Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 5:6-11
Do you struggle with a lack of faith?
If in fact lack of faith is a barrier that keeps us from receiving all of the best that God has in store for us; then one of our greatest aims should be the continual strengthening, increasing, and deepening of our faith. So how can we deepen our faith?
In a recent post I noted how you can keep a notebook, journal or file on your computer of answered prayers and requests. Then use this as the basis for prayers of thanksgiving to God. Each time we thank God for answering our prayers we are establishing new levels in the depth of our faith. Think about it … a person who can recall a hundred answered prayers will naturally have a deeper belief in the power of prayer than someone whose prayer life has little or no substance.
But you might say to me; “you don’t understand … if you only knew what I’ve been going through; or I have prayed and God hasn’t answered me.” Well I can just say this; you are right, I don’t know what you’ve been through; but God does know. And he has promised to answer and deliver you in your times of trouble. The verses above are a direct answer to this concern also: “After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” God hears you, and He will deliver you.
But there are some specific instructions God has made clear.
All of these steps will deepen your faith. Do you want your prayer life to become deep and powerful? Here is what you need to do … every day.
Humble yourself to God --- James tells us; “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” James 4:10. Just the very act of turning our problems and trials over to God in Prayer is in fact humbling ourselves in His sight. The promise is that; “He will lift you up.” Jesus also makes this point; “Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted” Matthew 23:12. Bow down to the Creator and Savior of the world, He will deliver you. When your old self, for whatever reason refuses to admit your problems are beyond your ability, and you keep them to yourself; that is your prideful man refusing to humbly turn it over to God. You are unconsciously saying ; "I don't need your help God ... I can fix it." It could be sin you are struggling with, or fears, doubts, challenges, a relationship, or a temptation. Turn it over to God in prayer. He will remove your doubts, fears, sins, and problems. These are promises we need to stand upon. When we stand upon His promises and claim them as our truth in our prayers, our faith is strengthened and His power becomes our power, and our prayers become His fulfillment and our victory.
Casting all your anxiety on Him --- Don’t worry. Worry is sin. Worry needs to be like a red flag telling you to stop and pray. When we are able to stop and turn all of our worries over to the Lord, He will give us rest. When we force the results, we are not turning our problems over to God. Jesus is very clear: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Mathew 10:28-30. As the song goes: I cast all my cares upon you, I lay all of my burdens down at your feet, and any time, I don’t know … what to do, I just cast all my cares upon you. You can have total and complete release. Just release it all over to Jesus. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7.
Be of sober spirit --- This word is defined; to be calm and collected in spirit, temperate, dispassionate, circumspect, self controlled, To be dispassionate means we are unaffected by passion, emotion, or bias. Our bias can be any thinking that edges God out. We may just unconsciously go a different way. We stop listening and take a wrong turn. This putting aside of our pre-conceived beliefs, notions, training and bias allows us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, as we study and meditate on God’s truth. When we are of sober spirit we are listening for God’s direction. We are to meditate on His word in our prayer life. Pray and listen. “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10.
Be alert --- “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:36-46. Once again we see that we are told to be alert, and to be watchful. Our natural tendency is to rest in our old ways opening the door to sin. God wants us to stay alert because He knows that when we pray this is a call to God that also causes the enemy to attack. When we are alert, the forces of evil lose their power. Our response can simply be “you have no power over me, in the name of Christ, be gone." When we are alert, the Holy Spirit will guide us in our mind to the scriptures that spell defeat to our enemy.
Resist the devil --- Jesus gives us the example of how to have victory over our enemy. As in Genesis 3:1-6 the deceiver always uses the same three ways of tempting us, and we have two choices: follow the lust of our eyes, the lust of our flesh, and our pride; or we can respond with the Truth of the Word, the sword of the Spirit, as Jesus did. Matthew 4:1-11. We can always experience certain victory because we are always promised a way of escape; “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:12-13 … and angels will come and minister to us, as they did Jesus. We can have victory ... moment, by moment, day by day; and we can watch God's miraculous ways, as He deepens our faith in Him.
