Saturday, March 31, 2007

What You Say Can Change the World

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. (Genesis 2:7).
God created the world by words (Hebrews 11:3). Man was created in the image of God, to be like God on the earth (Genesis 1:26-28). When God formed man from the dust of the ground, the job was not yet complete until He puffed the breath of life into his nostrils. Then man became a “living being.” An ancient Jewish commentary says that man became a “speaking spirit.”

We were created with the ability to speak words. It is part of our likeness with God. Words are powerful and creative. They call things into being. The first assignment God gave Adam was to name the animals.
Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. (Genesis 2:19)
This was not some little clerical job God gave Adam to keep him occupied. Adam was not assigning variables for the purpose of cataloging. By naming the animals, Adam was calling forth something in each of them. He was giving them destiny. Whatever Adam decided to call each one, that was its name, and destiny. By the use of words, Adam was giving shape to certain aspects of creation while God observed.

Our words have the capacity to create and shape things in the natural realm. In the book of Job, one of his friends says something very interesting. Though it was misapplied to Job's situation, it is nevertheless very true:
You will have your delight in the Almighty,
And lift up your face to God.
You will make your prayer to Him,
He will hear you,
And you will pay your vows.
You will also declare a thing,
And it will be established for you.
(Job 22:26-8)
“You will also declare a thing and it will be established for you.” Adam declared the names of the animals and established their destinies. Though that ability was marred and misdirected when Adam and Eve sinned against God, it still remained. And now, through faith in Jesus Christ, we are reconciled to our Almighty God and Father, and the capacity of our words can be restored to their proper function. Our words can bring the natural world back into divine order. Jesus showed His disciples how:
Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, “Be removed and be cast into the sea,” and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. (Mark 11:22-23)
When connected with faith, what we say becomes very powerful. They can move mountains and change the world.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

What Are You Asking and Imagining?

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21; the NIV has “imagine” instead of “think”)
The power of God is at work in you to bring about all you ask, think and imagine. So what are you asking, thinking and imagining when you pray?

  • Ask according to the will of God and imagine it being fulfilled? The will of God is revealed in the Word of God. The apostle John wrote, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:14-15). What does it look like, sound like, taste like, feel like when we you ask is fulfilled?
  • Ask in the name of Jesus and imagine Jesus asking the Father. That is what it means to ask in Jesus' name: to ask the Father just as Jesus would ask. Now imagine that the Father grants your request just as He always grants what Jesus asks. For Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:23-24). Imagine the joy of receiving what you have asked of the Father.
  • Ask, and imagine that you received what you asked as soon as you asked for it, for that is indeed what happens when you ask. Jesus said, “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted” (Mark 11:24 NASB).
  • Ask, and instead of thinking about the problem, imagine the answer and what it is like having the problem solved and the need met.
  • Ask, and think about what is going on in heaven — is there any sickness or disease there, any poverty or lack of any kind there? Of course not! Then imagine the will of God being done on earth just as it is being done in heaven, just as Jesus taught us to pray (Matthew 6:10).
When you ask, put your imagination to work. Take time to sit and think about what it is like to experience the answer you desire. Be specific. Luxuriate in the details. Let it fill you with joy. See yourself with the healing you need and the provision you require. Envision the mountain that has obstructed your path being remove, and imagine what life is like with it out of the way. Dwell no longer on the problem but dwell on the blessings, benefits, promises and provisions of God. Let Him teach you by His Word and Spirit, so that you will be able to ask as Jesus would ask and see the kind of results Jesus saw.

If you belong to God, His power is at work in you to bring about all you ask or imagine — and more! So ask more, imagine more, believe more, and give thanks for what He is doing in you, with you, through you and for you.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

What You Ask, Think and Imagine Can Change the World

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21; the NIV has “imagine” instead of “think”)
This power that is at work in us is the Holy Spirit. Jesus promised, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you”(Acts 1:8). This is the same power that raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at the Father's right hand in the the heavenlies, far above all principality, power, might and dominion (Ephesians 1:19-21). This same power has also seated us there in Him (Ephesians 2:6).

At the end of Ephesians 3, we see that this power has something to do with what we ask, think and imagine. Now, notice that, although God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above and beyond all we ask or imagine, He does it according to the power that is at work in us, the power of the Holy Spirit. This means that job is to ask, think and imagine, not according to our own ability, but according to the divine power at work in us. All our asking, thinking and imagining can never exhaust this power, because God is infinite in power. But this power is released by our asking, thinking and imagining because God has established His power to work in us. That is why it says “according to the power that works in us.”

