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Beating Unbelief and Apathy

By on October 17, 2017

The two things that hold you back the most can be overcome by acting on the Word of God. The Bible not only reveals what holds you back, but it also tells you how to beat them.

Did you know that most Christians don’t live exciting and powerful lives? Most Believers live in a sort of Twilight Zone, a gray area between being weak and being numb. How come? Mostly because of weak and watered down teaching and preaching.

See, for centuries, churches have been teaching people how to protect themselves from backsliding, how to defend what they believe, how to try to hold on until Jesus comes back and the Kingdom of God is established.

Jesus taught that the Kingdom of God ISN’T something that we sit around and wait for. No, He said, “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” At hand; within reach, here and now. It’s here if you’ll stretch out your hand and touch it. That’s what Jesus taught. Matthew 10:7 says that.

That’s why His disciples weren’t a bunch of defeated whimlings scared of rejection and afraid of backsliding. They were full of faith, power and the fruits of the Holy Spirit! That’s the way God has planned to work in YOUR life too!

It doesn’t matter HOW bleak things seem, how many people are coming against you, or how much pressure you’re facing in life. Jesus has a power to bring you into power and blessing, “now, in this life.”

You say, “Pastor Steve, how can I turn things around?” Well, first of all, you never win when you’re on the defensive. Only when you’re on the offensive can you gain ground. That’s important.

You never have power or authority by giving it to the ones who are trying to hold you back. When you weakly ask the one who is coming against you whether or not you can obey God, you’ll never be victorious that way. You HAVE to step out in faith!

Can you imagine Jesus asking the devil’s permission to cast out a demon? NO! He just did the will of the Father and let God take care of the results. That’s what YOU have to do! You obey God and let Him take care of the results.

Remember, the devil has already been defeated. God says in Colossians 2:15 that, Jesus has ALREADY defeated the devil, and taken back everything he has stolen from God’s people. “Having spoiled (taken the goods from) principalities and powers (the forces of Hell), He made a show of them, openly triumphing over them in it.” The whole universe, Heaven and Hell watched as Jesus openly defeated satan and his forces! You need to KNOW that the devil is a defeated enemy.

When Jesus taught, the common people heard Him gladly. It was the religious people who would listen to Jesus but wouldn’t believe what He was saying. Hearing the truth doesn’t mean that you’re receiving the truth.

Jesus said that you would receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you begin to seek God through prayer, faith and obedience. And, He gives you power to the degree that you will act on it.

Jesus acted on the Holy Spirit’s power fully. Not only did Jesus minister in power, but Matthew 11:1 tells us that He GAVE that power to His followers! They went out and found that they didn’t have to shrink back from the devil, but that the devil would shrink back from them!

They were thrilled! All their lives they had felt they needed to hunker down, keep their mouths shut and just settle for what life gave them! Now, they found out that Jesus had given them the power to go out and cast out devils from peoples’ lives!

See, when you start getting the Bible in your heart and mind, it changes your character and your understanding. You begin to relate to the Government of Heaven, and operate according to God’s laws and principles. You begin to pray in faith instead of worrying yourself into an early grave! You get up and get going instead of sitting in that rut until you die.

The Book of Acts, gives us account after the exciting account of the Believers going forward in the power of the Holy Spirit. They had all found out that in their own strength, they were weak, afraid and not able to do very much. But, in God’s strength, they were strong, bold and able to do all things through Christ!

Only when you know your own weakness, can you know God’s power. That’s why He has called me to minister to those who already know their own weakness – because these are the ones that can be readily filled with God’s power!

I am sent by God to help you get into faith and to overcome those forces that keep holding you back!

He has shown me that fear is destroyed by faith. We are here to bring these Bible truths to you and feed them to you until your inner man gets a mighty appetite for the Bible. “Faith comes from hearing and hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17).”

Compromise has held you back for too long, and God has sent me to help those who have given away their spiritual authority through compromise. The truth is that compromise is destroyed by commitment. Make a decision, commit to it and stick with it! You and I both know people who, in a time of need made promises to God, and then have compromised. Now, they feel weak, afraid and are defeated before they even enter the place of prayer!

