Tag Archives: Christian living

Looking For The Presence Of God

Standard
Looking For The Presence Of God

Luke 2:41-46 NKJV
“His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover. And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and His mother did not know it, but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day’s journey, and sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances. So when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him. Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions.”

Under the law men were required to go to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover. The people who lived outside of Jerusalem had to make the annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem. The Scriptures tell us that every year Joseph and Mary, along with Jesus, went to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover.
After they finished what the law required, Joseph and Mary gathered their things and headed back home. When they had traveled for one day, they began to look for Jesus. They did not find Him with their relatives or acquaintances that were traveling the same way as them.
Is it possible that since Joseph and Mary went to Jerusalem three times a year, year after year, that they had gotten into a routine? If you’ve been to many family gatherings, you will notice that the children always want to ride home with someone other than their parents. Maybe this was true of Jesus also. Maybe it was so routine that His parents assumed He was traveling back with His friends or cousins.
In the natural realm, they had allowed someone else to be responsible for Jesus so many times that when they did not see Him they assumed He was still with their group. They had allowed someone else to be responsible to carry the presence of the Lord. Instead of following along with the people making the journey back home, Jesus stayed in Jerusalem.
According to the Bible, years later, Jerusalem was the place where Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to fill the believers.

Acts 1: 4-5 NKJV
“And being assembled together with them, he commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

Jesus could have sent the believers anywhere to wait on the infilling of the Holy Spirit, but He chose Jerusalem. Jerusalem was a place of worship under the law. Many of the people that worshipped God in Jerusalem had a revelation of God, but not an intimate relationship with Him. When revelation and relationship (intimacy) come together mighty things happen.

Acts 2:1-4 NKJV
“When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place, And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

It was in Jerusalem that the early believers ministered unto the Lord for many days, and as a result God filled the room where they were with His presence. The people in the upper room were baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. They weren’t just speaking anything-they were praising and worshipping God. They were giving glory to God.

Acts 2:11 NKJV
“Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.”

The Holy Spirit will help us worship God in spirit and in truth, just like He helped the early believers. The presence of God brings power and results. After Peter was baptized with the Holy Spirit, he stood up and spoke to the crowd. Because of the anointing upon him and the words that he spoke, many believed.

Acts 2:41 NKJV
“Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand
souls were added to them.”

After the people believed, the Bible tells us, that they fellowshipped in the breaking of bread and in prayers.

Acts 2:42 NKJV
“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of
bread, and in prayers.”

This verse does not mean that they sat around eating all their meals together. The early church shared times of corporate worship and prayer as well as communion (breaking of bread). Communion is a very intimate time between you and God, even when taken together as a group.
The are times in our lives that we might be like Joseph and Mary. We happily travel along the
path we choose assuming that Jesus is with us. Once down the road we begin to “look” for the presence of Jesus, but He is no where to be found. Only then do we begin to seek His presence.

Luke 2:46 NKJV
“Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the
teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions.”

When Joseph and Mary discovered that Jesus was not with them, they began to look for Him. They returned to Jerusalem, the last place that they had seen Him. Joseph and Mary found Jesus in the temple, a place of worship. When they became desperate for Him they found Him.

Matthew 7:7 NKJV
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”

James 4:8 NKJV
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”

All across the world, many people are traveling along assuming that the presence of the Lord is with them. They have a form of godliness, but no power.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 NKJV
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”

Matthew 23:25-28 NKJV
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but the inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”

Like the early church, we need to rediscover what worshipping God in Spirit and in truth is.

John 4:23-24 NKJV
“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

God doesn’t just want you to know who He is, He wants an intimate relationship with you too. Many people know the name of God, but few know Him intimately.

Matthew 7:13-14 NKJV
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

We need to allow our revelation and our relationship to come together- we need to “Return To Jerusalem”. Just like Joseph and Mary, when we become desperate for the presence of God we will find Him, in a place of worship.

.
.

Review
.
1. According to the second chapter of Luke, why were Jesus and His family in Jerusalem?
.
.
.
.
2. How long (how many days) had Joseph and Mary traveled before they realized that Jesus was not with them?
.
.
.
.
3. As a group name some reasons why Mary and Joseph might not have realized Jesus wasn’t with them.
.
.
.
.
4. One definition of assume is to suppose something or to accept that something is true without checking or confirming it. Have you every assumed something only to later find out that you were wrong?
.
.
.
.
5. What were the believers instructed to wait for?
.
.
.
.
6. What did Jesus tell His followers that they would be baptized in?
.
.
.
.
7. The people that worshiped in Jerusalem did not have what with God?
.
.
.
.
8. When Jesus’ followers were gathered together they heard what?
.
.
.
.
9. When the followers were filled with the Holy Spirit what happened?
.
.
.

