New Level, New Devil
By: Pastor Chris
In 1 Peter 4:12, the word of God says, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.” (ESV) That means that you should not be surprised as you’re going through trials and challenges in your life whether from your job, home life, finances, or in other personal areas. The enemy is after your integrity; he is after your life and your ministry. (John 10:10) As an anointed person of God, the enemy will always attack you, regardless of what stage you are in ministry or life. The higher we go in life, the greater the attack that will be upon us. One of the ways that I know that God is working is when the enemy comes in and legitimizes the fact that what God is doing for me is FOR REAL. If it wasn’t for God and it weren’t a threat to the enemy’s agenda, the enemy wouldn’t bother to mess with me! Your anointing attracts attacks! But due to the favor of God upon your life, He will always cause you to triumph. David’s great victory against Goliath was his “coming out” party. This party spotlighted David where he became known to the people. It wasn’t his first battle, but it was the first battle that he had an audience. What’s done in private, will come to the public. Although David’s triumph over Goliath was major, it wasn’t his greatest battle. Unbeknownst to him, his greatest battle was just about to begin. All of David’s greatest battles happened within. Defeating Goliath with the slingshot and stone was admirable, but it was a familiar way of combat for him. It was like having homecourt advantage. He took the same familiar approach to that challenge as he did when fighting the lion and the bear. We must realize that we must step up mentally for the next challenge. Saul antagonized David and had a jealous spirit. (1 Sam 18:10) As a result, David became frustrated and confused by Saul’s behavior. After all, he hadn’t wronged Saul in any way, He didn’t deserve his contempt. However, David didn’t respond to Saul’s bad behavior based off his feelings. Instead he responded with an attitude of praise and he used worship every day to help him get through it. Here are a few things to remember to help you honor the process:
1) Pain is part of the process
2) Praise is a part of the process
3) Promotion is a part of the process
Every time we face a new season it is a call to trust God at a new level. God will put people around you who will help you reach your new level just like God connected David and Jonathan to be covenant brothers. Satan has no authority to close what God has opened. The only authority he has is the authority you give him. Remember, greatness comes through your sacrifice and your faith and trust in God. You are an OVERCOMER! No one goes to the next level without some pain. You have to learn to expect trouble right before the triumph. Keep pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. You may not like what step you’re on now, but be confident that your steps are ordered by God and that if you remain willing and obedient, God will lead you to your expected end. (Jer. 29:11)
Your boss…the garbage man…the cashier at your local grocery store…the school teacher…even your own children. Wondering what they all have in common? I’ll tell you. These are some of the people who we encounter every day, but may not often take the time to consider how their existence really affects our lives.
Most of us lead busy lives. We are always juggling the hustle and bustle; sometimes so much so, that we don’t have time to truly honor the people who we come across along the way. We know that everyone is important; but do we really show that everyone is important? Our job as Christians is to make sure we are striving to be a blessing to people at every possible opportunity. My question today is whether we’ve taken the time lately to speak into someone else’s life? We can make an unbelievable impact in someone’s life by simply encouraging them. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NKJV) reads, “Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.” This passage emphasizes the importance of believers building up one another. For some, this task may seem overwhelming. However, the truth is that by just focusing on encouraging those within your own circle of influence you can make a difference. Here’s how to make encouraging others a regular part of your day.
Be intentional! Don’t just wait for an opportunity to bless someone or speak into their life to present itself. You have to search opportunities out. Look for a way to be a blessing to someone else.
Be grateful! God has blessed you with so much, including the people around you who help you get through what you need to from day to day. Without the garbage man, your trash would pile up on your street. Without the school teacher, you would have been only left with life experiences or the lack thereof to educate you. Without your children, your life might be quieter (smile), but less meaningful. Count your many blessings.
Be a light! Everywhere you go, people are watching you and how you respond to what happens in our lives. You are the salt of the earth. Matt. 5:16. As Christians, our consistency in how we live and how we respond to the challenges in life makes a difference in the lives of others.
In conclusion, people of God, the world needs us to survive. Our ability to share the Good News and the love of Christ is so important. Speak into the life of the single parent, the veteran, or the elderly. Let’s do whatever it takes to “let our light shine.”
Don’t Let the Devil Steal Your Praise: It’s Time to Get Your Praise On!
By: Pastor Chris
If you want to have joy, you have to fight for it. Every day you have to make a conscious effort to wake up in the morning with an attitude of gratitude. The bottom line is that the enemy is after your praise. Why? Because by keeping your mouth closed, you remain silent about the victory that God has already given you through Christ Jesus. When you praise God, you bombard heaven with a bold message that results in the heavenly angels warring on your behalf. (Ps. 103:20 ) There are four things that are imperative to praising God through any situation.
