The Gift of Prophecy: 6

The argument runs that because we have the whole revelation of God in scripture, that the gift of prophecy is no longer necessary. It is interesting that many of the people who hold this view would still pray for a miracle or a gift of healing! It is also interesting that they think Christians have reached unity in the faith and reached their full potential of Christ likeness:

Eph. 4:11-13 – So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up UNTIL we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

This scripture clearly states that prophets have a role in today’s denominationally divided and immature church body.

~Developing Your Prophetic Gifting, by Graham Cooke ~

 Mal. 3:6 – I the Lord do not change

Heb. 13:8 – Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Isn’t it interesting that although God says he doesn’t change, and although he works through prophecy in the Old and New Testament, some still believe He’s gone mute. They believe God doesn’t have anything else to say to us, even though He tells us that the Holy Spirit will continue speaking to us and that we should desire to prophesy?

John 16:12 – I still have much to tell you, but you cannot yet bear to hear it. However, when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth.

1 Cor. 14:1 – Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.

Isn’t it also strange that the Holy Spirit would be promised to be with us forever, but not all of him? Why do we say, ‘No, Holy Spirit, we don’t want tongues or prophecy; just give us your presence, miracles, healing, wisdom, and knowledge?

John 14:16 – And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you.

1 Cor. 12:1-11 – Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed… I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit… Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

Everyone loves miracles, so why are we scared of these others? We’re scared because there has been complete lack of teaching, and in some cases false teaching. That shouldn’t deter us from wanting to receive all the things God has for us, especially when they’re as awesome or more awesome than miracles. After all, Paul tells us that prophecy is more desirable than miracles:

1 Cor. 14:1 – Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.

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The Bridal Gift

In Genesis 24, we find Abraham’s steward going out to find a wife for his son Issac. Derek Prince helps us understand the context of the story:

  1. In the middle east you always give a gift with a marriage proposal. If you accept the gift, you accept the marriage; if you turn down the gift, you refuse the marriage to the person.
  2. Camels can carry a lot of stuff, and the steward took 10 camels loaded down with gifts, for the bride he sought for his master. He said, ‘May the one who draws water for me, and offers to water my camels, be the one chosen to be bride.
  3. Camels drink 40 gallons of water each, and drawing water takes a lot of strength. On top of being in a hot desert area, Rebekah knew that it would take her most of the evening to water the camels, and she still offered it as a service of hospitality to the stranger.

Read the passage here, or skip it to continue commentary:

Genesis 24 – Abraham… said to the senior servant in his household, the one in charge of all that he had… “I want you to swear by the Lord, that you will get a wife for my son Isaac from my home territory… the servant left, taking with him ten of his master’s camels loaded with all kinds of good things from his master. He set out for Aram Naharaim and made his way to the town of Nahor and had the camels kneel down near the well outside the town; it was toward evening, the time the women go out to draw water. Then he prayed, “Lord, God of my master Abraham, make me successful today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water. May it be that when I say to a young woman, ‘Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels too’—let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master.” Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder… The woman was very beautiful, a virgin; no man had ever slept with her. She went down to the spring, filled her jar and came up again. The servant hurried to meet her and said, “Please give me a little water from your jar.” “Drink, my lord,” she said, and quickly lowered the jar to her hands and gave him a drink. After she had given him a drink, she said, “I’ll draw water for your camels too, until they have had enough to drink.” So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough, ran back to the well to draw more water, and drew enough for all his camels. 21Without saying a word, the man watched her closely to learn whether or not the Lord had made his journey successful. 22When the camels had finished drinking, the man took out a gold nose ring weighing a beka and two gold bracelets weighing ten shekels… Then the servant brought out gold and silver jewelry and articles of clothing and gave them to Rebekah; he also gave costly gifts to her brother and to her mother… So they sent their sister Rebekah on her way, along with her nurse and Abraham’s servant and his men… So the servant took Rebekah and left.

This is a story of faith in action, and a prophetic story pointing to a larger picture. Over, and over again, we see in the Bible that God (represented by Abraham) is looking for a bride (represented by Rebekah) for His son Jesus (represented by Issac).

Revelations 19:7-9 – For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God’s holy people.) Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”

If Rebekah was given so many riches to become the bride of Issac, how much more richly will God bless us to become the bride of Christ? The Holy Spirit (represented by the unnamed steward), sent from God, is looking for the bride of Christ right now. The Spirit is the gift, and He brings many more gifts when He is welcomed. If we turn down the gift of the Spirit, we turn down the marriage to Jesus.