If we do not ask, think and imagine, then this power will not be released. But we must ask, think and imagine in line with God's thoughts, God's will and God's way if we expect to release God's power and get God's results. Otherwise, our thoughts and imaginations will result in chaos. That is what happened at the Tower of Babel:
And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”

But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the LORD said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.” (Genesis 11:4-7)
The King James Version has, “Nothing will be restrained from them which they have imagined to do.” The Amplified Bible shows it as “Nothing they have imagined they can do will be impossible.” These were ungodly people plotting proud and arrogant things. Because their language was one, when they expressed their imaginations together, it was a very powerful thing. But it did not make for divine order, so God confused their speech and scattered them abroad.

We must ask, think and imagine according to God's thoughts and God's ways.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts higher than your thoughts.
(Isaiah 55:8-9)
This does not mean that we cannot know God ways and thoughts, for in verses 10-11, we see that He sends His Word to earth to accomplish His purposes. Paul put it this way, quoting from Isaiah 64:4, and adding an important New Testament revelation:
But as it is written:

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. (1 Corinthians 2:9-10)
God reveals these things to us by His Spirit so we can ask, think and imagine according to His thoughts and ways and get divine results, because it is according to the power of His Spirit at work in us that the world gets changed for the good.

The human imagination is very powerful for changing the world. When you ask, think and imagine according to the Word of God, it brings about divine order and blessing — the kingdom of God.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

What and How You Observe Changes the World

— The Bible, throughout
God often tells us to “behold.” It is an opportunity to engage in a divine vision, for many times, what God is directing us to see is not yet visible in the natural, but only in the spirit. That is how God works, calling “those things which do not exist as though the did” (Romans 4:17). He framed the world with His Word, “so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” (Hebrews 11:3).

God calls us to see things first in the spirit so that we will be able to manifest them, by faith, in the natural. The apostle Paul said, “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). That is, we are not to go by what our natural eyes see, but by what we see in the spirit, what we see by faith. As many have said, “If you can see the invisible, you can do the impossible.” What we can see by faith, we will see in the natural.

The nature of physical reality is that what and how we observe things changes the world.

The “double-slit” experiments in the field of quantum mechanics theory reveals some very puzzling phenomena. In these experiments, when electrons are fired at a screen through a panel with a single slit in it, the electrons act like particles. When they are fired at the screen through a panel with two slits, the electrons act like waves, not like particles. Even when the electrons are fired one at a time, they eventually reveal a wave pattern. So which are they — waves or particles? Depending upon how you decide to test, they show up as either one or the other.

Now, here is a real kicker. When detectors are set up in the “double-slit”model to see which slit individual electrons go through, they act as particles, even though the double slits would otherwise show a wave pattern. The very act of observation causes the wave function to collapse, with the result that the electron acts like a particle. The head-scratching question is this: How did the electron know that it was being observed?

For more on this unusual quantum behavior, see Double-Slit Experiment at Wikipedia. Or check out this cartoon animation of the experiment which helps guys like me understand.

Perhaps the ancient Celtic Christians were way ahead of quantum science when they prayed:
Bless, O Christ, my face,
Let my face bless everything;
Bless, O Christ, mine eye,
Let mine eye bless all it sees.
Learn how to behold the things of God in the spirit, then what and how you see will bring the world into divine order.

Monday, March 26, 2007

A Heart of Praise Changes the World

Blessed is the man whose strength is in You,
Whose heart is set on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
They make it a spring;
The rain also covers it with pools.
(Psalm 84:5-6)
Creation responds to our praise. When our heart is set on God, it affects wherever we go. The Valley of Baca is a dry and barren place, a place of weeping. That is what the name Baca means, “weeping.” But when we pass through with the things of God in our hearts and His praises on our lips, it causes wells to spring up in the desert places. Barren lands become a place of fruitfulness and the Valley of Weeping becomes a place of blessing.

The one who sets his thoughts and imagination on the Word of God becomes like a tree planted by rivers of water, bearing fruit in season, never withering but always prospering (Psalm 1:1-3). Those who receive the Lord Jesus Christ, out of their innermost beings flow rivers of living water — the Holy Spirit (John 7:37-39). The river of God always flows with abundance to bless the earth (Psalm 65:9-11).

