Inspirational Christian Blogs

Join us for inspiring words from today's best Christian authors


Leave a comment

Bad Bosses and Irritating People, part IV

god stuff 4

Standing in Judgment

“Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions…who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.” So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way…(Romans 14:1, 4, 7-13, NAS).”

“Do not judge so that you will not be judged (Matthew 7:1, NAS).”

It is exceedingly difficult, nay, impossible, for the flesh of mankind to not pass judgment on those who offend and/or irritate us. However, it is through the Spirit of God exclusively that we are supernaturally capable of overcoming such judgment against others. Sufficed to say, there is no one who can honestly say that judgment does not cross their mind and heart from time to time – after all, it is human nature and we dwell temporarily is this earthen vessel.

In order to be successful in this or any area of God’s commands, we must remember that we are no longer of the human race, but of the heavenly race – the Kingdom race. We are but strangers and aliens in the earth sent from heaven to bring heaven down to earth. This is so because we are dead and our only life is Christ. In other words, once in Christ, our earthly origin ceases and our heavenly origin begins.

If you are like I, people irritate you! In our irritation, judgment can easily take hold of our hearts and grow bitter roots. Hebrews 12:15 is clear about bitterness: “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled.” Operating in a judgmental/critical spirit against others no matter how innocent it may seem, causes bitter roots to spring within our hearts like weeks and they taint not only our walk with God with it takes others down with us.

Because of the nature of the flesh in which we currently remain, it is altogether a necessity to hone in on the Spirit of God within us through our spirit-man. If we do not daily (moment to moment) purposefully tap into Holy Spirit, we will find ourselves in the midst of fleshly judgment. We can defend it all day long but unless we, one, choose to recognize that we have indeed passed critical judgment in our hearts as well as, two, choose to repent of it and lay it at the foot of the cross, things will not change as we would otherwise hope. Pray though we may for God to remove us or the irritant, nothing will change until we allow God to transform us from the inside out and love and accept others as they are.

We are not to regard a brother with contempt. This is why we are urged to go to a brother with whom we have a problem so as to resolve the matter. We are to conclude our conflicts, not simply for our selves, but for the greater good of the Kingdom of God. For this reason, there is to be unity between the brethren and we should seek peace at all times, respecting one another.

One who is rebellious, for instance, will be perpetually faced with people who “force” them to rebel because, from where God stands, He recognizes the need for the weaknesses of rebellion to be exposed so that the individual will choose to deal with it through God’s strength. Otherwise, if they continue in their rebellion, the same old obstacles and irritating people will continuously come in their path; hence, frustration remains.

Likewise, one who is impatient will continually come in contact with people who try their patience. One who is timid in their faith will continuously be put in situations where they need to be bold. One who is confrontational will be put in situations where they need to submit in both humility and silence, and so on.

For me personally, the nature of the flesh in which I dwell is exceedingly confrontational. I have to be diligent with my time tapping into Holy Spirit continuously so as to be able to clearly discern when to confront a situation and when to be silent. In everything we say and do, it is a walk of balance that can only come from personal intimacy with Holy Spirit. There should never be a break in our communion with Yahweh.

Until we begin to view everything in everyday life as for the Kingdom of God instead of for or against us personally, not only will circumstances not change, but they will invariably grow worse. Since everything ultimately originates from God whether it comes from Satan’s hand or wicked men, we must say with humility instead of irritation, “What is it You, Yahweh, are trying to show me that I have not yet seen? Reveal my weaknesses to me so that Your strength may prevail in order for Your Kingdom to be advanced through me in the earth. I trust You and submit to You for Your honor and Your glory. Whatever You desire, I desire. Whatever You love, I love. Whatever You hate, I hate.”

There’s always a lesson. There’s always a God-plan. There’s always hope. There’s always growth that He desires to come forth from us, for us and, most importantly, for His great name’s sake. No situation or scenario is in vain or to hurt us. It isn’t even for punishment’s sake; it is always for the Kingdom of God. May we keep our spiritual eye open to see the bigger picture always and remember that you do not belong to yourself, but to the Lord our Great God. I remind myself of this daily so as to stay on heavenly point instead of veering away from the path of God.

 

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you (Matthew 6:33).”

