A Harvest of Health

RAIN IN SHEETS WITH STARS - CLIPART - TRQUIS

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts; neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.

For as the rain cometh down and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater: so shall My word be that goeth forth out of My mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”  (Isaiah 55:8-11).

Did you catch the main point here? The Lord is telling us that the rain and the snow water the earth and MAKE it bring forth fruit, and that His Word will do exactly the same thing in us. That is – The Word of God, when it is received into the ground for which it is intended – our spirit, soul, and body – will MAKE that ground – our spirit, soul, and body – bring forth the fruit of the Word. It’s because of this truth that God can say His Word will not return to Him void, without accomplishing that which He wills.

We know for sure that God’s Word is His Will. He has told us repeatedly throughout scripture, both Old and New Covenants, that He created all that is natural by and through His Word – and that His Word will never fade away nor fail. He tells us in 2 Timothy 3:16 that all scripture is “God-breathed.” (Original Greek). So His Word has creative power in it, just as it did on the first day of creation, and has been sent to create the things of God – all that is of life, health, and holiness – in us.

Now, let’s look at one specific set of His words that have been sent to accomplish a very specific and exact work. Proverbs 4:20-22 says, “My son, give attention to My words. Incline thine ear to My sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes. Keep them in thine heart. For they (My Words) are life unto you that find them and health (medicine) to all your flesh.” The word translated health in this passage is actually a Hebrew word that is correctly translated “health” and “medicine.” So God tells us here clearly that His Word is medicine for all of our flesh. There’s nothing left out in the words “all of our flesh.” There is no disease or physical affliction for which God’s Word is not medicine. But it’s even better than mere medicine. It’s medicine with a guarantee that it will restore health.

When we couple that information with the information He gives us in Isaiah 55:10-11, we find that His Word, when we apply it in faith as medicine to our physical bodies, will MAKE our bodies bring forth the fruit of health. “But,” you may say, “it’s not happening in my life or the lives of many people I know.” That is true. But just how many people do you know who will search God’s Word until they know exactly what it says about healing and until they are saturated in God’s healing Words? I don’t know many, but the ones I do know – including myself – have found that Word every bit as effective in fruit-bearing as those passages indicate.

I have failed to apply it faithfully at times in my life and had to live with the results. BUT – every time that I HAVE applied it – to my own body and to those of loved ones — to serious problems and minor problems alike – it has worked a healing and a cure – even when doctors said the body had been damaged too much to recover or that surgery was the only option. Moreover, hundreds of thousands of believers all over the world have found this same effectiveness for their bodies and have testified of it for generations.

But, dear one, you must not make the decision to believe God’s Word as your medicine based on the experiences of other people. You must make the decision to believe based only on whether you trust the Word of God. He tells us, in absolutely certain terms, that His Word is His medicine for our bodies. And then in Hebrews 4:11, He also tell us that His Word is “alive and powerful, piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit and the joints and marrow of the bones.”

Now, medical science tells us that all blood cell production takes place in the bone marrow. And the Word tells us that the life of the flesh is in the blood. If that is the case, just think what can happen if we saturate ourselves with the Word of God enough to fill our bone marrow with it. Since God promises that the Word –like the rain and snow – will MAKE the ground bear fruit, then that Word in our bone marrow will MAKE our body bear a harvest as well. When you get enough Word in the blood cells flowing into every cell of your body, it can go to work destroying the unhealthy cells and energizing the creation of healthy ones. Then, in a matter of time, that sick body becomes a healthy body.

Consider taking God’s Word seriously. Consider believing what He tells us. And consider sitting down with the Word and reading it into your own body – especially the portions that speak healing and health – absorbing it regularly, faithfully – at least as regularly and faithfully as you would take the pills or the medical treatments a human doctor prescribes. Give God’s medicine the same honor and attention that you give man-made medicine, and see if it doesn’t MAKE your body bear a wonderful harvest of God’s health and life.

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by Sandra Conner~

You may be interested in these related articles, which tell you more about how  to apply God’s healing Word to your physical body:
God’s Word Is Real Medicine.”
“Acting On God’s Word”

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Be Not Afraid!