Be Firm in your faith --- We need to know what we believe, not shaking or trembling ... we must be steady and stand firm, speaking with the authority of God's Word. When God's Word is clear to us, we are not likely to change our mind. Our beliefs have become settled and fixed, and they are unalterable, unless He gives deeper clarity. A firm belief will not follow the winds of the day or the shifting ideas and philosophies of modern man. Once again when we are steadfast and unwavering on Biblical principles, we are likely to be called a narrow-minded fundamentalist in a derogatory tone. But never fear, our aim should be to model the early fundamentalists; like Daniel and his friends, and the Bereans who stood firm on God's Holy Word. We only need to take these steps above and then pray; and we will experience Deepening Faith. It is a process. Failure can weaken us until we turn our eyes upon our Lord, and then we can see his miracle working power released in our lives. Deeper Faith is not something we can conger up, but it grows day by day, as we trust and experience the Creator. Question: would your faith be stronger if God did an unquestionable, miraculous, healing right before you eyes? Or What if an angel appeared to you ... as He did to Daniel, and he explained that he had been sent as an answer to your prayers, and that he had been trying to break away from the enemy for three weeks … would this experience make things more clear to you then? Would you experience the strengthening, increasing, and deepening of your faith? Of course you would. So what do you have to lose by claiming that Deepening Faith daily? Pray for the faith of Daniel, Joseph, John, and Paul. I am certain that this is a prayer that the Lord would love to hear.
Know the truth ---How do you know that you know the truth? Only the Holy Spirit and God’s Word can assure you of that. “All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight; But the LORD weighs the motives.” Proverbs 16:2. “The heart is more deceitful than all else, and is desperately sick; who can understand it? “I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds. Jeremiah 17:9-10. We can never trust ourselves apart from Christ. You know the nature of man has not changed, when someone tells you … as a “gay Christian” told me earlier today online: “There really isn’t a whole lot left to say as I will never agree with you and visa versa.” You can see that these verses are just as true today as they were thousands of years ago. “Men’s ways are clean in their own sight.” They have a way of creating their own truth, and nothing you can show them will change it.
Give God Dominion --- To give God dominion in our lives means that: He is sovereign and the supreme authority; He has the power of governing and controlling us; we are no longer our own, He has the right of possession, use, and control of our lives; based upon what he did for all of us at Calvary. When we give God this level of control in our lives, He becomes responsible for the outcome. We now can see Him working in our day to day activities.
The king of Babylon understood the totality of God’s dominion when He experienced God’s miraculous powers and proclaimed; “But at the end of that period, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever; For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom endures from generation to generation. Daniel 4:34. we are each the king of our own Babylon … the question is: “Are we willing to give God sovereign dominion in our personal kingdom?”
I pray that you will grow in your Deepening Faith in all of these areas of your life in the year to come.
This is an inspiring message of Peace , Hope, and Love ... Pass it On.
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails ...
1 Corinthians 13:1-13 God Bless you my friends, Bob
But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. James 1:5-8
We can never stress enough the importance of believing God will answer our prayers.
The problem here is that a doubter is all over the place.He is double-minded. This means that his worldly understanding gets in the way of the promises of God and the leading of the Holy Spirit; and that he then submits to the teachings of men rather than the promises of the Creator. He prays; “Lord please help me” … but then thinks; “but I know you won’t.” What we need in our prayer time is more "Evidence that Demands a Verdict." The question we will try to answer today is: “how can we increase our faith so that God will answer our prayers? One of the best things we can do is: count our blessings and give thanksgiving to God for them all. Before we pray, if we make a list of all of the ways God has answered our prayers, and rescued and delivered us in the past, our present problems will not appear so impossible and guess what … our faith in God is increased and strengthened.
Paul tells us this in Colossians where he says; “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.” Colossians 4:2-4 How do you keep alert in your prayer? The NIV says; “being watchful and thankful.” I have a friend who is a prayer warrior. God bless you, Bill. A few weeks ago, he was visiting us for the holidays. One morning he left his Bible on the counter, along with his notebook which he had been reading and left open. As I walked by, I couldn’t help but see what was inside … page after page of answered prayers. If you had such a notebook, and read it each morning before you prayed for guidance and help; do you think your prayers would be more thankful, faithful, and filled with the power of God?
