The False Promises of Power

Hebrews 13:5 – Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

The illusion of having power can take on many forms. When we speak of “power” we don’t just mean financial power (though that applies). We don’t just mean positional power (though that applies). And we don’t just mean social or psychological power.

We mean any form of power you will ever be tempted to wield over another human being in whatever form it may be. These forms can include such things as money, position, usage and tone of words, tears, attitudes, or any other form of power with which we may be tempted to use against another for personal gain.

We are told in Hebrews 13:5-6  Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.  (6)  So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. The following are some false promises of power.

False Promise #1) With Enough Power, I Can Control Anyone I Need To Control

This is a trap, because the only person we can truly control is ourselves, and that is a full-time job! Even for those who seem to give the most lip service, whether they are trying to be a people-pleaser, or are trying to get an advantage over others they see as competition, Jude spills the beans on them when he says in Jude 1:16 …speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage. In other words, behind your back, there may not be the same sweet words being said about you that your ears heard.

Solomon gives us wisdom in this area when he says in Ecclesiastes 7:21-22  Also take no heed unto all words that are spoken; lest thou hear thy servant curse thee:  (22)  For oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others.

In other words, don’t be so quick to believe you are in control because of the sweet words people always speak to you. You may end up overhearing how they TRULY feel about you, and it will rock your naive world!

What do we do? We can start by taking heed to the words of Paul, when he says in Hebrews 13:5-6  Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have… Rather than being covetous for control, we should learn to be content with such things as we actually have.

False Promise #2) I Can Handle ANY Amount of Power

Proverbs 25:16  Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it. In other words, it IS possible to have too much of a good thing!

Power can be intoxicating and there are lots of people who are drunk on their ability to get other people to do and say what they want them to do and say. They’re drunk on the platitudes people give them. The answer is not to stop people from telling you good words, because people are going to do whatever they’re going to do. The answer is to guard our hearts against the drunkenness of influence and power so that we do not use it to manipulate others or to start making wrong decisions.

Let’s face it! Intoxicated people DO NOT make good decisions! In 2nd Samuel 11, King David, who had become intoxicated on his power and influence, got another man’s wife pregnant, tried to make it look like it was her husband’s child, and when that didn’t work out, he had her husband killed.

It wasn’t until the old mean preacher, Nathan, who also was lower in the structure (the “payroll person” if you will), came along and dared to say something the “Power Person” didn’t want to hear that it was made known. Honesty is risky and it can be costly! Thankfully, David made the right choice and confessed his sin

False Promise #3) Because I Have Power, I Don’t Need Anyone’s Input / The False Promise of Autonomy

Pastor and author, Andy Stanley said, “Powerful people have a hard time listening to payroll people”. By “payroll people”, this includes, not just people literally on the payroll beneath you in position and title, but anyone who is in any position that is perceived to be lower than the “power people”. It looks like this, “They haven’t done what I’ve done. What can I learn from them?”.

Well, it is hard to learn anything when the gate to our hearts is closed. But, there may be things they have done that you would say, “I’ve never heard of that being done before”. Often when people say, “I’ve never heard of that being done before”, they mean it to be a negative. In reality, it could be a learning opportunity if they let it.

I have found that the best mentality to have is one that says, “I can learn something from anyone“, no matter where they are in relation to me.

Autonomous Anonymous may say, “I do all the telling, and they do all the doing, and that’s the way we like it!”. There are people who know more than we know and can see more than we can see. The worst thing we can do is immediately dismiss the contribution of someone who is at a lower level of a particular structure than we are.

Communication is power and that can be scary for someone who feels the need to always be in control, but it truly is the antidote to the virus of selfish autonomy!

These promises of having power truly are FALSE and they will not, and they cannot, be kept. Whatever God allows in your life, may you always “…be content with such things as ye have…”!

Is there an area in your life where you find yourself trying to use some form of power to control others? If so, how would it look if you no longer needed that to feel secure?

“To Whom Men Have Committed Much”

Luke 12:48 …and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

Regarding these words of our Lord, one person said, “You can commit some things to most people, but you can only commit most things to some people.” This seems to be why the Lord says that, when this kind of person is found, more will be asked of them.

To this day, the same Lord who said these words is looking, not just for those who will be saved and nothing more, but for those to whom He can entrust greater portions of His work; those with whom He can partner and do greater things!

Our Lord says to Nathanael in John 1:50 thou shalt see greater things than these. When speaking to Philip and the other brethren, He said in John 14:12 and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

It seems the Lord is constantly looking for those of whom He can “ask the more” and who will be willing to “see greater things” and do “greater works”!

