Demons Tremble! Believers Stumble Over the Truth …

You ever just read something in scripture and it catches your mind? changes your thoughts? opens your eyes to even more of His truth? In the Gospel of Mark – Chapter 1, John the Baptist is preparing the way for Christ. He baptizes Jesus. Jesus is tempted by Satan – and is triumphant! Jesus begins His work in Galilee and chooses the 12. Jesus starts healing and delivering people – opening peoples eyes and interest in who He is.

One night Jesus and his disciples leave the synagogue and the whole gang follows James and John to Simon and Andrew’s house. Because Simon’s mother in law is unwell, Jesus cures her and she serves them nicely when they arrive. People were bringing their sick and demon-possessed loved ones to Jesus that night. You have no idea how many people wanted to share their stories. However, according to the Bible, Jesus instructed the demons to keep quiet. Think about it for a moment: Jesus was educating the twelve and everyone else about who He is. However, the demons were aware of Jesus’ identity. They were aware of it!

There is a lot to take in here. Those seeking healing hoped for a miracle when they arrived. They had no idea who Jesus was, nor did they accept His claim to be the Son of God. Because they were fallen angels, however, the demons understood the limitation of their own power and the magnitude of His.

We must always keep the Holy Spirit in the forefront of our minds as we minister. People will believe that we are acting under the authority of Christ as we walk among them. But in the spiritual sphere, we can’t play games! Some of you are going to get it in a second!

Through God, we have powerful weapons at our disposal in this battle! In other words, if we don’t actively seek to be filled, we’re just pretenders who will fall short when confronted with issues that call for spiritual solutions such as healing, discernment, or even knowledge.

Satan trembles at His presence, while mortals stumble over the fact that we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God. In order to defeat our adversary, we must be fueled and entirely reliant on this fuel. Without Him, we can do nothing! Without His allowance for us to speak His Word – we will be speaking our own and Oh How Powerless We Will Be! Help us Lord! Help us to just do what you call us to do and not seek that men know who we are! Help us to just do what you call us to do and understand that it is You who will make your presence known according to Your will and not our own.

The demons could identify the Christ and had to be silenced.

Father – fill us afresh with Your Holy Spirit. May the cry of our hearts be that we want more of You! May we see the enemy flee as we walk in the authority of Your name alone! May all who come in contact with us find that they see Jesus in us. May your presence in us speak for itself!

In His Power!

I think about Moses listening to the Israelites complain constantly. And then when I got to this verse (Numbers 11: 12) – I can just hear his heart! Asking God how he is supposed to carry out what has been given him to do! I think everyone that I know in full time ministry has been in this place. Even the most fervent and steadfast of Christians have difficulty relying on God in the face of adversity and the absence of hope. To demonstrate that God is all-knowing and all-powerful, God tells Moses: You will see whether or not my word comes to pass. If God says it, it’s done.

Sometimes, what God is asking us to do is much more than we can bear. God calls us to service, and He calls us to do and accomplish things beyond our capacity; that part is genuine, but He doesn’t ask us to do it in our own strength or wisdom. We are to rely on His capacity and not our own. He is not annoyed when we say to Him, “Lord, I am willing. Help me to accomplish it!” As for me, this was a hard lesson to learn because I was raised to accomplish things quickly and on my own. When I did not complete a task in a time frame that I considered reasonable, I felt like a failure. Finally, I had the good sense to take my ‘failure’ to the Lord. He opened my eyes to see where I had bitten off more than I could chew. He opened my eyes to see the people around me who could help me. He taught me that there were things that only He could do.

He, not I, carries the troubles of others on my shoulders, things like figuring out how to solve issues in other people’s lives, things like making everybody happy. He taught me a saner way to live and, as a result, the path toward enjoying my life. When He called me to full-time missions, I learned that He wasn’t expecting me to disciple the world in 7 days (in the manner that He created the world). I’m not God — that is quite a concept!!

So, I encourage you today to say yes to Him in all things He asks of you. Before you reach your breaking point; before you get to the part where you quit –stop and invite Him into the situation. Ask Him how to do what He has called you to do. Ask Him who will help you, who is your team. Ask Him to lay out His plan for you. You can’t do it on your own; you can’t do it your own way; you can’t do it in your own power. When you feel the stress of it all while doing what God has called you to do, give God’s will for you back to Him and let Him direct you in the way you should go. As my mom said all of the time: “He’s a Mighty Good Leader!”

Living Like an Overcomer

No matter what is happening in this broken world, I am an overcomer. So many things in the last few months have happened to make my heart heavy, sad, broken — it can be difficult to muster the strength to hold on to joy and peace. But, I have chosen to hold on to joy and peace. As believers in Christ, the adversity, grief, heartache, woe and injustice that we experience is expected. We are not citizens of this earthly realm; our home is in heaven – we are foreigners here, aliens on a journey. It would stand to reason that we will experience enmity, bigotry, bias, hate. The world will not embrace us, nor its systems treat us with fairness. Sadly, many of us, who are citizens of heaven, have forgotten our place and are treating other citizens of heaven in ways that we should not — but I digress.

