Heavenly Father, thank you for our many blessings. Thank you for Your Word, and Your words through me. Let Your words always be mine, and let Your children hear them. In Jesus' Mighty Name. Amen.
Before I get into the subject of today's word, I wanted to talk about God's Prophet Isaiah. For me, Isaiah's prophetic words in the Book of Isaiah became all the more profound and meaningful when I learned that Isaiah came into his calling as a prophet when he prophesied the coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, some 700 years before Christ's birth! Simply amazing.
In Isaiah 50:4 above, we learn that the words we speak about God to the unbelievers, the downtrodden, the oppressed, the poor in the spirit, the "weary," come from God, and that He speaks to us in the morning, and wakens our ears to hear Him, like one being taught, the "learned." Hallelujah! Praise God.
Isaiah Chapter 50, the entire chapter, is about the LORD providing "comfort to desponding saints and terror to presuming sinners" (from biblestudytools.com, Matthew Henry commentary).
What does that mean: comfort to desponding saints and terror to presuming sinners? Well, "desponding" means losing hope, so "desponding saints" are believers, us, who are losing hope, as many are today.
And, "presuming sinners," like the Pharisees whom Jesus admonished in Matthew 23:28 "Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity."
And, why did the Pharisees appear outwardly righteous? Because Jesus said, "This people draws nigh unto me with their mouth, and honours me with their lips; but their heart is far from me." Matthew 15:8
In other words, the Pharisees were like Cain, who thought he could climb into heaven some other way than through the door. Jesus said in John 10:1 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber." See my blog titled, Cain and Abel by clicking here.
We should walk the walk, not just talk the talk. We should be like Jesus, and walk the walk like Jesus, if we want to be "overcomers," like Jesus.
As often happens, I did not know how this was going to tie into the word I am writing about today from Holy Spirit until I typed the previous paragraph.
One of the main ways we become overcomers like Jesus is by listening to God. Amen.
On September 21, 2022, around 3 to 5 am, still asleep, Holy Spirit showed me why He tries to speak to us in the early morning, the wee hours, in our sleep if He has to, because that is when we are the most sinless, guiltless, righteous.
How many of us, in our sleep, make grand plans of things we want to do around the house? Or, in life? Or, maybe even how we want to serve God? a ministry we want to start?
And, then, we wake up, and the reality of who we are sets in, who we have become in this life. Fear sets in. Satan sets in.
And, then, we start talking ourselves out of it. We hear Satan there in the background, whispering in our ear, You can’t do that; you don’t even know where to start with something like that; no one will help you; it’s a lot of work; that’s not who you are; you have too many responsibilities already; you can just serve God another way.
Man has a sinful nature, courtesy of Adam, Eve and the serpent in the garden of Eden. We must combat this sinful nature every day; we must resist Satan every day and he will flee from us. James 4:7 Amen.
God forgives us for the sins for which we ask Him to forgive us. If, then, we have a sinful nature, it stands to reason we must repent to God, turn away from sin, and pray for forgiveness, every day. This is why it is important to have God’s Word stored in our hearts. The more God’s Word is stored in our hearts, the more second-nature it becomes to us, and the less the devil will be successful in tempting us every day, so the less he will come around, and the less he will steal our blessings through our disobedience to God. Amen.
In 1 Corinthians 15, Apostle Paul wrote that he dies every day. How could he die every day? Because we have a sinful nature. Yes, we have God’s Spirit, God’s Word, and the blood of Jesus Christ, by which we strive to become more like Jesus on a daily basis, to overcome this sinful flesh and sinful, evil world, as Jesus overcame, but we are still human, and we still have a sinful, human nature; God’s forgiveness does not remove our sinful, human nature.
1 Corinthians 15:31 from the Amplified Bible “I assure you, believers, by the pride which I have in you in [your union with] Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily [I face death and die to self]. “
There are many ways we can sin against God written about in His Word. Our lukewarm-to-cold society and churches have caused people to sin by teaching that because we believe in the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we can do whatever we please and are forgiven. No. This is a fallacy, an untruth, an outright lie, not supported by God’s Word.
