We need to realize the battle we have in our lives is a war over our DOUBT and our FAITH. In Heb. 11:1, we’re told our faith has 2-parts. First, it’s the assurance of things hoped for…what this means is our faith must declare with confidence and certainty that what we’re asking will happen. Second, the conviction of things not seen…meaning we’re called to hold firmly to the promise, convinced that what we’re praying for will come to pass even though we aren’t seeing it YET!
So my question this morning is, “Do you Really Believe and Trust what God said will come to pass even though it’s been years?”
And so begins the battle! I’m convinced that’s why Solomon wrote in Pro. 4:23, “Guard your heart with all diligence for out of it flows the issues of life.” Without a guard, our hearts easily become Double-Minded, unstable in all their ways (James 1:6-8). I’m sure that’s why the Author of Heb. 10:23, told us to “Hold fast our confession of our Hope without wavering, for He who promised is Faithful to fulfill it.”
We are called to become FAITHFUL in our belief God will birth that which He has promised. Like Sarah we need to REPENT (the best way to guard our hearts) and not laugh at God’s promise even though it doesn’t seem possible. As you repent, encourage your heart to Decree the Covenant of Faithfulness. Learn to position your heart over each situation and believe God for His purpose to come to pass. If Sarah would’ve declared her promise before God and stayed steady she wouldn’t have bought into a “Hagar lie” of trying to bring the promise about by self-strength. Always remember when you buy the lie judgement always will follow. Today let’s declare and live the Promise.
KEY: God is looking for FAITHFUL people that believe His promises will come to pass even when it seems impossible to happen.
I’ve heard the prophets say 2020 is going to be a time of completion. The fact is in Hebrew numerology the number 20 is a sign of “Completion”. The question I have is, what’s going to be completed? That’s when I heard the Holy Spirit say a transformation: completed in the lives of His saints.
Rom. 12:1-2, talks to us about the transformation God desires for all of us. A transformation of our identity that I believe will be found in the rendering of our hearts. For many this rendering will come swiftly because they don’t want or desire to be conformed to this world. But for some it will take a “Complete Rendering”. Joel 2:13, not a rendering of the outside but a deep work inside. Rendering literally means, to deliver or hand over (an act we do) so a verdict or judgement (an act God does) can happen. The purpose of rendering is transforming a hard heart into a flesh heart. It’s a process (melt down) of the fat that’s grown around hearts in order that the Holy Spirit could extract what’s needed to build the Kingdom of God. The fat of compromise and laziness has caused us to be stuck in our story never fulfilling the promise God gave us years ago. Gods plan and purpose that’s been locked up inside of us.
The melt down process will take Repentance on your part. Not just a stopping and changing direction from the sin your involved in but also a mindset change. The renewing of your mind is a change in the way you think. The transformation we’re looking for, results in a legal decree from our Judge and King, that’s only found in a broken and contrite heart (Psa. 51:17). When God see’s a humble heart repenting He issues a verdict in our favor that releases His favor in our lives.
KEY: Look for Jesus to transform not conform you in 2020. Believe that which was useless because of hardness will be RENDERED and become usable again.
QUESTION: Are you resisting God’s melt down (rendering) in your life?
Do you realize the Holy Spirit has entrusted to you, your abilities and gifts, with a commission to invest and increase His Kingdom through your life?
Two of the three servants understood the Master’s Heart; the third misunderstood who the Master was and what He desired. It’s true, God gives abilities and gifts to all of us and they vary from person to person. All three servants knew they needed to be accountable for their abilities and gifts. With the right motivation, the first two invested their gifts and were rewarded for their faithfulness. The third motivated by fear and false judgement was unable to understand how to invest and bring increase. His misjudgment of the Master’s heart (Thinking: I know You. You’re a harsh man) became his reality. Losing Everything!
Notice it says, “I was afraid.” When we allow fear to control our lives and relationships we’re guaranteed to misjudge and act in the wrong way. What we say and do in fear always open doors of pain and despair.