Our character is the key factor in receiving the gifts that the Spirit has to offer from God, much like Rebekah’s character was what made her stand out as the chosen bride. Whether tongues, encouragement, prophesy, administration, etc–Our character helps us receive and protect the gifts given through the Spirit of God. When we accept Christ, we receive His Spirit. The Spirit lives in us, much like a man joined to his bride in marriage. Since the Spirit is already inside of you, so are the gifts the Spirit possesses. However, gifts can lie dormant for years. It just depends on what you want to do with them. When will you bring your gifts out of storage and start putting them on display? Invest what you have so that you can gain even more. Grow the gifts inside of you.

Matt. 7:11 – If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

The gifts are not to be feared, but cherished. They ARE God after all.

People seem so scared of the gift of tongues, or the gift of prophecy… but the gift of faith–that’s scary. That’s where you trust God to come through, faithful to His promises, even though everything in your life seems to be displaying the opposite. That’s when you do whatever He told you to, even though it seems to make the least amount of sense.

Heb. 11:6 – Without faith it is impossible to please God

Faith is a gift of the Spirit & God says you can’t please Him without it. What then should we think of the other gifts of the Spirit?

1 Cor. 14:1 – Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit

God never said things wouldn’t appear scary:

Mark 6:49-51 – Shortly before dawn he went out to them, walking on the lake… when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified. Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed

but He does say 150 times, ‘Fear Not.’

Is. 41:10 – do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you

And that’s the purpose of gifts. They are not given to scare us (though they may at times from our misunderstanding), but for our strengthening, encouraging and comfort (1Cor.14:3-4). The disciples were scared for a moment, but Jesus immediately said, ‘Take courage.’ He immediately comforted them from the fear of the waves, storm, and the way He came to them. So, don’t let it scare you if He comes to you through gifts, because when He comes it is to comfort you. If you are like the disciples, and have fear because you don’t understand a way in which the Lord operates, then search out the explanation in His word and ask Him to show you personally:

1 Cor. 12:1-11 – Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. 3 Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. 4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

John 4:24 – God is spirit

2 Cor. 3:17 – the Lord is the Spirit

Do not reject the gift of God Himself, and do not reject any gift that He sees fit to give you. Every gift is to help and prosper you.

Jer. 29:11 – For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.


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Because I Said So

'Because I said so'

‘Because I said so’

No child likes hearing the phrase: ‘Because I said so.’

This phrase can work with a child who knows, and trusts, their parents, but it is not a great response for a child who lacks relational connection to their parents.

‘Because God said so‘ can, occasionally, be an okay answer for a Christian who trusts God, but to an unbeliever it is like eating fire; likewise, to a disconnected child it is going to mean absolute rebellion.

Rules without Relationship = Rebellion

Rules without Relationship = Rebellion

Many children who have been abused, whether emotionally, physically, or sexually, have a hard time trusting authority. Something as simple as not spending quality time with your child (avoidance), can damage a child emotionally. If a child feels like you do not care about them, you are going to have a hard time with discipline. If you are already in this position, try to put quality time above the law for a little while and see if it makes a difference. Children who love their parents will automatically want to please them.

Understanding that, rules without relationship is a recipe for rebellion, we can start to see why unbelievers typically hate Christians. For years Christians have stated the ‘rules’ to God’s wayward children, instead of portraying His love to them. We need to rethink our outreach plans. Relationship is the most important thing to God.

A father gave his son his inheritance, to do what he wanted to with it. The son made some bad choices, and ended up remembering how good his father was. We need to be the people reminding the prodigal son how good and loving the Father is. The son already knew he was in a mess. When the son returned, the father didn’t get onto him for his bad choices, he hugged, accepted, loved, and celebrated his return.



The child without relational connection, or with damaged trust, will ask ‘Why?‘, so they can see if they can trust the reasoning. The unbeliever needs us to show God’s reasoning of why something is wrong or right. This is called teaching and gaining trust. The unbeliever is the prodigal son, and the mistrusting/damaged child. They need to know they can trust God’s rules. They need to be able to see that God’s plan for them is good. Thankfully, God tells us why. Instead of tweeting ‘Divorce is sin‘ or ‘Homosexuality is sin‘, realize that you are quoting rules to a disconnected child that will result in rebellion. Instead say ‘Divorce causes deep emotional trauma‘ or ‘Homosexuality results in disease and illness. God says it’s wrong because He doesn’t want you to be in pain.‘ God is concerned for you and deeply cares about you.

