Think on these things: Does God direct your plans?

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So often, Christian workplace believers set out to plan something that seems good in their own mind. The merits of what is being planned can look great, and it can even be a worthy endeavor. However, that is not the point. When Jesus said He came only to do the will of the Father, He could not consider doing anything that was not what the Father wanted, no matter how good or righteous it might appear to be.

“In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps” (Prov. 16:9).

God must give us the vision for what He calls us to do. After we have the vision, we must ask Him if He wants us to take action on that vision and what the action steps entail. The Lord wants to direct each step of the planning process.

If God is not the originator and director of the plan, then that plan is doomed for failure.

Excerpt from Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message

Rejecting Old Traditions for the Heavenly Tradition

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Denise N. Fyffe, Writer:

The picture above shows Rebecca wearing a head covering. In biblical times, the use of the head covering was part of their tradition. In this article, I am analysing the issue of the head covering through the glass lens of the African, Hebrew, Western and the Heavenly Kingdom’s tradition.

Originally posted on The Christian Woman's Veil:

Final Photo

(portrait by Del Parson)

Genesis 24:6 – For she had said unto the servant, What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us? And the servant had said, It is my master: therefore she took a vail, and covered herself – King James Version.

The picture above shows Rebecca wearing a head covering. In biblical times, the use of the head covering was part of their tradition. In this article, I am analysing the issue of the head covering through the glass lens of the African, Hebrew, Western and the Heavenly Kingdom’s tradition.

The African Tradition

I come from an African tradition. It is natural for us to cover our hair in the house whilst doing house chores. We also tie our hair for fashion reasons, and styles differ according to the occasion esp. in countries like Nigeria. So, we tie our hair out of tradition, convenience, comfort and fashion. I guess this is why it is easier for…

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Think on these things: Should you swear?

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“And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” – Matthew 5:36-37

Imagine for a moment that you are living in Jesus’ time. It is before Jesus has begun His public ministry. He is a carpenter in your local town of Nazareth. You have asked Jesus to make a table for you. You’re on a deadline and you must have it in a week. You agree on the price of $100 for the table and the date of one week for completion. A week later you arrive to pick up the table. You lay your money down on the table and Jesus says, “Mr. Johnson, I am sorry but the table is not ready. I ran into complications. Also, I can no longer honor the price I gave you. It is now $150 instead of $100.”

Two years later you hear about this same Jesus who is preaching to the local townspeople. How are you going to view this Jesus? You probably won’t give much credence to His message because of your personal experience. Our lives have an ability to reinforce the message we stand for, or they can violate it and make it totally ineffective. This literally happens all over the world in different settings with Christian workplace believers. Our message becomes ineffective because we have not done what we said.

I know people who, when they tell me they plan to do something, I can expect them to follow through about 50 percent of the time. I am sure you have had the same experience. Words and commitments are made with little meaning behind those words. However, I know others who will follow through almost every time. The only time they don’t is when something falls outside their control. I quickly learn whose words have substance behind them.

There are times when we are unable to perform or deliver what we promised due to outside influences. The key to turning these potentially negative circumstances into a witness for Christ is communication. If we are unable to pay a bill on time, we must communicate with those we owe and make a good faith effort to resolve it within our means. In these cases, God’s purposes are being performed as well if we seek to do the right thing.

Do your words mean anything to those who hear them? Do you make commitments and fail to follow through on them? What would others say about how you follow through? Ask the Lord today to show you how you are doing in this area. You might even want to ask three people who are the closest to you how you fare in this area.

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.

How I Moved Past My Awkwardness to Pray for People to be Healed

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.J.D. King never thought of himself as having a great healing ministry. Yet God has sent him to the nations to minister in healing. Here's how he got past being scared to pray for people to be healed.

J.D. King never thought of himself as having a great healing ministry. Yet God has sent him to the nations to minister in healing. Here’s how he got past being scared to pray for people to be healed. (Charisma archives)

 

Over the years several individuals have asked me to share my thoughts on the ministry of healing. They were particularly interested in learning how to operate powerfully in an evangelistic context. One man said that he wanted to get over the awkwardness and really begin to touch the lives of people.

I understand the questions and even the hesitation that many feel in this area. Ministering healing can appear difficult to those who have never functioned in it. In fact, when I started out, I struggled with this (and often still do).

Most have the idea that it’s overly “mystical” or even the byproduct of a perfect Christian life. I don’t think that this is the right way to look at it. God often uses regular, everyday believers who are still finding their way. I’m so glad that it doesn’t take “perfection” to touch the lives of others. If that was required, I would certainly be disqualified (and you would be too).