10. What were the people in the upper room doing when they were baptized in the Holy Spirit?
.
.
.
.
11. One definition of minister is to give something to someone. How can you personally “minister” to God?
.
.
.
.
12. The Holy Spirit filled Peter with boldness and as a result how many people were saved that day?
.
.
.
.
13. What does communion mean to you?
.
.
.
14. Jesus does not leave us, we leave Him. As a group, discuss and list some ways that we leave Jesus.
.
.
.
.
15. Who is 2 Timothy 23:25-28 talking about?
.
.
.

16. According to Matthew 7:13-14, how must we worship God?
.
.
.
.
17. When we really become desperate for God, will we find Him?
.
.
.
.
18. Has there ever been a time in your life that you were truly desperate for God and His presence?
.
.
.
.
19. Write a prayer asking God to draw you closer to Him.
.
.
.
.

Advertisements

Know Who Can Save You

Standard
Know Who Can Save You

The prodigal son knew who could save him. He knew that his father was in a position to help him.

Luke 15:18-19 NKJV
“I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me one of your hired servants.’ ”

The woman with the alabaster box knew who could save her. She had heard Jesus speak before and she knew the message of salvation and hope that He brought. She knew His repetition and that He welcomed everyone into the kingdom of God. Who knows, maybe she had even heard about the woman ‘caught’ in adultery or the woman at the well.
Esther knew who could save her and her people. She knew that the king held the power to save them.

Esther 4:16 NKJV
“Go gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My
maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!”

We must know who can save us. Jesus is the only way we can be saved. It is only through His blood that our sins are washed away.

John 14:6 NKJV
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Romans 10:9 NKJV
“that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Acts 16:31 NKJV
“So they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

Admit, Repent and Be Zealous

Standard
Admit, Repent and Be Zealous

Revelation 3:15-22 NKJV
“ I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’–and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked– I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

1. Admit Your Condition – Humble Yourself
The first step to correcting anything is admission. We must admit our lukewarmness, complacency, sins, faults, failures, and weaknesses to God. It is important to see them as God sees them. In other words we must humble ourselves. Humbleness can be described as seeing yourself as God see you. God’s Word tells us that He gives grace to the humble but He resists the proud.

James 4:6-10 NKJV
“But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”

2. Repent
After we admit to our sins, faults, failures, and weaknesses we must ask God to forgive us and repent. Repent means to turn around, doing an about-face or to change your mind. When you ask God to forgive you, You must turn from that sin. True repentance ( a changed heart) will cause you to desire to honor God in every aspect of your life. You don’t “not sin” because it’s wrong, but because of your great love for God and for your desire to honor Him.

As believers we must evaluate our lives (our actions, our words our deeds, our attitudes, our thoughts…) and allow the Lord to search us to see if there is anything evil or wicked in us.

1 Peter 4:17 NKJV
“For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?”

Sin blocks revival, and sin effects your relationship and intimacy with God. Is there sin in your life, your family or you church? Are you in right standing with God? Are you obeying God‘s Word or living in disobedience? Are you intimate with God or merely religious? Can God describe you as a person after His own heart? When you sin you are quick to repent or do you just brush if off like it doesn’t really matter?

Believers must live a lifestyle of repentance – when they sin, and they will, they must truly repent. We must get to the point that we are more concerned about maintaining an intimate relationship with God than we are about rights and wrongs.
Repentance will keep the presence of God upon us and our lives. In the church, as a whole, there are times that God moves in a mighty fashion and His sweet presence (His glory) fills the place. In order for His glory to stay upon us, our lives, and our church we must take His glory home with us! However, God will not share His glory with the world (soulish things or people). When God visits your church (a visitation of His glory), and goes home with you He expects you to do something – He expects you to change. He expects you to go through your house with the Holy Spirit and ask, “Holy Spirit, does this grieve You?” Listen closely for His answer. When He says “Yes,” repent and get ride of it. Don’t keep it around. Every church in America could use an old fashioned spiritual burning.

Acts 19:18-20 NKJV
“And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds. Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in sight of all. And they counted up the value of them, and it totaled fifty thousand pieces of silver. So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed.”