When we give all our praise to God, it causes the earth to yield its increase:
Let the peoples praise You, O god;
Let all the peoples praise You.
Then the earth shall yield her increase;
God, our own God, shall bless us.
(Psalm 67:5-6)
These are not just psychological effects, changes in the soul, but changes in the natural. The spiritual realm is the basis for the natural realm. So when we worship God in spirit and in truth, it effects the natural as well as the spirit and the soul.

Jesus taught us to pray, “Kingdom of God, come! Will of God, be done on earth as it is in heaven!” (Matthew 6:10). When we pray that in faith, the atmosphere of heaven begins to pervade the things of earth, lining them up with the order of God.

Wherever you go, whatever you do, set your heart on God. Give Him praise and watch how it changes your surroundings.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Healing at the Quantum Level

God commissioned mankind to “subdue” the earth, that is, to bring it into order. Experiments in quantum physics indicate that subatomic particles can be ordered by the presence of DNA.

From the Scriptures we know that the spiritual realm is the foundation for the physical realm. For God, who is Spirit, created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1; John 4:24), and that He framed the worlds by His Word (Hebrews 11:3). So whatever happens in the natural, physical realm is based on spiritual realities. But what might that interaction between the spiritual and the natural look like at the quantum level, say, in the matter of healing.

Take, for example, the account of the woman with the “issue of blood” who was healed when she touched the corner of Jesus' garment (Luke 8:43-48). This thing had plagued her for twelve years and the doctors could give her no relief (though they thoroughly depleted her funds). But when she touched Jesus, her body was instantly healed. Jesus said, “Somebody touched Me, for I perceived power going out from Me.”

Now, Jesus was (and is) fully divine, but He was (and is) also fully human, and His body was fully human. The apostle Peter tells us that the healing Jesus did, He did because He was anointed with the Holy Spirit and with power, and God was with Him. So all the miracles He performed, He performed as one who was fully human, but in perfect alignment with God. His flesh, even His DNA contained divine healing power. He actually felt it when it went out of His body; the woman immediately experienced it in her body. And this effect transferred through the material of the garment which, being worn by Jesus, perhaps held some of His DNA in the form of epithelials (thank you, CSI).

So maybe at the quantum level the divinely saturated DNA of Jesus, who was perfectly aligned with the order of God, brought divine order to the chaos that existed in this woman's body and thus healed her. The anointing of the Holy Spirit and divine power interacted with the physical realm, and would have somehow done so even at the most basic level of physics — the quantum level.

We know that this did not happen only once, but happened many times in the ministry of Jesus:
When they had crossed over, they came to the land of Gennesaret. And when the men of that place recognized Him, they sent out into all that surrounding region, brought to Him all who were sick, and begged Him that they might only touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched it were made perfectly well. (Matthew 14:34-36)
We see the same sort of effect in other places in the Bible:
  • Elisha the prophet carried a “double portion” of Elijah's divine anointing. But unlike Elijah, he had no one to pass it on to when he died, so it went with him to the grave. Second Kings 13:20-21 records that when a dead man was lowered into Elisha's grave, and his body touched the prophet's bones, the man came back to life.
  • In Acts 5:14-16, we find that the presence of the apostle Peter had such a powerful effect that people “brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them ... and they were all healed.” Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit and yielded to the will of God; perhaps his DNA, soaked with divine power, began to restore order and healing to the bodies of those who were brought near.
  • In Acts 19:11-13, people brought the aprons and handkerchiefs that had been used by Paul (which would have been loaded with epithelials) to the sick, and diseases and evil spirits left their bodies.
God created us to bring the world into line with His divine order. Surely our DNA was created to bring glory to His name, even at the quantum level, and maybe even in healing.

Healing Scriptures and Prayers

Healing Scriptures and Prayers
by Jeff Doles

Preview with Amazon’s “Look Inside.”

Available in paperback and Kindle (Amazon), epub (Google and iTunes) and PDF.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Even at the Quantum Level

Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. (Genesis 1:27)
To subdue means to bring under subjection and into order. God created us to bring order to all the earth, and He created the earth to respond to us by coming into order. Recent experiments show that even the mere presence of our DNA can have the effect of bringing order to the natural world. This phenomenon, analyzed by Dr. Vladimir Poponin and Dr. Peter Gariev, is known as the DNA Phantom Effect.