 

I hope you’ll come back next week. If you’re interested in reading more, please go to my website and check out my books or my ministry Facebook page.

Peace and blessings,

Alexys V. Wolf

www.thefierysword.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Fiery-Sword-Global-Ministries/185299884822251

http://thefierysword.wordpress.com/


2 Comments

SATAN’S VOICE


by Neil Anderson

April 15

1 John 4:1 
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
 
Paul warned us against the deception which comes through demonic influence (1 Timothy 4:1). John also cautioned us to test the spirits and to distinguish the spirit of truth from the spirit of error (1 John 4:1-6). Satan’s demonic forces are at work attempting to pollute your mind with lies in order to keep you from walking in the truth. Hannah Whitehall Smith wrote:
 
There are the voices of evil and deceiving spirits, who lie in wait to entrap every traveler entering these higher regions of spiritual life. . . . These spiritual enemies, whoever or whatever they may be, must necessarily communicate with us by means of our spiritual faculties, and their voices, as the voice of God, are an inward impression made upon our spirit. Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit may tell us by impressions what the will of God is concerning us, so also will these spiritual enemies tell us by impression what is their will concerning us, though not, of course, giving it their name” (Quoted from Martin Wells Knapp, Impressions , Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishing, Inc., 1984, pp. 14-15).
 
Due to the deceptive nature of his impressions, Satan’s voice may not always be detected objectively. You need to pray in order to disassociate yourself from deceiving spirits.
 
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I commit myself unreservedly to Your will. If I have been deceived in any way, I pray that You will open my eyes to the deception. I command in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ that all deceiving spirits depart from me, and I renounce and reject all counterfeit gifts (or any other spiritual phenomena). Lord, if it is from You, bless it and cause it to grow that Your body may be blessed and edified through it.


Leave a comment

DEALING WITH ANXIETY


by Neil Anderson

April 9

Philippians 4:7 
The peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus
 
Christians have frequently relied upon a sense of peace as evidence of the Holy Spirit’s leading. It is common to hear people say, “I just don’t have a peace about it.” I think that is legitimate. I would be concerned about the person who proceeds when his spirit is disturbed. God doesn’t lead through anxiety. We are to cast our anxiety upon Jesus, because He cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).
 
Still, a lot of money is spent on the temporary “cure” of anxiety. People consume alcohol, take illegal drugs, turn to the refrigerator, have sex, mindlessly repeat mantras, and escape to cabins, boats and motor homes–all to reduce their anxiety. One lady said, “Whenever I feel anxious, I go on a shopping spree!” Prescription drugs are regularly dispensed for the ails brought on by anxiety.
 
The bartender, drug pushers, occult practitioner, and other peddlers of escapism all have one thing in common: They really don’t care about the consumer. They are out to make a profit. Even worse, when the temporary “cure” wears off, we have to return to the same world with the added problem of hangovers and other negative consequences of fake healers.
 
Internally, we desperately need the peace of God: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6, 7). The awareness of a troubled spirit should drive us to find the peace of God by turning to Him and assuming our responsibility to use our minds.
 
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for breaking through so many of my old anxieties and setting me free. I ask You to free me from those that remain.


Leave a comment

Bad Bosses and Irritating People, part III

god stuff 4

Bad Bosses and Irritating People, Part III

Philippians 1:27 (NAS): “Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.”

Ephesians 6:5-8 (NAS): “Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, AS TO CHRIST…as SLAVES OF CHRIST, doing the will of God from the heart. With good will render service, AS TO THE LORD, and not to men, knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this HE WILL RECEIVE BACK FROM THE LORD…”

I Timothy 6:1-2 (NAS): “All who are under the yoke as slaves are to regard their own masters as worthy of all honor so that (here’s the “why” of it) the name of God and our doctrine will not be spoken against. Those who have believers as their masters must not be disrespectful to them because they are brethren, but must serve them all the more, because those who partake of the benefit are believers and beloved. Teach and preach these principles.”

 

Verse after verse we read God’s instruction as to how to treat a boss, believer or non-believer. Since all authority is placed by God, good or bad in the natural, they are there to serve so as to refine us in our walk with Yahweh. We are to honor them, not for our sake or theirs, but more so for the sake of God’s great name and His kingdom. When we refuse to obey, we are refusing obedience to God; of course we are not speaking of doing that which is ungodly.