These people showed true repentance and sincerity by burning (getting rid of) their sinful items. What was happening on the inside of them carried over to the outside. When others saw a real change in the ones that had repented the kingdom of God grew. Many cry out, “Lord, send the fire,” but thy really do not mean it. If they did they would do in the natural what they are asking God to do in the spiritual. Prior to the Passover, the Jewish people would go through their house and search it over from top to bottom for leaven. In the Bible leaven represents sin. If leaven was found, it would be removed. As Christians we need to go through our houses on a regular basis and remove the sin. If we don’t the presence of the Lord will not stay in our homes. The church will be no different than our homes. When God tells you (through His Word or His Spirit) to get rid of something, get rid of it. The item needs to be destroyed. Don’t keep it around, even boxed up somewhere. If you do, you will eventually pick it up again. And, please do not give it to one of your worldly friends or co-workers.

3. Be Zealous For God
Zeal means a firm adherent (characterized by warmth of feeling typically expressed in eager support for a person, a cause, or an ideal). It also means fiery hot, and filled with or characterized by fervor (intense feeling or expressions / intense heat).

We are to be zealous for God.

Revelation 3:19 NKJV
“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.”

Revelation 3:19 NIV
“Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.”

We are to be spiritually zealous.

Romans 12:10-13 NKJV
“Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.”

Romans 12:11 NIV
“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.”

We are to be zealous for the things of God.

Psalm 69:8-9 NKJV
“I have become a stranger to my brothers, And an alien to my mother’s children; Because zeal for Your house has eaten me up, And the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me.”

Psalm 69:8-9 NIV
“I am a foreigner to my own family, a stranger to my own mother’s children; for zeal for your house consumes me, and the insults of those who insult you fall on me.”

Jesus overturns the tables of the money changers in the temple (twice- at the beginning and at the end of His earthly ministry) because He was zealous for the house of God.

John 2:13-17 NKJV
“Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the moneychangers doing business. When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” Then His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.”

John 2:13-17 NIV
“When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

We are to be zealous for good works.

Titus 2:14 NKJV
“…who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.”

Titus 2:14 NIV
“…who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.”

Soul Or Spirit

Standard
Soul Or Spirit

What you feed the most will grow the strongest. This is true in both the physical and the spiritual realm. If you take two rats and feed them different amounts of food, the rat that is fed more will grow stronger than the other one, and eventually it will overtake the smaller one. In addition to having a body, man has a soul (mind, will, emotions) and a spirit. Whatever part is fed the most will overtake the other part. In order to be spiritually strong we must feed our spirit more than we feed our soul.

Romans 7:14-25 NKJV
“ For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God–through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.”

Galatians 5:16-26 NKJV
“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”

Every believer has a battle raging within them – between good and evil. The soulish part of us will dry to draw us away from God and what we know is right. That is why spiritual growth is so important.

Is the spiritual climate around you favorable to spiritual growth?
Are you making progress in your spiritual growth?
Are your standards more Biblical or worldly?

Tu B’ Shvat – One Christian’s Perspective

Standard

Tu B’ Shvat is the Jewish New Year for trees, for the purpose of calculating the age of the tree for tithing. It is usually in January or February. One custom associated with this celebration is to consume those fruits which grow in the land of Israel. Before any food is eaten a blessing is said.

When we look at a tree in the winter it looks like nothing is happening inside it, but that is far from the truth. Trees (as well as us) have suffered through cold, dark days and nights. The sap is beginning to rise deep in the heart of trees. New life is starting to emerge. Many things are going on where the eyes cannot see. What looks dead and frozen over will blossom out with buds before long. All looks bleak, cold and lifeless, but there is a promise of rejuvenation.

Tu B’ Shvat is the point at which the trees stop being nourished by the waters of the previous year, and begin to be nourished by the new years waters.

In our lives many things are going on that we can’t see with our natural eyes. At times there are situations in our lives that look dead or hopeless. However, when all looks bleak, cold and lifeless we must remember that there is a promise of rejuvenation. We serve a God of restoration. There is nothing that He cannot restore.

Like the trees on Tu B’ Shvat, last years water supply is not enough. We too need fresh rain (fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit / fresh moves of the Holy Spirit).

Tu B’ Shvat has more to do with the tree’s fruit rather than the tree itself. Just like a fruit tree our lives should produce.