To the contrary though, it is not that now we can do whatever we please, but because we have the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ, now we no longer desire to do those sinful things we used to do. Amen.
One of the greatest sins exhibited in God's Word is pride in oneself, to which Apostle Paul is referring in 1 Corinthians 15:31: Because he had pride in [himself] for bringing these unbelievers in Corinth to Christ, and he is saying he sins every day and dies because of that pride. Of course, Christ is the only one who can save us. Not Apostle Paul, right?
We also see the sin of pride at work in the book of Esther, where Haman’s self-pride got him executed on the guillotine that he had built specifically for Mordecai the Jew to die on, because Mordecai would not bow down to him as commanded by the king. Because of Haman's pride in himself, and being unable to let Mordecai's perceived slight against him go unanswered, Haman was instead hung on the guillotine, and Mordecai, a humble servant to God, took his place, and became king Ahasuerus’ second in command.
So, there are many ways a man can sin against God every day, and we can only combat those sins with His Word and prayer. Amen.
In Job 33, Elihu, the only friend of the four who spoke to Job, who was not rebuked by God, is basically telling Job to stop complaining against God; that God speaks but no one listens.
Job 33 from the Amplified Bible, starting at verse 13, Elihu says to Job:
13 “Why do you complain against Him?
That He does not answer [you with] all His doings.
14 For God speaks once,
And even twice, yet no one notices it [including you, Job].
15 In a dream, a vision of the night [one may hear God’s voice],
When deep sleep falls on men
While slumbering upon the bed,
16 Then He opens the ears of men
And seals their instruction,
17 That He may turn man aside from his conduct,
And keep him from pride;”
God speaks once, even twice, and no one listens. It doesn’t say, Maybe He speaks. It says, He speaks.
He opens our ears and seals our instruction, so He can turn us aside from our conduct: our thoughts, words and actions, and keep us from self-pride, or thinking we are better than our neighbor.
God seals our instruction in the wee hours of sleep, and then we wake up, and Satan’s lifetime of training kicks in: sickness, fear, doubt, unbelief.
How many of us feel persecuted sometimes? Maybe even on a daily basis. Oppressed, beaten down, sad - persecuted, as if we are guilty of something, of which we have no earthly clue?
If we ever do feel that way, we should immediately go into prayer with God: repent of our sins, cry out to Him, tell Him that we turn away from our sins, and that we surrender in full obedience to Him. Pray for forgiveness. Ask for His Will to be done in our lives. And watch the oppression and/or sadness leave us. Amen.
Something the Holy Spirit wants us all to think about is, Have we sinned today?
If your answer was "no," that you have not sinned today, then we should refer to scripture: “As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one.” Romans 3:10.
And, 1 John 1:10 “ If we say that we have not sinned, we make [God] a liar, and his word is not in us.”
If we do not know that we are sinners, then God's word is not in us, because we have not read it. Amen.
So, we are all sinners; there is none righteous!
Now, ask yourself, have you repented to God of your sins and prayed for forgiveness today?
Holy Spirit showed me that this is where we, believers, are falling short.
The Holy Spirit cannot come into an unclean vessel. Amen. THIS is why He speaks to us in the wee hours of the morning, when we are most righteous, or free of sin and guilt, before our mind wakes up and starts having sinful, human thoughts.
1 Peter 2:5 “You [believers], [you believers, that’s us, everyone who believes in the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ]- you believers, like living stones, are being built up into a spiritual house for a holy and dedicated priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices [that are] acceptable and pleasing to God through Jesus Christ.
To offer spiritual sacrifices means to offer ourselves to God through our prayers, fervently, without ceasing, to sacrifice ourselves, surrender our will to God's Will, in full obedience, by offering our sacrifice of praise to God continually.
15 "By him [Jesus Christ] therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased."