Here is a story from times past that I think that you might relate to: “Rising early one morning, I heard the baying of a score of deerhounds in pursuit of their quarry. Looking away to a broad open field in front of me, I saw a young fawn making its way across, and giving signs, that its race was well-nigh run. Reaching the rails of the enclosure, it leaped over and crouched within ten feet from where I stood. A moment later two of the hounds came over, and when the fawn ran in my direction and pushed its head between my legs. I lifted the little thing to my breast, and swinging round and round fought off the dogs. I felt then that all the dogs in the west could not capture that fawn after its weakness had captured my strength. So it is, when human helplessness appeals to almighty god. Well do I remember when the hounds of sin were after my soul, until at last I ran into the arms of Almighty God.” A. C. Dixon
Like the fawn with the man in the story, our Heavenly Father wants us to totally trust our fate over to Him. When James says; “for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind” he is describing the way we pray when we are praying out of duty, or in the natural ways of men. This person is likely to finish, and then jump up and force the answer to his own prayer by acting out the solution he wants. How many times have we circumvented God's answers and blessings before they arrived? It would be like the fawn jumping out of the man’s arms into the jaws of the dogs … not much faith or hope there. Stop and wait on the Lord. Listen … He will answer.
Faith does the impossible because it brings God to bear on our problems, and nothing is impossible for God. A faithful prayer can accomplish anything but God will rebuke a doubtful prayer. E. M. Bounds
Have you ever heard God Speak to you? I mean literally. He has moved me to tears when he speaks to me through the Bible, but here I am talking about actual back and forth conversation. I know this sounds a little like lalaland, and I don’t often mention it, but in one instance I am convinced that God clearly, directly, and powerfully spoke to me. What happened; you ask? Well I was a fairly new Christian, and I was driving in my car. I was praying for almost a full hour. I am afraid that my prayer was more complaining, and doubting than it was being faithful and thankful. But it was long. I prayed about everything I could think of. I was leaving home and going to meetings that I did not want to attend and in fact dreaded; but no question about it, my prayers were doubtful. I prayed until I had nothing left to pray about, and then I drove on in total silence. After about ten minutes, a voice asked me a question in my mind. It was brought to me in a way I would normally not even think, let alone ask myself. “Do you remember the parable of the talents?” the voice in my mind asked. “Of course, I teach that in sales training” I replied ... in my thoughts. The voice then said; “You’re the man with one talent” ... and then the voice left me back into my silence ... alone and discouraged, leaving me as quickly as it came. I was shocked because I would never have compared myself to the man with one talent. I am the trainer of men … I am the top producer, the man with ten talents. But God put me in my place, and taught me a vital lesson. I pulled over on the side of the road and broke down.
How could I be this one talent ... loser of a man? “But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed. ‘Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. ‘Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents. “For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. “Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Mathew 25:14-30
Now, when opening my Bible to the Talents, it quickly brings everything back into perspective for me. I now understand God is alive, listening and ... watching, and answering my prayers. And if I am negative, whining, or feeling sorry for myself; or prideful; or self-centered; ... I fully expect God to deal with me accordingly.
Prayer projects faith on God, and God on the world. Only God can move mountains, but faith and prayer move God. How great – without qualification or limitation – is the power of faith! If doubt be banished from the heart, and unbelief made stranger there, what we ask of God shall surely come to pass, and a believer has vouchsafed to him “whatsoever he saith.” E. M. Bounds
So what do you think? Are you going to continue praying the way the world prays to a God they do not know and who they do not believe will answer them? Or are you going to get a notebook and list the hundreds of answers, blessings and miracles God has brought into your life. I dare you to try this for the coming month. God will bring miracles into your life. He will answer your prayers. But remember, this is a spiritual battle for victory in your life. The enemy will not retreat easily. Let go and let God. “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”
The solutions to all of the problems America faces today are within our reach. All that is needed is for Christians to faithfully pray for America’s deliverance. Our God moves mountains and He has delivered America time and again over the past 200 years.
Taking a child, He set him before them, and taking him in His arms, He said to them, “Whoever receives one child like this in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me does not receive Me, but Him who sent Me.” … Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea. Mark 9:36-37,42.
And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, “Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. “Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them. Mark 10:13-16.
Where would Jesus stand on the issue of abortion?
This question again came to my mind as I read the article below this week. I am convinced that the answer to this question is quite clear, as we read the text above.
Rising Above Roe v. Wade Are babies better than abortions?
That's not a question we are accustomed to hearing. For the most part, abortion—America's most divisive issue—plays out as a question of competing rights. So it will be this weekend as pro-life and pro-choice legions each mark the 38th anniversary of the Supreme Court's landmark Roe v. Wade decision on abortion.