Galatians 5:22,23 NIV
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control”

As we look back over the past year, how was our fruit bearing? Did we bear fruit? There will be (or have been) times in our lives when everything looks bleak and there seems to be no sign of life (growth). During these times we must remember that many things are going on where the eyes can not see.

YOU MUST OVERCOME A DEFEATED SPIRIT, MINDSET AND ATTITUDE

Standard

 

There are too many believers with a defeated sprit, mindset or attitude.

A defeated sprit, mindset or attitude can…
* hinder God’s blessing.
* lead to anxiety and insecurity.
* cause unbelief.

Defeated Spirit
Oppression is often the source of worry, stress, or anxiety. Demon oppression involves a demon attacking a person spiritually. Demons will try to cause a person to worry or fear. The Bible is very clear about where worry and fear come from – they do not come from God. A defeated spirit is often characterized by a sense of helplessness, hopelessness and worthlessness.

2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind”

Psalm 42:5 NKJV
“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance.”

Psalm 42:11 NKJV
“Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.”

Psalm 43:4-5 NKJV
“Then I will go to the altar of God, To God my exceeding joy; And on the harp I will praise You, O God, my God. Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.”

Don’t allow Satan or the other fallen angels (demons) to gain access into your life through worry or fear.

1 Peter 5:6-7 NKJV
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”

Psalm 55:22 NKJV
“Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be
moved.”

God has told us in His Word, not to worry and that worrying does not help.

Matthew 6:25-34 NKJV
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble”

Oppression over a long period of time can lead to depression. Depression can come from several things: a physical reason/disorder, a demonic attack, or by opening the door to demonic influences through sin. Not all depression comes from a physical or mental disorder, and not all depression come from a demonic influence. However, it does not matter where it comes from because Jesus paid the price for freedom from all oppression and depression.

Hebrews 4:15-16 NKJV
“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Instead of worrying about something, a believers needs to immediately give the problem or situation to the Lord. Not only can He work things out, He sympathizes with us. In Him we will always find the exact help we need, mixed with mercy and grace.

Defeated Attitude
A believers attitude has an effect on them, both physical, psychological and spiritually. We are instructed to have the same attitude as Christ.

Philippians 2:5
“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.”

People with a defeated mindset or attitude…
* are unable, or unwilling, to forgive themselves.
* desire to blame others
* dwell on the past.
* engage in self-defeating talk
* fear failure.
* fear making mistakes.
* make negative assumptions – about themselves and/or others.
* make negative comparison with others.
* tend to have a victim mentality.

Your attitude will determine your victory, or lack of it. The twelve spies are a good example of this.

Numbers 13:1-3 NKJV
“And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the children of Israel; from each tribe of their fathers you shall send a man, every one a leader among them.” So Moses sent them from the Wilderness of Paran according to the command of the Lord, all of them men who were heads of the children of Israel.”

Numbers 13: 27-33 NKJV
“Then they told him, and said: “We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the South; the Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the mountains; and the Canaanites dwell by the sea and along the banks of the Jordan.” Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.” But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”

Numbers 14:1-34 NKJV
“So all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness! Why has the Lord brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” So they said to one another, “Let us select a leader and return to Egypt.” Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel. But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: “The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’ Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.” And all the congregation said to stone them with stones. Now the glory of the Lord appeared in the tabernacle of meeting before all the children of Israel. Then the Lord said to Moses: “How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them? I will strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they.” And Moses said to the Lord: “Then the Egyptians will hear it, for by Your might You brought these people up from among them, and they will tell it to the inhabitants of this land. They have heard that You, Lord, are among these people; that You, Lord, are seen face to face and Your cloud stands above them, and You go before them in a pillar of cloud by day and in a pillar of fire by night. Now if You kill these people as one man, then the nations which have heard of Your fame will speak, saying, ‘Because the Lord was not able to bring this people to the land which He swore to give them, therefore He killed them in the wilderness.’ And now, I pray, let the power of my Lord be great, just as You have spoken, saying, ‘The Lord is longsuffering and abundant in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He by no means clears the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generation.’ Pardon the iniquity of this people, I pray, according to the greatness of Your mercy, just as You have forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.” Then the Lord said: “I have pardoned, according to your word; but truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord– because all these men who have seen My glory and the signs which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have put Me to the test now these ten times, and have not heeded My voice, they certainly shall not see the land of which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who rejected Me see it. But My servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit in him and has followed Me fully, I will bring into the land where he went, and his descendants shall inherit it. Now the Amalekites and the Canaanites dwell in the valley; tomorrow turn and move out into the wilderness by the Way of the Red Sea.” And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, “How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who complain against Me? I have heard the complaints which the children of Israel make against Me. Say to them, ‘As I live,’ says the Lord, ‘just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will do to you: The carcasses of you who have complained against Me shall fall in this wilderness, all of you who were numbered, according to your entire number, from twenty years old and above. Except for Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun, you shall by no means enter the land which I swore I would make you dwell in. But your little ones, whom you said would be victims, I will bring in, and they shall know the land which you have despised. But as for you, your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness. And your sons shall be shepherds in the wilderness forty years, and bear the brunt of your infidelity, until your carcasses are consumed in the wilderness. According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, forty days, for each day you shall bear your guilt one year, namely forty years, and you shall know My rejection.”

