vision he will have favor, blessings and divine protection. If a minister does not have favor or divine protection, perhaps he had no vision or he is out of the will of God.
2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether you be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know you not your own selves, how that Jesus is in you, except you be a reprobate?
If you’re in the faith then you are in the will of God and subject to His blessings and divine favor. If your problems are more than you can bear, maybe you’re doing something you were never called to do! This one thing I do know, when you’re in God’s perfect will you will have His peace. When people get their eyes off the vision and onto themselves they will cause trouble. A vision keeps everyone focused on what God wants done, He is the center of attention, not any man. Every church in a city will have a different vision, this way God can cover the whole city with His plan for that city. Not every church is supposed to operate a soup kitchen, or minister exclusively to the poor. Every church is called to cast out devils and lay hands on the sick, some will do this better than others. Thank God we have a vision and a God to over see it.
If you are the member of a church body and you have a vision from our Lord, then the spirit of division is at work within the members. This spirit is a subtle creature and he has one objective, to divide the members of a healthy functioning body. He has no limitations, no restrictions, he just wants to impede something good. This spirit is so cunning he will convince a saint that they are justified to quarrel and hate a brother or sister.
1 Corinthians 1:11 It has been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
Paul makes a special point of calling those folks his brethren, perhaps he wanted them to be aware of who they are. One of the major sins we were delivered from was hatred, which is the root cause of strife. Kenneth Copeland speaks of a church that got into major strife because the pastor wanted to replace the piano bench. Do you know who won that debate? The spirit of division! I realize certain things need to be discussed and decisions made but is anything worth splitting a church over? I submit to you that every church split happened because someone insisted on having their way. No one prayed and sought the Lord for His wisdom. The spirit of division is not a respector of persons, he will deceive whosoever is too immature to resist him.
Ephesians 4:11, 13-14 Jesus gave us the five fold ministry gifts for the maturing of the saints. Until all come in the unity of the faith. That we are no longer tossed to and fro.
If Christians are feuding with one another it’s on account of immaturity, either they are yet babies in Christ or they have not submitted to the five gifts Jesus gave us. Baby Christians have a mind of their own, they do not have the mind of Christ. Immature Christians are easily deceived, they stand for nothing and therefore fall for anything. I have known several Christians that have been to Bible school and were believers for over twenty years. They were the biggest babies I have ever met, they were always stirring up a pot of division.
Mathew 16:24 And Jesus said, if any man will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
The problem with some Christians is they think too highly of themselves and they expect a certain level of attention. It is a common thing for children to demand attention and to think only of themselves. Babies always want what someone else has, they will crawl over and take it and claim it as their own.
Mathew 20:27 And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.
If you have a church full of servants the spirit of division will struggle to cause strife. Humility acts as a shield between men and the devil, remember it was pride that got lucifer kicked out of heaven. The spirit of division cannot coax a servant to lord himself over anyone, a servant is more concerned with the needs of others than their own. What man would ever think that servitude would empower him over the wiles of the devil.
God is faithful to reveal many mysteries to us by the Holy Spirit. But He doesn’t show us everything and I’m not sure why. Whenever we don’t understand His ways we must rely on our faith and just believe He knows what He is doing. I know a lot of folks who have departed from this life early and went home to be with the Lord. I don’t know why they checked out early but I would be wrong to offer my assessment of any situation. I have heard a lot of people come up with definitive scenarios based on their grief and pain.
John 16:13 The Holy Spirit of truth will guide us into all truth: for whatsoever He shall hear, that is what He shall speak.
The Holy Ghost can only tell us what the Father gives Him to tell us, if the Father is not prepared to tell us, then there is nothing to hear. If God isn’t pitching, then there is nothing to catch, so don’t pull over and put your life in park. We need to remain focused on what He has spoken to us, be involved with what we do know. The activities of men’s lives can remain a mystery but not the Word of the Lord. God would not have us ignorant concerning His will in the earth, I don’t fully understand God’s Word yet but I keep pressing in. God’s Word is revealed to us line upon line, precept upon precept depending on our diligence.
Ecclesiastes 11:5 Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a baby growing in its mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, Who does all things.
