HOW PRAISE RELEASES SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY: PART 1

Did you know that praising God invokes your spiritual authority and paralyzes the devil? The mistaken belief that God is in complete control is contradicted when you read in the book of Genesis that He gave Adam and Eve authority over all the earth. Because of their fall and the loss of that authority, Jesus came to restore it to mankind and give us dominion over heaven and hell. That may be very shocking to some Believers who don’t realize just how powerful Christ has made us. With that in mind, we must remember God will not come down from heaven to get the devil off our back. As Believers, we are expected to use our God-given power to do this ourselves. How? Through praise and thanksgiving. Praise and thanksgiving have real power in deciding the outcome of our situations. Giving thanks to God allows Him to move in our life and stops the devil in his tracks. In 2 Chronicles chapter 20, when the Moabites and the Ammonites gathered against Jehoshaphat to battle, the people did not know what to do. Despite being outnumbered, they responded by keeping their focus on God. God told them this was not their fight but His. The people’s praise, worship, and songs allowed God to intervene and He slew their enemies. Likewise, the same thing can happen for us when we give God praise and worship. Whether we dance and sing to music, lift our hands professing his goodness, or simply say, “Thank You Father” while sitting behind a desk at work, we allow God to take precedence over every circumstance in our life and defeat the enemy. When we stop struggling with the fight and start celebrating God, we are sure to see victory every single time.

SCRIPTURE REFERENCES:

Exodus 15:2                             2 Samuel 22:4                                     Luke 10:19

Philippians 2:10                      Colossians 2:6, 7                                 Mathew 21:15, 16

2 Chronicles 20:1-25

Undeserved Favor in our Lives

It’s unrealistic to think we can go through our entire lives without making any bad choices.

We all slip and fall from time to time on our Christian walk and, left to ourselves, we would eventually be overcome by guilt and condemnation. Without Jesus, that’s an uncomfortable thought, but accepting his unconditional love and acceptance brightens our prospects. When we feel we deserve punishment for a mistake we made, he gives us what we don’t deserve.

The world “keeps score” each time we make a mistake, and it tallies up the number of times we’ve done something wrong. Buying into this mindset can fool us into thinking we’re unlovable, but God’s way of thinking is the exact opposite. Trusting him enough to turn over every aspect of our lives to him positions us to receive grace. In the Old Testament, Noah found favor despite making mistakes like everyone else, and this favor is still available to us today.

Trying to perform according to the world’s standards is like running on a never ending treadmill. We can’t ever do enough to fulfill all the requirements set before us, but Jesus eliminates all the work and self effort the world insists is necessary. Developing a relationship with him releases us from the bondage of shame and guilt. He gave his very life to demonstrate this supernatural grace and forgiveness.

We don’t have to wait until we get to heaven to experience favor; God wants to radically impact our lives right now, regardless of what we’ve done in the past. We don’t deserve abundant prosperity in every area of our lives, but he makes it available to us anyway. We don’t deserve peace and joy in tough times, or the ability to overcome situations that defeat others, but he offers those to us as well. Such is the nature of grace!

Look Beyond The Fear Of Failure

As we consider the uncertainties of the future, we are confronted with a powerful temptation: the temptation to “play it safe.”  Unwilling to move mountains, we fret over molehills.  Unwilling to entertain great hopes for tomorrow, we focus on the unfairness of today.  Unwilling to trust God completely, we take timid half-steps when God intends that we make giant leaps.

Today, ask God for the courage to step beyond the boundaries of your doubts.  Ask Him to guide you to a place where you can realize your full potential – a place where you are freed from the fear of failure.  Ask Him to do His part and commit to doing your part.  Don’t ask Him to lead you to a “safe” place; ask Him to lead you to the “right” place.  Remember, those two places are seldom the same.

DEVELOPING YOUR FAITH VERSUS DEVELOPING YOUR USE OF FAITH

There is a difference between what religion tells us about faith, and what God tells us.

Religion tells us to do this or that to increase our faith. God tells us He has already given every man the measure of faith.  You have enough faith.  You just need to learn how to use it.  And, I am not referring to human faith.  I am talking about faith from God. Supernatural faith from God goes above and beyond human faith, which can fail us.  The God kind of faith never fails.  Someone might say, “Well Ms. Mercedes, I believed and it still didn’t happen for me.”  Then, my question is, had you kept believing would it have come to pass by now?  Many believers today pick a stopping point for their faith.

God loves to do things quickly, but if you start trying to rush your manifestation out of fear or panic, you will slow it down.  Now, there’s nothing wrong with establishing a date for the manifestation.  However, that date must not come from fear or anxiousness.  The amplified version of Philippians 4:6 tells us do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God.  When you make those requests known and believe you receive the moment you pray, you have just exercised your faith.  Faith must be exercised to be effective.  It’s no different than muscles in the body.  The more you exercise them, the more developed they become. Remember, you don’t get more faith.  God has already given you enough faith for everything for which you have believed, or will believe.  All you need to do is begin using it.

Prayer for Today
Lord, thank you for the faith you have given me.  I will allow the Holy Spirit to influence my thinking and speaking so I can use my faith this week more than ever before.  I know you are faithful and my faith will never be denied.  Thank you in advance for the manifestations I will experience.  In Jesus’ name I pray and believe.  Amen. 

Scripture References:
Romans 12:3 | Galatians 2:16, 20 | John 14:12 | Romans 4:19, 20 | Matthew 14:28-31

When You Pray Use Your Weapons!

