Knowing God’s Plan

Knowing God’s Plan

 John 1:23, “He said, I a] the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.”

 John knew who he was and what he was called to do. This was one of the keys to his success.

Unlike most of us, John did not have an identity crisis growing up. He knew God’s plan and purpose for his life from the beginning and he spent his entire life preparing for it.

God has a plan for your life just as surely as he did for John the Baptist. To succeed in life, you must find God’s plan for your life and then devote yourself to fulfilling that plan.

It is not enough to simply “do your own thing” and then ask God’s blessing upon it. Once you know you are doing God’s will, you never have to ask for God’s blessing. God’s will is already blessed.

The Lord created you with a purpose in mind. Your talents and abilities were given you to fulfill His purpose. Although you may find limited success using these talents for your own uses, you will never find your true potential until they are directed by and for the Lord.

The good news is that God wants to reveal His perfect plan for your life to you more than you want to know it. You can rest assured that if you ask for knowledge of His plan for your life, you will receive, Matthew 7:7. He will show you His good, acceptable and perfect will, Romans 12:1-2.

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Satan’s Power Is Limited

Satan’s Power Is Limited

 Luke 4:13, “And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.”

The wording of this verse implies that Satan exhausted his arsenal of temptations on Jesus and then had to leave.

We have mistakenly given Satan too much credit. He does not have a limitless number of temptations that he can pull on us. As 1 John 2:16 says, there are three areas where the devil tempts us: (1) the lust of the flesh, (2) the lust of the eyes, and (3) the pride of life. Jesus’ three temptations correspond to these.

By ascribing to Satan limitless temptations and abilities, we have built up our adversary to be bigger than he is. The truth is, “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” I Corinthians 10:13.

Satan would like you to think that he is tougher than he really is. One of his greatest weapons is intimidation, but he has been defeated. His teeth have been pulled. Now he can only roar as a lion seeking to devour uninformed souls who don’t know their authority in Christ, 1 Peter 5:8.

Today, realize that whatever Satan is fighting you with is only temporary. Don’t quit. In due season you will reap, if you faint not, Galatians 6:9.

The Weapon Of The Word

The Weapon Of The Word

 Luke 4:4, “And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.”

Jesus answered every temptation with, “It is written.” The Word of God is the sword of the Spirit, Ephesians 6:17. It is the only offensive spiritual weapon that we have.

Since Jesus was the Word of God, John. 1:1, anything he would have spoken would have been the Word. He could have said “scat” and the devil would have had to go, yet He quoted the written Word of God three times.

This gives us great assurance that the written Word of God is sufficient for us. Jesus, in the face of the greatest temptations that Satan had to offer, did not need to say anything that was not already recorded in scripture.

It is likely that when Jesus returns to this earth and destroys His enemies, He will just speak the Word that has already been given in scripture. No wonder Satan tries to keep us from studying and knowing God’s Word. Even our good works will hurt us if they keep us from really knowing the scriptures.

God has given us this mighty weapon of His Word! When we speak the Word in faith, hell shakes. Satan and his minions have already experienced what the Word can do. They know its power. We need to know it, too.

Believers Receive

Believers Receive

 Luke 1:45, “And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.”

There are many reasons why God’s blessings don’t always come to pass in a person’s life, but the most frequent cause is simply unbelief on our part. There are no limitations on God’s part. He is willing and able to do anything He has promised. The problem is with our believing.

The Lord has given every believer faith, Romans 12:3. It was given to us at salvation through hearing the Word of God, Ephesians 2:8; Romans 10:17. It is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:22. However, we must choose to exercise it.

Our faith is linked to our knowledge, 2 Peter 1:1-4. What we think on is how we will be, Proverbs 23:7. The problem is not that we don’t have faith. The problem occurs when we don’t allow our faith to work because we don’t keep our minds stayed on God’s Word. Then our faith is choked out by the cares of this life, Mark 4:19.

Keeping our minds stayed on God’s Word will release our faith and thereby release the power of God in our lives. Certainly Mary must have been a person who put God’s Word first in her life.

Mary saw a performance of what she believed. We receive what we believe, not what we desire or even need. Today believe the word that the Lord has spoken about you.

God Still Performs Miracles

God Still Performs Miracles

 Mark 16:20 “And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.”

The Lord confirmed the preaching of His Word with miracles. If Jesus and the first century Christians needed the Word confirmed with the miraculous, Hebrews 2:4, then we do too. There is no scripture that says these miraculous signs have passed away.

