Friday, October 23, 2015

Shout for Joy

Psalm 100 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”

This week, Michael writes that when you wake up in the middle of the night, either the devil is tormenting you or God has something to say to you. This side of heaven, we're living behind enemy lines. The devil will push back when you're willing to advance in response to God's calling. Allow God to work in you, and within you, to will and to do of His good pleasure. When God calls us into His presence and into the presence of His people, our prayer is that God will give us a Pentecostal "gift of hearing."

The Journey Group Program has a section about living in God's presence.  According to John 5, Jesus healed the lame man at the pool of Bethesda. The sick, blind, lame and paralyzed lay by the pool waiting for the moving of the waters so that they could be healed. Jesus said to the lame man, "Do you want to be healed?" Today, Jesus asks each of us the same question every day. The lame man answered, "I don't have anyone to put me into the pool when the waters are troubled." The man was full of complaints and excuses, but he did not answer Jesus' question. He resigned himself to being a victim. Jesus said to him, "Get up, pick up your bed, and walk." Jesus disregarded the man's excuses and went straight to the issue: take action on the Word of the Lord. The point is that the man obeyed God's call to action. When we are paralyzed spiritually, what is the antidote to the victim mentality?  Do you want to be healed?  If our answer is "yes," we must act according to the power with which Christ has empowered us.  "Yes" means to act in love to love the unlovable. There are no excuses. God needs mighty men and women who will act upon the Word of God according to His empowerment by the Holy Spirit. Regardless of the excuses in life, God commands his children: "Pick up your bed and walk."

When the authorities questioned the lame man about how he who had been lame could now walk, he said, "a man healed me." Jesus had slipped away and the man didn't even know who he was. Jesus is always the one who pursues us to deliver us. His mission was not to be recognized and worshipped, but to set the captives free and to preach deliverance to those held captive by the adversary against their wills. Our collective problem is that we need to get over ourselves, “for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” – Philippians 2:13. Allow God to work within you; allow him to speak in you and through you.  Not my will, but thy will be done. Jesus' mission when He walked the earth was to set the captives free, to deliver those who are bound, to open the eyes of the blind, and to preach the acceptable day of the LordIsaiah 42:7.  Today, God has committed unto us his Word and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. He has called us, commissioned us, and empowered us to deliver a peace treaty from the Prince of Peace. Our empowerment is the Holy Spirit. Therefore, quench not the Spirit. You are the children of light – 1 Thessalonians 5:19. He has called us to set ourselves on fire in our hearts for the Lord. Shout for joy! God will draw His people from miles around to watch us burn!

May God richly bless you!
Your brother in Christ,

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