Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Islamist Winter Strikes Again: Meet the Most Powerful Man in Tunisia
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Some years ago my wife and I were planning to purchase our dream home. We searched and searched to find just the right house in the best location. We found it at the end of Shadow Lane.
It was a beautiful traditional two-story home in a quiet neighborhood. It seemed like the answer to our prayers. The price was right and we were ready to buy. Everything seemed perfect…too perfect. So I decided to check the court records on the property. It didn’t take a long search before discovering that the owner did not have clear title to the property. There were liens against the property, which he failed to disclose.
After confronting him with the situation, he refused to pay off the liens. He wanted us to lease the house from him until the liens were paid off. If we had taken the bait, we would have ending up investing our money and not owning anything. We were so disappointed! This was our dream home, our answer to prayer, our blessing from God. Or so it appeared. But it was revealed to be a counterfeit, a substitute, and a trap!
God had promised us a house. He was, if fact, preparing a house and a great deal for us, but before His plan could be fulfilled, the enemy tried to slide in a counterfeit blessing and rob us of the true blessing that God had for us.
Well, in spite of how badly we wanted the house on Shadow Lane, we rejected the deal. A short time later, we found and received the house that God had for us all along. It was a better home in a better location, and we bought it for below market value. The grief over losing what we thought was the perfect home, turned to joy when we received the authentic, perfect home.
When you walk in the blessings of the Lord, be advised that the enemy will try to rob, cheat, and steal those blessings from you. He will even go so far as offer something similar to God’s blessing, anything, in order to ruin God’s plan for you.
When Satan tempted the Lord Jesus, he offered a substitute for Father’s plan.
“Next the devil took him to the peak of a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. “I will give it all to you,” he said, “if you will kneel down and worship me” (Matthew 4:8-9 NLT).
As good a deal as that may have appeared to some men, it was a poor counterfeit for the kingdom that Father had for Him. Satan offered Lord Jesus every Shadow Lane in the world, but He didn’t settle for what the devil had to offer. No, He knew that the best gifts, the authentic gifts, come from our heavenly Father, and He was determined to follow Father’s will.
He faced this again through His Disciple Peter. When Jesus told His disciples that He was the Christ, and that He must suffer at the hands of the Chief Priests in Jerusalem,
“Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things. “Heaven forbid, Lord,” he said. “This will never happen to you!” Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s” (Matthew 16:22-23 NLT).
The enemy used every trick to encourage Jesus to receive a substitute, counterfeit Kingdom, one of Satan’s making, one that would not satisfy, one that would not last. If Jesus had invested Himself in Satan’s Kingdom, then like the owner of the Shadow Lane property, Satan would have been the true owner, and Jesus would have lost everything, and missed the true Kingdom that Father had for Him.
As you follow Christ, seek His will, and wait on your blessing. Be careful not to fall for the first thing that comes along. It might look good, and feel great, but if you notice that one little detail that doesn’t fit, when in doubt, throw it out. Don’t get stuck on Shadow Lane!
Read "Beware of Shadow Lane" my devotion today on cbn.com.
Monday, October 17, 2011
What a difference a day makes! Sunday you’re in church where people love you, where you’re at peace with God and filled with love, basking in His presence. Then Monday comes. Home is hectic and disorganized; every single driver on the road has it in for you, the boss snaps you up for no good reason, and your co-workers hate you.
The world has hammered you hard, so when you get back home, everybody had better watch out for your patience is long gone. Sound familiar? We can be one person at church and totally different during the rest of the week if we’re not careful. It’s hard to recognize it in ourselves because we see ourselves as that same good church person all the time, not as a hypocrite. Why do we fail to be the people we think we are? Why do we fail to sustain the personalities we think we have?
The Apostle Paul wrote, “I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway” (Romans 7:18 NLT).
We tell ourselves that it’s the circumstances that make the difference. Well, it’s more than the circumstances; it’s our split personality! The Bible says, “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God” (1 Corinthians 6:19)?
The temple of God, as described in the bible, was divided into three distinct areas. The outer court where anyone could enter, the holy place where the priests enter, and the holy of holies where only the high priest was permitted to enter once a year in order to make a sacrifice for all the people. It is the most holy part of the temple, the place where the Ark of the Covenant was kept, and the presence of God met and communicated with man. There is a trinity to the make up of the temple.
Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and there is a trinity to our make up as well. We are a spirit; we possess a soul, and live in a body. Our body is like the outer court of the temple. It is there for the entire world to see. It is our connection to the world through our five senses, without which, we could not communicate with the world.
Our soul is like the holy place in the temple. It’s between our spirit and body. It is where our mind, will, and emotions rest. It’s our connection between the spiritual and the physical, heaven and earth.
Our spirit is like the holy of holies, the innermost sacred part of the temple. It’s the place where God dwells, heaven is approached, and where we fellowship with the Lord.
Our spirit, soul, and body are in a constant rivalry. We determine in our soul if we are going to be more body oriented or spirit oriented. This is the struggle we endure. This is where the split happens. The pull and tug between our fleshly body, which craves the things of the world, and our spirit, which craves the things of God, can become fierce unless we keep our body under control and seek God through our spirit. Our body will rule us unless we die to self and embrace the presence of God through our spirit.
We become born again by asking Jesus Christ to forgive our sins and come into our heart. Our spirit becomes alive to God when this happens and we have a new relationship with Him through our spirit. The split personality we were born with becomes one in Christ, and God accepts us as a temple in which He can dwell, through the Holy Spirit.
The split between the things of heaven and the cares of life will always challenge us, but when we submit to God and keep our flesh, that worldly connection, under subjection, we bring the peace from Sunday into the chaos of Monday and all is right with the world.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Thursday, October 13, 2011
The ICEJ's annual Feast of Tabernacles celebration will be streamed here live everyday from Oct 13-18, 2011. This streaming is made possible by Visjon Norge.