“For God has not given us the spirit of  fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”                                                                                                      2 Tim. 1:7.

http://gospelgifs.com/

Perhaps you have heard the humorous description of the lady who could never come to grips with her fears. She confessed that she always felt her worst at the times she felt best, because she knew and dreaded how awful she was going to feel when she felt bad again. Have you ever known that kind of person?

I had a friend many years ago who could never enjoy a beautiful spring day because of the stormy weather he “knew” was just around the corner and would surely strike any day. To the greeting, “Isn’t this a beautiful day, Chuck?” He would invariably respond, “Yeah, but when we get it we’re really going to get it.” Wherever this dear soul was, the aspirin bottle was always within reach, and I don’t recall that he ever had a truly happy day. And he was a professing Christian. Unusual? Not at all. Many Christians today are dominated or noticeably influenced by fears.

To some degree, every person reading these words has been to that barren wasteland called “fear.” And that is exactly what it is: a wasteland. Fear never builds, it never enhances, and it never blooms into anything beautiful. And when fear makes an appearance, it goes about systematically turning everything good into a wasteland. All over the land, day and night, we are fed a super dose of things to be fearful about: fear for our country, fear for our schools, fear for our children, fear of disease, fear of losing a job, fear of not getting a job — fear everywhere and about everything imaginable.

But for the Christian, there is an answer for fear in every phase of our lives. The Bible tells us explicitly that fear does not come from God. The Word calls fear a spirit, and considering its destructive force, it is easy to recognize it as an evil spirit. And since Jesus passed on his authority over evil spirits to the disciples and the believers after them (that’s us!), that translates into our ability to cast fear out and keep it out by exercising that authority. The text Scripture supports this truth by telling us we have been given the spirit of power and love and a mind that’s stable enough to resist fear. And all of these attributes are part of Jesus! Hallelujah!

One night in the midst of a vicious storm on the Sea of Galilee, the disciples were on the edge of death and screamed out in terror. At His altar of prayer on the mountain, Jesus saw their plight through the all Seeing Eye of God and came to the rescue. God had already made provision for the safety of the disciples, just as He has, through Jesus, made provision for our total salvation — which includes healing, deliverance, provision, and safety. We must set our minds on Him as our total source. We must believe and act on His words that tell us, “Speak to this mountain (of fear), command it to be removed … and as you believe, you will receive.”

Go to work on the fears you are carrying with you. Hear those same words Jesus spoke on the sea as they ring from His throne of intercession, “Be of good cheer. It is I … be not afraid!”

And may the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious unto you. May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace. In the Name of Jesus our Messiah, Amen!

by Ted Pavloff

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Salvation: What Is It???

CROSS - PLAIN, THICK - QUESTS.
“Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature (Greek: new species); the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. … Therefore, we … beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:17-19).

“What’s it all about? This “being saved”? This being “born again”? What’s it all about? I just don’t understand it. And I could never get my life straightened out enough and cleaned up enough to fit in with Jesus Christ anyway.”

Ever felt that way? Have you ever felt that you might really like to turn your life over to someone stronger and wiser, who could get it straightened out and make some real sense out of it – give it some lasting purpose and value? But you just don’t think you measure up to God’s standards enough to come to Him?

Well, the good news – shouted loud and strong – in the scripture passage above is that you do not have to measure up to God’s standards – or anyone else’s. You don’t even have to get one little thing about yourself or your life made right before you come to God.

That’s right. I mean what I said. And I can say it with absolute confidence, because God Himself said it first. And He said it over and over again. The passage at the top of this article is just one instance, but, to me, it is one of the most important of those instances. I have two other favorite passages like it in importance: Romans 5:6: “Christ died for the ungodly.” 1 Tim. 1:15: “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”

Now, of course, if you don’t think you need a savior – if you believe you are holy enough to live in the presence of the holy God of the universe, nose to nose, eye to eye, breathing the same air He breathes for all eternity, without being cleaned up at all – then I’m not talking to you. But if you realize that you are not on the level of that holy God – that you are not righteous and pure enough by your own merit to live with Him – then I am talking to you – and so is He!