BUT, when we choose God’s Peace instead of anxiousness and fear, we’re able to see clearly, trust fully, and respond in the right way.
KEY: When we choose Peace instead of fear, we find our Joy and Rest and see God’s Kingdom increased.
Question: Are you losing God’s Joy because you’re motivated by fear instead of God’s Peace?
Comment below and let me know if God’s Joy is present and working in your life!
Do you know what one of the most powerful gifts of the Holy Spirit is?
The answer may surprise you, it did me! As I read 1 Cor. 12, I found the answer in the very last verse (vs.31). Today, many believers are desiring to be used by the Spirit and function in the gifts that 1 Cor. 12 talks about. Seeking His gifts, we fail to see what the Holy Spirit wants to give us “a more excellent way…found in His Peace”.
I’ve come to believe the most powerful gift He wants to give us is His Peace, His Heavenly Peace. This Peace allows us to walk through anything life throws at us. It’s His Peace that gives us a new perspective on how to live and function in His gifts.
1. Peace that can’t be found in People (perfection and people approval is a peace killer). 2. Peace that can’t be found in Places (No AirBnB or mountain top is lasting). 3. Peace that can’t be found in Pace (No matter how fast you perform and try to obtain or run to gain).
Phil. 4:7 shares “God’s Path of Peace surpasses all our understanding and helps guard our hearts and minds”. It’s found in a submissive spirit and a repentant heart.
KEY: Col. 3:15…Listen, Watch, Wait are the character traits of a Faithful Man that clears your thoughts, stills your soul, and calms your fears as we head into 2020.
QUESTION: ARE YOU WALKING IN GOD’S PEACE TODAY? Comment below and let me know how you are doing with His Peace!
God said, “Pride has to go for true Godly praise to occur.” How many of you have fallen short of what you expected of yourself or what others expected of you? (You can bet the farm): pride came before that fall.
James 4:6 states, “He resists (a Greek sport term for being on the opposite team) the proud but gives Grace to the humble.” God tells us when we’re living in a prideful place. He’s on the opposite team playing against us.
Look at your life, is pride seeking approval from others? If it is, God’s standing against you and your pride. Your sin clouds up your ability to see and hear His voice speaking to you. You’re in a fight and you don’t even realize who you’re fighting.
KEY: Ask to be held accountable by the Holy Spirit to deal with your pride found in secret imaginations, sins, and the shame that control your life.
It seems I’ve been a teacher my whole life. Starting as a counselor in a local Mukilteo, Washington high school. I found myself desiring to see people set free from all the dysfunctions that were going on in their lives. Seeking that goal, our family moved to another state where I taught high school history and a Bible class, which turned my life around. God’s call on my life happened there and the Foursquare Denomination commissioned the Alinen family as pastors. It was here I started my Ph.D program and fulfilled my desire to have the opportunity to pastor and counsel people. For 15 years, we pastored churches in Wilbur, Washington, East Helena, Montana, and our home town Mukilteo, Washington. Each post brought joy and hardships as we did our best to be faithful to fulfill our calling. But then a failure on my part brought our ministry opportunities to an end!
But when God closes doors, by His Mercy, windows open. Because of a repentant heart, the Lord blessed me with the opportunity to return to the Mukilteo School District as a PE teacher and coach. What the devil meant for my destruction, the Lord meant for my good and His glory. My desire to teach middle school and high school kids was renewed once again; along with the privilege of coaching state champion golf teams, conference champion tennis teams and 8th grade basketball teams. The things I learned mentoring young men and women as a coach have been valuable to me. I also had the privilege of serving and seeing my student’s families struggling to live in this upper middle-class city where both parents had to work. Many of those parents needed a helping hand as they negotiated family life and learning how to be the parent they needed to be. Now retired, I’m still involved with many of those parents, leading Bible studies and performing marriage ceremonies for many of my former students!
Currently, Jeanne and I are working to develop Faithful Men and Women’s ministries throughout Snohomish County and Lincoln County, Washington.