In these experiments a “scattering chamber” was created, a vacuum which contained only photons. The control state of these particles was close to random. Then a DNA sample was introduced into the chamber and the state of the photon particles was measured and found to be in an ordered state. That is interesting in itself, but what is even more interesting is that, when the DNA was removed from the chamber and the state of the photons measured a third time, they did not return to their original random state, but were distinctly and very differently arranged. This phantom effect was observed to last up to a month when the vacuum remained undisturbed.

We were created in the image and likeness of God and commissioned to bring the earth into line with His divine order. Even our DNA appears to have an ordering effect on the world. When Adam rebelled against God, he plunged the world into chaos. But in Jesus Christ, the Second Adam, we are restored to our proper relationship with God, and all creation waits for this to be fully made manifest (Romans 8:19-22).

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The World Responds to Us: Jesus Showed Us How

The world was created to respond to us. When Adam sinned, he brought the world under a curse. In Jesus Christ, the “Second Adam,” we have redemption. Not only us, but the whole world as well, and now all creation waits for that manifestation (Romans 8:19-22). By faith in Christ, we become new creatures (2 Corinthians 5:17), and all creation responds to us.

Jesus demonstrated this, for example, when He spoke to the wind and waves and said, “Peace, be still.” The winds ceased and there was a great calm (Mark 4:39). On another occasion, Jesus spoke to the fig tree, “No one will eat fruit from you ever again,” and the tree was withered away by the next morning (Mark 11:14; 20-21).

Now, some will say that Jesus could do that because He was the Son of God and fully divine. And indeed He was. But that is not how He performed His miracles. Rather, He did them because He was anointed with the Holy Spirit and with power, and God was with Him (Acts 10:38). That is why He was able to teach His disciples to do the same sort of things.

In the example of the fig tree, Peter noticed that it had withered away, and he pointed it out to Jesus. Jesus answered and showed them how such things come about:
Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. (Mark 11:22-23)
When we do not doubt, but believe what we say, we will have whatever we say. Even nature will respond to us.

Everything Jesus did in His earthly ministry, He did by faith and the power of the Holy Spirit. He made both of these available to His disciples, to all who receive Him. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). We receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon us (Acts 1:8). It is enough to change the world.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The World Responds to Us: Biblical Examples

The world was created to respond to us. When Adam fell, the world fell into chaos. When we walk in obedience to God and His Word, the world also begins to respond in obedience. We see this illustrated many times in Scripture:
  • When Moses parted the Red Sea. God said, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. But life up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea” (Exodus 14:15-16).
  • When Moses brought forth water from the rock. The Lord said, “Go on before the people, and take with you some of the elders of Israel. Also take in your hand your rod with which you struck the river, and go. Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb; and you shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink” (Exodus 17:5-6).
  • When God told Moses how to bring forth water again: “Take the rod; you and your brother Aaron gather the congregation together. Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will yield its water” (Numbers 20:8). Unfortunately, in anger against the people, Moses struck the rock again instead of speaking to it as he had been instructed. Nevertheless, the rock yielded water, though Moses lost the blessing because of his disobedience.
  • When Joshua commanded the sun. “Then Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight o f Israel: 'Sun, stand still over Gibeon; and Moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.' So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the people had revenge upon their enemies” (Joshua 10:12-13).
  • When Elijah commanded the rain. He said to Ahab, “As the Lord God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except at my word” (1 Kings 17:1)
There are also many other cases in the Old Testament where men performed miracles and healings — even raising the dead! The natural world responded to them because they believed and obeyed God.

Now, some people might say that those were special men of God, and has nothing to do with us today. But James, the brother of the Lord Jesus, would beg to differ, as he encourages people to get serious about the life-changing, world-changing benefits of prayer:
The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayer again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit. (James 5:16-18)
The kind of things God did through Elijah in Old Testament times, He is willing to do through all His people today. Consider what Jesus said to His disciples and how it blows the parameters wide open for us today:
For I say to you, among those born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he. (Luke 7:28)
Follow the equation: John the Baptist was greater than all the prophets and mighty men of God in the Old Testament. But even the least one in the kingdom of God is greater than John the Baptist. Therefore, even the least one in the kingdom of God is greater than all the prophets and mighty men of God in the Old Testament.

If the natural realm responded to mighty men of old as they believed and obeyed God, how much more will it be responsive to us when we believe and obey God.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The World Was Created to Respond to Us

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that that moves on the earth.” (Genesis 1:26-27)
God created us in His image and likeness — to be like Him — and so that we could exercise dominion over the earth and everything in it, to be stewards of His creation on in accordance with His purposes. The command He gave to Adam and Eve was to be fruitful and multiply, to fill the earth and subdue it. To subdue the earth means to bring it into order. God created us to be like Him so that we could bring all the earth into line with who He is and what He is like. In other words, the earth was created to be responsive to us.