Yet a simple figure released earlier this month by the Chiaroscuro Foundation, a private nonprofit organization, provokes a different question. After crunching the latest statistics from New York City's Health Department, the foundation reported that 41% of pregnancies (excluding miscarriage) in New York ended in abortion. That's double the national rate.
So again the question: As a society, does this figure say anything about the choice between a baby and abortion? Even for those who believe the choice for an abortion belongs to a woman alone and ought to be unfettered by city, state or federal law, is there any ratio such a person would say is too high?
The question becomes even more compelling when broken down by race. For Hispanics, the abortion rate was 41.3%—i.e., more than double the rate for whites. For African-Americans the numbers are still even grimmer: For every 1,000 African-American live births in New York, there were 1,489 abortions.
These numbers can make Roe seem very distant. Years ago, Bill Clinton famously summed up the pro-choice argument as "safe, legal, and rare." What can the qualifier "rare" mean, however, unless it means that in some fundamental sense, a baby is better than an abortion?
Some, of course, will argue that what they mean is that America ought to devote more resources to helping women prevent getting pregnant in the first place. Whether or not that's as easily done as said, a focus on not getting pregnant does nothing for the woman who is pregnant and finds herself with a hard choice.
So how is New York responding? Earlier this month, the Chiaroscuro Foundation put together a high-profile press conference that brought the archbishop of New York and the leader of the one of Orthodox Jewry's most distinguished organizations (Agudath Israel of America) together with the African-American pastor of a large, Harlem church and a Latina who serves as a spokeswoman for Democrats for Life. As the New York Sun pointed out, notwithstanding all this ecumenical focus on New York's distinction as America's abortion capital, it elicited nary a peep from the mayor. Meanwhile, the speaker of the City Council, Christine Quinn, is pushing a bill designed to make it harder for people who are trying to help women keep their babies. Bill 371 targets Crisis Pregnancy Centers, and would require them, among other things, to advertise on site that they do not perform abortions or provide abortion referrals. It tells us something that there appears to be no interest in requiring that, say, Planned Parenthood post in their clinics some telling information of their own: 324,008 abortions nationwide against only 2,405 adoption referrals in 2008, the most recent year for which it reports statistics.
Rather than rehash the allegations against Crisis Pregnancy Centers—e.g., that they often disguise themselves as medical clinics, that they are not upfront about whether they offer abortion—let's stipulate for the sake of argument that they are all true. In the end, a woman who wants an abortion can still walk out and get one, as many do. A woman who doesn't necessarily want an abortion, however, can find all kinds of help: a place to live if her family or boyfriend has kicked her out; training for mother care; and, not least, the friendly face of a caring volunteer.
No doubt there are mothers who regret having their children. Occasionally you even read of one suing a doctor for not alerting her to a disability in her child that would have led her to abort if she had known. Far more common, however, are the websites with women repeating this heart-rending lament: "If only one person had encouraged me to keep my baby . . ."
On the moral claims and counterclaims on abortion, we have a vast chasm. Yet the moral divide can blind us to the possibilities that exist in all human communities. Might that start with recognizing that a 41% abortion rate means that many pregnant women are not getting the social help and encouragement they need to have their babies?
We all know people whose absolutism on a woman's legal right to choose does not prevent them from celebrating and supporting a pregnant woman within their midst who announces she is going to have a baby. So put aside Roe for a minute. And ask yourself this: What kind of America might we have if all pregnant women—especially black and Hispanic women who are disproportionately aborting—could feel from society that same welcome and encouragement?
Are babies better than abortions? Would it be too much to say "babies are better"?
by WILLIAM MCGURN, WSJ, January 18, 2010 ====================================================================================
Of all of the mistakes America has committed, I am convinced abortion is our nation’s greatest sin. The arguments that led to Roe v Wade were contrived … safe, legal, and rare is actually legalese for legalized murder … and often. This is America’s disgrace, and I am convinced God will hold America accountable for the horrible end-results. Abortion is murder, regardless of the clever logic, and politically correct wording ... and the stories of coat hanger abortions, rape, and incest only lead to confuse the real issue ... MURDER. Certainly this logic is not justification for the infanticide of millions of babies in America over the past thirty eight years. This is a disgrace!