I also want to point out that healing is deeply relational; even “ordinary” in its outworking. It is not taking people out of their “earthly” experiences. Instead, healing is bringing the power and truth of Jesus into a fractured human body. Arguably, it is one of the most incarnational realities imagined. We engage and watch as the glorious God of the universe brings life to broken, corruptible flesh.

I want you to understand that healing doesn’t have to be so complicated. It begins by simply taking notice of ill individuals. You might see them in the checkout line or standing next to you at the gas station. Reach out and show some genuine concern about their life. People can usually tell whether you’re speaking to them out of a posture of love or not.

In a calm, reassuring voice, say something like, “I noticed that you’re in pain. Do you mind if I ask what happened?” Give them a moment to explain what’s going on. As you’re carefully listening and interacting, be sure to get their first name and affirm their great value to you.

After they share their diagnosis, be sure to mention that you’re a Christian and that you love to pray for people. Ask, “Is it alright if I pray for you?” Often, they will say, “Yes,” thinking you intend to intercede later. Explain that you would like to pray for them right now—if that is at all possible.

There are a few things to consider when you actually get the opportunity to pray (sometimes you don’t get that opportunity to pray, but you should bless them just the same). First of all, it’s good to be at peace. If you’re overly agitated, it will be hard for them to receive from you. Secondly, keep in mind that you don’t have to be loud or even pray for an extended time. It is not length or volume that brings healing. These things can make a real difference in people’s receptivity.

As you begin to pray, invite the presence of the Lord to come. Pray that His goodness and strength would be manifest. Bless the Lord and thank Him for all He has done! Center everything you are doing in the person and work of Jesus.

Then out of a position of authority, simply command – in the mighty name of Jesus—that the pain leave their body. Be direct and firm against the infirmity! Demand it to go! Throughout the New Testament they prayed prayers of command, not prayers of petition. We should always try to follow the Scriptural example when we pray.

 

Also, if appropriate, you might ask if you can lay hands on them in the place where they feel the most pain. “Laying on of hands” is a dynamic way of imparting the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

After you’ve prayed for a minute or two, it’s good to ask them how things are going. Find out if the pain has lessened or if they feel anything “different” taking place in their bodies. When a person is experiencing a touch from God, they may feel tingling, coolness, heat, peace, joy, or perhaps nothing at all. Have them provide a little feedback so you can get a sense of how things are going.

If there’s a sense of breakthrough, ask them to do something they couldn’t do before. For example, if pain was in their leg, have them now put a little weight on it and walk. Obviously wisdom must be shown in each circumstance. The ill should only be encouraged to respond in a way they’re completely comfortable with. I’ve found that sometimes the healing comes in a moment of response.

Obviously not everyone will respond favorably to this kind of prayer engagement. Healing doesn’t fit the common understanding of Christianity in North America or Europe. Because of this, some will reject your efforts. This is always disappointing.

Nevertheless, the possibility of rejection is probably not our biggest problem. I believe the greatest impediment to the ministry of healing is our own insecurities and fears. Christians often become their own saboteurs.

It is important that one doesn’t allow the awkwardness and discomfort to dissuade them from making an effort. It is not always easy, but Spirit-filled believers need to press in anyway.

I always get a knot in my stomach when I talk to someone about their illness, but I refuse to let that stand in my way. I have pressed against the awkwardness and have personally engaged hundreds of sick people. To my great joy, many were powerfully impacted by the mercy of Jesus. I’ve seen healing take place in gas stations, restaurants, and department stores. While my sincere efforts are occasionally rejected, most of the time people are genuinely open to an encounter with Jesus.

I think it’s time for Christians to get over the awkwardness and discomfort and start advancing the kingdom. It is time to be brave. There is a sick world that is desperately waiting for us to advance. Will you join me?

J.D. King is the director of the World Revival Network.

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Reblogged via How I Moved Past My Awkwardness to Pray for People to be Healed — Charisma Magazine.

Why do I face so many trials and tribulations?

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Reblogged

Ever wonder why you face so many #trials and #tribulations? I do. Here was #God‘s answer, why.

Seeing Backward

“O LORD, when you favored me, you made my mountain stand firm; but when you hid your face, I was dismayed” (Ps 30:7).

It is often difficult to recognize the hand of God when we are in the midst of adversity. We often feel God has hidden His face from us. When the Lord takes us through deep valleys, there will be fruit from the deep valley that we cannot see. You must press into Him with all you have during this time.

God uses the deep valley to frame our lives to create a change in our nature, not just a change in habits. The depth and width of our valley is often an indicator of the level of calling and influence we will have on others in the future. Our adversity is not just for us, but others who will be in our future path of influence. This is not very comforting when you are in the middle of the valley, but know this is a truth in the Kingdom.