The simple truth is that the work has already been done for you. Jesus did it all. He gave up the privileges of being on the throne of Heaven, came to this earth as a man, and lived a perfect life for you. Then God laid all of the sinful nature (to which you are heir) and all of the rebellion, disobedience, ugliness, and hatefulness of all the sin in the human race on Jesus (2 Cor. 5 21), and put all the punishment for that sin on Him as well. He bore it all for you, and after His death on your behalf, He came up out of the grave – also on your behalf – with eternal life and the right to bestow that new life on you. We have “been crucified with Christ,” (Gal. 2: 19-20) and “even when we were dead in our transgressions, [God] made us alive together with Christ … and raised us up with Him.” (Eph. 2:5-6).

But when we decide we’d like to have that salvation and that new relationship with our Creator, we often hold back because we feel powerless to separate ourselves from sin or the world’s way of life – or even from our own selfish nature. We feel powerless to make ourselves “worthy” of Jesus’ sacrifice for us. Well, if you feel that way, rejoice! Because that means you know the truth: We are powerless! But that is okay. Because the work of saving us is His – and His alone! And it’s already been done.

That’s what our beginning scripture is telling us. When God raised Jesus from the dead, He raised Him up as the head of a body – which would be made up of believers – everyone who would believe in that finished work. That’s what the verse in Ephesians means when it says He “raised us up with Him.” And that’s what the passage in 2 Corinthians means when it says that God was – in Christ – reconciling the world to Himself. That word reconcile means to bring back into original or proper position and make the relationship right again. That’s what the Word says God was doing when He crucified Jesus Christ and raised Him up again and seated Him in power and authority forever. He was bringing “the world” back into right relationship with Himself.

Now look at the rest of that verse: “not counting their sins against them.” Who is the pronoun “their” referring to in this verse? The church? The “good” people? The people who call themselves Christians? NO! The only plural noun in that whole verse that the pronoun “their” can refer to is the word “world.” Do you get it? God was – in Christ – not counting the world’s sins against them any longer. God was – in Christ (only in Christ) – forgiving all the people in the whole world for every sin counted against them. Can you grasp that exciting truth? In the mind and heart of God, it is already done. In the mind and heart of God, all of your sins are already forgiven – in Christ!

You see, that’s why there is no other way to salvation and eternity with God. There is no other religion, dogma, or program that has inherent within it the forgiveness of all sin and the eternal life granted by God. That forgiveness and that life are only in Christ – because He’s the only one who paid the horrible price of suffering and separation from God that was complete enough and perfect enough to buy freedom for the whole human race.

So, your next question is probably going to be, “Well if it’s already done, then what is my part?” Our part is believing and receiving. Even before Jesus’ crucifixion, when His disciples asked Him, “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus told them, “This is the work of God, that you believe on Him whom He hath sent.” (John 6:28-29).

Now, I do need to explain that the word “believe” from the original language means much more than mental assent. It means “yielding or surrendering to and obeying.” To truly “believe” means that you give yourself to it completely. But that is the beauty of it all. We do not have to do the work of salvation. We just have to surrender to that work and let it produce its fruit in us. How do we surrender? We simply pour out our hearts to this great, loving Jesus, who has done all the work. We simply tell him in our own words that we know we need what He offers and gladly give Him control in our hearts and our lives. (That’s what it means to make Him our “Lord.”)

Once we totally surrender, Jesus comes to reign on the throne of our hearts. From that position, He can begin to clean up everything else about us that needs cleaning up. You need never fear. Once He has the position of authority, willingly given to him by you, He knows how – and is well able – to do the rest of the work.

So what about that term “born again”? Go back to our original verse: “Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature (Greek: new species).” When Jesus Christ comes in, our real man – the spirit man — is literally born again. A brand new species (the God-man species of Jesus Christ) comes in and generates its life in our spirit. (You must remember that man was created by a spirit God and therefore is primarily a spirit-being, having a soul and living in a body). Therefore the Word tells us again and again the we are to be aware of the fact that we are now “children of God.” (Romans 8:16, 1 John 3:2).