A ‘b/c I said so‘ message tells the child, I don’t care about our connection or teaching you how to make decisions for yourself. Why then are Christians still preaching sermons with a ‘b/c i said so‘ mentality toward the lost? God gives us His reasoning. He shows us why right is right, and why wrong is wrong. He wants to teach us and build relationship, not command/control us, and keep us ignorant. His first goal is to build relationships and trust. Once we trust him ‘b/c I said so‘ becomes an okay answer here and there.

The Body of Christ

Some denominations think the body of Christ is composed of only their sect. What is the body of Christ? Why call us His body? What does it mean?

Let me paint a picture for you of the body of Christ:
– Jesus is the head of the body.
– We are the parts of the body.
– The Spirit is the power of the body: the Spirit is the communication system of the body; the neurons, or synapses.

The Spirit is an advanced communication system to the spiritual body of Christ, much like nerurons transmitting information in our physical body.

The Spirit is an advanced communication system to the spiritual body of Christ, much like nerurons transmitting information in our physical body.

When you, a part of the body, are hurting, you pray! The Spirit inside of you sends the message to Jesus, who asks God; God then gives the answer to Jesus (the mind), who gives it to the Spirit (the neurons), who gives it to you (the body part).

So, imagine again that we are the body of Christ. We make up different parts, but we are all joined together by the Spirit of God. We pray and we listen. I can send a prayer request to the mind (Jesus), and Jesus can tell another part of the body, who is listening, to come help me. I didn’t have to know how, or who, could help. I just need to know that Jesus can help. Jesus can send whoever is needed, but He can only use the parts of the body who are listening to the Spirit (functioning in the Body). So, also, I can pray for what I know I need, but then I can pray in tongues, by the gift of the Spirit, so that God is praying for me. The Spirit knows everything, and He can activate the right part of the body to come to my aid, where I couldn’t know the who, what, when, and wheres.

Let’s look at the verses for this painting:

– 1 Cor. 12:13-14 – For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.

– Col. 1:18 – Jesus is the head of the body, the church.

– Matt. 10:20 – For it is not you who will be speakingit will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

– 1 Cor. 14:2,14,39 – For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to GodFor if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays.. I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding… Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues.

The true baptism is the baptism of the Spirit; this baptism which Jesus said would be greater than water baptism, was first seen on the day of Pentecost. Now, go and baptism in the name of the Holy Spirit also.

The true baptism is the baptism of the Spirit; this baptism which Jesus said would be greater than water baptism, was first seen on the day of Pentecost. Now, go and baptism in the name of the Holy Spirit also.

– Rom. 8:26-27 – the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

– 1 Cor.2:10-11 – for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man who is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.

To function as part of the body of Christ, we need to be able to function under the power of the Spirit. Any part of the body that does not respond to the signals, transmitted from the mind to that part, is broken.


Now let’s paint a picture of teamwork:
One horse can pull 700 pounds and another horse can pull 800 pounds, but together they can pull 3000 pounds! Here are just 3 ways we can use this concept:

yoked oxen1. Teamwork (exponential power) in Marriage: Taking this concept we can begin to understand why God said not to marry someone who is unequally yoked. You need to be healthy & whole when you marry, and choose someone just as strong as you are. You don’t put two damaged, injured oxen under a yoke and expect them to carry 3000 pounds with ease; the burden becomes heavy and hurts them even more. Likewise, you don’t take a donkey and yoke it to an ox. The ox overpowers the donkey, and it can hurt both animals. So don’t marry an unbeliever, or a believer who hasn’t been completely set free from the pains of sin yet. Someone who is not living in the fullness of the Spirit is dead weight. We cannot help those who are not trying to help them themselves or looking to God for help. Those who are trying, and looking, we can help like this:

2. Teamwork (exponential power) in Life: Jesus set this example for us…

– Matt. 27:32 – As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross.

We don’t take the cross from people, we have our own, but we can help people carry their cross. Look how much it looks like a yoke.