It is often years later when we discover the wisdom of God and why He intentionally led us through the dark valley. Life is often lived forward, but understood backward. It is not until we are down the road and we stand on the mountain looking back at through valley that we can appreciate the terrain God has allowed us to scale and the spiritual deposits He has made in our life while we were there. “He reveals the deep things of darkness and brings deep shadows into the light” (Job 12:22). When you begin to realize this, you sit back and breathe a sigh of relief because you know that God was in control all along. It didn’t seem like it at the time, but He was.
Do you find yourself in the valley? Now is the time to fully trust Him to guide you to higher ground.

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.

Psalms 22 – A Cry of Anguish and Song of Praise

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Psalms 22

1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?

2 O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer; and by night, but find no rest.

3 Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.

4 In you our ancestors trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them.

5 To you they cried, and were saved; in you they trusted, and were not put to shame.

6 But I am a worm, and not human; scorned by others, and despised by the people.

7 All who see me mock at me; they make mouths at me, they shake their heads;

8 “Commit your cause to the Lord; let him deliver— let him rescue the one in whom he delights!”

9 Yet it was you who took me from the womb; you kept me safe on my mother’s breast.

10 On you I was cast from my birth, and since my mother bore me you have been my God.

11Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help.

12 Many bulls encircle me, strong bulls of Bashan surround me;

13 they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion.

14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast;

15 my mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death.

16 For dogs are all around me; a company of evildoers encircles me. My hands and feet have shrivelled

17 I can count all my bones. They stare and gloat over me;

18 they divide my clothes among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots.

19 But you, O Lord, do not be far away! O my help, come quickly to my aid!

20 Deliver my soul from the sword, my life from the power of the dog!

21 Save me from the mouth of the lion! From the horns of the wild oxen you have rescued me.

22 I will tell of your name to my brothers and sisters; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:

23 You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him; stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!

24 For he did not despise or abhor the affliction of the afflicted; he did not hide his face from me, but heard when I cried to him.

25 From you comes my praise in the great congregation; my vows I will pay before those who fear him.

26 The poor shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the Lord. May your hearts live forever!

27 All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord; and all the families of the nations shall worship before him.

28 For dominion belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations.

29 To him, indeed, shall all who sleep in the earth bow down; before him shall bow all who go down to the dust, and I shall live for him.

30 Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord,

31 And proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn, saying that he has done it.

 

Psalms 21 – Praise for Deliverance from the Enemy

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Psalms 21

1 In your strength the king rejoices, O Lord, and in your help how greatly he exults!

2 You have given him his heart’s desire, and have not withheld the request of his lips. (Selah)

3 For you meet him with rich blessings; you set a crown of fine gold on his head.

4 He asked you for life; you gave it to him— length of days forever and ever.

5 His glory is great through your help; splendor and majesty you bestow on him.

6 You bestow on him blessings forever; you make him glad with the joy of your presence.

7 For the king trusts in the Lord, and through the steadfast love of the Most High he shall not be moved.

8 Your hand will find out all your enemies; your right hand will find out those who hate you.

9 You will make them like a fiery furnace when you appear. The Lord will swallow them up in his wrath, and fire will consume them.

10 You will destroy their offspring from the earth, and their children from among humankind.

11 If they plan evil against you, if they devise mischief, they will not succeed.

12For you will put them to flight; you will aim at their faces with your bows.

13Be exalted, O Lord, in your strength! We will sing and praise your power.

Prophetic Harm pt 1

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Denise N. Fyffe, Writer:

Sadly, tradition and denominational practices have re-erected the veil that separates man from his Creator. Rituals, rules, observations and deep theological studies that deny the existence of the Holy Spirit have become substitutes for relationship.

Originally posted on Latter-Day Prophesy:

Image by Joshua Earle via Unsplash {link to https://unsplash.com/joshuaearle} Image by Joshua Earle via Unsplash {link to https://unsplash.com/joshuaearle}

In a previous article on May 5, 2015 addressed the issue of the Prophet as God’s executioner.  In this article I will be examine how some believers have been harmed by the prophetic.

We serve a Living God.  He desires to speak directly with ALL His children.  Jesus Christ suffered and died to grant us legal access to the presence of God.  The Holy Spirit was given to aid in the communication process; allowing us to fellowship with our Creator, once again.

Sadly, tradition and denominational practices have re-erected the veil that separates man from his Creator.  Rituals, rules, observations and deep theological studies that deny the existence of the Holy Spirit have become substitutes for relationship.

There are believers who desire to communicate with God but do not know how.  And on the other hand, there are those believers…

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