Some people have interpreted “that which is perfect” in 1 Corinthians 13:10, as being the complete Bible. This has led them to believe that the gifts of the Spirit have ceased. Although God’s Word is perfect, Psalm 19:7, it is not the “perfect thing” that is referred to here. 1 Corinthians 13:8 does say that tongues shall cease, but it will not happen until “that which is perfect is come.”

In 1 Corinthians 13:12, Paul says, “when that which is perfect is come, we shall see face to face.” This speaks of seeing the Lord face to face, instead of vaguely, as through a dark glass, as it is now. Some might argue that this is speaking in a symbolic sense, instead of literally face to face. But the next comparison in this verse says that then, “when that which is perfect is come,” we shall know all things even as we are also known. There is no other way to interpret this, except as a description of when we will stand before the Lord, after this life. Then we will be face to face, and know all things even as also we are known.

Verse eight says that at the time prophecies fail and tongues cease, knowledge will vanish away. This is talking about the next life, or the new heavens and earth, because one of the signs of the end times is that knowledge shall increase, Daniel 12:4.

So the “that which is perfect” that Paul speaks of, cannot be the Bible. It has to be either our glorified body, or Jesus at His second coming. Either way, these verses establish that until “that which is perfect is come,” tongues and prophecy will remain. They are still valid gifts, and even today, it is God’s will to accompany the preaching of His Word with miracles.

The Power To Serve

The Power To Serve

 Luke 1:41, “And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost.”

Upon hearing the greeting of Mary, John the Baptist leaped for joy inside his mother’s womb, verse 44. A six month old fetus experienced unbridled emotion, voluntarily leaped for joy and was actually filled with the Holy Spirit.

It is no coincidence that the man Jesus called the greatest of all Old Testament prophets, was the only man in the Bible to be filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother’s womb, Luke 7:28.

The anointing of God that breaks every yoke is simply the manifest presence and working of the Holy Spirit, Isaiah 10:27. The Holy Spirit is the part of the Godhead that empowers us for service.

God is not asking us to live for Him. He is asking us to let Him live through us, Galatians 2:20. The Christian life is not a changed life but an exchanged life. This can only be accomplished when the Holy Spirit is leading and empowering us.

Even Jesus didn’t begin His ministry until he was anointed with the Holy Spirit and He was the sinless Son of God. How much more do we need to depend on the power of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives. Today, be conscious of the presence of the Holy Spirit in you and expect Him to supernaturally guide and empower you.

If you ask, you will receive, Luke 11:9-13.

Use Your Delegated Authority

Use Your Delegated Authority

 Mark 16:18 “They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”

This either speaks literally of supernatural protection if we pick up a snake, or symbolically of protection in our fight against the devil. Since the other four signs in this list are literal, it is most probable that this means physically taking up snakes.

The apostle Paul experienced this supernatural protection from a viper when he was shipwrecked on the island of Melita… Acts 28:3-5. However, this is the only recorded example of this type of protection in the New Testament.

There is no record of the disciples picking up snakes just to prove they were believers. That would be tempting God… Luke 4:9-12. This, as well as drinking any deadly thing, is a promise that if we pick up snakes accidentally or are forced into that position because of our stand for Christ, we can believe for supernatural protection.

The power that is now working in believers is the same power that worked in Christ to raise Him from the dead. Everything we have as believers in Christ comes from our union with Him. Therefore, what is true of Him is true of us too. We have come to share in Christ’s throne, to partake in the authority that the throne represents, and to exercise divine power and dominion. There is no place in the New Testament that tells us to ask God to do something about the devil. Rather, we, (the church) are told to do something about the devil. This is because we have been given delegated authority over the works of the enemy. God desires that the church be enlightened to this, and walk in victory.

Be Single-Minded

Be Single Minded

 John 21:21 “Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?”

Jesus had just told Peter to follow Him. However, Peter wanted to know what the Lord had planned for John. Instead of Jesus answering Peter’s question, the Lord told him that what He had in store for John was none of his business.

Satan diverts many people by getting them preoccupied with what others are doing for the Lord. Comparing ourselves with others, whether we come out better or worse, is unwise… 2 Corinthians 10:12. We need to be so single-minded following the Lord, that we don’t look to the right or to the left to see what others are doing. It doesn’t matter if we are doing as much to serve the Lord as someone else. The question is, are we doing all that the Lord wants us to do?

Singleness of purpose and vision is a necessity to victorious Christian living. James said that if we try to master many things we will fail… James 3:1. We have to set priorities and focus on them.

The scriptures teach that memory can be a powerful force for good in our lives. It is always good to remind ourselves that we were once apart from God’s saving grace. It is an antidote against pride and self-righteousness. A person who remembers what he used to be will have a clearer understanding of who he is now. We have to cultivate our memories by meditating on the great things God has done for us and spoken to us