Thought for the month: From OSTA Outreach President
Lord are You sure that it's me that You want for the task at hand? BUT, I'm not worthy. I don't feel ready. I want to follow Your voice; I want to please You; and I want to know that I'm in Your will. I want to trust in You with all of my heart without leaning unto my own understanding. OK I'm Yours and I will go; my answer is YES LORD!
What Are You Expecting? What Is the Measure of Your Faith?
"'...My people will be filled with My bounty,' declares the LORD"(Jeremiah 31:14, NIV)
A WORD from Joel and Victoria
When I think of being filled, I think of being satisfied. I think of having more than enough to meet my needs so that I can be a blessing to others. But it all starts with our level of expectancy. My question for you today is what are you believing for? What are you expecting?
You might say, "Well, Joel. I don't think I'll ever meet my sales goals this year with the economy like it is." Or, "I don't think I'll ever get promoted. I'm not that qualified." "I don't think I'll ever get well." The problem is you're not looking for those good breaks. You're not expecting increase. You're not positioning yourself for God to fill you, and unfortunately, you won't be disappointed. Jesus said in the scriptures, "According to your faith it will be done unto you." He might as well have said, "If you've got a cup, I'll fill you with a cup level of blessing. If you've got a bucket, I'll fill you with a bucket level of blessing." But if you'll take the limits off of God and believe for supernatural opportunities, if you'll go out each day expecting far and beyond favor, you won't be disappointed. He will fill you and satisfy you with His goodness and show His favor in ways beyond your wildest dreams!
A PRAYER FOR TODAY
Father God, thank You for blessing me so that I can be a blessing to others. Today, I choose to open my heart and mind to You and expect that You will fill me with Your bounty. I choose to take the limits off my thinking so that You can have Your way in my life. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
REMOVING THE VEIL
Why do I struggle with ungodly thoughts?
There are many reasons one can have ungodly thoughts but we must first understand that the struggle is
not the thought, it is controlling the thought. God's Will is that we be free from the stronghold of having
ungodly thoughts. It is natural for the enemy (satan) to place ungodly thoughts in our minds, but it is
supernatural for the Holy Spirit to quicken our spirit, enabling us to choose not submit to them (ungodly thoughts).
We have ungodly thoughts because of ungodly spirits that lives in us from childbirth. We are born in sin and iniquities. It is upon receiving Christ as our Lord and Savior that we are given the Power to control our thoughts, especially negative thoughts. Ungodly thoughts are a curse; a sickness cast on us from the beginning of time, a sin. So choose not to entertain ungodly thoughts and cast them back down to the pits of hell where they belong (II Corinthians 10:3-6).
How do I control my unwanted thoughts?
Shame is one of the biggest strongholds against our healing process. Because we are ashamed to admit
we have this condition, we become helpless in obtaining knowledge and help in overcoming it. Shame is a
sickness (crippling condition) and as long as satan can keep you feeling ashamed and in bondage, he is
happy. But God can and desires to heal us. As Christians it is not enough to just know that God can heal
if He wants, we must also know that it is His Will for us to be healed. There is a balm in Gilead (Romans 6:20-23)!
Do you have faith? Do you believe He is a healer?
Faith can only be exercised were the Will of God is known. In other words, if you do not know that it is God's will to heal you, how can you exercise faith that He will. Hoping is not faith; hope is the future tense and faith is the present tense (now). Therefore, knowing God's will and believing in His will is the only way we can exercise His faith which is His Will. We can know God's will by knowing His Word (II Timothy 2:15).
What is God's Word?
His word tells us in Matthew 8:17 "That Jesus, Himself took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses."
Infirmities are our physical weakness or defect, if God wanted us to keep them, He would not have taken
them. II Corinthians 10:3&4 tells us that "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through
God to the pulling down of strongholds. Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalted itself
against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ."
II Corinthians 10 is a good chapter to begin exercising your faith and utilizing the power God has placed
inside of you. God's Word tells us "that no weapon that is form against thee shall prosper (Isaiah 54:17)"
God's Word is that He wishes none perish but have everlasting life (John 3:15). His Word say "Labour not
for the meat which perished, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man
shall give unto you; for him hath God the Father Sealed (John 6:27).
How can I become a child of God?
If you are unsure about where you stand with God, simply confess your sins and invite Jesus to be your
Savior; by doing so, you are welcoming Christ into your life and will become a new creature in Him
(II Corinthians 5:17). Romans 10:9-11 tells us "That if you confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus,
and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. It is with the heart
(repentance heart) man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto
salvation". For the scripture says, whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed."
How to turn your wound into a scar
God wants to heal your wounds, and though it may leave a scar, it will never bleed again; because, a scar is simply a memory and is not able to hurt or cause pain any longer. Matthew 6:14-15 reads "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses". The first step to healing your wounds is forgiving the person or persons who caused the wound. It is loosing the spirit of unforgiveness which is deception and yielding unto the voice of the Lord.
One of satan's most destructive lies is that forgiveness is optional. We tell ourselves that we have the right not to forgive because of the pain inflicted on us, but that is not true. The truth is we have to make a choice to forgive or not to forgive and whatever choice we make will have an effect on our lives and the lives of others around us. God's Word tells us that His forgiving us is based on our forgiving others (vs. 14).