As God’s people, let’s be the first ones who are willing to be found for such a glorious and fulfilling task!

Calling Those Things that Be Not As Though They Were (Final Part – Keep Calling It)

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Keep Calling It As Though It Were, Until It Is

Part of the Christian life is to live in hope. When you call things into your life as though they were already there, though they are not yet, then it keeps a sense of hope before you. Almost as if you are saying, “It is on its way…it is on its way”.

When God changed Abram’s name to Abraham and when Sarai’s name was changed to Sarah, it was about one year before the promise of God came to pass in their lives.

Sarai means “dominating”, and she was, but Sarah means “noble queen”. Sarah had to learn how to change her mentality and start acting like a daughter of God instead of a daughter of bossiness and entitlement.

Abram means “high (noble) father” or “father of height”, which could also entail that Abram may have been a tall man. The name Abraham means “father of a multitude”.

Anytime Abraham said his name, he was calling that which was not as though it already was, and this is what is meant by Paul, when speaking of Abraham, in the verse we started with in Romans 4:17 …and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

I believe the more Abraham said his new name, knowing what it meant, the more he started to believe it. When you get in agreement with God’s word and you declare God’s word, you will start to believe it more and more. It keeps faith in front of your mind!

Then, that natural doubt that would always arise in your heart, will begin to lose its grip until you speak God’s word with full conviction and assurance and you are able to speak it without any significant doubt in your heart.

Then, as Jesus says, you shall have whatsoever you say because you learned how to become an authorized user of God’s word and are calling things that be not as though they were. One last thing to remember is that, it is up to God how, when, and if the things we call into our lives actually come to pass.

Calling for them, as the Bible declares, certainly increases our chances of it happening. For one thing it may take just a month, and for another it may take a decade. The idea is keep calling those things to you and let the hope it produces lead you into a closer relationship with God!

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Calling Those Things that Be Not As Though They Were (Part 4 – You’ll Have Whatsoever You Say)

Romans 4:17…and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

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Having Whatsoever You Say

Jesus tells us in Mark 11:23  For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.

Many people get caught up on the “and shall not doubt in his heart” portion of this verse. They feel, “Well, I pray but I feel doubt when I do, so it must not be possible”. Yet, when it comes to saying things like “Guess I’ll be in debt for a LONG time” or “It probably is not going to work out” or anything like that, they have no doubt in their hearts about those things, but they believe those things that they say. Because of this, they have “whatsoever they saith”.

The wise man, Solomon, wrote in Proverbs 18:21  Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. Notice he says “Death AND life…” You will reap whatever you sow. If you sow death through criticisms, doubt, and fear that is what you’ll get. But, if you sow life through kindness, love, and creation faith, then that is what you will get. You’ll eat the fruit thereof, whether it be of hate or of love.

Agreeing with What God Says

 Another parameter of calling things into your life is that you must know what God says about it so that you may get in agreement with Him on it. Otherwise, you are no better off than the person who has no access to these things at all.

Sometimes people may tend to believe that by “calling things that be not as though they were”, they are somehow lying because they are saying something is there when it really is not there. The person who says this is partly right. That which they are calling is not there…not yet anyway. But, it will be if they keep calling for it.

When we say, “Agreeing with what God says”, what we mean is saying what God has already said about the matter. For example, was Jesus lying when He said in Luke 6:38  Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over? No, He wasn’t because Jesus does not lie. Therefore, if I say, “I have given, so it shall be given unto me, and I believe it is already given unto me and I call it into my life right now”, then I’m not lying. I’m simply agreeing with what Jesus already said about it.

Of course, there are the parameters of being a born-again child of God, living right, and knowing God’s word like I said earlier, but after these basis are covered, I have access to “his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19) . I may not currently have what it is I’m calling into my life, but Jesus has it! If Jesus has it, and if I need it, then I can just call it to me because it shall be given unto me. This is where growing in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ…” (2 Peter 3:18) comes into play. “A Biblically uneducated Christian is a Christian who is not fulfilling their potential.”

In the next, and final post, we’ll talk about continuing to call things that are not until they are!

Calling Those Things that Be Not As Though They Were (Part 3 – Using God’s Word to Create)

Using God’s Word To Create

Where do we get the idea of this “say and see” faith? Take note of the sequence of events in the following verses:

>Genesis 1:3  And God said , Let there be light…Genesis 1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good…

>Genesis 1:9  And God said…Genesis 1:10 …and God saw that it was good.