Excerpt from biblehub.com, Ellicott's Commentary on 1 Peter 2:5: Quote: "Whereas, before, only Aaron’s sons were recognised as mediators and intercessors, now all Israel, all the spiritual Israel, all men everywhere are called to be mediators and intercessors between each other and God." End quote.
We, believers, are now the mediators and intercessors between each other and God. Amen.
1 Peter 2:6 “For this is contained in Scripture:
“Behold, I am laying in Zion a chosen stone,
a precious (honored) Cornerstone,
And he who believes in Him [whoever adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Him]
will never be disappointed [in his expectations].
7 This precious value, then, is for you who believe [in Him as God’s only Son—the Source of salvation]; but for those who disbelieve,
“The [very] stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief Cornerstone,”
“A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.”
In other words, the unbelievers reject Jesus Christ, the chief cornerstone, and He is the only one that can save them. Sadly, the Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak, so to the unbelievers, He is a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense, a stumbling block. Their path to heaven is crooked, not straight.
Every day when we wake up, the effects that our past sins have caused in our lives, Satan has caused in our lives, sickness, fear, doubt, unbelief, are there waiting for us, waiting for us to think about over and over again, or maybe even to repeat again and again. That is our sinful, human nature.
Now, again, if we have asked Him, God has already forgiven us of those past sins, and once God has forgiven a sin, it is forgotten to Him. Satan, however, LOVES to dwell in the past, right? If Satan can keep us in our past, keep us thinking about our past sins, then we cannot bring into captivity every thought to obedience of Christ, and we cannot move forward in our Victory in Christ Jesus, and Satan knows that better than anyone.
We combat the power of our sinful nature, and Satan’s influence in our daily lives, with God’s Power, His Word, which tells us, among many other things, to pray fervently, without ceasing. And, more importantly, because our sinful nature is ever present, to turn to God in repentance and pray for forgiveness every day, for the sins we commit every day, mostly unknowingly and/or unwittingly, or involuntarily, in our thoughts.
In Genesis 3, we see how Satan operates:
Genesis 3:1 “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.”
The serpent was more subtil than any beast. Let’s see what “subtle” means, from Dictionary.com:
“subtil” (subtle): cunning, wily, crafty
And, the definition of “cunning”: skill employed in a shrewd or sly manner, as in deceiving.
And, the definition of “wily” (wiles): a trick, artifice, or stratagem meant to fool, trap, or entice. Yikes.
And, the definition of “crafty”: skillful in underhand or evil schemes; cunning; deceitful; sly.
THAT is Satan! Subtle, cunning, wily and underhanded.
So, “. . . the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan. . . “ uses trickery to ensnare or deceive us, all the while evading our grasp or pursuit, and, to top it off, he is really good at it. Satan’s sole desire is to drive a wedge between God and His Chosen, and he will take a man’s lifetime to do it if he must.
At Genesis 3:15, we see that Satan is not able to kill us: “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
So, we can bruise Satan’s head, but he can only bruise our heel. Satan is under our feet, to be stepped on, trampled on. We should stomp on Satan every day, with prayer and God's Word. Amen.
Some translations have it as “crush Satan’s head.” Personally, I prefer that translation: We can kill Satan in our lives; remember, resist the devil and he will flee from you. Satan cannot kill us; he can only tempt us, with worldly, material things, and evil, fleshly vices, such as sexual immorality, or fornication.
Satan can bruise our heel, and keep us from walking for, or serving, God. Amen.
1 Corinthians 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” Amen and amen.
Satan is only able to tempt us with these worldly things, and he is able to tempt us only so much, because God will not allow us to be tempted more than we can withstand: Our God is amazing and good - all the time. Amen.
So, God is moulding us, and we need to let the pieces that Satan has defined as us fall off. Literally, we need to tell Satan to, Get behind us, or better yet, get under our feet, so we can bruise or crush his head. Satan is down at our feet, under our feet; and, we are up in the clouds with Jesus Christ. Amen.