If you, for instance, have a boss that is constantly making demands of you that you feel are unreasonable, you should do it without grumbling or complaining. Certainly if you need to go up the chain of command, that is not out of the question. However, in the mean time, you are commanded of God to honor and respect whoever is in a position of authority over you. This is when you would need to rely solely upon the promise of Yahweh that says that God will repay you. When God’s people honor those in authority, we honor God. Our reward if forthcoming; it is not an if, but a when.

If you are dealing with law enforcement, they are not your boss from whom you receive your pay, but they are in fact your authority. If you don’t want to be in fear of them, it would behoove us all to obey the law. Romans 13-7, reads “Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.  Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves…therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience’ sake… render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.”

I often think of Daniel when the law was set against him for the purpose of entrapment. He did not kick and scream and shout profanities at the king or his enforcers. He did not protest by chaining himself to a tree or hold a sit-in. He did not demand that they make things right and boastfully state, “Don’t you know who I am? I’m the servant of the Most High God! You better make things right or else!” – on the contrary.

Daniel being the true man of God that he was quietly continued to do as he always did. He didn’t change anything. He wasn’t loud or obnoxious – he remained steady and sure. He did not obey the wicked law because it was against God. At the same time, he did not disrespect the king who made the law, foolish though it was. By humbly conducting himself in a manner worthy of the King of kings, God protected him. Even the king who made the law did everything he could to release and save Daniel.

That is how the supernatural Kingdom of God is able to manifest itself in the earth! When we do things God’s way, solely depending upon God to render good back to His people, the atmosphere shifts in ways that we ourselves could never make happen. Because of Daniel’s humility, faith, and steadfastness, multitudes witnessed the righteous, supernatural, mighty had of God.

Let us be ever mindful of doing things God’s way as unto Him so as to preserve the good name of Yahweh whom we say we serve. Taking matters into our own hands will surely cause chaos. Hebrews 13:17 states “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.”

I hope you’ll come back next week. If you’re interested in reading more, please go to my website and check out my books or my ministry Facebook page.

Peace and blessings,

Alexys V. Wolf

www.thefierysword.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Fiery-Sword-Global-Ministries/185299884822251

http://thefierysword.wordpress.com/


Leave a comment

THE OPERATING PRINCIPLE OF LIFE


by Neil Anderson

March 31

Mark 11:22 
And Jesus answered saying to them, “Have faith in God”
 
The sun is perhaps the most credible object of faith for the world. It appears to be immutable. It has always been there, 24 hours of every day, 365 days a year. Without the sun, people couldn’t live. If the sun didn’t rise tomorrow morning, what would happen to the world’s faith? All of humanity would be thrown into confusion.
 
If we have such great faith in the sun, why don’t we have even greater faith in the Son who made the sun and all the rest of the fixed order of the universe?
 
Our faith is in God. Genuine faith is born out of a knowledge of the will of God and exists only to fulfill that will. Faith is not a means of getting man’s will done in heaven; it is the means of getting God’s will done on earth.
 
After hearing me speak on spiritual conflicts, a young man came by to talk about his personal life. He said he’d had several experiences of not being able to speak the name of Jesus aloud. I asked him about his faith. He thought he had made a decision for Christ years earlier in an evangelistic meeting. He tried living with some American Indians to continue his spiritual journey, but that proved to be disastrous. He finally ended up living in a pastor’s home where he was helped with the assurance of his salvation. The pastor encouraged him to just go live by faith.
 
The young man said to me, “I’ve been trying to live by faith for three years, and it has been one trial after another.”
 
“Faith in what?” I asked.
 
He didn’t know how to respond. This young man was trying to live by faith in faith. But faith itself is not a valid object. The only valid object for faith is God and the revelation we have of Him in His Word. Faith is the operating principle of life. The only difference between Christian and non-Christian faith is the object. God must be the object of our faith.
 
Prayer: Lord God, I place my faith in You alone today. Help me not to allow anyone or anything to take Your place as the object of my faith.


