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Posts Tagged ‘power’

Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.- Psalm 115;3 (NIV)

The LORD does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths.
– Psalm 135:6 (NIV)

God can do whatever He wants to do.  In theological terms, it is called His sovereignty.  In other words, He is God and answers to no one except Himself.  He is God alone, answering to no one.

Since God is sovereign, we can be assured that God can also use whomever He decides to use.  He used a stuttering murderer to deliver His people out of Egypt.  He used a young man to serve as His prophet to His people.  He used a shepherd boy to demonstrate how to be a man after God’s own heart.  He used a poor young woman to bring the manifestation of the Messiah into the world.  He used a religious zealot to spread the gospel to Gentiles throughout the world.

He uses whomever He chooses to use.  He can use you, too.  Don’t overlook what God can do and how He can do it to bring Himself glory.

Look at this story below to just how God can use anyone or anything.

21Balaam got up in the morning, saddled his donkey and went with the princes of Moab. 22But God was very angry when he went, and the angel of the Lord stood in the road to oppose him. Balaam was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand, she turned off the road into a field. Balaam beat her to get her back on the road.

24Then the angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path between two vineyards, with walls on both sides. 25When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she pressed close to the wall, crushing Balaam’s foot against it. So he beat her again.

26Then the angel of the Lord moved on ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right or to the left. 27When the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat her with his staff. 28Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?”

29Balaam answered the donkey, “You have made a fool of me! If I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now.”

30The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?”

“No,” he said.

31Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.

32The angel of the Lord asked him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me.c 33The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If she had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared her.”

34Balaam said to the angel of the Lord, “I have sinned. I did not realize you were standing in the road to oppose me. Now if you are displeased, I will go back.”

35The angel of the Lord said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but speak only what I tell you.” So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.

– Numbers 22:21-35 (NIV)

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43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. 44She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped. 45“Who touched me?” Jesus asked.  When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.” 46But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. – Luke 8:43-47 (NIV)

25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.  – Mark 5:25-29 (NIV)

20 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” 22 Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment. – Matthew 9:20-22 (NIV)

This woman was subjected to years of agony without remedy.  She suffered for years without any help.  No matter what she tried to do for herself, she got no better and her health continued to drift in a spiral downturn.  Under the care of her doctors, the woman only grew worse, not better.  She was in a bad situation.  She was in the need of a healing.

The woman heard about Jesus somehow.  Maybe someone told her.  Maybe she overheard someone else talking about Him.  It could be that she got word about Jesus from those who had seen, heard or followed Him while in some other area of the region. 

She heard about Jesus and made her way to Jesus.  She forced her way into His presence.  He worked her way to get near to Him.  The woman fought her way through the thick of the crowd, slipping in her and ducking out there, just to extend her frail hand to swipe His garment a little bit. 

As sickly as she was, she was able to squeeze her hand between those closest to Jesus.  She might have reached between Peter and John or James and Andrew, but she stretched out her hand and touched His garment.  She reached out to Jesus in faith.  She sought her healing through the Lamb of God who caused the blind to see and the dead to rise again.  She reached out to Him, seeking His power to somehow heal her hurting body.

When she touched the edge of His robe, she was healed.  She was freed from her pain and suffering.   She found deliverance from the horrors of her poor health.  The Lord made her whole by the power that escaped from within Him.  He healed her in an instant. 

He changed her without ever having to ask her whether she had health insurance or her family medical history.  Jesus did not investigate her background information or verify her proof of residency before He could see her.  His disciples did require a co-payment or an at-the-door offering with the caveat of “Or, whatever you can give” added on as a trailer behind their request for monetary compensation.  That’s not how it went down.  That’s not what went on.

Jesus can heal us without anything else to get in the way.  He can make us whole.  He can fix us where we need fixing the most.  He can make us better.We do not have to live with the dread of defeat.  We do not have live in such agony and torture.  All we have to do is seek Him out and reach out for Him.  He offers us a healing that will cause all of what ails us to cease and provide us with peace and rest.

Let Jesus have all of your troubles and leave them in His hands.  Trust Him with all of your faith to deal with your issues.  He can do more with them than we ever could.  Let Him handle it.

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And afterward David’s heart struck him, because he had cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. He said to his men, “The LORD forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, the LORD’s anointed, to put out my hand against him, seeing he is the LORD’s anointed.” So David persuaded his men with these words and did not permit them to attack Saul. And Saul rose up and left the cave and went on his way.
 

Afterward David also arose and went out of the cave, and called after Saul, “My lord the king!” And when Saul looked behind him, David bowed with his face to the earth and paid homage. And David said to Saul, “Why do you listen to the words of men who say, ‘Behold, David seeks your harm’? Behold, this day your eyes have seen how the LORD gave you today into my hand in the cave. And some told me to kill you, but I spared you. I said, ‘I will not put out my hand against my lord, for he is the LORD’s anointed.’
  -1 Samuel 24:5-10 (ESV)

David had an open opportunity to get his revenge.  Saul literally walked right into his hands.  In verse 4, David’s men shared how such a divine opportunity was laid upon David.  Truthfully, David was within his right to take Saul out right there in that cave.

