As the old prophet Elijah pondered his last days on earth, he decided to visit the towns of Bethel and Jericho. He invited his servant, Elisha, to go along with him, and the pair set off for what I see as a “teaching journey.” After visiting both towns, they arrived at the banks of the Jordan River. Elijah took off his mantle—a wide, loose-fitting garment or gown—and smote the water with it. Supernaturally, the waters parted, and the two men crossed over on dry ground (see 2 Kings 2:8).
Why did Elijah insist on miraculously passing through the river? The Jordan was not a deep, wide river, and Scripture gives no evidence that it was swollen. And further, there were fifty strong, young prophets on the other side who could have built a raft for them in a matter of a few hours.
I believe Elijah sought to teach his successor that the miracle crossings of the past—from Moses, to Joshua, to the present day—were all ancient history. He wanted to challenge Elisha, as if to say: “When you start your own ministry, and you preach that God is a God of miracles, you have to testify of what He has done for you personally. I’m going to be gone soon, Elisha, so tomorrow when you return to this river, I want you to go back across the way you came. Believe God for the miraculous in your own life.”
Many of us don’t have faith to believe God for our own miracles today. We spend our time poring over the incredible wonders in Scripture, yet all along God wants to tell us, “I have something even better for you. I want to do miracles in your life—to change your home, fix your marriage, save your unsaved loved ones. You are going to face your own Red Sea, your own Jordan River, and I want to part those waters for you.”
CHRIST, THE POWER AND WISDOM OF GOD :
1 CORINTHIANS 1:24 – …to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
People today run after two things: miraculous signs and wonders, and knowledge. It was no different in Bible times. The apostle Paul acknowledged that “Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom”. (1 Corinthians 1:22)
So when Paul preached Christ crucified as God’s solution to them, the message was “to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness”. (1 Corinthians 1:23) They didn’t understand how getting a revelation of Jesus and His death could give them the miracles they needed or the wisdom they wanted.
Beloved, we don’t have to run after miracles or wisdom today. We just need to run after Jesus because He is “the power of God and the wisdom of God”. The more we know Christ and Christ crucified, the more we will have the power and wisdom of God.
Several church members have shared how they have seen the power of God blast financial debts out of their lives. Not knowing what to do about their debts, they looked to the Lord to deliver them. And the Lord was able to do so mightily because He is indeed the power of God.
So if you are facing a financial debt, Christ has the power to remove the debt. And because He is also the wisdom of God, He will show you where you went wrong and teach you how to stay out of debt!
Let me give you another illustration. Let’s say a man, whose wife has left him, looks to Jesus to bring his wife back. Christ, the power of God, brings about a miraculous restoration of their marriage. But it is Christ, the wisdom of God, who will teach the husband how to keep his wife by showing him what he had done wrong and what to do to strengthen the marriage. If the husband does not have this wisdom, it will only be a matter of time before the same problems surface and his wife leaves him again.
My friend, Christ is both the power and wisdom of God to us. As the power of God, He removes obstacles in our paths. As the wisdom of God, He continually directs our paths!
GOD BLESSES YOU, THE RIGHTEOUS
PROVERBS 10:6 Blessings are on the head of the righteous…
Whenever you find a promise or blessing for the righteous in the Bible, grab hold of it by saying, “Father, I receive this blessing in Jesus’ name!”
For example, when you read in Proverbs 10:6 that blessings are on the head of the righteous, say, “Thank You, Father, this promise is for ME because I have been made righteous through faith in Jesus and His finished work!”
So every day, instead of fearing that lack will devour you, expect God’s provision and blessings to hunt you down and surround you! Expect good things to happen to you. Say, “Father, I thank You that Your blessings crown my head. Your bountiful provisions are upon me and my household!”
Beloved, the more you begin to believe and speak words of abundance, provision and increase, the more you will experience the full blessings of the righteous!
DON’T LET FEAR ROB YOU OF YOUR INHERITANCE
ISAIAH 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
Moses sent 12 spies into the promised land that God wanted the Israelites to inherit. Two of them, Joshua and Caleb, came back with a good report of the land, saying, “The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land…‘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” (Numbers 14:7–9).
However, the other 10 spies gave a bad report, saying, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we…There we saw the giants…and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight” (Numbers 13:31–33).
All 12 of them saw the same land, the same giants, but what a stark contrast in their reports! Joshua and Caleb had a different spirit—a spirit of faith (Numbers 14:24). They focused on the promises and goodness of God. But the rest cowered in fear and saw only the giants. And the fear paralyzed them!