Forgiveness is the real meaning, the heart of the gospel. Think about it, if Jesus had not forgiven us there would be no gospel. But nevertheless, He did and even while He was on the cross being crucified, He still asked God to "forgive them for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34).
When I think about all the violence and wrong doing that happened in my life, I often wonder did God know that we as humans would stoop so low when He made that command. Of course He did, but He also knew that He instilled Himself in us (created in His image) giving us the power to adhere to His Word and forgive. He also knew I would not discover His power right away and I would have to learn to control my emotions and feelings.
Holding on to anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness for so long can cause one to become blind to what is truth and false, enabling the inability to see or feel God or anybody. The need to possess the ability to feel can turn one into a silent bomb waiting to explode in a second. Many of us simply endure more pain trying to ease THE pain in all the wrong ways because of a lack of knowledge and desire to really know Him and the inability to trust HIM. Trauma in a person life can turn them away from trusting the ones who loves them the most, because of fear of being hurt again.
God kept me and he has kept you too for such a time as this. When I did not want to be kept HE covered me from the death I was eagerly running towards. Why? Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
It's okay to feel hurt, anger and confusion for what you are going through or gone through; that's a natural course of action, but we should not hold on to it, we must let it go. We must put the tears, sleepless nights, and emotional torment behind us because it is what God would have us to do so He can work it out for His good and benefit.
With God's help, any situation, no matter how heartbreaking, can be used for good, even when others intend it for evil. Look at the story of Joseph in Genesis; sold by his brothers to slaves at age 17, spent 11 years as a slave and two years in prison. Yet God gave him favor and he became governor of Egypt when he was 30. Although his brothers meant evil upon him, he chose to forgive them and love them regardless of their intentions. Sometimes God allow us to go through certain things as training for a certain position or ministry in the future. It was Joseph' self-assurance molded by pain and combined with personal knowledge of God that allowed him to survive and prosper where most would have failed.
Yes, betrayals, disappointments, failures, and bad choices are painful events in our lives, experiences that we just want to forget; but we must use wisdom and know that no experience is useless. God is sovereign and His plans are not dictated by human actions. When others intend evil toward you, remember, they are only God's tools. Consider whatever the situation or problem as part of your training program for serving God (Romans 8:28).
Remember, harboring feelings of unforgiveness keeps us bound and allows the person we are angry with to always be present in our lives. He or she is only a device the enemy has bought before us sent to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10). God spared His own Son, and gave Him up for us all (Romans 8:32).
Why? Because He is a forgiving God (Psalms 65:3) and when God forgives sin He forgets it (Isaiah 43:25) and so must we.
The key to turning your wound into a scar is through making the decision to forgive and love inspite of. When you have forgiven someone, the thought of the incident will not overwhelm you with the thought of the pain but instead it will remind you of the victory you have in Jesus; giving you FEELINGS of joy, His peace that surpasses all understanding and love; giving you a precious testimony of how His favor kept you, enabling you help someone else to be free in Him too.
Forgiveness is one of the hardest things God requires of us, especially when you have encountered some of the most vicious acts upon you, but nevertheless it is required. Forgiveness is the most Godlike thing that man can do on earth because it involves the ultimate giving of oneself. It is like the fragrance of the violet on the sole of the shoe that crushed it."
I acknowledge that you are always with me. When I do not understand painful situations in my life, help me to remember that you are sovereign and therefore working this out for my good. Show me how to better serve you through my painful experiences in new and creative ways. Thank you for on-the-job training to serve you.
Did I here you say "I forgive but I am still ANGRY as hell". Continue praying the prayer above prayer until you feel it removing the anger and/or tune in for how to be free from anger too... It's a process and you can do it...
CONVICTION BRING CHANGE
Where there is no conviction, there can be no change.
Are you walking in the WILL of God or are you walking in the Will of Self.
Self-Centeredness is gospel of addition without subtraction.
It is the belief that we can add Christ to our lives, but not subtract sin.
It is a change in belief without a change in behavior.
It is spiritual experience without any cultural impact.
It is revival without reformation, without repentance.
Will of God is to demonstrate that both a relationship with Christ has been added and that sin had been subtracted (repentance).
It is a changed life, one that has added Christ and subtracted sin, which attracts a world weary of worn-out words.
It is Obedience.
Self-centeredness/righteousness derives from lack of conviction; which prevent change.
God wants us to pray for conviction upon ourselves. Pray for God to convict you, not someone else but you. He wants to give you the answer towards fixing you. I dare you to ask the Lord to convict you of anything/everything that is not of Him. God wants us to desire to be in His Will. We cannot see ourselves for looking at everybody else. Invite God to look in the Mirror (your heart) and ask Him what do He see.
Scriptures for harden hearts (little something for us all):
John 3:20-21 (the skipped verses)
II Corinthians 5:17; 6:14; 7:1
Hebrew 6 (Hmmm)
Epistle of Jude
There must be change in our behavior and growth upon acceptance of Jesus Christ as our Savior. We must eliminate revival without reformation, a change in belief without a corresponding change in behavior.