Sometimes when you pray you may not feel you are getting results. You repeat the same prayer over and over, wondering why you are not receiving an answer. Days may pass, even months or years, and still it seems as though nothing is happening. That’s when it’s important to understand that you are engaged in a war. You are “not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).

Thankfully, you are not defenseless. You must fight with every weapon at your disposal…and you have some great ones. In fact, God provided you with three that guarantee results.

  1. The Name of Jesus

When you pray in the Name of Jesus, you are identifying with the Son of God. It’s as if He is the One praying. Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? But Jesus told His disciples, “You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!” (John 14:13-14). He was giving His followers—that includes you—His authority…and that’s a lot! “Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth’” (Matthew 28:18). Jesus is the Son of the Almighty, omnipotent, omnipresent God, and He has given authority to you.

  1. The Word of God

The Bible is God’s final word. It contains His promises as well as insight into His character. You can stand and rely on it. As you pray, find promises from God’s Word. Speak them out. Pray them. Trust that they are truer than how you feel, or what people around you say. You can trust that God will be faithful to uphold His Word because He wrote in it: “Every word of God proves true” (Proverbs 30:5). Consequently, if you are His child, He will remain true to you, too.

  1. Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is your comforter, and He is also your helper. When you pray in the spirit, or in tongues, the Holy Spirit helps you pray as you are supposed to pray (Romans 8:26). He understands that there is a war raging around you, and He helps you fight that battle even though you can’t see it with your human eyes.

Second Corinthians 10:4 reminds you that you have “God’s mighty weapons” at your disposal. As you continue to pray for your breakthrough, rest knowing that God has given you powerful weapons to overcome every scheme of the enemy that tries to keep you down. Don’t give up. Remain faithful in your prayers, knowing that you are in a battle Jesus has already won!

TRUSTING GOD IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES

If you’ve ever wondered if you could trust someone with a secret or with something very valuable, you probably remember the nervous feeling of hope mixed with uncertainty as you opened yourself up to that person. People can make mistakes and let you down, and placing your trust in another person takes a great deal of courage. Although others can betray that trust, God never will. When you learn to trust Him in all circumstances, you’ll find a peace that you won’t understand but will truly welcome.

In life, there are bound to be situations we can’t handle, and when we turn to friends or family, their flaws and imperfections can keep them from being a reliable source of help. Sometimes the insecurities and fears of others may cause them to be unsympathetic when we desperately need guidance or advice. When the world turns on us and those closest to us distance themselves, God does just the opposite. “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken” (Psalm 55:22, NIV). We can trust He won’t disappear in our darkest times, because His promise never to leave us is true.

In the book of Daniel, we read about Daniel in the lions’ den; also Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace. When things turned ugly and scary, their faith in God’s promises never wavered, and He showed up just in time to deliver them. Even today, when we find ourselves in a tough spot either because of bad decisions we made or because we chose to obey God’s Word in a sinful world, we can still trust Him. Accepting by faith what Jesus did for us over two thousand years ago makes us righteous in God’s eyes and delivers us from judgment, no matter what the world says about us. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).

Trusting God empowers us to do things we never imagined we could accomplish. When we focus on Him instead of whatever is going on around us at the moment, we open the door to the supernatural. During the storm at sea, when Jesus told Peter to walk on water to come to Him, Peter succeeded as long as he looked only on Jesus. Peter’s faith in Him was the deciding factor (Matthew 14:22-32).

The world is full of situations that can look hopeless when we try and solve the problem through our own efforts, but we need not despair. When it looks like there’s no way out and we keep hitting that proverbial brick wall, there is Someone else Who can handle the issue much better than we can, if we just let Him. “I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27, NIV). It doesn’t matter how big a mistake we made or what it looks like to us. We can always rely on what He says!

God can turn anything around in our lives, but He’s waiting for us to trust Him. Believing what He says is all we need to do, but any little elements of doubt nagging at the edge of our minds holds us back. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5, 6). It’s good to know our limited intellectual understanding isn’t a requirement of faith.

Take A Look!

The end of 2017 is a great time to look back and celebrate God’s faithfulness. Even if you find the year has not been the easiest, there is something for which to be thankful.

“Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.”James 1:17

Here are 10 questions to ask yourself as you celebrate God’s faithfulness in 2017.

  1. When was a time that God protected you physically this year?Did you experience a near miss in your car or an accident that could have had a more damaging outcome?
  2. When did God protect you spiritually this year?Did He correct a false belief about Himself?
  3. When did God protect you emotionally this year?Did He help you forgive a wrong or to see through a lie?
  4. Who did God use to speak a word of encouragement to you this year?Did a friend, a boss or a mentor encourage you?
  5. What revelation did you receive this year? Did you hear a message that gave you a deeper revelation about the Lord? Did the Holy Spirit reveal a life-changing or illuminating word to you?
  6. Did you meet a new friend who encourages you in your faith?Did you begin attending a new church, small group, prayer group or Bible study?
  7. Have you experienced favor from a boss, friend, church leader or neighbor that could have only come from the Lord?
  8. Did you experience a new understanding of love this year?Did you fall in love, get married, have a baby, adopt a pet or rekindle an existing relationship?
  9. Did you receive forgiveness from the Lord or someone else?
  10. Did you experience God’s love during your praise, worship and/or prayer times?

BONUS: Did God use you to share His love this year? Did you lead someone to Jesus, help someone in need, or reach out in some other meaningful way this year?

Spend time during this season reflecting on what God has done for you in 2017, how He has ministered His love to you, and how He has allowed you to minister His love to others. If you regularly journal (or want to begin), use these questions as a starting point. You may even want to answer just one each day as you reflect on the faithfulness and goodness of God.