My friend, today, no matter how dire your circumstances may appear, choose to focus on God’s goodness. Choose to meditate on how Christ has paid the price for you to enjoy God’s unmerited favor, peace, protection and provision. That’s how fear will not paralyze you. That’s how you experience God’s faithfulness and walk in His blessings!
Freedom from Disease and Poverty
Galatians 3:13 says, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law.” But what does it mean to be redeemed from the curse of the law?
By the death and resurrection of Jesus, He paid the price for you and for me. He became the sacrifice for our sins. He died so that we could live. He bore our sicknesses so we could have health. He redeemed us from the curse of the law of sin and death.
The law as described in the New Testament is usually considered to be the Pentateuch, or more clearly the first five books of the Bible. In these first five books — Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy — the curse or punishment for breaking God’s law is broken down into three basic categories.
1) The curse of spiritual death
2) The curse of sickness and disease
3) The curse of poverty
In Deuteronomy 28:15, the Bible tells us about these curses, saying, “It shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you.”
Then it lists curses all the way to verse 60 — forty-five verses of sicknesses and financial disasters that would happen if the law was not kept. In verse 61, the list concludes by saying that not only would these things that were listed happen, but any sickness, disease, or catastrophe that was not listed would happen also.
In other words, not keeping the law was disastrous. But even worse, it was nearly impossible to keep the law. So, poverty, sickness, and spiritual death were virtually assured.
But today, I have good news. When it seemed like there was no hope, God made a way. And that’s just like God. He always makes a way of escape for those who seek Him.
Jesus became our Redeemer. He made a way of escape from poverty, sickness, and spiritual death. However, some Christians do not understand that we have been redeemed from the curse of the law. They accept sickness and poverty as part of the Christian lifestyle. This should not be. We have been set free from the curse of the law. We need to start acting like it.
When you take a coupon to the grocery store, you use it instead of using money. In other words, you redeem the coupon. It takes the place of your money. Your money becomes redeemed because the coupon was the redeemer. Well, that’s what Jesus did.
We had a debt. That debt was the curse of the law. But the problem was that we could not pay the debt. It required a perfect sacrifice. It required a sacrifice that was pure before God. We were not pure. Our debt was impossible to pay.
But then Jesus came to earth as a man and died in our place. He took stripes on His body for our sicknesses. He redeemed us. He paid the debt we could not pay.
When we become a Christian, we have health and prosperity available. We don’t have to be diseased and in poverty. Jesus redeemed us from the curse of the law.
HIT THE DELETE BUTTON :
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. – Isaiah 43:18, NIV
Our minds work a lot like a computer. The way we program our thinking will determine how our lives are going to function. You can have the most expensive, powerful computer you can find, but if you load the wrong software, it’s not going to perform at its best. In the same way, many people are not living a victorious life not because there is something wrong with them, but because of what has been programmed in their thinking. They start believing the lies, “I’m not talented. I don’t have a good personality. I’ve made too many mistakes. I’ve reached my limits.” Just like a virus can slow down a perfectly good computer, our wrong thinking can keep us from our destiny. If you’re going to live in victory, you’ve got to know how to hit the delete button.
When that thought comes that says, “You’re just average. You’re ordinary.” Hit delete and say, “I’m a masterpiece. I’m one of a kind.” When you hear, “You’ve seen your best days. It’s all downhill from here.” Hit delete and say, “My future will be brighter than my past.” If you will start hitting the delete button on those negative thoughts, your life will go to a new level, and you’ll experience the blessing and increase He has in store for you!
VENGEANCE IS GOD’S :
Luke 17:2 “It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.”
God takes the persecution of His children personally. In Acts 9:4 when Jesus appeared to Saul on the road to Damascus and spoke to him about his persecution of the saints, Jesus said, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” Saul was not directly persecuting Jesus but he was persecuting His saints. Yet Jesus said, “Why are you persecuting me?” Judgment against those who persecute God’s children will not always come in time to prevent their harm but as this warning makes very clear, God will avenge His own (Rom. 12:19).
Letting God be the one who defends us is a matter of faith. If there is no God who will bring men into account for their actions, then turning the other cheek would be the worst thing we could do. But if there is a God who promises that vengeance is His, and He will repay, then taking matters into our own hands shows a lack of faith in God and His integrity.
We are not to take matters into our own hands and defend ourselves.
“Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord” (from Dt. 32:35-36; Rom. 12:19; Heb. 10:30). Striving to vindicate self actually shows a lack of faith in God keeping this promise. It also indicates spiritual “nearsightedness” which is only looking at the present moment instead of seeing things in view of eternity.
Even as Christ did not come to condemn the world and is not holding men’s sins against them, even so, we have been given the same ministry of reconciliation. For those who do not receive the love we extend to them but rather take advantage of us because of our “turning the other cheek,” God will repay.