Some of God’s activities are a mystery and they will remain a mystery, if anything should be our business He will tell us. Who do we think we are that we demand God keep us in the loop? Once in awhile the Lord will show me a reason for a person’s problem, He knows I will keep my mouth shut and pray for that situation. I never fully understood the situation nor do I need to, I am commissioned to pray and that’s all.
Luke 4:4 It is written, that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word of God.
The Lord says we can live only by every Word He has spoken, the Master is inviting us to know what He has spoken. His Word is not in code and it is not hard to understand, He wants us to be taught by His Spirit. Whenever I read something in my Bible I didn’t understand, I simply asked the Lord to explain it to me. He has always been faithful to teach me the mysteries. Now I must tell you, some things came quickly and other things took months and even years before I understood. I have come to understand that sometimes before He could reveal something to me, He had to teach me other things in order to prepare me.
John 16:23 Truly I say unto you, whatsoever you ask the Father in My Name He will give it to you.
Asking the Father for explanations in Jesus’ Name is how I learned to hear God’s voice. Sometimes He would give me the answer before I asked Him! I would pray in tongues for hours and when I paused He would speak a revelation to me and so I would write it down. When He called me to the office of teacher I already had the revelations He wanted me to share.
God gives us richly all things to enjoy, the life of a believer need not be dull or boring. Some heathens refuse to convert to Christianity because they think they would never have fun again. When I was in the world I had “fun”! I would drink so much beer I would get dizzy and then sick. The next day I dreaded getting off the floor or wherever I was, because I knew I would have a terrible hangover. And this was fun? The only people who thought it was “cool” were the other drunks, my friends.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Every sin we make must be paid for, in this life and in the one to come. Our jails and prisons are full of sinners who are being paid for their sin. Hell is getting full of sinners who are paying for their transgressions. Now, this is the ironic part, the world does not want the pleasures of this life taken from them, they are willing to pay the consequence! The wages of our sin is death, we earn and deserve what we get. But, God is offering us a life where He pays for our sins and He makes it a gift, something we don’t earn.
1 Timothy 6:17 Put your trust in the living God who gives richly (abundant wealth) all things to enjoy.
God has blessed me in so many ways and in so many things I have lost count of and not one time was there any repercussions or hangovers. The pleasures I had in the world all came with a corresponding consequence, but I was willing to take the risk. When I lied, I lost all credibility, when I drank I lost all control and when I stole something I was caught and punished. I am so grateful for my time in the Catholic school, when I got out of line the nuns slapped me and beat me, they were teaching me about the consequence of bad behavior in the world. My time in the Catholic school prepared me for boot camp, I never once was reprimanded for acting out.
Galatians 5:13 You have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion for the flesh, but by love serve one another.
Redemption is the gift of God, we have been made free from the control of our flesh. Sometimes our flesh has a desire for things that are sinful and sometimes we yield to them. Because of the gift of God we do not lose our place in heaven and if we repent, our transgression is wiped out. A born-again Christian can enjoy the pleasure of an alcohol beverage and remain saved. But He will flow only out of a clean vessel. A born-again saint can enjoy the sinful pleasures of the flesh, but his righteousness cannot protect him from the wages of his transgression.
Now we all know God is love, do you think it is possible for love to offend someone? I want to draw your attention to an incident in the Gospel of Mathew and allow the Word of God to answer this question.
Mathew 15:11-12 & 14 It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a man but what comes out. Then the disciples said to Jesus, You offended the Pharisees when they heard You say that. Let them alone, they are blind leaders of the blind.
Jesus was informing the pharisees that they were talking trash and calling it Bible. Jesus was love and love always speaks the truth, the truth offends a lot of people because it exposes errors they thought were carefully concealed. A lot of men are too prideful to take responsibility for their error, so they just claim to be offended and choose to be “the victim”. Men who take offense fall into the snare of the fowler, they ensnare themselves to the devil unaware. Jesus said there is only one way out of the snare, you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. Pride is such a stronghold a lot of men cannot acknowledge the truth and see themselves free. They have very thin skin and they would choose a lie over the truth to protect their hide.