When God reveals enough of His will to you that you make a promise to Him, He is helping you to make a commitment! Now, you need to stick with it!
Then, He has called me to help people rid themselves of bitterness. Bitterness will hold you back more than almost anything else. Bitterness is destroyed by confrontation. Go ahead and face those issues, forgive others as you would like to be forgiven, and root out that bitterness!

Bitterness is not of God; sweetness is!

Other believers have let themselves be hindered by rebellion. They don’t want to let ANYBODY tell them what to do! They refuse to admit that God has set anyone over them in the Body of Christ! Yet, they claim to believe the Bible. Rebellion against authority renders them powerless in the things of God.

There are so many verses on the operation and government of God! Ephesians 4:12; Act 15; 1 Thes. 5:12-13, 1 Timothy 5:17.

I remember the first time, as a baby Christian, I ran across Hebrews 13:17. “Obey them have the rule over you, and submit yourselves; for they watch over your souls, as they must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief; for that is unprofitable for you.” It had never dawned on me that I had little power because I wasn’t under submission to anyone! Rebellion is destroyed by godly obedience.

I learned to submit to my Pastor, who was in submission to godly men over him. He never told me to do ANYTHING that was contrary to the Bible. I humbled myself, and, guess what? God’s power began to flow, as I got in His order!

God has also shown me that apathy, that spirit of laziness, not caring, and being unfruitful is holding back so many of His people, zapping them of their energy. Apathy is destroyed by involvement. Being ACTIVELY involved with other believers in the work of God will break that yoke of being tired all the time and feeling burned out! See, the devil wants you to be cut off! He wants you to be not fellowshipping, not involved, just a ‘has-been’ and a spectator. But Jesus is ready for you to lay aside those weights, and the sin that so easily besets you, and to get into the race!

This is your time to get up and get going! To get that yoke off your neck and be about your Father’s business! To do what God says and let Him take care of the result! It hasn’t worked your way, and if you keep doing what you’ve been doing you’re going to keep getting what you’ve been getting!

You Have a Leather-bound Treasure Map that CAN lead you to a rich, full life

By on October 12, 2017

A lot of what comes to you in life, or what AVOIDS you, (or is WITHHELD from you) has to do with what you KNOW or DON’T know. That’s what I noticed as I was reading 1 Peter 3:17.

This verse starts off about what you KNOW. The things you know. In fact, it is things that you KNOW will enable you to go places in life and live the kind of life that’s absolutely IMPOSSIBLE to the wicked. The ‘WICKED?’ How can you call somebody wicked?’ It’s the 21st century! Here’s how: “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” It’s the backwards thinking…the inverted ideas…the things they’re mistaken about…the inaccurate things they think on and then ACT ON. These are the things that cause a person to be known as “wicked”.

You want to always remember that YOU HAVE A CHOICE in life. Everyday. God has put that ability on the INSIDE of you. The ability to choose how your life will be.

One error that gets people off on the wrong foot is this: THINKING THAT YOUR LIFE IS SET AND DIRECTED BY SOMEONE ELSE. You can feel like a puppet, like somebody ELSE is pulling the strings in your life. You can feel like you have little or no say-so in your life. And that’s when you enter into a dangerous place. It’s the beginning of that trapped feeling. The start of feeling unlucky, or that the cards are stacked against you. It’s the source of depression, frustrations, bitterness, anger and hostility towards other people in your life.

If you’re going to be able to fulfill your purpose and calling in life; if you’re going to LIVE that dream that God put into your heart, you’re going to have to root out the belief that you have no say and that somebody else is in control of your life.

This belief is the root of all kinds of problems and it ends up giving other people in your life more power than you would allow even God to have. I believe in God. The Bible God. The God who gives ideas, solutions, choices and abilities. The God who is able to HELP you make the kinds of choices and pay the kinds of prices that will bring Him honor in this life.

It has MORE to do with what you’ll ACCEPT in yourself and in your life. You won’t get much more than what you expect and ACT on. If you accept half-heartedness and weak efforts, you’ll never get the enthusiasm you need that will bring you excellence in your life.

If you ACCEPT just average efforts and results, that’s all you’ll get. If you accept being unhappy, you’ll receive unhappiness. If you accept being poor, limited and powerless, that’s what you’ll get. AND YOU’LL FALL SHORT, (that’s the definition of “sin”; falling short; missing the target).