Quote God’s word that deals with the situation that you’re going through until it becomes “Remah” or you have an “Aha Moment” when the relevance of the word begins to click with your spirit. Put God’s word on your dashboard in the car, on the computer screen, put it on your vanity mirror, write it on the palm of your hand, challenge your kids to memorize it, write it on your forehead (smile), do whatever it takes to declare God’s word in your life. YOU’RE AN OVERCOMER! SNAP OUT OF YOUR PITY PARTY. PUT A PRAISE ON YOUR LIPS!
Rest in assurance that God hears you when you pray. (Ps. 40:1). Not only does He hear you, but be assured that He is with you. He is omnipresent. He inclines His ear every time you call because he is attentive to the cry of His children. Like a mother when she hears her child crying, God is going to respond. When my sons were younger, I can recall my lovely wife almost darting out the room to see what was wrong when they were crying. That’s how much God loves you. He comes running when you’re crying.
Visualize yourself coming out. (Ps. 40:2) You have to see your victory and declare it. Keep speaking it. I don’t care how dark or gloomy the night is, day break is coming. Weeping may endure for the night, but joy is coming in the morning. God sees and knows and He has your best interest at heart.
You have to get a new song. (Ps. 40:3) A new song represents a sense of refreshing and revival. Right now in the midst of your horrible pit, God is setting you up for a great testimony so that you can be a greater blessing to others. There are people watching who are going to see you win in the end and declare the glory of God because of your faith. Now you must pray and ask God to give you a new revelation in the challenges that you’re facing.
In conclusion, don’t let the devil trick you into sitting on your praise. As a matter of fact, stand up right now and give God praise wherever you are reading this blog post. Find a new praise partner this week. Do whatever you have to do to get your praise on. One thing I know for certain, God is going to cause you to triumph. Every test is an opportunity for God to gain the glory in your life. Be encouraged!
The Power of Rejoicing
Philippians 4:4 is one of my favorite scriptures. I am amazed by the fact that when Paul writes this letter to inspire the church at Philipi, he’s not on Capri Island or resting on the beautiful Carribean Islands. Instead he’s writing about joy from a dank and dark prison. He has every reason to be depressed and resentful, but instead he chooses to encourage the church to rejoice in the Lord. The apostle Paul did not write Philippians in response to a crisis as he did with Galatians and Colossians. Instead, he wrote to express his appreciation and affection for the Philippian believers. My question to you is whether we, as Christians, make that same conscious effort to walk in joy regardless of the circumstances and situations we’re faced with on a daily basis.
Our responsibility as a Christian should always be to shine the light of Christ (Matt 5:13-16) in our workplace, at the grocery store, at the drive-thru, the Secretary of State (especially in super long lines…smile) and so many other places. In your uncomfortable or challenging times of life do you see God or do you question if He’s there at all? The Apostle Paul admonishes believers in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
What is true is that God always has your best interest at heart.
What is noble is that we must look at every test as an opportunity for us to grow and that we can withstand any test that God allows to come into our lives. I count it a joy that God has so much trust in my ability to carry out His great work! I pray that you envision and see every challenge the same way. There is not a test that you cannot overcome!!
What is just is that even when things seem to be unfair God, is righteous which means that He is vindicating me and fighting on my behalf. We worry about so many things in the world that are outside of our control. We must rest in assurance that God is sovereign. He does all things well. It is this right thinking that gives us strength in our most difficult times. Remain optimistic!
What is pure helps us safeguard our eyes, ears, heart, and mouth gates so that we can remain free from contamination and disentangled from the bondage of sin.
What is lovely is that life is full of intricate details that remind us that God takes delight in our existence. Please don’t take for granted the small things like the dew on roses, fresh spring grass, mid-summer rain, gleaming stars, puffy clouds, and the chirping of birds. I am just amazed by His love and His thought process in creating such wonderful things in nature for us to enjoy.
What is of good report will keep us from being overwhelmed by all of the bad news in the world. Don’t watch the evening news right before you go to bed. It will depress you. Find those good testimonies and stories; find some good news and celebrate it.
Remember, joy is not about everything going well, but it’s about knowing that everything is working out for our good. Each day make an intentional effort to experience the joy of the Lord. Live beyond your feelings. Joy is a decision. When joy is sought outward it remains elusive, but when you embrace that it’s an inward discovery rooted in your knowledge of who God is; life truly becomes full and abundant.
What event has tried to steal your joy lately? What steps can you take to help bring resolve to that situation? My challenge to you is that no matter what comes your way this week, make it a point to find a positive in the midst of the negative. Take the Apostle Paul’s advice to rejoice in the Lord. You can be as fulfilled as you choose to be, so choose joy!