A REFUGE

A1
 HELP ME PRAY, HOLY SPIRIT  

Jude 1:20 – But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit,

When my daughter Jessica was little, she woke up one night crying. She was not sick, but would not stop crying even though her mother and I tried to pacify her. I did not know what to do. I went to the restroom, sat on the floor and cried out, “Holy Spirit, You know what is wrong with my child. You know what she needs better than I do, so I yield her to You now.” I started praying in tongues and she stopped crying immediately!

Now, I wish that such instantaneous results are the norm, but they are not. On another occasion, I experienced severe pain from the back of my neck to my shoulders. I prayed for healing, but the pain persisted for quite some time and I was quite concerned.

One night, in my room, I knelt down and prayed, “Holy Spirit, You know this condition. I don’t know what it is, but I am asking You to make perfect prayer against this condition.” I started praying in tongues. I don’t know how long I prayed, maybe an hour or so, until I felt the burden lift. I finally fell asleep, still in pain. But when I woke up, all the pain was gone!

When you are faced with a crisis, you can tell the Holy Spirit, “I don’t know how to pray about this problem. I have done everything I know, but I don’t seem to be getting my breakthrough. Help me pray, Holy Spirit.”

And as you pray in the Spirit, you will feel like there is a prayer going on within you. Flow with it until you feel a release. You will feel peace, the burden lifting and a note of victory inside you. The Holy Spirit will assure you that everything is going to be all right or He will prompt you to do something. Then, you will find that what has been hindering you from receiving your breakthrough is removed, and in its place is the answer you need!

Thought For The Day

When you don’t know what else to do and don’t seem to be getting the breakthrough you need, ask the Holy Spirit to help you pray.

THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD

Isaiah 11:1 There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots. 2 The Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.

1 Corinthians 2:16 For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

We were not created to live and walk in the flesh but in the Spirit and to have The Spirit of wisdom and understanding, The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD. Similarly we were not created to use and rely on our mind but on the mind of Christ! We were created not to be natural people but supernatural people full of the Spirit of the Lord, the Gifts of the Spirit and full of miracles – all of which is our birthright and inheritance!

UNLIKE PREACHERS TODAY THE REAL JESUS WAS A MIRACLE WORKER WHO ALSO HEALED AND DELIVERED PEOPLE

Acts 10:38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

Romans 15:19 in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.

REST IN THE FINISHED WORK

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. – Ephesians 1:3

Jesus has finished the work of saving and redeeming us (John 19:30), and when we believed in Jesus as our Savior, God placed us in Jesus’ finished work. Today, all we need to do is rest in the finished work.

We rest in the finished work by simply believing that all the work to save us and keep us eternally forgiven, righteous and blessed is finished. This is important because there are many voices today telling us to work for God’s approval and acceptance before He will bless us—as if the work isn’t finished.

My friend, the moment you try to finish what Christ has already finished, you fall into unbelief. So let go of your self-efforts and simply rest in the truth that whatever the blessing or success you need, you already have it in Christ Jesus through His finished work. Believe it, rest in it and see His blessings manifest in your life!

PSALM 84:11 – For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.

ONE IN SPIRIT

John 17:21 “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.”

Jesus is praying for all believers to be one as He and the Father are one.

This goes far beyond what many promote as unity today. Paul besought the Corinthians to “all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Cor. 1:10). This is God’s standard of unity.

This oneness among believers is what Jesus said would cause the world to know that Jesus is the Son of God. This is the greatest tool for evangelism that the church has. The only way that Christ’s body will be one as the Father and Jesus are One is through God’s kind of love. No wonder Satan tries to get believers to go at each others’ throats. We spend billions of dollars a year on evangelism through television, radio, conventions and crusades, yet, the world is not evangelized because the body of Christ is not united in love.

There is very little unity among believers today. This has occured over thousands of years and it probably won’t be fixed over night. We must strive towards unity but not be overwhelmed by the problem. All Christians have already been joined to each other through the body of Christ, and God the Father sees us all as His children. All divisions among Christians are made by man, not God. For a brief period of time, the church enjoyed unity on earth. Regardless of what strife and division has occurred, all believers are still one in Christ and will live in perfect oneness throughout eternity. We are now one in Spirit. We just need to experience that unity here on earth.

“Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven” (Mt. 6:10).

CONFRONT YOUR FEAR (1)

‘Don’t be afraid…I am with you.’ Isaiah 41:10 NLT

There are different kinds of fear. There’s the kind that warns you to stay away from fire. There’s the kind that cultivates respect for God (Psalm 2:11). Oswald Chambers said, ‘When you fear God, you fear nothing else, whereas if you do not fear God, you fear everything else.’ There’s fear that makes you feel helpless; sometimes it’s rooted in parental criticism or a bully’s threats and, although it’s groundless, it still haunts you. There’s the fear of failing, which if left unchallenged becomes the father of failure. Job said, ‘What I feared has come upon me.’ (Job 3:25 NIV) There’s fear of the unknown where your imagination runs amok. What if you never meet the ‘right person’, or you lose your job, or the biopsy confirms the worst? Over and over in His Word, God says, ‘Don’t be afraid…I am with you.’ Paul Tournier notes: ‘Life and faith always insist on moving forward—and I cannot move forward without leaving something behind. The trapeze artist must let go of one trapeze at precisely the right moment and hover in the void before grabbing the other. Faith calls us out of our comfort zone…to learn new skills and minister in different ways.’ But we get uptight. We think, ‘What if God asks me to do something I can’t do?’ or ‘I don’t have the strength, wisdom, or faith.’ If you were relying on your own resources, you’d be in trouble. But the fact is, ‘God…knew you and chose you.’ (1 Peter 1:2 NLT) Every time you meet a new challenge He strengthens you by proving that He not only supplies the tools, but is responsible for the outcome.

CONFRONT YOUR FEAR (2)

‘Not in human wisdom but in the power of God.’ 1 Corinthians 2:5 NLT

One of the greatest breakthroughs in modern psychology is the Law of Reversibility. It works like this: when you feel a certain way, you actaccordingly. And when you don’tfeel like doing something, but you do it anyway, that same dynamic creates the feeling consistent with your actions. Sure, it’s possible to live a life that’s opposite to the words you say, but at the end of the day you cannot live a life that’s antithetical to what you believe. Because fear is a learned response, it can be unlearned. There are two kinds of courage. The first kind calls for action. President Andrew Jackson said, ‘Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in. One man with courage makes a majority.’ The second kind calls for patience: the tenacity to keep persevering after you’ve done your best and before you’ve seen results. Often the difference between a hero and a coward is that a hero hangs in there five minutes longer! When you run from intimidating situations, fear multiplies until eventually it controls your life. But when you tackle your problems head–on, ‘not in human wisdom but in the power of God’, your confidence rises until you reach a point where you’re no longer controlled by fear. William Cowper wrote: ‘God moves in a mysterious way His wonders to perform. He plants His footsteps in the sea and rides upon the storm… Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take; the clouds ye so much dread are big with mercy and shall break in blessings on your head.’

Your help doesn’t come from the GOVERNMENT, it comes from Heaven. You and God can do anything together.

RIGHTEOUSNESS AND NOT SIN IMPUTED TO YOU

Romans 4:8 – Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.

You are blessed today because all your sins are forgiven in Christ. God does not count your sins against you. Instead, He counts you righteous in Christ. That is why you are the blessed man to whom the Lord does not and will not impute sin!

What happens to such a man? Lets look at the story of Jacob to find out.

The Bible records how Jacob had deceived his father and cheated his elder brother Esau of his firstborn blessing. (Genesis 27:141) Yet, in spite of his sin of deception, God chose to speak to Jacob. And no, God did not say to this cheat, You terrible sinner! How can you deceive your own father? You are cursed!

No, to deceitful Jacob, God said, I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you. (Genesis 28:1315) Here was a man to whom God did not impute sin!

God did not rebuke Jacob at all. Instead, we hear Him telling Jacob, I will give to you. I am with you. I will keep you. I will bring you back. I will not leave you Jacob certainly did not deserve these blessings. This is one man who walked in the truth of Romans 4:8. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin! Now, I am not encouraging you to sin, but I want you to see the love and grace of God toward us.