Planned Parenthood is making millions every year promoting and performing this evil act. This one issue alone was justification for Christians to no even consider voting for President Obama. What were good Christians thinking? I am convinced that this is where we end up when we follow the politically correct rhetoric. One foolish teaching leads to another; and then another; and the next thing you know … people who claim to love God are aborting and killing babies. And people who claim to love God are voting politicians into office who promote and encourage the expansion of abortion in America.
THIS IS A DISGRACE!!!
The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left. ... A wise person chooses the right road; a fool takes the wrong one. Ecclesiastes 10:2.
I understand that our nation is consumed by the talk of the economy, the irresponsible spending, illegal immigration, and the wars with radical Islam ... but these issues are only diversions when compared to America’s Disgrace. This should be the primary number one issue in the next presidential election. Will this evil even be discussed? I think most likely not. Pray for our nation’s deliverance from this evil.
He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will suffer harm. Proverbs 13:20. God Bless you my friends, Bob
And the king appointed them a daily provision of the king's meat, and of the wine which he drank: so nourishing them three years, that at the end thereof they might stand before the king. But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. … As for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and intelligence in every branch of literature and wisdom; Daniel even understood all kinds of visions and dreams … As for every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king consulted them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and conjurers who were in all his realm.
Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven Daniel 2:19.
Have you ever wondered why God does not seem to hear or answer your prayers?
This was the opening question of my last post and in my meditations; I have been led to consider deeply the lessons of Daniel in an attempt to experience the “supernatural prayer” Daniel had access to. The first thing we must do in order to walk in to this victory is to meditate and pray on the words of Daniel. I have more insight than all my teachers. For Your testimonies are my meditation. Psalm 119:99. We must become as little children kneeling before the Creator of the universe. Deuteronomy 6:1-14.
This is the Word I bring to you today, my friends. MEDITATE ON THE WORD AS LITTLE CHILDREN.
In order to gain wisdom “ten times better” than all the other wise men of our day; we must at the very least humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift us up. James 4:10.
We must understand that these young men were not only under captivity of the king of Babylon; the purpose of their captivity was to be conformed and transformed to the Babylonian beliefs, customs, and gods; so that they could be of use to the king. This was contrary to God's purpose for each of them. “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2. Each of their true names translated to a reference to the God of Israel. Daniel means; “God is judge.” Hananiah means; “Yahweh is gracious.” Mishael means; “Who is what God is?” Azariah means; “Whom Yahweh helps.” The captors gave them new names that referenced the Babylonian false gods: Belteshazzar means; “may Bel protect his life” Shadrach means; “command of Aku” (the moon god), Meshach means; “who is what Aku is?” and Abed-nego means; “servant of Nebo” In each case the Hebrew name contains a name for the true God of Israel and the Babylonian name contains the name of a heathen god.
Isn't it interesting how our leaders would have us accept and acknowledge the false gods so prevalent in our society today as valid and meaningful? They want us to be politically correct and somehow validate these false religions. But we have many other gods bringing us under attack as well; gods such as our jobs, homes, cars, computers, television, other people, and the teachings of the world, to name a few.
These young men were in a spiritual battle for the control of their lives and the Babylonians were being used as tools of the forces of evil. The messenger from the Lord said to Daniel: “But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia.” Daniel 10:1-14. It is clear that spiritual strongholds were established that contributed to this spiritual blockage of the answer to Daniel's prayers? All of us ... yes even Daniel, are subject to potential spiritual blockage, regardless of the depth of our focus on the Lord God. Paul gives us a clearer description of our enemies: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:10-18 A good example of how the forces of evil will use men to attack Godly men is outlined in: Daniel 3:1-30 "For this reason at that time certain Chaldeans came forward and brought charges against the Jews. They responded and said to Nebuchadnezzar the king: “O king, live forever! “You, O king, have made a decree that every man who hears the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery, and bagpipe and all kinds of music, is to fall down and worship the golden image. “But whoever does not fall down and worship shall be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire." and Daniel 6:1-28 "Then the commissioners and satraps began trying to find a ground of accusation against Daniel in regard to government affairs; but they could find no ground of accusation or evidence of corruption, inasmuch as he was faithful, and no negligence or corruption was to be found in him. Then these men said, “We will not find any ground of accusation against this Daniel unless we find it against him with regard to the law of his God.”
