Saved, now what?

how to receive the holy spirit - good news unlimited on Image Of The Holy Spirit“But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative – that is, the Holy Spirit – he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.”

John 14:26

Jesus spent a lot of time with his disciples. This time was not always spent in walking, fishing, and telling jokes, although I’m sure they did their share of that. Most of Jesus’ time was spent in teaching lessons that the disciples would need after he left them. Lessons on how to talk with authority when you don’t agree with them, lessons on how to show love to the unlovely, and lessons on repentance when you fall short of God’s expectations.

I have a heavy burden for those who accept Christ and are not taught the “what’s next” of a Christian life. My burden was given to me from God and through that burden I wrote “From Self-esteem to God-esteem.” These words on paper are a guideline to listening to the Holy Spirit in the “what’s next.”

When we accept Christ as our Savior and acknowledge that he has forgiven, and always will, our sins, we are free. We are free to be whoever we want to be. But as we are told in Psalm 37:4 that if you, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart,” our desires will be the same as God’s. Dwelling in the relationship with God is where the Holy Spirit comes in, and also where we fall short in mentoring new Christians in their walk.

Our strength to walk with God comes from the strength of God in us. Jesus did not leave his disciples, or us, to their own devices. He left them with an indwelling Holy Spirit that provides a way to continue walking with Christ. The Holy Spirit teaches us as Christ taught his followers: talking, loving, and repenting. He gives us wisdom and understanding for living in a sin-full world. He  teaches us meaning when we read the Scriptures, and he reveals sin through discernment.

We should never neglect the Holy Spirit power in us. I spent many confusing years trying to do it on my own, because I was saved through a denomination that made me feel like the Holy Ghost was a dirty word. I didn’t realize that I had all that I needed right with me from the moment I accepted Christ to live a Christian life. I worked, I studied, and I did. And I searched for something I thought was missing.

What a revival we could have if we would only take the time to mentor Christians and show them through God’s Word the power against the world that we have inside of us. My pastor has been giving out the “From Self – esteem to God – esteem” book to new converts at the time of their salvation. But we need more. That book is only a stepping stone to helping each other draw on the wisdom, strength, and power of the Holy Spirit living inside each of us.

Who can you mentor today?

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Hear it like it is! And kneel.

People at the CrossAnd now, go, write it before them on a tablet and inscribe it in a book, that it may be for the time to come as a witness forever.  For they are a rebellious people, lying children, 
children unwilling to hear the instruction of the Lordwho say to the seers, “Do not see,”
 and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us what is right; speak to us smooth things,
 prophesy illusions,  leave the way, turn aside from the path, let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel.

For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.””             Isaiah 30: 8-11, 15

We are comfortable in America. Oh, I know that we often get our hackles in an uproar at some of the injustice we see: racism, hatred, unfair practices, and the like. But if we truly look at what upsets us we find one central theme: Self.

In Isaiah, God advises the prophet to write down plainly that we are to follow ALL of His statutes, not just the ones that make us comfortable. We are going to get our toes stepped on; only because God loves us enough to not leave us in our sinful ways. He has prepared every word for us to live by and He means each word. Isaiah wrote, at God’s directive, that these words will “stand until the end of time as a witness that these people are stubborn rebels who refuse to pay attention to the Lord’s instructions.” He is talking to us in the forever.

We go to church expecting to be blessed, but we seldom go to church expecting to be admonished. When the preacher starts preaching about the evils of alcohol, homosexuality, unclean living, gossip, and dedication to God, we sit in our self – righteous pews and think, “Well, I wonder who he is pointing a finger at in this one!” By the way, I praise God for the preachers and teachers who tell it like God wants it told rather than bowing down to our own desires. There are so few. We want our seers (preachers, pastors, teachers, friends) to stop seeing visions and stop reminding us of what is right. We want to hear nice things; we want to hear that it’s OK to stray from the straight and narrow, “God will understand, because He is a forgiving God” we say to everyone. We have the “right” to live in sin, because we have eternal life through the salvation sacrifice that we accepted through Jesus Christ.

My Bible says in Romans 6: 1 – 5, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?  By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?  Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.  For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.” 

Salvation is not a free – ticket to sin. Isaiah also reminds us that God sees what we do and His reply is, “Because you despise what I tell you and trust instead in oppression and lies, calamity will come upon you suddenly…you will be smashed like a piece of pottery.” 

