Romans 8:1 "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."
Conscience is the voice of the human spirit.
Reason is the voice of the soul, or the mind.
Feeling is the voice of the body.
The Holy Spirit does not bear witness with our reasoning. The Holy Spirit does not bear witness with our feelings. The Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirits.
Be very careful about using the word "feeling." When we sense the Presence of God in a service, people often say, "I felt it." But we really don't feel it physically so much as we sense it spiritually.
So be careful to differentiate between the two, because people slip into the feeling realm so easily. Then, when they feel good, they say, "Glory to God! Hallelujah! I'm saved! I'm filled with the Spirit! Everything is fine!" But when they feel bad, they get a long face and they say, "I've lost it all. I don't feel like I did, so I must be backslidden."
If we go by feelings, we'll get into trouble. That's why so many Christians are up and down, in and out. (I call them yo-yo Christians.) They don't walk by their spirits. They don't walk in faith. They go by their feelings.
Confession: I walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit. I don't follow feelings. I don't follow reason. I follow the voice of my spirit, my conscience!
Isaiah 56:7 "All these I will bring to My holy mountain and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; for My house will be called a house of prayer for all peoples."
Astounding things happen when God’s people get together to pray.
Impossible victories are won.
Enemies that stubbornly resist the opposition of individual believers flee in terror when pray-ers assemble side by side, each one giving his or her own unique supply of the Spirit.
The Bible affirms it again and again. Both the Old Testament and the New tell us about times when the powers of darkness were driven back and defeated because people linked their hearts and their faith together and became a house of prayer.
That is what we are as born again believers, you know. We are a house of prayer. We are God’s temple. He dwells in us not only individually but “collectively as a church” (1 Corinthians 3:16 Amp). And these days, I sense in my heart that our collective power is most urgently needed. As precious as our solitary times of prayer may be and as much as we may enjoy fellowshipping alone with the Father, we are living in a time fraught with challenges that can only be met by the corporate prayers of God’s people. We are in a season when we need not just lone prayer rangers, but “the church, in all its various parts, closely joined and firmly knit together by the joints and ligaments with which it is supplied…each part [with power adapted to its need]…working properly [in all its functions]…(Eph. 4:16 Amp).
In other words, during these last and greatest days of the Church, God is looking for pray-ers who will draw near not only to Him but to each other.
Thought for the day: He is searching for those who will join hands and hearts and become a house of prayer. Are you involved in your church's intercession prayer group?
Psalm 119:160 "Thy word is true from the beginning."
People often make a substitution for faith - they substitute mental agreement or knowledge. They mentally agree that God's Word is true, and they call that faith. But mentally agreeing with the Word isn't faith.
You can mentally agree that the Bible is true, but it won't become real to you until you act on what it says. It's when you act on God's Word that it becomes a reality. For example, you can believe in the truth of the resurrection as a great doctrine (and in some circles that's all it is - a doctrine ), but it won't mean a thing in the world to you until you can say, "Jesus died for me! Jesus arose victorious over death, hell, and the grave - and He did that for me! Jesus arose victorious over Satan! Jesus conquered Satan for me! Therefore, Satan has no dominion over me! I'm free!"
The resurrection won't mean anything in your life until you can say these very words. Then the resurrection truth in the Word of God will become something more than just a doctrine, a creed, or a theory - it will become a reality!
Confession: I am a doer of the Word. I act on what the Word says is mine. The Word is true. I know it's true. So I act like it's true, and the Word becomes a reality in my life.
Matthew 14:31 "And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, 'O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?'"
Many times a miracle begins in a person's life, and then doubt robs him or her of the full blessing. A miracle began in the life of Peter. He was walking on the water. But that miracle was never consummated. That miracle never came into full fruition. Why? According to Matthew 14:31, he let doubt get in. Maybe this will help you understand some things. When doubt comes in it stops God's blessings. We cannot waiver, we have to stay in faith.
Confession: I refuse to let doubt rob me of the blessings of God. I shut the door on doubt. I choose instead to believe God's Word. I act on what God's Word says about me.
Romans 13:11-12 "Now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light."
We are living in an exciting time. Jesus' return is soon! But it's also a sobering time. It's not the time to be lazy about spiritual things. This is not the time to ride the fence; there won't be anybody on the fence much longer anyway. A separation of light and darkness is coming, and either you're going to go on with God or you're going back.
In the story of the ten virgins in Matthew 25, it wasn't until the foolish five actually heard the shout that they decided to get ready. "And while they went to buy," it says, "the bridegroom came" (v. 10).
Have you ever noticed that, with some people, their timing is always off? But if you listen to the Spirit of God, your timing is good. You'll be at the right place at the right time. "While they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut." (emphasis mine)
Are you ready...or not? Not only are you and I in a place where we've never been before, but the world has never been where it is now. We're coming to the end of the age. We must get to the place where we hear from God and do what He says—where we stay ready to be used. It won't work to wait until the last moment and then try to get ready. We are the Church. We have a job to do before He comes.
Matthew 24:44-45 says, "Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?"
Right there in my Bible beside that question, "Who then is a faithful and wise servant? Write in your name. You are the only one who can make that decision in your life. Write your name by that verse and say, "Lord, I'm going to be a faithful and wise servant. I'm going to be ready!"
Confession: I am a faithful and wise servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Are we becoming a society that can't commit to anything? Recent studies seem to say so. Recently, a number of sociologists identified an alarming trend on the American cultural landscape—an inability or unwillingness to commit to anything.