We know, of course, that Adam and Eve rebelled against God, and in so doing, disconnected from the life, and even the order, of God. Chaos followed, not only for man, but also for creation. That is how close the relationship is between man and the earth. Man was formed of the dust of the ground, and when Adam sinned, the ground came under a curse.
Then to Adam He [God] said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat of it':

Cursed is the ground for your sake [because of you];
In toil you shall eat of it
All the days of your life.
Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you,
And you shall eat the herb of the field.
In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread
Till you return to the ground,
For out of it you were taken;
For dust you are,
And to dust you shall return."
(Genesis 3:17-19)
We know also that God had a plan or redemption, to restore us to Himself. That's why Jesus came. This redemption is not for us only, but also for all creation:
For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. (Romans 8:19-22)
Just as all creation was affected by the fall of man in Adam, it is also influenced by the restoration of man in Jesus Christ, because the world was created to respond to mankind. When we walk in rebellion, the earth responds in kind. But if we will walk in faithful obedience to God and His Word, the earth will respond to that obedience. Indeed, the world was created to respond to the Word of God, as well as to us, because it was framed by the Word of God. When we are lined up with that Word in all we say and do, how much greater will be creation's response to it.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

We Were Created to Respond to the Word

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness ...” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:26-27)
Just as the worlds were framed by the Word of God (Hebrews 11:3), so were we. And like the world, we were created to be responsive to the Word of God. Seeing that we were created in the image and likeness of God — that is, to be like God — how much more responsive we should be to His Word.

Certainly, we should be responsive in our spirits to God's Word. But even our bodies, being made of the natural substance of the world, respond to it:
Fools, because of their transgression,
And because of their iniquities, were afflicted.
Their soul abhorred all manner of food.
And they drew near to the gates of death.
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
And He saved them out of their distresses.
He sent His Word and healed them,
And delivered them from their destructions.
(Psalm 107:17-20)
The Roman centurion understood the authority of the divine word, that even our bodies respond it. He came to Jesus, asking Him to heal his servant. Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.” But the centurion said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed” (Matthew 8:8). Jesus' response to him shows how important it is to understand this concept: “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel ... Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you” (Matthew 8:10, 13).

The Lord Jesus Himself is so closely identified with the Word of God that He is actually called The Word — the source of the world and everything in it:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made though Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. (John 1:1-5)
He is our creator, and we were created not only to respond to Him, but to enjoy fellowship with Him.
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life — the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us — that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us, and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full. (1 John 1:1-4)
You were created to be responsive to the Word of God and to fellowship with Him. 

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Created to Respond to the Word of God

By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. (Hebrews 11:3)
The world was created by the Word of God. They are also upheld and sustained by the Word of God, the “Word of His power” (Hebrews 1:3). Therefore the world will always respond to the Word of God, which is its source.

The prophet Isaiah understood this, for He recorded these words from the Lord:
For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,
And do not return there,
But water the earth;
And make it bring forth and bud,
That is may give seed to the sower
And bread to the eater,
So shall My Word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.
(Isaiah 55:10-11)
The natural elements of snow and rain fall from the heavens and do not return to return to heaven without accomplishing their intended purpose on earth. The Word of God is the same: It will aways do what God desires for it to do; it will always be fulfilled. The earth will always respond to it.

The apostle Paul also understood that the world responds to the Word of God. He gives the example of Abraham, who staked his destiny on that fact.
Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed — God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” (Romans 4:16-18)
Though Abraham had no children, and he and his wife were long past childbearing years, God spoke the promise, Abraham believed it , then the old, fruitless bodies of Abraham and Sarah responded to the Word, and their son Isaac was born to them, who became the father of many nations. That is how the Word of God works — it is creative! God calls those things that do not yet exist as though they did, and they come into existence. The whole world responds to His Word.

Everything consists of the Word of God and must always respond to it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Arise God! Enemies Be Scattered!