We want our country to turn back to God and yet we are not willing to do what it takes to get America back on track. We pray for a leader who kneels and asks for God’s guidance each day, but then we quit praying and start doubting his every decision. We let fear take over instead of knowing that God has the bigger picture in place. Pray – Believe – Trust. We can’t let our own selfish ambitions, and this includes each of our heart – rendering concerns, to guide our relationship with God. We must constantly pray for our President, our Vice – President, our Congress, our Senate, our state and local leaders to make decisions based on communication with God. And we must trust God to hear and care.

The Word of God is given to us to pray through while we read. Read the Words each day and let the Holy Spirit guide those prayers. Speak the words aloud so that Satan knows you mean them. God knows the heart; Satan can only hear what we say. Can you imagine the power behind praying Isaiah 26: 1- 8 aloud for America, “In that day, everyone in America will sing this song: Our country is strong! America is surrounded by the walls of God’s salvation. We will open our gates to all who are righteous; we will allow the faithful in Jesus Christ to enter. And God, I know that You will keep us in perfect peace, because we trust in You and our thoughts are ever fixed on You! We will trust in You, always, Lord God. You are the eternal Rock for America. We trust You to bring down the strongholds of Satan and humble the proud, bring down the arrogant cities and build up the poor and the oppressed. Today, Lord, we commit to righteousness for your Name’s sake. We know that You are a God who does what is right, and you will smooth out the path before us. Lord, we trust you and we will show that trust by obeying your laws. Our heart’s desire is to glorify  your Name. Amen”

“This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel (and America), says, “Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength.”

We must hear. We must trust. We must kneel.

The Battle for Your Life

angelic-battle

“…today you are drawing near for battle against your enemies: let not your heart faint. Do not fear or panic or be in dread of them…”                                                                                        Deuteronomy 20:3

Satan is real. Hell is real. The battle raging all around us is real. Spiritual warfare is real.

There is a lot of talk going around about spiritual warfare. The awesome movie “War Room” I believe has some to do with that. My favorite scene is when the wife is walking determinedly through her house and letting Satan know that he isn’t going to get her family and home. And many of us sit back, smile, and say, “Oh, that movie really inspired me.” Tell me, what did it inspire you to do? Follow up with a Bible study? Go to church? Listen to Christian music? These are all good things, but if you are a Christian, chances are you were already doing these.

The battle for our hearts, mind and joy in the Lord has just begun. The closer we get to the return of Jesus, the stronger Satan’s warriors will fight to prevent anyone from wanting to follow Jesus. And he can use you and he can use me in doing this. How? By making us complacent; by being satisfied that we pray enough, read enough, and attend church enough.

But God is calling us to get our knees bloody as we fight for the souls of our children and other loved ones. He is calling us to not back down from what is right and we know what is right. We can’t fear what the world will say if we stand against the homosexual agenda to teach our children that same-sex union is normal. Read the book of Genesis and you will find that there is NOTHING NORMAL ABOUT IT! Do you need to come out of the lifestyle? God can do that with you, just ask Him. Then stand and battle for the lives of those who are still there. Don’t faint! Don’t back down! Give God all that you have!

Abortion has been said so many times that the meaning has diminished. Our children are growing up thinking it is just another form of birth control. It’s not. ABORTION IS MURDER! From the moment of conception, that child (yes, it is a child) has a soul. When that tiny heart starts beating, nothing is added to it to make it any more human. And, hallelujah, God has allowed us women to be a part of His miraculous creation. How can we not see how He loves us? How He loves our unborn children???

There IS a Creator, and He is calling His prayer warriors to wake up and smell the ashes of sin that are burning our homes and families down. Oh, God, deliver us!

Right now, make your decision. Are you going to get serious about fighting on your knees or are you going to keep throwing catch – phrases around the Christian community so that you will feel good? Lock yourself in a closet and don’t come out until you have given God all that you have! Feel the  drops of blood on your brow as you intercede for others then, taste and see that the Lord is good! There IS victory in Jesus!