Now all of this work is done – finished. In God’s heart and mind it’s a “done deal.” But remember: it is done ONLY IN CHRIST. Therefore, it is only when we make the decision to yield ourselves to Jesus Christ and receive Him into ourselves and our lives that we get the benefit of this finished work. Although it is done, if we choose not to access it, we get no results from it in our personal lives.

You might compare it to the process of getting data from the Internet. You know there is data out there covering the subject about which you need information. But that data will do you absolutely no good at all unless you sit down, turn on your computer, take yourself to that site, open up the channel, and deliberately download that information. So — you must open up yourself to Jesus Christ and all He has done for you, and by believing (yielding, surrendering) download every single bit of it. It’s all yours. It has your name on it. But you have to hit the download (I Believe) button to receive.

So what is salvation? It is the free gift of a loving Father who has paid the deepest, truest, most sacrificial price to restore His rebellious children to Himself. It is the free gift of the brother Jesus, who has given Himself in our place and paid the full price, receiving brand new life to pass on to each one of us. The work of salvation has absolutely nothing to do with us. Our only work is to believe what He has done and surrender to it.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3:16-17).     ♥

 

by Sandra Conner

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Drawing From God’s Well

“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; He also is become my salvation. Therefore, with joy you shall draw water out of the wells of salvation. And in that day you shall say, Praise the Lord, call upon His name, declare  His doings among the people, make mention that His name is exalted. Sing unto the Lord; for He hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst.

(Isaiah 12:2-6).

WELL - PUBLIC DOMAIN

In this chapter of Isaiah, the Lord is encouraging Israel — and the church (by virtue of our Jewish lineage through Jesus Christ.) The promises in this particular chapter look forward to Jesus and all that He would bring to earth for the human race. Although the Lord is referring to a specific day of deliverance for Israel from her physical enemies, this passage, like so many in the Old Covenant, also foresees the ultimate deliverance of God’s people through the finished work of Jesus Christ.

What this passage offers one nation — on a small scale — it also offers the heirs of that nation (the church of Jesus Christ)  on a much larger scale. So if behooves us to look very closely at exactly what is being promised and offered here, so that we know what God has made available to us through our Lord’s finished work.

The most important word in this entire passage is “salvation.” Now, unfortunately, to English-speaking people, that word tends to turn our minds to a very limited, somewhat atrophied definition. For many, “salvation” represents some rather vague state of being resulting from the fact that God has forgiven our sins and that we are now in a position to be able to go to Heaven when we die. And, of course, it does mean that, but that simple definition is so far from the true meaning of the word in the original texts of Scripture that it leaves us in ignorance of all that Jesus has done for us.

The word which we translate “salvation” in the Old Testament comes from two Hebrew words — each of them used in different O. T. passages, but both of them having the exact same definition.  The really interesting thing is that the word we translate “salvation” in the New Testament comes from one Greek word which also has exactly the same definition as the two Hebrew words used in the O. T.

Every one of those root words means the following:
“To set free, deliver, aid, heal, prosper, protect, make whole, provide for one’s welfare.”

Now, if you are reading this article and you did not know that definition previously, you need to read through it again — maybe two or three times — because until we have all of those parts clearly embedded into our mind, we do not understand the word “salvation.” We also need to understand that when the Scriptures use other forms of that word (such as “save” or “saved”) they are still using the same root word with the same definition.

So what Scripture really tells us is that when Jesus took our sin and the curse for sin upon Himself, died with it, and rose from the grave with all the debt paid in full, He bought, not only forgiveness for the sin, but also deliverance from all the aspects of the curse that was in effect for breaking God’s laws. (For a quick list of the things included in the curse of the broken law, you can read Deuteronomy chapter 28. The first 14 verses list the blessings for walking in covenant and obedience with God, and the whole rest of the chapter lists the punishments for disobedience.)  Galatians chapter 3 explains how Jesus took that whole curse for us and left us free to inherit  the promises given to our forefather in the faith – Abraham.