WE MUST REJECT "THE KING'S FOOD"
So in order to step into Daniels shoes, a key area of focus in our meditations must be “The King’s Food.” For our purposes, the king’s food must be converted into our modern king’s food. Therefore we must each identify the "portions" the world forces of darkness have prepared for each of us individually and take the same stand Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah took. We must reject the king’s food which clearly includes the false gods of our enemy: “the world forces of this darkness.” This evil food may be presented to us in a hundred different ways ... many of which are not actual food at all. We must look at and isolate any habit, action, exposure, freedom, indulgence, benefit, or sin that can be used by spiritual enemies to separate us from the love of Christ; and then consider setting aside this King's Food. Then we may receive supernatural answers to our prayers.
Does this teaching sound strange or peculiar to you? If your answer is yes, that is because you may be looking from a worldly viewpoint. We are a peculiar people so from the worlds perspective spiritual views will appear strange. A peculiar person is one of my favorite writers. “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people … so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light: 1 Peter 2:1-12.
This is the Word I bring to you today, my friends. MEDITATE ON THE WORD AS LITTLE CHILDREN.
How do you identify your king’s food? Ask God in prayer and meditate on these verses. God will make it clear to you. We must be careful here. Pray for protection. Daniel prayed and meditated and put aside the king’s food for twenty one days: "In those days, I, Daniel, had been mourning for three entire weeks. I did not eat any tasty food, nor did meat or wine enter my mouth, nor did I use any ointment at all until the entire three weeks were completed. On the twenty-fourth day of the first month, while I was by the bank of the great river, that is, the Tigris, I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, there was a certain man dressed in linen, whose waist was girded with a belt of pure gold of Uphaz." Daniel 10:1-21. The agents of darkness will not give up the positions they have established in our lives easily. You must put on the full armor of God. Ephesians 6:10-18.
In case you might need some hints as to how to identify the King’s Food in your personal life, here are some passages to meditate upon to gain insight: “It is good not to eat meat or to drink wine, or to do anything by which your brother stumbles.” Romans 14:10-23. “Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.” Romans 13:1-14. “How blessed are those who’s way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD. How blessed are those who observe His testimonies, who seek Him with all their heart. They also do no unrighteousness; they walk in His ways." Psalm 119:1-176.
Twenty one days of seeking an answer from God.He hears our prayers on the first day, and He sends help but the King’s Food gets in the way and the blessed messenger cannot get through to us. Will you pray with me that God will send Michael to the aid of our messengers so that the answers to our supernatural prayers can get through as well?
Yet there is no one who stands firmly with me against these forces except Michael your prince. Daniel 10:1-21
This is the Word I bring to you today: MEDITATE ON THE WORD AS LITTLE CHILDREN.
Then he said to me, "Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words. Daniel 10:12.
Have you ever wondered why God does not seem to hear or answer your prayers?
To understand the answer to this question, we need to stop praying as the pagans pray and begin praying as the godly men of old prayed. But, I am praying Godly prayers ... you say? Do you feel God's presence? Are you receiving answers to your prayers that are beyond what you imagined? God has more in store for each of us than we ever dreamed possible. We need to start praying from the viewpoint of being children of the Creator; rather than ordinary people floundering in the problems of daily life.
God’s Word gives us wisdom that we need to consider and stand on ... in order to better position ourselves to receive God’s attention and supernatural answers to our prayers.
For about twenty percent of Americans, these are very difficult times. Sometimes God needs to get us to this point in order to get our attention. We naturally have a tendency to slip into the ways of the world. Some of us may have just become caught in the resulting tidal wave brought on by foolish financial decisions by politicians and others in positions of power, but regardless, we are adrift at sea. Sometimes this is a result of our unconscious decisions, sometimes deliberate … but there we end up, nonetheless. And God allows us to suffer the consequences of our prideful and self-centered decisions. As we enter this New Year, I find myself struggling in the midst of that twenty percent who have fallen upon hard times. On a personal level, I have no excuses, I am responsible for my dilemma. As He did with the prodigal, God uses our problematic times to get our attention off of the worldly foolish affairs of men, and onto resting in Him and faithfully focusing on and looking to Him for the solutions.
Have you ever had a supernatural answer to your prayers? I have ... a number of times, and believe me it is definitely different than anything I have ever experienced before. When God answers you this way, there is no question that He is in control. His solutions are beyond your imagination. And nothing compares to the knowledge of the reality that God is at work on the solutions to your problems. But rather than focus on my personal experiences, we will look to the Lord’s model and then we can follow the lead of Daniel and expect the same results.