We only have two choices of whom to follow in this short life; if we do not choose God, then we are following Satan. There is no gray area. Make no mistake, Satan is trying to groom each and every one of us, and our children as well. If we are not protected by God’s Word, and prayer, then we will not know sin when Satan puts it in front of us. We need to make our first response to Satan's temptation, Godly. Amen.
So, my hope and prayer is that we all begin to listen to God’s Word, and pray fervently without ceasing. Repent, surrender to God, and pray every day for forgiveness of our sinful human nature.
Start talking to God. I personally pray any time throughout the day, out loud, just walking around the house, or working in the yard. If I’m working on something, I’ll just say, Lord, protect my tomatoes, or we really could use some rain today, Lord, please, if it is Your Will, not my own, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Or, if it gets really windy outside, do as Jesus did, and say, Calm, peace be to you wind, in Jesus’ Name, and watch what happens.
Something else along those lines happened to us this summer: We had removed some vines that were growing up the fence in our front yard. Apparently, we unknowingly destroyed a Robin’s nest. Poor thing; she put one of her eggs in a flower pot I had sitting in the driveway, pretty little blue eggs, and the other not far away. We felt so bad.
The next day, I was sitting at the computer and I heard this loud racket like something was attacking the house, first at one corner and then the other, and I just knew it was the Robin. I didn’t see her, but I knew it was her. She was angry because we destroyed her home, so she wanted to destroy ours, I guess.
I don’t think she could have done much damage to the eaves, but the noise it was making was loud and frightening and intimidating. The first thing that came to my mind was Jesus - thank you, Jesus - so I threw my hands up in the air, and cried out loudly, We didn’t do it on purpose: Peace be to you, robin, calm! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
And, the noise stopped. You can’t make this stuff up. I heard one tiny noise like far away after that, but it stopped, just like that. Hallelujah! Praise God. Thank you, Jesus. Amen. We just noticed the other day that she built a nest on top of the garage door opener. Poor thing was so confused.
So, God’s Word is alive, and written for us. There is power in prayer. There is power in God’s Word. These powers are for us. Jesus said we will do even greater things than He did. If we have faith. If we believe in Him. Amen.
Our prayers do not have to be specific or elaborate. God is not judging us on our grammar. Meditation on His Word, prayer and worship can, and should, be done all day long, every day.
When asked by His apostles how to pray, Jesus replied, pray in this manner: Matthew 6:9, the Lord’s Prayer.
“Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever. Amen.”
Memorize the Lord’s Prayer; pray it often throughout the day; and eventually you will move into a closer relationship with God, and the words will come more easily.
If we prayed just this prayer every day, as instructed by jesus, we would be repenting and asking for forgiveness each time. Amen. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: THAT is surrendering to God, repenting, which means to turn away from [sin], and turn to God. Amen.
When I first started praying a few years ago, I prayed the Lord's Prayer every day, many times per day, in my head usually, not necessarily out loud, but standing in the kitchen, driving, watching TV, lying in bed, whatever I was doing.
When I first started praying it, I could not complete the prayer without worldly thoughts creeping into my head while I was praying, and I would start over from the beginning repeatedly so that I could complete it without interruption.
Eventually, I could finish it all at once without other thoughts interrupting. This is called meditation. Repeating something over and over to yourself, until those worldly thoughts no longer creep in, until you can repeat the whole prayer in your head without interruption.
This is bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ: when you can think about His Word above all other thoughts. It is possible. Bring Him into your life, into your thoughts, into your jobs, your cars, everywhere, through specific petition and urgent supplication, which simply means specific and urgent prayer, fervently and without ceasing.
“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14
We need to begin to resist the devil and he will flee from us. We resist him by meditating on God’s Word, repenting, and praying for forgiveness.
We become "overcomers" when the Holy Spirit has a clean vessel in which to enter. "God speaks once, twice, and no one listens."
Be an overcomer today. Praise God. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.
Faithful and humble servant to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
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