So when we read that word “salvation,” we need to stop and include all the words in the definition of that word. If we never give correct meaning to it, we will never be able to appropriate the wonderful things it offers us, and we will not be grateful to the Lord for having bought those blessings for us with His own suffering and death.

Just begin with this passage in Isaiah and when you come to the word “salvation,” stop and read “freedom from sin, deliverance, aid, healing, prosperity, protection, wholeness, and welfare.”  If you’ve never done it, you will find that it will change your life — and your relationship with God.

Let’s go one step farther into the New Covenant. The name “Jesus’ is actually derived from a Hebrew root (and is sometimes translated Joshua as well as Jesus.) But the point we need to zero in on is  the fact that the name is derived from a combination of the Hebrew words that mean “Jehovah saves — heals, delivers, sets free, prospers, protects, etc.”  Wow!  No wonder there was unqualified joy in Heaven and among groups of people who were looking for the Messiah when word came that “Jesus” had been born.

Now, let’s return to Isaiah 12 for one more thought. In the last sentence of that chapter, we are told that the inhabitants of Zion  are to shout for joy because the Holy One of Israel is great in her midst. Now,  this “Holy One of Israel” is the same God who came down in fire and burned up Elijah’s sacrifice, along with his altar, and then licked up the water. He’s the same God who slew Goliath when David through his rock. He’s also the same God who went before the army of Jehoshaphat and destroyed three whole armies without Israel even having to get sweaty. If that God is in the midst of Zion, she has nothing at all to fear.

It’s interesting to note that Zion is also used in Scripture to look forward to the church, and in the New Testament book of Hebrews we are told that believers have come to Mt. Zion, to the Heavenly Jerusalem, to the general assembly and church of Jesus Christ.  Does that mean that the “Holy One of Israel” is also in our midst? Well, let’s take a look at 1 John 4:4 — a letter written strictly to the born-again believers who make up the church of Jesus Christ: “You are of God, little children and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”

And not only is HE (the Holy One of Israel) in us, but so is His Kingdom. Jesus said the Kingdom does not come with outward observation, but that it comes to us internally. (Luke 17:21). He also insisted that it is our Father’s good pleasure to give us His Kingdom. (Luke 12:32). And how does Jesus describe the Kingdom of God?  Well, it includes God’s righteousness, of course (Matt. 6:33) but it also includes healing the sick, casting out demons, raising the dead, and giving out the things of God freely.  Throughout the Gospels, Jesus tells people that when He or His disciples minister the delivering and healing power of God, the Kingdom of God has come to those people. All of those things are inside of our born-again spirit.

So, dear believers, it’s time we stirred ourselves up to go draw the water of life that we need from the wells of God’s “salvation” — the wells of “Jesus” — the wells of “freedom, deliverance, healing, prosperity, protection, and welfare.”

It’s time to cry out and shout for joy — regardless of how things look or feel in the natural. Because those things that have come against you — those enemies — those giants that threaten your survival — those multiple armies of deadly problems that have encamped against you — all of them have one thing in common: they are no match for the Holy One of Israel — for Jesus, who forgives, delivers, heals, prospers, and protects you. Great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.  Believe Him and let Him work for you.    †

by Sandra Conner

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Praise Your Way Out of the Whale

SMILING WHALE - WHITE ON AQUA

In the book of Habakkuk, the prophet, under the inspiration of God, says, “Though the fig tree should not blossom, and there be no fruit on the vine; though the yield of the olive should fail, and the fields produce no food; though the flock should be cut off from  the fold, and there be no cattle in the stalls; yet I will exult in the Lord. I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength. And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, and makes me walk on my high places.” (Hab. 3:17-19).

Habakkuk has made a decision of his will to refuse to let natural circumstances control him or his life. Natural circumstances give him absolutely no reason to praise God. Yet he decides to praise Him and exult in Him. Why? Because he has a reason that far outweighs the circumstances.