Let God arise,
Let His enemies be scattered;
Let those also who hate His name flee before Him.
(Psalm 68:1)
When God arises, His enemies are scattered. When we are in covenant with God, His enemies become our enemies, and our enemies become His enemies. That is what happened at the Cross. Jesus went up on our behalf and destroyed our enemies. Three days later, God raised Him from the dead, making His victory complete. Then He went up to heaven, where He ever makes intercession for us before the Father.
  • For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. (1 John 3:8)
  • Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. (Hebrews 2:14-15)
  • Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. (Colossians 2:15)
  • What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall he not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? ... Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come nor height nor death, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:31-39)
  • You are of god, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)
  • For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 John 5:4-5)
  • Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)
God has arisen on your behalf to scatter and destroy your enemies. And this is how we enter into the victory — through faith in Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Ability of God in Us

Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand. (Romans 14:4)

Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient [able] as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. (2 Corinthians 3:6)

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. (Ephesians 6:11-16)
When we are accountable to God as His servant, He is able to keep us from falling and to cause us to stand. For it is He who makes us able ministers of the new covenant made in Jesus' blood, to minister the life-giving gospel of Jesus Christ to others. He has made every provision for us so that we can stand against the schemes and devices of the devil, to stand strong even in the midst of evil, and to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one — everything the enemy throws against us — with the shield of faith.

All of these are the ability of God at work in us, because He is “able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power [His power] that works in us” (Ephesians 3:20).

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Abilities of God's Word

So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. (Acts 20:32)

But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 3:14-15)

Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21)
The Word of God brings us to salvation. It is called “the incorruptible seed” ( 1 Peter1:23). It is the truth about Jesus that washes us and makes us holy before the Lord (Ephesians 5:25; John 17:17). When we let God plant this word in our hearts it brings forth faith (Romans 10:17). It is “living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). Because it is given by inspiration of God (literally, God-breathed), it is “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

The Word of God is able to make us wise for salvation, to save and sanctify us, and to build us up and give us an inheritance through faith in Jesus Christ. Let the incorruptible seed of the Word of God be implanted in your heart and receive all the riches of this wonderful inheritance God has for you. It begins by receiving the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Abilities of God

He [Abraham] did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. (Romans 4:20-21)

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8)

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20-21)

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself. (Philippians 3:20-21)

For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day. (2 Timothy 1:12)

For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted. (Hebrews 2:18)

Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:25)

By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called,” concluding that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense. (Hebrews 11:19)

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy; to God our Savior, Who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen. (Jude 24-25)
When the Bible says that God is able to do something, it is not merely theoretical, but indicates God's willingness to do those things for whoever will come to Him, to all who call on His name. If you are ready to believe it, He is ready to do it.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Prosperous Days, Peaceful Nights

The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime,
And in the night His song shall be with me —
A prayer to the God of my life.
(Psalm 42:8)
The “lovingkindness” of the Lord is His mercy and steadfast love. The Hebrew word is hesed, and refers to the love by which He has covenanted Himself to His people. God appoints, gives charge to His covenant love over us every day, to keep us, guide us, and prosper us.

In the nighttime, when the darkness closes in, He gives us a song to sing. It is a song of peace that turns our attention toward Him. It is a prayer to God, whom the psalm writer calls The God of My Life. For He is the one who gives us life, and He is well able to sustain us, to bless in the daytime and preserve us in the night.

Believe the lovingkindness of the Lord and look to Him to prosper you every day. Do not the fear the darkness of night, but listen for the song He will give you, and sing it to Him, and so let Him surround you with His peace. For it is the song of His love and tender mercies, and it will carry you through till dawn, and the manifestation of His prosperity in your life.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Sweet, Peaceful, Restful Sleep

If you have trouble sleeping, here are some verses to contemplate. For those who put their trust in the Lord:
I lay down and slept;
I awoke, for the Lord sustained me.
I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people
Who have set themselves against me all around.
(Psalm 3:5-6)

Be angry, and do not sin.
Meditate within your heart on your bed, ad be still.
Offer the sacrifices of righteousness,
And put your trust in the Lord.
There are many who say,
“Who will show us any good?”
Lord, lift up the light of Your countenance upon us.
You have put gladness in my heart,
More than in the season that their grain and wine increased.
I will both lie down in peace, and sleep;
For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
(Psalm 4:4-8)
For those whose source is in God:
Unless the Lord builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the Lord guards the city,
The watchman stays awake in vain.
It is vain for you to rise up early,
To sit up late,
To eat the bread of sorrows;
For so He gives His beloved sleep.
(Psalm 127:1-2)
For those who keep godly wisdom and discretion (Proverbs 3:21):

When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet.
(Proverbs 3:24)
For those who seek first the kingdom of God:
The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, and should sleep by night and rise by day. (Mark 4:26)
Even while you sleep, His kingdom is at work, and everything is being taken care of on your behalf (Matthew 6:33).