2 Comments

RENEWING YOUR MIND

Neil Andeerson
March 29 
Romans 12:2 
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind
 
If the strongholds in your mind are the result of conditioning, then you can be reconditioned by the renewing of your mind. Anything that has been learned can be unlearned. Certainly this is the major path of renewal in the New Testament. Through the preaching of God’s Word, Bible study and personal discipleship, you stop being conformed to this world and experience the transformation of the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2).
 
If your past experiences were spiritually or emotionally devastating, then counseling and Christ-centered support groups will help the transformation. Since some of these strongholds are thoughts raised up against the knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:5), learning to know God as a loving Father and yourself as His accepted child is your starting place.
 
But you’re not just up against the world and the flesh. You’re also up against the devil who is scheming to fill your mind with thoughts which are opposed to God’s plan for you.
 
Notice how Paul uses the word for thoughts (noema) in 2 Corinthians in relation to Satan’s activity. We’ve already seen it in 2 Corinthians 10:5: “We are taking every thought [ noema ] captive to the obedience to Christ.” Why do these thoughts need to be taken captive? Because they may be the enemy’s.
 
In 2 Corinthians 3:14 and 4:4, Paul reveals that Satan is responsible for our spiritual hardness and blindness when we were unbelievers: “But their minds [ noema ] were hardened. . . . The god of this world has blinded the minds [ noema ] of the unbelieving.” In 2 Corinthians 11:3 and 2:11, Paul states that Satan actively plots to defeat and divide believers: “I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds [ noema ] should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ. . . . We are not ignorant of his [Satan's] schemes [ noema ].”
 
If Satan can place his thought in your mind–and he can–it isn’t much more of a trick for him to make you think it’s your thought. That’s the deception.
 
Prayer: In the name of Jesus, I renounce and refuse any thoughts which are raised up against the knowledge of God.


Leave a comment

ACCUSATION AND CONVICTION

Neil Andeerson

By Neil Anderson
March 20

2 Corinthians 7:10
The sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation; but the sorrow of the world produces death

A graphic example of the contrast between accusation and conviction is found in the lives of Judas Iscariot and Simon Peter. Somehow Judas allowed Satan to deceive him into betraying Jesus for 30 pieces of silver (Luke 22:3-5). When Judas realized what he had done, he was so remorseful that he hung himself. Was his suicide the result of Satan’s accusation or of God’s conviction? It had to be accusation because it drove Judas to kill himself. Accusation leads to death; conviction leads to repentance and life.

Peter also failed Jesus by denying Him. It apparently began with pride as the disciples argued over who was the greatest among them (Luke 22:24-30). Jesus told Peter, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat” (verse 31). That’s right–Jesus allowed Satan to put Peter through the mill because Peter had given the enemy a foothold through pride. But Jesus also looked at Peter and said, “I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers” (verse 32).

Peter vowed to die with Jesus, but Jesus told him that he would deny Him three times (verses 33, 34) which he did. The remorse Peter felt was every bit as painful as that which Judas experienced. But Peter’s sorrow was from conviction which led to his eventual repentance and restoration to Christ (John 21:15-17). When your feelings of remorse drive you from God, you are being accused by Satan. Resist it. But when your sorrow draws you to confront Christ and confess your wrong, you are being convicted by the Spirit. Yield to it through repentance.

According to Revelation 12:10, Satan’s continuing work is to accuse the brethren. But the good news is that Christ’s continuing work is to intercede for us as He did for Peter (Hebrews 7:25). We have a persistent adversary, but we have an even more persistent, eternal advocate who defends us before the Father on the basis of our faith in Him (1 John 2:1).

Prayer: I rejoice, Lord, that You are constantly defending me against accusation before the Father.


Leave a comment

THE SPIRIT’S CONVICTION

By Neil Anderson

Neil Anderson
March 19

2 Corinthians 7:9
I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God

I’m often asked, “How can I tell the difference between the devil’s accusations and the Holy Spirit’s conviction?” Every Christians is faced with the choice of walking by the Spirit or by the flesh on a daily basis. The moment you choose to walk according to the flesh, the Holy Spirit brings conviction because what you have just chosen to do is not compatible with who you really are. If you continue in the flesh, you will feel the sorrow of conviction.