So, did Jesus offend those pharisees? No, the truth did, all He did was speak what He heard His Father say. Now, what can we learn from this incident? First of all, taking an offense will put you in bondage to the devil. So, all of this comes down to a decision, determine in your heart that you will never let anything offend you. No matter what people say to you or about you, you will not take offense. If you will do this, then the devil will never be able to ensnare you, so you will always be free. Over the years I have watched hundreds of good people go back and no longer walk with the Lord because the truth would not be compatible with their lifestyle. In every case the Lord said, let them alone, they are the blind leading the blind, they are the only ones who can recover themselves out of the snare of the fowler.
2 Timothy 2:25 In meekness instruct those that oppose themselves; if God will perhaps give them repentance when they acknowledge the truth.
Men who take offense are they themselves the only ones who can get themselves free. Can you imagine a man becoming so hardened that they would rather fellowship with the devil than admit they are wrong? Their only hope of freedom is the truth and they don’t want it, remember the truth is the Holy Spirit. To reject truth is to reject God and that’s what got lucifer where he’s at today. When lucifer failed, he learned how to tempt man, he just uses what enslaved him.
We all have the choice, we can be a victim or we can be victorious. The Lord set before Israel two options, they could choose life or death and then he coaxed them to choose life. But some of the fools chose death, they chose the path of least resistance. Some folks have determined that serving God is too hard and so they became servants of the devil and teach themselves to live under the curse. Determine in your heart to grow an extra layer of skin, you can use it to swat the devil out of your way on the way to collect your blessings.
A habitual offender is a person who does the same thing over and over again, their routine becomes a habit. My definition of a habitual offender is a Christian that habitually disobeys the devil! I believe all believers would shun the devil if they were aware of what he is doing in their life. The devil is cunning and crafty, the only one who is fully aware of his antics is the Holy Ghost.
John 16:13 The Holy Spirit of truth has come, He will guide you into all truth: He will not speak of Himself, but what He hears the Father say, and He will show you things to come.
If you carefully read this Scripture you will discover that the Holy Spirit has a voice and He speaks to whomever has ears to hear. The Holy Ghost is not an alarmist, His still, small voice will not lead anyone to panic. Some of His most important words of warring were one simple word: NO! If you live by the faith of the Son of God one word is all you need, you do not demand a full-fledged explanation. Without faith it is impossible to please God, this is that kind of faith.
John 6:66 From that time many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him.
Some translations indicate that some of His followers went back to the life they had without Him in it. Walking with the Lord, serving Him and being blessed of Him, should be the habit of all born-again believers. Here is what you need to understand, the devil does not approve of you being dedicated to your Lord. The devil has never given up on his desire to have folks worship him like they do Jesus. The devil does not love anyone so he will never have a legitimate reason for anyone to respond to him in a favorable sense.
Revelation 3:16 So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth.
What leads a born-again child of God to become lukewarm? They no longer see a need for Jesus, everything is going well so they slip out of the habit of living for their Savior. Some of these folks have been seduced by the devil and they have no idea what is happening to them. If God spits you out of His mouth then no one, not even God can help you! I realize this is a blunt statement, but I get it out of God’s Holy Word.
2 Timothy 2:25 In meekness instruct those that oppose themselves; perhaps God can change their hearts, when they accept the truth.
The only one who can get a person out of the snare of the devil is the person themselves. God cannot help them until they receive the truth and assume the responsibility for their life. A lot of folks are searching for their own private escape route but God is the only way and truth. God loves all the lukewarm Christians who have been taken captive by the devil. He wants them back in His arms and His presence, so He has called on the intercessors to pray for them. God may write them off. He says He would have them hot or cold, then they would know where they stood and put God back in their habit.
I was raised in a dysfunctional family, I had no revelation of honor or love. My definition of love was the traditional world kind of love, you love those who love you. Furthermore, you loved those that you needed things from, once you got what you wanted you put them back on the “black” list.
Luke 6:32 If you love them which love you, what thank (benefit) have you? For sinners also do even the same.