One researcher wrote: "In the process of defining what counts in life, many of us have decided that commitment is not in our best interests." This is tragic because the Bible says, and history has clearly shown, that values like loyalty, honor and faithfulness are tightly tied to succeeding in life.
Is commitment avoidance undermining your effectiveness as a leader? God's wisdom word for you today is, "Commitment."
Let's be People that can change the world one person at a time. We all have to lead. Not everyone can be a follower. Trail Blazers.
Job 8:7 "Although your beginning may seem small, He will make your later years very great."
This verse promises us a good, vigorous, productive, fruitful, and expanding future. It is an assurance that God can do great things with our lives no matter how insignificant our beginnings. History records the success of many famous people who began life in the most humble of settings. One of these is the Lord Jesus Christ.
There is something about life that challenges people to raise their level of desire and expectation. The story of our own Christian lives actually begins with us deep in sin. Then salvation lifts us up out of the muck and sets our feet on the firm rock of the Son of God. Sanctification replaces our filthy garments of pride and self-righteousness with the dazzling white robes of His righteousness.
The Holy Spirit ("Zoe" Life) gives us the power to run the race of life that is set before us and to gain the victory in the good fight of faith. At the close of the battle, we are each given a wedding garment. The story ends with us—the Bride of Christ—being enthroned with Him next to the Father (Rev. 3:21).
Our beginning can be compared to a mustard seed, small and insignificant. Our ending is based on our obedience to the Word of Jesus as Lord of the whole creation. Christians have so much to look forward to. Our best days are yet to come!
Confession: I walk in the Zoe life and do incredible things for the Kingdom of God.
1 John 3:21-22 "Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight."
You can never "get away with" disobeying God. Some people think you can. They think that if nobody finds out about it, it won't hurt anything. After all, God is merciful. He's not going to hold it against them, right? And if no one else knows...what's the difference?
What they don't realize is that their own heart will start giving them problems. Their own heart will start to condemn them. Everyone else may think they're great. They may be spouting faith talk all over the place, but when they come before God in prayer, they'll be filled with doubts and fears that keep their prayers from being answered.
That's one of the reasons why it's so important to live in obedience to the Lord. A life of obedience will give you a spiritual boldness you've never had before. It will give you a boldness in prayer, a boldness in faith. It will give you a confidence toward God, as the Apostle John says, that those who are trying to get away with sin don't have.
I'm not saying that you have to be perfect. That you should never make a mistake. Just that you should walk in obedience to the light you have. Take the time to listen and be responsive to the Spirit of God. When He tells you to do something, do it. As you do, that confidence will rise up within you. It won't be something you mentally drummed up or talked yourself into. It will just be there. Instead of being consumed with doubts and feelings that the Word of God isn't going to work for you, you'll find yourself filled with faith that it will. You'll begin to trust God and to flow with Him. You'll come to a place the Bible calls "rest in the Lord."
Remember this: Even though the eternal price for your sins has been paid, a life of disobedience will still cost you dearly. It will cost you the boldness that is rightfully yours in Jesus. It will rob you of faith and rock you with fear.
Don't let the condemnation of your heart cut your confidence short. Do the things that are pleasing in God's sight and walk tall in the kingdom of God.
Confession: I walk in the light of God’s word. I have "Zoe" life on the inside of me. I am a King and joint heir with Christ.
Scripture tells us that "life and death are in the power of the tongue." (Proverbs 18:21). But one thing people do all the time is that they start off speaking the right things, words of faith and life, but then they turn around and speak the exact opposite of what they just said! They'll declare a promise and then start talking about how bad everything is. They'll say, "God is my provider!" Then they'll say, "Look how bad the economy is. I don't think I'll ever get out of debt." That's just like planting a seed in the ground and then digging it right back up again before it ever has a chance to take root and blossom.
If you and I are going to see the harvest of blessing God has for our futures, we can't "dig up" our seeds of faith by allowing words of defeat or negativity to come out of our mouths. Instead, we have to water the seeds of faith by continuing to declare His Word. When you wake up every morning, start thanking Him that His promises are coming to pass in your life. All throughout the day, focus on keeping an attitude of faith and expectancy.
Confession: I always sow seeds of faith and blessing. I will bless others, and God will bless me.
Romans 4:17 "As it is written, 'I have made thee a father of many nations, before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.'"
Let me give you some examples of God calling those things that be not as though they were:
Revelation 13:8 "And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."
The Bible speaks of Jesus as the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. And yet, Jesus did not hang on the Cross until thousands of years later.
Ephesians 1:4 "According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love."
We were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world. We weren't even born yet. Well, was God lying when He said that? No, He wasn't.
Sin is disobeying God. And holiness is simply obeying and pleasing God in all things at all times. One way to obey and to please God is to walk by faith. Hebrews 11:6 says, "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." God is pleased when you call those things that be not as though they were. This attitude honors God, because you are believing His Word without any outward evidence. It also puts you in an attitude of faith to receive great things from God.
Confession: God is pleased when I walk by faith. God is pleased when I call those things that be not as though they were, because I am believing His Word without any outward evidence.
The Daily Bread
A devotional to equip, exhort, motivate and feed your spirit.
Pastor Larry Smoot is Senior Pastor of Church on the Rock in Stafford County, Virginia.