Saul had it coming.  He had chased David throughout the kingdom.  He hurt those who had helped David.  He had killed others who had hidden or provided supplies or food for David.  King Saul sought to kill David.  King Saul hunted down his son-in-law, the husband of his daughter Michal, and desired to see him dead.  He did all of that out of envy and rage, seeking to destroy David and forcing David to hide in caves.

David refused to take revenge.  He had the opportunity.  It presented itself to him.  He saw the opportunity and neared it, daring to cut a slice from Saul’s robe as he relieved himself.  David did not slit the king’s throat.  He just cut part of the king’s robe.  David exercised restraint rather than take revenge.

Do we do the same? Do we hold back or do we go for the jugular? Do we restrain ourselves when vengeance emerges as an opportunity? If not, we could.  Better yet, we should.  We should restrain ourselves.

The choices that we face can cause us some real agony.  If we are not careful, we will find ourselves led by the wrong spirit and doing the wrong thing.  Revenge does not do anything positive for us that will last beyond the immediate moment.  Exercise restraint.

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Keep it Real (Urban Dictionary)

Definition: to not inhibit yourself or pretend to be something you are not. (One of many definitions on this page)

Jesus must have been a realist. 

How else do you explain His words and ways?  He used parables to bring the point home.  He compared and contrasted what people have heard or what is written to how it really should be with God’s people.  He kept it real for real.

Jesus didn’t sugar coat or water down His message.  He had to be a realist.  Even while on trial after being arrested, he let Pilate know that no earthly authority compelled Him to do anything that was not in His Father’s will.  Obviously, Brother Pilate was not informed of how Jesus blew the detachment of soldiers away by simply saying: “I am he.”  Jesus demonstrated His power with that I am

He was real.

Can we be a little more like Jesus? Seriously.  If we are truly going to be followers of Christ, let’s start by following in His footsteps.  Let’s do like He did and do as He would do.  We have too many euphemisms and schisms to be like Jesus.  We need to drop some of that stuff that hinders us from going beyond our limited scope.  We need to get real with ourselves and stop faking and fronting.  That keeps us from masking our pain, guilt and uneasiness beneath our Sunday’s best and all of that.

We don’t have to fake it.  We don’t have to front.  We can simply look at the Lord’s example and do our best to keep things as real as can be.  From there, the world we see that we are not super sanctified or ultra holy.  They’ll see us for what we are.  They’ll see us as people who catch hell just like the rest of the world, but they’ll see that we are simply keeping it real and keeping the faith.

That’s real talk.

FYI: Here’s the link to that Keep It real t-shirt, too!

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 6 “‘Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security. 7 I will bring Judah and Israel back from captivity[a] and will rebuild them as they were before. 8 I will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against me and will forgive all their sins of rebellion against me. 9 Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it.’- Jeremiah 33:6-9 (NIV)

Imagine what the Lord can do for you.  Put it this way: Imagine what the Lord could do for you based upon what is in His will for you.

He is able to do all.  That’s why we call Him the Almighty.  He has power and dominion over everything.  It’s just part of who He is to us.  He is Lord.  He is Jehovah Jireh.  He is our Provider.  He provides what is within His will and what is necessary to confirm His Word.

Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him. – Psalm 115:3 (NIV)

But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. – Psalm 115:3 (KJV)

The rationale is simple once we have the proper perspective on who god is and how He operates based upon His revelation through His Word.  Our theology must be based upon His holy revelation through the Scriptures.  When we accept Him in faith, we believe all that is said about Him in His Word.

Such a God as this is awesome.  He is powerful.  He is wonderful.  He causes us to give pause and wonder if we could ever manifest such goodness in our own lives.  We question whether we can ever love in the true sense that God offers love.  We know that we fall short and stand in the need of grace, but we are certain that God has called us to be better than we ever do in this life.

This is the type of God who forgives Israel for its rebellion against God.  This is the God who can love a nation full of harlotry and idolatry.  Here is God who provides by the might of grace and supplies by His own mercies.  He called Israel out on all of their stuff, but He still said that He could and would bring them health and healing, even cleanse them despite them having sinned against Him. 

He can provide through His power.  He can forgive .  He can love.  He can heal.  He can cleanse.  He can do all of these by His own power.  He is a powerful provider.  He can provide more in restoring us than we ever could imagine that we could ever deserve.  He is powerful.  He is our provider.  He has all the power that we need to provide us with all that we need.

20Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21 (KJV)

 

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“If thou art not a praying person, thou art not a Christian.” – John Bunyan

There certain things that Christians are expected to do.  That’s a given.  Much like Paul asserts throughout his epistles to the believers, we have been bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20).  With the gift of God that comes through grace by faith with salvation, we have entered a new life as Christians.  That being said, we are to live up to the expectations of the Lord for us in our lives as believers.

Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.Matthew 5:48 (KJV)

The Lord shared what some have termed as some “hard sayings” in the Gospels.  Yet, if we maintain our connection to our strength and our source, we can do anything and all things (Philippians 4:13).  We have to live by His commands.

Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.- Matthew 26:41 (NIV)

We need to stay prayerful.  Why? The Lord said so.  Why? It is for our own benefit.  It is so that we will not fall prey to temptation and go astray.  What’s the big deal? The big deal is that we can want to do right as much as we can say, think or believe it, but the test comes along when the temptation is right at our fingertips.  Will we do right? That’s a prime reason for us to pray.  Jesus said so.

Never stop praying. – 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NLT)

Keep praying.  Don’t stop praying.  Stay prayerful.  You can say it all sorts of way, but you have to focus on such an activity as prayer.  You go to pray and end up falling asleep.  You go to pray and let your mind drift from your prayer list to your shopping list or the numerous errands that you still have to do for the day.  Focus and firm up on your prayer.  Get more focus so that you can stay on track with your prayer life.

Pray, pray and just keep on praying.

You may not get all of what you wished for, but pray.

You may not get to every place that you wanted to go, but pray.

You may not get out of the storm that has come upon you, but pray.

Practice and learn how to stay prayerful.

You will never stick it out if you never get started.  Start praying in order to stay prayerful.

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To Walk by Faith

For we walk by faith and not by sight – 2 Corinthians 5:7

Faith is not about what we can see, control or orchestrate.

Faith is about what we cannot see.

Faith is about what we do when things are entirely out of our control.

Faith is absolute trust in God— trust that could never imagine that He would forsake us.” – Oswald Chambers

Faith is about how we hold on when the things that we seek to orchestrate are squashed and all sorts of other inevitable things begin to snowball into an avalanche of trouble and turmoil.

We have to have faith that causes us to walk without having any indication of a map or guide.  We need to have faith on a level that will allow us to stand throughout the seasonal storms of spiritual warfare.  We have to discover the depth of our own faith at a level that will cause us to uphold God’s truth without losing our minds based upon on how bad things look for us.

We need to have the kind of faith that allows us to walk by faith and not by sight.  Our testing will true show the degree of faith that we possess within us.  Find your faith and go forward in faith.  Fully trust and depend on God by His Spirit and based on His Word.

“The test will either prove your faith right, or it will kill it.”- Oswald Chambers

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Powered by Prayer

 And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
(Matthew 6:7-8 ESV)

 But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.
(Luke 5:16 ESV)

 

Jesus described prayer for His disciples.

Jesus participated in an active prayer life.

Jesus prayed.

Jesus expects us to pray.

Jesus also showed His disciples the power of prayer.

 On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. And he said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it.
(Mark 11:12-14 ESV) 

Consider what happened within Jesus before his words escaped from His lips.  Try to get a mental picture of what He through before you try to guess about what came out of His mouth.

And Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” (Mark 11:21-25 ESV)

Jesus shared about the power of prayer.  He pointed out the importance of faith, belief and expectations.  He spoke on the power of prayer and how we all can be powered by prayer.

Prayer Resources:

The above resources offer some support for prayer.  Prayerfully and hopefully, these are of some help to you. 

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And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. – Ezekiel 36:27 (KJV)

Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. – Luke 17:21 (KJV)

God offers the believer the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  He dwells within us.  He abides within us. 

Who else could offer us such everlasting joy? Who else could make such an offer to us?

God makes the offer through His Son.  All He desires from us is our belief and acceptance.

“The indwelling Spirit has indeed been given to every child of God.” – Andrew Murray

And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions – Joel 2:28 (KJV)

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3Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us: for we are exceedingly filled with contempt.
4Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorning of those that are at ease, and with the contempt of the proud.

Truly, this psalm hits home for a lot of us.  Let’s keep it real.  We can do that.  Right?

Keeping it real, we know that we have some deep-rooted contempt for certain folks.  You know, we may have it in for rich folks, other-colored folks, same-sex folks, can’t-get-enough-of-whatever folks, and countless others.  We just may not be able to identify well with them or all of the baggage that they bring. 

It’s really not about them.

Yep.  I said it.

It’s really about you.  I guess I should say us, but let’s stay on you for a minute.

. . . we are exceedingly filled with contempt. . . exceedingly filled with the scorning…and with the contempt

Why ask someone else: “What’s your problem?” when some reflection and examination will reveal the problem-holder in a second? Look at our language when we speak of ourselves.  We tend to come up short when it comes to coming clean about our stuff and owning our own issues.  Let your “I” message be about how you will handle your problem with others and deal with your own contempt for others.

This psalm pointed out that those who were at ease and the proud were targets of the contempt of the faithful.  The faithful sought the right resource.  They called upon God to have mercy upon us in a repetitive phrase in both verses 2 and 3.  It demonstrates the realization that God who sits high in the heavens is watching over his own children. 

Let us go to God and seek His mercy upon us as we seek to be delivered from our own contempt.  We want God to purge and purify us.  We want God to cure and cleanse us.  We ought to know that we cannot deal with this on our own.  We need His mighty hand.  We need His awesome power.  We need God to work on our behalf.

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