God does not expect us to love with just our natural human kind of love because it is inadequate. At the new birth He pours the God kind of love into our hearts. With this kind of love shored up in our spirit we can express love without “feeling” it. When they were driving the nails into the hands and feet of Jesus, He said “Father forgive them, they know not what they do.”
I don’t believe for one minute that Jesus “felt” love for those men. Nevertheless, He forgave them and they were forgiven. If Jesus would not have forgiven them, the Holy Spirit would not have been able to deliver Him out of hell. If we won’t forgive like Jesus forgave, the Holy Ghost won’t be able to keep us out of hell. So, we have no good excuse for loving because God Himself has equipped us to love like He loves. The God kind of life is a way of life for the born-again believer.
The Apostle Paul became obedient to Jesus, he was more than willing to do whatever the Master told him to do. The Lord told Paul to go to Jerusalem, Paul knew by the Holy Ghost that he would be arrested when he arrived, but this did not move him. Paul knew that whatever they did to him he would overcome because the Lord promised him that He would supply all his needs supernaturally. After his arrest a church in Philippi heard of his plight and began to send him food and other necessities, in those days prisoners needed help from the outside in order to survive. At the great white throne judgement, the Lord will say to some of the folks, I was in prison and you did not visit me.
Philippians 1:7 You have after all, stuck with me all the way from the time I was thrown in jail, put on trial, and came out of it in one piece. All along you have experienced with me the most generous help from God.
Paul explains to the church at Philippi the benefits of partnership, he concluded his letter by saying this: my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ (the anointing of) Jesus. Another translation says, all of you are partakers of my grace. What was Paul’s grace?
2 Corinthians 12:9 Jesus said to me, My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ (the anointing) may rest upon me.
God’s grace to Paul was His supernatural power to help him overcome every attempt of the devil to stop his ministry and kill him. The devil had Paul stoned to death but he rose from the dead and preached in another town further away. Five times the devil had Paul beaten to within an inch of his life, but the grace of God rejuvenated him and he kept all his appointments. Recall the incident where Jesus got in Peter’s boat and told him to let down his nets for catch. Peter didn’t believe Jesus knew what He was doing so he let down one net that needed mending. They ensnared more fish than they could handle and they needed help.
Luke 5:7 Peter beckoned unto his partners, which were in the other boats, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the boats, so they began to sink.
Peter was a fisherman and he had partners in the business, so whether Peter caught fifty fish or five hundred fish, his partners were entitled to an equal portion. We are partners with Kenneth Copeland, Jerry Savelle, Jesse Duplantis and some others, we all are partakers of their grace. We are entitled to their revelations, their anointings, their favor and their prosperity. We must be very selective who we partner with, we never want to partner with compromisers, God will not favor those who altar His Word for any reason. Take the necessary time to see the fruit before you join yourself to any ministry. The ministers that cry and beg the most for money are usually the ones you want to avoid. But give special attention to those who are debt free and trust God to supply all their needs.
During the course of a man’s life he will have many opportunities to get a fresh start on his life. Maybe life has overwhelmed us or we are paying the debt of some poor choices. After some counseling, some forgiveness and prayer we look for a place to start over again. Some folks just don’t care. They continue to wade through their problems and hope for a break. We are just days away from the beginning of a new year, a new season, a new chapter of our life. According to tradition some folks make resolutions to start the year and they are sincere for a week or two.
Luke 14:28 Which of you, intending to build a tower, sits not down first, and counts the cost whether he has enough to finish it.
Very few of us ever count the cost we must pay in order to fulfill our resolution. Change puts a huge demand on our lifestyle. It can be very difficult to climb out of the ruts we have lived in for so long. Allow me to offer some advice, if you choose to make a change for the course of your life, choose something small you are sure you can do.
Ecclesiastes 7:8 Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof.
Alterations are difficult in the beginning but a true visionary is always focused on the completion of his goal. Jesus was able to endure the cross because He was focused on all the sinners who would repent after His ordeal. His sacrifice would give a lot of folks a fresh start in life, they would begin with no burden of sin. I coined a phrase long ago: A journey of one mile begins with one step! Getting started on doing something good is always the most taxing. Getting your carcass out of bed every morning is the beginning of your day. You overcome it every day, so you’re a champion every day.