If Jacob was so blessed, how much more you and I today, who are under the new covenant of grace established by the blood of Jesus. How much more is our blessedness because Jesus has removed all our sins at the cross!

Beloved, because of Jesus finished work, God does not impute sin to you. What He does impute to you is righteousness apart from works. (Romans 4:6) And because you are righteous, get ready for His blessings! (Proverbs 10:6)

WHEN GOD RAN

Luke 15:22 – But the father said to his servants, Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet.

If you are a believer, you are probably familiar with the touching story of the prodigal son that Jesus shared. Who do you think the father in the story represents? Jesus Father in heaven, of course. Jesus was giving us a picture of His Father, who is also our Father.

In the story, the father was seen running toward his son, who was returning home. (Luke 15:20) Do you realize that God is never described as being in a hurry in the Bible? He is always cool and composed. The only time He is portrayed as being in a hurry is in this story. Though improper in Jewish culture, the father held up his robe and ran. Where was he running to? Why was he in such a hurry?

The father was in a hurry because he had seen his son, who was still a long way from home. He was running toward his son as he could not wait to embrace and kiss his child again.

The father was in a hurry to clothe his son with the best robe. My friend, our Father has put the best robe the robe of righteousness on us. In doing so, He has reinstated us as sons of the Most High God, a position which we had lost when Adam fell.

The father was in a hurry to put a ring on his sons hand. Like the authority that is invested in the signet ring of a rich mans son, our Father is eager to put back into our hands the authority to invoke His name, so that we can walk in dominion every day.

The father was in a hurry to put sandals on his sons feet to assure him that he was still his son only servants went about barefoot. Our Father never wants us to feel like hired servants or outcasts. We are always His sons.

Beloved, if the Father appears to be in a hurry, it is only because He is in a hurry to assure you of your position as His precious child!

CLOSE THE DOOR ON FEAR

Do not give the Devil an opportunity to work. – Ephesians 4:27, ISV

So many people today are living with less than God’s best because they’ve allowed fear to creep in and take root in their lives. Fear is the greatest weapon the enemy uses to try to hold us back. Fear is not from God. Scripture tells us that fear brings torment. It’s designed to paralyze us and keep us from God’s blessings.

The good news is that God is greater than fear. His power in you is greater than any power that comes against you. But in order to walk in His power, you have to close the door on the enemy. See, the enemy can’t have access to your life unless you open a door and give him access. That’s why we have to be careful what we watch, what we listen to, what we read and what we say. When we open ourselves to fear, we give the enemy opportunity.

If you’ve allowed fear to steal from you in any area of life, today you can be free — you can be finished with fear. Conquering the enemy starts by making the choice to close the door on fear by receiving God’s love and meditating on His promises. Receive His truth and speak His truth. Let Him set you free and lead you into victory as you close the door on fear.

“For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it]” (Mark 11:24, AMP).

Just as the ground receives a seed, we can take possession of the Word of God and get results. We do not have to live defeated lives. We can receive by faith what we ask God for before it manifests.

HANDS OFF!

Be still, and know that I am God. —Psalm 46:10

I remember bobbing for apples when I was a child, a game that required me to have my hands tied behind my back. Trying to grab a floating apple with my teeth without the use of my hands was a frustrating experience. It reminded me of the vital importance of our hands—we eat with them, greet with them, and use them to do just about anything that is vital to our existence.

When I read Psalm 46:10, I find it interesting that God says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” The Hebrew word for “still” means to “cease striving,” or, literally, “to put our hands at our side.” At first glance this seems to be a rather risky piece of advice, since our first instinct in trouble is to keep our hands on the situation and control it to our advantage. God in essence is saying, “Hands off! Let Me deal with your problem, and rest assured that the outcome is in My hands.”

But knowing when to take our hands off and let God work can make us feel vulnerable. Unless, that is, we believe that God is indeed “our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (v.1) and that “the LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge” (v.7). In the midst of trouble, we can rest in God’s care.
Lord, forgive me for always wanting to manage my own affairs.

Teach me to trust in Your wise and timely intervention in my life and to keep my hands out of Your way.

When we put our problems in God’s hands, He puts His peace in our hearts.

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