“…today you are drawing near for battle against your enemies: let not your heart faint. Do not fear or panic or be in dread of them…”                                                                                        Deuteronomy 20:3

Thirty Days of Prayer for My Husband – Day 24: His Fidelity

fidelity

“We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” 

2 corinthians 10:5

Lord, I thank You that my husband has been faithful for all the years of our marriage, but I will never take this for granted. I know that no marriage is exempt from Satan’s snares and I ask, Jesus, that You arm my hubby against the temptations of lust whether it be physical, visual, or thought. I pray daily that he would know and feel the seriousness of our wedding vows and that he would not entertain any lustful thoughts. but take each thought captive for You, my God and my Savior.

Lord, I pray that as we grow together through the ages of our relationship, that I would be as desirable to my husband as I was when we first married. I pray that he would be blinded to what the world throws at him through television, and other media, and that he would never look at me in comparison to other women, but always through Your eyes, the eyes of Christ.

Father God, establish a relationship of mutual trust and honesty between my husband and me. I ask in Jesus’ Name.

Amen

Proverbs 20:6-7

Thirty Days of Prayer for My Husband – Day 21: Positions of Leadership

“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his lleadershipife as a ransom for many.”     Mark 10:45

Father God, today I come to You asking You to protect the leadership in my husband. Open his eyes, Lord, to those who look up to him and follow his lead. I pray that he would recognize his own power to lead others to You and that he would bring glory to You through his role of leadership…no matter how big or how small.

Lord, I ask that my hubby would be mindful of his influence wherever he is, because we know that others are watching. I pray that he would be aware and bold in his testimony to those whom You have put in front of him to witness to, whether through word or actions.

I pray for his leadership within our church, that he would take each responsibility as a service and testimony to You and that others would know that all that he does, he does for You, Lord Jesus, and not for the glory of the position.

I pray for his testimony to his friends, that he would not be tempted to go with the world just because others are, but would stand firm in his witness as a man of God.

I pray for his leadership with his family, Lord. Especially those closest to him, that they would know that his wisdom comes from You and You alone. That each decision is made through prayer and seeking Your will above his own wants.

And I pray for his leadership to me, his wife. Let him never forget, Lord, that he answers to You for our family and our marriage. Help him to make the decisions that are best for us and to seek God’s will together as we grow more together each day.

Father God, You have blessed my husband with a quiet leadership, and I ask that You protect that leadership through the anointing of the Holy Spirit in him.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen

1 Peter 4:10; Romans 12:9-13

Thirty Days of Prayer for My Husband – Day 19: Temptation

tempt

“Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Mark 14:38

Father, I know that all of us sin in our daily lives; some intentional and some unknown even to us. I lift my husband up to You today for power to overcome temptation and intentional sin. Especially as a man, I know that he thinks he can handle anything, but Satan is a wily snake that crawls through our garbage and singles out our weaknesses. He puts subtle “come – ons” in front of us at all times and if we aren’t careful, we give in.

Temptation can be seen in so many different areas of life, sexual is the first that comes to mind and I know that my husband would never, on his own, give in to sexual temptation. But Lord, there is so much more than adultery and unfaithful flirting. Pornography is rampant in our society and you can’t get away from it. From the magazines on the counters to the commercials selling products through sexy innuendos. Almost every television program and movie throws at least one erotic scene in for “entertainment.” It is so easy to build a continuous need for that stimulation and in the Name of Jesus, I bind all the demons of pornography that would assail my husband’s mind and make him addicted to lustful views.

Temptation to steal. Oh, not out right, but taking little things from the office, not giving back the $3 that the cashier under charges him…so many “little” things. I ask You, Jesus to make him aware each time one of these temptations is in front of him. Don’t let him cross the line to “oh, this one time won’t matter.” It’s a battle for his soul and IT DOES MATTER!

Temptation to make his job his idol. Time is the most precious gift that a husband and father can give to his family so it makes sense that today’s world wants to take that away from us. Make my husband aware when he needs to stop thinking about and talking about his work and focus on his loved ones. Help him to resist being everything to everyone and to organize his time for his physical, emotional, and spiritual health.

I ask You Father God to reveal all the plans that Satan has for stealing my husband’s testimony through the temptations of the world. Erase images from his mind of any persistent sin issues he may be facing and help him to see clearly the evil of sin, the devil’s schemes and his own insufficient means to do battle alone. I pray, Lord, that my husband would love obeying You and Your Word more than anything that may be tempting him. Show him, Jesus, that giving in even one time leads to defeat while through the blood of Jesus, he has the strength to overcome and conquer leading to righteousness and victory.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen

James 1:13-18, I Corinthians 10:13