As we grieve the things that happen to us on this earth, we can rejoice that we are not alone nor forsaken! We have a great High Priest who is familiar with the troubles that we face. He is limitless in His mercy and grace, and He invites us to cast our cares upon Him. We are His chosen children – He loves us and wants what is best for us. You see, the world wants us to believe that all is lost, that our case is hopeless, that the battles will never end, that we are less than worthy of a peaceful life. But God has repeatedly told us in His word that this is simply not true. We will overcome!

We can hold on to joy — because our hope does not lie in the things of this world or in the systems of this world – but in He who cannot and will not fail; in He who loves truly and perfectly; in He who is our all! Much like those three Hebrew boys who were in the burning furnace, we have to believe that there is One that sees us, hears us and will deliver us in His own perfect time. We have to choose to embrace His truth – He is our peace.

Yes, it is painful; it is unfair; it is discouraging — all of it feels so wrong; but don’t lose sight of the truth that it is not contrary to what our Lord has spoken to us. He has foretold the trials would come; but more than that, he has revealed a future victory that no world system can snatch from us. The troubles of this world can touch my flesh, and they can prick my heart, but I will not allow them to swallow my heart, and He will not let them cover my soul in darkness. I am grateful that my life is filled with friendships that include people of all races, colors, religious backgrounds. I am blessed to have good friends across the color spectrum. But even if no one down here values me, I know who made me, and I know He adores me. Man can hold me in disdain, but He is exalting me as His called out one. I am an overcomer — and I intend to live like it. Make the choice to believe His truths no matter what is happening around you, so that you can experience his peace that man cannot understand. The one who dwells within you is greater than any issue that you might face. Don’t lose heart – in the end, you will win!  Yes! In the end, He will reign!

He’s Been Where We’re Going!


When they landed,  they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it,  and some bread. Jesus said to them,  “Bring some of the fish  you have just caught.” 
John 21: 9 – 10

When the disciples arrived, the coals were already hot and the fish was already cooking. Despite the fact that the Master had fish, He invited them to contribute theirs!

Even the fact that the coals were hot gives us an indication of how long Jesus had been on shore, either watching them or at the very least listening in on their conversation. Due to my experience living in Africa, I have learned that the types of coals that were used in the Bible days times do not start easily or quickly. They are not quick lighting American charcoal briquets. To get a fire going, it takes time and perseverance. Second, there were fish on the fire, which indicated that they had been caught and cleaned. Third, there was bread to be found. For me, the indicator is that He has already been where I intend to go. He already knows the most effective way to accomplish what I am attempting to achieve. He’s keeping an eye on me and giving me instructions – if I’m paying attention.

Do you think my Spirit will be sensitive enough to feel God’s presence and hear Him guiding me from the shore as I go about the work that God has given me? Will I be conscious of the fact that He has already completed the task and is inviting me to share in the blessings that He has bestowed upon me? Will I be able to comprehend that, despite the fact that He is the Master and requires no assistance, He has assigned me a task: to assist Him in His work?

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Father, let me see Jesus daily as I do the work of the Kingdom; and indeed in my everyday life. Open my eyes to hear Him speaking to me to guide me and encourage me. May my passion be ignited when I think of how my work will be added to His bounty as souls come into a saving knowledge of Christ. Make my heart to remain passionate about lost souls — and Your desire to reconcile them to You and to the Bread of Life!!

Big Kingdom Living

Live Big

Jesus is, presently, seated at the right hand of the Father. He reigns today. The regime of our King is a present, proceeding, advancing reality. Because this is true – it means that as children of The Most High God we can rejoice in this truth that His vision and plan for us is in the works now and includes every aspect of our lives — EVERY aspect.

So … now take that truth and apply it to your today. If He lives within you and if the Kingdom of God is today — then you have a choice to make; allow the presence and power of His kingdom to permeate your life. Allow His presence and power to invade your hopes for the future. Allow His presence and power to shape your view of yourself. Allow His presence and power to inform your understanding of who He is.

Your faith, properly placed in Him, is strong enough to support the dreams that you feel are impossible! Your faith, properly placed in Him, will allow you to experience the truth that He can do more than you can ask, think or imagine.

Picture this — your faith, as you nurture it, will grow and become stronger — strong enough for your life’s goals to be lifted up as offerings to the Most High! Strong enough to sustain your hopes and rebuke your doubts. Your faith, when nurtured and when placed in Him, will allow you to rejoice in the fact that He is your Benevolent Sovereign who finds great pleasure in showering you with his agape love and who assures that as you submit to His kingdom you will enjoy his good will in your present reality.

Paul David Tripp calls it Big Kingdom Living — living like Christ is the basis of all that you speak, execute, and envision.  Living your life such that “God’s purposes become your functional life goal.” Being all that He has created you to be — doing all that He has created you to do. Awesome!