That’s how the wicked get that way. They’ve been seeing failure, hard times and what DOESN’T work out for people, and they begin to believe they can’t have anything good in life by doing things right. That’s where they become what the Bible calls “wicked”. “As a man thinketh, so is he.” That’s why you DON’T want to think like the wicked, but like those who ARE making it in life. There’s an area that we need to grow in, and it’s an area that doesn’t come naturally for most of us. It’s the area of growing in grace…growing in what gives sweetness to life. Growing in what makes life sweet.

It’s easy to increase the reasons why life ISN’T so sweet and to get bitter. It’s easy to become discouraged, down and in the dumps. It’s easy to beat yourself over the head with your mistakes. But to grow in what makes life sweet…that’s something that YOU decide, or CHOOSE to do, and that God blesses and gives the increase of in your life.

Here’s why it’s so easy to get discouraged and defeated: We’re surrounded and bombarded with messages telling us how bad life is. We hear it on the radio, the news, and you listen to it first thing in the morning before going to church and most of the time, it’s 90% negative. Then, we have our own problems of our city, the country and the world.

Then, individual failure messages that you get hit with are enough to knock anyone out. People criticizing you. Running down. Telling you that you don’t have what it takes. And they give you all the reasons why you can’t make it.

Maybe they give you the excuses why SOME people can’t make it, but they CAN’T tell you why YOU can’t. Every reason they give is WRONG. TOTALLY WRONG. Here’s why: People who do things well in ANY area come from all sorts of backgrounds and in all shapes, sizes, and colors. What makes a person into a winner isn’t ANYTHING that’s on the OUTSIDE of them but instead, what’s on the INSIDE. NOBODY CAN LOOK AT YOU AND KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE OR DON’T HAVE ON THE INSIDE OF YOU. THERE’S NO TEST THAT CAN MEASURE THE INSIDE OF A PERSON AND DETERMINE WHETHER HE OR SHE HAS WHAT IT TAKES.
All your life, you’ll be exposed to failure messages. People not wanting to talk to you, not returning your phone calls and not answering your letters. Messages telling you that you’re stupid, dumb and a failure. They’ll come from the TV, radio, newspaper, your family, friends and from yourself. In saying all of that, you’re in a rut and it’s impossible to get out.

But, YOU have to decide whether or not you’re going to believe them. If you’re going to be excited about life or instead be scared by it.

WHAT YOU CAN LEARN WHEN GOD ISN’T WORKING

By on October 3, 2017

The Bible says in Proverbs 13:12, “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick, but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.” Many people, even Christian people, are sick in life. They go day to day down, hurt and discouraged because it seems like things just aren’t getting any better. Some have almost lost hope.

God put something in your heart a long time ago, and the hope of it carried you along, but now, that hope is just a painful memory. It hasn’t come to pass like you thought it would.

If we’re going to move ahead in the faith and hope that we had when God first planted that dream in our hearts, we’re going to have to feed that dream and keep it alive. We’ve got to keep praying, keep praising, and keep working, knowing that our labor is not in vain, in the Lord.
You’re NEVER wasting your time when you do things for God. You can’t do well without it coming back on you!

Proverbs 13:19 says, “The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul…” It’s God’s will to bring your dream to pass. We’ve got to stir up the gift that’s within us, just like God says in 2 Timothy 1:6. God put the dream there, and He wants us to see it come to pass. And, when it happens, it’s sweet to your soul! But if you don’t step out in faith you could go our whole lifetime and stay in the same rut.

You might be discouraged, wondering why it’s taking so long for God to bring your vision to pass. Well, several years ago, one of my mentors told me, “God will never put you in a situation you’re not prepared for.” God is giving you time to season, to mature and to grow up. It’s what you’re DOING during these days that determines when you’ll be prepared for what God wants to bring to pass in your life.

Psalm 4:1 says, “Hear me when I call, O God…Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress…” In other words, you want to keep praying strong, keep believing God, know that He is enlarging you and making you a bigger person during these days of delaying. Remember, God’s delays are not God’s denials.

God gives you His promises so you won’t faint and lose heart during your day to day struggles. Struggles, difficulties and challenges, are all part of the victorious life. How can there be a victory without a battle? Life is a fight. Paul talked about fighting the good fight of faith. The devil is the god of this world. He doesn’t want to see you walking in victory or faith.