Supernatural results to problems that are beyond our control.
First we must understand what I mean when I use the word supernatural. Defined, supernatural means: “Of or relating to existence outside the natural world; attributed to a power that seems to violate or go beyond natural forces; of or relating to a deity; of or relating to the immediate exercise of divine power; miraculous.” We are not praying to a god that we do not know. We are praying to Jesus, the Savior, the Master, and Creator of all things. He is the God over the wind and the seas, and all things living and dead, seen and unseen. He causes volcanoes to erupt, and puts the rainbows in the sky. He is all knowing; all powerful, and ever present. He is the beginning, and the end, and everything in between. He is capable of giving us the answers and solutions to any and all problems. He never sleeps. He is always there for us. He is God, and He will hear us and answer our prayers.
But He will only answer our prayers according to His ways and His thoughts … not ours.
Some key facts in having God consider and answer our prayers; are that we first must truly believe He exists, that He actually hears our prayers, and absolutely answers our prayers. “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts, is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” James 1: 5-8
Okay now, let’s be honest with ourselves. Are your prayers doubting … or are they in total confidence that God will deliver and guide you? We are all double minded to a point. The question is: "Have we truly humbled ourselves in the sight of the Lord" or is our old worldly man playing god in our lives?" We can only be stable when we seek Him and place our trust in Him, and Him alone. Men, including ourselves will always fail us, in the end. Only Jesus Christ is always faithful.
Why did God answer and give wisdom to Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego supernaturally?Because they were living supernaturally. “As for every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king consulted them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and conjurers who were in all his realm.” Daniel 1:20. Because they were determined to follow God and His teachings faithfully, and to not bow down to false gods. Their disciplines were followed right down to their food and drink. To decide to not eat the king’s food was definitely a life and death issue. “And the commander of the officials said to Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has appointed your food and your drink; for why should he see your faces looking more haggard than the youths who are your own age? Then you would make me forfeit my head to the king.” Daniel 1:10. I know this is hard to believe, but as we have witnessed, some crazy people today behead people for more ignorant and foolish reasons than this, such as: “you are an American, or you are a Jew”
Let’s get one point clear: From the first moment of Daniel’s prayers, God heard him and sent an answer and a solution. We do not need to be afraid. We are to be confident, faithful and secure. Even if physical death is God’s answer for us, that is a victory. “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words.”
So what do we need to do to be viewed by God as He viewed Daniel and his friends? How can we have ten times more wisdom than those who are considered the wisest men in the world? We need to follow the model of Daniel and God will hear and answer us. Be careful and humble … our motives must be pure. “But as for me, this mystery has not been revealed to me for any wisdom residing in me more than in any other living man, but for the purpose of making the interpretation known to the king, and that you may understand the thoughts of your mind. Daniel 2:30. Wisdom from God is His wisdom, not ours. But He will supernaturally create the circumstances and the way of escape for those who are faithful to Him.
I am convinced that the end times are possibly very near. I am also convinced that America will fall from its current number one power position before the rapture and the return of Christ. This would mean we will all experience trials possibly much worse than the great depression. We must trust in the creator and deliverer. We are citizens of another kingdom and our king is the Father and Creator of the universe. “But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.” 1 Peter 2:9-10
"No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it."
Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was being provoked within him as he was observing the city full of idols. So he was reasoning in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and in the market place every day with those who happened to be present. And also some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers were conversing with him. Some were saying, “What would this idle babbler wish to say?” Others, “He seems to be a proclaimer of strange deities,”—because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection. And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is which you are proclaiming? “For you are bringing some strange things to our ears; so we want to know what these things mean.” Acts 17: 16-20.
Some sneered … some believed. Some things never change.
Do you know anyone that is a bit of a babbler? For me a number of people potentially come to mind … sometimes myself included. A close pastor friend once referred to me as conversationalist, which is a nice way of saying: babbler. In the verse above, they are referring to the apostle Paul as a babbler … so is that a good or a bad thing? In Paul’s case, he was provoked due to the evil around him, and he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection endlessly in the market place every day. Was this good? Of course it was. But make no mistake; if we stand up for the truth of the Bible we will be considered a babbler by many. Talk of Christ resurrected, the miracles of the Bible, the Rapture, prophecy, the foolishness of evolution and global warming, challenging false teachings and religions will always be viewed by some as babble. We must stand for Christ!