His exultation and rejoicing are in the fact that he knows God is his salvation. That word salvation, from the original Hebrew, means much more than having our sin washed away. The word translated salvation, in both Hebrew and Greek, means “deliverance, aide, victory, health, prosperity, and protecion.” Habakkuk knows that no matter what the trouble he faces, he has a God Who will deliver him and bring him out in victory, if he will remain faithful and keep his eyes on the Lord.

When Habakkuk talks about the Lord making his feet like hinds’ feet, he is referring to the fact that the hind lives high up in the mountainous areas and walks fearlessly along the steep sides of the mountains, and the narrow ledges over steep drop-offs. This dexterity comes from the fact that God made the hind to be able to leap from ledge to ledge in such a way that the two back feet come down in exactly the same spot that the two front feet left. So the animal is perfectly confident as it leaps and walks in the most dangerous places.

The prophet realizes that as long as his trust is in his God, he can be confident that no matter how dangerous or treacherous the way in the midst of trouble, he will not fall, but will leap from point to point, as sure-footed as the hind. And he will come at last to the highest level of victory over the problem.

Habakkuk is not alone in recognizing the value of praising his God in the face of bewildering negative circumstances.  David, when he and his men returned to Ziklag (1 Samuel 30), found it had been burned down completely, and all their wives and children had been taken captive by the Amalekites. David and all of his mighty warriors were so distraught and horrified that the Word says they wept until they had no more power to weep. Then David’s men began to talk about stoning him, because he had been the one responsible for their being away from their homes at the time of the attack. David had absolutely nowhere to turn for help. No one even wanted to talk to him, let alone befriend him at that time. But the Word says “David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.”

Once he turned away from what he could see and hear and feel, and began to build himself up on what he knew to be the truth about his God, David gained new spiritual strength, and put himself into a place of being able to hear from God. He then called for the priest to bring the ephod, which was a tool God had given Israel’s leaders to aid them in hearing from Him. After centering all of his attention on God, David was then in a place to hear what God told him. And because he was again in a place of faith, God was able to instruct him to pursue the enemy and recover everything he and his men had lost. God was able to give the victory, but David had to be able to receive it. And he could not do that in a state of hopelessness and despair — but only in a state of faith.

Another well-known Old Testament prophet speaks almost the same message in the midst of what I perceive as the most bazaar, hopeless situation that I can imagine. Jonah,  in chapter two of the book named for him, speaks while inside the belly of the whale. (Scripture calls it a ‘great fish,’ but ‘whale’ will suffice for this lesson.) He describes the total ugliness and hopelessness of his situation, but then he says, “While I was fainting away, I remembered the Lord; and my prayer came to Thee, into Thy holy temple. … I will sacrifice to Thee with the voice of thanksgiving. That which I have vowed I will pay. Salvation is from the Lord.”  (Jonah 2:7-9).

Here again, in the midst of the most severe trouble and the direst prognosis for the future, the prophet concentrates on the truth which outweighs all that he sees and feels:  God is the source of salvation (deliverance,) and therefore, is worthy to be praised. Jonah makes a decision to worship God and give Him the sacrifices of love and praise which are due Him.

Pastor John Osteen, of Houston, Texas, once made the point, while teaching on Jonah, that we have none of us ever been in so negative a situation as Jonah. He said no matter what we’re facing, we can look in some direction and see at least a little light or encouragement; but no matter where Jonah looked, all he could see, in any direction, was whale. How true. We should be thankful for even the smallest encouragement from any direction.

But Jonah, with absolutely no natural encouragement at all, made his decision and praised his God. And notice what happens in the very next verse:  “Then the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah up onto dry land.” The chronological order is very important here. Praise first; deliverance second. It is after we make a decision to praise God and acknowledge Him as our complete salvation that the Lord can move freely on our behalf.

You see, we must use our spiritual vision and see that very real salvation (deliverance, healing, prosperity) which is in the spirit realm. Being in the spirit realm, it is eternal and unchanging, and more powerful than any natural circumstances, which are always bound to change when pressured by things of the spirit. We don’t deny those circumstances, but we make up our mind that God’s Word is true — more true and more trustworthy than the circumstances.