Moses choose twelve men and sent them to spy on the land of Canaan. The twelve men found that the land is rich and fertile, that giants lived in the land, and that the cities were large and fortified. Upon their return Caleb and Joshua had a good report concerning the land and a winning attitude, however the other ten gave a negative report and they had a defeated attitude. The people chose to go with the defeated attitude and it cost them the promised land. For forty years they wandered around in the desert. Like them, there are believers that seem to always be wandering around, never getting anywhere. God has many promises for them, but they are hindered because of their negative attitude.

Inability to overcome temptation and sin.
A believer should not be under the power of sin. God, through Jesus, has given us the victory over sin. Sin in the life of a believer dishonors the name of the Jesus, cause you to not experience true joy and power, and it destroying your testimony.

James 4:7 NKJV
“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”

It is possible to resist the devil or God would not have instructed us to. Resist means to withstand, strive against, or oppose in some manner. If a believer wants the devil to flee from them, they must first submit to God and they must resist the devil. Resisting the devil must be accompanied by submitting to God. The devil will not flee from a disobedient or unsubmissive believer – they will not see victory over temptation.

There will always be temptations that come our way. When they do come, don’t play with them. It is not a sin to be tempted, but it is a sin to act upon that temptation.

Submit To God’s Authority
Submit means to place oneself under the authority of another. When we submit to God, we surrender our lives to His authority and control. All areas of our lives are to be submitted to God and placed under His authority. Sometimes believers do not walk in total victory is because they haven’t totally submitted to God and His authority. Instead of giving God every area of their lives they try to hold back a certain part of it to control themselves. With God it is all or nothing – He will not be a partial ruler or a co-ruler.

Commit To The Lord
When a believer truly commits to God they can live in victory. They can calmly and fearlessly confront, and overcome any situation that may arise. If you want to walk in victory commit yourself to God.

* Commit your sprit, mind and attitude to God
* Commit your past, your present, and your future.
* Give God control of your life and the lives of your family.
* Don’t hold anything back from God.
* Give God your sins and your failures.
* Give God your hopes, dreams and plans.

CONVICTION

Standard
CONVICTION

Could it be that churches and believers have left the Holy Spirit out of their lives and churches by being more concerned in pleasing man than in pleasing God?
Within the churches have they been more interested in making friends (social clubs) than making disciples?
Have churches quenched and grieved the Spirit for so long that they don’t even realize it?

It is the job of the Holy Spirit to convict of sin. He desires to minister in our churches but we must allow Him to. We can grieve and quench the Holy Spirit by refusing to follow His leading – by disobeying Him. Another way to grieve and quench the Holy Spirit is by planning and scheduling Him completely out of the service. When people enter into our churches they need to have an encounter with God, through the work of the Holy Spirit, not an encounter with man.

There is something very wrong when backslidden and unsaved people feel very comfortable sitting in churches listening to sermons and not feeling the convicting power of the Holy Spirit. They come, they listen and they leave unchanged. Will God hold us accountable for this?

Ezekiel 3:18-21 NKJV
“When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand.
Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul. Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you did not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; also you will have delivered your soul.”

If the church really believed that they are God’s watchman in this world would they do whatever it takes to welcome the presence of the Holy Spirit to dwell in their midst? It is the Holy Spirit that convicts a person of sin, wrong and bad habits. Without His presence in our midst we are hopelessly lost.

Everyone needs the Holy Spirit …
We need His convicting power and presence in our churches.
We need His convicting power and presence in our individual lives.
The backslidden and the prodigals need His convicting power.
Those that have never accepted salvation need His convicting power in their lives.