Let’s look deeper into the word to better understand how God would want us to be more like Paul. Here are some ways babble is defined: to utter words, sounds, etc. in an incoherent or indistinct jumble; to talk foolishly, incessantly, or irrelevantly; to disclose secrets, or confidences, carelessly or impulsively; the sound of a bubbling stream, or birds in the trees. This is where we get the phrase: babbling brook.
Everyone knows the story of the tower of Babel. The people’s languages were confused by God because they were becoming too smart for their own good. And when they could not understand each other, they scattered. “Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, so that they will not understand one another’s speech. … Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of the whole earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of the whole earth.” Genesis 11: 7, 9.
Paul describes the resulting dilemma; “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” And; “But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking in tongues, what will I profit you unless I speak to you either by way of revelation or of knowledge or of prophecy or of teaching? Yet even lifeless things, either flute or harp, in producing a sound, if they do not produce a distinction in the tones, how will it be known what is played on the flute or on the harp?” 1 Corinthians 14: 6-7.
Do you know a person who babbles on and on when you get them on the phone? The most modern forms of babble are email, twitter, and facebook. I get a hundred pieces of email each day. There are currently 5,850 emails in my inbox from past year and those are the ones I didn’t just automatically delete. I only try to forward those that will give something of value or laughter to others. For me facebook is a major source of babble and shallowness. But on the other hand, facebook is being used by many to accomplish great things. This is the challenge. One person’s passion or livelihood is babble to others.
Some sneered … some believed. Some things never change.
When we look at the Paul’s supposed babbling in Athens we see; “Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some began to sneer, but others said, “We shall hear you again concerning this.” So Paul went out of their midst, but some men joined him and believed. Talk of Christ resurrected, miracles of the Bible, the Rapture, prophecy, the foolishness of evolution and global warming, and false religions will always be viewed by many as babble.
The same was true for Peter and John when they preached the gospel and the resurrection of Jesus Christ and only one way to salvation. Arrested as babblers, even though they gained many followers, they were eventually released … and said, “O Lord, it is You who MADE THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH AND THE SEA, AND ALL THAT IS IN THEM, who by the Holy Spirit, through the mouth of our father David Your servant, said, ‘WHY DID THE GENTILES RAGE, AND THE PEOPLES DEVISE FUTILE THINGS? ‘THE KINGS OF THE EARTH TOOK THEIR STAND, AND THE RULERS WERE GATHERED TOGETHER AGAINST THE LORD AND AGAINST HIS CHRIST.’
So there is obviously both good and foolish babble. The fact is that the more we give witness of God’s Word, the more we will be viewed as a babbler by those who do not understand, and those who have rejected God’s Word, and those who have chosen political correctness. PC is another way of describing those who have chosen to unconsciously accept the teachings and philosophies of the world in order to be accepted and to not offend others. And of course to not be considered a babbler. When my Christian friend said to me “okie dokie” this past week, he was in effect writing me off as a babbler. I am sure many others will send this post to the trash when they receive it as so much babble. Most not telling me this because they want to be politically correct and not offend me or anyone else. For the same reason, many who have accepted the gospel won’t forward posts with spiritual or political content.
Some sneered … some believed. Some things never change.
In conclusion, I hope to be viewed like Paul, as a babbler for Christ. Anyone who has ever sat with a pole along the banks of a babbling brook, stream, or waterfall and listened to the peaceful sounds of the water flowing over the rocks knows that all babble is not useless noise. Like a babbling brook or good jazz that captures and relaxes the mind … some babble is beautiful music. We must find the words that are music to the ear … words that lead others to the Creator and Savior of mankind.
often contradict the wisdom of the world. Since we have been programmed by the world ... we have come to accept these worldly ideas as truth ... but when we consider God’s perspective ... we come to understand ... "the Lord's ways are not our ways"
Don't just read these writings ... meditate and pray over God's Word ... Listen to the Holy Spirit ... and be transformed by renewing your mind. He who died on our behalf wants you to ... allow the love of Christ to control you ... so that you might become ... the righteousness of God in Him.
Be an Ambassador of Christ ... with a ministry of reconciliation. Share God's eternal Truth and Love ... with everyone He brings into your path.