The Celebrity Lifestyle

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

Luke 22:31-32 (NASB)

Strength Available

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
Jude 1:24-25 – (NASB)

I love this passage of scripture.  Located in the book of Jude the Holy Spirit encourages us through mercy to bring others to salvation.  Then like a sweet dessert after a good meal the Lord lets us know that there is strength available to keep us from falling.  How thankful I am for that strength!

I am reminded of the phrase from James  “But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust” James 1:14. My first response to this verse has been to consider the struggle that many people face lusting after the appearance of a man or woman.  But recently I have discovered that like just like lust I can be enticed by fear.  But like temptation, God is not is not afraid of anyone, and when I am tempted to be scared of another person, it is not from the Lord. I am drawn away from my own fear.  What is my response, I will not own it.  I treat lust, and fear like a sale item you see when entering a store. While waking into the store for things I need attractive sale items not on my list are made accessible to me in the hope that I will pick them up.  Recently shopping with my daughter.  There were some mini apple pies on display that caught my eye.  My daughter stopped me and told me not to buy them because they were not the right kind we usually purchased.  They were a counterfeit trying to look like the real thing.

Fear and lust are counterfeit products, readily available on the sale table of life and you don’t have to own them.  Courage and love are more expensive but worth so much more.  Just like my daughter was there to guide me, the Holy Spirit is there and able to keep you from counterfeit spiritual products.  I speak the truth in Christ so I would be lying if I told you I haven’t purchased the counterfeit products before.  But in Jesus name, they went out with the trash!  I am not wasting time or money on lust, fear, or any of the counterfeits to the fruits of the spirit that Jesus has to offer me.

PRAY:
Fear is not mine, I don’t own it. Lust is not mine, I don’t own it. Thank you, Lord, that I stand in your presence blameless, with great joy. I give you all the glory right now and forever. Thank you Holy Spirit for staying with me through all the years I didn’t listen. Thank for the strength not to fall. I didn’t know it was there before, but now that I know I will start using it today. It is true you are worthy of my praise, worship, honor, and glory.
Thank you for being my God!

PRACTICE:
Stand up to all the fear and lust on sale today! You don’t own it! Be courageous and get ready for your test! Relish in the fact that you have what you need to win.

Don’t Give your Hallelujah Away

Hallelujah is a word I have heard sang, shouted, and declared in the church since I was a child.  I was taught like most church members that it was the highest expression of praise.  When I was young I sang it as part of a song, quoted it as part of a sermon, and learned it as part of a lesson.

As an adult, it is much different for me.

Read with me in 1st Peter:

In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials,  so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.

1 Peter 1:6-9 NASB

My Hallelujah has been my battle cry in tough situations.  When I am up against the wall I say Hallelujah.  It’s my way of saying to Jesus no matter what I am facing what you are Lord over it and in control.   There will always be a place in my heart for my Hallelujah to Jesus and I am not giving it up.  Plumbing leak?  Hallelujah.  Car accident? Hallelujah! Trouble at work?  Hallelujah!!!

I often tell my kids not to waste things.  Soap liquid, food, time, they are all expensive and should be used wisely.  My Hallelujah is expensive.  I have spent years investing in it trusting the Lord that I can walk on the water like him in the middle of a storm.

My Hallelujah is non-negotiable.  It’s part of who I am in Jesus, it’s coming with me where I go.  When I am at work, at school, at home.  My Hallelujah is a part of who I am.

Jesus is so amazing that took the old creature and turned me into this new creature.  I can’t hide the joy I have on the inside of me.  I protect that Joy with my Hallelujah by not leaning on my own understanding.  But trusting him enough to declare Hallelujah Jesus I thank you no matter what.  I praise you no matter what, and I love you no matter what because you are Lord.

PRAY:

Lord Jesus, I thank you.   I thank you that have been faithful in my life for so long.  I give you every Hallelujah. I give you my all.  I give you my heart fully trusting you today.  I fully give you all the praise today for everything I will face.

In Jesus Name Amen

PRACTICE:

Make a place in your heart for Hallelujah.  Like yeast knead it into every situation in your heart.  Trust the Lord, he is worthy of your Hallelujah no matter what you face.

The One Who Healed Me

Jesus has just healed the man who sat lame by the pool of Bethesda for 38 years. He didn’t know who healed him. But on a Sunday Jesus had told him to rise, take up his bed (pallet), and walk. People asked him why he was carrying his bed on a Sunday (which was against the Sabbath rules). All he could tell them was that the one who healed him told me to carry this bed. It wasn’t until later that Jesus revealed himself to the formerly lame man and commanded him not to sin anymore. When the man learned who healed him he went and told everyone. The church leadership was angry with Jesus and sought to kill him for breaking Sabbath rules. This is what he said to them.

Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel.
John 5 19-20 (NASB)

Jesus was so clear about his position and his authority because he did what the father did, and saw what the Father showed him. The healed man was confident to break the rules because of his connection to Jesus. Jesus was confident to break the rules because of his connection to the Father.
I want to do what Jesus does, and see what he is showing me the same way he was with the father. In the midst of people who were seeking to kill him, he kept such a calm strong assurance know he was doing the Fathers will!

PRAY
Jesus, I thank you! I know, I believe, I receive that I can do what you do, I can see what you want me to see. I can stand in any situation with total confidence in you! Glory to you name Jesus! Thank you for considering us and esteeming us so highly. I am amazed by the great gift of your Holy Spirit you have given us. I SHALL NOT FEAR. I know my Saviour and I am proud, glad, and at peace carrying my pallet proclaiming that Jesus healed me!

PRACTICE
God speaks. Make time to listen.

Chanan

In the book of Daniel, there are two words used for prayer that are not recorded anywhere else in the original Hebrew.  Those words are beh-aw’  (beh·ä’) for prayer and chanan (khan·an’ ) for supplication.  Beh-aw means to ask, seek, request, desire, pray, and to make petition.  Chanan means to show or implore favor.  But what is it about Daniels prayer that separated his prayers from the other prayers in the Bible?  If you recall the testimony of Daniel he was a captive to foreign kings, and often in a hostile political environment where his life was at stake.  That word beh-aw was not only used when Daniel prayed but also when he petitioned the foreign kings for whom he worked.  Often he petitioned for his life and the life of his friends.  When Daniel “chananed” or asked the favor of the Lord it was the same word used in Daniel chapter four when he asked Neduchanezzar to show mercy to the poor.
When Daniel prayed, he understood that his words were heard directly by the king and those words had the power to forever change his life and the life of those around him.

PRAY:
Father today I have to go into a rough environment at work.  I am not going there to bless them; I am going to bless you through them.  My sacrifice is unto you, and I believe you will get all of the glory from it.   I excitedly look for your hand in my life today.

In Jesus name, Amen.

PRACTICE:
Right now, in the midst of a hostile environment, pray like Daniel prayed.  Petition a king who hears, and request the favor of a king who shows mercy.  Pray and know with your whole heart that your life is changed and the lives of those around you are changed by the words you speak.

 

The Well of Bethlehem

King David was exhausted.  The nation of the Philistines was a constant thorn in his side.  In Davids life, he had lost one child and been betrayed by another.  During a previous battle he had grown weary and Ishbibenob a giant like Goliath would have killed him if it wasn’t for his soldier Abishai. Needless to say, he had been through some rough patches.

In second Samuel chapter twenty-three, we find an older King David in a cave. The Philistines had come into Isreali territory again.  As a matter of fact, they had set up a defensive position in Davids hometown of Bethlehem.  Speaking aloud, David mentions how he wanted to have a drink from the well of Bethlehem.  Three of his soldiers heard him and broke through the enemy line. They got water from the well and brought it back to David.  He wouldn’t drink it. Instead, he poured it out on the ground unto the Lord, honoring the Lord for sacrifice the men had made.

At the moment he spoke of the well I believe David was speaking prophetically without realizing it.  In John chapter four we find Jesus by a well in Samaria where he tells a woman if she drinks from the water he provides she will never thirst again.  David without knowing it spoke of Jesus who was born in Bethlehem, and the fountain of water living in every heart that receives him.

However, standing in a cave, exhausted from circumstance and life, I don’t believe King David set out to make a profound prophetic statement.   The moment he saw those men return with that water, risking their lives, he saw an opportunity to honor the Lord.  It is in the expanse of history and time we can look back and see the hand of the Lord in it all.

The same is true in our own life in difficult times.  We may not always remember the right verse to quote for every situation.  However, if we make a choice to honor the Lord we can look back and see his hand through the exhausting times in our life.

PRAY:
Father thank you for the peace you have given us.  We will not let our hearts be troubled or fearful.  We will honor you in all we say and do.  Thank you for the honor you place on us.

PRACTICE:
Remembering the Lord in the midst of a trial can be a difficult task.  But, it is a necessary, life changing moment!  Honor the Lord at all times.   To the best of your understanding and with all of your heart honor him, and he will honor you.