“How do I know which kind of sorrow I’m experiencing?” you may ask. “The devil’s accusation and the Spirit’s conviction both make me feel sorrowful.” Determine whether your feelings reflect thoughts of truth or error, and you will identify their source. Do you feel guilty, worthless, stupid, or inept? That’s a sorrow provoked by accusation because those feelings don’t reflect truth. Judicially, you are no longer guilty; you have been justified through your faith in Christ, and there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. You are not worthless; Jesus gave His life for you. You are not stupid or inept; you can do all things through Christ. When you find lies lurking beneath your feelings of sorrow–especially if your feelings persistently drive you into the ground–you are being falsely accused. To disarm the sorrow of accusation you must submit yourself to God and resist the devil and his lies.

But if you are sorrowful because your behavior doesn’t reflect your true identity in Christ, that’s the sorrow according to the will of God which is designed to produce repentance. It’s the Holy Spirit calling you to admit on the basis of 1 John 1:9, “Dear Lord, I was wrong.” As soon as you confess and repent, God says, “I’m glad you shared that with Me. You’re cleansed; now get on with life.” And you walk away from that confrontation free. The sorrow is gone, and you have a positive new resolve to obey God in the area of your failure.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for the “tough love” of Your Holy Spirit in bringing me to repentance when I sin.


3 Comments

NO LONGER UNDER OBLIGATION

By Neil Anderson

Neil Anderson
March 17

Romans 6:6
Our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin

Why did the old self need to die? The old self was independent and disobedient to God, so it had to die in order that “our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin” (Romans 6:6). Death is the ending of a relationship, but not of existence. Sin hasn’t died; it is still strong and appealing. But when your old self died with Christ on the cross, your relationship with sin ended forever. You are no longer “in the flesh” but “in Christ” (Romans 8:9). Your old self (the sinner) and your old nature (characterized by the sin which was inevitable since you were separated from God) are gone forever because you are no longer separated from God.

Does this mean that you are now sinless? By no means. The death of your old self formally ended your relationship with sin, but it did not end sin’s existence. Sin and Satan are still around, and they are strong and appealing. But by virtue of the crucifixion of the old self, sin’s power over you is broken (Romans 6:7, 12, 14). You are no longer under any obligation to serve sin, to obey sin, or to respond to sin.

You commit sin when you willfully allow yourself to act independently of God as the old self did as a matter of course. When you function in this manner you are violating your new nature and your new identity. Such actions must be confessed and forsaken.

Even though the old self, which you were in Adam, is dead, you still have to contend with the flesh. The way you learned to live your life before Christ is still programmed into your mind. Knowing that your old self was crucified with Christ makes it possible for you to choose not to sin. You no longer have to walk after the flesh; you may now walk after the Spirit. You are free.

Prayer: Father, help me overcome the fleshly ways I followed before coming to You. I choose today to be tuned in to Your Spirit.


Leave a comment

PLACED INTO CHRIST

By Neil Anderson

 Neil Anderson

March 16
 
Galatians 2:20 
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me
 
All unbelievers have an old nature which is characterized by sin. Before you came to Christ you were one of those individuals. You were a sinner because it was your nature to sin. This “natural man” cannot accept or understand the things of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:14).
 
What happened to the old you at salvation? You died–not the physical you, of course, but that old inner self which was empowered by the old nature you inherited from Adam (Romans 6:2-6; Colossians 3:3). What was the method of execution? Crucifixion with Christ. Paul announced in Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ.” And in Galatians 6:14, Paul disclaimed any right to boast “except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” At salvation you were placed into Christ, the one who died on the cross for your sin. Being in Christ, your old self died with Him there.
 
Notice the remarkable difference. In Adam you had an old self; in Christ you have a new self. In Adam you had a sin nature (Ephesians 2:1-3); in Christ you are a partaker of the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). In Adam you were in the flesh (Romans 8:8); in Christ you are in the Spirit (Romans 8:9). In Adam you could only walk after the flesh; in Christ you may choose to walk after the Spirit or after the flesh.
 
Aren’t you glad to be a new creature in Christ?
 
Prayer: Thank You, Jesus, that You have set me free from my old sin nature and that I can choose to walk after the Spirit today.