Cross help

We need people to help us through life. We were never meant to walk alone. In Jesus days people walked in groups to their destinations. We still walk in groups in life; we travel short and long periods beside each other, toward like destinations – one day with one person, and 20 years with another. God has a purpose for where He put you. He marked out the timing and location of your life. Get to know the people around you and help them carry the burden.

Acts 17:26 – From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. – Esther 4:14 – For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?

A decree had been made that all the Jews would die. No one knew Esther was a Jew. She could’ve kept living her cushy life as queen, but she saw God’s calling on her life; she put her life on the line to help someone else. She took on the burden. These are the good works God has destined for you since the beginning of time: Help those around you.

– Rom. 12:16 – Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

That guy didn’t want to help Jesus; he saw Jesus as a criminal with a death sentence.  Helping others, helps us too though. We learn their struggles and pain; we learn of their good and bad decisions. We gain wisdom for our own lives, causing the power of exponential growth. Maybe what we learn from them helps us, or helps the next person we meet. Along with helping them, pray for God to help them:

3. Teamwork (exponential power) in Prayer:

group prayer– Matt. 18:19 – Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” – Jos. 23:10 – One of you routs a thousand, because the Lord your God fights for you, just as he promised. – Is. 30:17 – A thousand will flee at the threat of one; at the threat of five you will all flee away, till you are left like a flagstaff on a mountaintop, like a banner on a hill. – Ex. 17:15 – Moses built an altar and called it Jehovah Nissi.

Joan of Arc with bannerJehovah Nissi means ‘the Lord is my Banner’. The Lord is my victory! God fights for us when we remind Him of His promises in prayer. He is with us when we pray, but when we agree with other people in prayer HOLD ON TO YOUR HAT! Jesus found a man who was demon possessed; the demon called himself Legion, saying he was many. Jesus, one person, put 1,000 demons to flight. Imagine what we can do when we come together, in unity, as the body of Christ, to pray for our nations problems. Demons flee, situations change, and Jesus gives us the victory! For those who are praying in the Spirit (in tongues), there is exponential power available. Everyone in the Spirit is united by the Spirit:

Example:
– Earlier this week, I thought about a teaching I had borrowed. I felt like I had kept it too long, but I wanted to finish taking notes on it, so I ripped the cd’s and put the discs in my purse. While at work, yesterday, the lender called me; I couldn’t answer, but I put the disc in her mailbox. Just then she came through the doors, checked her mail, and said, ‘WOW! God is good! His timing always astounds me. In ten minutes I am going to a meeting, and the person I’m meeting needs this study!’ The Spirit of God knew her heart, mine, and the next persons – and provided for all of us. The lender never asked me to return the study, or asked when I would be done, but the Holy Spirit knew and gave us the tools we needed to keep seeking out His will and ways.

– One day, while living in habitual sin (wayward from God), I had a desire. Someone living in the same type of sin, or under the same demonic spirit, came to me and brought me the things I had desired. They didn’t know I wanted them, and they knew that I would not use those items with them, but the evil spirit dwelling in both of us knew both of our hearts. That demonic spirit saw that he sinfully wanted to give me the items, and that I wanted the items to help me keep sinning. These items where something strange, and I was not close to this person; even in my waywardness I knew that there was no way this could’ve happened without demonic influence. That demonic spirit provided for both of us the things that we needed to continue growing in our lives of sin. You have an enemy and he mimics God’s ways. Satan has a plan for your life too. God says, if you aren’t for me, you are against me. We might not even see it, but if we don’t have the Spirit of God, we have the spirit of something else.

– Phil. 2:2 – … by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.

– 1 John 4 – Dear friends, test the spirits to see whether they are from God; This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood… He has given us of his Spirit. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.

Simply acknowledging Jesus isn’t enough to be able to discern the Holy Spirit from a demonic spirit. We need the gift of discernment from God. We also need to realize that Satan knows who Jesus is, and he can quote scripture; he tempted Jesus in the desert with scriptures that he had perverted, twisted up, to use in the wrong context as lies. Demons, likewise, can acknowledge Jesus and know scripture, but they cannot produce God’s version of love. They can only give a perverse imitation of the things God creates. They are trying to deceive us.

The Lord said He would light our path, but He does this through the gift of the Spirit called discernment. If you refuse His way, good luck...