Put your trust in the Lord. Do not anxious, do not be angry, do not let your heart be filled with business. Meditate on Him and let His love be perfected in you to drive out all fear. Seek His kingdom, and He will watch over all that pertains to you. So shall your sleep be sweet, peaceful and full of rest.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Life is God's Dream

A man in my Tuesday morning Bible study group told how, when he was little, his father went out and carved these words on a tree: Life is a dream. “And you know what?” my friend said, “Life really is a dream. It's God's dream.”

I agree.

I remember reading a book, a few years back, that was called Between the Dreaming and the Coming True: The Road Home to God by Robert Benson. God has a dream, and we are living in the time between when He first dreamed it and when it fully comes to pass.

Since God is sovereign, another word for “dream” in this context is “will.” That is, God's dream is God's will; God's will is God's dream. It is His desire, His plan, His passion.

The amazing thing is that you and I get to be a part of that dream. That's why Jesus came to bring us back to the Father, so we could share the dream with Him. Jesus' preaching was all about God's dream — He called it the “kingdom of heaven.” It is God's kingdom, God's dream.

Not only do we get to be a part of God's dream, we also get to be part of bringing it into manifestation. In the Lord's Prayer, Jesus taught us to pray, “Your kingdom, come. Your will, be done on earth as it is in heaven.” We may just as well say, “Your dream come true on earth as it is in heaven.” God's dream has been fulfilled in heaven, and His plan is for it to be revealed on earth in the same way.

God has a dream for you and me. It is not a nightmare, but a manifestation of heaven on earth. We enter into that dream by receiving the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Monday, March 5, 2007

Riches Stored in Secret Places

I will give you the treasures of darkness
Riches stored in secret places,
So that you may know that I am the Lord,
The God of Israel, who summons you by name.
(Isaiah 45:3 NIV)
God has hidden depositories and secret storehouses filled with riches, and He wants to give them to His anointed. Who are His anointed? Those He has established to do His will.
  • The Lord Jesus is His anointed, for He is the “Christ,” which means “Anointed One.”
  • Every believer in Jesus Christ is anointed. He is our Shepherd who prepares a table before us and anoints us with oil (Psalm 23:5).
  • Sometimes God even anoints people who do not know Him to do something that benefits His kingdom. Isaiah 45 presents us with such an example: Cyrus was a Persian king, but God anointed him for a purpose that helped His people.
Here is what the Lord will do for His anointed:
I will go before you
And make the crooked places straight;
I will break in pieces the gates of bronze
And cut the bars of iron.
I will give you the treasures of darkness
And hidden riches in secret places.
(Isaiah 45:2-3)
To “make the crooked places straight” means to bring down the mountains, to “level the playing field.” Jesus taught the disciples how to move mountains out of the way: “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says” (Mark 11:22-23).

God will also break in pieces the gates of bronze and cut through the bars of iron, the plates that cover the gates. These are all completely destroyed. In Cyrus' case, this described the gates of Babylon, which he would destroy. For us, Jesus has promised that the gates of hell cannot prevail against His Church (Matthew 16:18). They cannot withstand His purposes. Jesus also taught us to ask, and it shall be given to us, to seek and we shall find, to knock and the door shall be opened unto us (Luke 11:9).

The way to hidden treasure and riches stored in secret places has been opened up to us in Jesus Christ. All that remains is for them to be revealed. Wisdom and revelation is given to us by the Holy Spirit, so that we may know the joyful anticipation of our calling, the riches of the glory of the inheritance God has for us, and the greatness of His power on behalf of those who believe (Ephesians 1:17-19). James said that if we need wisdom, all we have to do is ask God and He will give it to us, without rebuke, if we ask in faith (James 1:5-6).

God has given us the keys for moving mountains, opening doors and revealing riches in secret places. Ask Him for wisdom and revelation of where those treasures are stored, which mountains need to be removed, which gates need to be destroyed and which doors need to be opened.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Whose is the Earth?

The earth is the Lord's and all its fullness.
The world and those who dwell therein.
(Psalm 24:1)
The earth belongs to the Lord because He created it. In Genesis 14:22, He is called, “The Lord, God Most High, the Possessor of Heaven and Earth.”
The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord's,
But the earth He has given to the children of men.
(Psalm 115:16)
As Possessor of Heaven and Earth, the Lord has given the earth to the children of men. This is a stewardship. For when God created man, He said, “Let us make man in Our image, according to our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth” (Genesis 1:26). God created man to have rule and reign over the earth, but it was not an authority that could rightly be exercised apart from God.