2 Peter 1:21 For prophecy came not at any time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
I am totally convinced we are on the verge of a move of the Holy Spirit that none of us have ever seen before. I believe the gifts of the Spirit are going to be amplified many times over and miracles of great magnitude will abound. We are undoubtedly in the last days and God is not going to let the devil have the last word. I see God stepping all over the devil and sweeping multitudes of men into the kingdom of God. The devil will be a silent witness as he watches the miracle of the new birth sweep over the entire world that he thought he had dominion over.
Luke 2:26 It was revealed unto Simeon by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.
I have a petition before the Lord, I want to see His power and glory in manifestation before I leave this world. I want to watch Him transform lives right in front of me, I want to see because I believe. I want to see the vision He gave me fulfilled in the churches, I want to see the joy of the Lord on the faces of the people. So, many overnight will get fresh starts, as God gives them a life they couldn’t dream big enough to consider. Time for something new, time for the refreshing.
I have a question: Who started all this gift giving at Christmas? The answer: God gave His only begotten Son. When folks wish to emulate the life of their Savior, they will give gifts to those who they care for. There is an exception, if the devil is yet your father you will give nothing but expect much. Christmas is represented by God giving His Son, the wise men giving gifts to His Son and the Son giving men the gift of the Holy Ghost.
John 12:24 I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abide alone: but if it die, it brings forth much fruit.
The Jews were anxiously awaiting the appearing of the Messiah, but few recognized Him when He began His ministry in Galilee. After many signs and wonders some began to believe He was the Christ, but when they crucified Him they lost all hope. They did not understand the prophets, they did not know who their true enemy was. Jesus was God’s gift to all men, He was born to be the final sacrifice under the Abrahamic covenant. He was not what Israel expected Him to be, so He could not be what He was born to be. Many did not know His true identity, but they loved Him because He healed all their disease. Jesus had to die in order for men to live, He became our sin and we became His righteousness.
Galatians 1:15 It pleased God when He called me by His grace and to reveal His Son in me.
The Apostle Paul never met Jesus as far as we know. He was a pharisee commissioned by the Jews to dismantle the teachings of Jesus. He set out to discourage and arrest anyone who demonstrated an allegiance to Jesus. A modern term for Paul would be a liberal. But Paul met this Jesus on his way to Damascus and Jesus gave Paul a revelation. A revelation is an inward witness of the Holy Ghost, it is more real than tangible evidence. Natural evidence can be altered and fabricated, it is the basis for “religion”, but a revelation comes directly from God and it cannot be disputed. God can convince any man if they are willing to accept His evidence.
Acts 2:38 Repent and be baptized into the Name of Jesus and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
The most important gift of God is eternal life but it is not His only gift, salvation qualifies you for even greater gifts. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is greater than salvation because without the Holy Ghost you cannot be saved. A born-again man is a son of God and God has many gifts He wants to give His children. We cannot earn these gifts, we believe for them, without faith it is impossible to please our Father who art in heaven.
Acts 20:35 And Jesus said: it is more blessed to give than to receive.
The Scripture has always puzzled me until I looked up the Greek word blessed. We can read it this way: The one who gives is more happy than the one they give to. It is the Father’s good pleasure to gift you the kingdom.
February 9, 2020
Father, I am a tither, I know all the tithe belongs to You.
I know now that if I will obey You, You will open the windows of heaven and You will pour out my blessing.
I will be able to sow seed and You will rebuke the seedeater.
I thank You for revealing this to me. You take pleasure in my prosperity. I take pleasure in Your presence.
January is a month of fresh starts. It brings a “Do Over” mind set. Our commitment level is high. But by February we can already begin to lose momentum. Some areas we may have purposed to challenge ourselves are waning or we are stuck in the “planning” stage.
Strengthening our bodies
(To name a few)
The good news is we don’t have to do this all by ourselves. God says where two or more are in agreement. This month we purpose to pray for one another that we will faint not.
God is the one who began this good work in you, and He will complete it.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for we will reap the harvest if we don’t give up.