The Lord said He would light our path, but He does this through the gift of the Spirit called discernment. If you refuse His way, good luck…

Example:
– God’s version of love is respect and patience; saving sex for marriage and protecting others. True love heals.

– A demon’s version of love can be providing a feeling of love when you have sex outside of marriage; a false/imitation love that never holds true for long. You take what you want and after you have become one in spirit (and body) with your lover, you are ripped from them leaving both people broken. False love breaks.

– 1 Cor. 12:7-10 – Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.To one there is given through the Spirit… distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues…

– Luke 4:33-34 – In the synagogue there was a man possessed by the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, “Let us alone! What business do we have with each other, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are– the Holy One of God!”

The gifts are for today! You need to be unified to the body of Christ, through the Spirit, to be able to pray, and to be able to discern. The gifts are necessary for this day and age, because there are many AntiChrist spirits running amuck. The only way to recognize Truth is through the Spirit of Truth (the Spirit of Jesus) and with the gifts/tools He gave us (1 Cor. 12).

– 1 Cor. 14:1 – Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit


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Flesh vs. Fruit

It’s been 16 years since I made a commitment to Christ; a road of many lessons, and yet I’m now praying that God teach me how to pray, how to love, and how to trust Him. Lessons that should’ve long been learned, but that he wasted no time in starting. This is where He has been leading me…


Galatians 5:19-23 details two things:

1. Acts of the flesh: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions  and envy, drunkenness, orgies, and like things

2. Fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control


A Closer Look:
Here is a list of definitions for ‘acts of the flesh’ terms. These are the things that God asks us to avoid/refuse in our lives.

  • an excessive favor toward self
  • feelings of hostility
  • a hostile state; opposition/resistance
  • quarrel, competition, rivalry
  • jealousy; trying to maintain or guard something; resentment against the success or advantage of others
  • mental uneasiness from suspicion
  • fits of anger; fits sprouting, from displeasure, from a wrongdoing
  • discord, disagreement, division
  • upset over, or desire/envy for, others success/advantages/possessions
  • intoxication or marked by intoxication; tipsy
  • sensuality, obscene, indecent, or lust; unrestrained or excessive indulgence of sexual desire, or intense desire
  • sexual obscenity, indecency, or defilement; indecent talk or writing
  • art, practice, or spells to exercise supernatural power through evil spirits
  • rowdy parties, wild festivity, or unbridled indulgences of any evil act

After doing this research I had to reevaluate some of my actions for sure. I’m not perfect.

– 2 Cor. 12:9 – My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.


Learning First Hand:

– James 1:2-3 – Count it all joy… for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.

The same day, that I did this study, I was tested. It’s thirty minutes before the weekend starts, and I’ve spent the day pondering a certain subject. I ask a friend a simple question and receive a response that cuts at my person. Furthermore, I couldn’t question the intention of this cut, because it was thrown as they shut the door behind them; leaving me to fester. I tried to brush it off telling myself they had a rough day, but the more I thought about it, the angrier I became. By the time I got home, the weekend had started and I thought I would never calm down, so I decided to pray. “God, be with so and so, de-stress them, and continue to teach them.” Not so bad a prayer, but it just made me madder. So, I prayed for myself next, “God, I forgive so and so; help me learn to turn my anger into love.” Not so bad either, but I was extremely mad by this point. Then this verse popped into my head: “Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” – Luke 6:28. So that sparked a new prayer. “Lord, bless so and so,” and as the words left my lips the anger lifted! The weekend was saved! Satan, the reminder, tried to bring it back to mind here and there, but part of forgiving is forgetting. I chose to forget each time. I thought I had done it right! But a few days later when I saw them again, I realized I was giving them the cold shoulder. They quickly diffused it with fun and games, but that was enough to expose the stench of my flesh. Obviously there is a underlying issue at play in me. Upon evaluation this is what I found…

Renewal of the Mind:

  • God honors a prayer based out of the ‘fruits of the spirit’, not out of the ‘acts of the flesh’. God honored my prayer of blessing, not my prayer of vengefulness.
  • I can trust God’s word to be true and healthy. By blessing my enemy, my anger left.
  • “Vengeance is not mine but the Lords” – Romans 12:19. God’s only command is to love.
  • Avoiding someone is not love.

It’s baby steps, but He is definitely showing me how to pray, how to love, and how to trust Him. Soon enough we’ll be running the race!