We know, of course, that Adam rebelled against the authority of God and spiritually disconnected from Him. The earth was cursed because of Adam's treason. Because man was no longer in proper relationship with God, he became vulnerable to the schemes and deceits of the devil. Since then, satan has held powerful influence over man, and has blinded his eyes to the Creator (2 Corinthians 4:3-6).

God gave man the right to rule over the earth, but satan cheated man out of it. We find something very interesting concerning this when Jesus was in the wilderness and satan tried to tempt Him:
Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if you will fall down and worship me.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, “You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.” (Matthew 4:8-10)
Notice that Jesus did not dispute satan's right to give Him the kingdom's of the world and all that belonged to them. But He was not about to yield worship to satan, for God alone is to be worshiped. For the works of the devil were about to be destroyed. The Bible says, “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise share in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:14-15).

Jesus went to the cross, taking all our sin and bondage upon Himself, and destroyed them there. Then God raised Him from the dead. Forty days later, He ascended to His throne in heaven, at the right hand of the Father, where He rules and reigns forever. But before He ascended, He came to His disciples and declared: “All authority has been given to me in heaven and in earth” (Matthew 28:18). Then He commissioned His disciples to make disciples of all the nations — the same nations and kingdoms that satan offered to give Him if He would simply transfer His allegiance!

These are the nations the Father promised the Son when He said, “Ask of Me, and I will give you the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession” (Psalm 2:8). “But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of the God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool” (Hebrews 10:9-10).

The Lord God of Hosts has always been the Possessor of Heaven and Earth. Though He gave stewardship of the earth to the children of men, He has always been the owner. And though Adam lost this inheritance because of the trickery of satan, Jesus, the “Second Adam” has come to destroy the works of the devil. Now the Lord Jesus is receiving the nations unto Himself through the preaching of His Gospel in all the world. We are now in the time of the outworking of His rule and reign in all the earth.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Positively Positioned and Empowered to Prosper

He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
(Psalm 1:3)
If you want to know how to come into the place of prosperity in every area of your life, study this man closely:

  • He is like a tree that has been planted (even transplanted) beside the rivers of water. He did not get there by himself, but was set there by God. He has a good foundation; his roots are well-watered. He is established, supplied and cultivated.
  • He brings forth fruit in season. The life of this tree is nourished by the rivers of water and the nutrients of the soil. It drinks in the sunlight and is faithfully tended by the grove-keeper. It goes patiently through its seasons — the season for resting and recreating, the season for germinating, the season for budding and blooming, the season for fruit-bearing, and the season for harvest. In the season of harvest, this man is not found wanting, but is very fruitful. He has much to give, and he shares generously of his bounty.
  • His leaf shall not wither. This man stays connected to his source, so he does not fall away or faint in the time of drought, or when the heat is on. He tends to the things that need to be tended, when they need to be tended, and does not leave the important details undone, so that even the tiniest of his leaves are full of life.
  • Whatever he does shall prosper. The psalm writer now moves from the metaphor of the well-watered tree and speaks plainly: Everything this man does increases his prosperity. He finds success and increase at every turn. Even when he makes mistakes, or experiences failures or adversities, he learns from them, adapts his strategies and perseveres until he sees his prosperity come forth. Not only is he himself blessed by his prosperity, but many around him also benefit from his success.
So, who is this man, and what is the secret of his prosperity? First, take a look at who he isn't:
Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful.
(Psalm 1:1)
This is not a man who takes his cues from the world system, from those who have no regard for God in their lives and do not care whether the things they do are morally right or wrong. He does not share the same pathway with these men, because it will eventually lead to destruction. He does not sit under their influence, because they treat everything — God, good, honor, truth, right, integrity, everything! — as a joke.

Now take a look at who this man is, and what he does do:
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law, he meditates day and night.
(Psalm 1:2)
There it is — the secret of his success! He delights in the law of the Lord. He takes great pleasure in the ways of God. He craves them, and looks forward to them as a lip-smacking delicacy. His fills his heart, his mind, even his mouth with the Word of God, letting it forge his will, shape his emotions, correct his thoughts and empower the very words that roll off his own tongue. So he is established in a fertile place beside life-giving streams, and so he prospers, because he has found his source in God.