God is making you a bigger person during your distress, in your hard place and in that dark time. Even in your difficult times, in the storms of life and when things aren’t going well, God can enlarge your dream. He’s working on that dream, enlarging your vision, increasing your strength and your commitment to Him.

God takes those adversities and hindrances that the enemy sent and turns them around. He’ll use what you go through to bring you out stronger, bolder and with a greater commitment to Him. God’s using that adversity to build your character. That place where the enemy planned your defeat is the place where God has scheduled your victory!

A lot of times, when trials and adversities come, people tend to blame God. They throw up their hands and cry, “Why me, God?” and get bitter. That’s not what you do! This is your time to get stronger, to be more devoted to God and to turn your affections towards God! The struggle develops your strength. That’s the way God has ordained it.

One time a little boy was out in the back yard looking at a new butterfly struggling to get out of the cocoon. It was so hard and difficult! It seemed like the struggle was killing it! The little boy felt so sorry for the butterfly! Only the butter-fly’s head was out. It was trying to get its wings out of the cocoon. But, no matter how hard it tried, it just couldn’t do it. And, it was just taking so long!

This little boy thought, “I’d better help it! I’ll make it easier for that butterfly!” See, he didn’t realize that that’s not the way God ordained it. So he opened up the cocoon with his pocket knife…VERY carefully, so the butterfly wouldn’t be hurt. Then he gently lifted the butterfly out of the cocoon and tossed it into the air to fly away. But the butterfly fell weakly to the ground and lay there, helpless.

See, the little boy didn’t realize that God has ordained through the struggle of coming out of the cocoon the butterfly would get its strength. It’s the same way with us.

What I want you to see is, going through struggles gives you strength. Don’t turn your back on God. Use your adversity as your contact point with God. Make it the occasion of your meeting with Him!

God wants to encourage you today. Realize that He is taking you to a whole new level in your Christian walk and in your ministry. During the struggle, it’s no time to cry and blame God. That’s the worst thing you can do. Turn your attention toward God. God will use anything that the devil sends and He’ll bring good out of it. The struggle is what gives us strength!

God wants to see how mature you are. He wants to take you to a new level. He wants to see if you’ll turn your heart completely towards Him. He wants to see if you’ll spend more time in His house, or if you’re just going to turn back and throw in the towel?

We’re going to become strong and we’re going to be strengthened. We’re going to grow through each struggle. And, in our struggles, we’re going to turn our attention more towards God. When we come out of it, God is going to have enlarged our vision, enlarged our dream and enlarged us in our time of distress. It drives the devil crazy to praise God in the midst of a storm.

David said in Psalm 34:3, “Oh magnify the Lord with me!” Do you know what magnify means? Magnify means “to make bigger or to enlarge in perspective.” When you magnify something, you don’t change what it is – you change how you see it.

So, if you magnify your problems, you’re making them seem bigger than they really are! When you magnify God, you’re not changing how big He is; but instead, you’re changing how you see Him. How much bigger is He in your own life? It’s so important in the storms of life to magnify God and not to magnify your problems.

God is seeing if you’re going to go up to that next level. Your faith is being tested in the fiery trials. You’ve got to be willing to change when you come out of the storm.

God may be moving you to another level and you’re trying to stay back and hold on at the level you’re already on. He’s wanting to mold you and make you into the kind of person you’ve never been able to be before. The Bible says that God is the potter and we are the clay. We’ve got to let Him shape us.

The Holy Spirit wants you to use your adversities that you face in life as a stepping stone to get you closer to God. Yes, the enemy is after us. He wants us to let go of our dreams. Remember, just because we go through certain struggles in life, doesn’t mean God isn’t right there with us. He’ll never let us be tempted beyond what we can bear.

Trust God to bring to pass what He has put in your heart! He’s well and able to perform what He has promised, and He’s not limited to save by many or by few. Hold onto Him during the dark times, praise Him when you get discouraged and give Him room to bring to pass the hopes and dreams He’s planted in your heart!

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Event Calendar

  • October 2017
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
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8 12:32 pm: Ladies Intercessory Prayer 91011121314
1516171819 20 6:45 pm: Ladies Bible Study 21
22 12:32 pm: Ladies Planning Meeting 232425262728
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