>Genesis 1:14  And God said…Genesis 1:18 …and God saw that it was good.

>Genesis 1:20  And God said…Genesis 1:21 …God saw that it was good.

>Genesis 1:24 And God said…Genesis 1:25 …and God saw that it was good.

>Genesis 1:29  And God said, Behold, I have given you…Genesis 1:31  And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good…

If we are born again, then we have this creator God as our Father, and if we are His heirs, then we have creative power too! We don’t have it to the extent that He does, but we certainly have more access to it than we tend to use.

The word of God still has power to create, we just don’t use it to its fullest potential. We are told in James 4:2-3  Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.  (3)  Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

There are two main reasons listed here for not receiving. For those who “lust, kill, fight, and war” they cannot use God’s creative word to create in their own lives because they are not seeking to live for God. They have no access to God’s creative word.

The other reason is that, even if someone is seeking to live for God, they may have access to God’s creative word, but they simply don’t ask or call things into creation in their lives. For both groups, when they do ask, they try to ask for something that is outside their level of faith and wisdom or it is outside the will of God. So, there’s another reason they do not receive. We have to get our lives in line with God’s will before we can hope to receive anything.

Start with something you can believe for and don’t make any unnecessary moves until you have it. Don’t write checks for money you don’t have, even if you are believing God to bring it into your life! God does not operate based on demands, but based on obedient faith.

After calling for something into your life, you must wait on God to say, “Let there be light”. Then you wait until there is light (wisdom) given to you before taking the next step. Otherwise, you’ll still be in darkness. In other words, rather than making forced moves where “God has to deliver”, you make faith moves as you receive revelation and wisdom to do so.

You can always pray and call things to you, but you must also wait until it comes to you before you make any moves that fully depend on those things to be there. Otherwise, it would be like going down to the shipyard and standing there on the dock and someone asks you, “what are you doing here?” and you say, “I’m waiting for my ship to come in” and they say, “Is your name on one of the authorized receiving lists?” and you say “No”.

They may say, “Well, you are not even entitled to anything on any ship if your name is not on a receiving list. Did you send out an order?” and you say, “No”, and they say, “Well, why are you even down here expecting to receive something if you have not sent the order out? You have to put in an order before you can hope to receive anything.”

In order to use God’s creative word in your life, you have to be one of God’s children and have access as an authorized receiver. Then you have to send out the word of faith (place an order) that it may go out and start creating and calling things to your life. Don’t be a see and sayer…be a say and seer, like your heavenly Father! Genesis 1:3  And God saidGenesis 1:4 And God saw

Being Specific

God did not just say and see, but He said something specific and saw that very specific thing. Genesis 1:3  And God said , Let there be lightGenesis 1:4 And God saw the light  Not only did He see the very thing that He called, but we are also told Genesis 1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good He didn’t just get some weak flickering light, but He got a bright shining light that was good!

We often don’t get what we need in life because we’re not specific enough. As one man, who wanted to implement calling things into his life, said, “I call to me the kind of life where I’m just living on a ship and away from society for months at a time out on the water”. Well, he ended up getting drafted into the Navy, and there he was, on a ship away from society for months at a time out on the water, just like he said!

In the next post we’ll talk about having whatsoever you say!

Who Was “Judas the Brother of James”?

Luke 6:16  And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor.

“Judas the brother of James”. When you read this verse, and you understand that Jesus also had two brothers by these names, it may be reasonable to believe these were Jesus’ two brothers. But then, we read in John 7:5  For neither did his brethren believe in him.

We now know that Judas (Jude) and James, the two brothers of Jesus, eventually did believe on Jesus as Lord and we know that God used both of these men to author books in the New Testament, which bear their names.

In our key verse, it is speculated that, since the translators apparently added the words “the brother”, which is indicated by these words being in italics, that Judas was actually the son of James.

If this were the case, it would read, “Judas of James”, as it actually does read when the italicized words are removed. According to one commentary, in the Greek this would be phrased “James’s Jude”.

Luke again phrases it the same way in Acts 1:13  And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James.

Additionally, this Judas is also thought to be “…Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus” (Matthew 10:3) and “Thaddaeus…” (Mark 3:18).

So, rather than being “Judas the brother of James”, it seems this Judas, also known as Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddeus, was actually the son of James, “Judas of James”, or “James’s Jude”.