Then we will praise and worship our God, even though the fig tree is dead. Our praise and worship will release our faith and unlock the doors between Heaven and Earth, allowing the salvation and resurrection life of God to flow freely into our situation. Then the fig tree will blossom, and then the vine will bear fruit. †

(Scripture references taken from New American Standard Translation.)

(by Sandra Conner)

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When You Have the Word, You Have the Victory

(by Sandra Conner)

GOLIAH - GOSPEL GIFS

Are you facing some serious difficulties today? Are you in a battle? Is there a giant of a problem confronting you and threatening to destroy you? We’ve all been there at one time or another, and that includes our illustrious ancestor King David. I was just skipping along through the Word this morning, and I happened across the passage in 1 Samuel, chapter 17, where David decides to confront Goliath, and I was struck again by the words that came from his mouth when he faced the giant.

Now, to begin with, Goliath had been insulting, not only Israel, but Israel’s God, so he was already in a position of fighting God — and we all know where that leaves him, right? Ultimately, he’s going to lose. But added to that prognosis of his future, is the fact that this man had absolutely no covenant with God. He had no promises to cling to, and no power from the forces of Heaven to fight for him or come to his aid. He was without God and without hope, but he was just too dumb to know that.

That’s what David means in verse 36, when, addressing King Saul, he refers to Goliath as an “uncircumcised Philistine.” Without a covenant with God (evidenced by the act of circumcision), he didn’t stand a chance against a man in covenant with the Creator of the universe. And it was that covenant — that Word from God — that guarantee out of God’s own mouth — that David was counting on when he faced the giant.

Read his words with me: “Then said David to the Philistine, You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin: but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the ranks of Israel, Whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand; and I will smite you, and cut off your head; and I will give the corpses of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hand.”

Strong words out of the mouth of a ruddy youth — but definitely not foolish words. They were words backed up by the covenant he knew he had with God and the fact that God had always been faithful to that covenant in the past. David related to Kind Saul the events of his past when he had found it necessary to fight a bear and a lion in order to save his flock of sheep. He slew both of those creatures with the Lord’s help. “Your servant killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them.”

What all this talk boils down to is that David knew the Word of God and he knew God wouldn’t fail to keep that Word, so he knew he was more than a match for any enemy that came against him or those in his care. And that’s the position we must be in, saints of God. We must know — KNOW — the Word of God, and we must be absolutely confident that He will never break that Word or act contrary to it. When we do know, we can react exactly as our forefather David did. We can speak the truth of that Word against the enemy and defeat him.

Do you understand that it wasn’t the rock hitting Goliath in his one vulnerable spot that actually defeated him? It was the Word (Covenant) of God — spoken out of the mouth of a man of faith — that carried the real power. In the realm of the spirit, Goliath was already laid out on the ground before David ever wound up his swinging arm. The Word of God had slain that giant. All the rest of the action was just bringing what had already taken place in the spirit realm into the physical.

And notice what David did right after he spoke those words: “When the Philistine came forward to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine.”  When you know the Word of God, you don’t dilly-dally around the problem. You speak the Word to it, and you run quickly toward the battle line to defeat it.

So whatever problem you’re facing, don’t just sit there and suffer. And don’t try to figure out in your own mind whether you can manage to fight this thing successfully. And don’t just cry out and say, “Oh, God, of you can help me, please help me.”  NO. Do what your forefather David did. Find out what God’s Word says about the situation. You may have to dig a little, but isn’t it worth it to come to the place that you don’t have to guess what might happen and what might not? If you can find out what God says about the situation in His Word, then you can KNOW for sure what He intends the outcome to be.

Then start speaking God’s Word out of your mouth to your problem. Hit the problem hard with God’s Word. Picture every scripture as a round smooth stone that you are hurling from your slingshot at the giant in your path. Go after that giant with the word of your own covenant with the Creator of the universe, and watch that enemy fall to the ground defeated.

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