Tearing Down Strongholds

I’m convinced that many of us are still stuck because we have not followed his instructions and are not tearing our own strongholds down in the mighty power of God! A spiritual stronghold is a way of thinking that has become ingrained in your mind. We ought to ensure that He is our stronghold (Psalm 27: 1); because the mind is the stronghold of the soul; and the enemy attempts to acquire and dominate the minds of people. Spiritual strongholds are arguments, high beliefs, and thoughts raised against our Almighty God. Strongholds are based on pride and self-reliance. They lead to a proud heart, bad mental patterns, and recurring sins. A spiritual stronghold is whatever we trust in other than the Lord.

God speaks to you saying that He will give you victory over the thing that is tackling your faith. What is he telling you to do? Are you hearing Him and doing what He says? When the Lord speaks to our hearts and is trying to help us root out the strongholds of the enemy – we must be careful to TEAR IT ALL DOWN!!  All the enemy needs is a small space to get in and make you go the way that God has forbidden; to make you disobey or doubt.  Non of us are exempt — it is not easy!  But it IS the way of victory.

When God tells you to leave a relationship behind; resign from a job; move to a new locale; stop listening to a certain radio program; refrain from drinking; etc.; you can’t then look at your friends and say “well, they’re still doing it!” because His commands for you are for your victory, not theirs!

Every time I read through the Old Testament, I am astounded by the number of times God sends people in to battle – tells them to destroy it all; and then, they don’t!  It seems that there is always someone among the warriors (and often the king)  who decides that destroying it all means that they can keep some loot; leave some enemy alive; leave some spring unplugged; leave a wall standing; keep at least the women and/or children, etc.  Thankfully we are not being asked to slay people in these days – thank God for Jesus!  But we are asked to lay waste to the works of the enemy – in fact it is for that reason that He came!

Though we are in a difficult war, we may be confident knowing that we are on the winning side. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds! (2 Corinthians 10:4).

If you want the victory that He gives (as lasting victory!)  – do it His way!  He is not a man that He should lie! His promises are YES and AMEN!  He will accomplish His Word!  Do your part — TRUST and OBEY!

Missing the Miracles

Legalists – those dressed in their own righteousness – are more concerned with keeping the law than relationships or encounters with the Savior. The Sabbath is to be kept holy — that is sure. But the Sovereign Lord is the maker and ruler of the Sabbath and can choose to do wonders as He will. We, too, can be preoccupied with observing our own religious laws to the point that we miss chances to see God at work. It can be any ritual at all – things like churches that refuse to hold “Sunday School” on Saturdays — or those that say we will never have evening service.

These actions are not sins, but they can quickly become what we worship — and take the Lord’s place. So much so that if the Lord works a miracle at an inopportune time for us — we will not even see it!

The religious Jews were concerned about breaking the Sabbath in this scriptural passage. They never acknowledged that a miracle had taken place.

Father – Help us not to be so caught up in our faith traditions that we forget the object of our faith! Help us to look for Your Hand doing Your work at all times — and teach us to join You in Your work. Teach us that no time is inopportune for you. You are the Lord of time, the Sabbath — the God of wonders!

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!”

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!

Lloyd and Jan Chinn. Missionaries across Africa. Serving Now!

Lloyd and Jan, Nkwanta Ghana (Oti Region)

 

Thank you for reading my blog during Black History Month as I highlighted some of my heroes. I hope that you have learned a lot and that your heart has been turned toward missions. 

If you’ve been moved to go – click here and find out how: 

Here’s our story ….

Lloyd and Jan Chinn are native to Texas. Lloyd from Edna, TX and Jan from Houston, TX.

Lloyd and Jan took short mission trips to Ghana for 4 years.

In 2002, Lloyd received his ThM from Dallas Theological Seminary and that same year they were appointed as long term missionaries with WorldVenture. They moved to Ghana in 2004 with their two sons and opened WorldVenture’s new field of ministry in Ghana. The Chinn’s served in the town of Nkwanta in Ghana’s Oti Region. Their ministry focus was Pastoral Leadership Development. As they became for familiar with the community, they added Orphan Care, Educational Development, Women’s Empowerment and Community Economic Development. They were blessed by The Lord to design and begin the construction of a Leadership Development Center; a Short Term Missions home; and, a Poultry Farm.

In 2013, they returned to the USA on furlough and were appointed as the Global Initiatives Director for Africa beginning in March 2014.

Lloyd and Jan are the first African Americans to serve as Global Directors for WorldVenture. The new role has added 13 additional countries to their Africa ministry life.

Lloyd and Jan are also serving MANI (the Movement for African National Initiatives) as the North America Diaspora Coordinator. They also serve at Crossover Bible Fellowship as leads of the Missions Ministry (Front Door to Frontier).

Lloyd’s firm message to the African American church has been the same from the beginning of their journey: “Pray! Pay! and/or Pack!”

If you want to serve long term in Africa — we invite you to join our WorldVenture Africa Family! Get in contact with us, we will gladly show you the way! Email us at J.Chinn@WorldVenture.com or at missions@crossoverbf.com