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Calling Those Things that Be Not As Though They Were (Part 2 – God’s Creative Word)

God’s Creative Word

           Genesis 1:3-4  And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.  (4)  And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. Darkness is not anything measurable because it is not substantive. It is simply the absence of light. When God’s word was spoken, the light came and the darkness just disappeared.

Many people of God have the darkness of lack in their lives when God has given them access to His creative word to bring the light of abundance. I’m not talking about that fake “name it and claim it” stuff. I’m talking about “Get saved, live right, and learn God’s word so you have access to be able to name it and claim it. Then, wait on God to bring it”. There’s a difference between those two. One is blind and lazy faith while the other is true and intelligent faith.

See and Say

Most people have to see before they say, and by then all they can say is “Thank you, Lord” because it is right there. Paul also addresses this in Romans 8:24 …hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? Rather than having “say and see” faith, they have “see and say” faith.

It is like that children’s toy See -n- Say. You pull the string or handle and it says, “The cow goes…mooooooo”, and they say, “Yep, that’s a cow right there and it does go mooo. Wow, God! Thank you for this cow that goes “mooo”. I see it right here”.

That is the way they are with things in their lives. Rather than calling things into their lives that aren’t there yet, they usually wait to say, “Thank you Lord” only after a blessing comes to their lives.

But, there are lots of things that could be there that never will be because God looks to us to use His word to bring it to our lives. Romans 8:25  But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. Of course, this will only work for those who are actively serving God.

Are you actively serving God and using His word to create in your life?

In the next post, we’ll talk about using God’s word to create!

Calling Those Things that Be Not As Though They Were (Part 1 – It Shall Be Given)

Romans 4:17…and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

Paul writes about Abraham a few times in his writings. Here and in Hebrews 11:8 – By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed…

In both places, he speaks of the same event; the promise of God to Abraham and the faith of Abraham that was counted to him for righteousness.

While Abraham had to grow into this level of faith, he eventually did get to a place where his faith in God was powerful! We can learn from the life of Abraham about what it looks like to have the kind of faith that “calleth those things which be not as though they were” and we can let God develop that kind of faith in our lives as well!

Give and it Shall Be Given Unto You

Giving is a form of calling God’s blessings into your life!

We are told in Luke 6:38  Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Some people will never have because they never give, of if they do give, it is with the wrong motivation. They may give, but rather than giving to give, they give to get. They may give in order to get their way by using their money as leverage, to gain advantage with their money, or so they can get blessings from God.

While there are blessings that come with our giving, there aren’t as many people who will give simply because they love God enough to obey Him and believe in that to which they are giving.

God calls His people to give so He can use them as a conduit (delivery system) of blessings. While you are allowing God’s blessings to flow from Him through you to others, you’ll get some of those blessings in your own life too.

Solomon writes in Proverbs 11:25 he that watereth shall be watered also himself. There have been times where I’ve been blessed and able to give large financial offerings and gifts. Then, even after doing that, I’ve also been through financially difficult times where I couldn’t do that anymore.

When I had it, I wanted to let it flow through me. When I didn’t have it, I still did what I could through giving of my time and talent, but I looked at that time as an opportunity to show God I’m still going to obey Him and do right without depending on the money.

Sometimes, God allows those tough times just to see where you are and to teach you not to depend too heavily upon it for your happiness. We are reminded in God’s holy word in Psalms 62:10 …if riches increase, set not your heart upon them. And in Proverbs 23:5 …for riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven. While going through difficult financial times, I still use that time to call God’s blessings back into my life while I’m waiting. This brings us to our next section.

In the next part we’ll talk about God’s creative word!

Three Parts to the Prophecy of Isaiah 61

In Isaiah’s prophecy, Isaiah 61:1-3  The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;  (2)  To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;  (3)  To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

This prophecy is broken up into three major parts:

1) Isaiah 61:1-3  The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;  (2)  To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD

This is when Jesus came to this world the first time to make a way of salvation from the penalty of sin, to preach good tidings, bind up the brokenhearted, proclaim liberty and the opening of the prison of sin to them that are bound in it.

2) Isaiah 61:2  …and the day of vengeance of our God…

This is when the Lord will put all rebellion and sin out of this world and into the Lake of Fire and take vengeance on the adversaries of God and then purify the earth by fire.

3) Isaiah 61:2-3  to comfort all that mourn;  (3)  To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

This is when the Divine Government of God will be upon the Earth forever and all of creation will finally be eternally at rest from the effects of sin.

In case you’re wondering where we are in all this, we’re still in part 1.

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